Moved from Minneapolis to Miami. Finally leaving Miserable Miami. Denver Here I Come! (Boulder: to rent, loan)
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Moved from Minneapolis to Miami. Finally leaving Miserable Miami. Denver Here I Come!
A little background.
I'm a 25 year old originally from a small town near Green Bay, Wisconsin. I attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and majored in marketing and entrepreneurial studies. During my junior and senior years of college, I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 14 months, and as a result, I'm bilingual in Spanish and English.
I graduated from college in May 2010, worked at a boring marketing firm and dated a boring girl for awhile. I broke up with said girlfriend in November 2010 and decided to move to Miami. I thought it would be a nice change of pace from the Midwest.
I did a lot of research about Miami and everything pointed to the same thing, "Don't move there, it's miserable!"
I thought to myself, These people just aren't trying hard enough to like Miami. I'll do better than them. I'm social and it can't be THAT bad. I thought I could defy the odds and fall in love with Miami, and I was totally wrong.
After 14 months of living here, I can firmly say that I am sick and tired of this place and ready to try something new.
So, that brings me to a happier topic of discussion, moving to Denver!
Looks like I'll be arriving in late May or early June. Looking in the usual places, LoDo, Capitol Hill, etc. I'm stoked to find some active mid-20s roommates and embrace a brand new city that everyone says is amazing and "a fun, more active version of Minneapolis." I never realized how great Minneapolis was until I moved to Miami. However, winters are cold and flat, and I've never lived in the mountains before.
If I can't find any roommates on Craigslist before I get there, I'll be crashing at a friend's place for a week or two while I house hunt.
I'm a very active person, and based on everything I've read, Denver will fulfil all my hobbies.
I'm a road biker, as well as a novice paraglider pilot, so I plan on spending lots of time flying in Golden and Boulder. Beyond that, I love a good hike and I recently did my first downhill mountain biking ride and fell in love.
My real question for everyone here is, Where should I work this summer? I'm a talented restaurant server (6 years of experience) and I'm looking for some suggestions.
I'd like to work in Lodo, Capitol Hill, or another trendy area. Somewhere busy, decently expensive, but not overly hoighty toighty and stuffy. I worked at a James Beard nominated restaurant in Miami and it was so stressful that it wasn't even fun. The money was great, but every pre-shift meeting included a "You could be fired at any second" reminder. A real pleasant working environment!
That's about it. I just wanted to tell you all that I'm super excited to move to your city and get to know it. I've only read good things about it!
Last edited by Mike from back east; 04-30-2012 at 05:23 PM..
Reason: Links to personal blogs are not allowed by the TOS.
"Moved from Minneapolis to Miami. Finally leaving Miserable Miami. Denver Here I Come!"
good decision. the only thing I would have to say is that if you're a very sociable person who's interested in culture, people, art, nightlife, etc. you will eventually get bored of Denver after a couple years. It'll take you about that long to work your way through the social scene, the nightclubs, etc. Then you will realize there's no more new stuff to do.
if you want to move somewhere that will keep your interest for more than just a couple years, than you might reconsider.
They won't let me link to my personal blog, Here Goes Nothing: Miami, so I'll cut and paste a very poignant article I wrote about Miami.
Title: Don't Move to Miami, Plain and Simple.
"What's it like living in Miami?"
Since moving here over a year ago, I've heard this question numerous times.
Do you want the real answer? If so, read on my friend, read on.
I woke up this morning to an email alert from Blogger about a new comment (seen below) on an old blog post:
How's it going in miami. I'm the random dude from NC who stumbled onto your blog and commented occasionally last year. Just saw this bookmark and thought I'd see how your experience has gone and how your opinion has evolved.
Do you still like Miami? Are you jaded on it like so many message board posters seem to become?
For several years now I have experienced and ongoing fascination with Miami. Not sure whether I want to live there, but it continues to intrigue me. Problem is I have a good career in nc. My wife does, too. Since the great majority of online opinions on living in Miami area pretty simplistic and shallow, it's pretty tough to form a meaningful opinion on whether an eventual move is even worth considering. But your posts are generally insightful. I hope you get notification of this comment and post an update on your experience after having been there quite a while now.
What's it like to live in Miami?
Wherever shall I begin...
Miami is not the city I thought it would be. I moved to Miami, expecting it to be like a North American Buenos Aires. This blog was started years ago when I moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina for a year long study abroad. I resurrected the blog when I graduated college and decided to move to Miami.
Miami is a wonderful place to visit. Coming down for a week in the middle of a cold winter would be great. You can go to the beach all day, eat a great dinner, and then stay up all night partying and watch the sun rise over the ocean. However, living here is another story. The culture shock I have experienced from moving from Minnesota to Miami is 10 times the culture shock from when I moved to Buenos Aires.
The only thing that Miami and Buenos Aires have in common is that they both speak Spanish as their first language. Beyond that, as you'd say in spanish, "las dos ciudades tienen nada que ver", meaning something along the lines of "the two cities have nothing to do with one another."
Miami has jaded me. I'm not the same person I was when I moved down here. I'll explain.
I read the forums and blogs before I came to Miami and told myself that I would have a different experience. I'd break the usual "Miami sucks" mindset that most out-of-towners have and find a group of great young people to hang out with. Well, approaching my one-year anniversary with the city, I can tell you that I have 100% turned into the jaded out-of-towner who moved to Miami for a change of pace, and now dearly misses where I'm from.
I'm not impressed with fast cars, fake breasts, ungodly big watches, and snobby attitudes. Some people come to Miami and fall in love with it. It's all about flash, money, and perceived status. Coming from the Midwest, none of these values were instilled on me by my parents, and I'm glad they never were. Someone driving a Ferrari in Miami doesn't mean they're a successful person, it just means that they've either saved up the money to rent it for a day and pay the $5000 to appear rich, or they don't get enough attention in their daily life, so they purchased a car they most likely can't afford.
In Minneapolis, if you saw someone driving a Porsche, it was a BIG deal. I probably saw one or two per year, so when I did see one, it was really cool. The person was probably very successful in their life. Down here, I don't even blink when I see a sports car anymore. I can sit on my balcony on any given night and watch, at a minimum, 2 Lamborghini, 3 Ferrari, 5 Maserati, and uncountable Porsche drive by. How many of the people driving them can afford them? Few I'm sure.
I met a Spanish woman who worked for a Spanish bank in the Brickell neighborhood. She also lived down there. We were talking about where I was from and what I was doing in Miami and she told me, slightly paraphrasing, "Don't fall into this lifestyle. I have a secretary that drives a BMW, she can't afford it! I pay her wage, I know how much she makes. I know she can't afford to drive that car!"
When people first come to Miami, they assume everyone is wealthy. That is not the case. Yes, there are some very wealthy foreigners who use Miami as a base of operations. However, in my opinion, the majority of the wealth is just front, or in my words, "All flash, no cash." I could easily drive a Porsche in Miami, if I took out an insanely unwise 10-year loan. However, I was raised in a place where it didn't matter what type of car you drove. The richest family in my hometown drove a new Suburban. Your social status didn't revolve around the car you drove. Here, it's different. People would rather have a car they can't afford, but appear to be wealthy, than drive a car they can afford and make the monthly payments. As my friends and I joke, we've always wanted to yell at some of the douschier guys in Miami, "Hey, why don't you sell your BMW and use the money to move out of your mom's basement."
I used to be a very trusting person. I didn't have to deal with many schiesty people on a daily basis in Minnesota. Most people weren't trying to pull a fast one on me. Here, it's a different story. I feel like everyone has an ulterior motive in their actions. If someone is talking to me about my business, I've come to think that they're internally scheming for a way to take business from me, or just all around trying to pull some con on me. I've given up on trusting people. My good friend from Miami jokes around with me that I'm too friendly/trusting of a person. I think it's sad that locals don't know what it's like to live somewhere where you can actually be nice to people and trust them in your daily doings. It's almost an issue of pride with locals about how hard skinned they are.
However, don't taking trusting and friendly to mean naive. I'm by no means naive. This ain't my first rodeo. I can still tell when someone is trying to pull a fast one on me. I'm not going to fall into the scam of going to cash someone's check because they're having trouble with the ATM, kinda thing. I have street sense when it comes to these issues.
By trusting and friendly, I mean having a conversation with someone and not having to worry that they're somehow figuring out how to make money off you. Now that my business is successful, I can't begin to tell you how many people love to come to me with ideas about how they can help me make more money. Everyone wants a cut of the next guy's success. My question for them, "Where were you three months ago when business was going poorly?" There are so many shady dealings and dealers in Miami that I feel the average citizen has internalized the fact that everyone is trying to scam you.
A good friend of mine recently moved from Miami to Denver, and she commented on how she was initially really weirded out by how friendly everyone was. I feel her pain, and I know it's happening to me too. She said it made her really nervous when people would just talk with her and ask her questions, with genuine interest, about where she was from and what she was doing in Denver. She said she felt really "on guard" because she thought they were somehow trying to scam her or rob her. In reality, they were just being friendly and showing interest in someone else's life story. That does NOT happen in Miami. I had a kid start making conversation with me at Starbucks a few weeks back, and the whole time, I was on edge, just waiting for him to "make his move." Was it going to be to ask to work for me, or tell me he had really good ideas for my company, or something. Nope, he was just interested in talking to me while we drank our respective coffees.
I have a friend who works at the restaurant I worked at for 6 months down here. He's also from Wisconsin, and we always joked around about the vanity of the women in Miami. He's dubbed this city "The Fake ***** City" and its a dead ringer. I didn't know ass implants existed until I moved to Miami. I remember seeing a girl in a bikini in Minneapolis that had breasts implants and being somewhat shocked. Like, "Wow, did you see that girl's boobs?!?" I now think it's strange to see a woman in Miami that has REAL boobs, and normal, not-filled-with-collagen lips. There's natural beauty, and then there is the "Miami 10". This is the term I've coined to describe the women down here that have done everything possible to be considered pretty. Fake boobs, ass implants, face lift, collagen lips, platinum blond hair, etc. The men gawk at them because they're a life-size barbie doll, but under it all they're still not pretty. They've created their "beauty" as opposed to being comfortable with the body/face they were born with.
There is one aspect of Miami that I love, the weather. I've never lived in a place with better climate. It's the middle of January right now and currently sunny and 80 degrees outside. You can't ask for better. I can bike, fish, and be outside year round.
It's probably snowing and miserably cold in Minnesota right now. However, I wouldn't mind being in a St.Paul coffee shop right now, reading a good book, watching the snow fall, and having a good conversation with the stranger sitting next to me. There aren't coffee shops in Miami, only Starbucks. As much as they try to create a great environment, Starbucks can never replace that locally-owned coffee shop with a revolving bookshelf of free-to-read books, a stack of boxes of well-used board games, and some good indie-hipster music in the background.
So after reading all of this, you're probably wondering, "Why the hell is he still in Miami?" The answer is...soon I'm moving. I've decided on Denver. Also a place known for endless sunshine. I can handle the cold winters, as long as snowboarding and sunny skies await. Plus, people who live in snow and bitter cold temperatures are just better people. A Midwestern wakes up at 6am, shovels their driveway so they can back the car out of the driveway, and still makes it to work by 8am. That says something about a person.
Wow, it felt really good to get these thoughts in writing. Is that the answer you were looking for Dustin?
If Miami has taught me one thing, it has taught me what I DONT want in the next city I call home.
It has taught me that my values are great, my moral compass true, my work ethic envied and that growing up in the Midwest wasn't half bad.
There you have it. My thoughts, plain and simple, about Miami.
Last edited by pmichaeljones; 04-30-2012 at 07:36 PM..
Reason: added quotes
My thinking is that Denver will be a great change of pace. Maybe ill love it, maybe I won't. If I don't, ill just move again. I'll keep searching til I find a place I want to spend some major time in. However, contrary to my Miami move, the majority of what I have read about Denver is positive, so I'm pretty excited.
I've heard LA is even more vain and obsessed with status than Miami. I can't fathom living there. Yikes!
I think Denver might provide what you're looking for at least for the short-term. It's definitely not anything close to Miami's flashy vibe and the weather really is pretty nice, even in the winter. Keep in mind that Denver isn't "in" the mountains. It's near the mountains, so don't expect to be able to go on a hike after work or anything like that. Most of the time you won't even see them unless you happen to live a few floors up and have a window facing west.
Don't really have too much advice on particular restaurants to find work at, but you'll find something on Craigslist so incredibly easily to get you started while you survey the restaurant landscape. Denver is a very good place for restaurants.
Plus, people who live in snow and bitter cold temperatures are just better people. A Midwestern wakes up at 6am, shovels their driveway so they can back the car out of the driveway, and still makes it to work by 8am. That says something about a person.
PMJ, I've lived in Miami and Denver, and you will LOVE Denver. Your blog says it all about Miami.
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