So you’re thinking of finding an apartment in South Philly because you have a thing for Italian food. Or maybe you’re dying to have Pat’s and Geno’s and the Mummer Museum as your neighbors. Or maybe you’re sure once you find the perfect trench coat the mafia will beg you to join them. If not, you can always console yourself at the South Philly Taproom.
Those are all very good reasons to move south, but there’s more to Philly’s lower half than sauce covered carbs and overrated cheesesteak eateries.
Junior Megan Stetson, who lives on Iseminger Street, said the combination of safety, convenience, friends and things to do are what attracted her to South Philadelphia.
Transportation is always a big issue when considering a place to live. If you have a car, parking in the city is always fun, but Stetson said the key is to park during the day when everyone is at work.
The subway is a great way to get to campus and around town as well. The Broad Street subway line has five stops in South Philly and takes you straight up to Temple with no connections.
“I live a block and a half from the Broad Street Line, from the Tasker-Morris stop, it takes 20 minutes to get to school. And my roommate bikes and it takes her 20 minutes,” Stetson said.
The Broad Street Line provides easy access to Center City, as well as Old City and University City via the Market-Frankford Line.
South Philadelphia is also a great place to eat. There are many great restaurants, bars, pubs and markets. Stetson said she has seven good restaurants within a two block radius of her apartment; her favorite is Marra’s Restaurant, an Italian pizza joint at 1734 E. Passyunk Ave.
Also in the area are the famous Chickie’s and Pete’s and the South Philly Taproom, both known to be a good time, with many loyal patrons.
There are several options for groceries, including Super Fresh off Columbus Boulevard or the Italian Market on Ninth Street between Wharton and Fitzwater streets.
Another benefit of South Philly living is the neighbors, which are mostly families, Stetson said, and added that it feels very safe and cops frequently patrol the area.
If greenery strikes a soft spot in your heart, then meander over to Passyunk Square, Capitolo Square, City Park or Wharton Square for a little fun in the sun.
South Street is another nearby attraction, offering restaurants, bars and shopping.
South Philly also has its own collection of shops and services, Stetson said, including “high-end clothing shops,” banks, drycleaners, hair salons and one of Stetson’s favorites, Jack’s One Hour Photo, which she said is pretty inexpensive.
One of Stetson’s favorite things about South Philly is the festivals that take place in the summer. Stetson said there was a Hungarian Festival with food and dancing and a big party for the opening of a fountain in the neighborhood.
Affordable rents are another plus of the area, and definitely make the move worth it, Stetson said.
“We pay about $350 each, $400 including utilities and that is the most of all the people I know,” she said. “I think it’s definitely worth living in South Philly, I like living here much more than I liked living on campus.”
South Philly has a lot to offer, and is a little escape from North Philly life, all while being a short subway ride from the best Center City Philadelphia has to offer. The Philadelphia Weekly real estate section is a great place to start looking for your perfect South Philly haven.
Josh Chamberlain can be reached at Joshch@temple.edu.