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Since Boca Raton has its own thread, I thought it would be a good idea to have one for Coral Gables, a city similar to Boca in many ways. I was just in downtown Coral Gables last night and personally, I have to say at street level it's better than Miami. All of those problems that have been identified with downtown Miami such as homeless overpopulation, abandoned buildings, grimy and deserted streets, etc. are nonexistent here. There are some exciting construction projects as well which are planned or currently under construction. Although there aren't as many skyscrapers as in Miami, there is a nice dense downtown skyline mainly consisting of 10 to 20 story buildings. For those of you who aren't familiar with "The City Beautiful" as it's called, Coral Gables is a city of 42,249 located southwest of Miami in Dade County. Overall, home values are some of the highest in South Florida, and it has some of the most beautiful residential areas in Dade county. In the 1920s, it was developed by George Merrick and was supposed to resemble Venice with its Italian architecture and canals. The Coral Gables canal, which runs several miles all the way from southern Biscayne Bay to the city's downtown area, is lined with boat houses, 50-foot limestone seawalls in some places, and each of the historic houses are architecturally inspiring with their Italian feel. In addition to the residential areas, the city includes such sights as the famous Biltmore Hotel, the Coral Gables City Hall, Miracle Mile, and the Venetian Pool, all of which are designed in the unique Coral Gables Style. The city boasts a trolley system, two Metrorail stations, and some of the best urban planning in its downtown area for any city in SoFla. It is also home to the University of Miami's main campus. The city is overall in a mainly north-south layout, with the northern boundary around SW 8th Street and the southern boundary around SW 136th Street, with Red Road (57th Ave) and Douglas Road (37th Ave) the eastern and western boundaries. The "City Beautiful" boasts more than 140 dining establishments and gourmet shops, plus many notable international retailers. Most of the streets in city center are very pedestrian-friendly, but there is also a good share of condos and office space. Although most of Coral Gables is an inland city, there are plenty of coastal locations, and I personally live less than a minute's drive from Biscayne Bay but also less than ten minutes from downtown Coral Gables, which is pretty far inland.

It's also one of the most visually pleasing cities in South Florida, due to the strict building codes and large number of mansions. Some of the streets like Coral Way and Old Cutler Road are famous for their scenic drives, which include an impressive canopy of hundred-year-old oak trees and beautiful homes. For those of you who think Miami doesn't set a good impression on SoFla, CG is the opposite in there is practically no crime, poverty, or grime especially compared with the city of Miami.

After downtown itself and maybe Miami Beach, I have to say that Coral Gables is one of the best cities to live in for all of South Florida.


I'll try to get some more pictures soon and post them....but below are a few of some of the sites in the city.


Biltmore Hotel


Coral Gables City Hall


Venetian Pool


West end of Miracle Mile (SW 22nd Street - Coral Way)


Part of Downtown Coral Gables with Downtown Miami in the background


Miracle Mile


Scenic Coral Way


Famous De Soto Fountain
 

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I agree, as you can see from my username, I'm also a resident of the Gables and I think it's a great city.

When I made that thread about downtown not having much nightlife last week, I was referring to how there are no shops, restaurants, bars, etc. that are open at night. There is no real pedestrian-friendly area at night with "nightlife" other than a potentially dangerous nightclub in PARK WEST, one of the most dangerous areas in all of South Florida. Coral Gables is one of the safest if not the safest city in Dade County. Downtown (CBD of course, not Brickell) should learn a lesson from Coral Gables in how to make a great downtown with nightlife. Miracle Mile and the surrounding streets with bars, cafes, retail that is open at night and a very pedestrian-friendly atmosphere without a bunch of homeless bums that could pickpocket you like they have in CBD/Park West is very important to having a world-class downtown, and it's something Miami must learn from Coral Gables.

Also the skyline is growing fast with the new condos and office buildings going up along the Coral Way corridor- it will never be as tall or long as Miami but for a suburb it's pretty nice, and in general I think the Gables has the second best architecture in all of Dade County after Miami Beach/Art Deco District.
 

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I agree, as you can see from my username, I'm also a resident of the Gables and I think it's a great city.

When I made that thread about downtown not having much nightlife last week, I was referring to how there are no shops, restaurants, bars, etc. that are open at night. There is no real pedestrian-friendly area at night with "nightlife" other than a potentially dangerous nightclub in PARK WEST, one of the most dangerous areas in all of South Florida. Coral Gables is one of the safest if not the safest city in Dade County. Downtown (CBD of course, not Brickell) should learn a lesson from Coral Gables in how to make a great downtown with nightlife. Miracle Mile and the surrounding streets with bars, cafes, retail that is open at night and a very pedestrian-friendly atmosphere without a bunch of homeless bums that could pickpocket you like they have in CBD/Park West is very important to having a world-class downtown, and it's something Miami must learn from Coral Gables.

Also the skyline is growing fast with the new condos and office buildings going up along the Coral Way corridor- it will never be as tall or long as Miami but for a suburb it's pretty nice, and in general I think the Gables has the second best architecture in all of Dade County after Miami Beach/Art Deco District.
i live in coral gables 2 and i have to say it is by far the best place i've ever lived, it is so nice and relaxing, i have a pool so everyday when i come from school or something i get on that pool and just cool off, since the weather is always spectacular in miami then i have no problems. my dad is planing to move 2 miami beach but not for now cause its 2 expensive, but this is just an outstanding neighboorhood.
 

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kevin22; said:
i live in coral gables 2 and i have to say it is by far the best place i've ever lived, it is so nice and relaxing, i have a pool so everyday when i come from school or something i get on that pool and just cool off, since the weather is always spectacular in miami then i have no problems. my dad is planing to move 2 miami beach but not for now cause its 2 expensive, but this is just an outstanding neighboorhood.

Where in the Gables do you live?
 

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kevin22; said:
u need 2 know that?
No, I understand why you wouldn't want to tell me, but I wasn't asking for your address or what street you lived on. I just wanted to know what general area of the Gables you lived in, just to see what your perspective of the city would be. It is somewhat different if you live very close to downtown, up north by 8th street, near Coconut Grove, or in the area south of US-1.

BTW don't worry I'm not Barney muldoon or anything, I'm not trying to hunt you down, just wanted to see what neighborhood you lived in because there are areas that are on the fringe of the city (i.e. Little Gables between Flagler and 8th street, which is more like Little Havana than the traditional Gables, or the area near Coconut Grove, etc.) that are very different from other areas and so forth, but good for you, it's pretty smart not giving away where you live to a stranger on the internet, but I didn't even want your address or street, just the general area.
 

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No, I understand why you wouldn't want to tell me, but I wasn't asking for your address or what street you lived on. I just wanted to know what general area of the Gables you lived in, just to see what your perspective of the city would be. It is somewhat different if you live very close to downtown, up north by 8th street, near Coconut Grove, or in the area south of US-1.

BTW don't worry I'm not Barney muldoon or anything, I'm not trying to hunt you down, just wanted to see what neighborhood you lived in because there are areas that are on the fringe of the city (i.e. Little Gables between Flagler and 8th street, which is more like Little Havana than the traditional Gables, or the area near Coconut Grove, etc.) that are very different from other areas and so forth, but good for you, it's pretty smart not giving away where you live to a stranger on the internet, but I didn't even want your address or street, just the general area.
oh k man but understand why i dont want to give my adress online, i am just going to tell u i live near the biltmore hotel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
More Pics

Here is an aerial of some of Coral Gables, looking east towards Miami:


Biltmore Hotel Aerial




















Venetian Pool




Old Picture of City Hall




Gables Trolley at Metrorail Station
 

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Nice pics. Great mix of new and old.

The thing that makes the Gables so nice (to me) is the tree canopy in so much of the city. For whatever bizarre reason that isn't the case in a lot of South Florida but the Gables has always been lush with it.
 

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It seems like replacing tree canopy is a major priority for the city, it a GREEN issue and a quality of life issue. And we know much better now which trees can withstand the elements and are selecting those species.

Can't wait to see the trees go in along Biscayne wall and in Museum Park.

There is evidently a money shortage for trees on the upper blvd, and one smart person said ...let's take the trees being removed at Lincoln and Alton (for new, other tree choices, Mature Cypress among others, it should be spectacular) and donate them to where they are needed.

It is so nice to see sections of Biscayne get planted as they are finished, as well as the 63rd st area in North Beach and along millionaires row aet.

We can never have too many trees!
 

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Is Coral Gables kind of close to coconut grove? Does anyone know the hotel 'sonesta'?? If they are close then i think i can see coral gables from my dads apartment but i dont really know what i am looking at but it looks similar, if it is whenever i get a camera i will try to get pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's somewhat close but only the southern portion of Coral Gables actually borders Coconut Grove. If your dad has an apartment on a very high floor, then you may be able to get a long-distance aerial of Coral Gables, but since it's not that close to the Sonesta (I know where that is), it's not really a great vantage point. BTW, did you know Maki that Coconut Grove is actually part of Miami (while Coral Gables, Miami Beach, and most other suburbs are their own incorporated city).
 

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did you know Maki that Coconut Grove is actually part of Miami (while Coral Gables, Miami Beach, and most other suburbs are their own incorporated city).
That's something that bugs me about Dade County. You have all of these great neighborhoods surrounding Miami, but due to statistical and demographical purposes, the sheer size and diversity of Miami isn't reflected in the numbers. I don't understand why we can recognize Coconut Grove as it's own little community, yet at the same time it's part of the City of Miami... how come Gables and Miami Beach can't be part of the City of Miami? Wouldn't that straighten out some tax issues and make legislation move quicker?

It's the same deal with every other part of the metro area. Ft. Lauderdale's population is about 180,000, but it has a skyline that has 500,000+ written all over it. And where do I begin for Miami?! Nearly 400,000 in the city limits, but with its length and height comparable to that of Chicago or Manhatten even, Miami looks well over 1 or 2 million people. Again, this is something that's always bugged me, and it'll probably never change. Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Maki-chan; said:
^^ Yeah my dad told me that. He is at a very high floor! I can just zoom in :)
From the Sonesta, downtown Coral Gables would be to the North Northwest (NNW), but to the West and Southwest are some residential areas of the Gables.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
DShoost88; said:
That's something that bugs me about Dade County. You have all of these great neighborhoods surrounding Miami, but due to statistical and demographical purposes, the sheer size and diversity of Miami isn't reflected in the numbers. I don't understand why we can recognize Coconut Grove as it's own little community, yet at the same time it's part of the City of Miami... how come Gables and Miami Beach can't be part of the City of Miami? Wouldn't that straighten out some tax issues and make legislation move quicker?

It's the same deal with every other part of the metro area. Ft. Lauderdale's population is about 180,000, but it has a skyline that has 500,000+ written all over it. And where do I begin for Miami?! Nearly 400,000 in the city limits, but with its length and height comparable to that of Chicago or Manhatten even, Miami looks well over 1 or 2 million people. Again, this is something that's always bugged me, and it'll probably never change. Any thoughts?

As a resident of Coral Gables, I would NEVER want it to be part of the City of Miami. Part of what makes places like the Gables and Miami Beach great to live in is that we have our own city codes, garbage pick up, police, city hall, etc. Coral Gables' strict codes are what keeps all of the architecture and homes very nice and prevents eyesores, and the police force is much better than the City of Miami, IMO. Personally, I think Coconut Grove should break off and become its own city, because who wants to share a police force with a city that has the neighborhoods of Liberty City, Northside, Allapattah, Brownsville, Overtown, Lemon City, and Little Haiti in it? Miami's police force is busy taking care of those areas of high crime while in Coral Gables there is no violent crime at all....so they can focus on other issues. The City services also are better here (and in most independent cities) then they are in Miami itself. Our historic city hall building and city government would be useless if CG was annexed with Miami....basically Coral Gables is a much more high-end city overall than Miami...simply because of the ghettos in Miami. When someone thinks about Coral Gables, they get a much different impression then if they think about the City of Miami.....so basically you don't want to share services and weak city codes with Miami because of the city's high number of bad neighborhoods.


Just think about it in your case, would you like all of Palm Beach county to be annexed as Riviera Beach? That is a good analogy, since Riviera Beach has the worst neighborhoods in your county....Miami has the worst neighborhoods in Dade county. Boca is similar to Coral Gables in some ways and I agree with some places they should be annexed by Miami or FTL, but with the nice cities like CG, I think it's much better to have our own city. That's how George Merrick wanted it.
 

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^^touche... I mean the Riviera Beach example might be a bit extreme--there's about 20 cities between there and Boca that would have to be gobbled (geographically speaking), but I get your point. If I had to map it out, all unincorporated Dade would become "Miami". Pembroke Pines, Oakland Park, Lauderhill, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, and Davie would all go to Fort Lauderdale. Boca Raton would just need to claim all the unincorporated land west of it (something I've been advocating for a while), and West Palm could gobble Riviera & Lake Worth.
 

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Coruna answered the question very well, but just to elaborate...

The reason places like Coral Gables and Miami Beach are not part of the city of Miami is because it would make ZERO sense from their perspective and the overwhelming majority of residents in those cities would want nothing to do with it.

That's not a knock on Miami, it's just reality. Miami remains one of the poorest big cities in the country and its tax base (even with all the new condos) simply cannot afford the level of public services that places like the Gables and Miami Beach can handle. Miami proper is beset by poverty and violent crime in MANY of its neighborhoods. Why on Earth would Coral Gables or the Beach want to have their identity subsumed into that?

Keep in mind, too, that Coconut Grove itself talked about ANNEXING itself out of the city not so long ago. If it had been a simple vote of residents it would have happened. It still would today, most likely.

That's reality. I'm not saying it's right, but it's not so different from Pinecrest and Miami Gardens opting out of unincorporated Dade County to do things their own way.

I'm guessing this stuff originates from these silly "rankings" that (because of city boundaries) mean that Miami itself is pretty small population-wise. Not much bigger than Honolulu in that regard. Right?

But why be concerned with it? Places like Atlanta and Minneapolis also "suffer" with small boundaries that do not reflect their actual size and I seriously doubt too many people think Jacksonville is bigger than Miami just because the CITY of Jacksonville has more residents, y'know?

City limits are just arbitrary lines drawn up years ago. It's no biggie.
 
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