You Can’t Be Too Rich or Too Thin

Fat, poor, and uneducated. On the bright side…

What is the hardest place in the Philadelphia area to live?

Thanks to data reporting by the New York Times Magazine, we have an answer. The Times used six data points to rate the livability in every county in the country: education (percentage of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree), median household income, unemployment, disability, life expectancy and obesity.

Clay County, Kentucky was determined to be the hardest place in America to live. Los Alamos County in New Mexico, a hub of scientific research, is the easiest place to live.

But let’s get back to Philadelphia. Is anyone shocked that the City of Philadelphia is the hardest place in the area to live using these metrics? But it was Chester County, not Montgomery County, that was the easiest.

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30th Street Station Among Nation’s Busiest

30th Street Station. Photo | Jeff Fusco

30th Street Station. Photo | Jeff Fusco

“Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station is the third-busiest Amtrak station in the U.S., trailing only New York City’s Penn Station and Washington, D.C.’s Union Station,” Technically Philly reports. More than 4 million Amtrak passengers passed through 30th Street Station last year — a number that doesn’t include additional use from SEPTA riders.

See Technically Philly’s report for a map of all Amtrak destinations and their relative busy-ness.

Morning Headlines: PA and NJ Are in “20 Worst States to Make a Living”

The website has published research results that rank the 50 states according to a proprietary metric they call Compensation and Quality Factor pertaining to employment. It’s based on four factors:

  • Average salary, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • Cost of living, based on data from C2ER.
  • Employment rate, based on BLS data.
  • Workplace conditions, based on the “Work Environment” component of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The best state for job-searching and employment quality is Washington, which has one of the highest average incomes in the country. There’s also no state income tax and workplace conditions are tops.

The worst is Hawaii, which has a very high cost of living but wages that don’t compensate.

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10 Places to Mooch Free Air Conditioning in Philadelphia


It was Thomas Jefferson who famously wrote that the core of American identity rides on the preservation of life, liberty and the ability to blast every cell in our sickly bodies with frigid artificial air the second the weather gets slightly hot. But what Jefferson failed to consider when penning his seminal treatises (note to stoned high-school students: He didn’t actually write that, head elsewhere to plagiarize) was just how much the cost of energy would rise along with the republic.

Not sure what kind of setup T-Jeff had at Monticello, but it was likely more efficient than the junkbox ‘80s-era window units most of us rely on to chill our sweatbox South Philly apartments. There’s no more defeating feeling than swimming through sauna-like, ice-on-neck surroundings, only to be steamrolled by an insane PECO bill whose total resembles Chase Utley’s batting average (good Chase, we mean). What’s a stinky, sticky, sans-central-air citizen to do?

Mooch off other peoples’ AC, of course.

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Philadelphia Named 6th Best City for Singles

Pat yourself on the back, single people. According to, Philadelphia is the sixth-best city for singles in the country. Before you get too excited, please note that the list includes Jersey City (Jersey City!) at No. 9 and the usual suspects (Seattle, Boston, D.C., New York, San Francisco) in the top five. But, hey, sixth-best is pretty good!

Per the site, 26 percent of Philadelphia’s population is single (and the median one-bedroom rent is $1,295 — and, yeah, you can live for much cheaper than that if you look around a bit).

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Philadelphia Is One of 20 Most Walkable Metros

night market old cityNext City reports today on Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros, a report by the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University School of Business.  The report’s authors, Christopher B. Leinberger and Patrick Lynch, come to some pretty interesting conclusions about the way cities are changing when it comes to walkable urbanism. From Next City:

Leinberger and Lynch’s operating premise is that Americans with options are increasingly moving away from what they call “drivable sub-urban” in favor of walkable urban places, which they call WalkUPs — basically, places where offices and stores are walking distance from homes and where those spaces are beginning to fetch higher rents because of demand.

The report on the 30 largest metros in the country divides results into current walkable urbanism and future walkable urbanism; and then demonstrates the way walkability is related to education and wealth.

Charts below.

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The 10 People You’ll Meet at Center City Sips


You’d think in America’s best beer-drinking city, we’d be about to put up a united front in our appreciation for cheap weeknight booze. But alas, this is Philadelphia and we are nothing if not contrarian. Every summer we become a city divided.

Half of us love Center City Sips, claiming that the Wednesday night happy hour version of Restaurant Week is the perfect way to celebrate Hump Day — even better if you can find a spot that serves booze outdoors. It’s an amazing reason to socialize on a Wednesday and a great way to meet other people in the city, we say earnestly while clutching a $3 Coors Light can. The other half of us grit our teeth and grumble at the watered-down cocktails and lukewarm appetizers. Half-priced cheesesteak spring rolls are not enough to win over the naysayers of Sips! We would rather pay full price on Tuesday, we exclaim, eyebrows crinkled with condescension.

Sips detractors have a valid point: Just like Restaurant Week can sometimes make perfectly acceptable eateries unbearable, Sips can turn your favorite bar into a business-casual nightmare. But week after week, I watch the bars fill up with excited swillers. Throughout the city, cabs circle popular Sips spots, knowing that tipsy imbibers will not have the energy to walk home to Fairmount after two hours of guzzling $4 Cabernet and stuffing their bellies with sliders and hummus plates. Just like we can count on Santa to be at Macy’s on Black Friday and Bill Cosby to be at Temple’s graduation, there are certain characters at every iteration of Center City Sips.

Behold, the 10 people you’ll see every Wednesday from now through August:

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Springfield, PA Ranks High on “Most Like The Simpsons” List

Bart Simpson messes with your head, via

Bart Simpson messes with your head, via

Estately Real Estate Search analyzed 11 different data sets to arrive at its rankings of which actual cities most resemble the fictional Springfield portrayed on “The Simpsons.”  The chart below shows the criteria as well as each state’s ranking in each category. As you’ll see, Pennsylvania does well not only with power plants, which we knew, but with businesses named “Moe’s,” which I would not personally have assumed.

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Philly Ranked 7th Best Vacation Spot for the Health Conscious



When out-of-towners think of Philly, the first thing that comes to mind is usually a gigantic, greasy Philly Cheesesteak. Delicious? Yes. Healthy? Not so much. So imagine our surprise when we heard that Philly came in seventh on a recent list of Best Vacation Spots for the Health Conscious. I’m not complaining, but … huh?

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