TheBSQ t1_j7iyqbd wrote

Are you planning on sending the 5 year old to public school?

If so, the elementary school catchment should probably be the basis of your search.

Here’s the Philly School finder:

And here’s some school ranking sites:

And, generally speaking, the good catchments are in safe parts of town, although many might be too dense if you’re looking for something with a bit of a suburban vibe.

If school isn’t an issue (eg, paying for private), then ignore it.

From the sound of it, I’d say maybe West Mt. Airy. Chestnut Hill and “up the hill” East Falls have more a more suburb type feel that you want and are safe, but you can’t always assume the “nicer” neighbors have decent schools.

Honestly…it’s tough. I used to work for the city and many of my co-workers left purely to escape the residency requirements as you get such an increase in school quality, safety, and “bang for your buck” with housing if you can cross that county line, especially if you want a house with more space, a yard, etc.

The other option is the far north east. It has a totally different vibe than the rest of the city. The stereotype is that it’s more of a Blue Lives Matter / Trumpy area, although many here may argue that’s not accurate (or perhaps that appeals to you). It’s a little disconnected from the rest of the city. There’s people for whom it’s the right spot, but there’s also a lot of people who just don’t vibe with it.

And finally, here’s the city’s interactive map of shootings. I’d recommend switching it to 2022 since 2023 is so new (and summer is worse for crime). That’ll at least give you some sense of the geography of where crime tends to be.


TheBSQ t1_j71mzze wrote

The article is ambiguous. Hard to tell if that’s due to RR, or the reporter, but it mentions arrests with ultimatums. It sounded to me like the idea is you arrest them, and tell them they have the option to do job training and find other lines of work, and if that fails, then it’s jail. That’s how I took it.

It sounds kind of like how, on the demand side of the drug market, in places like Portugal, people caught using heroin are given a summons where the authorities say, “go to rehab or we’ll fine you, take away your govt benefits, etc.”

Same general premise / goal. You’re trying to tell people they can’t continue as they are, but they can choose between entering social programs to help them, or getting punished (usually a criminal penalty like jail for dealers, and a civil (aka non-criminal) penalty for people who use, like fines, or loss of benefits.)

Of course, that requires that the social service programs be good, and it requires the city to follow through with the enforcement of the punishment option for those that don’t take service.

Politically, that’s hard because so many people in the US don’t believe there should ever be a punishment / enforcement angle. They think the govt should ask people to voluntarily participate in a social aid program, and if they say don’t, just let them continue buying/selling/using in hopes that eventually change their mind.

And cynically, there’s kind of an incentive for services to suck. Politicians like to spend on services as it looks like action, and the orgs that run them like getting money. And, in some sense, being good at addressing the issues means less future money. Problems call for money, fixing problems means less need for money. From the perspective of continual funding, the “ideal” outcome to appear to be effective, but to be a revolving door where people seeking help cycle in and out, and the money keeps flowing. That’s best achieved by running something like a 6 week rehab program with no follow-up services. Easy to parade around people at week six who look to be on a good path, but without after-care, it’s often just a matter of time before they return and do it all over again.


TheBSQ t1_j6i4vl3 wrote

I moved here right when the key cards were being implemented and saw all the stories about new payment systems and assumed the Key card was the old system that was getting replaced because it was inferior to payment systems that were 10-20 years old in other cities.

Like, even by 1995 standards it’s kinda janky and clunky.


TheBSQ t1_j6i4gra wrote

There’s a few components to this. One, the transit system here is pretty disjointed. You have trolleys, buses, subway, El, regional rail, and non-SEPTA transit like PATCO.

The experience can be very different from one to another.

And within a single mode of transportation, (like the El), it can vary depending on which part of town you’re in. (E.g., it gets worse as you enter the part of the city ravaged by opioids).

And Center City is actually not that big. You can walk/bike it.

So, the unfortunately non-simple answer is it really depends on where you live and which part of public transit you’re taking.


TheBSQ t1_j6i3ui5 wrote

Being a parent really does change things. I remember someone sitting next to me pulling out their dick to investigate their sores.

It’s gross, but as a single young adult, I shrugged it off and went about the rest of my day.

But putting my young kids in a situation where that may happen? No thanks. There’s other ways to get around town.


TheBSQ t1_j5pd8j7 wrote

Personally, I don’t think the quality or the reputation of Temple justifies the price tag and safety issues, especially once you leave the Philly region.

I don’t know what NJ schools your kid also got into, but any of them are both less expensive and better, I think it’s a no brainer to go there instead.

Granted, when I was a college-bound kid, I really wanted to be in a city, and prioritized that over everything else, and all the sound advice in the world couldn’t have gotten me to change my mind.

And, actually, now that I think about it, I did end up getting robbed at gunpoint my first year living off campus! (Not Temple. Different city/school but similar urban campus situation.)


TheBSQ t1_j5lv47q wrote

One side doesn’t want anything enforced that might result in disproportionate and inequitable results, the other side doesn’t want to enforce anything under the the idea that the worse things get, the more the public will turn to “law and order” (aka, more funding for them).

Both can be true at the same time.

And both err towards non-enforcement.

And that non-enforcement works to the advantage of both.

Whether it’s “look at all the harm” or “look at all the harm that disproportionally falls on low-income/BIPOC” doesn’t really matter.

The more negative affects there are, the more there is for each side to blame on the other.

You can’t argue about how bad things are, who it disproportionately affects, whose fault it is, and all that, unless there’s bad stuff.

And, of course, “bad stuff” means someone needs to fund more of something.

As long as we all agree something is bad and something needs more funding, then all the major players are happy.

From there we can argue who is at fault, who has the solution, and who should get more money.


TheBSQ t1_j5lj1wr wrote

This city is absolutely horrible at even the most basic level of enforcement for a whole variety of issues that negatively affect public safety and quality of life.

It sucks and it’s terrible.

I also would not make any life decision based on the notion that it’ll get any better anytime soon.


TheBSQ t1_j1pu4vb wrote

That reminds me, I got one of those promo emails from Mike Solomonov’s restaurant group (Zahav, Laser Wolf, etc.) for a “fancy” traditional Jewish Christmas dinner featuring Peking duck, and other Zahav-style takes on Chinese dishes at their Fishtown event space. Think they were going to screen a movie there too.

Did anyone try that?


TheBSQ t1_j1ls02d wrote

In warmer climates, electric heating has always been common, and usually very inefficient forms, like electric baseboards.

What your saying is all true and it’s probably a factor, but I’d bet it has more to do with the fact that the cold really widespread and so there’s a lot of “warm” places using electric baseboard heating (and space heaters) than it is an uptick in housing using heat pumps.

And there’s also a bit of a mix where some heat pump systems have resistance heat backup systems for when it gets really cold.


TheBSQ t1_j0bqr16 wrote

It affects both the ability of drivers to see oncoming traffic and makes it very hard for people with wheelchairs, strollers, or physical limitations who rely on the curb cuts at crosswalks.

I know someone in my neighborhood who keys the shit out of any car he passes in a crosswalk. I won’t condone or encourage that sort of behavior, but I don’t feel much empathy for those car owners either.


TheBSQ t1_iznijyc wrote

I bounce back and forth between here and Canada and it’s really bad up there. Just, generally, as a policy have less ICU beds per capita. During the pandemic lots of doctors and nurses quit. (Province limited nurse raise to 1%). So lots of hospitals are closing ERs due to staff shortages.

8-12 hour ER waits for kids are the norm, with many of our friends waiting 20+ hours. They tell you to bring blankets and food as you’ll literally be camping there.

It seems like every hospital is at 150% capacity and some kids are getting transferred to hospitals 2-5 hour drive away.

This “tridemic* of flu/Covid/RSV is really breaking health care systems all over. It’s bad.


TheBSQ t1_iyry1ge wrote

Involuntary commitment to psychiatric hospitals is common throughout the world and does not need to be horrific. There are plenty of ways to do it with safeguards and oversight.

It’s very heavily used in Japan, used at fairly high rates in places like Finland, Switzerland, etc. Its part of the reason those countries don’t feel as sketchy as the US when you visit. They don’t have mentally I’ll people just wandering the streets screaming weird shit, smearing poop on stuff, and acting erratic.

But here in the US, we decided that since we sucked at psychiatric commitment the past, we should never do it again.

The left convinced themselves this was the best thing to do to keep vulnerable people from being abused, and the right loved the idea of gutting free social / medical services.

And to this day, even in a era of hyper partisanship, it’s one of the few things where, when polled, the majority of the left, right, and center all say that involuntary psychiatric commitment is bad.

And every public and quasi-public space in nearly every big city suffers as a result.

But if we were to do it, I’d bet that people’s comfort using (and their support for) public stuff, like transit, would go up tremendously.

But as long as we let nut jobs roam free, there’s always going to be people who prefer to lock themselves in their own private steel box to travel around.


TheBSQ t1_iy9514e wrote

This is kind of a core centric view.

I think most of the complaints about Philadelphia involve things happening outside center city.

For people who live and work in center city, it’s a pretty good place. To them, Center City is Philadelphia (plus a handful of other neighborhoods).

So you get a lot of “uggh, Philly crime is nuts!” met with “what?! center city is pretty good! That’s just ignorable stuff in the bad areas!” They just hand wave away about 60-75% of the geographic area that constitutes the city Philadelphia.

Those people typically don’t talk much about what’s happening in Frankford, Juniata, Olney, Carroll Park, elmwood park, or dozens of other neighborhoods they don’t personally go to. And there’s a lot of commercial arteries in those areas that are really not doing well, including spots along the subway/El that should be flourishing, but are instead some of the worst places in the entire country by any metric.

On the flip side, to use one your example cities, Dallas’s downtown has always been a cultural dead zone because, as you say, it’s not a residential area.

From a cultural perspective, how downtown Dallas is doing doesn’t matter much. The culturally relevant parts are Uptown, Knox Henderson, Oaklawn, Bishop Arts, Lower Greenville, etc.

From a govt tax revenue perspective it probably matters but in terms of where you live, eat, shop, and go out for the night, not really.

Philly’s core is great. It’s issue is that 2/3 of the non-core are some of the worst parts of the entire country.

Dallas is the opposite. It’s downtown sucks. But it’s got a lot of other great areas in the surrounding parts of the city full of great food, good shops, and fun bars.

But there’s a type of urbanist who immensely discounts and disregards all but the densest parts of a city. So Dallas sucks because downtown sucks. All it’s other cool neighborhoods are dismissed because they don’t have the desired density or walkability. They’re not “a real city” so they don’t count in comparisons.

And when you do that, you’re using a question that makes sense for one city and imposing it on others where it’s not really the right question.

But if you look at it from a more holistic view of the entire city, or even a comparison of the culturally important parts of the city, maybe the answer changes.

That is, the affluent Urbanite in Philly cares a lot about Downtown, and probably never goes to uptown. How Downtown is doing is all that matters.

The affluent urbanite in Dallas cares about Uptown and doesn’t care as much about Downtown.

And as a result, when you limit the scope of the question to just the “core” you’re kind of rigging the game. It’s a trick that writes off all the problematic areas of Philly, while only retaining its strength that also writes off the good parts of other cities while only retaining what’s often their weakest part.