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  1. #1
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    Default Miami or Miami Beach: Which would you choose?

    Matt Meltzer has written a blog post this week that has started some great comments about living in Miami Beach vs Miami.

    Moving From Miami to Miami Beach is a Sobering Fantasy - Miami Beach 411

    Everyone knows I am a beach girl at heart, but his story got me to thinking why I am. I really enjoyed it, so take a read if you want to see the difference between living in Miami and the Beach.

  2. #2
    Member croatbob's Avatar
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    yer read it too. doesnt really apply to me but i do kno what he is sayin. there are a lot of ppl that live above there means on sth beach and it will bring themselves unstuck. if u can afford and sustain it....sth beach aint no comparison in life style to mia. id dont think id ever live in miami itself....either miami beach or further north to boca raton. miami doesnt apply to me due to high crime which we seem to avoid on the beach somewhat

  3. #3
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Jess, thanks for continuing the discussion here; it's a good one.

    I have been both a "beach" girl and a "mainland" girl at one point or another in my life. I agree with Matt up to a point when he is referring to a particular demographic. But there are many other people living on the beach that are making permanent lives there and have been for years. I don't think it's so much about the place, but how you choose to live there.

    I lived on the beach for over a decade and I worked a full-time job for part of that (on the beach). I taught and practiced yoga. I enjoyed many cultural activities. I think I set foot in a club once or twice and that was briefly out of obligation. My life was as stable and normal as anyone's on the mainland and while I had a lot of fun, it wasn't part of that lifestyle/pipe dream Matt is referring to.

    I'm not saying that there aren't people like that on the beach. Certainly, it's a very transitional place! But it doesn't cover the whole of Miami Beach in general.

    Croat -- mainland Miami has crime for sure, but depending on where you live, it's no worse than South Beach! I think you may have a misperception because when you say "crime in Miami" I have to ask you where? Miami-Dade county is so sprawling.

    I always encourage newcomers to get to know the mainland some more. You're missing out on a lot of good stuff. But anyway, you just moved here and you have plenty of time to explore. :-)

  4. #4
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    I think what I mean was South Beach, not the entire City of Miami Beach. As I told someone today I don't think this applies to people north of Dade Blvd. Yeah, I'm sure there's still SOME normal people down south of there, but not many.

    I prefer the City. Like Brickell and Little Havana have been my 2 favorite areas I've lived in the City, and I've lived in a lot of 'em. But like I said, that's because you feel more like a local there. Out here, even if you've been here a decade, you still feel like a tourist.

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    But there is nothing wrong with living like a tourist 365! Do you know how lucky we are to be able to do that? People everywhere else are jealous of that, why do you think everyone wants to move to Miami Beach?!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Marc Middleton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miami or Miami Beach: Which would you choose?

    I just read the article and while it was written in a professional manner, I have to disagree completely. As someone who has waited 27 years to get to the beach, I've finally arrived and i'm not going anywhere. And hopefully my user account won't be going anywhere after this either :-)

    You write as if living in the Beach is just for the memories, and the world has moved on without you. Yet the beach is surrounded by multi-million dollar homes & condos and $100k cars. These people came here for a reason, to live in paradise.

    You write as if climbing the corporate ladder at some unimportant company in Miami is more important in life than doing whatever it is you love to do everyday (i.e. enjoy the beach for us). Or buying a house, getting married, and having 2.1 kids is the key to happiness in life. Or owning expensive, overpriced furniture is important as proof you have done something in your life.

    If you like Brickell better, that is your opinion and no one can argue that. Or Hialeah, Doral, Sweetwater, Kendall, or any of the dumps that are the city of Miami. And make no mistake about it, Miami is covered in crappy cities. I work in Doral and the price of a 1 bedroom in a decent building is the same price as that of a place in South Beach. So why live in Doral? It offers nothing but a golf course and shitty traffic. You mention how ilfe is more normal once you are back in the city but I assure you, its the opposite. I can't wait to get out of 'Miami' after work and get back to the normalcy that is the beach. Going over the causeway leads to calming effect rather than heading towards downtown to begin navigating through bad traffic, bad drivers, bad English, and bad people. Sure MB has crime, but so does every city. If you ever lived or wanted to live in NYC, LA, Chicago, etc. you need to be alert and not be stupid and that applies to Miami Beach.

    You make it sound like living by the beach is for people who don't know what they want out of life, but it sounds to me as it is the reverse. They have found what they are looking for. A small piece of paradise. Sure there are lots of waiters and waitresses but there are also club owners, small business owners, hotel managers, property managers, realtors, etc. just like any other city. They know what they want and thats to live by the beach and not make life more complicated than it has to be, which is what the people 'over the bay' are doing, buying overpriced furniture (which you say no one owns) in their 2000 SQ foot homes in Coconut grove paying $6000/year in property taxes and have a $500k mortgage or live in a $300k 1 bedroom condo in a high rise building that tells you when you can and can't move in, no where to walk your dog, and overlooking the poverty of downtown Miami just so you can be close to whatever job you are working 70hrs a week at just to make ends meet. For us by the beach, that isn't 'making' it, that's missing out on life. One day you wake up in this so-called 'reality' and wonder where your youth went. While these people only dream of going to the beach today, we're already there. And for us beach people, we've realized the importance of enjoying life, which is what we do every day.

  7. #7
    Editor Carlos Miller's Avatar
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    I stick to Miami. The Cuban food is better on this side of the causeway.

  8. #8
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Sobespace,

    The people with the fancy cars and fancy homes have fancy homes elsewhere. Many of the celebrity homes sit vacant for most of the year. In fact, many of the celebrities have moved.

    What Matt is saying is that SoBe is a place to come for young, single people who want to "drop out of life" for a year or two. They've gone to college and have had professional jobs, but for whatever reason they want to come to Miami, chill, enjoy the beach, party, and have low stress job, and value extra beach time more than working overtime to buy a designer handbag. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with this.

    A lot of the people I know here are adventorous (they moved here probably knowing no one and having no job), happy, don't care about material things as much as people in other cities, and in general always ready to have a good time, and are very outgoing.

    As far as Miami vs. Miami Beach, I do get a little tired of South Beach and think Brickell would be a great place to live long-term.

  9. #9
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Ah sobespace, we never censor anybody here unless they are abusive and/or inappropriate. And you were neither, so your membership is not in jeopardy just because you disagree with me. if we banend everyone on here who disagreed with me I think we'd have exactly 0 members left.

    That being said, you must have skipped the part of the article where I said

    "Am I saying this is a bad thing? No, no I am not. I am just saying that people who live in the Beach do not subscribe to the traditional American paths of life."

    And you really can't assure me life is more normal on the Beach than in the City. For you maybe. Not for me. For me, perpetual transients and snowbirds and nothing concrete is weird.

    That being said, I'm definitely not someone who ever aspires to climb any sort of corporate anything, or get married, or have kids, or any of that. But most cities are full of people like that, and give the city a normal feel. And I like that. I like being the guy who has a weird job and sleeps in and doesn't worry about money while everyone else around me is in a rat race. But as someone who has pretty much chosen Miami over every "real life" opportunity I've had, I am offended by people who come here to "play" for a couple years and leave to do "real life." yet call themselves "locals" while they're here for 19 months. They want it both ways. Being a "local" means making a lot of sacrifices, and the transients don't seem to get that. They're not locals. They're long-term tourists.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    The Beach can be many things to many people. For the Bohemian-minded, it's a good place to drop out of the rat race; for the entrepreneurially-inclined, it's a good place to start up a business. Matt's experience doesn't invalidate someone else's just because it's different, nor does Sobespace's invalidate Matt's.

  11. #11
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    I will say this, within 6 months of moving here, I felt more like a local, more welcomed at my regular haunts than I ever did in the city I grew up and lived in for 30 years. South Beach totally has a local feel to it, for the locals. I love walking down the streets and waving to people who I have seen on the same streets for years.

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    I've only lived in Miami for about 2 months now and originally I was thinking/wanted to live in the Miami/South Beach area considering if I'm going to living in Miami, might as well live in the beach area to get the full life style. Instead I settled on the out skirts and ended up around the North Bayshore Village. I'm happy and content on my decision. I can always drive to Miami/South Beach (10-15 minute drive) where it's more lively and then come home to a quite neighborhood. Best of both worlds.

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    Senior Member FredTheCatTravels's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miami or Miami Beach: Which would you choose?

    Matt, I think you make some excellent points but as someone who lives in a beach resort in South Carolina, you have that scenario in every tourist area.

    When your livelyhood depends on tourism, you likely don't work 9-5 Monday through Friday. You likely work nights and weekends. I'm not just talking waiters and bartenders but restaurant managers, EMT, police, hotel employees, many of those otherwise 'normal' jobs that support tourism. You don't vacation when everyone else vacations, dad not walking in the door by 6PM for dinner just isn't a reality because of the nature of the beast.

    Think about places like Las Vegas where everything is on 24/7. Those people get married, have kids, put kids through college, go to Hawaii on vacation, and may very likely work from 12 midnight until 8AM.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    I've been in Miami for the last five days and still have not crossed over to SoBe.

    My vote is for west of the causeway.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    So what are some of the things that you're finding to do with your time west of the causeway, UTS?

  16. #16
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miami or Miami Beach: Which would you choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    So what are some of the things that you're finding to do with your time west of the causeway, UTS?
    I've been forced to take it easy as a bulge between C6-7 is baning my spinal cord again. The dospak will have to do till my epidural series start on Wednesday. So I've been limited a bit. Friday we went to Doral with the Mrs. to watch a filming of a commericial. My mother is also with us on this trip. She loves BaySide so we spend a couple of hours there and ate at the Hard Rock. That evening we visited friends that just moved into the Asia Building. Very impressive condo. The best I've seen to date in Miami.

    Saturday morning I rented a lobster ball machine at Crandon Park and felt well enough to hit balls for 30 minutes. Back home for a quick swim/jacuzzi and slouching the rest of the day watching college football, particulary SC vs. Minnesota but the ND vs, Mich St was a treat. Capped the night off watching The Lives of Others, reconfriming this German film as my favorite all time movie.

    Sunday is also dedicated to football watching but after walking Chunche twice around the island and sneaking an empanada at the Islander Market. A stay home day except hitting Little Flower Church in Coral Gables for the early mass.

    Today I picked up a cousin at the airport and tomorrow we head back to CFL. We'll be back in ten days and might cross the causeway then. Sometimes it's to big a hassle to deal with traffic and find parking, especially as we prefer Key Biscayne much more.

    South Beach I guess is OK, but it doesn't move me like many people. Sometimes it's just nice knowing it's an option we have nearby, as we can see some of her buildings from our balcony. Sometimes, that's good enough.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Miami or Miami Beach: Which would you choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by coach View Post
    I will say this, within 6 months of moving here, I felt more like a local, more welcomed at my regular haunts than I ever did in the city I grew up and lived in for 30 years. South Beach totally has a local feel to it, for the locals. I love walking down the streets and waving to people who I have seen on the same streets for years.
    I love it too. I think that due to the beach being so full of tourists, the locals like to feel like they belong as such. The beach is such a different place if you are not here on vacation. Once people recognized me as being a 'local' as in here more than 2 weeks, everything changed.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miami or Miami Beach: Which would you choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Under the Sun View Post
    I've been forced to take it easy as a bulge between C6-7 is baning my spinal cord again. The dospak will have to do till my epidural series start on Wednesday. So I've been limited a bit. Friday we went to Doral with the Mrs. to watch a filming of a commericial. My mother is also with us on this trip. She loves BaySide so we spend a couple of hours there and ate at the Hard Rock. That evening we visited friends that just moved into the Asia Building. Very impressive condo. The best I've seen to date in Miami.

    Saturday morning I rented a lobster ball machine at Crandon Park and felt well enough to hit balls for 30 minutes. Back home for a quick swim/jacuzzi and slouching the rest of the day watching college football, particulary SC vs. Minnesota but the ND vs, Mich St was a treat. Capped the night off watching The Lives of Others, reconfriming this German film as my favorite all time movie.

    Sunday is also dedicated to football watching but after walking Chunche twice around the island and sneaking an empanada at the Islander Market. A stay home day except hitting Little Flower Church in Coral Gables for the early mass.

    Today I picked up a cousin at the airport and tomorrow we head back to CFL. We'll be back in ten days and might cross the causeway then. Sometimes it's to big a hassle to deal with traffic and find parking, especially as we prefer Key Biscayne much more.

    South Beach I guess is OK, but it doesn't move me like many people. Sometimes it's just nice knowing it's an option we have nearby, as we can see some of her buildings from our balcony. Sometimes, that's good enough.
    Well, for taking it easy, it looks like you've kept pretty busy!

  19. #19
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    FredTheCat, yeah, a beach town anywhere is going to have the same things as here in the Beach. But here we also have a large city right next to it. Hence my pointing out the proximity of normal to super-transient.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Of course, even the big city part of Miami is still pretty transient! Like you often point out, people move down to live their fantasy, and then leave within a year or two. Many of these people live in mainland Miami.

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