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Old 09-11-2011, 11:49 PM
 
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I'm 28, single male (restaurant bartender)...looking to move somewhere warm from Des Moines, IA. Other cities I've considered are Dallas, Atlanta, and Miami. Ok, I'll write my reasons for having a preference to Tampa, and tell me if I'm right. I've visited all these cities at one point or another, having the most experience with Miami.

Dallas - still too much of an old "Texan" culture, example...dry areas, judgmental people. Gets somewhat cold in winter. You can get a speeding ticket for 1mph over...almost too many southern elements. Uptown did seem rather diverse I thought. Hispanic culture is mainly Mexican, and I'm South American which is closer to Cuban culture.

Atlanta - white/black segregation issues, as a Hispanic American (2nd generation) not sure how I would like it, also gets somewhat cold in winter. Impressive city overall, still might be a bit too expensive.

Miami - Not sure I could afford it...and Spanish seems to be the preferred language, which I do know, but prefer English. Great nightlife/beaches, warm all year round. International city.

Tampa - seems to have people from midwest/north, affordable, good shopping, Cuban culture (vs Mexican culture in Dallas), warm all year round. Not such a "tourist" city, but there is still a presence. Good nightlife/beaches.

A few questions:

1. Does Tampa have a "live and let live" mentality. I know Tampa has lots of strip clubs and a porn industry, which is usually somewhat indicative of this.

2. How late can you purchase beer/liquor in Tampa? I know it's a somewhat silly question, but you never know when you're gonna have an afterparty.

3. How late are bars/clubs open?

4. How is the job market in Tampa?

5. Can it be difficult to fit in if you aren't a fan of the local sports?

Without a 4 year degree here (preferably from one of the state schools), it's very difficult to be considered for any sort of "office" job. Even if you come across more intelligent than the next applicant, they will probably choose that person just off the fact they have a degree from Iowa/Iowa State.

The college sports culture can be so fanatical here, you almost learn to subconsciously feign interest in it, I'm just tired of doing that. Never liked the cold either. I want to be somewhere with a variety of people - not just people from surrounding small towns or that grew up in the area.

Any replies are appreciated

Last edited by moonsparkle; 09-12-2011 at 12:06 AM..
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,380 posts, read 8,185,623 times
Reputation: 2930
Quote:
Originally Posted by trancedout View Post
I'm 28, single male (restaurant bartender)...looking to move somewhere warm from Des Moines, IA. Other cities I've considered are Dallas, Atlanta, and Miami. Ok, I'll write my reasons for having a preference to Tampa, and tell me if I'm right. I've visited all these cities at one point or another, having the most experience with Miami.

Dallas - still too much of an old "Texan" culture, example...dry areas, judgmental people. Gets somewhat cold in winter. You can get a speeding ticket for 1mph over...almost too many southern elements. Uptown did seem rather diverse I thought. Hispanic culture is mainly Mexican, and I'm South American which is closer to Cuban culture.

Atlanta - white/black segregation issues, as a Hispanic American (2nd generation) not sure how I would like it, also gets somewhat cold in winter. Impressive city overall, still might be a bit too expensive.

Miami - Not sure I could afford it...and Spanish seems to be the preferred language, which I do know, but prefer English. Great nightlife/beaches, warm all year round. International city.

Tampa - seems to have people from midwest/north, affordable, good shopping, Cuban culture (vs Mexican culture in Dallas), warm all year round. Not such a "tourist" city, but there is still a presence. Good nightlife/beaches.

A few questions:

1. Does Tampa have a "live and let live" mentality. I know Tampa has lots of strip clubs and a porn industry, which is usually somewhat indicative of this. Depends on the neighborhood you move into. For the most part, yes.

2. How late can you purchase beer/liquor in Tampa? I know it's a somewhat silly question, but you never know when you're gonna have an afterparty. I believe liquor stores are open until 11pm on M-TH and Midnight Fri and Sat. Someone else may need to confirm this.

3. How late are bars/clubs open? I believe 2am

4. How is the job market in Tampa? Terrible for the most part. I also hear people do not tip well here. (I always tip 20%)

5. Can it be difficult to fit in if you aren't a fan of the local sports? Hardly. Bucs were blacked out all year last year because they couldn't sell out the stadium. The Rays are infamous for their poor attendance and terrible stadium. Lightning fans seem to only exist when they get into the playoffs.

Without a 4 year degree here (preferably from one of the state schools), it's very difficult to be considered for any sort of "office" job. Even if you come across more intelligent than the next applicant, they will probably choose that person just off the fact they have a degree from Iowa/Iowa State. Not necessarily true, experience counts for a lot. You'll find the same problem here, probably more so. We have one of the nation's highest unemployment rates in the nation. Meaning lots of experienced and college grad people looking for jobs.

The college sports culture can be so fanatical here, you almost learn to subconsciously feign interest in it, I'm just tired of doing that. Never liked the cold either. I want to be somewhere with a variety of people - not just people from surrounding small towns or that grew up in the area. College sports fans are limited to Gators and Bulls for the most part. It's not fanatical around here at all.

Any replies are appreciated
My replies are in red, above.

I suggest Dallas for you. You are young and a bartender. Lots more opportunity awaits you in Dallas. Unemployment is low there, single scene is good and Texas has been doing fantastic the last few years compared to most places.

It only gets cold in Dallas for a couple of weeks. I lived in Austin. You may want to look into Austin. Great town for younger people. However, UT is based in Austin and that town is without a doubt a UT Football Fanatic town. When they say Football is not a sport in Texas, it's a religion. They're not kidding.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:05 AM
 
15,765 posts, read 32,851,891 times
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I disagree with FK above - I think Tampa would be a great fit for you. Someone else will answer with specifics about bars, etc. but there is no lack of them here for sure. I am Spanish (a native) and there is a good mix of different Latino cultures here, and it seems Florida is getting more South Americans by the day.

Pretty much within the city it is live-and-let-live. Tampa is a middle-of-the-road type town, not liberal, not too conservative (unless you get to the rural outskirts)

As far as tipping, probably depends where it is. You will do better in the high end places. My late father made his living as a career server, and my uncles had their own restaurants and did very well. I think it is one of the better cities to make your living with this. Also, Tampa is, and always has been a "working man's town", which means it is NOT so vacation or snowbird/oriented.

I agree with you about Texas - way too cowboy feeling, I have visited and hated it. I'm sure many love it, but it's not for me. Plus, I love the weather here SO much more, can't beat the coasts and the beautiful foliage.

Anyway, I hope this helps. I am older than you and don't live in Tampa anymore, but I was born and raised there and my husband has worked there for 15 years (commuting from Sarasota). It keeps on getting better all the time.

Good luck to you!
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Midwest
115 posts, read 243,505 times
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I recently relocated to Tampa about a month and a half ago via my wifes job with our two teenagers.

The Good in my opinion: It is always something to do here. My kids are in a good school and I love the beaches. Where ever I shop people have really been friendly.

Now for the other side from my opinion,being from Kansas. Where I live is heavy traffic, drivers are like race car drivers on the normal streets, I have been job searching since I moved here at the beginning of Aug and can't find a job because I am in I.T. and I have a 2-year Network System Admin degree. And I see the responders said, Healthcare is prominent and that's what my wife is in, on the medical benefits side of things. So it's looking like, if I don't have a Bachelors in I.T. or a Master's, I might not have a chance in Tampa. And last, but not least, they have a million Apt's here, and where I'm from they had a million Townhomes.

So I got a shock going from being to live in a house for $825 a month 3 bedroom in a decent neighborhoods in MO/KS, to an apt for $1000 a month 3 bedroom in Tampa.

Overall, I believe you will be good in FL.
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Treasure Island Fl
663 posts, read 991,225 times
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Bars close at 3 AM. Beer is sold till 3 AM as well. Every convenience store and grocery store sells beer and wine. Alcohol is very much apart of life here. Every event has beer. They opened a new kiddie water park area at the Fl aquarium, right in the middle is a bar for the parents to hang out at.
Come out to Treasure Island and there are NO container laws. Walk every where with your drink. The only rule is no glass on the beach.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:28 PM
 
810 posts, read 1,180,500 times
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I like the replies so far...in Dallas for example, certain parts of town are dry. You may find yourself driving 15-30 minutes in traffic just to pick up some beer, which is absurd if you ask me.

I also found the southern vibe to be a bit strong there, way too centered around Texas Tech/A&M/U Texas football. There definitely is a old-southern glamour there, but there is still something oddly conservative about it. Seems to be expected you wear khakis/button-down as a male to go out at night, or dress pants to a club. All the high-end stores there are exclusively for women. The nightlife also seemed heavily outnumbered by men. People generally take too much interest into what church you belong to as well.

I didn't like how in Dallas the entire Southern expectation of how men should dress/behave (basically ultra-masculinity with a Southern accent) could make dating there difficult for me. I'm a free spirit type, and I'm into fashion. Whenever a hispanic guy is too into these things, unfortunately, it can quickly be assumed we are gay - when we are not. I can just see this stereotype being much stronger in Dallas than Tampa, especially given Dallas is an epicenter for Mexican Hispanic culture, which is generally close-minded compared to other Hispanic countries.

I prefer Cuban/South American culture, strongly. Tampa is much smaller than Dallas, but the weather is warmer, more palm trees, ocean. I think it's neat that Tampa has hosted the Super Bowl more times than Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston, while being much smaller than those cities. There must be some reason for that.

Last edited by moonsparkle; 09-12-2011 at 07:36 PM..
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
3,380 posts, read 8,185,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trancedout View Post
I prefer Cuban/South American culture, strongly. Tampa is much smaller than Dallas, but the weather is warmer, more palm trees, ocean. I think it's neat that Tampa has hosted the Super Bowl more times than Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston, while being much smaller than those cities. There must be some reason for that.
Personally I have seen little Cuban/South American culture. There is some in downtown but may not be as prominent as you expect. You'll see much more of this culture/influence in Miami. With that said, I could not recommend Miami as a viable place to live.

Tampa has hosted more Superbowls than the other town you mentioned because those other town can have ice storms in Jan/Feb (Dallas last year). Raymond James is a decent outdoor stadium located in a town with perfect winter weather and a fantastic airport.
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:28 AM
 
810 posts, read 1,180,500 times
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Tampa is just about 25% Hispanic...what cultures/countries are represented the strongest? I can see how this may be offset or innaccurate, because a lot of second-generation or mixed hispanic may not consider themselves hispanic.
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:46 AM
 
15,765 posts, read 32,851,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trancedout View Post
Tampa is just about 25% Hispanic...what cultures/countries are represented the strongest? I can see how this may be offset or innaccurate, because a lot of second-generation or mixed hispanic may not consider themselves hispanic.
As I mentioned earlier, I am Spanish myself, Tampa was SETTLED by Spaniards, Italians, Cubans and other immigrants. It has always been a melting pot of cultures. When I was growing up, in every single one of my schools, you would have been hard-pressed to find an Anglo-sounding last name. My husband's office is like a United Nations of nationalities, including many Latinos. With all due respect to FloridaKash, he is a newcomer to Tampa and is not really even living well within the core, so he can't be expected to know all the history of this city. I am a third generation born, I grew up in old West Tampa, which is almost all Spanish, Cuban and Italian population. I now live in Sarasota, and there are quite a few South Americans moving in down here - I see it reflected in the many, many new restaurants opening that reflect that cuisine.

Old West Tampa and Ybor City are the more dominant Latino areas - as I said well within the core of Tampa you will see this reflected. There is some Mexican culture here as well, but it is definitely not dominant. True, Miami will seem much more Cuban/hispanic than Tampa, but quality of life there is not great if you aren't wealthy.

And as to the sports, true Tampa is a big sports city, but plenty of people don't care about it and no one gives anyone any grief about it. I hope this helps you, I really think you will enjoy Tampa, and that you are right on the mark about this being your best option out of the ones you are considering.

Good luck to you!

P.S. Tampa has some GREAT Cuban/Spanish/Latin cuisine that is unique to this city!
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:25 PM
 
810 posts, read 1,180,500 times
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As for the Spanish/Italian population, I understand they probably consider themselves "white", although some can look more hispanic. The Cuban population I would think considers themselves "hispanic", although a lot of them are actually Spanish/Italian descendents.

It does seem interesting, so the average "white" person probably isn't the same as the white in the midwest. Just off demographics, I would prefer Tampa.
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