sounds like you fell in love with Penn/Philly, and as a native Philadelphian I understand the appeal- Philly is really an awesome place, I never understand people who rail against it all the time, in the end I figure they've never actually been to visit.
Also, I was probably one of those people you saw playing solitaire in Epstein's class the other day
Don't take it the wrong way- I tend to multi-task a lot. Also, most of what Epstein says goes over my head (but he's the only prof I've had that experience with).
Hyde Park does suck (University City where Penn is located isn't a great area, but still superior to Hyde Park). But Regents is a nice place to live, and the 6 bus takes you straight up Michigan Ave. through the loop all the way up to Wacker, which is where the shopping area starts. So it's not completely isolated. And most 3Ls (and some 2Ls) live somewhere downtown, not in Hyde Park.
I understand that you got a nerdy/intense vibe from UChicago, but we aren't all like that, I promise!