For some reason I think it would be a wonderful place to live....I have no idea why I think this and have never set foot in the state.
No, it isn't. Philly and Pittsburgh have some lovely areas, but on the whole, Pennsylvania is a horrifying shithole. I was born and raised there, and fled to NYC the very second I graduated from high school. It is unbearably racist (there is a very pronounced KKK presence, and 23 listed white-supremacy hate groups in the state), the overall level of education is extremely low, the majority of the population occupies a very low rung on the socio-economic ladder, and it's utterly boring.
It really is, as they say, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between.
What part of the state are you from, R1?
I grew up in Philadelphia and, despite its crime and seriously inefficient/corrupt government, I still have love for it.
Central Pennsylvania is very similar to West Virginia, extreme rural poverty, farms and coal mines.
PA does have two of America's best universities though: University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie Mellon.
Sigh. It isn't called Pennsyltucky for nothing.
Pretty scenery. Forget it otherwise. Please.
And shoo-fly pie isn't all it is cracked up to be, either.
That said,New Hope is a wonderful,very Gay friendly and liberal area, although it has become a tourist trap and very expensive place to live.
any state with the same initials as my piercing can't be all that bad.
...though come to think of it I did have my shoes stolen from a campground
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between.
New Hope's about the only hope.
Pennsylvania is a Hieronymus Bosch painting come to life. No sane person would cross the border into it, let alone live in a place with such frightening depth of human depravity. Bucks County is nice though, and everyone should visit Gettysburg at least once. Other than that, curse the land and all who inhabit it.
r7 and r8, r4 here.
Although New Hope might be considered PA's only hope, that isn't saying much. Locals sometimes call it NO Hope. It is an overpriced tourist trap today. But, hey, Gay-friendly all the way...Even a Gay-friendly church in the area. Nice, but still an expensive area to live.
We are down to 2 Gay bars in the area, and the Leather Santa Saturday moved to Asbury Park, NJ, I believe.
Yup, Bucks County is very nice, but it is for the rich. Upper Bucks is the start of Pennsyltuckey. I mean it starts at Dublin, PA, IMHO, and that is only just outside of Doylestown/New Hope.
How are the Poconos doing nowadays? Didn't it used to be the big vacation spot for New Yorkers?
Two words: Rick Santorum
"Upper Bucks is the start of Pennsyltuckey. I mean it starts at Dublin, PA,"
Pennsyltuckey starts in Lower Bucks County. Bristol, Levittown and Bensalem Township make Appalachia look downright progressive.
r13, have you been to Central Bucks lately? Multi-million dollar homes. You gotta have $$$ to live there. Some parts of lower Bucks are gross (Bensalem), but D'town is hardly Pennsyltuckey. Now Quakertown, that is another story...
Bucks is beautiful, but it has been infiltrated by assholes in expensive gas guzzling suv's that vote for the regressive party.
OP. it's a very large, diverse state, which varies widely from region to region, so all-encompassing statements like "I think it would be a wonderful place to live..." are foolish and mis-informed.
There are two large, urban population centers at either end of the state; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. A six hour drive separates them. Pittsburgh is more of a mid-west city while Philadelphia is more East Coast, both are fairly liberal and gay friendly. Both are surrounded by sprawling suburbs that range from working class towns to some of the most affluent counties in the US. These vary, politically, but most are fairly split between liberals and conservatives. The vast region between these two metropolises is very rural and extremely socially conservative. People in those areas love Jesus and guns, and that's about it.
Somehow I think many people live happily and well in CT even as they do in a state I don't particularly like, like Miss or Tx.
I recently took a day trip to Liberty Mountain resort and had a good time. I plan to go back and visit some of their state and national parks. Pretty state.
Philadelphia is basically an extension of NJ and practically a suburb of NYC.
In fact Philly and NYC share some suburbs
The rest of Pennsylvania is COMPLETELY different than Philly.
Two words: Barnes Collection
Swooning as I type
Chester and Reading are some of the most blighted communities in the US.
R15, very true. Central Bucks has, indeed, been infiltrated by the SUV crowd, mostly from NJ. Now that section of the county is a place for the richie-riches. Such a tranformation!
r19, which 'burbs do you think Philly shares with NYC? I don't see Philly as an extension of NYC at all.
The Barnes collection is VERY impressive, however, that culture IS NOT representative of the rest of the state, not by a long shot.
Bucks County? No. Wow, you must have never been there.
Chester County is by far the wealthiest county in the state. West Chester, Bry Mawr, Exton, etc. I live there and I love it.
[quote] Chester County is by far the wealthiest county in the state.
R22 central Jersey, Pocono mountains, Upper Bucks County.
Philly is 90 miles south of NYC.
It can even be argued that Atlantic City is a "shared" suburb of NYC and Philly.
Although it's closer to Philly
I love Pennsylvania, OP. I live in Philadelphia, spent half my life growing up in Lancaster County. I was just in Lancaster this weekend, truly beautiful, beautiful country. Downtown Lancaster is particularly more charming now then ever. The food is phenomenal, fatty as hell, but usually quite fresh and without phoney ingredients and chemicals. However, go further south in Lancaster County, and you'll start seeing confederate flag license plates on pickup trucks. The KKK is still operational in my hometown.
I went to PSU, which makes me choke just mentioning that school after what happened there, and central PA is really a bizarre place. Very weird people. Very bland and isolated, but still more densely populated than central New York State. We're also an East Coast rarity for being almost completely landlocked. While NY, NJ, DE and MD touch the ocean, PA only has a a few miles on Lake Erie...and that's all you need to know about that. Also, no tax on clothing.
Lots and lots of old people. They drive very slow. We have a lot of old laws that don't make sense, too. Our bars close at 2, as opposed to NY where bars close at 4, our liquor stores are state run, and you can't get beer or anything outside of a beer store. It's ridiculous.
But PA has more attractions than many other states. Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water, Gettysburg, Valley Forge, Philadelphia attractions, King of Prussia Mall, Allegheny National Forest, New Hope, Hershey and Hersheypark, lovely Pittsburgh and even oddities like Centralia, the burning town, which I have been too.
I've been all over this state, from Erie to Pittsburgh to Dubois to Philly and even a little town called Sykesville. PA is very simple and folksy and a little bit too rustic for many simple-minded Dataloungers who can't handle the differing viewpoints of our state. I love it here so much, PA is a state of really wonderful memories for me.
I encourage you to visit us, OP. Please don't listen to the DL naysayers like r1, who flock on any threads about any place in America that is not NYC like flies to shit, just to lay their maggoty opinions that express more about their own psyche than give a respectable answer to a respectable question.
Don't forget that Pennsylvania is America's home state.
[quote] Philadelphia is basically an extension of NJ and practically a suburb of NYC.
Only a New Yorker would say something so ridiculous. A few years ago, the NYTimes published an article calling Philly the 6th borough, and people in Philly were NOT happy about it. Please trust when I say Philadelphians consider New York as important to them as a band-aid is important to a corpse.
Philly is not a suburb. Philly is not a part of New Jersey. Our state is named after William Penn. Philadelphia was William Penn's city. Philadelphia is a Pennsylvania city, always was, and always will be. Philly is not and has never been an extension of NJ and has no plans to ever be. Only people who live outside of Philadelphia would ever say something so thoughtless.
Chester County is (or was once) beautiful. It isn't as well known as Bucks since it sits at the other end of the metro area away from NYC. Pittsburgh's a fun city and I think I might pick it over Philly if I had to move back to PA.
If you live in Central PA, you can find oases of civilization if you're connected to one of the liberal arts colleges that run from Gettysburg, south of Harrisburg, to Bucknell, north of Harrisburg, with Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Susquehanna, and a few others in between.
Chester County is beautiful. West Chester is a charming town, and Longwood Gardens is a must-see, especially at Christmas Time. Talulah's Table in Kennett Square is one of the greatest restaurants in the country, and you must make a reservation a year in advance.
Philly is one river away from NJ. It is proud to be removed from the rest of PA.
ANY wealthy enclave in any state is nice and pretty.
I lived in lower Bucks county in the early eighties, it was ok, but it is true people were VERY racist there. Sickening.
it's a little nuts to discuss pennsylvania as a whole, since there is zero in common between--say-- Philadelphia and Potter County.
Even discussing Philadelphia and Pittsburgh is no more worthwhile than discussing Boston versus Buffalo.
my short take: philadelphia is my favorite northeastern city. it has a vibrant arts community and a wide and deep menu of cultural offerings. a large number of great restaurants and clubs, and a sizable and active gay community. philly is a lot less obnoxious than nyc or boston, and doesn't attract as many egotistical douchebags.
i also spent 20 months in state college about ten years ago, and i loved it. i thought it was an extremely pleasant experience (and surprisingly so; i dreaded the move). lots of smart and interesting people in a gorgeous small town setting. i was sad to leave.
Philly and NYC do not share suburbs. That's ridiculous. Parts of NJ are considered suburbs of Philly.
The drive from NYC to Philadelphia is a torturous, horrific two hours down the NJ Turnpike. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
Exit 5 every other week
Pennsylvania is beautiful.
But how often do we find beauty and human evil linked in real life? Many times.
It's kind of the same concept as New York:
The metropoli have nice areas. Not much to look at within the state's expanse, but sometimes you get lucky and find a fancy Wegman's where you might not expect it.
Philadelphia is NOT a suburb of NYC and they don't share suburbs either, unless you count the entire state of NJ as one big suburb and consider driving its length a reasonable daily commute. The poster claiming otherwise is an idiot.
Philadelphia is a distinct city that, for better or worse, does not want to be lumped in with NYC. Having said that, it's true that the city and its residents have more in common with New York than Allentown, York or Harrisburg.
R35 bullshit I've lived in both Hamilton Township and Princeton NJ and both those aras can be considered suburbs of Philly OR NYC.
In fact if you have cable in those areas you receive both local Philly or NYC channels.
If you say to anybody in that part of Jersey that you're from the city, they ask you Philly or NYC
R40, be equidistant from two cities does not equal being in a suburb of both of them, or even one of them.
Also, being within an overlapping area of two different media markets does not equal being in a suburb of both of them, or even one of them.
You seem confused about what a suburb is and what defines a suburb in relation to its anchor city. Here's a hint: not every area is a suburb of another city. Some areas are just rural, far-flung exurbs or free-standing small and medium-sized cities.
Princeton is a good example. You think it's a suburb but its not. It's a small town over an hour's drive from either city. No one in Philly or NYC would consider Princeton a suburb of their city.
Grew up near Pittsburgh. Lots to say.
Though saying that Philly and NYC share suburbs may be a stretch, one can in fact live in Philly and take a commuter train to NYC. Philly is definitely more a part of the NYC/NJ region, or at least more related to it.
Pittsburgh and Cleveland are really more of a pair. Despite a (dumb) sports rivalry, western PA and eastern OH/Cleveland (and Erie) are more of a like-to-like comparison. They've finally started to recognize that and do "Cleveburgh" planning for businesses, resources, etc. which is smart.
OP, whether you'd like it depends on what you value and/or what your priorities are. I'm on the fence about it.
Good things about Western PA/Pittsburgh: Low cost of living. Pittsburgh has a beautiful downtown. The rivers are nice. Really beautiful mountain spaces not far away.
It's a very central city and if you're a frequent traveler it is a great place to be (driving distance to DC and a lot of other cities).
It's got a growing cultural scene that has a great indie vibe (The Warhol Museum, etc. and Lawrenceville) It's got a base of very literate people who value theater, libraries, museums, etc. - many colleges in Pittsburgh.
Bad things: It's very traditional in a way that can be chafing. Pittsburgh used to be the test market for new products because its people were so reluctant to change.
It tends, outside of the very urban and urbane city core, to be very provincial. People who live Groundhog Day. They wear their Monday outfit to work and eat their Monday lunch. An astonishing number of people who have never been outside of the area/state.
Gay bars in Pittsburgh are still very closet-y. The least fun places on earth. Any gay with two dollars to his name avoids them like the plague.
And to give you a poster child for the kind of closemindedness, backwardsness and fuckery you get twenty or more miles outside of Pittsburgh: Rick Santorum.
Would I live there again? Maybe. But it would have to be a phenomenal job.
R39 your head is firmly fixed up your ass. No, Princeton is not a suburb in the sense of "contiguous built up area." But in the sense of substantial daily commute (both ways) the answer is yes. It is very closely tied to both Philadelphia and New York.
Oh, and once you leave Philly or Pittsburgh?
Sadly, you get this.
Central PA is a cesspool of truly hateful, racist, uneducated people.
Leave it the gays to mince and bitch about philadelphia and new york's shared metro areas.
I live between the two, and I agree with r40.
I like Philadelphia a lot, and the Brandywine Valley that extends from Chester County to Wilmington, Delaware includes some of the best landscapes and historic houses on the east coast. Other parts of Southeast and Central Pennsylvania are very nice, as is Pittsburgh.
It's in the backwards, cousin-fucking part of SW PA, but I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit to Ohiopyle - it's beautiful there near the river, and there are two Frank Lloyd Wright homes there (including the famous Fallingwater).
I live in Northeast Philly and my neighbor works at Chase Manhattan in NYC, so he commutes back and forth to work everyday.
The number of people in NE Philly and Bucks County who work in NYC and commute back and forth everyday is crazy.
As a product of unfortunate birth, I was born in Central PA and most of my family is from there. I was raised in Central NY, Syracuse to be exact. When I would go back to Central PA I would thank my lucky stars we lived in Syracuse under 6 feet of snow most of the time. Yes, Central PA is really that bad and whoever said the population is denser in Central PA over Central NY maybe doesn't understand quality vs quantity. Still, I doubt that is true.
R48 Ohiopyle is a state park and is the actual name of a small town. It's probably closest to Uniontown, in terms of larger small towns....
I hear you R50. Central NY is, outside of the massive snow, a far nicer place than a lot of Central PA.
What physical beauty exists in Central PA is overwhelmed for me by the real backwardness of the people. And I say that as someone whose family comes from there.
Central NY has Ithaca, a lovely place that is far more forward thinking.
True R52 and don't forget the strip mines and the disaster that is fracking. Thank dog NY is taking a more thoughtful and measured approach to fracking. There is some seriously beautiful country in Central NY that could be destroyed.
Philadelphia's twin city is Camden, NJ which is 5 miles away. So much for it being sturdily Pennsylvanian.
Camden is just across the Delaware River, not 5 miles away!
I remember reading this sad story about developers who lured minorities from NYC to a development in PA, telling them that the city was only 90 minutes away by train. There was, unfortunately, no train station. Don't worry, said the developers, the railroad is coming. Of course, the railroad never arrived,
So these people who moved to get away from the dangers of the inner city do their kids could grow up in fresh air wound up taking a 3.5 hour bus to and from their jobs in NYC. Six hours of daily commute. Naturally, that would mean their kids were alone too long every day, so those who could sent their kids back to NYC to live with relatives.
It's not good to be poor and badly educated. You believe everything wealthier people tell you.
Wow, very handsome guy at R53!
I did whitewater rafting there as a teenager and it was really fun. A lot of work, but there's a beautiful part in the middle where you just sort of float into it, and it's worth the price of admission.
R54 Yeah, PA is mortgaging its future on fracking.
I'm not 100% anti-fracking - I know we need energy, and people in PA need jobs - but for every company that's doing it "right" there are two or three more who just want to do it quick and dirty without planning or thought. One company just abandoned a site not far from where I grew up. Return date: unknown, possibly never. I call them carpetbaggers.
Sad thing is, PA already experienced this with the aftereffects of coal mining. We had acid mine drainage issues. (Cliffs Notes explanation of what that is: Drilling into rock makes minerals inside seep out and into water flow. It looks cool, but makes water toxic and kills plants/trees.) Some places are still trying to solve those issues from 30 to 50 years ago. History is repeating itself. And anyone who complains about it is branded a flaming liberal/traitor.
I live a couple of blocks from the Tacony Palmyra bridge in NE Philly and I could WALK to Jersey in ten minutes time, in fact I've done it before!
Camden a "twin city"? Says who? It's a separate city with little relation to Philly besides geographic proximity. It's our Hoboken, nothing more. I've lived in Philly my whole life but I've only ever driven past Camden on the way to other places. It's nowhere.
I'm not even sure what your point is, R55. "Sturdily Pennsylvanian"? What does that even mean? It's as Pennsylvanian as NYC is New York and Chicago is Illinois, two other cities that lie on the borders of other states. Also, many have pointed out in this thread that Philly is culturally distinct from the rest of PA...also not unusual for a large city in an otherwise heavily rural state.
r27, your post was OK except that I think Pennsylvania was named after William Penn's father who was an Admiral in the British navy. Quaker modesty and simplicity inspired William Penn to suggest that it be named for his father who had loaned Charles II money--Pennsylvania was granted to his son as repayment after Admiral Penn died without the loan having been repaid. One could probably safely say that Pennsylvania was one of the most liberal areas on earth during its colonial period as far as religious toleration was concerned. I myself was born and raised in Erie County and I find some of the comments about PA here amusing. I left there 21 years ago for California and never looked back. Erie has to be one of the most retarded cities in the United States and ugly to boot.
The only thing I know about PA is that I once drove through the state on my way to somewhere else and it was absolutely fucking gorgeous.
I remember being shocked that I had never heard how beautiful Pennsylvania was before that time. I realize now, having known some people from PA, that it's the "tucky" part of Pennsyltucky that keeps it unattractive to most people.
Still - gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.
[quote] Erie has to be one of the most retarded cities in the United States and ugly to boot.
It's improved slightly, but it's still depressed economically.
Having a mobster as a mayor for almost 30 years really fucked Erie and it hasn't quite recovered.
I live in Philadelphia and like it but there is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and everything else is Pennsyltucky! Repubs and guns, "we are Good Christians" types. Our current Governor is Tom Corbett, a certified asshole who took a lousy $200 bucks a month away from the poorest people on welfare this year. Some of them are vets too who are unemployable due to mental issues from combat or physical disabilities.
R49, surely the douchebag humans you know who are commuting to NYC from Bucks every day are doing so by train, at least part way through the trip. I mean, the people in that area are ignorant, useless fucks, but they can't be THAT stupid. That's 4 hours of driving per day, total, in light traffic.
R57 - you are probably thinking of Levittown/Bristol. A shithole of tiny houses and was considered the first real suburb. I believe about 50-60 years ago it was nice(r), but now, my god it's horrible. White trash defined.
r64, I will agree with you that some parts of PA are very nice, but they are in rural areas or in state parks and national/state forests. Pennsylvania's cities "need help" to put it mildly. Scranton has lost half its population since the 1950s and some sections of Philadelphia look worse than some bombed out third world city and talk about a need for trees in that town! And that is ironic because William Penn, when he planned Philadelphia in London, wanted tree lined streets and numerous squares to be designated as parks, almost the exact opposite of what exists today. If Philadelphia has an urban forester on its city government whoever it is must be asleep on the job. R65, are you from Erie? I had always thought that town could be so much more than what it is now; lack of imagination and a sense of purpose seem to be Erie's biggest drawbacks. The area around 26th and Peach streets would be a great gay area if it were given a complete makeover--some of those old Victorian buildings would look great if they were spruced up. And that old school with the auto parts store stuck onto the front of it has great potential too. Sort of sad what they've done with Academy High School--don't know what it's used for now. There is an old theater in the 26th and Peach area (and I think the name of that neighborhood is Weigletown--it was German at one time) that is a sort of store/business now; I've sometimes thought that a refurbished theater sort of 1940s style showing mainly cartoons from the 20s, 30s and 40s and newsreels of all types at low admission might be an interesting idea not only there but the Folly Theater (now an out of business antique store) also on 26th St. I wonder if This Old House on PBS would consider refurbishing theaters?? I wrote letters to the editor of their sad newspaper with ideas along these lines and, like I said, people there have NO imagination. The Koehler brewery could have been sold to a microbrewery, it was not, it was torn down along with its distinctive architecture, as far as I know it's just an empty gap in the street now. The Boston store downtown could have been a vibrant retail outlet all along, instead it sat empty for years and as far as I know it still is except for a few apartments on the top floor. Erie is a sad city, the "mistake on the lake" and make no mistake about that. I will take your word though that it has improved slightly. Erie is still homophobic (alot of Polish, Italian and Irish Catholics there) as is North East which is the town I'm actually from--THAT place is a whole other story and not in a good way.
People do take the nj transit daily, from Trenton, Hamilton, Princeton Junction to NYC. Some people have drivers, some people drive themselves, some do it daily. Some people keep a pied a terre in the city and commute only twice a week.
What outrageous narcissistic humbug that Penn said it was named after his father instead of himself, given they had the same name. Religious folks are always fakes.
Some people do commute from Allentown to the Big Apple, however, I do not think they are as closely tied as Princeton and NY.
I'm from San Francisco, live in Sonoma now. I visited Pittsburgh once on a business trip and was absolutely charmed by it. I didn't see the suburbs but flying over and driving from the airport we witnessed very pretty, green countryside.
I liked how Pittsburgh was located on the convergence of two rivers, all the bridges, the walkable downtown, theater district, architecture, and the Andy Warhol Museum. I'm not interested in living there but would love to explore more, Philly too, and parts in between. I'm not afraid of right wingers but I don't want them to be the only people I know.
Our cab driver was a crazy right wing salty older woman. We had a blast talking with her.
Love to travel
Lord have mercy, R69, if someone is commuting from BUCKS COUNTY, Pa to NYC, trust me darling they do NOT have a pied a terre in the city!
LMAO as I type
I love living in Philly.
R68 I went to college nearby and lived in Erie for a few years post college, but am actually from Pittsburgh.
Agreed, a lot can be done with Erie but just hasn't been. Unfortunately, there's been almost a complete collapse in industry outside of the hospitals. It's like Johnstown in that way.
R67 Not sure if R57 would have been talking about Levittown. Levittown was notorious for NOT welcoming minorities for a very long time.
South Jersey and Philadelphia are very much entwined. Probably even more so in the past... but still, they definitely are part of one another.
So. Jersey is were the Philadelphians vacationed and owned summer homes. From Atlantic City to Cape May. All the Philly kids came down for the summer weekends.
In the summertime, Atlantic City and it's Boardwalk really was an extension of Philadelphia.
We all ate the Tastykakes, soft pretzles with mustard, frozen custard, scapple, Taylor's Pork Roll and other quirky foods that the area was known for.
Both speak with nearly the same awful accent.
So. Jersey gets all of it's TV and radio from Philly. We all grew up with Sally Starr, Gene London...listened to Hy Lit and Jerry Blavatt. Got our news from John Facenda.
Dick Clark was at home on the Steel Pier doing shows while American Bandstand was on hiatus for the summer.
Philadelphia is probably spiritually closer to So. Jersey and "The Shore" than it is with the rest of Pennsylvania.
(sorry for the typos...was rushing)
R75, Tastykakes are my favorite export from Philly - we had them in Pittsburgh too.
The Philly accent seems, to me, to be closer to the NYC/Jersey/Baltimore accent. Pittsburgh's accent is a fuckery all its own. (And I grew up having it so I can say that!)
[quote] trust me darling they do NOT have a pied a terre
Sorry to bust your laff fest, r72, I know several Bucks Co execs that keep city apartments. in fact, I dropped one off at the train station at 6 AM this morning. .
Perhaps in a previous life you were Betsy Ross.
[quote] Pennsylvania---what do we think?
They're are a lot of crazy people in Pennsylvania. It's the Florida of the North.
Wow. So Philly and NYC, share surburbs. Some of you are totally dense. Goodness.
Do they have Rita's Water Ice in Pennsylvania?
Rita's are all around the Philly area.
[quote]Wow. So Philly and NYC, share surburbs
No, and not suburbs either. But thanks for your enlightened input.
"Philadelphia is basically an extension of NJ and practically a suburb of NYC.
Only a New Yorker would say something so ridiculous."
Why do you say that? I'm a native New Yorker and I love PA. I love Philadelphia, and I don't see it as an extension of NJ at all. Just because the stupid NY Times called Philadelphia the 6th borough doesn't mean anybody really thinks it is. Jeez.
Tri-state areas collide!
Well,seeing that some homes in the Bucks Co. area can sell for many millions of dollars, I believe it is entirely possible for a commuter to have a place in the city. The area has always attracted the wealthy from NYC.
Wooter ice! Who the fuck eats that stuff in January?
[quote] And that is ironic because William Penn, when he planned Philadelphia in London, wanted tree lined streets and numerous squares to be designated as parks, almost the exact opposite of what exists today.
Look at the link to a map of 1683 Philadelphia. Essentially, that entire map, the city William Penn planned, still exists and is most certainly a "greene country town" with tree-lined streets.
William Penn planned five large city squares. Three still exist (Washington, Rittenhouse, Franklin) and one is a circle on the Ben Franklin Parkway, which is essentially part of Fairmount Park, the largest urban park in the world. And then there is Independence Park, Fitler Square, etc. Certainly there is much greenery in Penn's city. Also, the major streets are named after trees. And we're getting our own High Line out of the old Pennsylvania Railroad.
Philadelphia is also the first city to have straight streets on a graph, an urban modern marvel. A reaction to the chaos of the Great Fire of London in 1666.
William Penn's "greene country town" still exists today. No matter what opinion you have of Philadelphia, it's absurd to say what you said about the city being the exact opposite of Penn's plan.
Don't ever say "we are getting our own highline" again. It smacks of provincialism and will get daggers thrown at you on this board.
OP, I live in PA now and grew up here. I'm a stone's throw from New Hope - I live in Newtown. Please don't confuse Bucks County. There is Bucks County, and then there is "the other side of the tracks" - a small section of Bucks that consists of Bristol, Levittown and Bensalem. Not very nice areas. But the rest of Bucks for the most part is quite lovely. It is an expensive area to live as others have pointed out. I grew up in Bucks, and even now, I spend just as much as I did when I lived in LA and Boston, but it's still cheaper than when I lived in NYC. It's only about 45 minutes to Philadelphia. So it's central to both cities.
I work in NYC, and just recently moved back to the area. Prior to that I lived in New York, Los Angeles and Boston. It's definitely different here, but at my age, approaching my late 30's, I wanted space and wanted to be in a gay friendly area. New Hope is perfect for that. I can still work in NYC, and the commute isn't all that horrible.
That being said, I know NOTHING about anything west of Harrisburg. I haven't really seen much of the state with the exception of the southeastern portion. What I've heard is that besides Pittsburgh, it's very different. I would have zero interest living near State College - just seems to redneck.
Paris has a highline. Who wants to bet it was before New York's?
Hey 75, did you know that Sally Starr just died yesterday. 90 years old.
A little something for the folks from Philly
I totally agree with r64. I cut through PA once many moons ago and I still remember how beautiful it was.
I plan to go back there and backpack in the next couple of years.
And, the Smokey Mtns.
I grew up in Pittsburgh, went to college at Penn State and eventually moved to New York City.
Pittsburgh is actually a great town for someone straight, in their thirties who wants to start a family. As for gay life, it was pretty boring. However, the real problem was the divide between minorities in the gay community. I know it exists in other places but I haven't seen anything like it since then.
I grew up in a neighborhood that was pretty racially mixed, however I didn't see a person who was Asian until I went to college in the early 00s at ... you guessed it, PSU University Park.
Philly always seemed more dynamic and exciting to me. However, once we went to Cleveland and hit up a few gay bars. People seemed to speak highly of Pittsburgh, which was a shock to us since we always saw it as a shit hole. I just think some thought it was exciting to see people from any place else.
Centre County / Penn State was (and yes I am a minority) great on the surface. However, I remember being herded into a meeting with other black students starting my year and warned what it would be like to deal with students from the state. I wouldn't say the majority of them were racist, I would say they just didn't know any better. Not that ignorance is an excuse but you have no clue how many times I was asked if I liked rap music or if I put products in my hair. The answers are and were, no & no. I was a lot of people's first "black" friend.
I'll tell you what, I never felt safer walking around alone at night except for the year we had the national media focused on us because of death threats issued against the President of the Black Caucus. At that point I had bottled thrown at me, was a called the N-Word ... basically everyone's racism came to the surface.
Essentially I love New York but I do miss the quietness and diversity of Pittsburgh. I may move back when I'm a bit older. Philly was too rough and tumble for me and as for the random places in the rest of the state ... I'd avoid them at all costs.
It has too many rivers that flood the place. And it is a nursery for monstrous summer thunderstorms.
Where are you speaking of, R98?
R97. I had to laugh at your statement about "diversity."
Though I sort of agree. Pittsburgh has lots of diversity neighborhood to neighborhood. Just not very many diverse, multicultural neighborhoods. It's one of the most segregated places I've ever lived, not just by race but also nationality, age, sexual orientation.
R99, Pittsburgh is absolutely one of the least segregated-by-sexual orientation places I've lived. O, to have had a gayborhood here.
Did they ever fix that dam?
Johnstown --- Freudian slip
PA Dutch Country born and bred, and I was so desperate to get the hell outta there I went into the Army to do it.
I recently moved back to my hometown after living in two different states for 20 years, and I was so appalled by the deliberate ignorance and parochialism in central PA that I thought I was going to lose my mind. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
When I was reading restaurant reviews of my part of PA, reviewers often said, "This is the land where time stood still." They weren't exaggerating even a little bit. Maybe it would be a better description to say it's the land that time forgot.
To give you some idea of the ignorance of which I speak, a close friend who recently retired as a middle school librarian does not know how to use a computer -- in fact, many people don't, and they're not ashamed to tell you, either. Many other people simply refuse to get a cell phone.
I now live in a college town in the Poconos - still PA, but a bit more cosmopolitan. Still, I'm not particularly happy here. And, while I like Pittsburgh, Philly is a vile shithole that makes NYC (and its denizens) look positively classy.
Come here for a vacation or a day trip (to shop for tax-free clothing) if you must, but don't come here to live. You'll regret it. I personally am counting the days until I can retire and get the fuck outta here.
[quote] now live in a college town in the Poconos - still PA,
ESU r103? is so why do you not like that area?
R100 Shadyside used to be the gayborhood but I suppose you're right, there are gays everywhere. Lawrenceville is now becoming a bit of a gayborhood.
I lived in Central PA for 6 years (small town just outside of State College--home of Penn State) and I almost killed myself I was so depressed.
R106 I know someone who lived in Bellefonte and they said it was the most shiteous place on earth.
R90, you are misinterpreting my comments. I'm well aware of Penn's plans as well as the parks that exist today and that many streets are named for trees--unfortunately to actually find a walnut tree on Walnut street would be something of a miracle; the fact remains that Philadelphia is too devoid of trees in many of its neighborhoods, especially those many streets that contain rowhouses--Allegheny Avenue being just one example. Philadelphia is a big city now, well beyond Penn's original plan and the city planners who came after him simply didn't adhere to his ideas of a green country town. I also dispute your claim that Fairmount Park is the largest urban park in the world as Balboa Park in San Diego and Phoenix Park in Dublin may easily surpass Fairmount Park. Also I believe the Romans planned many of their towns on a grid, so Philadelphia wasn't the first city to be devised on that plan. I don't dislike Philadelphia, but, like an old friend I see no reason not to be candid about its faults.
R105, Shadyside has never been a true gayborhood, either in the sense of having a predominantly gay population or being *the* place where the majority of gays live.
There have always been more gays living in the North Hills than in Shadyside.
And Lawrenceville is for hipsters, who don't mind gay people. But it's not a gayborhood.
I think the need for a gayborhood has passed, in any case. Its time was the late '60s through the mid-'90s, and Pittsburgh didn't have enough gays to fill in a gayborhood during that period. We were a place gay people left rather than migrating to.
I've really only driven through and it can be very pretty. It's ALL FARMS!
As a former resident of Erie I always found it hilarious that they insisted on calling their rinky-dink airport Erie INTERNATIONAL Airport based upon one flight a day to Toronto.
Pennsylvania seems more willing to permit schlock like strip malls and trailer parks.
Someone said shoo-fly pie isn't all it's cracked up to be, however I happen to love it and have to make it myself here in CA. People around Philadelphia are more familiar with it than the rest of PA. Also, Philadelphia is famous for scrapple, not just cheesesteaks.
Pennsylvania is full of tight-assed white men who have military minds and love hunting--kinda ironic considering it was founded by a Quaker.
r101--Johnstown has a national historic site devoted to the site where the flood originated, you might visit it sometime and no, the earthen dam was never repaired, it's all overgrown now but the breach in the dam is still discernable. Also on Luzerne St. in Westmont, near Johnstown, are overarching Elm trees never affected by the Dutch Elm disease--it is a sight to see.
Another oddity about Erie is that the hospitals there aren't just hospitals, they're MEDICAL CENTERS.
I find guys from Pennsylvania and Ohio to be the sexiest in America.
I agree r114, the best sex I ever had was with men from Ohio and Pennsylvania. I live in California now, and while the sex is OK here, I always end up comparing it to the guys I knew back there. Of course there is also more blatant homophobia back there too, it doesn't reside only with Santorum, he's just one example of the many; I'm sure he's well liked in the district he represented as was Tom Ridge, dubya's good buddy.
I've lived in the Philly area my whole life and Philly is definitely related to the NY/NJ region and pretty much seperate from the rest of PA.
All my friends routinely take day trips up to NYC and still get home at a decent time to go to work the next day.
When you say suburbs to people in Philly, most immediately think of New Jersey. When I was a kid and my rowhome neighborhood had gotten bad all of my friends would move to Jersey. It was the thing to do.
People in Philly are all about NJ and NYC. By comparison I've yet to meet a single person in the Philly area who's even BEEN to Pittsburgh.
R99, Oh, I agree to an extent - it could be a lot more diverse but in comparison to many other places in PA it does pretty well. In the South area of Pittsburgh there is quite a bit of diversity, even within areas like Brookline and Beachview. On the North Side, there is decidedly less so. Oakland is full of college students so it is quite diverse with kids attending Pitt, Carlow and Carnegie Mellon.
Our school was very racially diverse. Forced bussing in schools helped mix populations that otherwise wouldn't have met. However, you had people moving from neighborhood to neighborhood just to make sure their kids got into the best schools which eventually became populated with people who could afford to move into better neighborhoods with the best schools. IIRC, North Hills is ranked the best school in the area and is located in the North. It's not diverse at all. Brashear would be one of the top three and it's located in the South area and is much more diverse.
Young people don't stay in Pittsburgh. They leave. There aren't that many nationalities in the area. It's a place where people with the same last name are much more likely to be related. As for sexual orientation, it's not diverse at all.
The other weird thing about people in Pittsburgh, is that they tend to stick to certain areas. It was something I never noticed until I befriended a group of people from Clarion County who noticed it as outsiders. I just never thought to hang out anywhere other than the South Side and maybe Oakland.
[quote] Johnstown has a national historic site devoted to the site where the flood originated, you might visit it sometime and no, the earthen dam was never repaired, it's all overgrown now but the breach in the dam is still discernable. Also on Luzerne St. in Westmont, near Johnstown, are overarching Elm trees never affected by the Dutch Elm disease--it is a sight to see.
You have summarized the only remaining two nice things about Johnstown.
R109, you're right. Few cities have a gayborhood anymore. But I lived in Lawrenceville, pre-resurgence, and it was a very gay friendly neighborhood.
Though that was more the cheap housing and access to downtown. We certainly weren't there for the Brewers Bar, the dumpiest dump that ever dumped. (But OMG cheap drinks)
Shoo-fly pie is eating pure sugar. Gross. There's a reason those Amish women are overweight.
I ran into my first drag queen in the daytime on the street in Philly in 1972.
I used to love Philadelphia and wanted to live there. It can't be worse now than it was in 1972.
Shoo-fly pie = Molasses Loved it when I was a kid but I have a feeling it would be too sweet for me now.
WEstern PA and Ohio are breeding grounds for hot hunky football players.
r119, I had a good laugh over your description of Brewer's Bar being the "dumpiest dump that ever dumped" (it almost sounds like something the late Myron Cope would have said)! I don't know why, but that sounds like pure Pittsburgh--you must be a native Pittsburgher who calls a rubber band a gum band. I knew someone from Jeannette just east of Pittsburgh who often said of someone who may have slighted or been rude to him that they "treated him like 'last month's shit'" or if he was annoyed with someone he might tell them "up your ass with a wire brush!". Anyway, I have heard many good things about Pittsburgh being a good deal lately for retirees and seniors. I am originally from Erie but have lived in California for over 20 years, however I am thinking of exploring Pittsburgh for retirement; questions: do seniors still ride public transportation for free in Pennsylvania (I recall before I left that the lottery funds various senior "goodies" that they get)? Is the streetcar that runs from downtown to Library in southern Allegheny County still running and have they expanded the streetcar system in Pittsburgh?
r122, it is simple to make, especially if you buy the piecrusts ready made, which I don't but to each his own. If you can't find a good, simple recipe for it, I can post mine.
r123, those same football players don't age well. Joe Namath is from Beaver Falls and while he was considered something of a "sex symbol" in the 1960s and early 70s, he looks (and probably feels) like death warmed over. They go through alot of injuries (including head injuries) that comes back to haunt them later on. Why anyone would get pleasure out of putting themselves through that is a mystery to me. The only thing worth watching are the ass smacks they give each other and even that they don't do nearly enough of.
R124 I actually got that saying from here - well, someone being described as the "cuntiest cunt who ever cunted." But the Brewers was and is a pit. And yet I met so many hot guys there. LOL
There are lots of "Pittsburghese" words like gumband. "Pittsburgh Dad" on YouTube captures it pretty well.
Not sure about the senior free rides but the T is still in the south hills. Unfortunately, its only expansion was over to the football and baseball stadiums - at a cost that doesn't justify the small extension.
"The last time I heard from Agnes she was at the Shangri LA Motel in East Stroudsburg Pennsylvania!"
As someone may have pointed out earlier OP, if you currently live in a state where you can buy beer and wine and even the hard stuff in a grocery store or drug store (if that is your choice), be prepared for a rude awakening in Pennsylvania. Beer is bought from a tavern/bar and various wines and hard liquor are sold at a "state store". I have no idea what the state of PA does with its profits from their state stores but do bear in mind that Pennsylvania is one of the most corrupt states in the Union. I haven't lived there in some time, but when I did the state stores and taverns didn't sell booze on Sundays but that might have changed; knowing Pennsylvania though, don't hold your breath. The only places I knew of where you could buy at least wine on Sunday were the various wineries east of Erie. The wine itself is of dubious quality, but can do in a pinch. Even in New York, if you lived near that state line, where beer was sold in grocery stores, I think it may have been by local option to not sell it on Sunday. Since I haven't been near there in years, perhaps someone can confirm this or set the record straight?
R128 - you're still correct regarding the separate points of purchase for beer and wine/hard liquor. Cases and kegs of beer can be purchased from beer distributors (usually large warehouses that also sell soft drinks and snacks). Six-packs and 12-packs can be purchased from bars, smaller beer distributors (usually referred to as six-pack stores), and a handful of supermarkets (they are required to have a restaurant on-premises to do so).
Wine and spirits are sold in state-run stores. Recently, the PLCB had wine vending machines in a few Wegmans' in the Philly burbs, but I think they have been removed. They weren't user friendly (you had to engage in a breathalyzer test before you could make your purchase). As for purchasing on Sunday, it is inconsistent. Some state stores are open, some aren't.
I can't stand Gov. Corbett, but he is aggressively pursuing privatization of state stores. It is long overdue. I don't know how successful he will be as other governors have tried and failed to do the same. The one thing he has going for him is that he is a Republican shithead and that may count for something with the yokel majority that runs the state legislature.
How are the Poconos?
R130 infested with people from New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia and really bad drivers.
Any of you Pennsylvanians know much about a town named DuBois?
That is my mother came from and I would love to hear any stories about DuBois. Haven't been there since '67.
R128, I live in a small college town in Central PA (not State College). The state liquor store is open on Sundays and two grocery stores sell beer. It's no big deal. We're not that thirsty.
[quote] Any of you Pennsylvanians know much about a town named DuBois?
DuBois is really smack in the middle of nowhere. It's one of those big small downs in a state. I'm sure there's probably a charming little downtown area but I can't say that much has happened there, OP.
Re: the liquor laws:
When I was a little kid, some state stores were still a "counter" operation. As in, all the booze was behind a counter and you'd have to ask for it and have them fetch it for you. (And this was late 80s).
You can get booze easily - beer not as much. When I lived in Pittsburgh you could only buy a single six pack from bars. It's just so much easier and cheaper everywhere else.
The reluctance is less about any sort of concern for people and all about money. Beer distributors are old Mafia-type guys and all of them will lose their livelihood to grocery stores, etc. or need to turn their enterprises into real honest to goodness booze warehouses. Right now they all have crappy warehouses and overpriced beer and kegs.
My hair stylist Roberto pronounces it Pennsylvonnia with a soft a. I kind of like and have been pronouncing it as such. I would like all to follow suit please.
R128, select state stores are open on Sundays now. I'm in Philly and, while its still a bigger hassle than popping down to the grocery or pharmacy for a bottle of wine, it's not as bad as it used to be. More remote, rural areas are probably still under-served on Sundays.
I've also never had a problem buying a couple of six packs from a bar (neighborhood taverns, not fancy places), and many convenience stores and pizza shops throughout the city have big self-serve refrigerators full of six packs for sale, 7 days a week. Again, probably not as plentiful out in the sticks.
I still envy other states and always get a little culture-shocked seeing wine and hard liquor for sale at a Rite Aid or the local supermarket. Yes, one of the dumber differences about PA is our draconian liquor laws that the Commonwealth is clearly benefitting from unfairly.
I always wondered what it would be like to grow up in a town like Breezewood that is mostly a rest stop on the interstate.
You must have some serious alcohol issues if you
are honestly suggesting that obtaining alcohol is problematic in the state of Pennsylvania.
Growing up in the Philly area, we would always drive over to Jersey (Roger Wilco) to get our alcohol.
[quote]I can't stand Gov. Corbett, but he is aggressively pursuing privatization of state stores. It is long overdue.
If the state gives up the profits from the State Stores, where do you think the needed money will come from?
[quote]Sorry to bust your laff fest, [R72], I know several Bucks Co execs that keep city apartments. in fact, I dropped one off at the train station at 6 AM this morning.
People lie to cabbies all the time.
[quote]You must have some serious alcohol issues if you are honestly suggesting that obtaining alcohol is problematic in the state of Pennsylvania.
Do you live in PA? Until a few years ago it was near impossible to buy a bottle of wine between 5pm Saturday and whenever the state stores open on Monday. I'm not saying I can't live without a drop of wine for 36 hours, but if you have an event like a dinner party or an outing to a BYOB restaurant (a related PA oddity, many restaurants, especially new ones, are BYO because of red tape involved in getting a liquor license), you better plan ahead, and spontaneous ideas like a Sunday picnic or pizza at a friend's house can, indeed, be problematic if you don't have wine/beer on hand.
Not everyone is a teetotaler, and suddenly craving a glass of wine on a weekend or spontaneously planning a social event with drinks is hardly evidence of an alcohol problem.
No one has said buying booze is "problematic", but it is inconvenient at certain times in many parts of the state.
[quote] I'll tell you what, I never felt safer walking around alone at night except for the year we had the national media focused on us because of death threats issued against the President of the Black Caucus. At that point I had bottled thrown at me, was a called the N-Word ... basically everyone's racism came to the surface.
I was there too at that time. I camped out at the HUB. And look what happened to Spanier.
[quote] I personally am counting the days until I can retire and get the fuck outta here.
And so am I. Piss off.
r132, I'm too familiar with DuBois. The only reason people go there is for funerals. My stepmother is from Sykesville, not far from DuBois.
There is a Holiday Inn, a Ramada Inn, and a mall in DuBois. I've been to these three places numerous times.
DuBois is creepy as shit. I remember back in the 90s, my dad bought a Patsy Cline CD from the DuBois mall. Listening to it in the car, I felt "Crazy" and her other songs were the soundtrack to DuBois...
Ever eaten at a RAX? They're all gone now.
r108, you're nitpicking and you're flat out wrong. Philly is a very green city. When's the last time you've been here? HAVE you ever been here?
Yes r145 I have been to Philadelphia numerous times and I still say it needs more trees--you're still thinking about trees in the parks, I'm talking about tree lined streets of which there is a definite lack, especially in those neighborhoods where all you see are rowhouses. There isn't a park around every corner as you seem to be trying to say. I don't think I'm nitpicking at all and it actually isn't just Philadelphia but many American cities in general are losing much of their urban "forest". Read "The Man Who Planted Trees" or at least google the title to get a better idea. Philadelphia is as hot as hell in the summertime, especially in August; planting more trees would contribute toward lowering the temperature. I also suggest you google American Forests.
r137, Breezewood is or was nothing but motels due to the convergence of I-70 from the Baltimore-Washington area and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It is about midway between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia; apparently it was thought of as a good place to stop for the night by those doing long distance driving. I assume that it is still popular with truckers.
[quote] Ever eaten at a RAX? They're all gone now.
They were pretty dreadful.
[quote]If the state gives up the profits from the State Stores, where do you think the needed money will come from?
From the sale of licenses and increased tax revenue. They will still be collecting tax on the sale of alcohol. Given greater overall product availability, convenience to consumers and the ability of privately-owned stores to more effectively cater to the wants of those consumers, alcohol sales (and the subsequent tax revenue) should increase.
This will also be a boon for many restaurants. Part of the reason why Philadelphia has so many BYOBs is because selling alcohol is often cost-prohibitive for most small-time restauranteurs. I don't know how it works in other parts of the state, but restaurants in Philadelphia don't get a volume discount on their orders. Furthermore, the state stores do not deliver. Restaurants are not only paying retail for their orders, they have to arrange for a delivery service. It becomes too expensive or too much of a hassle. For those that do sell alcohol, they pass those costs onto the consumer.
For restaurants that will now be able to obtain a license, their overall revenues should increase with the sale of alcohol (which, in turn, leads to greater tax revenue).
DuBois is horrendous. I went to junior high school and the first half of my freshman year of high school there (before we moved back to the other tiny shithole Central PA town I'm from). It is a black hole of rednecks and inbred horrors. Simplest people you'll ever meet. Every day of my life was a Dante's Inferno of misery. Nothing but bars and NASCAR freaks and country music lovers and people who love to shoot things.
I haven't read this thread, but I have a feeling NYCers made a sizable portion of the thread about their fair city...
R149 I feel for you. I am so glad I moved to Upstate NY when I was 4. I don't think I would ever have survived in Central PA.
Isn't that vampires are supposed to come from ?
Some people from NJ believe the Midwest begins once you cross the Deleware River.
The most tragic thing about Dubois, PA is the locals pronouncing it "doo-BOYZZZ".
Inbred Pennsyltucky morons.
At one time, I wanted to settle in York, but they got swamped with immigrants and had, last time I heard, city-wide surveillance manned by "volunteers."
r146, I lived right by PA hospital in Center City and had a gigantic 100 year old oak right in front of my rowhome. The whole street was tree lined. I live in South Philly now on a tree lined street. There are tree lined streets all over this city, I know, I live here, and I see trees everywhere. You're just trying to demean Philadelphia like everyone else does and you're wrong, you're simply wrong.
[quote] The most tragic thing about Dubois, PA is the locals pronouncing it "doo-BOYZZZ".
There's a history of that in PA. A town near Pittsburgh is named North Versailles, but not pronounced in the French way one would pronounce Versailles (ver-sai) but instead as "ver-sales."
Speaking of that, Google "Casa D'Ice" (I don't want to link to it) and see some of the ugliest racism and anti-immigrant sentiment you'll ever see. That's a glimpse of the kind of backwardsness you get 20-30 minutes outside of Pittsburgh. As I said up thread, 20-30 minutes north is Rick Santorum country.
It's why as much as I love my hometown and some people there, you couldn't pay me to live anywhere in the area, except for right in downtown Pittsburgh, ever again.
I live in a smallish town south of Pittsburgh. Moved here 3 years ago from the west coast. It is killing me. All these short, ugly people that have this odd accent that sounds like baby talk. The blatant racism is horrifying.
Why do you live in a smallish town south of Pittsburgh?
What about the amusement parks? PA does have some great old-time nostalgic amusement parks, Knoebels, Hershey, there is one near Allentown, can't remember the name?
There's a reason they call it Pennsyltucky
Dorney Park, R159.
[quote] I live in a smallish town south of Pittsburgh.
My sympathies, OP. And I don't mean that in a bitchy way.
If you're in Uniontown/Fayette County, my extreme and deep sympathies.
What about Doylestown? Or, further south and closer to Philly, Jenkintown? As horrible as these other places mentioned?
I grew up in a factory town about 40 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. I also graduated from Penn State, so I am familiar with the denizens of central PA. While I loved State College, even that town had shades of my hometown lurking just beneath the surface, i.e. racism, parochialism, and a not so subtle homophobia. Couldn't move east fast enough, nor could I ever see myself moving back.
No most of the horrible places are in the middle of the state. Doylestown is basically a Philly suburb and the Lehigh Valley area is gorgeous and with some nice monied areas. As you move further west you get to Hazeltown, Shamokin, Pottsville, places like that which seem to be stuck/lost in time. The terrain was ruined by strip-mining so it isn't even really pretty. Further afield is you hit Williamsport and State College. Not really familiar with those places. They all seem pretty isolated, and like it that way. I have to believe State College has pockets of liberalism with a huge University there.
R165 Doylestown is a Philly suburb in Bucks County and it's not that far from NYC either.
Speaking of which does anyone know why the Yankees minor league team is in Wilkes Barre/Scranton PA, that's Phillies territory.
[quote] I have to believe State College has pockets of liberalism with a huge University there.
Very small pockets of liberalism.
Friends of mine lived there and did their graduate work there and they said that it all had a weird little fascist tinge to it.
Obviously, and clearly, I am not literally comparing them...a town and college is not the same as, say, Italy or Germany in WWII.
But they said EVERYONE was all "We ARE Penn State!" and very conformist - and that any football game was 100,000 fans dressing in Penn State colors and walking/talking/acting the same.
In that environment I could almost, maybe, kinda, sorta see outsiders of the football program not questioning the program. (But that still doesn't excuse the insiders.)
I live in Minnesota but have travelled all over Pennsylvania, and I can see why so many comments here focus on the negative, particularly the areas between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, but I think a lot depends on what you choose to see. Personally I love the old fashioned feeling of Americana I get whenever I travel through the state. I like that there are diners in every city and they're still extremely popular. I like the fact that so many people still have picnics in the park on Sunday afternoons. I like that a lot of little towns have outdoor concerts on Friday or Saturday nights, where people bring their folding chairs and coolers. I also love the small amusement parks scattered throughout the state - Idlewild, DelGrosso's, Lakemont, Knoebels, Dutch Wonderland and Waldameer in addition to the bigger ones like Kennywood, Dorney Park and Hersheypark. There are some really beautiful parks in between Pittsburgh and Philly with wonderful hiking trails and beautiful vistas of the Appalachians. And yes, former coal mining towns like Shamokin may look dirty and depressed to some, but again, it's what you see. I see a different kind of aesthetic that's rich in history. I know there's a lot of racism and conservative people in the state, but there's also a lot of friendly, unpretentious, regular people, too. Pennsylvania Dutch cooking is REALLY good (with the exception of scrapple, which is the most vile thing I've ever eaten, made even more egregious by pouring syrup on top, and I say that having eaten lutefisk in Minnesota). There are lots of really, really good looking guys. And personally I'm not crazy about Philadelphia, but I LOVE Pittsburgh! It's interesting visually with its beautiful downtown and all of the rivers, hills, tunnels and roads that only locals could possibly know, and culturally with great restaurants and a thriving arts scene, the cost of living isn't high (although the state property taxes are seriously outrageous), and the city has a really cool vibe that's a mixture of its past as a blue collar steel town and a thriving, forward thinking city. So it all depends on what you see. I really like Pennsylvania, I don't like everything but I think it's incredibly beautiful and some of its old fashioned traditions are really nice.
R168, I get what you are saying about the Americana aspect of PA. I used to like that part to when I went back to visit, it's like stepping back in time but unfortunately that has it's negatives too.
[quote] I LOVE Pittsburgh! It's interesting visually with its beautiful downtown
Pittsburgh does have a beautiful downtown. And on three of the main roads coming in, there's a "doorway" effect where the city just sort of appears and it's really beautiful.
This is especially true coming in from the south hills/airport. You go through the Liberty Tunnel and when it ends, you are RIGHT downtown. It is amazing. I've been on buses where people have applauded when they see it.
My bf and I live on England. His office has suggested sending him to work in their office in Pennsylvania. Although we've been to the States several time we know absolutely nothing about Pennsylvania and, frankly, this thread has confused us further! Does anyone know Radner? Is it nice? Anything to do there?
I grew up in Burlington County which is just across the Delaware River in South Jersey. My town and that area is considered to be suburbs of Philly and many people who live there work in Philly.
R171, Radnor is part of the 'main line' of Philadelphia. It's about 30 minutes nw from center city Philadelphia. Depending on where you live now, you could love it or hate it.
The metro areas of Philly and Pittsburgh are the only thing keeping Pennsylvania "blue" the last few election cycles.
Williamsport, a sleepy town right in the middle of the state only awakes for two weeks of the year for The Little league World Series. For some reason Philadelphia has some kind of agreement with Harrisburg the capitol, to send parolees out of jail on the bus there. So the only trouble seems to come from them, otherwise quiet boring town.
I have lived in PA for a good portion of my life, mostly in northwestern PA (Erie County). When I was a teenager, I couldn't wait to get out, thinking that anywhere but here would be so much better. After living in several small towns and large cities in the US, I realized that nw PA is really not a bad place to live, and that's where I ended up and have been for quite a few years now.
For starters, I would never want to live somewhere that does not have the full four seasons. I mean 80 and hot and sunny in the summer, and 20 and cold and 2 feet of snow in the winter. I love the changes of the seasons, and we definitely get that here.
It is extremely affordable to live here compared to many other places. If you are a young, single person or a bit older with no children, this might not be the best place for you. But if you are family oriented and have kids and/or pets, there is so much to do at all times of the year. People around here love animals and are very into their pets, more so than I have noticed in other places. There are several gay/lesbian in our immediate & extended families and everyone is very supportive, the partners come to family functions all the time, nobody really thinks anything of it. I think most people are rather open and accepting around here.
Even in the "city" of Erie, there is an undercurrent of redneck. Erie is really just a very large hick town :). In many of the wealthier homes, you will still see deer heads on the walls and a gun cabinet in the living room, with Jack Paluh art on the walls. CEO's who wear suits to work and drive Mercedes but can't wait for the "first day of buck".
I am what I call a "hobby dealer", I buy and resell vintage/antiques. I love to go to auctions in the more rural areas, especially the old farm houses and barns full of old treasures. Things you will likely NEVER see in any other part of the country. I have learned so much about history at these auctions. The rural areas of PA are absolutely beautiful.
But not as beautiful as our boys here. None can compare, really. The thing I missed most while living elsewhere were the nw PA boys. How do I explain it... it's not just about their looks, there is like an innocence or humbleness about them that is so endearing, I know that sounds weird but it is very hard to explain, put into words. Anyone else from around here understand what I am trying to say???
As you move into the central parts of PA, things go from redneck to downright militia-minded. A previous job required me to travel to very rural areas of nw and north central pa... I remember visiting Shinglehouse, PA one time, all the men were wearing camouflage and walking around "town" (one gas station/cafe and a post office I think) with shotguns slung on their backs. The militia movement is very strong here in PA, stronger than I think people realize.
I could go on and on. PA is an interesting state for sure.
Based on the video that R44 posted, Johnstown is due for another flood.
PA is a shit hole. It is full of gun owners, ugly people, and tainted water from all of the oil fracking that goes on there. There are basically no building codes, gun restrictions, public health codes, etc. that could get in the way of you living your life as you see fit, however.