San Diego, CA or Coral Gables, FL? (renting, chapel)
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
First of all, I am single, 30, so I can't touch the family issues
But I have lived in the Florida Keys for 3 years, and coming from Pensacola in the Navy, I thought, wow, South Florida should be wonderful! I don't hate it here, but there is a lot of trash and crimes here. I agree with people being a lot more into their culture here. I know for a fact that in a lot of places, people will refuse to speak English. I called some places in town seeking auto service and some of them hung up on me. I felt a bit of that Indiana redneck shoot up in me, saying...um speak ENGLISH! But I withheld.
I live in Key West, which of course, is a heavily priced touristy party town. But in my experiences, I have LOVED the people who come down here from SOCAL, as opposed to the people who come down here from Miami, and the South Florida region, tend to trash it and treat it like their own private little septic tank, whether rich or not. It's really sad, cause the people from Miami are so much closer to home, but still show very little to no respect to the island community that is home to 39k people.
Last year I visited San Diego, and again this year for a couple of days where I bought a truck and drove it back from Oceanside to Key West. I loved the people and the places in San Diego, and while I did see riff raff, it wasn't anywhere near the amount of people I see trashing Miami. They have a reputation for a reason, is what I am saying. San Diego, in my opinion, blew away the competition for places I would choose to live in.
I don't go to Miami that much, it's just too hostile, crowded, and rude. People really do just step on you and look in the other direction. And don't yell out your car window unless you can evasively drive or have a gun! Road rage and dangerous drivers are highest according to Geico, in MIAMI, it made the front cover of the Key Wester Magazine a few months ago. It just seems to me like the kind of city where I wouldn't want to raise my family, and San Diego, is nowhere near the LA area in crimes, from what people there have told me.
One thing you do have going for you is money. It's getting as to anywhere in the country anymore you have to pay more to be safe. It's the way things are. And gangs are rising everywhere. I am thinking of moving to Colorado Springs and apparently the CALI gangs are moving in. Gangs in the mountains? Where are the Grizzlies when you need them?
But you don't have to take my word for it, I just thought I would help, being a person who has lived around and traveled a few places. And sorry for the rambling, it's how I make a living, I am a ghost tour guide in Key West! I wish you the best!
I don't think it's really fair to compare a city of 1.3 milliion people to one of less than 45,000. That said, I'd definitely choose SD over anywhere in the Miami area. Like others have said, I find much of So. Florida to be rundown and tired looking.
Originally Posted by Moondogger
Pacific is much rougher than the Atlantic. On most days the Atlantic is like a big lake with barely a ripple of a wave. But at least here there's more going on in the Pacific, people surfing, skating, running, walking there dogs, drinking and partying (before the ban of course) and socializing. Not to mention the street performers.
I couldn't more with the comments above. I find Miami beaches excruciatingly boring. Sure, the water is plenty warm but there is just no life at the beach. There's nothing great about floating in the water for hours. I could do that at a community pool.
I've never heard of Miami-Dade being described as laid back, even when compared to LA and especially compared to San Diego. Rude people and crazy drivers with the worst road rage in the country are generally not laid back people overall. And part of that island influence are from poor or third world islands, like Haiti. You're not gonna find the sacrificed remains of animals in our local parks from some weird Caribbean religion.
I would really spend some time in the Miami forum before deciding to move there, it does not seem like as good as a place for families as San Diego at all. You should ask this question there as well if you haven't already and see what they say to give you a balanced overview.
edit: So I guess you did ask this same question in the Miami forum and most of the responses told you San Diego; damn, people seem really unhappy there. I've been thinking about moving to Miami too just for a change of scenery and to live outside of CA for once in my life. But if I wasn't single and 25 I really wouldn't consider that place, the warm water and completely different culture and lifestyle is what is attracting me there even though most things I hear are bad about Miami but I feel I can adapt.
Thanks for responding to the laid back comment, now I don't need to. Miami is anything but laid back.
I would say of course, don't do it man but I understand your motive being single, just as long as you have a good idea what you're getting into and it seems from your post like you do. Just as long as you're also aware that Miami isn't just South Beach and that in order to really enjoy it you need to be Big Willy or P Diddy.
We are a hispanic (Mexican-American) family who grew up in the Miami area and now reside in SoCal, we also lived in NYC. Si gustas le seguimos en Espanol...
Let me just say one thing on behalf of SoFlorida compared to SoCal, which can be a deal breaker for many hispanics choosing between the 2 areas:
In South Florida you will find many more affluent hispanics. Affluent Mexicans, stay in Mexico, they have no reason to leave.
You can find entire areas of South Florida (Weston, Wellington, Pembroke Pines) full of rich people that include a large % of hispanics.
In SoCal you will be hard pressed to find such hispanic neighborhoods. My wife and I are 1 of maybe 3 hispanic families in our area of 750k+ houses. Most of SoCal affluence is white or asian, and they tend to look down on hispanics and Spanish speaking population (it took us a while to combat this kind of stereotype).
In 2006, Money Magazine ranked Weston 20th in America in the "Biggest Earners" category. It was also ranked as the city with largest job growth in Florida and 18th largest in the nation. BusinessWeek ranked Weston as one of the "best affordable suburbs" in the United States in November 2006
30.19% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race
Sorry I don't mean to start up a race debate, San Diego is beautiful and such is SoCal, but I just wanted to give you an hispanic POV. We like SoCal but we definitely had to grow thicker skin to deal with stereotypes.
DO NOT move a family into Miami proper...the place is too aggressive. BUENAS SUERTE!
I'm a former Chicagoan who's lived in Ft.Lauderdale the past few years but I've spent a fair amount of time visiting SoCal.
Coral Gables is akin to a tropical Westwood. The housing stock is beautiful pre-war Spanish, the shopping district (ironically called the Miracle Mile) has a robust Latino cafe society charm and the University of Miami gives the Gables the rarest of South Florida rarities-a young collegiate vibe. Coral Gables is not inexpensive even by San Diego standards. In fact A-Rods home in the Gables has been mentioned prominently in his recent divorce rumors and it set him back a cool 12mil! A decent SFH for us mere mortals will be at least an 850k proposition. As an anglo I myself would not be overly exited about living in Miami-Dade (even in SoBe) but I will say that other than Beverly Hills I consider Coral Gables to be perhaps the single prettiest urban oasis in the U.S. Think of a whole town with architecture resembling Balboa Park. Sort of like Mission Hills but hip and happening.
That being said the climatic differences are a matter of taste. While most of us would say SoCal's low humidity is a plus the trade off is a pronounced lack of coastal warmth. SD gets more nights under 40 then SoFla sees under 50. Also the whole idea of SoCal swimming pools is a bit of a myth. I'd imagine only 5-10% of SFH's in SD have pools whereas over 30% of SoFla homes have pools. And we're not talking about million dollar homes either. There's many safe, decent suburbs in SoFla (Boca for instance) where a guy can spend 400k and have a tropical utopia in his back yard. Not going to happen in SD at that price. Because of the warmer ocean temps Florida boating is 10 times more prevalent than in SD. I'm also into the idea of being on the East Coast and not having to wake up at 10am for the early NFL games. No state income tax in Florida either. While I adore SoCal (particularly SD) there's a bit too much of a drunken, rowdy youth culture for my taste but it's not a deal breaker and sure South Beach is intense too. OTH the legion of octogenarians in SoFla can get on ones nerves equally. SD seems more American than the Gables but once you get out of Miami then Florida becomes..well more Southern. Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and Kendall are really Latin American though. Since you're Argentinian it might be your cup a tea or you might burn out on it. South Miami is certainly more international and urban amenity driven than SD. Miami at heart is a tropical Eastern U.S./South American metropolis where even the Westside of L.A. is just a bit too mellow for my taste. Let alone laid back SD and let's not even mention the OC........
Last edited by MyKindOfTown; 07-08-2008 at 09:44 PM..
Regarding the Spanish speaking pop in SD, do they refuse to speak English like they do in Miami?
I have lived in Miami for the last 7 years and have never ran across anyone who refused to speak English to me. BTW, I only speak English. I have a Cuban-American friend who is completely fluent in both languages and speaks both as if it were his only language. When we go to places together and the proprietor speaks Spanish to him, he replies in English and they then speak English to him. So, your experiences are not ones replicated by mine.
I grew up in California and now split my time between North Carolina and Miami Beach. I have been to SD many times and can tell you that Miami and SD are completely different places. Culturally, as a former NY'er and adopted Argentine, I'd say that Miami is going to work better for you. What isn't "Latin" tends to be "NY" or "European". The weather is another big difference. While SD has more consistent temps year round, I find it sort of cold....but, then again, I like the hot tropical weather of Miami. If you like the warm Atlantic water, you'll find the Pacific to be like an ice water. The coldest Winter water temps in Miami are still warmer than the warmest Summer/Fall water temps in SD.
As for costs, both cities' housing markets are depreciating. That said, I think I'd still expect SD prices to be a bit higher.
Plus few bugs and little to no humidity. No contest.
Funny you bring up bugs. A common anti-Florida weapon in the smug Californian arsenal.
Because I live ultra close to the ocean I see VERY few mosquitoes, gnats ect. Quite a change from bug marred Chicago summers. A few years back Illinois had over 20 deaths from the west Nile virus. I knew someone afflicted and it really freaked me out because I was OFTEN bit by mosquitoes. It was completely opposite to my Ft. Lauderdale experience. In Chi I was on top of Lake Michigan and the insect population was huge close to water-here close to the ocean the number of insects is minuscule. However off the ocean it's an obvious problem. One can readily observe how the % of pools with screens increases as you go west. Within a couple of miles of the ocean screened pools are unseen but closer to the Glades virtually every pool is screened.
SoFla temps with SoCal humidity would be a winning combo. I also don't discount the chance of this place evaporating from a Cat5, although your fires aren't a great alternative. Now I know why all those folks live in 'Zona....
Ghostgecko, I just LOVED your post!! Extremelly helpful!! Thank you very much!! Your profession is SO COOL!! Ghost tour guide!! WOW!! Love it!!
Mach50, your post was great too, interesting point of view. I am not hispanic myself (I am actually Brazilian-American) but my husband is Argentinean, and we do speak Spanish at home, so I can see myself in your situation, having to deal with stereotypes... Thanks for your input! Some people in the Miami forum has recommended Weston, but it's too "burbs" for our taste (we like bigger cities) and too far from the beach... But I appreciate your suggestion!
You guys are fantastic, I can't thank you enough! Very interesting posts, lots of different points of view...
When I feel like I am almost convinced we should go to SD someone comes and say "it's sort of cold" (Thanks, RCN2!MBFL) or "California is too slow-paced (don't remember who wrote that...) which then makes me re-think everything again...
Anyway, in general SD surely seems to have much more pros than CG... But we are still not 100% convinced.
Can anyone PLEASE recommned us a nice neighborhood in SD (within our price range of 800K) close to a fantastic private elementary school? THANKS!!
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $53,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.
Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.