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Old 01-18-2013, 07:52 PM
 
3,269 posts, read 8,382,057 times
Reputation: 2000

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Quote:
Originally Posted by inspironmini View Post
Haha, that's funny. Please quote me where I said Sarasota scares me.

This thread is titled "What's WRONG with Sarasota?". If you expected to come in here and read about how pretty the beaches are (which I actually did mention briefly in my post), and how wonderful St Armand's circle is then you fail at basic reading comprehension.

So I wrote up an informative post based on a decade of living in the area, even highlighting some of the positives, and STILL get attacked.

I post an independent reliable list that uses the most up-to-date crime statistics and posters come in an criticize it, downplay it, and ignore it.

Based on what? Your personal view of Sarasota? I'm sorry, but i'll take documented crime statistics over your personal opinions and anecdotal evidence, "Well i've been here for a long time and have never experienced any crime". Good for you, but 1000's of other people would have to disagree.

I have been nothing but nice and helpful, even using evidence to back up my claims and the posters on here attack, criticize, and use the "" smiley. And so quick to do it. Did you even read the list? Did you click on Sarasota and read the statistics specific to the area?

Geeze, maybe I should have added cold and un-friendly people to my list of what's wrong with this place. I actually was going to but didn't feel like writing out a novel of a post.

Looks like I didn't need to even mention it, one can see by some of the responses on this board just how the people of Sarasota are.
Would you say that crime is high all over Sarasota or would you think that these general stats are skewed by the extremly high crime areas...Newtown etc.?
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
52 posts, read 89,598 times
Reputation: 32
Default Exactly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by inspironmini View Post
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.


Hit the nail on the head...

Last edited by Yac; 01-23-2013 at 07:33 AM..
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:07 AM
 
36 posts, read 49,000 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueherons View Post
So you are posting an opinion on a city you've never visited?
Thats right ! Never been to HELL either but I don't want go visit it.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:47 AM
 
Location: downtown Sarasota
4,545 posts, read 11,491,848 times
Reputation: 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Where2live2011 View Post
Hit the nail on the head...
Re: no young crowd...REALLY?! I wish I was thirty in this town!!! So wrong on this point; Being 50 is a weird age IMO. I find everyone either in the 20-40 age group or 60+. As a newbie 50 year old who doesn't look my age, I feel like I'm lost between the young & the ancient altacockers...
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Sarasota
509 posts, read 707,013 times
Reputation: 457
When all is said and done, if I come to a site like city data, to find out about an area, I very much want to know how people FEEL, and what their personal opinions as residents are. Isn't that one of the selling points of this forum? I can get stats online on my own without anyone's help or input. You come here to get a resident's viewpoint.
If stats are what you're looking for, why are you here?
Google them.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:14 PM
 
228 posts, read 407,393 times
Reputation: 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obrero View Post
Would you say that crime is high all over Sarasota or would you think that these general stats are skewed by the extremly high crime areas...Newtown etc.?
Obviously there are neighborhoods which are bad and neighborhoods which experience little crime. But to say that the stats are skewed by one or two bad neighborhoods is simply not true.

Crime doesn't confine itself to one area. It leaks out everywhere. It's not as if the border of Newtown is a fence that no criminals can cross.

While Newtown may help to bring up violent crime statistics, things like burglaries, thefts, drug deals, rapes etc take place ALL over Sarasota.

For example: the current pill epidemic that hit Sarasota especially hard is more of a middle-class white people issue. The pill problem is tied into all sorts of crimes: burglaries, robberies, assaults, drug dealing, etc.

Your chances of becoming a victim will be diminished if you live in a nicer area and stay out of bad areas, but it really doesn't guarantee anything.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:25 PM
 
228 posts, read 407,393 times
Reputation: 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rushmore View Post
To all of those who are gung-ho for the crime stats, please note what has been stated on this board before:

The stats are very skewed because of the seasonal nature of the population here. There are more people "living here" than the statistics would illustrate, because they do not get counted as residents because they maintain their legal residence in other states (in spite of living here more than half the time). Thus, it appears we have fewer people living here than we actually do, so percentages go up.

Sound about right?

What sounds like a valid point quickly loses steam when you look at it in the bigger picture.

Take, for example, New York City. NYC averages over 40 million tourists a year, has an estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants, and a population way more transient than Sarasota. Yet NYC's crime rate is vastly LOWER than Sarasota's.

You could use your argument on basically every major city in this country yet most of them do not appear on the "100 most dangerous places to live" list. Sarasota does.

And if you're argument holds true then please explain why:

"The Sarasota crime index is 60% higher than the Florida average and and the Florida crime index is 38% higher than the National average.

The Sarasota violent crime rate is 79% higher than the Florida average and and the Florida violent crime rate is 73% higher than the National average.

The Sarasota property crime rate is 57% higher than the Florida average and and the Florida property crime rate is 34% higher than the National average."
Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowedSarasota, FL Crime Rates & Sex Offenders Report

Surely other cities in Florida have tons of tourists and transients. Why does Sarasota still rank so much higher in crime?

Excusing the crime issue is why the situation is out of hand. It's time for people to have an open and honest discussion about what can be done to ease the problem.

Unfortunately so many people bury their heads and pretend that it doesn't exist, as evidenced by many of the responses here.

Last edited by Yac; 01-23-2013 at 06:48 AM..
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:44 PM
 
3,269 posts, read 8,382,057 times
Reputation: 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by inspironmini View Post
Obviously there are neighborhoods which are bad and neighborhoods which experience little crime. But to say that the stats are skewed by one or two bad neighborhoods is simply not true.

Crime doesn't confine itself to one area. It leaks out everywhere. It's not as if the border of Newtown is a fence that no criminals can cross.

While Newtown may help to bring up violent crime statistics, things like burglaries, thefts, drug deals, rapes etc take place ALL over Sarasota.

For example: the current pill epidemic that hit Sarasota especially hard is more of a middle-class white people issue. The pill problem is tied into all sorts of crimes: burglaries, robberies, assaults, drug dealing, etc.

Your chances of becoming a victim will be diminished if you live in a nicer area and stay out of bad areas, but it really doesn't guarantee anything.
Your last line sums it up. Change it to read "your chances will be diminished SIGNIFICANTLY" and it would be more accurate.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
7,037 posts, read 6,321,153 times
Reputation: 13853
Oh geezus.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
52 posts, read 89,598 times
Reputation: 32
Doesn't anyone read the newspaper?
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