Philly’s Best…What do Non-Philadelphians and Those That Have Left our City Have to Say?


imageWe wanted to find out from out of towners what they think about Philly….the food and atmosphere, if they’ve ever been here, what their impression is of our city and if they’d ever visit. We also talked to some who have moved away what they miss, don’t miss and if they’d ever move back. And a couple of people shared what their neighbors think of us Philadelphians. Here’s what they had to say:

“Gotta say, everything I know about Philly, I learned from Rocky and Adrian….
I would like to visit sometime. I would like to see some of the historical sites especially Gettysburg. I think that’s sort of the right geographical area?”
Nancy in Wisconsin

You have a connection to Philly despite living a thousand miles away. But what do you think people where you live who don’t have that connection, think of if someone mentions Philly?
“Yankees! (lol) Crime and rudeness. Sad but true. I know better though. (And) A kick ass football team (though no one will admit it) but they think the falcons are good, so what do they know. And of course it is where our country was founded, so they (northwestern Georgia) think of that.”
Ben in Georgia

What do you think people down where you live think of when they hear Philly- people who don’t have a connection to it already?
“Damn Yankees, is what most think around here (northwestern Georgia)! Seriously.”
I get it. No love lost between the north and the south. So what do you think a southerner thinks of when they have to think of something positive about us?
“Probably the history and what our forefathers did in Philly that made this country of ours what it is.”
If you came to visit and had never been here before, where do you think the first place you;’d want to visit would be?
“Probably Independence Hall.”
Anything you don’t really see there that stands out from your time up here?
“Let’s just say that y’all have some very unique driving skills.”
Chris in Georgia

What I miss about Philly is the foods of course, the smell of Nabisco, everything ya need or want close by, center city and all its history and the other cool downtown stuff. (And) of course family and friends. I don’t miss the traffic, the friendly Mayberry attitude (lol), the cold; it’s crowded and congested; the Boulevard.
Would I move back? 5 years out and we have no desire to move back. We would if it was absolutely necessary. We still get homesick but really love where we’re living (Florida) and we DO NOT miss the cold at all.”
Rob in Florida

We’d love to find out from out of towners what they think about Philly….the food and atmosphere if you’ve ever been here, or what your impression is of our city and if you’d ever plan to visit.
“Never been (to Philly). I Certainly hope to visit! Love the attitude and the history. Go Flyers!”
Is there anything particular you would want to see?
“The tourist historical sights, and the locals lesser known spots. Pennypack Park, is that the name? Best diners in town for cheesesteak and pizza.”
Ron in California

Since you used to live here, what things would you say you miss about Philly and what DON’T you miss? Would you ever move back?
“Wherever I have traveled while in the Air Force or in my job now, I can always tell someone from Philadelphia. They are not shy and will talk to anybody like they knew them all their lives. I miss the openness. Delicious food and great bread. I don’t miss the traffic. And I would move back for family and friends, as long as I wouldn’t have to work there. I’ll always love the Phillies and the Eagles. Real Philadelphians are a treat, they are blunt and have heart. I hope I didn’t go to long, but, I’m from Philadelphia. You ask me, I tell ya.”
Russ in Wyoming

We’d love to find out from out of towners what they think about Philly….the food and atmosphere if you’ve ever been here, or what your impression is of our city and if you’d ever plan to visit.
“I stayed on Chestnut St. and went to the Khyber room? I think. Recorded an interview with the CEO of Campbell’s soup.”
That’s cool. What did you like about the city and would you visit again?
“I liked that it had all the qualities of NYC but in a smaller, less crowded setting. The trains, the individually owned small businesses. The food was amazing and the city is beautiful architecturally… historically. And from my experience at the Khyber, locals were extremely down to earth and friendly. Not so in NYC. I heard a lot of bad things about violence there but felt much more scared in New York.”
Nikki in California

Since you used to live here, what things would you say you miss about Philly and what DON’T you miss? Would you ever move back?
“What I miss about Philadelphia in no particular order:
1. The people. We are passionate people with everything including sports and culture.
2. Did I mention the sports? Wow do we love our Philly teams, even when they suck and we hate them.
3. Food of course. Most of the food is unhealthy but it’s amazing. There are scientific reasons, dealing with the water and elevation of why the dough can’t be copied…making amazing hoagies and cheesesteaks for example. Can always find a way to get fatter after 2 am.
4. Friends and Family. Your family is typically only a few blocks away in any direction. Your friends are as close to you as your family. Even your neighbors are like your family. At least growing up in the 80’s and 90’s.
5. The culture and history. Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities in America and has THE most history.
What I don’t miss about Philadelphia in no particular order.
1. The weather. The summer can be too hot and humid making it sticky and gross. The winter is too cold and people tend to hibernate which is bad for a career like I have in fitness. The spring and Fall has it’s moments however, with the flowers and leaves.
2. This one may get in trouble, but the truth hurts and I am from Philly and being straight forward is one of our things. I think Philadelphia is less open minded than where I live now in Southern California. Philadelphians are stuck on their ways and will sometimes judge others who are different. There…now I am in trouble. Still love you though Philly.
3. Trash and crime. Every big city has it’s crime and Philly is no stranger. There are too many areas where good people are pushed out of a nice neighborhood where that area becomes “Ghetto.” The good people are forced to move to suburbs and spend more hard earned money.”
Christian in California

“Things I miss most about Philly: the sense of community in the city’s neighborhoods, the trips to the shore and the Philly food. Things I don’t miss: the crime, the dilapidated infrastructure and the weather. It’s a lot like Indiana, with the summers too hot and muggy and the winters too cold and snowy. I would never move back to Philly. It’s nice to visit when I can, but I don’t think I cold live there again. I’m hoping to move to Arizona next year, though, after my daughter graduates. I like the hot, dry heat and that vibrant, bustling metro area.”
Chuck in Indiana

What do you miss about Philadelphia?
“The only thing I miss is the food. The soft pretzels, cheesesteaks, the food is awesome in Philly. I miss my friends that I’ve known for years and years.”
What do you not miss?
“A lot of scary people that were everywhere…crime. Too much traffic. Nashville is getting crazy though. Everybody suddenly wants to live in Nashville. More cars, crime. I do like Nashville in a lot of ways though.”
What originally made you move away?
“My husband got promoted and moved to Nashville.”
Did you miss it when you first moved there?
“I did cause it’s what I knew. Philly was what I knew.”
Judie in Tennessee

“I MISS…. WAWA!!!!!!!! FRIEND’S I HAVE A HISTORY WITH (new ones are great but there’s something to be said for friends who know the real “you” because they know where you come from). (I miss) the Jersey shore, Action news, (did I say…WAWA?) EAGLES enthusiasm!!! The beauty of lots of snow 1 ft+. Down to earth, non-judgmental people. There’s something about “Philly” people. Center city. FOOD!!!! (chicken cheese steaks, Philly pretzels, Chickie and Pete’s), gas pumped for you in NJ . Wow, I didn’t realize the miss list would be that long!”
Would you move back?
“Move back?? Never say never but for now…no.”
What don’t you miss?
“Freezing my ass off especially when I had to walk my dog after a late night out. Nasty, unpredictable weather, property taxes, pot holes, sand in my bathing suit, gossip. Not having privacy especially because some people think they know you, assume things & enjoy talking about you. (Did I say POT HOLES?), bridge tolls. One more… I don’t miss cleaning up after a bad snow storm & slushy messes.”
Roni in Arizona

“I would never move back to Philly. I miss my friends the most. I miss the ease of going to concerts. But I can get that in any city. I miss going to sporting events in Philly. It’s not the same going to a Flyers game in Denver. You are the outsider rooting for the away team.
I don’t miss the crime, filth, rudeness, etc. Philly is not friendly.
That being said, I stick up for Philly all the time. It has a great history. I love the sports teams. Anyone that knows me, knows I’m from Philly. I take pride in it.”
Sioux in Colorado

What things would you say you miss about Philly?
“The obvious is, of course, family & friends. Beyond that, it is the food. I miss soft pretzels. I miss hoagies. I miss tomato pies. These things do not really exist once you get out West. I miss the culture to an extent. People in Philly, and the North East in general, have a “get it done attitude”; a “Must Win” attitude. From my experience, that does not exist as much outside of the area in the Northeast. People are too laid back for me.”
What DON’T you miss?
“The weather!!!! You don’t have to shovel sunshine! I also don’t miss the “attitude”. Philly peeps are always just right there, ready to argue/fight; shockingly, that isn’t how everyone in the country is. Where I live now, we have common areas in our community with nice stuff. That couldn’t happen in Philly, someone would destroy it or take it. I like being able to walk outside and use one of the gas grills that always has all the utensils, that is always clean. I like having TV’s at the pool 365 days a year.”
Would you ever move back?
Yes I would, but it wouldn’t be easy. It isn’t any one thing that makes me feel that it would be tough to move back, but when you add up the blight, the pervasive trash and urban decay, as well as the harsh winters, it is a tough choice to move back.”
Bill in Arizona

“The biggest miss is the food. Philly is great food town. We also miss the history and the cool neighborhoods. We don’t miss the taxes, the politics and the road conditions. We would never move back. Not because of the city as much as the weather.”
Bob in Tennessee

Have you ever been to Philly?
“I have been there but a very long time ago.”
What did you like about it?
“Loved the downtown walk and history. Seeing Rocky’s steps and footprints… liberty bell etc. Don’t remember the rest. Too long ago.”
Julie from Wisconsin

You’re originally from Philly and moved to the west coast. What do you miss about Philly?
“I’ve been out of Philly for 8 years and there is so much that I miss and so little that I don’t miss. First obviously is my family and friends. Philly is such a great place to raise a family and has a sense of community and neighborhood feel. When I come home I have such an overwhelming feeling of Pride for my city.
Philly food would have to be 2nd on my list. Philly restaurants and the smaller places, like pizza joints, and Deli’s are some of the best there!!
You take for granted the fact that you can get pizza and french fries all in one place. Here, they don’t have fryers in pizza places and don’t have great pizza! Neighborhood bars, again it goes back to the whole neighborhood feel. Of course, I miss the seasons. I can never remember anything, and when it happens because I can’t refer to a season. Although in SoCal I can be at the beach, desert, and mountains in one weekend but it just doesn’t make up for the cold winters and hot summers of Philadelphia. The smell of Fall leaves and the burning asphalt in the summer!”
Is there anything you don’t miss about Philly and would you ever move back?
“I think my short list is too short to list!! There isn’t much I don’t miss. And I would absolutely move back!! Philadelphia is my hometown and I have such love for it!!”
Nikki B in California

You’ve recently moved here from the west coast. What do you think about Philly?
“What I like about Philly as a west coast transplant…I love the openness and ethnic diversity of its people, the amazing Italian food and cool architecture of the older buildings and homes. What I don’t like about Philly. .. the stinkin humidity and the way people drive!! Slow the heck down!”
Claudine in Philly

And you’ve recently moved BACK to Philly from the west coast. How are you feeling about it?
“First, I must say that my views may be skewed a bit right now due to the difficult circumstances I’m dealing with in terms of housing and my parents. Being on my own for 26 years taught me a lot and living in SF for so long has made the breakup a little harder. With that said, I can confidently say that I am, and always have been proud of my Philly heritage. I’ll start with what I don’t like:
– the absolute worst, impatient drivers I’ve ever seen. Philly has the worst roads and my poor car has aged a year in 5 months.
Racism is more forward in the Northeast than I thought. The Northeast overall seems to still try to be “seperste from the rest of the city, even though there is a ton more diversity here.
What I like :
Philadelphians are REAL and honest when they talk to you. It may be” in your face” but it’s a hell of lot better than being a flake, and a liar. Despite the problems like crime and pollution, Philly is in a resurgence and people are flocking to, well, Center City’s new long boundaries. I love the affordability in Philly, although I just hope I get a good job ASAP, so I can once again “Live” in my own place.”
Howie in Philly

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