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Posted: 4/7/2006 7:26:51 PM EDT
I had an interview and immediate (relatively good) offer today in the Allentown area (covers several offices in the Lehigh Valley).

I bought a map, but that doesn't replace "on the ground" intel.

As it stands, I may start as early as the beginning of May. I won't be able to move my junk until the end of May--so I'll need to find a cheap place to stay for a couple of months (I can move my stuff into storage if need be). Towards the end of summer, the family will move out. By then I'll need to rent a larger place (townhouse or house) for a year. After a year, I'll know if the position is permanant (most likely it is).

Looking for info on where the best place to look for a few month place for me, and then recommendations on where to look for good (cheap/safe in a reasonably good school system for 4th and 6th grade girls) places to live for the family.

I have no problem with commuting 30 minutes (or a bit more if it gets me a cheaper place to live) each way. There are several offices (I would be assigned to one or two of them), but they are pretty much focal to Allentown (they are all in a about a 20 mile diameter circle). Most are pretty close to I-78 or US-22 or I-476 (tpke).

Any recommendations?

Thoughts?

I'll worry about the important things like place to shoot, good gun stores, etc. once I get set up in the area.

Thanks!!

AFARR
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 7:49:53 PM EDT
Okay, I have lived in Wind Gap for over two years now. My wife has lived here her entire life so between the two of us discussing this we have the following opinion.Depending on what you are looking for you have several options in the valley.

1. Allentown: Heavily hispanic with a huge amount of illegals from Puerto Rico. Crime is getting really bad as well. There is very very few "good" areas left in the city. No good gun shops either in the city itself. The mall is very big and very well stocked with the usual shops for the kids. Nice EMS outdoor store there too. North up Mac Arthur Rd in Whitehall you have a good Sports Authority for hiking,and other supplies. Sadly they got rid of guns last year. About 5 or so miles north on the same road you hit a nice indoor pistol range called The Firing Line. Not bad,good rates. Schools are atrocious. Mostly illegals with maybe a 50/50 ratio of english speaking kids left

2. Bethlehem: Pretty much the same as Allentown but not quite as bad with some good areas left. Southside Beth. is a shithole. Same deal with it becoming Little Rico. Great hospital for the area is St. Lukes. I have had several major back surgeries recently and have never seen better medical care and i have spent time in several of the big hosptials in Philly. The only gun shop in Bethlehem is a crappy tiny one in center city whos name escapes me. Not worth stopping by. My wife lived in Bethlhem while in her early twenties and most of her friends still live there. Having lived in a "real" city i think they get a kick out of thinking they are amongst minorities in a horrible coty but they are in reality pretty safe in a small city. Liberal idiots. My wife works for the county as a caseworker and spends alot of time in the schools and says that your kids will be brainwashed into becoming gangsta wannabes within the first year.

3. The burbs north, east and west of the two cities: There are many towns running along a line about 15 miles north of the east west line of Rte 22. We live in Wind Gap near Nazareth. I can highly recommend Nazareth if you want great schools and beautiful houses. It is a small quiet community with great streets. Little or no crime and parks and game land within ten minutes. About 15 minutes away we have Easton Fish and Game where i shoot which is an awesome range with everything from pistols to 100 yard rifle. Other towns like Katellen,Copley, Penargyle. Pretty much that whole area along the Blue Mountain line are awesome.

Good luck. Any questions feel free to ask away. Remember. STAY NORTH OF THE CITY !!!

Link Posted: 4/7/2006 10:30:22 PM EDT
WindGap--

Thanks, I had kind of figured that would be the case. The people I interviewed with painted a similar picture (they did sugarcoat it a bit). They say the area is starting to boom again (they cited Olympus coming in as an example).

One office is in Nazareth. I definitely want a smaller town area nearby rather than in the city.

Shouldn't be a big issue to commute as needed.

Thanks!!

AFARR
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 4:44:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/8/2006 4:45:38 PM EDT by BigKahuna13]
AFARR,

WindGap is dead on for Lehigh and Northampton Counties... As you go west you hit Berks, and it isn't too bad... Housing has gone up in price just like everything else, but the 222 corridor from Upper Macungie to Blandon is still a real nice area.
Kutztown is 18 miles east of Reading (Another crap hole) and 18 west of Allentown. It does have a University of about 10K students. The reason I mention it ...is that rentals should be plentiful around a "college town". I read that the school district issues computers to its students and was the first to do so in Pa. You can check the Pa. State Police Website under Uniform Crime Reports to come up with crimes stats.... Overall if you stay out of the cities, you're pretty good to go.....
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 8:13:08 AM EDT
Another +1 for what has been said. North of rt22 is the way to go. South of I78 has all the "Jersites" and the half-mill houses. The land inbetween "the cities" are no-mans land
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:53:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 6:45:37 PM EDT by Mickey-223]
I live in Allentown, and gew up here. Other than when I was away in the Navy or on travel for work, I 've always been right here. That being said here are my recommendations:

1) Good place to live - Bethlehem if you like a bit of the city living. They seemingly spend more on municiple services/development. They have several festivals through out the year, and are fun for the whole family. Many convenient shopping and areas of interest. If you like a more rural setting, I'd go with Macungie/Zionsville (south of Allentown) or up around Slatington/Walnutport area (north of Allentown).

2) Good school districts - STAY OUT OF ALLENTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT!!! The BEST school district seems to be Southern Lehigh. Bucks County has the highest paid teachers (south east of Allentown), but is pretty exensive. To find the median, Emmaus/Macungie/Zionsville are Salsbury School District...and offer a compramise between good school District, cheaper living, and commuting time.

Hope this bit of info helps. You should get a realtor to give you some statistical info...but beware, their bottom line is to put you in a home (former mother-in-law-to-be was one).

Mickey
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 12:46:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By WindGapAR15:

....a huge amount of illegals from Puerto Rico.




Huhh?


Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth of the United States, thus they are citizens.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 4:22:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 4:25:27 PM EDT by KJoeZ]
First off, no you don't want your kids going to Allentown period, that's child abuse... We live in Whitehall and it is starting to turn into a little Allentown, heavy "MINORITY" area, have 2 years till the kid graduates and we are out! North and or West of here is the way to go, if it is in your budget...
The area is not the same alot of influx from NJ & NY since the housing prices are better and we had better schools until we were over run. Just today in the Whitehall High School a Hispanic boy struck the Police officer that was on duty there over a cell phone, punched a cop!
Joe
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:05:34 PM EDT
taptap, they still don't know how to speak english so there :P
Link Posted: 4/12/2006 11:18:15 PM EDT
Man-o-man, I am originally from the walnutport,slatington area and judging from the comments here I do not think I will be moving back there? I was considering it but if it is getting that bad there I'll take my chances in WASHINGTON state,Pity though growing up there really gave me some fond memories of hiking on the app. trail,canoing down the lehigh and delaware rivers,etc. G'luck!!! skymaster
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