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Old 07-18-2012, 05:56 PM
 
Location: St. Pete, FL
654 posts, read 507,409 times
Reputation: 520
well i'm not looking for expensive, no matter how nice it is. Gotta be logical here. I'm leaning towards the Clearwater/St. Pete area, cuz they'll be near the beach (Clearwater especially), and close to a big city (Tampa). Maybe check out Sarasota. But other than that, i'm not sure where else would logically fit. I'm not rich by any means at all.

where is Wilton Mannor? What is 30A?
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
4,534 posts, read 8,255,556 times
Reputation: 3115
Wilton Manors is a smallish suburb of Ft. Lauderdale. It's reportedly got the highest percentage of gay residents of any American municipality. Lots of 1950-1970s construction from the pictures I've seen of it.

30-A generally refers to the coast road between Panama City Beach and Destin/Ft. Walton Beach up in the Panhandle. Lots of very high dollar vacation homes and such through there. If you're thinking coastal Panhandle, Pensacola has the reputation of being the most gay-tolerant area in these parts. (The gay community over there and the really, really right wing Pensacola Christian College crowd seem to have decided to politely ignore each other for the most part.)
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:53 PM
 
Location: the Great Lakes states
711 posts, read 1,092,953 times
Reputation: 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by mateo384 View Post
i'm basically looking for a small beach town city that is close enough to a big city so that my dating pool isn't wiped off the face of the earth, lol, and there is tons of stuff to do, and more potential job opportunities within reach. But i'm done with big cities to actually live in. I'd rather live in a small town.

sarasota vs. clearwater/st.pete vs. daytona beach?
Hey, I like your thinking. I took a teaching job in Orlando in 2005, also thinking that it would a great place to have the sun/sand/water nearby as well as an active gay scene. I wanted to be out of the midwest after years of dealing with that climate.

The clubs didn't disappoint in Orlando. They were fun, and the guys were really pretty cool. I really liked the variety compared to other cities. There was a dance club called Firestone, a really trendy small place called Lava maybe (?), and there were some older bars, more seedy, but could be a good time if you went with friends. It was refreshing, there were a lot of people that were either visiting Florida or moving there (some worked for Disney.) Gay guys there seemed more positive and hopeful than I've found in other places.

A good friend of mine drove in from Daytona to Orlando every Friday and Saturday night to go to the clubs. My Orlando roommate often had friends in town, who drove into the city from Port St. Lucie. So Orlando seems to be the hub of where you'll meet people.

But here were the downsides. My teaching job barely paid the bills. I found that there were no real "neighborhoods" in Orlando where I could settle in and feel like I had a community or place to call home. Moving closer to UCF would have been good, but my job was in the suburbs on the other side of the city. The school where I worked in, I loved my colleagues and the kids, but the administration was militant just like the police seem to be... they ruled with an iron fist. And due to the salary and cost-of-living, I found I couldn't afford trips to Daytona or weekends at Disney. That was depressing. And starting about April, the heat, to me, was hot... stifling hot (which would have been better if I was closer to the beach, but inland, it was terrible.)

What really did me in was the money. The rent was too high, and I just couldn't afford to enjoy myself in Central Florida, even while working in a professional field. One of my roommates moved to Gainesville and is much happier there and can afford to pay the bills. My buddy from Daytona moved back to the Northeast U.S. So the friends you make might come-and-go, especially if they find out they can't afford the cost-of-living.

Also keep in mind it's a good hour plus of driving to get to Orlando from Daytona. Not fun. And consider the cost of gas, too.

But I do love your dream about living on the beach.

Why not California??

You would save a fortune on moving costs. You would even be able to take several exploratory trips to various coastal cities in California without breaking your budget.

Here's the practical advice, the footnote, that you might not want to hear: Do some research on your moving costs, whether its renting a trailer, getting a U-Haul, or hiring a mover. Get some real numbers to plan with. Same goes for apartment rentals, look up prices on craigslist and then do your due diligence on those neighborhoods, using the crime statistics and City-Data forum research. Can you stay with family for a while at the beachside condo they have, while you get settled? Contact some landlords to see if you would be able to get approved for a rental, especially given the fact you won't yet have a job. Also look into how much it costs to get your bartending license in Florida. Everything adds up.

Good luck man!
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:12 PM
 
207 posts, read 404,539 times
Reputation: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by mateo384 View Post
i'm basically looking for a small beach town city that is close enough to a big city so that my dating pool isn't wiped off the face of the earth, lol, and there is tons of stuff to do, and more potential job opportunities within reach. But i'm done with big cities to actually live in. I'd rather live in a small town.

sarasota vs. clearwater/st.pete vs. daytona beach?
Sarasota is beautiful and the beaches are amazing! I am also in your situation only in New York city and maybe not as young as you.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
458 posts, read 877,371 times
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Cool Daytona Update!

I've read this entire tread.

What you need to know is that the State of Florida has announced that they will now be widening I-4 from Daytona Beach to Orange City, where construction will begin shortly and take 2-1/2 years! So those frequent trips to Orlando from Daytona you plan on may become a pain, especially if you begin a relationship with someone who lives there!

I'm not versed on the current gay scene in Daytona Beach, but do have lots of gay friends on the planet. I've been to the rooftop bar at the Streamline Hotel (a gay hostel and historic birthplace of NASCAR) that has a spectacular view of the beachside that anyone venturing to Daytona Beach should check out.

Sadly, most of the people there seemed to be old alcoholic "regulars" and I didn't spot many young people there. I understand the Clubs on Seabreeze Blvd and A1A are more lively and attractive for people your age. My take on the gay scene here seems to be retired couples or stable "married" couples who have settled here in their latter years.

There are also many local colleges and universities in Daytona Beach that have young students who would be of interest in finding local people for dating.

Daytona Beach would offer you an easy job as a server, but remember that a lot of places here are based on seasonal work or special events.

That being said, based on what I know my friends have mentioned of finding opportunities in the gay life, I would look into the following (affordable) beach areas -- vs. Daytona Beach option:
  • North Hollywood Beach -- Ft Lauderdale seems to now be the gay mecca of Florida and this area would allow access to SoBe and FLL club scenes. This is a hip, low-rent area nearby.
  • St Pete Arts District -- Downtown area near the beach.
  • St Augustine (downtown) -- Hip Small town. Urban living (without the high cost like Key West or SoBe). Beaches just over the bridge. Quick trip to see your parents in Daytona Beach.
  • College Park neighborhood, Lake Worth -- Urbane, hip area in Palm Beach County that's up and coming and community feel, with beaches over the bridge.
While Sarasota may be of interest, the beaches are too far from the hip areas to make this list, and they're out of your price range. There are also areas of Florida that might be of interest, but they'd also be out of your OP price range too.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:16 AM
 
14,085 posts, read 11,709,491 times
Reputation: 9950
Quote:
Originally Posted by mateo384 View Post
well i'm not looking for expensive, no matter how nice it is. Gotta be logical here. I'm leaning towards the Clearwater/St. Pete area, cuz they'll be near the beach (Clearwater especially), and close to a big city (Tampa). Maybe check out Sarasota. But other than that, i'm not sure where else would logically fit. I'm not rich by any means at all.

where is Wilton Mannor? What is 30A?
I have a gay friend who lives in the Tampa/St. Pete area. He has lived in both cities. His biggest complaints about the area:

--There are a fair number of gays in the metro area, but they are generally scattered in a very sprawling metro area (can take a while to get from place to place), so not much concentration in one place.

--Many of the gays are sort of provincial and prioritize hanging out with friends and family they grew up with over meeting someone else/new people. (Yet, ironically, many of these folks complain about not having boyfriends).

--The people are nice and generally unpretentious, but their tastes don't lean toward arts & culture, more like pretzels, beer and baseball games. For my friend, this is a negative, although it may not matter for you.

--It's generally an area where people are not that educated (once again, you may not care, but my friend does as he sometimes doesn't have much to talk about due to different interests).

My friend raves about Wilton Manor. It is supposed to be a very gay centric area of Ft. Lauderdale.

Honestly, I think Ft. Lauderdale is your best bet, if you can possibly afford it (and that is admittedly, a big "if"). My boyfriend actually lived in Ft. Lauderdale for several months and he loved it. My friend who lives in the Tampa/St. Pete area is also trying to get a job in Ft. Lauderdale.

If you do decide on the Tampa/St. Pete area, consider the Ybor City area of Tampa. It's very gay friendly and has a cool vibe (I've visited myself).
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:22 AM
 
14,085 posts, read 11,709,491 times
Reputation: 9950
Quote:
Originally Posted by summer22 View Post
But I do love your dream about living on the beach.

Why not California??
Dude, if you think it was tough making ends meet in Florida, then don't even consider suggesting California...especially for someone looking for bartender/server jobs. I live in CA, and I assure you, with a bartender job, he will be renting a small bedroom in someone's house and that is no joke (not that that's a bad thing if you don't mind, but I suspect the OP doesn't want to do that). And it will be the same problem of not being able to do all the cool stuff in California due to lack of money.

Last edited by mysticaltyger; 07-23-2012 at 01:31 AM..
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:03 AM
 
Location: St. Pete, FL
654 posts, read 507,409 times
Reputation: 520
wow, fantastic posts as of late. Thanks for all the replies. I'm so excited to go down there and check everything out before i make my final decision! And no, not California. That's way too expensive in the long run, and that's even further away from my family.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:42 AM
 
Location: St. Pete, FL
654 posts, read 507,409 times
Reputation: 520
Also, I believe that at this age and financial situation, Ft. Lauderdale is out of the question, as I can't afford 1000+ a month on an apartment. Maybe once I'm down there and after about 5 years or so, I'll make my move down there, but for starters no.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:58 AM
TD*
 
1,085 posts, read 1,551,393 times
Reputation: 331
Why do you choose to add your sexual preference? Location doesnt depend on if your gay or straight.
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