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  1. #1
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    Default Where should a single male who is over the party scene move to?

    Gonna be making the move to Miami early next year. Lived the fast fun life for a long time, lost everything, and starting fresh. Will be spending the year building back the savings to launch a new business at the end of the year, so won't be going out and spending like the old days, but want to live in a neighborhood where it's not too crazy loud, but fun things/shopping are in walking distance and you can have a life with normal people without having to drive all the time. I'm kind of a Santa Monica, Brentwood (L.A.) kind of guy. Where's the single 25-35 year old professional crowd?

    Sounds like South Beach, Mid beach, Brickell, Coral gables, South Miami are neighborhood names that keep popping up. Love the sound of Sobe and the beach, but worried it's just a hyper-materialistic, frat scene. Do you have to spend like a demon and buy into the Beverly Hills on the beach mentality to have fun there, or is there a normal professional community that hangs out at chill places and socializes?

    Conversely, is there any kind of life to be had in Coral Gables or Brickell or am I gonna feel like I moved to the suburbs?

    Where are the pocket neighborhoods that have a late 20's, early thirties crowd that's over the party scene but likes to have a good time?

    Not sure where I'll be working yet (until I am able to work from home) so centralized location is helpful, but neighborhood comes first. Living in Santa Monica now (between the promenade and Montana). Grown up but fun. Anything similar? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi miamitime! Welcome to the forums.

    I totally recommend South Miami. And after that, Brickell.

    South Miami is a cute little neighborhood where you can walk to everything. There are bars, shops, restaurants, supermarkets, movies, bowling, post office, yoga studios, gyms, banks ... everything is walking distance.

    It's close to campus, but it's not a crazy frat party town, which means that you know you've got some intelligent people living nearby. However, you do have that nice mix of 20-30 somethings and young professionals who live and/or work in the area. There aren't a ton of apartments to choose from here, but I'd stay close to Sunset Place, which is a central mall.

    Also, here you're still not a far drive from Brickell, the Grove, (South Miami borders Coral Gables) and never really more than 15 minutes from the beach during non-traffic hours. So it's not like it's isolated. Kendall really marks the suburbs around here. South Miami is not in the 'burbs.

    And there is absolutely a life to be had away from the South beach party scene. Plenty of cultural activities and sophisticated lounges and restaurants or fun pubs and bars ... South Beach is not the end all here.

    Brickell is a nice neighborhood too, but it's still somewhat up and coming and not as walkable as South Miami.

    The advantages to both Brickell and South Miami is that you're near the metrorail, which depending on where you work, might be very convenient.

    As for south Beach, no, you don't have to spend like crazy. I lived there for years and never set foot in a club and didn't party like a frat boy. I did (and still do) enjoy the local pubs and bars on the beach, which are generally less expensive than the more frou-frou chi-chi hotel and clubby scenes. I would say it's totally possible to have a "normal" life there, it's just that South Miami is more laid back. Plus it's just more naturally beautiful here (way more tropical). It's also quieter and you get more bang for your buck rent-wise.

    Overall though -- I realize neighborhood is a priority -- but I would also caution you to pick a place depending on where you work. Long commutes aren't fun here.

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamitime
    Sounds like South Beach, Mid beach, Brickell, Coral gables, South Miami are neighborhood names that keep popping up. Love the sound of Sobe and the beach, but worried it's just a hyper-materialistic, frat scene. Do you have to spend like a demon and buy into the Beverly Hills on the beach mentality to have fun there, or is there a normal professional community that hangs out at chill places and socializes?
    Firstly, I do want to say Maria's recommendations are the best. However to answer your question about South Beach, I live in SoBe now and whilst the hyper materialistic scene is here, you can definitely ignore it and live normally... without spending like a demon!

  4. #4
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    If you can easily get caught up in the party scene, I would stay out of SoBe. It's too tempting that you're able to walk a few blocks and be at the hottest place in town. Brickell is full of young professionals and high-rises, and there are a few blocks of restaurants, but like Maria said it's not walkable and it doesn't have a real neighborhood feel.

    Maria, Where's South Miami? Is it part of Miami Beach? It sounds wonderful! I'd like to check it out one day, just so I know there are other options besides SoBe and Brickell if I decide to go for a different apartment.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    I can relate to you. Spend good part of my youth at Whiskey, Gazarris, Roxy, Circus, Oskos etc. etc.. Even though I'm not in my prime, the scence in Miami is tempting and today's music is so different.In the end it's all the same. Our parents Benny Goodman, our disco or today's flavor.

    Brickell is far enough to remove you away from being on top off that madness, or close enough to help you relapse if you decide to jump back into the fray.

  6. #6
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    Thanks a lot guys...South Miami is now coming into focus. Being close to a metrorail is always a good thing. Walkability very important to me. Really want to live in a pleasant, convenient, social neighborhood because we all tend to hang out where we live, and it makes a big difference if you can walk out your door and grab groceries or a drink within 10 blocks from home.

    What does more tropical mean? Steamier weather? Gotta say the killer heat and humidity is the only thing I'm dreading, but you can't have it all, huh?

    I'll be doing something sales oriented, but there's no way to know for sure where I'll end up, so might as well start with the right place to live. Would you guys choose South Miami over Mid Beach? Where's the better mid 30's professional single life to be had? As a newbie who doesn't know the area,is there a safety comparison/questions to consider? Specific streets with generally available housing to target?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Editor Carlos Miller's Avatar
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    I wouldn't rule out Coral Gables either, if you can find something near Miracle Mile.

  8. #8
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    The nice thing about South Beach is that there seems to be a lot of apartments/shares around the area so it makes it an easy place to land while you're looking elsewhere...

    Good to know that like Santa Monica you can go nuts or have a life without spending yourself silly.

  9. #9
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    I know you really need a car in Miami, but if hypothetically I didn't have one, which neighborhoods are self contained and would have the safety, shopping, social life, reasonably priced housing within a ten to fifteen square block area?

    So far it sounds like Sobe and South Miami. Do parts of Mid Beach, Brickell, Coral Gables fit the bill as well? I heard Coral Gables, for example, was more suburban, or Mid Beach, a couple miles from anywhere you'd wanna go...

    Is Mid beach simply the area 15 blocks north of South Beach where you might live after you grow out of South beach but not wanna hang out in? Is there a massive difference in environment? Are they distinct entities or do they kinda bleed into one another?

    Appreciate all the insight...

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    I'm definitely a fan of Coral Gables; if you find a place near Miracle Mile, you'll have walking access to so much - restaurants, shops, groceries, galleries, etc. The older buildings are more affordable, and it's overall such a safe, pleasant area.

  11. #11
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sungal
    Maria, Where's South Miami? Is it part of Miami Beach? It sounds wonderful! I'd like to check it out one day, just so I know there are other options besides SoBe and Brickell if I decide to go for a different apartment.
    Sungal, I definitely need to give you a Maria tour one of these days! South Miami is on the mainland, about 15 minutes from the beach sans traffic. I would love to show you this part of town.

  12. #12
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    Thaks, Tere..nice to know there are multiple options...I was thinking it was Sobe or nothing...

  13. #13
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi Miamitime,

    I used to live in mid-beach and loved it. But I'd still pick South Miami.

    Mid-beach starts at about 23rd street and goes up to 63rd. I put together a Google Map of Miami Beach, which might help you get oriented.

    Mid-beach is very walkable if you live close to the main commercial drag called Arthur Godfrey Road, but it's a largely orthodox Jewish neighborhood, which is a plus if you want peace and quiet. You do have shops and conveniences, and you are close to South Beach, so in some ways it's the best of both worlds. But if you live in the condos by the water, there's not much going on there. You will have to drive to grab a cup of coffee or something.

    Mid-beach does not have what I enjoy here in South Miami, which is exactly what you're talking about: I want to grab a drink on my way home before grabbing some groceries and stopping at the bookstore to pick up a magazine. Or, I want to meet a friend for lunch at Panera and then grab a movie and do take out from Outback. Or, let me take the metrorail to that historical museum exhibit downtown. All can be done in way less than 10 blocks. I never use my car!

    By more tropical, it's not that it's more humid or hot. It is very lush and green with much more flora than the beach. The number of trees here is impressive. Some are massive specimens. It's just beautiful. There are some areas that are simply breathtaking in botanic beauty. I drive by them all the time and am never bored, but I do like that kind of thing. And when I want to see water, I go to Matheson Hammock Park, which is a gem of a bayside location full of coconut palms and mangroves. It's very peaceful. You don't find anything like that anywhere on Miami Beach, which while pretty, is awfully congested. For me it's like a concrete jungle out there on the island. That's what I mean about South Miami being more tropical.

    I agree with Tere and Carlos too on Coral Gables. But Coral Gables is very big, so they mean the area that is closer to Miracle Mile, which is also very nice for shops, restaurants and bars.

    South Miami borders on south Coral Gables, which is this gorgeous area I'm talking about, near the university, but it's not walking distance from Miracle Mile.

  14. #14
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    BY the way, Miamitime, I am speaking very specifically about an area that is small as far as walkability. You would have to find an apartment in the South Miami/Gables area that is close to campus or downtown South Miami by the mall called Sunset Place. That is the only drawback here -- the number of apartments is limited.

    Ditto with that walkable area of mid-beach.

  15. #15
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    Tremendous, Maria. I really appreciate the effort and helpfulness. This board is one of a kind. Already feel so much better about the move and have a much clearer picture of where I'd like to be and why...

    I'll try to scout out some visual tours of the areas you guys are talking about. Just checking out a map of the metro rail made me see why Coral Gables and South Miami have another advantage over Sobe.

    Since as you say, housing in the exact right spot is tricky, good to have decent back up choices to land it.

    B

  16. #16
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    Starting to get it...Both Coral Gables and South Miami are bordered by the University so that's why there's a lot stuff nearby, and maybe why housing is a little tighter on top of limited supply. Sounds like the Westwood of Miami...

  17. #17
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamitime
    Starting to get it... Coral Gables Sounds like the Westwood of Miami...
    Thats a good analogy, but I'd compare the scene of Westwood more to Coconut Grove - it's still relatively close. You can expect to pay 30% less than you did in Brentwood, as well as generally earn less.

    Good Luck.

  18. #18
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    I really don't know Westwood, so I can't say. And I didn't visit Santa Monica long enough to compare. Though it was pretty!

    The South Miami neighborhood that is closest to the walkable area I am referring to is surrounded by lots of single family homes and not congested with buildings. It's not that you can't find an apartment, it's just that there aren't tons of apartment buildings. The trick is finding something with vacancy that's walking distance to everything. But in Coral Gables and South Miami altogether there are plenty of apartments to choose from.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maria de los Angeles
    I really don't know Westwood, so I can't say. And I didn't visit Santa Monica long enough to compare. Though it was pretty!

    The South Miami neighborhood that is closest to the walkable area I am referring to is surrounded by lots of single family homes and not congested with buildings. It's not that you can't find an apartment, it's just that there aren't tons of apartment buildings. The trick is finding something with vacancy that's walking distance to everything. But in Coral Gables and South Miami altogether there are plenty of apartments to choose from.
    Westwood borders the main entrance to UCLA. The north end of campus is Bel Air.
    It's comparable in regrads that you have a major campus next to a fine neighborhood with adjacent shopping, dining and enternainment opportunities. The ONLY thing I envied of UCLA was location.

  20. #20
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    I don't think South Miami is THAT walkable....sure you can walk around, be prepared to cross US1 (MAJOR highway) to get from sunset place to where the University of Miami is...

    I think that miamitime should avoid an apartment with a lot of UM students if he wants to avoid the frat party scene (Miami is totally not a frat party scene, it's more of a latin or hip hop type vibe, more upscale, not like darts and hot wings), but I guess you would get that at UM. How would he do that while still getting a decent rent?

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