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A Transplant Guide To Center City Philadelphia
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Decide How Much You’ll Need a Car
Depending on your location, access to off-street parking as well as budget deciding whether you need a car or not should be at the top of your to-do list. If you are looking to reside in or around Center City then you may want to consider going carless for many reasons. Dealing with the PPA (Philadelphia Parking Authority) can become a nightmare first and foremost but also new transportation services such as bike share and care share make getting around town a breeze.
Take Time to Explore other Neighborhoods
Photo credit: jdv+ / Source / CC BY-NC-ND
Don’t feel trapped living in the Center City bubble. Yes there are tons of awesome venues and eateries here but there are just as many if not more all around town. Many Philadelphia areas get a bad rap but many of those same neighborhoods are undergoing transformation. So don’t be afraid to wonder and explore other areas of town you never know what gem you may uncover.
Realize Philly is a Bar Town
If you’re coming from larger metropolitan areas such as New York or L.A then you may want to get the notion out of your head about posh nightclubs all over town. The number of venues that can be categorized as legit nightclubs can fit on one hand. Philly is a bar town. So forget velvet ropes, bottle sparklers and guestlists. Bar stools, wooden counters, pints, and flat screens rule the scene here. Oh and get used to the party ending at 2 am.
The State Sells the Booze
Most other states have pretty relaxed liquor laws. You can shop for beer & spirits at convenience stores and grocery aisles but PA is a whole different animal. Get used to finding beer distributors or take-out spots as well as shopping at Wind & Spirit stores (state run liquor stores). So if you’re somewhat of a social light and enjoy entertaining guests, then be prepared to have to stop at two different locations to get the booze you need for your party. On the bright side it’s a great opportunity to do some cardio.
Smartphones Make Life Easier
Photo credit: Jorge Quinteros / Source / CC BY-NC-ND
Whether you’re ordering a car with Uber, upscale delivery through Caviar, or finding a venue on Around Me, smartphone apps make living in Center City exponentially easier. Just about every type of service is connected through some sort of app, so you can think of your smartphone as your personal concierge. Philadelphia may be a blue collar town but it definitely utilizes white collar technology.
SEPTA Can be Your Best Friend
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Our public transportation system SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) has gotten better over the years. In fact they are finally ditching the old school token system and implementing a speed pay system using cards and smartphones. Yes, Uber is quick and convenient, however SEPTA is whole heck of a lot cheaper and can be just as convenient. For instance if you plan to head to the stadiums to catch a game SEPTA is the way to go. No meter ticking, no traffic no hassle.
Find a Dog Walker/Sitter
For all you dog owners it may be in your vested interest to hire a dog walking service. Chances are if you’re living in Center City your pad is not equipped with a doggy door leading to a grassy backyard for your pooch to handle their business while you’re at work. Dog walkers and sitters are pretty reasonable as far as rates and availability. So avoid having to rush home after work to let your dog out and take you’re co-workers up on their happy hour offer.
Find a Source for Events
If you want to take full advantage of Center City living then you must stay current with all the cool and fun events happening. From spring festivals, to concerts, to off-broadway shows, restaurant openings and more are happening on any given day. Don’t miss out on any of the action. There are tons of websites, event calendars as well as promoter email listings you can be apart of.
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