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Old 01-11-2013, 07:23 AM
 
571 posts, read 585,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsychic View Post
Well, you have made your point over and over, you don't like it here. Glad you moved on. Many of us 100% disagree with you and love it here; although I do agree with you about the stupid noise ordinances. Anyway, Sarasota today is NOT the Sarasota of 10-15 years ago, I didn't like it back in those days, but it has come a long way since then. To me, it is one of the nicest cities in Florida, and definitely the nicest on the Gulf Coast.
I think Sarasota is nice, no doubt. And I wouldn't even say I dislike it but the "arts destination" tag really gets under my skin because it's clearly such a (great) marketing ploy.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:49 AM
 
279 posts, read 439,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punkfan39126 View Post
I think Sarasota is nice, no doubt. And I wouldn't even say I dislike it but the "arts destination" tag really gets under my skin because it's clearly such a (great) marketing ploy.
As an artist and coming from NYC area (where I grew up, lived and worked my whole life) i like Sarasota a lot. I'm not a retiree or snowbird. I'm youngish, a very active artist, also a punk fan :P and I live here year round. This area does offer way more in the way of arts and culture than other beachy vacation areas. You have to take it in context.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:56 AM
 
13,864 posts, read 27,213,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYtoOsprey View Post
As an artist and coming from NYC area (where I grew up, lived and worked my whole life) i like Sarasota a lot. I'm not a retiree or snowbird. I'm youngish, a very active artist, also a punk fan :P and I live here year round. This area does offer way more in the way of arts and culture than other beachy vacation areas. You have to take it in context.
Exactly ^^^
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
1,645 posts, read 2,650,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punkfan39126 View Post
I lived there for 20 years
Why?
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:38 PM
 
571 posts, read 585,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rushmore View Post
Why?
Well, I was a kid for most of it...
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:36 PM
 
228 posts, read 404,047 times
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I grew up in Sarasota and left 5 years ago. I still go back at least once a year to visit family and even moved back for 5 months (over the winter) 2 years ago. I have since lived in the midwest, mountain west, and now the northeast so I feel like I have a good handle on how to compare and contrast Sarasota to many other places.

Sarasota can definitely be a nice place if you know what you are getting yourself into and have reasonable expectations.

As someone who is in their late 20's, I can agree with some of the other posters that this is definitely NOT a town for young people. Anyone who is in their 20's or 30's looking to move here might find themselves disappointed. Most of the people here in that age group grew up here and many of them got stuck here due to getting involved in drugs or having kids at a young age (quite a few people I went to school with fall in this category).

But before I go into the bad, let me list the 2 biggest things that I miss the most about Sarasota, which are the things that I really appreciate and miss now that I don't live there.

For me the number one thing I love about the area is the weather. I realize living up north that I am simply not a winter person. Every winter I crave the warm and sunny skies that everyone in Sarasota is experiencing. The summers are obviously very hot and humid, but I actually don't mind them at all. To me it is the ideal climate. I love the sun and I love the water.

Secondly: The beaches are beautiful, especially some of the lesser known gems like Nokomis (where you can walk down the "private" area and find your own spot in the sand where no one will bother you) and Casperson. Siesta beach is obviously gorgeous too, but during the season it's often more trouble than it's worth with all of the traffic and parking issues.

Since I grew up there going back also feels pretty comfortable to me. But that is a nostalgia that many people looking to move there won't have. Since this thread is titled: "What is wrong with Sarasota?" let me address what I think the biggest issues are compared to the many other places I have lived.

1. Let me re-state that this is simply not a town that caters to young people: things close very early, old people complain about anything fun going on (noise from concerts, parties, etc.), and there is a lack of events and good solid places for young people to hang out. Despite the fact that there are a few colleges here, there really isn't much to do. It's really annoying to have old farts complaining about noise because they want to go to bed at 9 pm. For a town that supposed to be so "artsy" there really isn't much going on in the way of music, unless you want to hear jimmy buffet covers at some tourist-catering bar.

2. General layout of the town and it's (un)aesthetic look: Sarasota is a huge sprawling town. If you live in Palmer Ranch and want to get to a restaurant downtown you could be looking at over 45 minutes of driving. This may sound like an exaggeration but in the season with all of the traffic and the lights, it absolutely is not. Getting to the beach can be a hassle as well. During the high season it has literally taken me more than 30 minutes to get from the stickney point bridge to the beach accesses near the village (a distance of probably 3 or 4 miles tops). Then once you get to the beach it may take another 10 or 15 minutes to find parking.

Like someone else mentioned, compared to the neat and tidy historic towns of the northeast where things are usually centered around a core area, there seemed to be absolutely zero planning in the construction of Sarasota. In my opinion it's a sprawling mess. Of course you have beautiful areas like downtown, siesta key, St. Armands, a few historic neighborhoods etc. but other than that it seems to be cookie-cutter neighborhood after cookie cutter neighborhood, strip mall after strip mall, Applebees after Chilis after Walgreens after supermarket, etc. And the worst part is that since the economy is in the dumps, a lot of these strip malls and shops seem to sit empty. So instead of having a nice park for the public to use, we have a massive abandoned furniture store sitting empty.

This is not unique to Sarasota in any way and in fact many other areas of the country have this sort of big box characterless sprawl, but it certainly is not anything I would want to live in again long-term. I much prefer places that put a little thought into their layout and valued the inclusion of a lot of parks and open, green space for people to enjoy.

3. CRIME. I find it funny how many people try to downplay the amount of crime in Sarasota. It really is not an exaggeration to say that the amount of crime there (both petty and violent) is disturbing. This was not always the case and seems to have dramatically increased over the last 10 years or so. Sarasota can be very deceiving because for the most part it appears to be a safe and well-kept area.

I really shouldn't even have to explain this because the crime stats speak for themselves. Just because you've lived here for 30 years and haven't had an incident means absolutely nothing. Drugs, gangs, rapes, and a higher than average amount of pedophiles are not anything to shrug off. This is a huge problem for ALL of Florida and Sarasota is not excluded. And no, it isn't restricted only to Newtown and Bradenton, it happens all over Sarasota. In Osprey, in Vamo, in gulf gate, everywhere. If you are 60 years old and oblivious to the world, then you may not realize the many issues facing sarasota. As someone who is young and grew up there I can tell you that drugs are a huge deal in Sarasota, especially prescription pills. No doubt is this one of the reasons for amount of crime there.

Don't believe me? Think i'm being dramatic and over-exaggerating? Check out this website that just came out with a list of the top 100 most dangerous cities in the US. Guess who scraped in at number 100? That's right, it's lovely old Sarasota. Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed
One could make the argument that these lists have to be taken with a grain of salt. While that's true, it should speak for itself that Sarasota even made the list at all. Also, scroll down and take a look at just how many of the towns on that list are in Florida. It's pretty frightening.


Conclusion: I obviously spent more time explaining the negatives then the positives since the thread is about the bad things in Sarasota. If it sounds like i'm bitter, I absolutely am. I'm bitter that the beautiful town that I grew up in because so over-developed. I'm bitter that a town which used to be pretty safe has an alarming amount of problems with drugs and violence. I'm bitter about the potential that Sarasota, and all of Florida for that matter, had to be a great place. Naturally it's beauty is un-paralled. The beaches, the wild life, the water, it's a gorgeous place. But it is scarred with condominiums, characterless cookie-cutter neighborhoods, and general sprawl.

Even after everything that I have said, if I had the money i'd still have a place down here to escape for a few months every winter. A nice little cottage on one of the quiet back roads of siesta village perhaps.

As far as long term living, Sarasota and Florida in general is no where that I will ever live again, for the reasons I listed and also for seeing what else is out there in this country.

Don't let me completely scare you, many people absolutely love sarasota, and compared to a lot of other places it really isn't that bad of a place to live. But there are certainly other options.

Last edited by Yac; 01-23-2013 at 06:36 AM..
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:48 AM
 
61 posts, read 209,992 times
Reputation: 37
I *just* moved here. I was surprised to find that it is a lot more urban, than suburban. At least in the areas I expected to be suburban. I'm a Californian so the humidity is weird too. Cardboard moving boxes turn to soft mush here.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
6,820 posts, read 6,135,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punkfan39126 View Post
I think Sarasota is nice, no doubt. And I wouldn't even say I dislike it but the "arts destination" tag really gets under my skin because it's clearly such a (great) marketing ploy.
Why? Sarasota has 40 independent theater companies. Name another town in the country of the same size with that many theater companies.

Sarasota has an opera. Name another city of its size with a professional opera company.

The Ringling Museum is another example of a museum that should be in a much larger city.

While Sarasota doesn't have a Spoleto Festival or Art Basel to pull in artists from all over the world, it also doesn't have the resources of a city ten times it size.

As for the festivals downtown not showcasing local art, one of my artist friends said most artists don't think it is worth the money. Most people are looking for knockoff handbags that attend those festivals. The farmers market strictly limits the type of vendors and artists cannot get in.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:34 AM
 
13,864 posts, read 27,213,379 times
Reputation: 15020
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueherons View Post
Why? Sarasota has 40 independent theater companies. Name another town in the country of the same size with that many theater companies.

Sarasota has an opera. Name another city of its size with a professional opera company.

The Ringling Museum is another example of a museum that should be in a much larger city.

While Sarasota doesn't have a Spoleto Festival or Art Basel to pull in artists from all over the world, it also doesn't have the resources of a city ten times it size.

As for the festivals downtown not showcasing local art, one of my artist friends said most artists don't think it is worth the money. Most people are looking for knockoff handbags that attend those festivals. The farmers market strictly limits the type of vendors and artists cannot get in.
Plus it now has the Ringling International Arts Festival; a pretty major event for this small city. Also the Sarasota Film Festival and the wonderful Chalk Festival. These pull from all over the world.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:22 AM
 
36 posts, read 48,233 times
Reputation: 25
I have never been to Sarasota, and don't want to go there.
High crime and prices keep me away.
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