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  1. #1
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    Default Scared to move to Miami Beach

    Hello there! Can someone realistically tell me how dangerous Miami Beach/South Beach really is? Is it as dangerous as "Rio de Janeiro" for example?

    Here's my story: I currently live in Salvador, Bahia Brazil (Beautiful place!) in the northeast of Brazil. I am originally from Brazil but am also an American citizen (American father, Brazilian mother). I moved to the US in 1983 and stayed there for 20 years (Cincinnati, Ohio) where I met my late husband and we had 2 daughters. After his death in 2002, I decided to move to Brazil with my daughters in 2003 to stay with my family for a while. Anyway, we now want to move back again to the US and live in the Miami Beach (South Beach) area. We thought FL would be the perfect place due to its warm weather and nice beaches (Great weather and beautiful beaches just like Brazil). We also chose FL because there are a lot of Brazilians living there. And I heard Miami Beach is a great place to find work and make some good money. But I am SCARED TO DEATH to move there after the horrible stories I read on the Internet about how dangerous Miami Beach is! I heard the crime rate is very high, that girls are kidnapped all the time, that you can't go out on Memorial Day/Labor day because you could get shot or stabbed, etc, etc etc. I then thought to myself "Gosh, Are we moving to another "Third World Country"?? I'll tell you, I had no idea Miami Beach was that dangerous. I worry for our safety. There will be only the three of us and that worries me even more. Can someone please give me some advice regarding the safest areas to live and what precautions should we take? I would prefer to live in a place which is within walking distance to restaurants, grocery stores, etc. Thanks and any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
    Last edited by marybrazil; 05-27-2010 at 12:22 PM.

  2. #2
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    Wow, I don't know where you have been reading that? I find MB to be very safe. I live here alone, as do many of my girlfriends, we live in South Beach, Brickell, South Miami... Miami is no different to any other city, yes crime happens here but no more than anywhere else really. It has good parts and bad parts of town, but be sensible and you'll be fine.

    Labor Day Weekend is awesome here, it is only MDW that brings a bad crowd to town due to a music festival. But most locals know this and plan accordingly, either by going out of town or by having a low key weekend.

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    Default Re: Scared to move to Miami Beach

    Thanks for your reply Jess! It's good to hear something "Positive" about Miami Beach.

    Well, to answer your question, I read about it pretty much everywhere on the Internet. Here's one of the sites:

    http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel...oods-BR-1.html

    Bad neighborhoods, Miami Beach - Warnings or Dangers - VirtualTourist


    Maybe people just love to "exaggerate"?? I don't know....I know many people here in Brazil say that Rio de Janeiro is a "War Zone" but I have been there many times, walked on the beautiful beach of Ipanema at night and nothing ever happened to me. And I have friends who have lived there all their lives and they absolutely love Rio and say they wouldn't want to live anywhere else. So...maybe it's just plain "exaggeration"?
    Last edited by marybrazil; 05-27-2010 at 11:42 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    I wouldn't compare Miami to Cidade de Dues. Not even close.

    Maybe your friends are relating to the Miami of 30 years ago. It's not like that anymore.

  5. #5
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    Among the things you heard wrong is the part about Miami Beach being a great place to find work and make good money. It is actually a fairly low wage place with high unemployment and high cost of living, compared to most other parts of the US. You might want to factor that in your decision making.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    I agree with Jess and UTS that Miami is nowhere near Brazil in terms of crime and violence. I've been out on the beach at all hours of the day and night and the only problem I've seen with any regularity is petty theft: there are people who creep around on the beach at night who steal purses and wallets of distracted romantic couples. Gun violence in Miami Beach is rare, especially for a metro area this size. There are certain neighborhoods in the (mainland) city of Miami I would avoid, like Overtown, Liberty City and parts of Little Haiti, but there isn't much reason to go there. Miami Beach feels very safe. Just use common street sense, like walking with the crowds in well-lit areas after dark, not talking to strangers, not advertising a lot of fancy jewelry or waving money around, that kind of thing.

  7. #7
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    Hi Mary, Welcome to MiamiBeach411

    I'm dying to go to Bahia!! I read an article about it in the NY Times and supposedly it's the new St. Tropez. You're so lucky!

    I feel pretty safe in South Beach, with the exception of a crazy taxi driver chasing me to my apt once (I owed him money). Jess' friends were mugged so I'm careful to not walk near overgrown shrubs on a barren sidewalk at night. In the US it's legal to carry mace on your key chain which I've been meaning to get.

    The advice rk gave you is right on. The "scariest" thing about Miami is the lack of job opportunities.

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    Default Re: Scared to move to Miami Beach

    Thanks Sungal and everyone else who replied to my message. You have no idea how helpful it is to get your advice and opinions. And what a relief to hear MB is not nearly as bad as I thought. From what I read here so far, I realized I just have to do what I do here in Brazil everyday....just have to be cautions and not walk around with expensive jewelry/walk alone at night by yourself and stay away from dangerous neighborhoods. I just hate the idea of having to continue to do that while living in the US though. I love Brazil but one thing I don't enjoy about living here is not being able to "relax" when I go out. I remember when I lived in Cincinnati I never had to worry about this kind of stuff. But I know there's a big difference between "Miami" and "Cincinnati". Thanks again everyone for your comments!

    Yes Sungal...Salvador is a gorgeous city too! See some pics here:

    http://www.brasildestinos.com.br/wp-...ador_bahia.jpg

    http://www.gobrasil.net/images/BA-salvador-350.jpg

    http://cmmcturismo.files.wordpress.c...o_433_3241.jpg

    http://www.feriaseviagens.com.br/pra...%20natural.jpg

  9. #9
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Marybrazil - I think the factor in Rio is that it's surrounded by all the favelas in the hills. When I went there I felt safe but it was made absolutely clear to me, not to go to the beach at night. I was even warned not to go to the favelas but went anyway.

    My experience in the NE of your country seemed to tell me in was a lot calmer. I skipped Bahia on purpose, as I wanted to reserve that for a future Carnival visit - but I was nearby In Fortaleza and Recife. Great beaches up there. Got to sand surf and dune buggy at Cucumbo.

  10. #10
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi Marybrazil, welcome to the forums!

    Just to add here, I'm a single woman and lived as such for over 10 years in North Beach, Mid-Beach and South Beach. Just use common sense as folks have mentioned above and you'll be fine. If it's any comfort, I've lived in Miami-Dade County all my life, and the only time I got mugged at gunpoint was in one of the finest areas of the county - a very swanky part of Coral Gables.

    If you want a quieter and relatively safer area to live, I recommend mid-beach around 41st street. Keep in mind, South Beach in particular is very congested and urban, so while not exactly so dangerous, you will find many homeless people and some unsavory street characters. Mid-beach is largely residential and family-oriented so it's a little less congested and more peaceful.

    Another thing to consider is your daughters ... are they school age?

    I've never been to Bahia but boy do I love samba, bossa nova, Gilberto Gil, etc; you might enjoy this drawing I made inspired by Tarde Em Itapoan: sex and the beach: Tarde Em Itapoan

  11. #11
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Thanks for the photos-beautiful place! Mary, I walk alone in the evening in my neighborhood and I feel safe. You can wear jewlery..I just wouldn't be dripping in diamonds alone at night in an unsavory area. Plenty of people stroll Lincoln Rd and Ocean Dr dressed up..they're well populated streets with lots of shops and resturants. At night some people stroll the boardwalk and you'll have security patrol on bikes. Miami relies heavily on tourism so I think the city goes out of it's way to keep everyone safe.

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