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Thread: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

  1. #1
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    Default Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    Hello all,

    I'm moving to Miami from Chicago to start a new job. My job is in Coral Gables and accessible to public transit, so I was thinking about finding a place to live in either Brickell or Omni. Does anyone have any recommendations, or comments on these areas and the suitability of Metromover and Metrorail for commuting?

    One place in particular we liked the look of was Bay Parc Plaza, but I'm concerned the neighborhood might be dangerous, especially if returning late at night on the Metromover.

    Coral Gables was too expensive for us to consider, and we like the idea of living downtown. Any help or comments would be appreciated!

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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    Hi and welcome to the forums!

    Omni is not a good place to live. There is a lot of homeless people in the area and not many places to live.

    Brickell on the other hand is a great place to live. What's your monthly budget? Brickell has a great nightlife, places to eat, a publix for food shopping and good public transportation.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    Actually, Omni might also refer to the high rises around the North Bayshore area which is nice and slowly more walkable.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    Yeah there's some very nice buildings up around Omni, like the one Mike's is in. A few others down around Miami-Dade College. I'm not sure the price ranges though.

    If the Gables was too expensive, you probably can't afford Brickell. Which is good because Brickell sucks. One of those places that looks cool if you go once, but when you start going out there regularly you realize it's really not fun at all. And the restaurants, with a few exceptions, are nothing special.
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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    The ones I'm looking at are on Bayshore Ave. I'm looking for a 2/2 in the downtownish area (with access to MetroMover or MetroRail) for about $2,000 or less per month.

    In Coral Gables, a 2/2 was running about $2,200, while in Brickell I found some for $1800-$1900. Omni looked the same, but with ocean view as opposed to city view, which my wife really likes. I could honestly afford a bit more than $2k, but I have sticker shock right now from Miami. I currently pay $700/mo for a house in downtown, in a good neighborhood, walking distance from public transit and the bars near Chicago.

    Why does Brickell suck? It looked like a nice are to me. Where would you all recommend? Here are my constraints:

    1) Good transit access. I'll be working one block from a transit stop in Coral Gables and I hate driving.
    2) 2br/2ba, my wife won't settle for less, unfortunately
    3) Safe neighborhood. I've lived in crime infested hell holes in the past, never again.

    Thanks again for all the help!

  6. #6
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    Well, Brickell meets all your standards so it may work for you.

    I am not a fan of Brickell because it is very homogenous. And typically if you are not Hispanic it's very exclusionary. Maybe not if you're a pretty girl, but the residents there are a lot of wealthy South Americans who typically turn their noses up at other ethnicities. The bars get uncomfortably crowded, the crowds are unbearable, and parking and traffic are a nightmare. And while there are a lot of restaurants and clubs/bars down there, none are anything special. None are particularly unique, and few are worth the hassle and cost of going. Chains, mixed use buildings. Like all the blandness of the suburbs with the crowds and hassle of the city.

    Brickell is the one area of town when I call my non-Hispanic friends and ask where they want to go out that night, they say "I don't care. Just not Brickell." No lie. It's not a very welcoming place.
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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    @Matt,
    You are right on the money. I had asked a few people and they had similar comments. Not a diverse community at all, 100% Hispanic and it feels like a wealthy neighborhood in a major South American metropolis. Some really nice buildings, but I rather have beach access any day. This is why I crossed it off my list early in my search.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    Matt- That's what happens to you, when you look too much like an INS agent.
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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    You guys are painting a bad picture of Brickell. I enjoy going out there, it isn't as crazy and stupid as the beach. I actually like going out to the bars as they are classy, with normal people. And when I say normal, I mean 20s and 30s out having a good time, whereas on the beach they are sunburned tourists trying to drink till they throw up. Both nights out are fun, but sometimes you wanna have a chill evening without getting into a fight which is what SoBe has become. Matt, don't even argue. Last time I went out my friends and I got in a fight at I Heart Pizza. Fighting in a pizza joint: not cool. And also, sound familiar? My last night out in Brickell: Blackbird Ordinary, playing games, dancing to an awesome DJ and enjoying drinks that weren't $25. In this case, Brickell wins.

    Brickell has more subdued people that's all. You say snobby, but my friends who live there are just people who have lived on the beach or in Miami for a while and are established in their lives. They aren't starting out, they have their jobs, partners etc and so Brickell is just an easy way of life for them. I don't doubt people aren't as friendly, but that's cos they already have their friends. SoBe is better for starting out, as is the Grove near UM as people want to meet new friends there.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    Even though I'll give some credence to what Matt says, it does take time to gel into.

    The friends I got there are great and freak'n interesting. Meeting successful people that have accomplishments in two different cultures, is quite awesome if you can grasp that. It's not an easy thing to do. I'm just lucky I'm ambidextrous in these various hispanic cultures, so I pick up pretty much everything, though I'm a a bit slow with some of the jokes.

    The tendency in Brickell is to entertain at home and not go to these crowded places except during the week as an inclusion of a after job function. That's where the value of Brickell is - at least for me. That's where you really get to understand the area and it's inhabitants and learn about what's really moving in Miami. Much more so than on the beach !

    A good analogy that contrasts with the beach: While others bemoan the loss of a chocolatier on Lincoln Rd, everyone on Brickell knows a person that has a stash of that white chocolate from Bariloche.

    It's just a tougher place to figure out.
    Last edited by Blackford Oakes; 07-10-2012 at 09:46 PM.

  11. #11
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    I'd disagree with that at-home entertaining thing, Blackford. Maybe on Brickell Key.

    Jess, I get in fights at pizza places in any city. And many parts of Miami. It PROBABLY has to do with the fact that everyone there is drunk, but who knows.

    We can agree to disagree on this I guess, as it's all a matter of opinion. Most American mainlanders I know refuse to go out in Brickell, for the same reaons I stated. And when I go I just find it depressing. Plenty of other places in South Florida that DON'T have exclusionary crowds, and Irish bars that don't play Spanish music. For the money, I'd take the Beach over Brickell 6 days a week and twice on Sunday.

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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    I am shocked that you haven't been able to find a good apartment for that price in Coral Gables. I was very torn between Miami Beach and Coral Gables. I had a really good realtor for Coral Gables if you need one. She knew the area very well and stayed within my price range. I am from Midwest too and I still dealing with the sticker price on these rental condos as well. Really make sure to dot all your i's and cross all your t's. There are a lot of people that you rent from here that don't take care of their property and the realtors are not very honest in this town.

    One thing about Brickell even if you don't drive. People that do drive will come and visit you. I have friends that live in the ICON and the Viceroy and it is an absolute nightmare trying to visit them. I think I waited over 20 minutes last time to get my car and I think the valet charges you around 7 dollars an hour. I also find Brickell very commercial. Especially Mary Brickell Village is full of chain restaurants which I strongly dislike.
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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    Funny you should say that. I walked my dog at the Circle when it was allowed. We'd take a breather in the back valet section, and Chunche would lounge on the couch for a break. Never noticed a anyone there to valet a car.

    The front of the building usually has three valet hops. They seem attentive by Miami standards. Wonder what the deal is ?

    For those that don't know; Brickell is the commercial engine of Miami. If anyone get's suprised that a P.F. Chang's happens to reside in Mary Brickell... it's like hello !

    As I live in the area, the ( few) chains in MB are good and not that intrusive at all. I've eaten at most of them. I plan to do so more with the recent trolly service. As far as chains, Baja Fresh is certainly the only imposter I've encountered.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    Find this " I hate chains" thing with some intrigue.

    If these places offer quality and efficiency, what else can anybody want ?

    Guess some people value mon & pop with an apron more than the actual product.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    It's an issue of character really. It's nice to go places that aren't exactly like everywhere else. Otherwise we'd turn into one giant Orlando. For the record I like pf change, just like family owned good Chinese restaurants better.

    Baja fresh done been gone like a year, Blackford. Where you been?!

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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    Thanks for the advice everyone. Still searching. At the moment I'm planning to arrive homeless, and just live out of my office for a while while I look for a place.

    Still thinking downtown somewhere, but really unsure as to where or how to get good information.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    One of my friends has checked out almost every building in Downtown and Brickell and swears the Infinity at Brickell is the best, located off SW 13th Street, one block West of South Miami Ave. You may never need a car unless you want to go to Miami Beach.

  18. #18
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving advice on Brickell and Omni?

    Homelessness is very underrated. And the showers at the Wellness Center are first rate.

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