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November 24, 2010 8:47 AM   Subscribe

[Philadelphia filter] - Does anyone have any knowledge of the Point Breeze neighborhood in South Philly?

I've been looking to buy a house in South Philly to be my primary residence. One of the properties I saw yesterday is in Point Breeze. Does anyone know how this neighborhood rates as far as safety? Any info or anecdotes are welcome. I have been looking through dispatch records but would like a more person-to-person opinion of the area. The property is on Dickinson between 22 and 23rd st. Thanks.
posted by WeekendJen to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
My standard reference for "is this neighborhood safe" in Philly is the Philadelphia Inquirer shooting map.

You will see that this is not the best neighborhood.

Now, I know you asked for personal opinions, and I don't know this neighborhood that well. But I will say that this map correlates well with my opinions in neighborhoods that I know better.
posted by madcaptenor at 9:00 AM on November 24, 2010


Heya! I live around the corner (a few blocks west and a few blocks north) in Grays Ferry, and I'd say that it depends on your experience living in the city.

My fiance lived in this house for a year or so before I lived here with him, but I can tell you that they were burgled shortly after they moved in (by kids!), and our car has been broken into for the change in console. Our immediate neighborhood is relatively quite (with the occasional loud party), but I've been through your potential neighborhood and it's been both quiet and loud.

Honestly, my biggest advice to you is to go to that neighborhood at different times during the day and just walk around. You'll get an immediate sense as to whether you feel comfortable there.

If you have more specific questions, memail me!
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:07 AM on November 24, 2010


If I had to write Jeopardy questions for a category called "Point Breeze" they would go like this:

- Q: Where did the police find your car after it was stolen, stripped and dumped?

- Q: Where is there an organized campaign to keep white people from moving in? (link)

- Q: Someone is shot in South Philadelphia. Where did the shooting occur (within a statistical probability of 90%)?

(A) Point Breeze. All of them.

Point Breeze is terrible. Just absolutely awful. All of it. Want to move to Philly. The Philadelphia Speaks forum has a map you may be interested in. Not surprisingly it almost perfectly mirrors the 'where are people shot' and 'where is shit more expensive' maps.
posted by datacenter refugee at 9:19 AM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe, maybe the eastern edge, that's now being rebranded as "Newbold", is okay. I have some good friends on Hicks and Mifflin, around the South Philly Tap Room, and that part of the neighborhood is fine. I'd never buy west of 16th, maybe 17th though.

On preview, this corresponds exactly to datacenter refugee's map. 22nd and Dickinson? No.
posted by The Michael The at 9:28 AM on November 24, 2010


Q: Where is there an organized campaign to keep white people from moving in?

Ok, I was trying to avoid bringing it into the mix, but I am white (and female - will be living alone). So if that affects your answer (even though I want to live in a world where it doesn't) I suppose it should be known.

nice map, datacenter, thanks.
posted by WeekendJen at 9:29 AM on November 24, 2010


Honestly, datacenter refugee, gentrification is a valid issue in that neighborhood, and I applaud any neighborhood that is trying to protect its (mostly lower income) inhabitants from the windfalls of gentrification.

However, your snarky comment is NOT a personal experience at all, and frankly, linking to a forum with such a big problem with racism that they had to make a sticky post with "new rules" against it isn't really going to help the OP.

On preview, WeekendJen, I too, am female, and although I don't live alone, I've had nothing but good experiences interacting with the people in my neighborhood. In fact, just the other day I was walking my dogs and a guy was nice enough to warn me about a pack of stray dogs he saw wandering around (I've seen them, too, they aren't dangerous), and we had a nice conversation.

Again, it really depends on how long you've lived in a city and how comfortable you are in the particular neighborhood. Please memail me if you have specific questions! I can even tell you where abouts I live.
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:40 AM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


The thing with Philly, and most transitional neighborhoods in general, is that you can have a nice, well organized block which is surrounded by godawful smoking pits of terror. The area you reference is like that.

You can have friendly, cool people on your block, but the people who live behind you or on the next block over could have a chip on their shoulder because of something totally unrelated to you, and you'll pay for it. It's not even a white or black thing, and often it's not a rich and poor thing. It's a "we were here first, and you have no right to be here" thing. Do you want to fight that fight?

In that exact area, I have friends who were threatened, tires slashed, experienced all manner of mayhem just because they decided to legally, peacefully settle in a house that was in someone else's family for years. I have also heard of people who love it, and have not had problems. It's BLOCK TO BLOCK.

Most importantly, you will probably walk through godawful smoking pits of terror to get from nice block to nice block. Point Breeze is definitely one place where you will find a perfectly safe block surrounded by some of the worst neighborhoods this side of insert your favorite war torn country here. I suppose you can be all hip and cool and try to make it work with people who absolutely do not want you there. I've seen it happen before, but I am not an 'urban pioneer'. I value my sanity and safety of my family, so I wouldn't live there if you paid me. There are so many other great, great places that you can live in this city and the surrounding area that will fit your budget, so don't let a Real Estate agent tell you otherwise.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 10:18 AM on November 24, 2010


Well, two lights above the sea, what would it take to convince you that having my car stolen, stripped and dumped in PB is personal experience? A photo of the recovered vehicle? The Police report? Sorry I don't have any of it actually ON 25th - The cops called and told me I had a half hour to get there so I had to bike it in from Pennsport, where we don't steal cars.
posted by datacenter refugee at 10:58 AM on November 24, 2010


Well, two lights above the sea, what would it take to convince you that having my car stolen, stripped and dumped in PB is personal experience? A photo of the recovered vehicle? The Police report? Sorry I don't have any of it actually ON 25th - The cops called and told me I had a half hour to get there so I had to bike it in from Pennsport, where we don't steal cars.

Who is we? White people? Pennsport people? I'm pretty sure I don't steal cars... I'm relatively certain that everyone in Point Breeze wouldn't qualify as car thieves... So I'm not really sure you are referring to.

My only point was that you shared less than quality information with the OP. It's clear that you have some prejudice against this neighborhood. I'm sorry for whatever happened to your car, but the entire neighborhood is not to blame. There are great people in every neighborhood, and I'm not trying to argue that Point Breeze is a picture of perfection (or even close to it). Not everyone would be comfortable here. I even shared our negative experiences here, but bad things happen everywhere. A friend of mine was burgled in a neighborhood that showed up as "green" on your map. I've had a knife pulled on me in the quaint neighborhood of Fitler Square in broad daylight with a big scary dog by my side. Welcome to Philadelphia.
posted by two lights above the sea at 11:12 AM on November 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


datacenter - Another place I liked was on Marshall St, south of Wolf (more towards tour area) any opinions on safety there?

Two lights - If you are familiar with that area I'd love to hear your take on it as well.
posted by WeekendJen at 11:19 AM on November 24, 2010


*your
posted by WeekendJen at 11:20 AM on November 24, 2010


I think the only way you can really tell is if you go there and walk around, like two lights suggested. If you don't feel comfortable walking around there just as a visitor, it's unlikely you'll feel great about having your primary residence there.

I have to say, I bike through that area sometimes in order to get to work (I live in South Philly but east of Broad), and while it isn't terrifying during the day, I'm always slightly relieved to make it through without getting a flat tire or having to get off my bike for any reason. Nothing's ever happened to me around there (my worst encounter with a fellow citizen happened in a very nice part of graduate hospital!) but it's just a feeling I have.

If you're looking to buy an affordable house in South Philly, I would recommend looking at properties farther south and east, like 5th-7th and Snyder area. I used to live around there and I never felt unsafe walking around, even though there were the occasional shenanigans.
posted by Aubergine at 11:36 AM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Agree with Aubergine that you might look south & east; good friend just bought a decently priced house at 10th & Jackson, & while the neighborhood isn't perfect, it's infinitely better than Point Breeze.
posted by azure_swing at 8:40 PM on November 24, 2010


I would consider Point Breeze a bad choice as a "starter" neighborhood for someone new to South Philly. There are better blocks, and certainly good people living there, but the neighborhood in general has a lot of very serious problems with crime, and you have to get to your good block somehow.

If you were already familiar with the neighborhood and found a great house on a good block in a borderline area, I'd say you should consider going for it. If you're unfamiliar with interpreting South Philly neighborhood politics in the area, I think you'll regret buying a house there.
posted by desuetude at 8:11 PM on November 27, 2010


Sorry I don't have any of it actually ON 25th - The cops called and told me I had a half hour to get there so I had to bike it in from Pennsport, where we don't steal cars.

WTF? Oh, for pete's sake, if we're going to deal in broad generalizations, I don't think you want to cite Pennsport as the bastion of civility.
posted by desuetude at 8:16 PM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


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