Opinion: Why your Philly neighborhood sucks

Here are Uber Philadelphia's top destinations for 2017. | B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia
B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

You’ve heard all the Philly neighborhood stereotypes by now. They say West Philly is the best Philly (debatable). Manayunk is too far away (from Pluto?). NoLibs is full of hipsters (well, ummm…).

Most tourists who don’t know Philadelphia think of it as Center City – the end. But each Philly subsection exists and has a unique charm. Philadelphians get downright angry, feisty and loud about what place is the best, which is usually where they live or grew up. So in the spunky spirit of Philadelphia, I’ve decided to break it down and tell you why your neighborhood sucks.

West Philly

Cedar Park and Clark Park are what drives the Birkenstock- and patchouli-wearing crowds wild with wanderlust abandon here, and dogs – all the dog lovers! Sure, there’s more space and hippies there, but there are also backyard outhouses. Y’all, that’s just a little too crunchy!

Center City

Tons to do, awesome restaurants that will cost you a pretty penny and always busy with asshole drivers galore. No parking… like, ever. Constant construction on tiny side streets makes the road rage worse.

Fishtown/Northern Libs

Hipster haven, and prices are soaring to live in trendy lofts along with those full-sleeve tattoos. So much irony that even the coolest kids can’t keep up on their bikes.

Old City

Loaded with history, clean and with sweet architecture, it has gotten some gun violence lately. Why can’t we have nice things, Philly? Parking is cheap and easy, but getting shot is not.


Nothing! You’re perfect. (Just kidding.)

North Philly

One of Philly’s largest neighborhoods, with historic architecture and hidden hoagie gems around every corner, it is soon to be gentrified as the Divine Lorraine reopens as housing. But still scares off most visitors because of all those crazy Temple kids.


Lumped together because they are a sort of symbiotic mix of small town, but still in the city limits with that damned wage tax. Same distance to the ‘burbs and Center City. Hills of hell in the winter, which can cause certain death. Lots of old-school Yunkers on Ridge (and occasional crackheads), and all the yuppie college kids on Main Street, the urban boardwalk. Vomit-covered sidewalks and stinky Piss Alley on the weekends.

Port Richmond/Kensington

Gentrifying and just barely on the border of North Philly, there are lots of families flocking there, it’s clean, and there’s parking for days. Less hip than NoLibs, and the mix of OGs and newbies makes for interesting conversations.

Germantown/Mt. Airy

Total opposites with G’Town still being a high-crime area while Mt. Airy has mansions in the millions. The Holy Grail is finding a place to live right on the border of “Will I get shot?” and “This is a nice house.”

South Philly

The natives do not know how to speak proper English and are very abrasive. This species are barbarians who paint their faces green and scream at TVs when their football team loses. Laundromats galore where you can send packages so they don’t get stolen. Close to the Broad Street subway line, blocks from recently gentrified Passyunk Avenue, with a mix of new- and old-world cultures. Never any parking, which means a driving-in-circles time of 30 minutes before you give up.


Smells like fish. Some of the best food in Philly. Don’t be a lame American. Go pick a fish/frog/turtle out of a tank and eat it! Bubble tea, Thai ice cream and pastries for days will make you fat.


A nice ethnic enclave of people but lots of crime and trash. You can get your Latin dancing on here, but you can also get shot. Wal-Mart and McDonald’s everywhere you look, and not walkable at all, but you can find some killer ethnic stores and expand your palate.

So, no matter which neighborhood you live in or which neighborhood you love, they each have their weirdness and quirks. This is what makes Philly such a cool city. You want to be a wuss? We have a nice, neat little neighborhood for you. You want to be brave and explore? We have that too. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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