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  1. #41
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    That area between 18-23rd tends to be the densest part of the beach. There are lots of parking garages, city offices, the Holocaust Museum and commercially-oriented buildings, with a few high rise condos further west. Parking is more difficult in this area.

    The area nearest to Flamingo Park tends to be the most livable, imo. It's easier to park, greener, more neighborhoody. Some people enjoy West Avenue, but I'm not so into high rise living.

    South of Fifth is very quiet, a mix of older buildings and high rises. Not very many markets, though.

    Also, in terms of sanity, it's best to be a little west of the Ocean/Collins/Washington area. That's the "tourists gone wild" section.

    Have you tried google street maps, miamitime? It's a great way to get a feel of a neighborhood. Just open google maps and drag the little man to any area you'd like to see, and it will show you the street level photographs. You can take virtual strolls around the neighborhoods. I find that feature to be extremely helpful!

  2. #42
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    what doug is saying is so right!

    you really have to spend time in a neighborhood to see if its for you.

    if you have the opportunity, try to spend a night or two in each place via hotel stays (yes i know this sounds crazy) but you really do get a feel for each area.

    don't forget to give a chance to south miami as described by maria.

    'taking a walk' through an area via google street via, lets you feel like you've been there before once you get there---very comforting!

    good luck!

  3. #43
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi Miamitime, Doug is spot-on in his descriptions. Just stay west of Washington Avenue to avoid the madhouse. He describes the areas very well.

    The thing about South Beach though, is that it's very small, really. So even if you live on West Avenue, for example, you can get to Lincoln Road very quickly, esp. if you're near the intersection! It's so small, it's almost a moot point to be concerned about it, because no matter where you live below 23rd street, you're always going to be pretty close to everything.

    But to answer your question, it starts to get "quiet" (in terms of the party scene and commercial action) north of Dade Boulevard and/or west of Alton Road, toward the Venetian Causeway. And in the middle of South Beach there's that area Doug described, near the park, and that pocket around SoFi.

    The quietest (as far as sound goes) area is mid-beach, as far as I'm concerned. When I lived on the 9th floor of a hi-rise on West and Lincoln, I could never hear my alarm clock tick. I finally heard it when I moved to mid-beach. True story.

    I think that in terms of what you want, you would probably like WEst Avenue or the area just before the Venetian CAuseway. You want to be able to walk everywhere but still have relative peace and quiet.

    You really should make a trip here to reconnoiter, if you can.

  4. #44
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    For some reason I find google maps/street view a little tedious. Real time videos are much more life like and faster...but I'll take what I can get. The hard thing to figure out from a map is a safe area. For example, you read online about how Washington is a little seedy and the areas west get progressively worse, but then people say to shoot for areas a couple of blocks west of Washington, etc. Unless you know exactly where to target, it's a tough call.

    Instead of spending $1000 to scout the area for a weekend (which is a few weeks rent), I'll ultimately be adventurous and find something remotely for the first month, which is why you guys are so helpful.

    How's the area right across the street from Whole Foods across from the hotel and Alton? Something like this...Decent value?

    http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/sub/1337761719.html

    Think something around Pennsylvania or Euclid is better located cause you can safely walk to the action at night? I want to be able to walk or grab an easy and frequent bus at night to cool spots/cafes, etc. Can you safely walk from west to east like that or only from South to North which is why Sofi is better?

    Didn't realize things were so noisy that you couldn't hear an alarm clock! I do like it quiet and chilled out in my pad, but again, first month I am really exploring so I don't want to feel like I'm a long ten blocks and a constant car ride/cab at night from anywhere you wanna be...

  5. #45
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi miamitime,

    I just wrote two reviews of one of my favorite South Miami joints:

    Ladies Night & $10 Executive Lunch

    Gives you an idea of what kind of places you'll find around here.

  6. #46
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    Free call drinks for the ladies? That would be my favorite spot, too, Maria:) Have them throw a little pesto spread on that wrap next time...will cover ya in the basil/flavor department...looks damn fine.

    Have about six months until making Miami home. Thanks to you guys I'll be ready to hit the ground running...

    I am definitely intrigued by the South Miami area.

  7. #47
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Wow, the view is stunning. I think that's either the Waverly or the other condo complex nearby ... can't remember the name of it.

    If you can afford it, that sounds like a good deal.

    Euclid and Pennsylvania will put you closer to the action and it will be safe to walk, but you will find nothing like this apartment described above. There are no hi-rises there.

    One thing about Miami Beach - if you rent this apartment, you will have to walk one mile at least to get to the beach. This is easier said than done, especially when it's raining or it's really hot outside. The local 25 cent bus does not run 24 hours so keep that in mind.

    As for safety, I lived as single woman on South Beach for years and never had any problems. But I did not walk in dark streets at night unaccompanied, which I wouldn't do anywhere, regardless, except maybe here in S. Miami. (Not that I go out all night, anyway.)

    Washington Avenue is relatively safe, but you will find some pathetic dregs of humanity there. Some of the saddest, injured or handicapped homeless people I have ever seen in my life (and I've traveled a lot), have been on Washington Avenue. They are not threatening, it's just very sad and of course, tells the true story of Miami Beach behind all that razzle dazzle and club hype.

    When I lived on Lincoln & West, my buddy, who lived on Euclid, would walk me home late at night if we had gone out, because he was a nice friend. BUt he himself had no issues walking back. It's not a big deal for dudes.

    BY the way, my friend is renting his studio out on Euclid in a lo-rise condo with beautiful landscaping. He enjoyed living there many years. It's a big studio with a separate living/eating area and a huge walk-in closet. It has a murphy bed but is not furnished, in the $800 range. If you're interested, PM me.

  8. #48
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    Thanks, M. Hadn't really thought about the heat and rain factor which aren't a problem where I am at right now since it barely ever rains or gets above 75. South Miami may be the perfect place to set up shop once I know the area, but to start, landing at ground zero makes sense. The trick is finding the right hood within the hood from afar. Don't wanna be in South Beach and a mile from where everything is really at when I am constantly exploring the madness/action/scene for the first month or two.

    I'll find a semi quiet little enclave a couple of blocks from Collins as suggested. Makes sense, and there seems to be a bunch of options on Euclid, Penn, etc...

    Too early to jump on anything specific apartment-wise cause realistically this move will happen around March 1st...Just laying the groundwork.

  9. #49
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    I think thats the Mirador complex.

    The condo itself may be having problems, but that doesnt make any difference if you are renting. You may be able to drive a harder bargin! In a book about south beach, they talk about modeling agencies setting up 'dorm' rooms there and the models talk about how they hated it. You may want to check carefully on the noise.

  10. #50
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    Nice point, Fred. First month will just be a month rental no matter where I go, so not too worried about big surprises, though having noisy hallways just overflowing with models, is a problem I look forward to.

  11. #51
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamitime
    Nice point, Fred. First month will just be a month rental no matter where I go, so not too worried about big surprises, though having noisy hallways just overflowing with models, is a problem I look forward to.
    They may be beautiful, but they bite.

  12. #52
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    Please let them bite...Kidding.

    After 20 years in the business here, definitely not my taste. Where are the buildings overflowing with regular hot blooded Cubans or Colombianas? Is there a professional, artsy, non materialitic/plastic enclave in Sobe?

    From what I can tell, Doug, the anti establishment crew seems like more your crowd. Where would you call home base in Sobe for $1500 a month if you wanted to be in a nice place with amenities, as close to the action (walking distance) as possible but a world apart? What streets would home base border?

  13. #53
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Its both male and female models who were "dormed" there a few years ago (as referenced in "Fool's Paradise," by Steven Gaines)

    Again, the only thing I know is that many realtors are not very complimentary about the place--for what thats worth.

    Doug, did you see that bottom picture, do you agree its the Matador complex?

  14. #54
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    Nice insight, Fred. Drawing from your knowledge then what buildings would you target? Where's the best all around bang for the buck? Something come to mind?

  15. #55
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    I think you're thinking of the Mirador, not the Matador. And yes, pretty sure that's it. I looked at a few apartments in there over the years, though I never lived there.

    I just have to ask, though, the title of this thread would lead one to believe you want to be away from the party. But we've now moved on to discussing South Beach pretty much exclusively. While South Beach does have distinctive neighborhoods, moving there won't be "away from the party." Now, if that's what you want, that's awesome. But I'm starting to get a little bit confused.

  16. #56
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    Hey Matt --

    All depends on how you define "party". I love to be around people and close to the action, but past the age of clubbing and throwing hundreds away on forgotten drunken nights. Okay, usually...

    Single, professional, clean cut, late 30's guy, who needs to spend a year working and saving up, but doesn't want to move to Miami and miss the point of being in Miami to begin with. Probably will tire of South Beach, but the experience must be had, and seems like the right place for a fun loving person to start.

    Like my immediate surroundings semi quiet, but want to be within 10 blocks of cool places to people watch, kick back with pals, flirt with girls, grab some good cheap eats, hit the beach, go to a book store, do everything or nothing at all. Don't want to have to drive to get groceries unless I have to. Don't want to be completely landlocked in case I have to commute off the island.

    Guess I want the party nearby without it being forced upon me so i can pick and choose my poison when the mood strikes without having to drive there or back.

    So far it sounds like Sofi fits the bill, wondering if there's a pocket closer to Lincoln and Collins that might as well that's not so far westside.

  17. #57
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer
    I think you're thinking of the Mirador, not the Matador. And yes, pretty sure that's it. I looked at a few apartments in there over the years, though I never lived there.

    I just have to ask, though, the title of this thread would lead one to believe you want to be away from the party. But we've now moved on to discussing South Beach pretty much exclusively. While South Beach does have distinctive neighborhoods, moving there won't be "away from the party." Now, if that's what you want, that's awesome. But I'm starting to get a little bit confused.
    Yes the Matador. I believe it started as a rental complex and then converted. Recently, the middle building has been turned into the modrian---run by the same people who run the delano and shore club. Michael Caponni is promoting a new sunday party to compete with nikki beach at its pool.

    I'm no expect, I'm just looking for a condo and getting good advice from the people here, a great realtor, and some friends from college who live in sunny isles and boca.

    For a month, you can live anywhere. I get bad personal vibes from the matador, too far and I'm not an inland waterway guy.

    Mid beach is a consideration, but its too far to walk to shopping, in north beach you can walk to shopping but have to drive everywhere else. South of 5th, is EXPENSIVE, and, in my opinion somewhat devoid of shopping other than small markets. But it appears quiet and is close to Monty's!

  18. #58
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamitime
    Please let them bite...Kidding.

    After 20 years in the business here, definitely not my taste. Where are the buildings overflowing with regular hot blooded Cubans or Colombianas? Is there a professional, artsy, non materialitic/plastic enclave in Sobe?

    From what I can tell, Doug, the anti establishment crew seems like more your crowd. Where would you call home base in Sobe for $1500 a month if you wanted to be in a nice place with amenities, as close to the action (walking distance) as possible but a world apart? What streets would home base border?
    I lived on 7th and Michigan, and really enjoyed the neighborhood. There's a great Cuban market on 6th and Meridian called the Meridian Market. My only problem with my time on the Beach was I would've liked to have had a little private outdoor space, like a balcony or patio, because I have a roommate who needed to go out to smoke. Other than that, I really didn't have many complaints, other than the fact that the sheer density of Miami Beach makes it really hard to get away from people when you want some outdoor alone time.

    I also used to live in Los Angeles, and even though it's a bigger city, it's easier to escape to Griffith Park or a remote area in Bronson Canyon or Runyon Canyon and feel a thousand miles away from the city. It's hard to do that in Miami unless you have a boat!

    I would look between Alton Road to the west and, say, Euclid to the east, north of 6th Street and south of Lincoln Road. Avoid 11th, because people like to use that to criss-cross the island. Meridian is also a busier street, but very beautiful, with copious amounts of awe-inspiring tropical vegetation...so you can almost forgive the speeding taxis and kamikaze bicyclists that like to use it as a fast north-south route.

    South of Fifth has its charms, too...easier access to the beach; fun walking path on the Bay side of the island that takes you into the newly refurbished South Pointe Park. Very peaceful...just not a lot of markets and such.

  19. #59
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredgarvin
    Its both male and female models who were "dormed" there a few years ago (as referenced in "Fool's Paradise," by Steven Gaines)

    Again, the only thing I know is that many realtors are not very complimentary about the place--for what thats worth.

    Doug, did you see that bottom picture, do you agree its the Matador complex?
    Fred, I regret to tell you that I'm sadly ignorant about high rises. It does seem to be in the area of West and 11th-12th, since the jogging track of Flamingo Park is almost exactly even with the balcony...

  20. #60
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Fred, the Mirador is now called Matador? I'm confused! And if it were called Matador, that would be hilarious.

    The Mondrian is really a hotel. It is super plastic. Literally. The interior decor looks like the set of a Stanley Kubrick film and reminds me of the rape scene from Clockwork Orange. Talk about gimmicky and pretentious. I bet they charge $50 just to burp at the restaurant.

    When I went there once during a rum festival party, everybody was outside on their balconies at night and it felt like upscale frat house. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with a big party hotel, I'm just saying I wouldn't want to live right next door.

    Miamitime, I think the area Doug lived in might suit you for your one-month exploration. You might still have to drive to the grocery store if you don't want to shop at Meridian Market, but no big deal. Our member Scott lives on Meridian further north near the park and he loves it.

    Also, Doug is right. That part of Meridian is the most lush area of South Beach (besides the botanic garden). The rest is pretty much all concrete and palm trees. Of course I am spoiled because I live in a tropical paradise here in South Miami!

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