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Old 04-07-2012, 10:04 PM
4 posts, read 29,204 times
Reputation: 12


I am writing to ask for some needed advice. My family and I are moving to the Aventura/Sunny Isles area. We are 5th generation florididans. We are Jewish and like the idea of living in a Jewish community therefore the Aventura/Sunny Isles area appeals to us.

Relative close proximity to the Aventura Hospital is important however Sunny Isles is still close enough to make that a possibility in terms of setting up residence there. The Golden Shores area is still a safe distance....south of there it starts to feel a bit too far away from the hospital.

I frequent Whole Foods daily and need to be able to drive there in an emergency to get what I need for my family members. Close proximity is key. I read quite a lot about traffic nightmares in this area. Is the drive from Sunny Isles to Whole Foods problematic at certain times of the day?

We homeschool so schools are not an issue...for now.

I would like to be close to the beach as I believe the ocean will be healing for one of my family members who is ill.

Are there any communities which are within walking distance to the Jewish Community Center or any other Jewish venues. My Father can no longer drive but enjoys walking and I am looking forward to his being able to socialize with others in his age group and who share a similiar background and heritage.

I noticed there are not many beach accesses with parking nearby or right on the beach. Loggia seems to be one. I cannot have my son or Father walk more than 100 feet to the beach so need to be able to park nearby. Other than Loggia are there any other beach access points with parking right at the beach?

Is there a favorite beach....a preferred beach for the locals. For kids, families, etc? Clean, safe, etc.

I gravitate toward a young professional crowd. I am looking forward to the wonderfully diverse pop in Sunny Isles...is Aventura diverse as well??...I cannot seem to obtain that info. We are disintegrating where we reside currently as it is mind numbing from an intellectual standpoint. We are so looking forward to this move.

We have lived all over the world and embrace diversity so we will fit right in. Aventura and Sunny Isles are it for us....but where specifically?

Whole Foods, Aventura Hospital, Beach access with parking immediately adjacent, Jewish Community....an elderly family member, a teenager, globetrotted mother who appreciates the cosmopolitan, the diverse, the intellectual crowd. I like the Golden Shores area but the rentals are exhorbitant for unattractive dated interiors with 1970's cabinetry and bad ceramic floors. We won't discuss the bathrooms.

Condos. Hmmm. Remember I am a 5th generation floridian so the term "high rise" is tantamount to a swear word. However I could be persuaded to evolve if it was new enough and we were not beyond the tenth floor. Affordability is the issue as well and I do not think we can afford what we actually "need" or want. One of life's bitter realities. We cannot afford more than $3500/mo. However nothing will compare to having the car right outside the front door should I have to get to the ER in the middle of the night.

Mold is another concern. Common in all hot and humid locales I am very concerned about it nonetheless. The older houses in Golden Shores with old HVACs etc. are a major concern as are older condos on the beach. New ones too for that matter. Owners tend to simply "paint over" the mold.

Mold issues aside...is anyone able to shed light on possible neighborhoods. Condos seem to be the norm esp. in Aventura where it is quite built up. The single family residences seem to be few and far between. The houses along A1A toward north toward Loggia are out of our price range of course. Would prefer not to live on a golf course, etc. I realize many of the developments are older, not very well built, etc.

I would rather not live in a retirement 50 and older community but prefer a younger more hip locale. I realize I have conflicting requirements and this is why I am reaching out for advice as I am struggling a bit with our criteria.

Synagogues. We are not overly religious but do hold fast to our faith and heritage. Any recommendations? I like the idea of the Safra synagogue even though that is not our personal history. I hear it is lovely and the people warm and inviting.

We love great food. Indian. Thai. Vietnamese. Cuban. Middle Eastern. Etc. Any recommendations greatly appreciated. Are there many good restaurants in Aven/Sunny Is?

We are firm on the Aventura/Sunny Isles area and would like to narrow it down to a specific neighborhood. We regret that our budget is but $3,500 per month for a 3 bedroom as that seems not to buy too much for a small family. I now understand why many move to Weston, Plantation, etc. but we would not be interested in those communities regardless of the increase in the house/dollar ratio.

Any advice or guidance is immensely appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

PS. Is the traffic in Aventura truly as bad as reported??
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:44 PM
Location: FLORIDA
109 posts, read 310,824 times
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aventura = traffic nightmare . my buddy moved there and regets it big time /.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:37 PM
Location: Up North
3,426 posts, read 8,905,663 times
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Okay, I only read half of the OP but anywhere walking distance to JCC is not walking distance to the beach.

Choose what you think would be more beneficial to your family, I understand why both are important but you certainly don't want to walk from 163rd st or Lehman Causeway from Sunny Isles to Aventura. From the sounds of it, Aventura is the way to go, possibly on the intracoastal.

That is also closer to Whole Foods and the Hospital. I prefer the part of Aventura north of the Mall. Keep in mind, Sunny Isles is transient and very Russian, so if you are not Russian, you may be a minority.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:44 PM
Location: Up North
3,426 posts, read 8,905,663 times
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Also, yes traffic sucks in Aventura but mainly it's just from PF Changs (179th?) until you pass the Mall and for some reason it clears up after that. I used to commute from 163rd st to the Mall and it would take A LONG TIME.

This is another reason why I find the part of Aventura that is North of the mall to be more desirable. You will also be walking distance from the Gulfstream which seems to be turning into a fun area (a classier, smaller, casino)
I know nothing about the Synagogues of Aventura except there is one gorgeous one somewhere there. Its gigantic and white, with black marble on the outside.

Temple Beth El in Hollywood/Hallandale is a very nice small reform temple that I went to a handful of times, but you would have to drive there.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:57 PM
Location: Seattle, WA
2,975 posts, read 4,938,804 times
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As for walking distance to a synagogue, basically all of Aventura would work. My perception is that there are more variety of synagogues from reform to orthodox in Aventura (seems to be more heavily orthodox, though I'm not Jewish so I don't know exactly). In Sunny Isles, I think you'd want to be in the neighborhood behind the government center.

Also if you go to Whole Foods DAILY, you definitely want to be in Aventura. The traffic within Aventura is not too bad, but US1 and Ives Dairy get pretty bad, especially at peak shopping hours (shop in the morning or late night whenever possible). Left turns on to US1 are really annoying. Depends on your tolerance level if you want to deal with it daily, but I would not. Most of the north part of the city is walking distance to Whole Foods (also Aventura Mall) so you don't have to deal with the traffic and parking (people around here INSIST on parking their SUVs in compact parking stalls, and often at an angle taking two spots...).

About the parking within 100 ft of the beach, it will be very tough unless you live in one of the oceanfront buildings ($$$$$$). Pier Park is one place you can park right next to the beach, but it's very hard to find an available spot during the day. However, It's possible to go up to Hallandale city beach park or Hollywood and park right beside the beach. If you have to drive to park at the beach anyways, there's not much advantage to be in Sunny Isles. Note that there's no free beach parking for City residents either.

That said, Aventura tends to be more of an older crowd and less diverse than Sunny Isles, but there are certainly many young families living in both cities. Only a few buildings are 55+. There are some nice gated townhouse complexes in Aventura in addition to the high-rise condos. The ones beside the Waterways (a very, very Jewish mall) seem like they would work well for you, and I think would be in your price range.

Finally, ethnic food in Aventura is not the best, I usually end up going down to North Miami Beach for that.

Disclaimer: I am partial to Aventura because I have lived here for the last few years (SIB is more expansive and not convenient to I-95). Hope this helps!
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:18 PM
Location: Seattle, WA
2,975 posts, read 4,938,804 times
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Originally Posted by Pear Martini View Post
Also, yes traffic sucks in Aventura but mainly it's just from PF Changs (179th?) until you pass the Mall and for some reason it clears up after that.
It's the combination of: basically all shopping being on the east side of US1, Sunny Isles Beach causeway traffic wanting to turn right, the mall traffic, and the right lane exit to Ives Dairy to get to I-95. Basically, lots of cars trying to stay to the left as long as possible then merge 2-3 lanes to the right. Train delays don't help either. It's a mess. I often go up NE19/18 ave. and across Ives Dairy at the times when US1 is usually bad. You only save a minute or 2, but it's quite a bit less aggravating.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:57 PM
4 posts, read 29,204 times
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Thank you so very much Pear Martini and HurricaneMan1992. Your suggestions are deeply appreciated. Just wanted to clarify, I do not need to "walk" everywhere but wanted my father to be able to walk to some of the Jewish venues if at all possible. If not, it's okay, I can drive him and drop him off. I don't need to walk to whole foods but would have to drive to haul the groceries/supplies. But proximity is key and I am still not quite clear if the drive from say, Golden Shores to Whole Foods is problematic in terms of traffic.

It seems from other threads that neither Aventura nor Sunny Isles are terribly pedestrian friendly. Is that correct? While it would be nice for my father to be able to walk to and fro from teh JCC that seems not to be a possibility when i look at the map. The beach however is a different story. It seems the Golden Shores residents are well poised for walking access to the beach. I believe the access is adjacent to the Tahitian. Is that correct?

Thank you Hurricaneman for clarifying about the parking at the beach. You didn't mention Loggia and I saw parking there when I drove up Collins on googleEarth. Which beach do you prefer. Is there a kid/teen friendly-preferred beach. As a kid we had a favorite beach where we all congregated. Is there a beach like that in SIB or Golden Beach area?

I looked up restaurants today in Aventura and they seem to be primarily chains or american steak houses. A few Kosher eateries but truly nothing in the way of international eats. SIB beats Aventura in this dept. I am afraid but of course nothing compared to North Miami Beach. We are so looking forward to the latin/carribean fare as well as everything else.

Thank you again. You posts have been very useful!!!

I would not be frequenting US1 where you described but rather going from SIB potentially to whole foods via the 856 and then through the yacht club. Is that correct? I thought it would be a way to avoid US1. People speak of the back way and I am assuming that is what they are describing.

It really is a toss up. Golden Shores has not much to offer in terms of rentals. We looked into Artech even though it is nowhere near where we would like to be and the reviews were quite depressing so that is out. Pear Martini I will look into North of the mall as you suggested. Thank you. I hadn't even considered that.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:04 PM
Location: Miami / Florida / U.S.A.
683 posts, read 1,468,664 times
Reputation: 481
I do not understand why "Jewish" people addresses themselves as "Jewish" as if they were a different race.

I do not see catholics saying "We are catholics and want to live in a catholic area" or Christians saying the same thing.

Only Muslims and Jewish do these things. Religion should not be an important priority to pick a neighborhood. If they are so religious, why they do not move back to Asia (israel) and live in their holy land? just saying..
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:38 PM
4 posts, read 29,204 times
Reputation: 12
Edu983, this is a very good question and point and I will try to address it as briefly and succinctly as possible.

"Jews", esp religious ones, tend to be quite insular. The Jewish holy book teaches this. Avoid gentiles like the plague and what not. Because of the persecution suffered by Jews over millenia Jews tend to find great comfort in like company. My grandparents were very much like this. No harm done. They kept to their own NY neighborhood, had only Jewish friends, spoke their mother tongue and not english. While this is not esp. important for me, as I love diversity, as does my Father, at this stage in his life, to be in like company would be a great comfort to him. I accept all people and I care not what religion or heritage that person possesses. To suggest that only Muslims are Jews are this way is of course incorrect. Italians "Little Italy", Chinatown, the irish neighborhoods of NY, cuban neighborhoods, etc. Muslims too tend to congregate where they will find other muslims who share their beliefs and customs. No harm done. That is what diversity is. It is tolerance of "difference". I embrace it. Jews have always had their own neighborhoods. Aventura and SIB are simply extensions of those original neighborhoods in this country. The original ones being in NY.

So don't be offended. You can clearly see in my post that we embrace diversity and from a culinary standpoint, love restaurants serving food from all over the world. Our lives have been enriched by the friendships we have made with people from different corners of the globe. I wouldn't have it any other way.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:43 PM
4 posts, read 29,204 times
Reputation: 12
Edu983, I forgot the most important point. To be Jewish is not solely a distinction of one's religious beliefs. Many Jews are athiests. To be Jewish can mean your heritage is Jewish and it is separate from your religious beliefs, following Torah, etc. It can mean either or both. Jews are unique in this sense. Few other peoples define themselves in this manner. I do not want to stray from my original post but wanted to address your comment.
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