Sunday, June 11, 2006

A quick Miami Overview


Miami like New York and Chicago is a city that never sleeps. Tropical weather, 15 miles of beaches, lots of sun, great nightlife mixed in with world-class restaurants is attractive to people of all ages.

From downtown Miami and Miami beach to the neighborhoods of Coral Gables and Kendall on to Key Biscayne and then the city of Homestead, Dade county has a place for you. If you like big city life but like the idea of great weather and outdoor recreation, this could be the place. Although more expensive than most of Florida in comparison to New York or San Francisco it’s still a bargain.

Things to consider:
• The Miami metropolitan area (Miami-Dade County, which is governed as one entity) has more than 2.3 million residents.
• Miami-Dade County has 35 Incorporated cities within its boundaries.
• Miami is the financial capital of Latin America and the Caribbean with more than 500 multinational corporations, 40 bi-national chambers of commerce and 100 foreign banks with 60 billion in deposits.
• Miami is a major educational center. Best known are the University of Miami, Florida International University, and Miami-Dade Community College, but there are also dozens of lesser known colleges, trade schools, and other educational institutions
• The average median age is 37, making it one of the youngest cities in Florida..
• Dade County encompasses 2431 square miles
• Miami is surrounded by water and wilderness Its eastern edge borders the Atlantic Ocean. Miami Beach, South Beach, and Key Biscayne offer quintessential water playgrounds, with all the other amenities of fine dining and nightlife clustered nearby
• The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) winds through the downtown (separating it from Miami Beach, South Beach, and Key Biscayne), and heads north to Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and the Palm Beaches; or south to Florida Bay and the Florida Keys. Key West is just a three hour drive away across a zillion bridges connecting a myriad of island dots tossed on blue-green tropical sea, the Atlantic Ocean on one side of you, the Gulf of Mexico on the other. The Keys have been called Miami’s Cape Cod.
• To the West of the metropolitan area is the vast Everglades and Everglades National Park, playgrounds in their own right, and quiet alternatives to the hectic big city. Or drive about an hour and a half across this wilderness and you are at Marco Island-Naples on the Gulf of Mexico.
• Miami’s cost of living is 102.6 as of 2004 and was 6th in the State
• As of June 2005, an average home was $361,000; but the range is wide, with opportunities for people of all means.
• Miam-Dade County is the 4th largest school district in the United States.
• Miami has a vibrant arts community, whether your interests run to art, dance, theater, music, and more. These scenese are informed, influenced, and benefit from Miami’s rich diversity of population and location at the crossroads of America, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe.
• Miami has a rich ethnic and racial mix: all manner of Europeans and North Americans who have relocated here; Cubans, Jamaicans, Haitians, Dominicans and others from the Caribbean; Nicaraguans, Panamanians, Hondurans, and Guatamalans from Central America; Brazilians; and subpopulations from every South American country; small but flourishing Asian groups; and so on. The area is essentially bi-lingual in English and Spanish.
• Miami has world class medical/heath facilities (34 major hospitals), with some of its institutions consistently ranked among the finest in the United States
• One of the things which knits this diverse area together, for many people, is its professional sports mix: for example, the NFL Dolphins, NBA Heat, and MLB Marlins.
• Getting around easily is the bane of many big metro areas: not Miami, which has first class transportation facilities in the form of a highway system that works superbly, excelent mass transit, both bus and rail, and one of the world’s busiest (but easiest to use) international airports

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