Should You Move to Fairmount? A List of Pros and Cons
Is the Fairmount section of Philadelphia the right neighborhood for you? The area is full of restaurants, boutiques, and parkland. But, for all the good, there are some cons to living there. Find out if it’s the right part of Philly for you.
Also known as the Art Museum Area, the Fairmount neighborhood in Philadelphia has a lot going on. The neighborhood features many places to eat and drink, or relax or work out, as well as a number of opportunities to get social with your neighbors. The area’s community development corporation has placed a lot of emphasis on building up community and business in the neighborhood by keeping the place clean and getting residents involved in its upkeep.
Should you move to Fairmount? While there are many advantages to living in the neighborhood, there are some potentially negative aspects that you should seriously consider before making the move.
Pro: The Art Museum Is Right There
If you love arts and culture, having the Philadelphia Museum of Art just a short walk away can be a major bonus. While the admission price can be hefty ($20 per adult for two consecutive days), the museum still offers pay-what-you-wish admission on the first Sunday of the month and every Wednesday evening. You don’t even have to go inside the museum to enjoy it. The famous steps are a great place to sit and look out over the city, while the garden behind the museum are the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic or a great book. Plus, you don’t have to venture far to catch the Independence Day fireworks show at the museum.
Con: The Art Museum Is Right There
Having the art museum right in your backyard has its drawbacks, too. Every July 4, about half a million people descend on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway by the museum to catch the free concert and fireworks afterwards. The heat and the crowds can make for an unpleasant experience. Other events, such as the Labor Day weekend Made in America Music Festival, also bring an influx of people into the area, which can create parking shortages and crowded restaurants.
Pro: Near Fairmount Park
One of most attractive aspects of the neighborhood is that it’s right next to the city’s biggest park. Whether you’re a runner, biker, or walker, or you just want somewhere to go to enjoy nature, being close to Fairmount Park is a definite plus. You can hop on the Schuylkill River Trail to take the scenic route, along the river, down into Center City.
Con: Limited Grocery Options
A frequent complaint of people who live in the area is the lack of supermarkets or grocery stores nearby. If you don’t have a car, it can be challenging to get groceries in the area without heading into pricey corner stores. But while it used to be that your closest option was the Whole Foods at 21st Street, there’s now a Bottom Dollar Food on the very edge of the neighborhood, at 31st Street and Girard Avenue.
Pro: Easy to Navigate
The Fairmount area of the city earns a Walk Score of 90 and offers a number of public transit options, such as the 15 trolley that runs along Girard Avenue, and a number of buses that run through the neighborhood. If you have a car, there’s usually ample street parking. Depending on where you live in the neighborhood, you may have to purchase a parking permit.
Fairmount has a lot to offer to people who enjoy the arts and green spaces. While large events can draw a lot of action to the area, the neighborhood is typically a bit more low-key than other parts of the city, so it can be the ideal spot if you want to be in Philly but still enjoy some peace and quiet.
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