Pennsylvanians?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by itcheroni, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    CA
    #1
    Hello there, this life-long Californian needs some help deciding where to move in Pennsylvania. The two choices are Carlisle and University Park (I got into Penn State law school and they are building new facilities near their main campus while maintaining their old Carlisle facility). I have no idea what either city is like. All I know is that the main campus has 40k students and Carlisle is a bit smaller. I have no preference on size as long as there's something to do. Can anyone in the know offer any advice? Thanks in advance.

    I'm also considering buying a cheap (~110k) house wherever I do decide on, so that's another factor.
     
  2. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    Location:
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    #2
    Both are small towns. Carlisle I think is smaller but State College is more remote. State College has some culture and a lot of bars. Not sure about Carlisle, haven't been there in a decade and a half. I am 15 minutes away from Penn State's main campus and paid $75k for a 2 bed 1.5 bath.
     
  3. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

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    Location:
    washington dc
    #3
    To say the least, however it's a beautiful small town. Dickinson College is the main attraction, with stately buildings throughout the main section of town. You might be able to take advantage of their library? Not sure if PennState is in any sort of consortium with Dickinson or not.

    George's Subs on Main Street is a definite place to go for a snack.

    I don't know how far the drive from Carlisle to your campus would be.
     
  4. itcheroni thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Thanks for your replies. I truly appreciate them.

    Dickinson School of Law was once part of Dickinson College but is now the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. But they're building a new law facility near the main campus. So I get to choose which campus I go to.

    How would you guys rate both cities politically. Left leaning, right leaning? Any night life?
     
  5. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #5
    Carlisle has Harrisburg for nightlife.
     
  6. sonictruth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #6
    I live roughly 20 minutes from Carlisle (just across the river from Harrisburg), rented an apartment in Carlisle from 1996-1998 before buying a house, and have work-related projects in both State College and Carlisle (Dickinson College is actually a client of mine). Everyone's opinions ahead of mine are pretty accurate, but I thought I could add a little.

    Carlisle is a relatively distant suburb of Harrisburg, and while living there, I did most Harrisburg area-based errands and activities as part of the work day rather than get on Route 81 and travel northeast to H'bg. Carlisle has much better commercial facilities than it did in 1998; for instance a new Target now exists in Carlisle (and another brutal WalMart). The town itself has some good bars (Market Cross Pub - around-the-world beer menu with a passport) and Dickinson College adds some culture. The immediate Harrisburg area is ultimately still better for anything commercial or cultural though; both areas are significantly improved relative to the mid-1990s. I found that Dickinson's activities are generally unadvertised to the public, and even though living only a few blocks away from the campus, it was its own world. (I get far more Dickinson vibe from judging the science fair there and working for them than I ever did living nearby.)

    The benefits of Carlisle relative to State College, I suppose, are proximity to the state capitol/sens and reps, courthouses/judges, and the overall political scene in Harrisburg. State College is a college town and only a college town. Overwhelmed with undergrads for 9 months and dead the rest; despite many grad students, it is an undergrad town through and through. Harrisburg has a (slightly) more mature social scene and a similar level of culture, albeit not associated with a college (not a bad thing at all). Oh, and nature is great in both areas - the Appalachian Trail is 10 min away from Carlisle and is the basis of many of my hikes.

    I was even offered a job in State College at one point and chose to remain in this area just because, in general, State College is just more excluded from everything. It's all what you're looking for though of course...
     
  7. sonictruth macrumors member

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    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #7
    Just your q about political leanings...
    Central PA is absolute right-wing hell, whether in Carlisle or State College, certainly as far as the locals go. Campuses are liberal havens, and well, State College is a college town and would have to be more liberal as a whole. At the end of the day though, us lefties get by plenty well anywhere around here.
     
  8. itcheroni thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Sonictruth, thanks for your thorough post, it really helped me make my decision. And how do you know I'm a liberal and not some neocon? Maybe I'll be voting for Santorum. :D

    But seriously, you really sold me on Carlisle. I went to a big college town, Berkeley, for my undergrad and I loved Berkeley for all the things that were independent of the university. But I hate the idea of being stuck in an isolated college culture. That whole scene never really fit for me. And now that I'm almost 25, it would be ridiculous to go back to that environment.

    Now it's time for me to look at house listings. :)
     
  9. sonictruth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #9
    I would've said the same thing no matter what you are... But Santorum now...them's fightin' words...momma git the gun

    Glad to have helped, and if you find yourself stumbling around for info about the area, feel free to respark the thread.
     
  10. debroglie macrumors 6502a

    debroglie

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    Aug 19, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #10
    Ok, I'm going to be going to Drexel soon.

    Any suggestions? I'm probably looking at an apartment-type living situation.
     
  11. vniow macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
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    I accidentally my whole location.
    #11
    You mean there's places where you can buy entire houses for that cheap???
     
  12. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    Check out upstate and central NY...if you know where to look you can buy legit houses for 50-80k. Not that I'd really want to live there, however. (kind of middle-of-knowhere-y)
     
  13. sonictruth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #13
    In a small town here, like Carlisle, you can buy a nice fixer-upper for maybe 90k. 110k would probably get you an older freestanding home with a quarter acre and about 1300 sq ft. My sister and her husband just bought a really nice, completely renovated, modern kitchen with island blah blah blah, 1970s-era home with almost a half acre in a wooded development for 230k; at least 2200 sq ft.
    BUT BUT BUT, a percentage increase here is meaningless compared to a percentage increase in SF or Jersey/NY. My home's gone up maybe 65k in 8 yrs (50% increase); a friend's home in NJ bought for the same amount at the same time went up more than 130k (>100%). Kills me sometimes - dude's got some real cabbage now and if she moved here she could buy a dream home.
     
  14. quigleybc macrumors 68030

    quigleybc

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Location:
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
    #14
    State College is a bubble.....

    They make their own laws, frats dominate the scene, and there are way too many Uni Marts....:p

    The music scene is way too weak for a town built up of over 40 k young people.

    Football weekends are bedlam...good luck ever parking, and when you do, you'll get a ticket for no reason.

    On the up side, there are more cheesesteak places than anywhere I've seen (other than philly)

    no one charges for beers at parties, there are many hotties (but they seem very scared for some reason...) It's a mac friendly joint....oh and speaking of the latter, it's in short supply...

    all things that I'm sure matter to someone going to graduate school for law....

    It's a fun place for 18-22 year olds....aka college town
     
  15. iamhammill macrumors 6502

    iamhammill

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Location:
    York, PA
    #15
    Yeah I love State College. We always stop on our way to Erie for some lunch or whatever. Lot's of cool little stores, great reasturantes, and of course football games. I've been through Carlise, but never stayed there. Looks like a really friendly town.

    If I had the choice though, State College. It's the third largest city in PA on Saturdays! Haha, either way I think you'll be happy.
     
  16. itcheroni thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 23, 2005
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    CA
    #16
    I know! Last night on the news, Los Angeles County finally crossed the threshold of a mean (in every sense of the word) housing price of $500K. WTF? How the hell can an average middle class person afford that? I call it the California tax. A Californian's mortgage for a comparable house in most other areas of the country will be about $2000 more. Most of my friends argue that because California is such a great place to live, it's worth the premium. And when they hear of houses costing 100k, they picture bumblefacken nowhere. They've never lived anywhere else, so they have no idea they're completely wrong! :D I think different. :)

    You couldn't pay to stay in this festering circuit board of traffic, smog, and dispair. The bay area at least as some redeeming qualities, but I have no idea why anyone not pursuing show business or filthy rich would want to live here. Sure, there won't be as many uberliberals like me in PA, but it's worth it not to feel ineffectual.

    My only concern is Mexican food and In-n-Out. Steak n Shake makes up for it but it's all the way in the Pitts.
     
  17. itcheroni thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 23, 2005
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    CA
    #17
    That's a good thing for me. I am a very impulsive person and psychologically addicted. I smoke whenever anything is accesable. And I know my brain is just hindered enough to keep me from expressing thoughts academically. Plus I've had my fill living in California and visiting Holland 3 times ;)
     
  18. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #18
    Yeah. Our "rich people houses" are around $200k, maybe even 150k. A very nice smaller house is probably 100k, some more like 50-80k. :)

    EDIT: And we're not even close to in the middle of nowhere. :)
     
  19. itcheroni thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    #19
    Hello folks, I'm planning my transportation and need some help. I found a $199 fare from LA to Pittsburgh on Jetblue and am considering renting a car for a day from the airport. I can drop it off in Mechanicsburg the next day for a total of $90, I think. What I'm wondering about is bus routes. Do any of you folks know if I will be able to take a bus from Mechanicsburg back to Carlisle? Thanks in advance.
     
  20. itcheroni thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    CA
    #20
    Anyone? I know there are a lot of you guys on here. :D
     
  21. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    Jun 25, 2002
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    Gone but not forgotten.
    #21
    Check Greyhound online. You could probably also check Amtrak since trains are a lot more accessible in PA.

    debroglie:

    Check Upper Darby for apartments and take the Market-Frankford line to 34th street. It's cheaper and safer.
     
  22. itcheroni thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 23, 2005
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    CA
    #22
    Hey thanks. I'm not sure what all that is but I'm going to google it. I thought greyhound only did really long routes. Mechanicsburg is only 11 miles from Carlisle. Or are you suggesting I take it from the airport?
     
  23. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    Jun 25, 2002
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    Gone but not forgotten.
    #23
    Greyhound buses possibly run from the airport. Amtrak runs the length of the state. Either will most likely sell a short range ticket but check with them. I'm no agent. You could always buy a cheap bicycle, if nothing else works out.
     
  24. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #24
    Fly into PHL and grab SEPTA to the Amtrak station. Amtrak stops everywhere in the Harrisburg area.
     
  25. sonictruth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #25
    depending on when you arrive in Mechanicsburg, either my wife or I could make the time for a whopping 10-min drive to Carlisle... let me know. can't help with bus info though - i'd have to rely on the same internets you have.
     

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