Big City Survival Tactics, Philadelphia
Listen im from philadelphia 56th and Catherine to be exact ......aside from the apperances philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods not gangs...there are no gangs in philadelphia we despise them..we are a city of individuals who make up neighborhoods and take pride of the streets that we come from...To me its safer for someone out of town to move about philadelphia than someone who is not from there because if you are from there you cant just rummage thru every neighborhood without there being consequences..If your a tourist the locals no matter what neighborhood would be more than happy to see you and help you, just you judgement and discernment on who you talk to and deal with just like anywhere else...The only people that really have to deal with the crime are people that are into the crime otherwise you can have a great life and make long term friends in philadelphia.....
If you get accosted here there is no help,people will look the other way and pretend nothing happened...that's the general attitude here. And you can't even pack weapons for defense because the victims are to blame here and the criminals get away. City of brotherly coverups.
I visited Philadelphia for about three days while on business and I have to say the city changes remarkably after dark sets on the city. During the day (especially the afternoon) there is lots of people and traffic in the Center City area (this is where I was most of the time). This made downtown Philadelphia more comfortable for me, as I am from a very urban part of the country and I like the crowds and traffic. At night, everything shuts down after 10 p.m and there isn't much to do after that. When I was walking back to my hotel through downtown I noticed many homeless people and "gangs" on the street. On one occasion I overheard a conversation going on while I was walking back and it was between a man and a woman. The man said "give me the money *****" and as he was saying this two police cars pulled up with all the lights on and I'm pretty sure he was arrested after that. Keep in mind I had no idea this was going to happen and I was leisurely walking down a main road in the Center City district of Philadelphia. If you ask me, I will not be coming back here unless it is crucial and this city is not the safest city at all.
I live in this city. And from a personal standpoint I can tell you to stay in Center city. In center city I'd advise you to stay on populated streets. Don't walk to far, or you'll walk into South Philly. The downtown suburb (South Philly downtown burbs) are okay, but I'd advise you to stay in the tourist areas. If you go too far down in SP, you might end up in the ghetto. And I know that word is bad, but yes, the ghetto. Although some of the bad neighborhoods do have nice places, the nice places really don't have anything worth seeing. I live in the NW, and it's okay. It's a moderate neighborhood. Folks around here will leave you alone, but mess around and you can be targeted. I was jumped once by a group of boys my age on a corner onetime for no reason. So, even though my neighborhood is moderate, I try to avoid young people because they are the main ones that cause all the problems. A lot of them are wannabe gangsters that have too much time on their hands. So, as I said, stay in tourist areas and don't go too far out when in Center city or you'll end up in the ghetto. And for those of you going to temple, I'd be ON MY HIGHEST OF GUARD! Most of the violence is drug related, stay away from shady looking people, and crazy people. I'd also stay away from groups of kids, (Not racist) but particularly black kids. The reason is we had a group of young black kids jumping random people in Center city....Also, center city is very expensive, how do you think they keep the neighborhoods nice???Through taxes that's how. They might be outrageous with parking, but again, they are trying to keep it nice. You also might see police officers downtown, in the subway...
It costs $4 to cross the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
Then add up to $25 for parking in the city center.
Depending on when you drive to the city center there will also be a lot of traffic.
This is some of the thoughts that you should include when you are deciding if you should stick with a cheaper hotel in Camden or a central located hotel in the city center.
Because Philly is highly dependent on tourism, in every area that would have a lot of tourists, you'll find more danger from the drivers than from criminals. The areas which truly are dangerous -- and they definitely exist in Philly -- have nothing worth visiting.
Thus, a simple rule: if you, as a visitor, have no reason to go to an area of Philly, then don't go. Do this, along with following typical street smarts (as noted above), and you'll have more trouble with cars than with crooks.
I took the subways a few times and I noticed one thing - most people wait upstair and not on the platforms. I guess thats the way how you can tell whether the platforms are safe or not....That was Day Time & I just followed . Its always good to be on the safe side !
Walking the streets after dark is not fun. I've had people ask me for drugs, hit on me, try to touch me, etc. Make sure you have some friends with you, and ignore any people that come up to you. A firm "no" works well too. My friend always brings a pocket screecher, just in case.
any city is not exactly the safest... but if you're not from here, you might not realize that philly can turn ugly in a matter of ONE block. Depending on where you are of course
IF you visit - stay away from North Philadelphia - unless someone you know who lives here wants to drive you thru it, don't go there - its worse than dangerous, and there's nothing to see anyway except for dire poverty, gangs, and lots of drugs... whatever you do - don't take the train there eitehr - bad experience! temple university is there, which may make it sound safe, but trust me - its not.
As for West Philly - the area around UPenn... some streets are going to be ok, and then you'll turn the corner adn you'll be in a war zone. Stay where all the students are..
Center City is ok for the most part - the only thing you want to be careful of is the subway or market east and suburban stations at night - Suburban more so b/c its so far under the ground that no ones cell phones work - if you were to need help, you will be stuck - no reception... and there's never any security at night making sure things are ok - if anything, try waiting at 30th street where there's more people usually - Market East can get shady too... especially at night if you're alone - a lot of homeless guys sleep there which is understandable, but again, there' sreally never any security.
I've lived here for over 10 years and only had a few problems - it all comes down to being street smart -
even during the daytime in this city, i felt very much unsafe. we were approached by strangers trying to talk to us, and also my family members were on a tour bus while someone was shooting a gun in the area! they had to cancel the tour. i would DEFINITELY not go out in this city alone at night, and be careful during the daytime. many of the smaller streets are empty during the daytime, except for one or two shady looking people, so watch out!
I have lived in Center City Philadelphia for 13 years and feel very comfortable walking anywhere in it, South Street to Vine, alone, up until about 10 pm. You can in fact walk anywhere you're going in the Center City area...it's not all that large.
As in any city, don't dangle your purse from your shoulder or put it down on the ground while you take a photo. Don't engage shady-looking characters in long converstions. Panhandlers are not dangerous. I often give food, but never money.
I work in the University City area and also feel quite safe there in the daytime. Because of less traffic and less light, I am somewhat more leery of walking around this area by myself at night.
I lived in Philly for about two years and not once have felt that I was in danger. Okay, one night I felt a bit weird in the subway as they were some really weird people there, but apart from that I can say that if you use your common sense, Philly is quite a safe place to be. First - City Center is really safe. I worked for a criminal lawyer in Philly and know from there that hardly any serious crime happens here. Lots of crime happens in North Philadelphia and another really nasty spot is the corner of Broad Street and Girard. Don't go there. If you come for sightseeing, you will mainly be in City Center anyway. I lived on 'Temple University campus and the campus is pretty safe. But don't go to the adjoining areas. On the corner of Cecil B. Moore and Broad Street some of my fellow students had to witness a double murder on a Sunday afternoon. To sum up: stick to City Center, University City and Temple Campus. South Philly is okay during daylight, though not too recommendable. Stay away from Northern Philadelphia. The subway is pretty safe during the day. In the evening, don't take it if you don't have to or stay within a group of friends. Rather take a cab or a bus. Avoid getting gas at night, you might be surrounded by shady figures asking for money within a few seconds (happened to a friend of mine). Apart from that - do what you should always do: don't wave around with money and don't go into unfamiliar and shady areas.
Ok. every major city in the world has traffic problems... and I have been in most of them haha. But, what is unique about the east coast of the U.S. is that there are so many major cities very close together.. Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. So, when you travel you have to worry not just about the traffic in one city but others.
The pic I took here was the third major traffic jam I was in driving from Dover, DE to Philadelphia on Interstate 95. One was a 13 mile backup!! When I drive to Washington D.C on business from Philadephia, I count my blessings when I can make it all the way there without being in a traffic jam. There is always heavy traffic on the major interstates between the cities and within them as well.
If you planning on driving on the east coast... realize the time frames for your normal rush hours.. 7-9 am and 4 - 7pm, Monday to Friday. But... also realize that in the summer months traffic is very very heavy on Friday nights going south and East and on Sundays going North and west. This is mostly beach traffic and you can get stuck in some nasty traffic jams at toll booths or bridges. Just hope there isn't an accident somewhere ... yikes :)
Friday nights and Sunday nights can get heavy all year also because a lot of people commute from where they work.. to where they live or have family.
In Philadephia.. listen to the AM radio station 1060 for traffic updates.... I don't go anywhere without tuning in and if you have computer access, check out the traffic.com website before you take that drive.
Philadelphia has it's dangers just like any big city. I will just give you a brief reminder of the things you should keep in mind while in the city.
Don't walk alone at night, and be mindful of your surroundings.
Never carry large sums of money on your person, or leave them in your hotel room-- leave extra money in the safe at the front desk.
(This one may appear racist, but it is not intended to be, it's just 'the way it is'.) Some communities in the city do not welcome people of other ethnic or sexual persuasions or race. While I think it is sad and close minded on their part, you can be putting your self in danger if you go in these areas uninvited or unescorted. Be mindful of where you are-- you could be entering someone else's *territory*. (I think this whole thing is stressful, which is one of the reasons I could never live in the city.)
Don't leave valuables in plain view in your vehicle and lock the doors.
Parking is an absolute nightmare in Philadelphia. Plan extra time to find a spot if you have an appointment. Expect to pay exhorbitant prices to park. I suggest you leave your car behind and use public transportation.
Philly has reliable transportation-- trolly, subway, bus, high speedline, train-- we've got it all. They can take you wherever you want to go. Just one word of caution, Philly's underground subway is one of the filthiest I have ever seen, and some really shady charaters are about-- but it can get you where you need to go.
None really, except the normal: Be aware of your surroundings all the time, never give any money to beggers( which I am sure you dont do anyway)!.There are plenty of police around the historical sites, so if you ever feel unsafe or lost, they can help you.