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Talk:Philadelphia/Center City

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Revision as of 01:23, 15 November 2009 by Rouge (talk | contribs)
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Neighborhoods in Center City

I'm beginning to do some significant work on the Center City district page. I'd like to know if it would be possible to create new pages for the neighborhoods within the CC district, since many of them are distinct and have a lot of restaurants, things to do, etc. within them. For example, Chinatown, Rittenhouse square, Washington Square West, Old City: these different neighborhoods all have many, many different restaurants, etc. within their borders and each have very different things to do and see, not to mention buy. Can we please allow for each of these neighborhoods to have its own page?Valkyrie23 18:27, 10 June 2009 (EDT)

Maybe. There are two major concerns with creating (or subdividing) new districts: 1) Borders must be strictly defined. 2) All districts should be able to support a well developed district article (example). The second concern means that all the standard sections will be filled out nicely when the article is "finished." It's often a good idea to hold off on subdividing until the article being divided is overflowing with content. Maybe it would be a good idea to add content first, split the article later?
That said, if you have a good handle on where the street borders for these proposed districts would lie, that would be good to document here, even if we're not going to subdivide the article immediately. Good district breakdowns usually require a lot of thought to get right (example).
And no, I don't know anything about Philly's city center ;) --Peter Talk 01:46, 11 June 2009 (EDT)

OK, but let's be clear that although a district template will be needed to subdivide the CC page, these are neighborhoods, not districts, and as such are comparatively easy to divide. In fact, many of the "walking" maps of Philadelphia that you see attached to lamp posts downtown already split the city up this way. They're very brightly color-coded; for an example of one, please see this photo and map and for more detail, see this PDF.

When it was designed, CC Philadelphia was laid out like a square, with City Hall in the middle and four parks standing at each corner. Over time the boundaries expanded, so that today CC is defined by the Schuykill river to the west, the Delaware river to the east, South St. to the south, and the Vine St. expressway/I-676 to the north. The dividing lines of the neighborhoods in CC are defined by the streets that intersect at City Hall and bisect this square, Broad Street and Market Street. To the southwest of Broad and Market is the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood; to the southeast, Washington Square West; to the northwest, the Art Museum area; to the northeast, the Chinatown/Convention center area. Old City stands to the east of this square; it is defined by 5th st on the west side, South St. on the south side, Vine St. on the north side, and Front st. on the east side. Now, these boundaries aren't hard and fast, and especially in the last 10 years, CC has started to bleed south and north as neighborhoods are revitalized and feel like a part of CC. It's also true that smaller areas that have a distinct feel exist within these five large neighborhoods. But in general, this is a pretty strong definition of CC neighborhoods, and one which both the city's government and residents recognize.

As for content, the second of the two maps should indicate that each neighborhood has interesting things to see, if not do. And each neighborhood definitely has a wealth of places to eat and drink. CC is overflowing with good restaurants.

Hope this information helps, thanks!--Valkyrie23 12:13, 11 June 2009 (EDT)

I see also that some of the neighborhoods within Center City have been listed as districts in their own right on the main Philadelphia page. This is somewhat confusing. It would be OK, I think to break off Old City and make it a district equal to Center City, but then you've still got the four neighborhoods that meet at City Hall. Washington Square West, for example, should not be a district on the main Philadelphia page. --Valkyrie23 12:36, 11 June 2009 (EDT)

Hmm, it's possible that we might have a slight misunderstanding (forgive me if we don't). Wikitravel only does 4 types of destination guides: country, region, city, & district. So if a neighborhood is to have its own article, then it will be considered a district, and will need to use the district template. Since not all neighborhoods are big/dense enough to merit individual articles, it's often best to roll them into one district article. This is an ok example of how to do that—I shaded the different neighborhoods in on the map, and tried to give some basic overview in the understand section.
So all of that is to say that it could be fine to have, say, Chinatown as a district article, linked from the main page. But I don't think it would be a good idea to have "sub-districts." That would bury the content a bit too far, and could make the City Center article redundant. I'm pretty sure that the only times we've used a structure like that are for New York and London. (The former makes some sense, I think, since Brooklyn, Manhattan, etc. can be thought of as separate cities; the latter looks to me like an ad hoc mess.)
You can show that separate district articles are all part of Center City on the overview page, by grouping them. The most popular way of doing that is to use the regionlist template (example), although sub-headers would also work just fine. So if we were going to create articles for the neighborhoods of City Center, I think we should then do away with this article.
On this topic, I've never been too sure that the Philadelphia districts breakdown was very well thought out—it's certainly hard to digest for someone unfamiliar with the city. If you're feeling up to it, maybe you could take a look over them to make sure they "add up" to the whole of the city, without gaps and without overlap. If we could nail down street boundaries for the various districts, I'd be more than happy to make a Wikitravel-style districts map, like this one. --Peter Talk 02:32, 12 June 2009 (EDT)

OK, I see what you're saying. Philadelphia is a freakin' huge city. It would be awesome to have a district map like Chicago or DC. I think the general outlines of the districts are pretty hard and fast; it's the neighborhoods within them that might cause some trouble. This map should give you a good visual of how the districts break down. 99.9% of tourists will probably only visit CC and the areas immediately surrounding it, so while I can make the case for including the outer districts, I myself would be hard pressed to come up with content for them. Some areas of the outer districts can be unsavory, if not downright dangerous, and a district like the Northeast seems so far-flung to a CC resident like myself that they hardly seem part of Philadelphia (I'll wait for the abuse to come raining down on me after that statement). So some districts will have many more neighborhoods and info in them than others. I hope that someone else will volunteer to tackle areas like the Northeast or Southwest.

The districts as they stand now are nonsense. Here's my breakdown of where they belong, within the districts as they are described in the map I've linked. There are many neighborhoods that are missing as well, especially in South Philly.

  • Old City, Washington Square West, Art Museum area, South Street--these should all be put in a "Center City" district, along with Rittenhouse Square, and Chinatown/Convention Center.
  • Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Manayunk, East Falls--All these neighborhoods are in the Upper North/Northwest district
  • Northern Liberties, Templetown, North--all in the North district
  • University City, West Philadelphia--in the West district. This is a little tricky, because "West" is the designation for the district west of the Schuykill river, but it's also the neighborhood (often rather rough) that is west of University City; starts around 40th or 45th st.
  • Fishtown--in the Frankford/Kensington district
  • Society Hill/Queen Village--This is a tricky one, but the greatest portion of it lies below South Street, so it's technically in South Philly, I guess. I'm surprised more South Philly neighborhoods haven't been listed here, like Bella Vista, Graduate Hospital, Gray's Ferry.

Let me know the specifics of what you would need to get started on a map. Thanks again! --Valkyrie23 14:57, 12 June 2009 (EDT)

Hmm, so just to be sure, you are proposing we use the 11 districts as shown on the linked map, then redirect the neighborhood articles you've listed above as appropriate? If so, I think I can get to work on a map. The one obstacle is that the site doesn't clearly describe the boundaries between districts. Could you perhaps trace the street borders on to a google map like this [1]? Otherwise, is there another site that will give the exact borders? --Peter Talk 22:11, 16 June 2009 (EDT)

OK, here's the map I've created on Google. I've narrowed the districts down to seven, which I think is ok. Then I think all neighborhood pages should be redirected. More will have to be added in the northwest and northeast especially, but I can't say for sure which ones they are at the moment. After thinking about this, I think it might be easiest to split Center City up into "Center City West", "Center City East" and Old City, essentially dividing the district into thirds and doubling up the four neighborhoods I've mentioned above. So Rittenhouse Square and Art Museum area would become Center City West, while Chinatown/Convention Center and Washington Square West would become Center City East. Sorry if that's even more confusing.-- 18:00, 17 June 2009 (EDT)

Draft districts map
Nope, clear as day. I'll get to work ;) --Peter Talk 18:49, 17 June 2009 (EDT)
Ah, one point of confustion: where to put City Hall. From the map, it looks like it straddles City Center East & City Center West (and four different neighborhoods), since it is in the middle of Broad St. --Peter Talk 23:06, 17 June 2009 (EDT)

Yep, it is in the middle, so it's a toss up. I myself have always thought of City Hall more as part of the east side of CC than the west.--Valkyrie23 00:50, 18 June 2009 (EDT)

How does this map look? Please don't hold back criticism. And would you suggest adding any other roads to the map? The only road I've driven on in the area is I-95, so I don't have a good handle on which to include. --Peter Talk 04:34, 18 June 2009 (EDT)

Center City should be simplified into just Center City East/West. City Hall should be put on the east side because the neighborhood is so closely associated with the Convention Center area. Other than that the map looks fantastic Rouge 20:19, 14 November 2009 (EST)