Relocating from Philly to Delco
The move is not definite. We'd be happy to stay in our current apartment in Queen Village for another year (except for my commute). Just looking for ideas. We walked around Media today, and really liked it, so we'd prefer to stay in, or close, to that area.
When are you moving? June 15, 2011 at the latest, if we choose to move at all.
Where are you coming from? Queen Village, Philadelphia
Why are you moving? Be closer to my job.
Where will you be working? Boyfriend works in Linwood/Marcus Hook, me in West Whiteland Township (Boot Road exit off of Route 202)
Have you been here yet? Yes.
Will you buy or rent? Rent
Are you looking for a house or an apartment complex? Would prefer a townhome to a complex, but as long as they don't discriminate against dog breeds (see below), we'd consider it.
How much can you spend? $1,200 per month (if all utilities are included), $1,000 per month if utilities not included
Are you married or single? In a serious relationship.
Do you have children? No kids, now or in the future.
Do you prefer public or private schools? N/A
Do you have pets? Yes, three dogs: A 40-lb Australian Shepherd mix (CGC), a 60-lb pit bull, and an 80-lb Labrador retriever. All dogs must be able to come with us. We would prefer to be allowed to foster dogs for Philadelphia Animal Control as well.
Do you want or need a yard? Would be nice, but not necessary.
Are you keeping a car? Yes, 2
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? Bustling activity. Suburban- to city-level activity. No rural areas.
What do you want to be closest to? Restaurants. Also, a safe enough area that a woman would feel comfortable walking the dogs alone at night.
Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? Diverse area.
Media is good, but can be a bit staid. West Chester might be a better choice. Your commute would be much shorter, but for your boyfriend it should be about the same.
If you've got no plans for kids, I'd probably be looking into something like Spruce Hill, Powelton, EMA or Manayunk or something. If you're looking for diversity, activity and access to decent restaurants I don't really know how much luck you'll have in Delco. Even West Chester has rather limited options IMHO. Not a bad place, but I feel like college douche crew bars have squeezed out legit bars and dining options. Media is generally a snooze, but has a some nice places to eat. Maybe Ardmore? Don't know if that really cuts down on the commute.
We're trying to get out of the city to save money. Rent is generally cheaper, and since neither one of us works in the city, we'd be avoiding the wage tax. We looked in Manayunk before choosing our apartment in Queen Village, and couldn't deal with I-76 traffic every day.
Originally Posted by thoth
I guess I'm sort of jaded on this topic, but unless you want a garden apartment, or something, aren't your only options Media and West Chester? Phoenixville is probably too far for your boyfriend. The Main Line towns could work, though his commute would be longer than he has now.
And if you don't have kids (so schools don't really matter), even the town doesn't mean much. But, you should be aware that most school districts now levy a personal income tax of 1%. So to the extent that you are moving to reduce taxes, maybe pick a town that doesn't?
Well, we just re-signed our lease, so we're not moving for at least a year. But I don't know anything about Delco, or what towns would be preferable to live in, which is why I started the thread. So, I really don't know if Media and/or West Chester would be our only options.
Pretty much. Most of the other places are just your basic suburbs, with varying degrees of affluence. Though they all feel somewhat distinct, very few have walkable, dense areas. In Delco, your only options are really Media, Swarthmore, and Wayne. Media is very dense, but nothing like what you're accustomed to (and very much a 9-5 town). Swarthmore is a dry town, so although there is a little walkable area, there are no restaurants that serve alcohol and no bars. Wayne is very charming. It is smaller than Media, but in some respects, has more options (re: dining and drinking) than Media, or at least good ones. But, it is far from work for your man and the walkable area is quite small.
In Chesco, you have West Chester and Phoenixville as your only real alternatives.
I know this is an older thread but given that the OP isn't moving until at least a year from February 2011, I figured I would take the opportunity to correct the massive ignorance about Delco on this forum, as somebody who has lived in Delco his whole life.
Originally Posted by ColeenH
First of all, something anybody in the area should know is that West Chester is not in Delco. It's in Chester County.
Moving on from that..
"Delco is entirely suburban" Uhh.... *scratches head* huh? Have you ever been to the inner-ring? Probably not I'm guessing. It's very much not suburban. It's been around since at latest the 19th Century and was built separate from Philadelphia, not as a suburb of it.
"Not dense" I think the 80,000+ people living in the 8 square miles of Upper Darby township (most of them residing in the maybe 3-5 square miles of streets with nothing but rowhouse after rowhouse) would disagree with you. At one point, there were almost 100,000 people living in Upper Darby township alone. Something I've mentioned elsewhere is that if you add up the peak populations of the inner-ring and working class Delco alone, you get 450,000+ people. How on Earth is that not dense?
"No restaurants/food/etc" Wow... Clifton Heights alone has the Clam Tavern, Chef's Corner(now Breakfast Club), Walt's Steaks, the Olympic Diner, Gaetano's Pizza, and Rosatti's water ice(started in West Philly then moved to Clifton Heights in the 1950s, where it's been ever since) just to name a few. If the BaZaar of All Nations were still in Clifton Heights, you wouldn't dare say there's nothing in the inner-ring, considering it contained the best the inner-ring had to offer snack food wise, including Bernie's Pretzels. Ever had Bernie's pretzels? That's just one tiny little borough too (with a peak population of around 8,000 in the '70s, in 0.6 square miles). Every single borough, township, and census-designated place in the inner-ring has multiple places to eat various types of food.
"No downtown" Have you ever been to the 69th street area? It is very much "downtown". There's a ton of shopping, a ton of places to get all different kinds of food, a movie theater, the Tower theater, and the 69th Street Transportation Center (will always be the Terminal to me) to name a few. Every borough and CDP and township has a downtown sort of area, though most are smaller than others. Upper Darby's is clearly the biggest in the inner-ring. Even outside of the inner-ring, there's shopping and food along the main strips (Township, Baltimore, State, West Chester, Sproul, etc etc) and throughout every part of Delco.
Chester happens to be a city as well. I wouldn't recommend going there unless it's during a big event like a Union game though.
Oh, and as for diversity... the entirety of the inner-ring is diverse and will only continue to become more and more diverse. Upper Darby is probably the most diverse municipality outside of Philadelphia in every way, shape, and form.. hands down. Even the rest of Delco is becoming more and more diverse and will only continue to do so.
Obviously, Delco has no areas like Queen Village but the ignorance and making it out to be like the exurbs is just astounding really.
I saw in another thread somebody recommend Lansdowne to somebody from the Upper East Side of NYC.... Are you kidding me? Lansdowne is not some "leafy small town". It's the inner-ring. I agree that it is a great borough but it happens to be in a very bad school district and borders some not so nice places, one of which I happened to grow up in.
That said.. out of the inner-ring I would most recommend Lansdowne. It's got a nice little downtown with a restored movie theater from the 1920s or so (plays local and arty movies I believe) and some places to eat, and it has young professionals moving there due to the less-tension-filled diversity (it's been much more integrated than a lot of inner-ring boroughs/townships for the past decade) and the fact that the same train that goes through Media happens to go through there, among other things. It's also right smack dab in the inner-ring and in the middle of the William Penn SD on one side (Darby, Yeadon, etc) and the Upper Darby School District on the other (Upper Darby, Clifton Heights/Westbrook Park, Drexel Hill, etc), which means that there are multiple boroughs/townships/CDPs with places to eat throughout within walking/driving distance. You can also take the train/bus/trolleys in the area to various places. It is a very well connected area, and since the entirety of working class/inner-ring Delco is so small, you can drive through parts of it pretty easily, as well as drive or take public transportation to Philadelphia or to the rest of Delco. (Here's a tip though: Avoid Baltimore Pike near the Springfield/Clifton Heights border at all costs. It is notorious for horrible traffic.) Anyway, the reason I most recommend Lansdowne is because it is a lot more open to young professionals living there than the rest of the inner-ring, which has a lot of more family-oriented places that are not really for you. The whole inner-ring is changing though, some good, some bad. It's in a major transition.
Out of all of Delco, Media and Lansdowne are the places I'd most recommend. Media has a great downtown with the Media Theatre, all of the little shops, the various little places to eat, and of course the Iron Hill, among others. It is also very open to young professionals living there. There's other places of course. Drive around, ask locals, ask transplants. Get a good idea of the various parts of Delco.
Oh, and if your boyfriend's job is at the refinery, I'd just like to say that I'm really sorry to hear about that whole situation. I hate Corbett and his cronies so much and it greatly angers me that people actually elected them. Either way (possibly) Welcome to Delco!
Last edited by randomuser; 12-07-2011 at 11:22 PM.
By the way... in the future, anybody looking for info on Delco should go to city-data.com's Philadelphia section of their forum. The posters there may be biased towards certain sections but they're very knowledgeable about Delco, a lot moreso than the people who replied to this thread.
Media is the only livable town in Delco--okay, maybe Swarthmore. There, I said it. But, $1000 will never ever find you a rental that allows dogs. Rents are high.
And OMG you commute from QV to West Whiteland? I've been considering moving back to QV but have ruled it out because of the commute. Do you drive? How long does it take? What route do you take?
I do the same commute (Old City to West Whiteland). Its been 2 years and I absolutely hate it. There are no great options, but plan on a solid hour most days, more to much more on rainy days or Fridays or when the Phillies are at home or when there is an accident, or on other random days for no apparent reason.
Originally Posted by Sycamore
1) 76 --> 202. I sometimes take West River Drive and get on 76 at City Line, saves on the big back up around Rt 1.
2) 95 --> 476 --> Rt 1 --> West Chester Pike/Backroads (North Providence, 252, or 352)
Routes that seem okay in theory but are awful: West Chester Pike or Lancaster the whole way.
My job is great, I like where I live but honestly it's not sustainable in the long run. If i had to pick I'd probably move to Wayne as far as suburbs. Kill me before I move to Phoenixville or someplace like that.
I work in Exton (well, actually Lionville/Eagle) right at the Downingtown turpike exit. I currently rent a farmhouse on a horsefarm outside of West Chester Borough and it takes me 30-35 minutes on back roads.
I originally moved back to the burbs from QV because I got married and my husband hates living in the city. Now, I'm divorcing and I guess I'll stay around here because I love my job and don't want to commute from QV. *sigh* But, being single SUCKS in the suburbs, especially when I tend towards hermit-ish behavior to begin with.
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