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  1. #1
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    Default Back from 10 days in Miami

    I'm back from my 10 days exploratory trip to Miami. For the history of my situation see:
    Coming to explore Miami...
    Considering a relocation to Miami...

    I did the bus tour it was very helpful and interesting, a good value. Jorge, the driver was a nice fellow.

    Miami Beach, Coconut Grove and Coral Gables are nice places to live. Even the Miami Beach Flamingo could be an easy temporary place to live (did not see any prostitutes, dealers or anything like that)

    This 10 day trip was a blast. I spent the first few days at the Eden Rock Renaissance for a conference. We had a good time, the hotel is about 2 miles north of Lincoln so if you plan on leaving the hotel, you will need a ride. The Eden Rock Hertz guy, upgrade me to a nice Benz (e350). That is one comfortable and stylish ride.

    I spent a memorable evening with one of the conference organizer and 4 top models. One of those introduced herself has "My name is Amber, and I'm Amberlicious"...she sure was... That was a very enlightening evening for me, since I typically do not evolve in that world. Everywhere we went those girls became the center of the world (people actually rotated their chairs to see them while eating)...

    A few days later, my wife and kids, joined me and we stayed at the Miami Beach Loews. You get the VIP treatment when you book a suite (I didn't know). That is a nice bonus, when travelling with 2 little kids. They make it easy to book a nanny. Our nanny, Martha, was exactly what you would want in an unknown place. The Loews had just one big pool, with a nice kid's area that slops like a beach. The Eden rock has 3 or 4 pools. The Eden rock is a little cheaper and nice if travelling to Miami Beach just for the beach/resort experience (it has a smaller more "intimate" beach, where the Lowes beach feels like its 1/4 mile wide). The Loews has a better location (nearly across Lincoln), it is more lively and maybe a bit more fancy. Our favorite hangout became the News café on ocean drive (made famous by Versace). All the food was good; my wife really liked the "duck quesadilla". Here is a live web cam at the News café:
    EarthCam - Miami Cams

    All in all, Miami Beach is definitely a place we could live at. It's got good food, nice people (not one single issue), nice weather, diversity, beautiful beaches, culture and all that nearly at walk able distances. Coconut Grove and Coral Cables are also options.

    The only issue I encountered was with the Miami PD. I was going to pick up my wife at the airport and was using the car's built-in GPS. The GPS made me take surface streets in probably some of the worth neighborhoods of Miami. So here I am totally lost in a flashy e350 with colorful helium filled balloons in the back seats (for the kids at the airport). I suddenly saw these groups of kids (I thought to my self, they must be gang members or something) and decided that I would try to keep a minimum speed. Well those "gang members" were really school children and I was doing 30 mph in a 15 mph school zone. Got busted with a $419 speeding ticket!
    Last edited by christophe; 10-17-2010 at 09:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Glad you had a great time! So you think Miami is going to be the place for you then?

    Sorry about the speeding ticket... the school zones are probably the strictest speeding zones we have here.

  3. #3
    rk
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    Thanks for the report, very helpful. If you'd done the speeding almost anywhere else in the area you'd have been OK, the traffic rules are rarely enforced.

  4. #4
    Gus
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    Thank you for coming back and telling us about the trip. Sounds like you had a great vacation.

    Happy you enjoyed the tour. I'll pass along your comments to Jorge.

    Please keep in touch!

  5. #5
    Preferred Member nefrocatracho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back from 10 days in Miami

    Quote Originally Posted by rk View Post
    Thanks for the report, very helpful. If you'd done the speeding almost anywhere else in the area you'd have been OK, the traffic rules are rarely enforced.
    Oh RK I beg to differ. I've gotten 3 speeding tickets in one year. Granted only one was in the city of Miami, but still. The only time I ever got pulled over in the Chi was for going like 80 in a 40. Even then they'd dumb it down to 69 so you could avoid the mandatory court appearance.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    F__K school zones. All they do is cause traffic. If your goddam kid can't look both ways before he crosses the street, that's not my problem. They seriously oughta be eliminated.

    And, yeah, guy, it's real easy to think Miami is a place you can live when you're having dinner with models, staying at a suite at the Eden Roc and driving around in a rented Benz. Everyone thinks that when they're here on vacation. You know those areas you drove through on the way to the airport? THAT'S living in Miami. What you did was a vacation. So this is definitely a place you could come visit. Living here? That's a f*ck of a lot harder than having a nanny in a suite at the Eden Roc.

    But glad you enjoyed your trip.

  7. #7
    rk
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    Default Re: Back from 10 days in Miami

    Quote Originally Posted by nefrocatracho View Post
    Oh RK I beg to differ. I've gotten 3 speeding tickets in one year. Granted only one was in the city of Miami, but still. The only time I ever got pulled over in the Chi was for going like 80 in a 40. Even then they'd dumb it down to 69 so you could avoid the mandatory court appearance.
    Ouch, you must be the exception that proves the rule.

  8. #8
    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back from 10 days in Miami

    Quote Originally Posted by rk View Post
    I treat speed limits as minimum speed suggestions
    No doubt rk!

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    Default Re: Back from 10 days in Miami

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    F__K school zones. All they do is cause traffic. If your goddam kid can't look both ways before he crosses the street, that's not my problem. They seriously oughta be eliminated.

    And, yeah, guy, it's real easy to think Miami is a place you can live when you're having dinner with models, staying at a suite at the Eden Roc and driving around in a rented Benz. Everyone thinks that when they're here on vacation. You know those areas you drove through on the way to the airport? THAT'S living in Miami. What you did was a vacation. So this is definitely a place you could come visit. Living here? That's a f*ck of a lot harder than having a nanny in a suite at the Eden Roc.

    But glad you enjoyed your trip.
    Thanks for the feedback everyone.

    You're funny Matt. You remind me of some of my Parisien friends. Everytime I see these guys, they b**ch about life in Paris. When asked "why don't you move?", they respond "where?...what city can top Paris...".

    Why is Miami any different then LA? When you live there you just avoid the bad neighborhoods. In LA, I once visited Compton, when I realized that it did not take 30 seconds, after getting out of my car (another flashy car), to nearly get mugged, that was it, never returned. Same applies to all big cites from Cairo to Paris. Being in Denver (for too long?) I forgot that airports in big cities are usually near the worst neighborhoods (same applies to Paris).

    I guess in any big city, one should also map the neighborhoods to avoid and stick to the freeways when crossing them. What would be the neighborhoods to avoid in Miami?

    Matt, you got the orders of things backwards , I didn't go on vacation to Miami and decided, between a lobster at cafe Milano and a cognac at the Loews, that I wanted to live there. I went, on purpose to Miami to see if it was livable. My conclusion is yes. More importantly my wife also thinks it is (and she is picky, compared to me, about surroundings).

    I do agree with the french speaking cab driver, from the airport, who said: "Il faut de l'argent pour bien vivre a Miami". In English, "You need some money to live well in Miami"... that also applies to any big city....
    Last edited by christophe; 10-19-2010 at 07:39 AM. Reason: spelling

  10. #10
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Hii Christophe, glad you had a good time in Miami, and sorry to hear about your speeding ticket. The best areas of Miami proper tend to be on the South side of the city. As you travel down Highway 1, the areas south of it are very upscale, from Coconut Grove to Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay. They grow increasingly more suburban. There is one pocket of Coconut Grove on the far west end, however, that can be a little dodgy, but overall, it's a good place to be. Coral Gables is also very upscale. So the worst parts of town will be the areas right around downtown -- downtown proper, Liberty City, Overtown, Wynwood....and the north part of Miami has a lot of questionable areas, like Allapattah, Brownsville, Miami Gardens and Opa Locka.

    This map will give you an overview of which areas are safe, less safe, and downright dangerous:

    Miami-Dade County - Google Maps

  11. #11
    Jim
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    Default Re: Back from 10 days in Miami

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    F__K school zones. All they do is cause traffic. If your goddam kid can't look both ways before he crosses the street, that's not my problem. They seriously oughta be eliminated.

    And, yeah, guy, it's real easy to think Miami is a place you can live when you're having dinner with models, staying at a suite at the Eden Roc and driving around in a rented Benz. Everyone thinks that when they're here on vacation. You know those areas you drove through on the way to the airport? THAT'S living in Miami. What you did was a vacation. So this is definitely a place you could come visit. Living here? That's a f*ck of a lot harder than having a nanny in a suite at the Eden Roc.

    But glad you enjoyed your trip.
    Nasty mouth. Remind me not to wave to this street urchin. He's gutter trash.

  12. #12
    Preferred Member laurab's Avatar
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    I don't find living here in Miami nearly as hard as Matt discribes it. I have lived here for 9 months now. We started off on Bay Harbor Island and now live in unincorporated Dade county, a couple streets down from Miami Shores. We live in an area that is a mixture of what I consider nice houses, and a couple streets down from being kinda the hood. I find Miami like that in general, very mixed. One street can be great, then you turn the corner and you are in Compton. Or in Miami's case Little Haiti.

    But in general, once your housing needs are met, Miami is pretty cool. Lots of different areas, people are diverse, for the most part pretty nice. The beaches are great, weather is great.

    Drivers are terrible though! My husband and I cannot understand why people do not pull over to the side of the road when they are pulled over??? Its the most bizarre thing. Cops stop people in the middle of traffic causing congestion!

    I have lived in many places, I think Miami is quite pleasant to live in.

  13. #13
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Thank you for your sense of humor there, Cristophe. I don't only bitch about Miami, I just think that people need to understand that living here is NOTHING like coming to visit and staying at a beach hotel. No, it's not living in the 'hood by the airport either. But it's a difficult place. As I ask everyone "If this place is so great, why is it so transient?" Nobody seems to be able to answer that. It's got its great moments, but there's reasons you never see it on lists of most livable cities.

    Laura, you've been here 9 months. Get back to me 15 months from now and tell me how easy it is. 2 years is the breaking point for most people, give or take, My guess is some force between now and then will have you seriously considering leaving. Unless you're on some sort of set-term assignment here.

    And Jim...Freak You.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    The drift I catch from Matt is that if you're passive and don't complain, you really don't give a shit about the place. The key is also to try to do something about it, but the process always statrts with bitching.

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    Preferred Member nefrocatracho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back from 10 days in Miami

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    "If this place is so great, why is it so transient?" Nobody seems to be able to answer that.
    Matt I think I may have a partial answer. In my short time here I've met a few people moving back home. Job prospects and upward mobility suck here. I'm not just talking about recession Miami. Miami period. One of my friends from back home who is also a doc wanted to leave practice and work in the pharmaceutical industry. Guess how many major pharmaceuticals are located in S Florida? Something like zero. He wanted to stay but couldn't do it. He's going back to da Chi where he got a job with Abbott. Miami has a poorly diversified economy, mainly tourism and some international banks, and construction/development which is related to housing and population growth, which is slowing.

  16. #16
    Editor Carlos Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Back from 10 days in Miami

    Quote Originally Posted by nefrocatracho View Post
    Matt I think I may have a partial answer. In my short time here I've met a few people moving back home. Job prospects and upward mobility suck here. I'm not just talking about recession Miami. Miami period. One of my friends from back home who is also a doc wanted to leave practice and work in the pharmaceutical industry. Guess how many major pharmaceuticals are located in S Florida? Something like zero. He wanted to stay but couldn't do it. He's going back to da Chi where he got a job with Abbott. Miami has a poorly diversified economy, mainly tourism and some international banks, and construction/development which is related to housing and population growth, which is slowing.

    It's true what you say but everyday we hear from people who are dying to move down here, people with education and skills, so somebody is dropping the ball by not attracting the big companies down here.

    It's true that compared to other cities, we have a lower education rate. And we also have that language barrier issue.

    But companies based down here shouldn't have a problem recruiting talent.

    But what do I know? I'm just a journalist. Not an economist.

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    The reasons I hear about people moving seem to be mainly:


    • They can't meet anyone to have a serious relationship with.


    • They can't find a job.


    • They had a bad experience (Held up at a club and mugged are two examples of people I know moving.)


    • They want to make more money.

  18. #18
    rk
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    Default Re: Back from 10 days in Miami

    Quote Originally Posted by fredgarvin View Post
    I routinely exceed 90 on South Pointe Drive in my new custom red Rolls Phantom Drophead coupe.
    Jess, good summary. Here are two more reasons I've heard from people who moved away from Miami (not specifically south beach):

    (1) The weather - too unpleasant in summer.

    (2) The general lack of civility and politeness (co-workers, drivers, store clerks etc.)

    I am not saying these are my reasons, just things people have told me after they moved away from Miami.

  19. #19
    Editor Carlos Miller's Avatar
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    I think the fact this is a very transient city is one of the reason people don't stay. When it comes down to it, people want to feel as if they are part of a community.

    But because so many people down here are from somewhere else, it can be difficult because people don't automatically assimilate and adjust.

    Here, you have your Northeasterners always complaining how it is done up north living among Latin Americans acting as if they are still living down south.

    The only people who truly feel at home here are the sons and daughters of the above-mentioned, who generally don't have a say when their parents decide to move back home.

    When I lived out of Miami for ten years, including Europe and the Southwest, I never really felt at home anywhere, especially when I lived among the locals.

    That was one of the reasons why I moved back. I wanted to live in a place that was mine.

    I never really felt that anywhere else with the exception of Southern California, which is very transient like South Florida. But even then, I wasn't really a local. I just wasn't outnumbered by them because hardly anybody else was a local either.

    Miami is a weird place. You really have to grow up in it to fully understand it.

    While it may seem adventurous and enticing to people when they first move down here, it can be very indifferent and aloof to people accustomed to a Norman Rockwellian America.

    But those of us who are from here know that it is still evolving and we are all doing our part to make it reach its full potential.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    I never really felt that anywhere else with the exception of Southern California, which is very transient like South Florida. But even then, I wasn't really a local. I just wasn't outnumbered by them because hardly anybody else was a local either.
    Perhaps that is the main reason I'm perplexed by some here label that themselves as "locals". It must be a terrotorial thing as the only one's who referred themselves as locals in SoCal were the surfers.,

    I agree with Jess's list, partuculary the money issue. Of the majority of people I know in Miami, they are only here because they go out of town to make money.

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