7 Things to Know before Moving to Philly

While Wikipedia is helpful, it’s hard to get a feel for a different city until you’re actually there. Here are seven things you should know about Philly before you move to the City of Brotherly Love.

1.     Measures as a big city, feels like a small town

Philadelphia is the second-largest metropolis on the East Coast, but inhabitants claim it feels much smaller. Unlike Manhattan, Philly has a close-knit neighborhood vibe that the natives love. When designing the city, William Penn included many squares so Philadelphia is packed with parks too.

2.     Is home to history

Philadelphia has great Old World charm. Founded in 1682, it played host to many famous events in our country’s history. Like Boston, Philly was the theater for many skirmishes in the Revolutionary War. It was the setting for the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as well. Also like Boston, Philly is crawling with old cobblestones. Philadelphia is home to America’s oldest residential street, Elfreth’s Alley, which dates back to 1702.

3.     Has a deregulated energy market

If you’ve previously lived in a regulated state, Pennsylvania’s power switch program probably seems foreign. In deregulated cities such as Philly, you don’t have to sign up for energy service with your utility. Instead, you have the freedom to shop energy plans and buy electricity from an independent supplier instead.

4.     Votes Democrat

Pennsylvania’s political climate is a bit complicated, but Philadelphia is decisively Democrat. As of 2009, 79% of voters registered as Democrats and in 2012, 85% of the population voted for Obama. The liberal-leaning city hasn’t seen a Republican mayor since 1952.

5.     Is a walkable and bike-able city

Prepare to burn calories, because Philadelphia is very bike- and pedestrian-friendly. Forgo your gas-guzzling car and enjoy the many bike paths around the city.

6.     Has a large Jamaican population

New York is Italian, Boston is Irish and Philly is… Jamaican? That’s right. Philadelphia boasts the second-largest Jamaican population of any city in the United States. If you’re craving jerk chicken or dancehalls, this is the city for you.

7.     …and an Italian one

Philadelphia also is home to a lot of Italians – not just the Italian Stallion. In fact, Philly’s population is second only to New York. Once you’re in town, check out the Italian Market, also known as the South 9th Street Curb Market. It’s an excellent destination for cheeses, meats, produce and seafood.