Want to Live Longer? Move to Lancaster.

They say this city can kill you. Well now we have proof.

Graphic from Measure of American of the Social Science Research Council's report "<a href=

The Social Science Research Council’s Measure of America project has released a report called “Geographies of Opportunity: Ranking Well-Being by Congressional District” in which they measure health, access to knowledge and living standards within the country’s 435 congressional districts as well as Washington, D.C. Only a few states get called out for special notice, and wouldn’t you know it, Pennsylvania is one of them.

pa-district-2There’s a special section called “A Tale of Two Districts: Life Expectancy in Pennsylvania.” The reason the state gets special attention is because it’s an outlier in terms of the health metric, and not in a good way. “Only four districts outside the South have life expectancies of less than 76 years,” the report reads, and one of those is Pennsylvania Congressional District 2, shown at left, which covers much of West Philly, and  other surrounding neighborhoods. The average life expectancy in this district is 75.6 years, to be precise, which is several years below the national average. Read more »

Do You Live In One of Philly’s Most Expensive Suburbs?

No bottle shop, no thanks. | Shutterstock.com

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Is this even a list you want your town to be on? Unlike their “10 Best Philadelphia Suburbs” list, which inspired a lot discussion some weeks ago, Movoto has taken a dollar centric approach with their latest catalog: the 10 most expensive Philadelphia suburbs.

Movoto’s Cassie Sheets says data examined included median home values, cost of living, affordability ratio (that is, “median home value divided by median household income”), and the percentage of income spent on rent. Much like their “10 Best,” AreaVibes was hit up for help in narrowing down the list, as was data from the U.S. Census. All this info was then averaged “into one overall Big Deal Score where the lowest scores were our most expensive Philadelphia suburbs.”

You can see the full list below, but here are the top 10–do you see your ‘burb on the list?:

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Philly One of the Most Overpriced Cities of 2015?

Would Philly even be on here if it weren’t for Nashville, Kansas City, Little Rock, New Orleans, and others being knocked off for lack of sufficient data? Who knows, but as it stands, it’s in at no. 24 on Forbes’ “America’s Most Overpriced Cities In 2015″ list.

According to writer Erin Carlyle, the list was compiled after singling out the largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Metropolitan Divisions (i.e. “cities and their surrounding suburbs as defined by the Office of Management and Budget”), and then examining their most recent housing stats (in this case, 2014’s fourth quarter), as provided by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo. “The quarterly index weighs median prices for homes sold against median income levels to determine the percentage of homes that are affordable to residents making the median income,” writes Carlyle.

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Site Ranks Top 10 Philly ’Burbs — Did They Get It Right?

Movoto staff writer Natalie Grigson took on the brave task of compiling one of those lists that is just begging for naysayers: the 10 Best Philadelphia Suburbs. 

Grigson’s picks as they appear:

1. Devon, PA
2. Blue Bell, PA
3. Wyncote, PA
4. Bryn Mawr, PA
5. Flourtown, PA
6. Berwyn, PA
7. Swarthmore, PA (tie)
7. Haddonfield, NJ (tie)
9. Narberth, PA
10. Fort Washington, PA

So what do you think? Any ‘burbs the Movoto list overlooked? Which would you take out and which would you replace it with? Keep in mind that business listings and AreaVibes were used to shape the list, and criteria examined were things like amenities per capita, median home price, median rentals, standard of living, overall crimes, weather, and more.

These Are The 10 Best Philadelphia Suburbs [Movoto]

10 Philly Instagrams You Should Definitely Follow

A photo posted by Ryan Rector (@recthedirector) on

City Hall, Robert Indiana’s LOVE statue, the PMA steps—all sites you and I (and probably every tourist with an iPhone) are sure to have photographed, filtered, and posted on Instagram at some point during our wanderings in Philadelphia. And while such pictures of Philly are expected, this Instagram roundup pointedly turns away from the go-to snapshot spots.

Instead, we’ve chosen to feature 10 (really, 11) IG accounts whose principal focus are infrequently noticed aspects of the city, be it architecture, interior spaces, abandoned buildings, or other rarely appreciated cityscape scenes. Of course, you can’t just talk about #phillygrams and not mention @StreetsDept, Conrad Benner’s stunning 94,000-follower Instagram gallery (he also has a photo blog) filled with artfully immortalized Philly graffiti, street art, and urbex

However, for the purposes of bringing what may be potentially new images to you, we’ve decided to include lesser known IG users (but you should still follow him if you don’t already!), which brings us to our next point: Property will now feature a “Photo of the Week” each Friday!

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Is Camden Really America’s Most Dangerous City?

In this April 15, 2014 file photo, Camden County Metro police officers Lucas Murray, left, and Daniel Torres react to what they thought was a gunshot, but turned out to be a car backfiring, as they patrol a neighborhood in Camden, N.J.  The crime rate always fluctuates, but recent improvements in Camden are getting major attention because of the circumstances. The city’s old police department was dissolved in 2013 and replaced with a force run by the county government. With lower costs per officer, the new force is bigger, allowing for more beat-driven police work and preventative policing. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

In this April 15, 2014 file photo, Camden County Metro police officers Lucas Murray, left, and Daniel Torres react to what they thought was a gunshot, but turned out to be a car backfiring, as they patrol a neighborhood in Camden, N.J. The crime rate always fluctuates, but recent improvements in Camden are getting major attention because of the circumstances. The city’s old police department was dissolved in 2013 and replaced with a force run by the county government. With lower costs per officer, the new force is bigger, allowing for more beat-driven police work and preventative policing. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

Another year, another list ranking Camden as America’s most dangerous city. We’re used to it by now, right?

Maybe not. Camden officials are ready to push back against the latest ranking, this time from the NeighborhoodScout website. (Chester, also right next door to Philadelphia, ranked second on the list.)

“The worst days of Camden City are behind it,” says Louis Cappelli Jr., executive director of the Camden County Board of Freeholders.

Here’s why he might be right: The NeighborhoodScout website figured its rankings based on 2013 data, the most recent year for which comprehensive nationwide crime statistics are available. But the last two years have seen an overhaul in the way Camden is policed — and a corresponding drop in violent crime.

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WTF Lists: Philadelphia Ranked #2 Shopping City In the World (Huh?)

Rittenhouse-Shopping

Ninobrand and Commonwealth Proper, two of Philly’s top shopping spots. | Photos by Courtney Apple.

Well, here’s a distinction that raised some eyebrows around the office: a Condé Nast Traveler reader’s choice list ranked Philadelphia as the second-best shopping city in the world. Let that sink in for a moment.

Yep. There we are, nestled right between Barcelona, Spain, and Hong freaking Kong. We beat out Tokyo (#19), Houston (#16), Florence (#11), and Paris (Paris!) which came in at a head-scratching #23. The last of the 24 cities on the list? New York City.

No one beats the ‘Philly is an amazing shopping town!’ drum more than me. I love our retail landscape, from our national newcomers to our tried-and-true boutiques. Our shopping options are getting better and more varied each year. But #2 in the world? No way.

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Pubic Hair, Lilly Pulitzer and Nordstrom Rack: Shoppist’s Top 10 Posts of 2014

Top-10

It’s been a big year here at Shoppist. The retail landscape in Philly is ever-changing (Burberry out! Michael Kors in! Uniqlo’s takeover! Century 21 madness! Joan Shepp … in an old mattress store?) and the shopping is as good as ever.

We’ve told you about vagina beauty treatments, dished the crazy makeup secrets you’ll learn at a Philly prison, and showed you the best holiday gifts in local stores. We also broke news on store openings (and, sigh, closings) and gave you sneak peeks at stores before they opened to the public. Unsurprisingly, these were some of the most popular posts of the year. But it’s not all store previews and retail news—you guys also had some pretty strong opinions about pubic hair and the Oxford Valley Mall. Here’s a look at the top 10 posts of 2014. Have a happy new year, and we’ll see you in 2015.

Click here for more.

Stream It: Top 20 Workout Songs of 2014

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In the past year, we’ve put together many a playlist over here at Be Well Philly. And all of this playlist-making was great preparation for our very last playlist of the year: Our top 20 favorite workout songs of the year—’tis the season for “best of” lists, after all. On this playlist, you’ll find a little bit of everything, from Miranda Lambert to Jennifer Lopez (um, can we talk about how enviable her abs are?) to Hozier, and more. And if you feel like something is missing, that something would be Taylor Swift whose “Blank Space” would no doubt have made the list, but alas, her music is no longer available on Spotify. Your loss, Taylor.

Now, grab your headphones and your running shoes and make these last workouts of the year count. And if you’re feeling nostalgic (this time of year tends to have that effect, doesn’t it?), head over here to stream our favorite workout songs from 2013.

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