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  1. #1
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Default Mid-Beach -- A Quieter Alternative to South Beach (Pictures)

    Today, my friend Dave and I explored the neighborhood north of Dade Blvd between 28th and 41st. I noticed several "for rent signs" around. We're looking for something slower paced than South Beach when the lease runs out in May, and wanted to check out this area.

    The pictures below show a glimpse of the atmosphere there -- it's very residential, with cafes and a CVS pharmacy up on 41st (Arthur Godfrey), as well as lots of Jewish-oriented businesses. Strolling down to 28th St and heading east, you run into a picturesque footbridge traversing the canal, reminiscent of suburban Fort Lauderdale, complete with sunning iguanas. 2 blocks after that, you're at the beach, which at this point is much less crowded than South Beach; nonetheless, the action further south is an easily reached on foot via the oceanfront boardwalk.

    There are some apartment buildings along Sheridan Avenue, comparable with those you'll find in South Beach, and the surrounding neighborhood has houses and guest cottages for rent at prices not so different than what they are further south. One thing I've noticed about the area and Florida in general, though: there is a lack of street parking and curbs. Sidewalks are here, but appear to be an afterthought.

    For those looking for the experience of Miami Beach living without the insanity, this neighborhood may be a good option.
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  2. #2
    Gus
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    Thanks for posting, Doug. Nice pictures.

    Are the beaches topless up there? Just kidding. Thought I'd ask before someone else did.

    Did you call any of the places you saw for rent?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Hi Gus, the guys were topless....and the pelican, heh heh.

    I didn't call anyone yet -- my current landlord has rentals there as well, and I'm going to make arrangements with him to look at one of them soon.

  4. #4
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hey Doug, thanks for sharing your reconnoitering of mid-beach. Nice photos!

    Up in that area, you can park off the grass and there are no meters. Further up, meters run from 9 am
    to 6 pm and 25 cents/half hour, 50% less than South Beach. Parking is a lot easier in that area than in South Beach. Sidewalks are indeed inconsistent, but because it's so residential, you don't have to worry about too much congested traffic or crazy people trying to run you over (I'm talking about the area west of Indian Creek, not Collins).

    You generally get a lot more square footage for your buck on mid-beach than in south, even if prices are relatively comparable.

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    Have you looked at any rentals in Collins in that area? There are several on the beach side for rent. There is a new tower at 41st on the beach which is all rentals.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Hi Ron, naw, don't do towers! We need green space, and lots of it! Too many people, too much concrete and cars...more bushes and lizards and trees.

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    When we were looking for a condo we did like that little street that veers right off Washington, has some apartments and seems pretty quiet with a view towards Collins. Some of the apartments even have water views. It is still an easy walk south to Lincoln or Collins from there, and the boardwalk is close for jogging.

    We opted for the city life, but wanted to be on the west side of the beach, what we tell people is the not crazy side. On West its like a village, maybe like Greenwich village, but its still a neighborhood and we think pretty quiet but we do have our own restaurants, a Starbucks, etc., so you can just roll out of bed, get coffee and great pastry at Taste so we think we found heaven, we will see as time goes by. But the area just north of Dade on the east side is very charming and the walk up Pinetree is beautiful (or is it La Gorce?). There is a sidewalk at least on one side of road.

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    Good pic's Doug.

    That looks like a great sort of place where you can chill and still get to the action if you want.

    I actually did the same where I live now, I wanted to be out of the main part of town and live in a bit quieter place but still retain access to the lively areas.

    So how far is the in miles/kilometers from the main areas? And how long would it take to get back into the lively places?

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Hi Lee, thanks! I would say that neighborhood is about a mile or two north of the action, or about a 5 minute drive from Lincoln Road.

    The one sticking point is that although it is a quiet neighborhood, it's surrounded by the fast-paced, condo-lined streets, so you still have to deal with the intensity -- you're just a little more buffered, I guess. It's not a big problem for me, but Dave is a little overwhelmed by city life. We still have a while to get things sorted out, though!

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    Cool, thanks for the reply.

    Well good luck with getting things sorted! Did you live in a city before going to Miami?

    P.S. Keep the pic's/article's coming, they're great!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Hi, Lee, thanks again! Yes, we lived in New Orleans, though it wasn't as densely populated there as Miami. Even that was a little stressful for Dave, though, especially post-Katrina.

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    I can relate to Dave.

    I lived in Chelsea for two years and sometimes the city become claustrophobic. Getting the tube in rush hour used to drive me crazy.

    Although I guess Miami is very different to that.

    Was there a big cultural difference between where you lived before and Miami?

  13. #13
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi Lee_ Doug put it exactly right: the mid-beach area we are referring to is very buffered.

    West Avenue has a definite city feel ... Sun, I affectionately call that area "Beachhattan" ... :)

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Hi Lee, in many ways it was very similar: banana republic with a side of third world! The people were a little more chatty and not so overtly aggressive and focused on surface status. Of course, human nature being what it is, they simply sought status in other ways: having the right counter-culture outfit, hanging with the right crowd, going to the right bars, being friends with the right bands. Like Austin, New Orleans has a certain reverse plasticity to it. The main difference here is the density, I would say. I can acclimate to it, but Dave is very sensitive to noise and aggressiveness and all the stuff that is part of cities everywhere. Maybe Thoreau was on to something when he went to live in the forest!

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    I really like the beachhatten label for West Avenue. I tell people we bought a place in New York with much better weather.

    I am also fond of the area just north of Dade Blvd. Great mansions on the bay to beautiful condos on the ocean with 2 beautiful golf courses in the middle. Add a really beautiful winding street like Alton to drive through or Pinetree/LaGorce and you have a really good alternative to living in the "city". We really considered the area around 23rd street on the canal. Very close to the Delano-Setai zone, the boardwalk and as close to Lincoln as we are at 9th.

    But, I really like sleepwalking to Starbucks, running to Wild Oats at 11:45 for something to nosh on, and free left over deserts; and I already live up north in the suburbs. I would feel really guilty living in that midbeach area though on Saturdays, I probably would end up in shul (synagogue). Good for the soul but bad for the tan. If you don't know what I am referring to, drive up or down the two streets mentioned and watch the people walking on Shabbot (Sabbath). I couldn't handle the guilt.

  16. #16
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Good for the soul but bad for the tan.
    Sun, this is an instant classic! I may have to quote you on my blog! :lol:

    The area I'm moving to in S. Miami is sort of like Beachhattan. I can roll out of bed and find a Starbucks, Barnes and Noble and Whole Foods within easy walking distance. I'll be writing more about this part of town in the weeks to come. It's actually my 2nd favorite area of Miami, after the beach.

    Doug, I was going to suggest the idea of a cottage in Coconut Grove/North Gables if you can find one (many homes have cottages on their properties). It's very lush and quiet around those back streets. I almost moved into a lovely cottage once, but the only other person on the property was the owner, a nice older man, but still ... it was SO secluded that it felt creepy for me to live by myself there; however, it was full of gorgeous trees and plants. Perfect for anyone who wants to feel far away from the urban environment without actually being so.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Hi Maria,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I'm actually planning to visit Coconut Grove this Sunday! What areas would you suggest I concentrate on?

  18. #18
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi Doug, just north of Merrie Park is very quaint and lush. (Stop by the park, by the way ... it's a giant sinkhole with amazing, enormous Ficus trees)

  19. #19
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    It looks really pretty on the satellite map. What type of price range do these backyard cottages average? I looked in the Miami Herald and craigslist, and it seems to be around $1000/month. Is that about as cheap as it gets? $800 would be more my speed!

  20. #20
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Im not reallly sure, Doug. It was about a year and a half ago since I last looked. I think some haggling powers might come in handy ...

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