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Old 04-20-2009, 09:13 AM
 
425 posts, read 1,005,351 times
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So, as I think I've mentioned before, part of our super strategic plan for finding out where we want to buy in the area involves living in different spots via by-the-month vacation rentals.

So far we've spent time in Clearwater and now we're in St. Pete. People in Clearwater and people at my job had acted like our world would in when we moved to St. Pete. I mean, the hate was horrible! I've seen it in the forums occasionally also. I honestly expected bums to be knocking on our door by the hour asking for money- and I'm not kidding about that. This place was painted like an inner circle of hell.

Now that we're here (in the historic NE), I'm wondering where all the haters are getting their material. We're staying on a neighborhood with absolutely gorgeous old homes, and we're just a few blocks from a wonderful long park on the bay and a reasonable walk to downtown. Trips to the grocery store out on 4th street have revealed a good mix of friendly people, probably a tilt toward younger folks. There are lots of seemingly happy, healthy and friendly individuals, couples and families out in the streets and the park.

We did see some bum types hanging out under a 275 overpass. And there are people selling newspapers on many corners. Not sure if they are real bums or not though- they all seem to have t-shirts from the local newspaper. I'm also sure, like any reasonable sized city with nice parks, if you walk around enough you might see a bum here or there.

I can also say that there are ghettos all over Pinellas County. In the southern central area (Pinellas Park, etc.) we've seen some very undesirable areas. However, if you don't have to live, shop or do business there and your exposure is only the occasional pass through in your car, I'm not sure what the issue is.

Anyway, I hope this post will encourage prospective residents to experience things for themselves. Pinellas County is a lot different depending on where you are at, not to mention the greater Tampa Bay area as a whole. There are little factors that sometimes mean a lot (oftentimes negative) that you won't find out from months of research, but once you're here it only takes a few minutes.
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