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Old 09-24-2009, 10:53 AM
 
433 posts, read 902,327 times
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My story is that I am looking to relocate to a city that has warm weather, a friendly social scene, tech schools, within driving distance (less than half a day) to many destinations, and not overwhelmingly dangerous when you compare it to other cities.

I am up here in the northeast taking advantage of the summer season right now and origionally the plan was to go to Florida to take advantage of THEIR peak season (Jan-March). I was looking at south Florida. I was told that south florida would be not too friendly towards me, that you have to drop like 50-100 bucks to get into a club and that it's really hard to find a good service job there (I work in restaurants). I was also told I would be a minority (Im white). Furthermore my friends told me that school plus taking advantage of peak season is impossible and that if I wanted to do that I should just put off school, and if I want school I should go to a city like Orlando or Tampa or Jacksonville.

So I started looking elsewhere in Florida and I looked at Orlando. 18th most dangerous city in America in 2008. Ok maybe not. Jacksonville seems out of the way and more dirty than the average city.

Tampa seems to be the only place of descent size (300,000+) that has a good social scene, that has jobs, and that has schools. It's located in a very good place with less than half a day to drive anywhere in Florida. It also doesn't seem off the charts as far as prices go compared to other cities. It really seems to be the happy medium city I am looking for which is to be in a place that has lots of stuff going on but that isn't so cool that it has been flooded with huge problems, massive crime, wild inflation, and impossible odds for the average relocator.

I'm not looking for you guys to give me reasons why I shouldn't relocate here or to be negative. What I'm trying to do is to confirm that there is good access to schools (commute 45 minutes or less), a fun social scene, that I won't get murdered on a bus or in a mall or even when I'm out enjoying the night life (unless Im asking for it), and that Tampa is indeed one of the stronger choices for a place to live in Florida. Anything I may want to keep in mind that I have not touched on would be great to know too.

I know the real estate thing is killing a lot of you there, but keep in mind I am in the service industry and looking to go to tech school for in demand fields with a bright future and am not currently into real estate -- Im sure it will bounce back for those of you who are and when it does you will be in real good shape.

Any feedback would be totally kick ass. Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:11 AM
 
15,776 posts, read 32,901,013 times
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Hi Eagle! You are going to get a wide variety of opinions on Tampa here, but based on your post, I think it is the city for you. Especially when you factor in the entire Tampa Bay metro area, which includes St. Petersburg. Area is diverse, but not like Miami, less southern than Jax, less dangerous than Orlando and is also near beautiful beaches. Colleges, schools, and plenty of social scene here. Tampa was my home town, and it has it's issues, like any city, but it also has a rich history and a lot to offer. We have a great international airport (one of the best in the country), sports teams, museums, a range of dining/shopping, performance venues, etc. One of our regular forum posters here is Tampaguy03, and he has a great blog about what all this area has to offer.

Good luck to you!
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:19 AM
 
433 posts, read 902,327 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsychic View Post
Hi Eagle! You are going to get a wide variety of opinions on Tampa here, but based on your post, I think it is the city for you. Especially when you factor in the entire Tampa Bay metro area, which includes St. Petersburg. Area is diverse, but not like Miami, less southern than Jax, less dangerous than Orlando and is also near beautiful beaches. Colleges, schools, and plenty of social scene here. Tampa was my home town, and it has it's issues, like any city, but it also has a rich history and a lot to offer. We have a great international airport (one of the best in the country), sports teams, museums, a range of dining/shopping, performance venues, etc. One of our regular forum posters here is Tampaguy03, and he has a great blog about what all this area has to offer.

Good luck to you!
Thanks.

It's really important to me to make the right decision. At one point I was considering southbeach but I don't think I could stack up. Really at this point it's down to either the Fort lauderdale area, or the Tampa bay area. I lived in a city of around 100,000 with a tiny bit of everything and got bored, but there was a lot to do within a 30 minute commute and I could ALMOST go back there. I just need something a little bigger that's all. I also love nightlife in my free time and have never lived in a place that has some really cool clubs that play really innovative music. School and being able to thrive come first for me but Im hoping to be able to find something with all of the above.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:44 PM
 
17,804 posts, read 22,019,972 times
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Tampa is one of the worst job markets in the country. Please keep in mind you are competing with white and blue collar workers who have been laid off for jobs in restaurants.

If you have a lot of money behind you well then ok, but I would come down and check things out first and try and line up a job.

If you are dependent on having a job in order to live the lifestyle you want, you really want to do your research first.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
206,050 posts, read 79,637,498 times
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No one but you will no the answer after you have lived there for a couple of years. Utopias do not exist anywhere. There is now way for anyone to no your mind.
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:08 AM
 
5,453 posts, read 8,134,958 times
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YES It is better, if you compare directly with Miami or Orlando it is MUCH BETTER......You will BE minority in Miami as most 'white" people moved out and generally ONLY the very rich white people still live there.

Now, please don't even try to compare Fort Lauderdale's nightlife with Tampa, Tampa is a LOT more conservative and the down town is DEAD after 5pm......and a scary place to be! In Fort Lauderdale, you have Las Olas, River Walk and Fort Lauderdale Beach etc with TONS of clubs and entertainment....HOWEVER stay away from Sunrise Blvd going towards the beach as THAT AREA is a MAJOR crack town.....

Of course as with any city, there are down sides and usually they are related to how much you're making and where you can afford to live.

Just don't base your decision to move on the weather like others do, it is really a stupid thing to do. There are other warm places in the US you know...like half the WEST......or Hawaii or many US islands........if warm weather is all you care about, then I would expand your search to some other places........warm weather doesn't mean "bills free living".....
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:13 AM
 
Location: South Tampa - Bayside West Neighborhood
1,824 posts, read 7,774,428 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by algia View Post
Now, please don't even try to compare Fort Lauderdale's nightlife with Tampa, Tampa is a LOT more conservative and the down town is DEAD after 5pm......and a scary place to be! In Fort Lauderdale, you have Las Olas, River Walk and Fort Lauderdale Beach etc with TONS of clubs and entertainment....HOWEVER stay away from Sunrise Blvd going towards the beach as THAT AREA is a MAJOR crack town.....
Just an FYI, Tampa's main nightlife areas are not in downtown, nor need to be in downtown, as of today, there are less than 2000 people that actually LIVE in downtown, it is today more of a Financial district(similar to the FInancial district in Manhatten--well sort of--in the way that people WORK downtown(about 60,000), and as of today do not necesarrily LIVE downtown. Where the nightlife and people live today include areas just outside of downtown(about a mile), like Hyde Park, Channelside, Ybor City, and smaller South Tampa neighborhoods.

As far as downtown being scary after 5, there is still life around, just not as much as there is during the workday...but the Performaing Arts Center, Tampa Theater, Forum, some museums and art galleries, hotels, Convention Center and Riverwalk, and a dozen or so restaurants/bars in downtown, there actually is life, just not a bustling area with tall buildings as you may see in other downtowns...the bustling areas are in the neighborhoods adjacent to where the big tall buildings are...

I hope this helps...
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:09 AM
 
5,453 posts, read 8,134,958 times
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True, but still there is NO comparison for the night life, even in the areas that Tampaguy mentioned....we lived in Fort Lauderdale for quite a while and by direct comparison Tampa's night life is a baby .....it will take some money to bring it to Fort Lauderdale/Miami's level! Plus living in Fort Lauderdale and being close to Miami where you also have all of Miami Beach for nightlife.........expensive......but available makes is for a LOT of nightlife to cover.......
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:01 AM
 
433 posts, read 902,327 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by algia View Post
True, but still there is NO comparison for the night life, even in the areas that Tampaguy mentioned....we lived in Fort Lauderdale for quite a while and by direct comparison Tampa's night life is a baby .....it will take some money to bring it to Fort Lauderdale/Miami's level! Plus living in Fort Lauderdale and being close to Miami where you also have all of Miami Beach for nightlife.........expensive......but available makes is for a LOT of nightlife to cover.......
You have given me some things to think about. My financial situation is that I plan to get a school loan that includes housing and that I would go down with about $3,000. I'd basically have 2 months + to find a job and if I could not get the job I wanted I would take any job to make ends meet. I don't want to go down ahead of time for a few reasons. First it's costing me money that could be important down the stretch. Second I have been to Florida 3 times already in the past.

I also realize the job situation is really tough but that is true EVERYWHERE. It's true in my hometown, it's true where I live now, it's true where my friend just relocated to even though on paper it seems better (Baltimore/DC area). I realize the economic times are rough but what am i suppose to do? Put my life on hold and grow old in a small place with nothing to do and no schools and not even many places to apply for jobs and just wait until the country gets fixed? Who's to say it even will?

Other warm area's? Sure there are some. Lets see. Las Vegas -- facing extreme challenges right now. California? Most of that state has been destroyed and has many more problems, at least as many problems as Miami. Texas? Not sure I could find like minded people there.

All I know is that in the 3 times I've been down to Florida I have fell in love with the scenery and the people and I think it would be a great place to go to school and have fun before Im too old to be able to have fun.

So on that note

You say to do my research. Do you have a reference to some material that claims that Tampa is among the worse places in the country to find a job because I haven't found that anywhere on the net and would be interested to know where you get that from. The whole country is suffering.

As for the nightlife thing.

What Im looking for is a place that has a fair amount of clubs that are cool and busy that charge 20 or less to get in the door. Every city has it's fair share of bars so Im not as concerned about that but I've never lived in a place that has good sized cool clubs that play lots of great music that makes you want to party all night. All we have around here is dinky little clubs playing hip-hop and top 40 with a 20 foot dance floor.

As for Miami

If the people who plug lauderdale over Tampa are including Miami than thats not a fair fight, I realize Lauderdale + Miami = better nightlife than Tampa. The problem with Miami for me is that I am forced to blow 100+ dollars to go out (sometimes just to get in the door) if I want to go anywhere really hip. Also Im not looking to hang out with millionaires, although I wouldn't mind that. lol. I'm looking to hang out with friendly people having fun and cute horney women.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:23 AM
 
15,776 posts, read 32,901,013 times
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I believe you can find enough clubs and nightlife within the Tampa metro area to satisfy your nightlife. Pick up a copy of the local Creative Loafing and it will direct you to all those places. Heck, even here in little old Sarasota we have a few Miami style clubs, a couple of which just opened.

As for jobs, Tampa is far from being the worst for getting a job, despite what many of the naysayers here would have you believe. Here is a link to an article which is maybe a year old, but there have been more recent similar articles, I just can't dig them up right now:

America's best jobs in the hottest markets | 7 | Business 2.0

Sure, like almost everywhere in this economy, the area lost some jobs, but they are still here and this area will recover quickly. We have a major international airport and seaport, Tampa is an important city. It has always been a "working man's town" not a resort, a good area for business. There are plenty of posters here who will readily jump in and disagree, but I am a native of the area, and my husband has a fantastic job here, as does his best friend, and many others we know.

Good luck to you!
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