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mjm8401's avatar

Wheres a good place in Philly for a person like me?

Asked by mjm8401 (170points) July 18th, 2012

I currently live in South Jersey. It is time for a change. No one around here understands me. I need some culture. Philadelphia seems like the best move at this time. I am a 26 year old male and frequently labeled as hipster. So what would be a good place in Philly for a 26 year old so called hipster? What I really am is minimalist . I don’t need much space.

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9 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

On the Fx Network.

Seriously, though, aside from the fact that Philly is relatively convenient to NJ, what else makes you think that’s such a good fit?

mjm8401's avatar

Mainly if I take the train to Philly and get into a conversation with someone they know where I am coming from. When I do that in Jersey I have absolutely nothing in common. They look at me like I just killed somebody and I’m covered in blood or something around here.
Even if the rush of the city is too much for me I can always leave. I’m just in dire need for some change. If there is any other place you think would be a better fit I’m all ears.

jrpowell's avatar

If you don’t have any real ties to the area you might want to switch coasts and swing by Portland, Oregon. It is hipster central.

mjm8401's avatar

I thought about Oregon. Thanks : )

marmoset's avatar

West Philly is full of culture and hipstery, and very affordable. I recommend that. If you’re not specifically attached to Philly, some outer Brooklyn and outer Queens neighborhoods are as affordable too…

Buttonstc's avatar

If you’re going to choose West Philly, you need to get advice from someone who has lived in that specific area. West Philly is a large category and some parts of it are downright dangerous and crime ridden. If someone doesn’t know what they’re doing there its like taking your life in your hands. Yes there are pockets of safety and hipster type groups of students or recent grads so if you can find a group to guide you, that would be ideal. I think the local Anarchists group is still there.

But there are two other areas which might suit you better. One is right above the Eastern edge of Center City and the general name is Northern Liberties. Its an up and coming area with lots of artists, musicians etc. and close by se of the clubs immediately to the South. Lots of older buildings are being rehabbed, sometimes by art cooperatives or other more loosely affiliated folks.

Another great neighborhood with lots of cheap living opportunities is Mt. Airy. Its filled with these older huge mansion type buildings in which house sharing is common. A lot of the best ones put up notices on the board at Weavers Way, a food coop which is also an informal type of community center.

There are lots of artists of all types who live in this area. A lot of students rent irooms n those huge homes. There is a lively cultural scene there. The Mt. Airy Learning Tree offers an impressive roster of minimally priced classes in everything under the sun taught by various community members with expertise to share. Photography, calligraphy, car repair, home repair,, yoga, vegetarian cooking, computer repair etc etc. (I once took a brief class on how to build and play your own dulcimer. I taught classes on face painting) Theres something for everybody and Mt Airy welcomes all types and all ages.

This area is home to the Philadelphia Folksong Society as well as a local Krishna group house and a school which teaches the Alexander Technique.

Its a diverse area which has everybody from hippies to hipsters, old and young, black and white and multi-racial. This was one of the first communities to take an active stance against redlining (which contributed to the destruction of so many urban areas) . By and large its a pretty safe area (considering its within city limits) and a whole lot safer than a lot of West Philly.

People in this area are some of the most open minded and welcoming of everybody and I don’t thinly you’ll have any problems finding like minded individuals to yourself.

Its also convenient since you can be downtown in about 25 mins. give or take. One of the things I liked most about living there.
was that you could be surrounded by more than just concrete (as I was when living in Center City) for an affordable rent. The bedroom I rented in a shared house was about the same footage as a small studio apt. downtown. (Those old mansions had HUGE rooms back in those days.
And for less money Plus sharing the rest of the house and huge yard.

Anyhow, since you don’t live that far away, why not take a few day trips into Philly on the weekends and check out all the various neighborhoods and see which appeals to you. Ask lots of questions. You could also stop be Weavers Way to check out whats available on the bulletin board, write down phone numbers and call some of the ones that appeal to you. You don’t need to be a member to use the BB. You could also post a notice of your own describing yourself the type of folks you’d like to rent with andmaybe something will come up.

marmoset's avatar

Great point—Mt Airy is awesome and I would choose it over most of West Philly.

Buttonstc's avatar

@marmoset

Is the A-Space still there? I moved away a few years back but they were a pretty well established group when I was living in Philly.

But since there are a lot of students and recent grads, they may have all moved on. They were a pretty nice bunch when I was around there.

They had a connection with The Wooden Shoe originally but then it moved to the South St. area.

Just curious.

wundayatta's avatar

Indeed, the A-Space is still there, replete with the same old “anarchists” who have been running it for the last twenty years. Baltimore Ave is a happening place—reminds me a bit of Key West. The crowds line the streets wall to wall from 50th St. to 43rd Street on Dollar Nights, as all the young people seek out the incredible dollar deals on food, ice cream, corn on the cob, water ice, spring rolls and too many other items to mention.

You can get dollar coupons for tickets to Curio Theater productions, and hear any number of bands and watch the fire twirlers (pretty cool). Of course, everyone looks young to me, these days.

There are a great number of restaurants in the area now—and some of them are actually good. The Gold Standard. The new hooka place. The Vietnamese grilled fish place. There’s an Indian restaurant and African restaurants and some decent coffee places. The Farmer’s Market at Clark park grows bigger every year, and people are selling fancy popsicles like cantaloup rose and pineapple basil, and sometimes an ice cream guy shows with his strange flavors, and the breakfast taco truck and the once a month flea market and Shakespeare in the Park.

But there is crime, too. Gun crime. Mostly robberies. You just have to keep your eyes peeled when you’re out in the evening.

If you move to West Philly, you need to spend time walking around for a week or so, so you can find out what you can afford and where you will feel comfortable living.

Northern Liberties is pretty cool. Lots of new restaurants and brew pubs there. Fairmount is a great place, and is also really happening. Then there’s the Fittler Square area, and South Philly, and neighborhoods are hopping all over the place. The night life is happening and there’s public transportation so you can get pretty much anywhere whenever you want, especially if you bike. I recommend biking.

You don’t need a car, and there is PhillyCarShare and Zipcar to rent cars by the hour if you do need one. There are farmer’s markets in every neighborhood. There is a rash of new housing going in in many neighborhoods, particularly in North Philly, especially around Temple University, which is building like money grows on trees.

I would live closer to town, not in Mt. Airy. That area is a bit snooty, anyway. Up in the hills with the cool air—it’s not so hip, really. More cool than hip. Also a lot more expensive, unless you live in Germantown, which is cheaper for a reason. It’s where lower income folks live.

If you are a lesbian, then West Philly will make you think you died and went to heaven. Lesbian or Gay, you see people of the same sex walking around holding hands, hugging and making out in the parks. Clearly no one is concerned about getting harassed. I don’t think you see that in most other neighborhoods in the city, except center city, which is the heart of gay culture.

But don’t move to Philly. There are too many people here, as it is. It’s getting way too popular, and so many neighborhoods are gentrifying and even the studenty areas are getting a bit poofy, if you ask me. And really, the culture is so… so… Philadelphia! Like, it’s not all sophisticated like New York. It’s actually creative and different. People in Philly don’t seem to care too much about the rest of the world. They just do their own thing. I’m sure that’s not for you.

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