Miami Living is Best For the Young and Single
As a young person with no responsibility, Miami may prove to be a perfect place for you to live.
If you are young and single, there is no greater city to live in then Miami. Beautiful people, beautiful weather, nonstop nightlife and a steady flow of tourists make this the best part of the country if you are devoid of any significant responsibility. Or morals. People in your demographic are really the only sane people who should ever consider moving here.
If money is no object, I would highly suggest living on South Beach. Even if you have a “real” job your commute will not be too difficult and the only real downside is the incessant noise and traffic that make life in SoBe occasionally unpleasant. But you are walking distance from nightlife and the sand. Rent, however, may prove to be a bit of a problem as a studio will cost you at least $900 a month, and a 1-bedroom is in the $1200-$1500 range. Living with roommates will find you shelling out $800 for the right to call South Beach home. This may seem cheap if you are coming from New York or Boston, but remember that Miami is one of the worst cities in the country for cost of living keeping pace with salaries. And as a young person your salary may not allow you to live it up as much as you’d like.
If the beach is not so much your scene, the Brickell area is your next best bet. While you may have noticed one or two construction cranes as you perused the Miami skyline, do not be fooled. There is absolutely no buying boom going on in the Downtown/Brickell area. The first thing you need to learn about Miami is we put about as much effort into strategic planning as we do into learning English. So all those new buildings that are going up? Most of them have sold about six units, and those were to people who got the Spanish language brochure and couldn’t understand it. If you are in a position to buy, wait a little while as we are in a serious downward spiral. Rent somewhere older in Brickell and you will be minutes from South Beach, Coconut Grove, Downtown, and very close to I-95.
Coconut Grove is another perfect location for a young person moving to Miami. Well, SOME of Coconut Grove. The other parts are perfect for a young person if they happen to be selling crack. When shopping for an apartment in the Grove, make sure you are east of the CVS pharmacy on Grand Avenue, and by no means even look anywhere that calls itself “West Grove.” If you choose to move to this area, you will be able to walk to most bars, restaurants, the gym and Biscayne Bay. Or at least make a short drive of it. This area is popular among University of Miami students, especially at night, and you will not have too many problems meeting people if you move here. Rent is slightly cheaper than in South Beach or Brickell, but still more than you would find in the far suburbs.
Should you have slightly tighter budgetary limitations, I might also suggest the up-and-coming Design District. Of course this area has been up-and-coming for about 10 years and still has yet to arrive, but it is a very young area and still reasonably priced. It begins just North of the new Performing Arts Center and continues north to about 60th Street. Again, make sure you do not move ANYHERE west of US-1 in this section of town. Because while the apartment building by the bay are quite nice and well-located, going west of the highway puts you in a neighborhood that will vaguely remind you of scenes from “Black Hawk Down.”
If you are real short on money, consider Little Havana. Granted, you will be the only English-speaker on your block and you may run across the occasional rooster or stray dog walking down the street, but the location can’t be beaten. You are at the crossroads of two major freeways and only minutes from Downtown, Coconut Grove, South Beach, the Airport and pretty much anywhere else worth going in Miami. Rent for a 1 bedroom is rarely over $700 a month, and if you have a roommate you can get away with paying less than $500 if you’re lucky. The inherent downside is that it is not exactly the best part of town. Then again, it is far form the worst.
And on that note, you may be tempted by the $100-$150 a month cheaper rent you find in areas known as “Kendall” or “Westchester” or “Sweetwater,” but be advised: When you are sitting in unmoving traffic on Kendall Drive or US-1 trying to get back to your cheaper apartment, paying $150 to not ever have to do it again doesn’t seem so bad. These areas are prime examples of Miami’s lack of strategic planning and not only offer all the disadvantages of Suburbia (boring neighborhoods, inability to walk to anything, no nightlife) they also have all the disadvantages of Urban Life (traffic, unpleasant people, traffic). So by no means should any single person under about 35 even consider moving to this part of town. Consider it wasted youth.
As a young person with no responsibility, Miami may prove to be a perfect place for you to live. Provided you are comfortable with the aforementioned culture shock, you may find the lifestyle here perfectly suited to your social agenda. If you have money, you can get a place in South Beach or Brickell and really take advantage of the most Miami has to offer. But even if your budget is slightly smaller, you can still find a decent place to live in an exciting part of town. And those parts of town are NOT called Kendall.
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