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  1. #1
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    Default Living in Coconut Grove/South Miami commuting to Brickell Key

    Hello All,

    First, let me apologize for the long post—I am a bit long winded—for the short version just scroll down and read the underlined part. Second, let me thank Gus and all the other senior and active members for providing such a rich fountain of information and entertaining interaction. Third, let me state my purpose: I'm looking for advice on finding a place to live that will be best suited to my upcoming situation.

    The Background Story...

    Let's start with some background. My boyfriend and I moved to South Beach in November 07' and have enjoyed our time here, for the most part—let me throw in that Matt Meltzer's articles on relocating were very amusing and very helpful.

    I left my job in early January for another opportunity that ended up falling apart. Not wanting to return to my old job, as it made me VERY miserable, I decided to keep looking. After a month and a half of looking I found something suitable to my experiences and will be starting work again next week. However, the two months without work have zapped the small savings that I had due to unexpected expenses.

    So here is the problem… My boyfriend and I have decided to separate and I cannot maintain my current apartment due to its high rent (and other inconveniences). So as it stands I am planning to move out in April and he will be moving back out of state. So, I am looking to find an inexpensive studio that will help me recuperate lost savings as well as keep me in close proximity to my new job which will be on Brickell Key.

    Criteria for what I'm looking for, based partially on what I've learned since moving here:

    1. I don't care enough about the beach to want to live 6 blocks from it.

    2. I don't entertain or spend enough time at home to need anything more than a studio or a small one bedroom

    3. I'd rather live somewhere further away from the tourist bustle (a 2 month stint in Surfside taught me this) Also, waking up to the sounds of drunken tourist breaking bottles on the street is not my idea of a wake-up call.

    4. I don't have a car and don't plan to get one anytime soon (which is one reason South Beach has been so great) but I also try to avoid buses here in Miami, as they are unpleasant and unreliable. But I can put up with these if the commute is short enough.

    All things considered I think that I'm headed to the mainland. In particular I was thinking of the areas of Coconut Grove or South Miami which I think could provide low rents and access to a bus (#48) or the Metrorail that can take me near Brickell Key but my I have some questions about these options.

    First is about the commute,

    I am wondering how long it would take to get from the Brickell Metrorail station to South Miami and if anyone has had any experience with the 48 bus. Most importantly I am wondering if it is possible to find a SAFE studio for less than $600-700 with utilities included in the Grove or South Miami. As far as apartment features go I only care about a decent sized refrigerator, a four burner stove, a broadband internet connection and laundry in-building or nearby. Hopefully the apartment could also be within walking or biking distance from supermarket and a park. Thanks in advance I look forward to your helpful insights.

  2. #2
    Gus
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    Hi, Toobewlur, welcome to Miami Beach 411. Thanks for posting your question here.

    Awesome post. Thank you for explaining yourself so clearly.

    You picked a cool screen name, too.

    I live in South Miami, Palmetto Bay to be exact, near US-1 and 152nd Street.

    Matt Meltzer has taken the bus from Brickell to South Miami before. I'll ask him to stop by and tell us about it. He also wrote an in depth article about public transportion titled "Riding The Miami Metrorail"

    Come to think of it, Maria de los Angeles lives in that neighborhood, as well.

    In the mornings and afternoons, US-1 gets very congested. If you ever decide to get a car, or have a friend drive you to work, this short cut might come in handy: Looking for the secret route to Miami?

  3. #3
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi Toobewlur! Welcome to the forums!

    I totally recommend South Miami (the city itself, not the section of the county). If you live close to the downtown area here, you will have walking access to everything, including the Metrorail station. The train ride takes about 15-20 minutes to get to the main station downtown. Yours would be shorter. You'll probably get off at the Brickell station and then take the metromover to the closest station near 8th street and walk to Brickell Key.

    This is not a bad commute. The thing is, if you are working in an office and have to be really presentable, be prepared to deal with inclement weather. Lots of heat in the summer, as well as rain. But you know that already since you live here.

    I really love living in South Miami. I don't believe there are many studio type apartments here but you can get a 1 bedroom for the price of a studio elsewhere. The reason I recommend South Miami over the Grove is that you have everything within walking distance near the downtown area -- two supermarkets, pharmacies, conveniences, banks etc ; If you look for an apartment here, focus on the area just east of US1. The area just north of the metrorail station is a little sketchy and I would not recommend it for a single woman.

    There are two stations -- Douglas Road & Coconut Grove -- that service the Coconut Grove area. The Douglas Road area is not really safe or even residential and the Coconut Grove station is not really close to downtown Grove. West Coconut Grove is also not safe.

    You might consider just living walking distance from the Coconut Grove station or Vizcaya station. There may be homes there renting out a cottage, for example.

    The other thing you might consider is the area around Mary Brickell village (Brickell station). This would put you really close to work. You'd want to live somewhere close to the metromover and you could bypass the train altogether.

    And lastly, I'm not sure about prices, but have you considered living on Brickell Key itself? It wouldn't hurt to scope out a studio there.

    Again, though, living near downtown South Miami would be your best bet. There are numerous apartment buildings here that cater to university students so you may be able to find something.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for your responses and warm welcome!
    I've actually been a member for over a year now, but I have just been a reader.

    Gus,
    I did get the chance to read Matt's article and it was that article that made me think that moving would be plausible. It was a relief to find out that the train ran as quickly as it did, I was used to a 1 1/2 hour commute in and out of Manhattan before i moved here.

    Maria,
    Fantastic information, this is just what i was looking for. I think it's too soon to start looking for the April apartment but the information you've provided will surely be invaluable. I am definitely not ruling out Brickell or Brickell Key, but if i find a good deal there it would be luck or a roommate situation, about which I am hesitant. I've also been checking out your bio on the site which leads me to a follow-up question regarding yoga classes in your area. I currently take classes at Crunch, but if i move to the mainland i don't see myself commuting to South Beach just to go to the gym. Are there any nice gyms or yoga studios near you. I'm an advanced beginner so I'm looking for more a challenging yoga practice.If there aren't any, I guess I still have my Total Yoga DVDs.

  5. #5
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi there! There is in fact a new yoga/wellness studio that just opened in South Miami called Green Monkey. I haven't taken class there yet, but it sounds good.

  6. #6
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    South Miami to Brickell Key will be a cinch if you live near the Metrorail stop. Like one train to one bus. Half hour, tops.

    I think The Grove is a little more fun, and that commute won't be BRUTAL, since it is a short distance. But there will be traffic if you go during normal commuting hours. Not an hour and a half's worth, for sure. But still irritating nonetheless.

  7. #7
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Matt, I don't think she will have a car.

    I took Metrorail from S. Miami to Gov. Center on Thursday and it was about 15 mins. The only drawback was waiting for the train after 8pm. I had just missed the Southbound train and had to wait longer than 15 minutes for the next one. During regular business hours though it runs every 15 minutes.

    There a number of apt buildings within walking distance of the Coconut Grove station, but you'd have to be lucky enough to find a unit there. Plus, that area is not as fun as downtown Coconut Grove, though it's not far away.

    There is a complex called Mayan Towers in South Miami near the station where I think they have studios or small 1 bedrooms.

  8. #8
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Oh, I have MANY stories about Mayan Towers. They do have 1 BRs and Studios, but you get a lot of UM kids there. If you're cool with that, then enjoy. But I am letign you know ahead of time.

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    Thanks for the additional information. i will look into these places and let you know what happens.

    Matt-- are these GOOD stories?

    Oh- also, let me clarify that I'm not female.

  10. #10
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Matt, do you know it to be a rowdy, party building? I mean how bad is it, really? The convenience & location of this area for a Metrorail user is really great.

    I had a friend who lived there once, during grad school. He was in a corner studio in the south building. It wasn't bad. The buildings are well-maintained (at least on the exterior) and are located on a very nice residential street (I live next door, LOL!) The area just behind it is all tree-lined, lush and tropical. One block away and you have a supermarket, restaurants, bars, banks and so on. It is completely walkable.

    In any case, in addition to Mayan Towers there are numerous apt buildings in the surrounding area, all walking distance to the train.

  11. #11
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    I mean, if stealing laundry is a BAD story.......

    It's not that rowdy. but you do get some undergrads in there so it has the potential. It's not Gaines ville Place or Indian Village, but you do get the occasional whippersnapper making a racket.

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