Page 33 - Guide to Greater Philadelphia
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Bella Vista: This South Philadelphia neighbor- hood settled by Italian immigrants still betrays its roots, with the Ninth Street Italian Market a notable feature. However, immigrants from other nations have since enriched the area’s cultural heritage, and families have been attracted by the neighborhood’s excellent public schools and its walkability. In fact, in 2016, voted Bella Vista the best neighbor- hood to live in Philadelphia.
Callowhill: Just north of Center City lies this historically industrial area, whose stylish residences have earned it the nickname “The Loft District.” Many old factories have taken on new life, accommodating artists and small businesses, but also families. Some of Philadelphia’s best music venues, such as Electric Factory and District N9ne, are also located in Callowhill.
Cedar Park: In West Philadelphia, Cedar Park beckons with a Bohemian vibe that has spawned many restaurants as well as other independent businesses. It’s also racially and ethnically diverse. For example, many immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean call the neighborhood home.
Chestnut Hill: This neighborhood in the city’s Northwest is also known as “Philadelphia’s Garden District,” due to its abundance of green space. In fact, the American Planning Commission recognized Chestnut Hill as one of the Top Ten Great Neighborhoods. The area also attracts visitors and residents with an array of boutiques and galleries that give it a small-town feel. Chinatown: This Center City neighborhood is marked by the colorful “Friendship Arch,” located at 10th and Arch streets. In recent years, this neighbor- hood has experienced a building boom as new residents and businesses move in, but its bustling Chinese restaurant scene and seasonal street festivals continue to ensure an authentic flavor.
East Passyunk: Old and new residents mingle
in this South Philadelphia neighborhood, which gets
its name from East Passyunk Avenue, a diagonal thor- oughfare. The area has developed a thriving restaurant scene, and attracts visitors from around the region with its large street festivals.
Fairmount: Fairmount is also known as the “Art Museum Area,” due to its proximity to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It also has more green space than just about any other neighborhood in Center City. At the same time, Fairmount’s working-class roots are still in evidence, which makes for an intriguing cultural mix.
Fishtown: This working-class neighborhood northeast of Center City has been undergoing a major renaissance. The main thoroughfare, Frankford Avenue, has become a bustling hub of bars and boutiques. At the same time, the neighborhood’s collection of narrow streets lined by classic row houses has attracted a young, creative set of new residents.
Germantown: Originally a Quaker and Mennonite settlement, this area was absorbed into Philadelphia in the 1800s. Germantown is steeped in historical sites and buildings, including many colonial-era houses. In
fact, the 1777 Battle of Georgetown was fought in the backyard of the historical Cliveden estate found in this neighborhood.
Graduate Hospital: The hospital after which
this neighborhood south of Center City is named is no longer in operation, but the area has plenty of other features to recommend it. G-Ho, as the neighborhood is sometimes referred to for short, has seen lots of new construction, but real estate has remained affordable compared to many of the city’s other low-crime, walk- able neighborhoods.
Logan Square: This Center City neighborhood
is defined by parks, grand public institutions and the imposing Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Here, you’ll find the Franklin Institute and the Academy of Natural Sciences, as well as the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Rodin Museum.
Manayunk: This neighborhood is located in the northwest of the city, on the banks of the Schuylkill River. Manayunk’s industrial roots add to its unique charm, and prospective residents will enjoy the bus- tling commercial district and the wide range of real estate, including classic row homes, single Victorians and loft apartments.
Market East: This Center City district is where you’ll find the famous Reading Terminal Market, which has been in operation since 1892. Market East is also home to Philadelphia’s City Hall, topped by an iconic sculpture of William Penn.
Mt. Airy: This northwestern neighborhood is adjacent to Chestnut Hill and shares many of its best characteristics, such as historical single-family homes and abundant green space. The neighborhood is also notable for its diversity.
Northern Liberties: The entrepreneurial spirit is palpable in this neighborhood just north of Center City. (It’s also known as NoLibs for short.) In addition to numerous small stores and restaurants, the area is home to Yards Brewing Company and one of Philly’s most prominent tech companies, Seer Interactive. NoLibs is also one of America’s “Hippest Hipster Neighborhoods,” as determined by Forbes.
Old City: This area is also known as “America’s most historic square mile.” Independently owned boutiques, galleries and theaters have given the neighborhood an update, but its cobblestone streets and historical architecture still evoke echoes of the American Revolution.
Pennsport: This waterfront neighborhood in the city’s south was an important hub for supply and troop transpor- tation during the Civil War. Today, its parks, playgrounds and quiet streets make it a family-friendly destination.
Point Breeze: Home values are growing at a rapid clip in this multicultural South Philadelphia spot, which is bouncing back after a decline during the mid- to late 20th century. In fact, real-estate listings site Zillow predicted the neighborhood would have the hottest real-estate market in the city in 2017.
Powelton Village: This National Historic District
in West Philadelphia is home to an impressive stock of Victorian homes. One of the neighborhood’s thorough- fares, Lancaster Avenue, is still served by a streetcar line.
Queen Village: A residential neighborhood south
of Center City, Queen Village is also home to two popular shopping and dining destinations: Fashion Row and Second Street. Philadelphia’s most popular farmers’ market is hosted in this neighborhood’s Headhouse Square.
Rittenhouse Square: Famously, Rittenhouse Square is Philadelphia’s most upscale neighborhood. In addition to prime real estate, visitors and residents can find high-end stores, galleries, boutiques, theaters, bars and restaurants. The square from which the neigh- borhood takes its name is one of Philadelphia’s most popular (and beautiful) green spaces.
Society Hill: This Center City hub was one of Philadelphia’s most prominent neighborhoods until the late 19th century, when it experienced a decline. Today, Society Hill is once again thriving, and in fact has some of the area’s highest average incomes and home prices. Its well-preserved architecture and famous Franklin street lamps (so called because they were inspired by a street-lighting idea of Benjamin Franklin’s) make it the perfect place for a stroll through Philadelphia’s history.
Spring Garden: This central neighborhood is adjacent to Philadelphia’s most popular museums, but maintains a quiet, charming feel. Historical houses abound on the area’s tree-lined streets, and Spring Garden is home to Julia R. Masterman School, one of the top-ranked high schools in Pennsylvania.
Spruce Hill: Large, colorful Victorian homes and
a leafy canopy are among the defining features of
this neighborhood. Spruce Hill’s proximity to Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania makes it a highly desirable market for both renters and buyers.
University City: Philadelphia is nationally renowned for its high density of top-rated colleges and universities, but the heart of academia in the city beats in this West Philadelphia neighborhood. It’s home to Drexel University, the University of the Sciences and, perhaps most notably, an Ivy League institution — the University of Pennsylvania. The presence of these major institutions has spawned a wealth of medical facilities, research centers and entrepreneurial incubator spaces. This neighborhood is never static, and in fact, a bil- lion-dollar plan is underway to create some 18 million square feet of new development in University City.
Washington Square West: This central neigh- borhood borders on the Independence Mall area, and the eponymous Washington Square is one of the city’s most popular green spaces. Washington Square West is also famous for its many LGBT-friendly establishments and for hosting Outfest, the nation’s largest National Coming Out Day event.
Like any dynamic city, Philadelphia is changing
all the time — but arguably, whether you’re a resident, visitor or business owner, there has never been a better time to become part of its exciting evolution. | 31

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