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  1. #1
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    Default Considering a move to Miami Beach from NYC

    Hi there,

    My husband and I are thinking about relocating to Miami Beach and can't find answers to some basic questions. Maybe you guys can help us figure out if there's a good neighborhood for us.

    1. We've been frightened by some people about the crime rate, specifically robbery, burglary and other theft. Coming from Manhattan, which is extremely safe right now, it's a little intimidating to read about. What's the reality?

    2. We don't have kids yet, but want kids in the next few years. I've read that the Miami BEACH (as opposed to MIAMI) public schools are okay. Anyone have firsthand experience?

    3. With the very vague description of our life (youngish, kids eventually, making a living that affords Manhattan), what are some pros/cons for South Beach, North Beach, and in between? We found a highrise property along Biscayne Bay in South Beach and want to head down to at least check it out...

    Any help would be truly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Ok, I see what you are thinking. Sometimes you are along good lines, others not so much.

    1. Crime is not THAT bad. Like you are not going to get mugged walking down as well-lit street, but if you use your street smarts (which any self respecting NEw Yorker should have) you should be ok. Miami is full of scam artists and huslters, though, so I would suggest trusting absolutely noone for a while. but as far a scrime, yeah, that's kinda overblown. its not the 80s anymore.

    2. As far as schools go, I can't recomend any since I don't have kids, but if you want ot use the Public school I would recomend moving to Southwest Dade (Pinecrest/Pamletto Bay area) before your kids start school. the Beach and Birckell are not the best places to raise kids. before oyu have them, though. Live it up. South beach is a god time. But be forwarned kids grow up FAST in Miami. Watch "Bully." That's pretty accuratr as to my friend I had here when I was younger. Except for the rape and murder parts.

    3. Yeah, Biscayne Bay in South Beach is a nice place. I tihnk you'll be realy happy with that, assuming you can afford it (agian, if you can afford Manhattan...)

    I will just throw out my general disclaimer as I do to everyone who mulls moving to Dade COunty:

    This place is not like living in the US. Yes, yes, I know you are form that great global Melting Pot of New OYrk and oyu are used to diversity and different lagnuages and blah blah blah blah. But this is a LATIN CITY> Not a diverse American city like NYC or LA, but a full-on Laitn American city that happens to be in the US. So be prepared. Demogrphically, culturally, everything, it is more like living in Santo Domingo than it is New York. You may love it, but don't say I didn't put this out there for oyu.

  3. #3
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    Hi Alison,
    I moved here last year from NYC so I can relate. However I was never worried about the move at all, and in fact felt quite the opposite!

    1) You don't have to worry about crime as it's not that prevalent here in Miami Beach. Every city has crime, but it happens more in inner Miami. Most of the 'crimes' on the beach are petty theft, like a car window breakage and your ipod or radio being taken. Like this, when you watch the news in NYC, most of the crime activity happens in the Bronx for instances, same as here with Hialeah, not so much on the beach. I really wouldn't worry about it.

    2) I don't have any kids, but there are a ton of children living in Miami Beach. I hear the schools are decent, not great, but that there are some fantastic private schools here. Besides there's the beach, the park, after school programs (next to police station behind the park), and lots of things for kids to do. It's so cute when I'm at the park with my dog and I see dads teaching their kids and friends how to skateboard, for example. It's very kid friendly.

    3) South Beach is the place to live. I absolutely love it! I know a lot of people like mid-beach too (in the 40ths streets) and even North beach (in the 80s and above). All of MB have great beaches, so the question is how active are you? Living in NYC I always loved to go out and party, dance, going to bars and restaurants. If you're like me you'll at least want for these things to be available fairly close to you, in which case, you'll want to live in SoBe.

    Good luck on your decision. I know I've never been happier with mine :)
    Pris

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    Priscilla,

    This is one of the most positive things I've read about Miami. I think a lot of the stuff I have been catching on google searches has been pretty old ('06-'07).

    My question is, with all of that said, do you own a car? If so, how is the parking situation? I visited Miami in the summer of '06 and rented a car. I remember parking in South Beach being a pretty big/expensive ordeal. I remember spending $15 to park for a few hours at Bayside. Is this just because I went to touristy areas? Or is it all like that?

    I'm from NYC and do not own a car, but I would be willing to get one. I just don't know how I would adjust to the expense. From what I've read, you can't really survive down there without one.

    Also, price wise, I'm noticing that it's definitely cheaper to live on the other side of the bay (which makes sense), and I'm considering an apartment complex around Biscayne and 54th street. Is that considered the Design District? Do you think it's worth sacrifices all of the amenities (pool, laundry, etc.) to live on the other side of the bay?

    Wondering your thoughts.

    Thanks,
    Liz

  5. #5
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    Hi, Liz, welcome to MiamiBeach411. Happy you found us in that sea of negative Google searches. Please allow me to jump in before Priscila replies.

    Also, price wise, I'm noticing that it's definitely cheaper to live on the other side of the bay (which makes sense)
    I've checked rents prices throughout Miami, and what I found was living in South Beach is comparable to pretty much everywhere else in the City.

    I'm considering an apartment complex around Biscayne and 54th street. Is that considered the Design District?
    Are you talking about the apartment complex, D Place? If so, it's located in Little Haiti, which is a mile or two from the Design District.

    I'm from NYC and do not own a car, but I would be willing to get one. I just don't know how I would adjust to the expense. From what I've read, you can't really survive down there without one.
    Living in South Beach without a car is no problem, but you can't really survive without one if you live anywhere else.

    Hope this helps!

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    Hey Admin, thanks for the reply.

    As far as the D Place community...I'm not sure. It was on Biscayne BLVD, two blocks from Morningside Park by the Biscayne Bay...

    The price seems too good to be true. This is one of the listings: http://miami.craigslist.org/apa/674727706.html

    It's so tempting.

    but it may be worth it to go to South Beach so I don't need a car right away.

    Thanks,
    Liz

  7. #7
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Hey Liz -

    That Biscayne Corridor up there isn't too bad, but it really goes block by block. Some are fine, some are not so fine. I would recommend checking the place out in person if you can. The city is making a lot of improvements to that neighborhood and it has been getting better year after year.

    If you plan on leaving the beach for any reason you will need a car. And sometimes, you wil have to. There's no Target out there, or Best Buy or Costco or anything like that. I also got a little island fever when I lived out there and din't go over to the mainland once in a while. And you may end up making friends who live accross the bay as well. I recomend to everyone they buy a car when they get here for a lot of reasons.

  8. #8
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    Liz, here is the skinny.

    I moved here March 07, and was working outside of the beach on Biscayne Blvd. I took the city bus every day to work. Pick up is 3 blocks from home, and drop off two blocks from work. $2 each way. I figured, working so close to home (right across the McArthur Pkwy bridge) I could spend $60/mo for transportation or I could spend $600/mo for a car. Hmm..easy decision given I had been living off public transportation for years in Manhattan. A few months later I took a break from working for about 8 months. I was always on the beach, and got some part time jobs bartending.It was not until now, over a year later, that I went back to work and had to get a car b/c my job is 20 miles away.

    Parking is really not that bad. You get a city sticker which costs about $50/year and the city gives you your assigned parking areas depending on your address. Zone 2 is the biggest so there's more places to park. I know people have a hard time finding parking between the hours of 5pm-7pm because that's when everyone comes home from work. I get home around 10pm and I usually get to park within a few blocks from my apt. That's not that bad at all! I had a car when I fist moved to NYC and HAD TO get a garage and pay $200/mo for it. Then I sold it after the Summer.

    So it really all depends on where you live in comparison to where you work. Most importantly however consider the true reasons why you are thinking about moving down here. Mine was for the beach lifestyle so it's a no-brainer for me. I have a pink bicycle with a basket that I use to tow my dog long distances and groceries. It's great exercise and it's fun! It reminds me of being a kid again.

    Life is amazing here. I have never been happier because this is exactly what I wanted. Life is too short to live for your work. You got to enjoy it while you can :)

    Pris

  9. #9
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Hi Alison and Liz, concerning parking in South Beach: I have an apartment near 7th and Michigan, and I notice that the parking in that area is easier than places right around the busy areas, like Lincoln Road and Washington. I've only really had problems when I've come back really late at night, and had to drive around for about 10 minutes. But during the day, I've always been able to snag a spot either right in front of my building, or very close. You will need to get a permit, though, because the public can only park on residential streets from 7 am until 6 pm weekdays, and not at all on weekends.

    Alison had asked about what the downsides of South Beach and North Beach were. I would say the downsides of South Beach are pretty much the downsides of NYC: high density, somewhat impersonal, rather expensive -- however on a much lower scale than Manhattan, with the added bonus of year-round sunshine! The main thing you would miss coming from Manhattan is the degree of creativity in that city; Miami Beach has lots of art, also, but nothing can match Manhattan. North Beach is less congested, somewhat higher crime rate, and more of a chore to get places. Mid-Beach (north of Dade Blvd to about Arthur Godfrey) is another area you might like to consider, if you would like a slower-paced lifestyle than hopping SoBe!

    Good luck!

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