Hello, so I'm new to this forum, but I've read many posts, and suspect that most of the cynicism and negativity is reflective of the posting people, not necessarily a shared attitude.
Anyhow, just figured I'd throw in my two cents...
My wife and I moved to South Philly, on 16th Street in between Wolf and Ritner, a little over 2 years ago. We've met our neighbors. We walk our dogs regularly around the neighborhood. We added a baby girl to our family last May. And I have no intentions of moving.
I love South Philadelphia, and I'm proud to say that I live here. We have a fresh bread bakery (Cacia's), a fresh pastry bakery (Potito's), and an exceptional butcher (Dad's) that are a pitching iron away from our front door.
I'm not crazy about the trash on the street/sidewalk, and I wish sometimes that it was easier to find a parking spot, but every neighborhood - including the Burbs - has it's ups and downs. And I'd say that South Philly is as unique a community as any neighborhood in the country (and I've lived all over).
There's real urban grit here (I wish that crime and poverty didn't exist, but they do); there's authentic food and culture (the 9th Street Market is bad-a_s); and there's accessibility to all sorts of places throughout the City.
Moreover, I find that people are a heck of a lot nicer than they're given credit for. When we first moved into the neighborhood, we were concerned when walking the dogs or going to a Phils game or something, given the bad rep. Sometimes, I'd see someone walking towards us (black OR white, btw), and think, "uh oh, this might be trouble," but invariably, people say hello or, at worst, walk by without noticing you.
We've had some minor issues (i.e., guy trying to sell us Xanex outside of SPTR; kid who was spouting anti-semitic rhetoric right outside his house with his parents watching; going to the Wolf Street Cafe to buy a 6-pack), but honestly, that's the reality of living in the City, and if you want absolute safety (and boredom), you should move to the Burbs.
Anyhow, I guess the point of my soliloquy here is just to let some of you know that there are quite a few people that love living in South Philly, and I'm one of them. I love having my friends and family over so I can show off our cool patio or eclectic neighborhood. I can't wait til the weather is permanently warm so I can take more advantage of P'yunk Avenue and Citizen's Bank Park. And I plan on bringing up my daughter in this community.
So that's about it. I hope there are more of you out there that agree with me.