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Old 03-20-2011, 12:44 PM
 
13 posts, read 170,314 times
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This will be my first time in Key West, though I'm pretty sure I'll like it. A close friend of mine lives there and loves it. He knows my interests and has told me I'll love it, too. One weekend a month in Miami will keep me from getting island fever. Just don't tell anybody that I don't listen to Jimmy Buffett.

A kayak sounds like a good purchase. Drive to a nearby key, paddle out to a little island, then get in the water and tow the kayak behind me.

These startup costs are going to kill me. I'm getting paid well; I can afford $1,500 or more a month for a rented house. But the landlords on Craigslist want first month, last month, and deposit just to start renting. How am I supposed to come up with $4,500 when I haven't gotten my first paycheck and I'm paying $150 a night to live in a hotel?

Anyway, is there much Latin influence on the Keys? I haven't seen much from the guidebooks and videos and forums I've looked at. Maybe a place to go salsa dancing? Or a good Cuban or Mexican or Panamanian restaurant? At the very least, can I not get snickers and stares when my wife and I are speaking Spanish?

Last edited by 1Expatriate; 03-20-2011 at 12:46 PM.. Reason: Fixed typos.
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:12 PM
 
3,849 posts, read 7,070,232 times
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If you don't have the savings, I think you're going to be in some trouble.

I would ask your friend if you could stay with him for a while until you get your feet on the ground.

Not much Latin influence in the Keys. Try looking at the Coffeemill dance studio... it's off Pohalski Lane.

Try El Siboney for good, cheap Cuban cuisine, it's off Catherine. People talk about El Meson de Pepe, but I've never tried it. Salsa Loco (off Duval on Angela) also serves Mexican.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Southern, NJ
5,365 posts, read 4,884,414 times
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Coconut has given you really great advice. Save your money before coming down, you don't want to be broke before living in KW. We love El Siboney, authentic, inexpensive food.
Alonzo's Happy Hour IMO is the best bargain 1/2 price HH food and drinks.
There is so much to love about the people and the Island.

My dh and I have been going to KW a few times a yr. for 20 yrs. and it is wonderful. We have made a lot of friends there and consider it our second home.

Traveling to Miami on weekends could be tricky depending on events and time of the year. Last Oct. we left KW to catch our flight in FLL and gave ourselves 5 1/2 hrs., we missed our flight. Road construction, torrential rain, and someone driving 20 in a no passing 45 speed limit added to the extra time. I remember in Aug. the 7 mi. bridge was closed for a Marathon.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Thank you Keeper for starting this thread, it is well needed, I hope it will be permanent. kelsie
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:20 AM
 
13 posts, read 170,314 times
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Meson de Pepe looks like a cool place. If we can dance salsa, I'm happy.

I'm going to see if my new employer can put me up in a hotel for a week or two. That wil give me the free cash I need to get into a house or apartment.

What do you think of the area around Duck and Flagler? There's an apartment complex there (West Isle Clubs) that looks nice. But it's right next to a trailer park. In other parts of the country, trailer parks are havens of petty crime--break-ins, screaming drunks, domestic violence, etc. Is it the same in Key West?

Another apartment complex is on North Roosevelt right by the aiport. Does that airport serve big jets like 727s, or is it mostly little Embraer-type planes? That will affect whether I can live in that area.
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Key West, FL
8 posts, read 67,186 times
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Talking Hoping to Move to the Keys! Need some help...

I am a 28-year-old K-12 English Language Learner (ELL, ESL, ESOL) teacher moving from freezing, windy Wyoming to somewhere warm with a beach! My absolute dream location is Key West, or anywhere in the Keys. I've applied with Monroe County School District, but so far only one job has been posted, and I'm nervous I have not been called for an interview. Does anybody have any suggestions as to how I can better "get my foot in the door"? Also, I know it's a LONG shot, but if I cannot find a teaching position, is there any other employment opportunities with comparable pay? I plan to buy a home, so I will need a reliable and decent income.
Thanks!!!
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:28 AM
 
3,849 posts, read 7,070,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Expatriate View Post
Meson de Pepe looks like a cool place. If we can dance salsa, I'm happy.

I'm going to see if my new employer can put me up in a hotel for a week or two. That wil give me the free cash I need to get into a house or apartment.

What do you think of the area around Duck and Flagler? There's an apartment complex there (West Isle Clubs) that looks nice. But it's right next to a trailer park. In other parts of the country, trailer parks are havens of petty crime--break-ins, screaming drunks, domestic violence, etc. Is it the same in Key West?

Another apartment complex is on North Roosevelt right by the aiport. Does that airport serve big jets like 727s, or is it mostly little Embraer-type planes? That will affect whether I can live in that area.
I'm not terribly familiar with the apartments there. The area you're talking about is what is called New Town and as you've probably seen, rents are cheaper there.

With that said, there's nothing wrong with living in New Town. The trailer park there is large, but again, I'm not familiar with the clientele. Trailer parks can be hit or miss in the Keys. Some are okay, others aren't as good.

Bigger planes are flying into Key West these days. Air Tran brings in 737's as do some others. Noise can be a problem all over the island in terms of aircraft (there's only so far you can get away from them, after all!) The noise is not a terrible inconvenience, though... EYW is no Newark or Atlanta.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jen82070 View Post
I am a 28-year-old K-12 English Language Learner (ELL, ESL, ESOL) teacher moving from freezing, windy Wyoming to somewhere warm with a beach! My absolute dream location is Key West, or anywhere in the Keys. I've applied with Monroe County School District, but so far only one job has been posted, and I'm nervous I have not been called for an interview. Does anybody have any suggestions as to how I can better "get my foot in the door"? Also, I know it's a LONG shot, but if I cannot find a teaching position, is there any other employment opportunities with comparable pay? I plan to buy a home, so I will need a reliable and decent income.
Thanks!!!
Hi It might be tough being all the way in WY to land a job in the Keys. Knowing somebody obviously would help.

Other jobs would depend on your skill, experience, etc. What kind of pay did you have in mind?
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:26 AM
 
13 posts, read 170,314 times
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Yes, New Town sounds like a better fit for me. Old Town's turning me off for two reasons. Let me know if I'm mistaken here

First, renting a house in Old Town is insane, and not just in price. Everybody there wants first month, last month, and a thousand-dollar deposit. And most of the houses are only available part of the year.

Second, Old Town gets inundated with tourists while New Town is tourist-free. I don't like having twenty thousand tourists streaming around my house. I also don't mind walking or biking two or three miles to get to the nightlife.

Anyway, my friend in Key West found me a place to stay in for the first month. That will give me time to house hunt. Thanks a bunch for your advice, and keep it comin'.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:36 AM
 
3,849 posts, read 7,070,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Expatriate View Post
Yes, New Town sounds like a better fit for me. Old Town's turning me off for two reasons. Let me know if I'm mistaken here

First, renting a house in Old Town is insane, and not just in price. Everybody there wants first month, last month, and a thousand-dollar deposit. And most of the houses are only available part of the year.

Second, Old Town gets inundated with tourists while New Town is tourist-free. I don't like having twenty thousand tourists streaming around my house. I also don't mind walking or biking two or three miles to get to the nightlife.

Anyway, my friend in Key West found me a place to stay in for the first month. That will give me time to house hunt. Thanks a bunch for your advice, and keep it comin'.
With the rent issue, you'll find many landlords in South Florida want that, not just Key West. Business is done differently in South Florida compared to Hampton Roads.

There are certainly long term rentals in Old Town, not just for part of the year. There are also different areas of Old Town.

Of course if you're going to rent a place close to Duval or in front of say the Hemingway House, yes, you'll get a lot of tourist by you. Areas like Casa Marina, the Meadows and Truman Annex are all very residential (Truman Annex being less so than the others)

The important thing to remember is that these areas will have higher rent simply because they're more desirable.

Biking 2-3 miles doesn't seem so bad right now, but it can get old pretty quick. (or could be a pain if you've had a little too much fun... KWPD will give out BUI's, biking under the influence, which is very serious)

Can I ask what your requirements are? (# of beds, baths, sq ft) as well as budget? I think you said it's you and your girlfriend coming down, correct? That would really help to be able to point you in the right direction as to where you would get the most bang for your buck. Feel free to DM it to me if you like

I'm not a Realtor but have a long history with Key West real estate after spending a very long time evaluating the purchase of a business there.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:46 PM
 
Location: STL via MS
53 posts, read 110,690 times
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Question Key West advice please

My girlfriend and I are planning a vacation to Key West. We've never been there before so we would like some advice on where to stay. We've been dating almost a year so a romantic place is good. We love the beach and will spend a lot of time there with sightseeing being something we do after we are full of sand. Also, we are big fans of seafood so nearby places that serve that are great. Even better would be a place with a stove so we can cook fresh seafood if there are docks nearby to purchase it.

We don't have to stay in Key West. If it's better/cheaper we can fly into Miami and drive to Key Largo.

Any advice from you FL folks would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:53 PM
 
3,849 posts, read 7,070,232 times
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The most important things to know before helping you is:

-What is your budget per night
-How many nights do you plan on staying
-Dates you will be going
-Whether you're open to staying at a guesthouse/bed and breakfast or if you're hotel or motel people

As you will find as you research more, the beaches in the Keys are not as good as other places in FL. If you're simply looking for sand and water, you will find it, but keep in mind the shores are fairly rocky and not smooth with sand.

There are plenty of seafood restaurants, but personally I'm not a seafood fan so I'll let somebody else answer that.

You're not going to want to stay in Key Largo and drive to Key West every day. You want to be in Key West, specifically Old Town.

Once we know more about your plans from the questions above, narrowing down the best place to stay will be easier.
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