10 Reasons To Live In South Philly

10 Reasons To Live In South Philly

1.  The Italian Market- the oldest open air market in the country! Not only can you go here for great and affordable fresh produce, but fresh cut pasta, spices, sauces, Italian pastry delicacies, hand made sausages, a multitude of cheeses and so much more- not to mention the cute old ladies who still speak in their native tongue who go by every day to get ingredients for the amazing old world specialties they are cooking up at home.
East Passyunk Avenue- Passyunk is one of those great South Philly streets that defies the grid and runs on an angle. Also, no one knows how to pronounce or spell it. Is is an “S” sound or and “SH” sound? Depends who you’re talkin to.  With a fabulous crop of old and new shops, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and bars- you will have everything you need. And you’ll be hard pressed to find too many business that are not-mom and pop. If you can’t find an amazing meal on Passyunk Ave, something is wrong with you.

The Broad Street Line- So maybe Philly doesn’t have as many subway lines as New York or DC, but if you live in South Philly, you’re never more than a hop skip and a jump to the broad street line which runs almost the entire length of broad street. From the southernmost stop (The AT&T Station by the stadiums) to City Hall is all of about a 15-minute ride.  Pretty sweet commute if you work in center city!

Huge Green Spaces- If you are looking for an oasis in the city, you will find 2 of the largest urban parks (aside from the monstrous Fairmount Park in the North and Northwest stretches of our metropolis) right in South Philly. FDR park a.k.a. “The Lakes” is a huge expanse starting at the southwest corner of Broad and Pattison and stretching down to who knows where.  It includes a walking/running/biking path who’s largest diameter is 1.65 miles with smaller paths that cut across, ball fields, lakes (hence the nickname) for fishing, boating, and lots of geese, monuments, gardens, trees, wildlife, playgrounds, tennis courts, a full 18 hole golf course AND the American Swedish Museum! Cool! Then just a bit further north and at the corner of Broad and Oregon you’ll find Marconi Plaza- a 19 acre historical park named for the inventor Guglielmo (Googly Elmo? Haha just kidding) Marconi who invented the wireless telegraph- the great great grandfather of the iphone. The park has a couple ball fields and some benches but mostly chill space and is frequented by tons of dogs and their owners every day. There is also a spattering of other great South Philly parks such as Dickinson Square, Columbus Square, and Capitolo Playground.

The Navy Yard- Have you been? I bet you haven’t. It is hands down one of the coolest places to visit in Philly. Those of you who may know about it might assume that’s private or you need some time of clearance to get in- NOT TRUE! Once a private navy base- it now has lot of remaining historical buildings from that era that still stand in all their glory- but now the home to thriving Philadelphia based businesses including, but not limited to, Urban Outfitters/Anthropology, revzilla, and the Tasty Baking Company (Taskycake). Why would you go visit that stuff though? Well, you probably wouldn’t. But the campus is beautiful and there are a ton of huge retired ships down there- and most people don’t know this, but it’s a runner paradise- almost no traffic and you can run right down by the water. Definitely a nice change of scenery from running in center city.
6.  The Sports Complex. Whether you are a die hard fan of the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, Sixers or just sports in general,  Philly has a few of the nicest most state-of-the-art sports venues in the country but what’s even more important is that we have the BEST sports fans (I don’t want to hear it Yankee fans!) and our stadiums and arenas are always packed. The Sports Complex doesn’t just boast stadiums and sports, but concerts, food exhibitions, the Xfinity Live complex, and much more to come in the way of restaurants and other entertainment. It’s easy to park but if you already live in Philly, which you should, then it’s even easier to bike, scoot, or use the Broad Street line to get there.
7.  It’s cheap!!!! It’s amazing to imagine if you live anywhere else, but you can actually buy in a variety of neighborhoods in South Philly a fully renovated, 3 bedroom 1000 +/- square foot home with a backyard (and by yard I mean fenced-in concrete area best used for al fresco dining and raised bed gardening) for less than $200,000. And what does this mean for your monthly payment? It means that if you put 20% down and your credit is good your payment can be less than $1000/month (disclaimer: that’s based on today’s mortgage rates, so that estimate is good for today only). Seriously- how great would your quality of life be if you bought a 3 bedroom house with your honey or a roommate to split the mortgage with and have all that extra cash in your pocket to go to one of those great restaurants in your hood or take an extra vacation every year? And, have room for guests to come visit you and mooch off of you- and you won’t care b/c you made an amazing financial decision and you are one of those people that likes to spread the love.
The Food-besides the Italian Market and East Passyunk Ave, which are food meccas, you will also be hard pressed to walk 2 blocks anywhere in South Philadelphia and not stumble past a fantastic mom and pop bakery, restaurant, cafe, or pizzeria that will have your mouth watering. Besides the amazing food from Italy, South Philly is the best place in the city to explore Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Indonesian cuisine. It's certainly a culinary melting pot, and the aromas from the pot taste delish!
9.  The PEOPLE. It’s true that roots go way deep in South Philly. It was the settling ground for tens of thousands of immigrants who came through Ellis Island and their children and children’s children have decided to stay and make it their home too.  And even in more recent years,  many of those coming from other countries seeking the American dream have decided South Philly is a pretty good place to call home. That means there is a lot of pride in the area and every block is rich with culture.  Newbies wonder if they will be the outsider on a block where your next door neighbors are related to the people on the other side of your house and across the street- but I’ll tell you- if you take as much pride in where you live and sweep off your steps and say hello- you will be embraced like a distant cousin that just showed up from the old country.
The Decorations.  Do I mean Christmas decorations? Yes. But I also am referring to Valentine’s day decorations, Easter decorations, Fourth of July decorations, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Columbus Day, Mothers Day, New baby, Graduation, Wedding, change of seasons, and just about any other reason people can find to adorn their house with colorful garlands, cutouts, dolls, lights, and what not. There is always a celebration in South Philly and if you walk down just about any block and gaze up at the neighbors’ front windows, you will be glad you carry that camera phone everywhere you go.

Check out a ton of great listings in South Philly here: http://rachel.searchphillylistings.com/index.php?quick=1&display=19148&types[]=31&beds=2&baths=0&min=0&max=30000000

Natasha Mtshali Headshot
Phone: 215-908-8204
Dated: January 5th 2014
Views: 2,857
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