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Comparing California to Florida


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#1 DoomsDave

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 07:58 PM

During my long but still limited travels to the Sunshine state, I've made a few observations, which I'd love to have Sunshine State denizens to add to.

This isn't meant to be a critique of people, or "one is better than the other."

This is meant to simply compare.

All thoughts sought.

The opener.

Ahem.

California and Florida are the same in that they have this party mentality.   The more the better.  The fun has just begun.

Both states are places you run to get away from whatever ails you where you are.  It never works, but people still try.  

The liquor laws (of particular interest to me, as to many another of us Californians AND Floridians . . .) are similar.  Neither California nor Florida has any of that silly nonsense about "no Sunday sales" or  "local options" etc.  

Gonna post this, then follow up, so I don't lose my text.

Sorry . . .
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#2 kylecawazafla

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 08:06 PM

In some stores in Gainesville, Florida you cannot buy alcohol at certain hours of the day on sundays. I don't know what it's like in other parts though. I've lived in California and Florida though, and came to the conclusion that no matter where you go, the people are generally the same! My favorite thing about Florida though, which California does not have to offer is that you can wear shorts and a T-shirt in the summer and even winter sometimes, and not freeze! The one thing that Florida does not have though is the topographic diversity which California has so much of!
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#3 DoomsDave

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 08:09 PM

More thoughts, on a pedestrian basis.

SUPERMAKETS

Cali beats Floridy, hands down.  Went to my local market and found meat to be about half what it was in Florida.  E.g., $5 a pound for T-Bone, vs. $12 a pound, though you can reduce the damage with a "rewards" card.

RESTARAUNTS

In my honest opinion, Cali also beats Floridy.

Note that chain places, like Applebees, IHOP, Dennys, etc, don't count.  What I look for are local places with local cuisine at low prices.

Chinese eateries in Florida, I founc, were mostly buffets, hard to find a really hard-core eatery along the lines of a place in Monterey Park, etc.

Yeah, true, there's Comida Lataina.  But, Tacos in La Habra are $1, vs. almost two in Homestead.


GAS

The same, equally extortionate.  My station around the corner sells unleaded for $3.05, about what it goes for in Miami.


ROADS

Florida, simply ROCKS.

California, simply SUCKS.

Gonna post some pix of Florida roads, etc.


BOATING

FLORIDA ROCKS.

Cali has no meaningful comparison.  


TRAFFIC

Florida's is bad, CALI'S is MUCH worse.  Everyone said to beware Miami traffic, and while it's bad, NOTHING even begins to approach the traffic in the West Side of Lost Analjuice and environs.


CRAZY DRIVERS

LA sucks.  Miami also sucks.  Two big cities.

The other areas aren't nearly as bad.  The further out in the country you go, the more courteous the drivers, unless they're near a country meth lab . . . . .


That's all for now.
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#4 Tad

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 08:39 PM

my experience anaheim vs. Ft. lauderdale,miami, Homestead,Key largo.... I would pick florida over cali any day!
hurricanes, vs. earthquakes,mudslides,and brushfires .... Glad I hang my hat in Texas!!
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#5 DoomsDave

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 09:20 PM


(palmotrafficante @ Jan. 05 2008,23:39)
QUOTE
my experience anaheim vs. Ft. lauderdale,miami, Homestead,Key largo.... I would pick florida over cali any day!
hurricanes, vs. earthquakes,mudslides,and brushfires .... Glad I hang my hat in Texas!![/quote]
Sounds like a non sequitir, but . . .

Explain?
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#6 waykoolplantz

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 02:02 AM


(Dave from So-Cal @ Jan. 05 2008,23:09)
QUOTE
More thoughts, on a pedestrian basis.



RESTARAUNTS

In my honest opinion, Cali also beats Floridy.

Note that chain places, like Applebees, IHOP, Dennys, etc, don't count.  What I look for are local places with local cuisine at low prices.

Chinese eateries in Florida, I founc, were mostly buffets, hard to find a really hard-core eatery along the lines of a place in Monterey Park, etc.

Yeah, true, there's Comida Lataina.  But, Tacos in La Habra are $1, vs. almost two in Homestead.




That's all for now.[/quote]
agree on restaurants...it takes some work to find good local eateries, unless ya wanna spend $200 for dinner.
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#7 metalfan

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 05:25 AM

Lack of good non-chain restaurants were one of our biggest gripes when we relocated here to FL from CA in 1992. When you are used to cheap good Indian food like India Oven, excellent cheap Chinese and Thai food, places like The Sphinx....

I was a fairly long standing vegetarian while we were in CA and it was extremely easy to maintain. When we moved to FL, the simple lack of options caused me to start eating first fish, then chicken, then (horrors!) red meat again.

I am happy to say that options at the markets for vegetarians, as well as at restaurants, have now expanded enough that I have gone back to a totally vegetarian diet (except for an occasional shrimp or 2) without strain.


PLANTS are MUCH CHEAPER here than they are in CA. And there seems to be a much wider range of available plants. I say this because, since I maintain a very extensive plant trade list on Gardenweb, I have been approached by many many Californians wanting to trade for things I have. They claim that they simply cannot find these plants in CA, or when they do the cost is exorbitant. I do recall that plants were expensive when I lived there.

GAS
Gainesville has, traditionally, the absolute highest gas prices across the entire state of FL. Many people have questioned "why?" over the years, and there has never been any good answer. We don't know WHY. We just get hosed. And as of Jan 1st, our County Commission imposed an extra 5 cents gas tax on us locally to help pay for road repair. So now we are REALLY higher here.

INSURANCE (car ONLY)
I know for a fact that car insurance here is much much cheaper than CA. Homeowners, I don't know but with the hurricane deductible, I don't think it is.
It cost us about $3000 a year in CA in the late 80's and early 90's to insure a 1987 Jeep Wrangler and a stripped down Honda CRX that didn't even have air conditioning.
It costs us LESS THAN $1000 a year here to insure a 2006 Porsche Boxter, a 2006 BMW 530 and a 2005 Toyota 4Runner.

FOOD
CA had much better produce than FL does because you could actually buy the stuff that CA grew locally for yourself. FL ships their best produce out of the state. The only way to get really good produce that's locally grown is at the Farmer's Markets or at the local Mom and Pops (which we are very lucky to have an excellent one, Ward's Market, here)

TRAFFIC
I drove the freeways in Los Angeles for a lot of years, and I have to say, I think that they were actually BETTER than driving here. I can't say anything about driving in Miami specifically, but driving in Gainesville is a daily horror fest. The base population of Gainesville is about 175,000 to 200,000. Add to that "day commuters" just like LA has that drive from as far away as an hour and a half to 2 hours from little outlying bergs to work here in the "city". Then add the UF student population, between 45,000-47,000, and the Santa Fe COmmunity College population (over 25,000).
Now put them all out on the roads on an aging road infrastructure that was meant to carry about 125,000-150,000 people, TOPS. Its a very very scary scene.  I would MUCH prefer the CA freeways and surface streets.
Sometimes on I75, all lanes going one way will just STOP. No explanation. No roadwork. No wreck you can see. Then it will just GO again. Its crazy.
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#8 palmislandRandy

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 05:30 AM

Atlantic Ocean-nice and warm    Pacific Ocean-ice cold...Nuff Said!   Randy
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#9 Tad

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 06:46 AM


(Dave from So-Cal @ Jan. 06 2008,00:20)
QUOTE

(palmotrafficante @ Jan. 05 2008,23:39)
QUOTE
my experience anaheim vs. Ft. lauderdale,miami, Homestead,Key largo.... I would pick florida over cali any day!
hurricanes, vs. earthquakes,mudslides,and brushfires .... Glad I hang my hat in Texas!![/quote]
Sounds like a non sequitir, but . . .

Explain?[/quote]
In Florida it was open arms ,hey how ya doing c'mon back anytime....sorta like Texas but with cuban coffe, In cali it was you have to have a reference/appointment to come to the nursery, and with the exception of Kevin Weaver all the people were kinda snotty, I Thought the food was kinda lousy, except we did have some great thai food. one nursery I went to... I have more stuff in my seed trays than they had, and they made a really big deal about appointments?? In Florida I just showed up no big deal, cali sorta comes off with a superiority complex wheras Florida comes off with a better relaxed attitude,   Driving in Florida 10 times better than cali, easy to navigate in the alligator state.
California, rules and regs out the yin yang , Florida much easier to conduct business!!  California evrybodys all secret squirrel about what they are growing.. in Florida no one bats an eye or cares,

dog me out scream and yell I dont care, I would pick Florida over california any day,

places I would live  TEXAS, if I couldnt get Texas, Mexico(south of the fronterra) No Mexico, Florida, never would I pick california!
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#10 DoomsDave

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 10:03 AM


(palmisland @ Jan. 06 2008,08:30)
QUOTE
Atlantic Ocean-nice and warm    Pacific Ocean-ice cold...Nuff Said!   Randy[/quote]
Agreed!
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#11 DoomsDave

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 10:14 AM


(palmotrafficante @ Jan. 06 2008,09:46)
QUOTE

(Dave from So-Cal @ Jan. 06 2008,00:20)
QUOTE

(palmotrafficante @ Jan. 05 2008,23:39)
QUOTE
my experience anaheim vs. Ft. lauderdale,miami, Homestead,Key largo.... I would pick florida over cali any day!
hurricanes, vs. earthquakes,mudslides,and brushfires .... Glad I hang my hat in Texas!![/quote]
Sounds like a non sequitir, but . . .

Explain?[/quote]
In Florida it was open arms ,hey how ya doing c'mon back anytime....sorta like Texas but with cuban coffe, In cali it was you have to have a reference/appointment to come to the nursery, and with the exception of Kevin Weaver all the people were kinda snotty, I Thought the food was kinda lousy, except we did have some great thai food. one nursery I went to... I have more stuff in my seed trays than they had, and they made a really big deal about appointments?? In Florida I just showed up no big deal, cali sorta comes off with a superiority complex wheras Florida comes off with a better relaxed attitude,   Driving in Florida 10 times better than cali, easy to navigate in the alligator state.
California, rules and regs out the yin yang , Florida much easier to conduct business!!  California evrybodys all secret squirrel about what they are growing.. in Florida no one bats an eye or cares,

dog me out scream and yell I dont care, I would pick Florida over california any day,

places I would live  TEXAS, if I couldnt get Texas, Mexico(south of the fronterra) No Mexico, Florida, never would I pick california![/quote]
Hmm.

THis is interesting!

Yeah, we're a regged-out place here in Cali, no two ways, though Florida's starting to get that way, too as it gets more and more crowded.  That said, the whole population of Florida is about the same the southernmost California counties of Santa Barbara, Ventura, LA, Orange, Riverside, San Berdoo, and San Diego.  And Imperial . . .

I note that the city of Miami in particular, is starting to bump against that giant wildlife refuge to the west, and when they start to run out of land, I think Miami will start to see LA style real estate regs and prices to match.

Never gave the appointment thing much throught.  When I was selling plants, I was doing it out of my house, and I wanted an appointment so I could be sure I'd be there when the people got there.  

I always call ahead when I go visit someone to be sure they'll be there.  No appointment needed for JD Anderson's place.

No two ways about it, we don't have the big palmistry that Florida has.  They've got us beat in that department.  

Florida also had that combination of southern hospitality along with the fact that most people are from someplace else.  (Southern hosp wasn't so evident in Kain-tuck, or Miss, or 'Bama when I opened by big mouth with a non-local accent . . . . . )

Will I come back to Florida?

Of course.

By the way, I wanted to visit your place in the worst way, which I would have done if I took the bus.  Extra time, but well worth it.   Alas, had to fly . . . .

If you get out here, come and see me.  I'll take you to China, which is just over the hill . . . . .

:)
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#12 DoomsDave

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 10:30 AM


(metalfan @ Jan. 06 2008,08:25)
QUOTE
Lack of good non-chain restaurants were one of our biggest gripes when we relocated here to FL from CA in 1992. When you are used to cheap good Indian food like India Oven, excellent cheap Chinese and Thai food, places like The Sphinx....

I was a fairly long standing vegetarian while we were in CA and it was extremely easy to maintain. When we moved to FL, the simple lack of options caused me to start eating first fish, then chicken, then (horrors!) red meat again.

I am happy to say that options at the markets for vegetarians, as well as at restaurants, have now expanded enough that I have gone back to a totally vegetarian diet (except for an occasional shrimp or 2) without strain.


PLANTS are MUCH CHEAPER here than they are in CA. And there seems to be a much wider range of available plants. I say this because, since I maintain a very extensive plant trade list on Gardenweb, I have been approached by many many Californians wanting to trade for things I have. They claim that they simply cannot find these plants in CA, or when they do the cost is exorbitant. I do recall that plants were expensive when I lived there.

GAS
Gainesville has, traditionally, the absolute highest gas prices across the entire state of FL. Many people have questioned "why?" over the years, and there has never been any good answer. We don't know WHY. We just get hosed. And as of Jan 1st, our County Commission imposed an extra 5 cents gas tax on us locally to help pay for road repair. So now we are REALLY higher here.

INSURANCE (car ONLY)
I know for a fact that car insurance here is much much cheaper than CA. Homeowners, I don't know but with the hurricane deductible, I don't think it is.
It cost us about $3000 a year in CA in the late 80's and early 90's to insure a 1987 Jeep Wrangler and a stripped down Honda CRX that didn't even have air conditioning.
It costs us LESS THAN $1000 a year here to insure a 2006 Porsche Boxter, a 2006 BMW 530 and a 2005 Toyota 4Runner.

FOOD
CA had much better produce than FL does because you could actually buy the stuff that CA grew locally for yourself. FL ships their best produce out of the state. The only way to get really good produce that's locally grown is at the Farmer's Markets or at the local Mom and Pops (which we are very lucky to have an excellent one, Ward's Market, here)

TRAFFIC
I drove the freeways in Los Angeles for a lot of years, and I have to say, I think that they were actually BETTER than driving here. I can't say anything about driving in Miami specifically, but driving in Gainesville is a daily horror fest. The base population of Gainesville is about 175,000 to 200,000. Add to that "day commuters" just like LA has that drive from as far away as an hour and a half to 2 hours from little outlying bergs to work here in the "city". Then add the UF student population, between 45,000-47,000, and the Santa Fe COmmunity College population (over 25,000).
Now put them all out on the roads on an aging road infrastructure that was meant to carry about 125,000-150,000 people, TOPS. Its a very very scary scene.  I would MUCH prefer the CA freeways and surface streets.
Sometimes on I75, all lanes going one way will just STOP. No explanation. No roadwork. No wreck you can see. Then it will just GO again. Its crazy.[/quote]
Ah, you've been away from here a long while!

1992 is when I started law school, oh, to be 32 again . . . .

Plants are higher here, especially for tropicals, though prices have fallen some due to increased competition.

Yow!  A backsliding vegetarian?  Things must have been really bad!  There's lots of vegetarians out here, no two ways.  I've learned to cook to cater to my numerous vegetarian friends . . . .

Car insurance has changed a LOT.   I know what you mean about the bad old days, pre-1999.   Proposition 103 passed -- in the early 1990s?? -- and for the first time there was actual oversight over the insurance industry.  It had been mostly unregged before then!  

In January, 1998, I moved to the infamous El Screamo 'hood in LA, and the insurance on my 1985 Nissan Pickup was about $900 a year for the statutory minimum insurance.  State Farm charged more in some zips than others.  

The state insurance commission demanded that State Farm and its competitors offer explanations and evidence to support higher rates in say, Bevery Hills than in San Marino, or San Bernardino viz El Screamo.  And guess what?  They had no evidence!

My insurance fell from $900 in 1998 to about $400 in 1999, where it has stayed.

That said, it would probably still cost more to insure nice cars like yours here.  And, Cali's a car tax state, so the registration's murder too.  (Which is why I buy cheap cars, like the No-Va . . . . )

Traffic . . . .

Okay, it sucks in GV, from what everyone tells me, for the reasons you gave.  South Florida roads were mostly wonderful, at least as roads go.

Nothing but nothing compares to the sheer unmitigated horra of rush hour on the West Side of LA.  True gritty gridlock, sidestreet after sidestreet, no escape, two or three tries to get past major intersections!  Momeeeee . . . . .!

Also the population has increased a lot since you were here, and trust me, the roads show it.  In the five years I've lived at my present house, the trip to downtown has gotten longer and longer.  Those days when it takes an hour and a half to get to court in the morning (a thirty mile drive) are getting more and more frequent, and the drive home is getting worse and worse, too.

You describe LA traffic in GV -- there is a reason it stops.  Too many cars and not enough road.

Sigh . . . .
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#13 Tad

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 10:32 AM

Thanks Dave, I have a feeling soon enough I will be making frequent trips to California, the bus trip here wouldve eaten your whole vacation time! I cant go into why I will be going but just so you know, I will be photo documenting the long and tedious adventure!!
Californians as a whole I am sure are great peeps, just the snarky ones that stick like a burr under yer blanket, Y'know?
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#14 Gonzer

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 12:33 PM

Hey Davey-lad, drop the "Cali" in favor of simply "CA". We ain't no drug cartel from Columbia!  :P
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#15 metalfan

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 02:47 PM

Dave,
I am glad you like the folks in Florida so much. Its nice to know one's adopted state is viewed with optimism by discriminating folks such as you.

You really would be surprised to know that a lot of people consider FL to be "backward". And in some places, I know that they are RIGHT. But the majority of the larger towns and cities are okay places filled with okay people just trying to make ends meet and live day to day.

Every place has its poor and disenfranchised sectors, and its trashy side. But when I told the people I worked with in CA that I was moving to FL, they all looked at me like I was bona fide seriously nuts. Remarks were made that were very disparaging (about everyone being hicks and having outhouses and wrestling alligators and the like) by people who had never even been here.

As to being a back-sliding vegetarian, you have to realized I was not RAISED as a vegetarian. I was raised in TEXAS where BEEF IS KING (if you could afford it). We couldn't afford it, we were pretty poor, but my dad used to barter work for the local butcher shop in exchange for meat. We ate pretty good.

I chose vegetarianism when I was in my early 20's at UT in Austin. Til them I was a carnivore. Definitely. That's why it wasn;t hard to backslide. I hope never to do it again.
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11/2008-- OBX Marathon Kitty Hawk NC 26.2--3:50
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04/2009-- Boston Marathon Boston MA 26.2--4:38
10/2009--Marine Corps Marathon Washington DC 26.2--4:04
01/2010--Houston Marathon Houston TX 26.2--3:55
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10/2010--Marine Corps Marathon--
02/2011--Austin Marathon--
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#16 Dave-Vero

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 07:10 AM

In Orlando, Scott Joseph's "Chowhound" restaurant reviews have been featuring cheap, neat local restaurants for about as long as Eric's been at Leu.  

In Miami, the trick has always been to avoid the expressways, know the streets.
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#17 Gileno Machado

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 07:36 AM

I've been to the East coast of Florida too many times to count and the general atmosphere there is very similar to NE Brazil, so I usually feel perfectly at home...Well, the summers are a little hotter and the winters are cooler in Ft. Lauderdale than in Recife, but if you replace half of the existing Sabals for coconuts you can barely tell both coastlines apart...(except maybe for the girl's bikinis which are much more conservative in the States...) :)

I visited California for the first time in the winter of 2006 at enjoyed it a lot. The northern coast of the State sort of reminds me of São Paulo shore with the mountains near the beach, except for the weather being much drier. The mountains are impressive in NorCal though. Sierra Nevada is simply lovely and comparable to Colorado, which is the most beautiful State of USA in my opinion. I was surprised that the southern coast of CA (around San Diego) doesn't have many tall condos and high apartments along the beach and so the shoreline is relatively quiet and the developpers seem to have spared the beachfront neighborhoods, comparing to Floridian and Brazilian standards. The cost of living seems to be higher in the west coast too and the latin influence is not so noticeable as in Florida, where people seem to have a more relaxed attitude...My wife said that If we had to move temporarily to California (it's possible, in 2008 !!) we should look for a small house in Del Mar, close to where the seals sunbathe (where they have excellent Thai and oriental restaurants nearby). If I had to live in Florida I'd look for a nice property in Islamorada, or maybe in Coconut grove, close to Fairchild's...(I just love those alleys with banyan old trees..).

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#18 DoomsDave

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 08:50 PM


(Gileno Machado @ Jan. 07 2008,10:36)
QUOTE
I've been to the East coast of Florida too many times to count and the general atmosphere there is very similar to NE Brazil, so I usually feel perfectly at home...Well, the summers are a little hotter and the winters are cooler in Ft. Lauderdale than in Recife, but if you replace half of the existing Sabals for coconuts you can barely tell both coastlines apart...(except maybe for the girl's bikinis which are much more conservative in the States...) :)

I visited California for the first time in the winter of 2006 at enjoyed it a lot. The northern coast of the State sort of reminds me of São Paulo shore with the mountains near the beach, except for the weather being much drier. The mountains are impressive in NorCal though. Sierra Nevada is simply lovely and comparable to Colorado, which is the most beautiful State of USA in my opinion. I was surprised that the southern coast of CA (around San Diego) doesn't have many tall condos and high apartments along the beach and so the shoreline is relatively quiet and the developpers seem to have spared the beachfront neighborhoods, comparing to Floridian and Brazilian standards. The cost of living seems to be higher in the west coast too and the latin influence is not so noticeable as in Florida, where people seem to have a more relaxed attitude...My wife said that If we had to move temporarily to California (it's possible, in 2008 !!) we should look for a small house in Del Mar, close to where the seals sunbathe (where they have excellent Thai and oriental restaurants nearby). If I had to live in Florida I'd look for a nice property in Islamorada, or maybe in Coconut grove, close to Fairchild's...(I just love those alleys with banyan old trees..).[/quote]
Gileno!

Geeze, I wanted to go to Brazil in the WORST way.  An expression, meaning I wanted to go very badly.

Hmm.  The bikinis duly noted . . . .

Islamadora was nice, and it looked a lot like the pix of Recife.

Ah, good!  You noted the lack of highrises along the beach areas.  There is a specfic reason -- the California Coastal Commission, which was formed in the early 1970s to prevent what had happened to Miami and Honolulu (and Oceanside, etc etc) from happening to California.  

The CCC has an arrogant reputation, but most people I've talked to approve of keeping the coast free of the palisade of highrises.

More on that later, I can hear the debate starting . . .

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#19 Eric in Orlando

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 06:00 AM

Dave, hang around Orlando a little longer and you might feel at home, on a smaller scale;

theme parks
totally sprawling, uncontroled growth
beaches are close by
horrible traffic and drivers
rampant crime, Orlando has one of the highest murder rates
crooked jackass politicians on all levels
mucho habla espanol
good nightclubs
it seems every scummy nutbag from anywhere moves here and ends up on the news
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#20 palmmermaid

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 06:23 AM

I've lived in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach as an adult.  I grew up in a small town in the Panhandle of Florida.  I have traveled extensively for business the last 20 years or so.  People are generally the same everywhere.  We all have our eccentricities but we all just want to make a living and feed our families.

While there are many places I like in the US, I can't imagine living anywhere in the US except Florida and maybe Hawaii (I haven't been there so I don't know).  I would never live anywhere that has cold (below 60 degrees) winters.  CA is too weird for me.  And northern and southern CA are like 2 different states!  I know we have problems - hurricanes, floods, traffic, murders - but CA has more things - earthquakes, fires, mudslides - and sushi in the malls (to paraphrase Jimmy Buffet).  Water bars?  I've actually seen them!  And the traffic is horrible.

But I can't live happily in Jacksonville (redneck central) or Orlando (tourist central).  I can't live in Miami.  But I love West Palm.  Not too big, not too small, just right.  And because of all the money here, always lots to do.

I would be an ex-pat to Costa Rica or Australia or New Zealand in a heartbeat.  Just can't get my husband to pack it up and move!
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#21 amazondk

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 01:40 PM

Eric,

You know I really never have cared for Orlando.  It used to be part of my sales territory when I did sales for a European airline in the mid 1980's.  Two of my sons went to UCF for a while as well. They ended up back in Fort Lauderdale, where eventually they finished school.   I can't disagree with what you say.  For me Central Florida has just never has been a destination, just some place you fly over or drive through.  That is except for a few breif trips to theme parks.


Dave,

I have lived and worked both in California and Florida.  I worked at SFO airport for a few years in the late 70's and then moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1980.  One of the coldest places I have worked was evening shift at the Western Airlines Cargo terminal.  The cold wind cutting across from South San Francisco was brutal.    When I lived in California I enjoyed the place a lot.  Although I never really liked living in San Mateo that much.  I ended moving to Fort Lauderdale to be closer to Brazil, which I really never have been able to get out of my blood.  It happened to be the week of the Liberty City riots and I started driving down I95 to MIA right by the confusion. Fort Lauderdale was always my favorite spot in Florida and still is.  I worked a sales territory for travel agents in Miami Beach and Hialeah.  South Beach in 1982 was a scary place, post Mariel.  And, Hialeah is not really the USA, well neither is Miami in many respects.  It is just close to the USA.  I finally sold my house in Fort Lauderdale in 2004 when I came to the conclusion that I would never live there again and that it was time check out while the price was right.  I have been in and out of MIA more times than I can possibly count.  I always have enjoyed when the flight takes off over the Caribbean shooting down to South America.   Now that the destination is home I enjoy it even more.  

Since the Miami to Sao Paulo and Rio flights come straight over Manaus I frequently see their contrails in the day time and lights at night.  I am quite happy just sitting around watching them go over here in my little corner of the equatorial tropics remembering what it is like to look down on the sea of trees surrounding me.

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#22 DoomsDave

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 02:49 PM

Kitty:

Yeah, you're more right than you can imagine about no-Cal and so-Cal being like different states, especially now that so-Cal's got the superior numbers, and no-Callians are pissed at us stealing their water.

WATER BARS??  I've heard of them but never have actually seen one.  Where'd you see one?

Keep in mind that the West Side of LA and the affluent parts of the Valley are very different from the rest of So-Cal, but I suspect you already know that . . . .

Palm Beach was nice!  I admit, after Bubba took me around I was tempted to tear up my plane ticket . . . . .

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#23 Trópico

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 05:05 AM

Dave, I've never been to California/CA/Cali but it has always been in my list of dreams to make true. California has something magical I can't accurately pinpoint.
I'm going to limit myself to what has not been mentioned:

-California surf ROCKS while Florida, most of the time, eh.
-The LAN Center/Gaming scene is like ten years ahead of Florida with the Howies, the CAL league, etc. but we'll see in ten years ;)
-On the other hand FL is on average warmer which allows you to grow many more tropical plants (coconuts!) than CA.
-Also is more centrally located giving you access to many more countries with just a short flight.

I still don't understand how you did not find many non-chain restaurants, maybe you didn't hang out long enough here in O-town, where good food joints pop up in every street with the flavors of our neighbors in South America, the Caribbean, Central America, Asian and European. Maybe not as cheap as $1 tacos but there is food and also non-chain marketplaces available.

Gonzer: You are correct, brother. Cali, Columbia is a citywide cartel where people who are in can't make out alive, and people who are out wanna stay away, and every front yard is landscaped nicely with Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, among others, depending on their level of enthusiasm.

On the other hand, Santiago de Cali, Colombia is the capital of the Valle del Cauca which is the third largest city in Colombia with one of the fastest growing economies in the country, and for sure one of the best climates to grow tropical palms. Althought I've never have been blessed to visit that city, I understand that Cali, also called the "Rumba (Salsa) Capital" enjoys a terrific nightlife and is far from being the "third world" drug lord picture that most people sadly have. A single man goes in and may never come back, but for different reasons.

Excuse me all for going off a little tangent for a little bit.

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#24 Dave-Vero

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 07:18 AM

Florida has the best pro surfers
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#25 palmmermaid

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 10:22 AM


(Dave from So-Cal @ Jan. 08 2008,17:49)
QUOTE
Kitty:

Yeah, you're more right than you can imagine about no-Cal and so-Cal being like different states, especially now that so-Cal's got the superior numbers, and no-Callians are pissed at us stealing their water.

WATER BARS??  I've heard of them but never have actually seen one.  Where'd you see one?

Keep in mind that the West Side of LA and the affluent parts of the Valley are very different from the rest of So-Cal, but I suspect you already know that . . . .

Palm Beach was nice!  I admit, after Bubba took me around I was tempted to tear up my plane ticket . . . . .

dave[/quote]
I saw a water bar in a hotel in Walnut Creek.  I've stayed all over southern CA.  The coast is cold at night and the interior is very hot in the summer.  And I can't believe they call the big concrete ditch the Los Angeles River!

And some of the folks in the Monterey Peninsula reminded me of the netherlands of Montana.  Very paranoid.

I am glad you enjoyed Palm Beach.  Many people never get past the coast here.  The western part of the county where I live is much different.  We don't have near the glitz and glamour and much more property.

But I love visiting new places and seeing how the locals live.  I am surprised you didn't find many local places to eat.  We do have them, lots of them, even in Palm Beach.  You do have to get a local to show you around or just go out on your own.  If you want great Caribbean food you have to brave Riviera Beach.  I go in the daytime and take it home!  And there are some great little Latin restaurants in the areas where the Latins live.  Off the beaten path.
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#26 amazondk

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 11:44 AM


(palmmermaid @ Jan. 09 2008,13:22)
QUOTE
And there are some great little Latin restaurants in the areas where the Latins live.  Off the beaten path.[/quote]
Kitty,

Isn't where the Latins live pretty much anywhere in South Florida with concentrations increasing as one goes south?  Of course different communities tend to group in certain areas, like Brazilians in Pompano, Nicaraguans in Sweetwater, and Cubans basically own Miami Dade.   There are a lot of great little restaurants scattered around as you say.

dk
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#27 palmmermaid

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 12:55 PM

Don,

You are right.  Latins are pretty much everywhere.  But the groups from different countries still seem to cluster in certain areas.  That's where you find the great little places to eat.
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#28 amazondk

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 04:06 PM

Frank,

If I remember right - "Las caleñas son como las flores".  I spent some time in Cali when I was in a Colombian mode many years ago.  You have a point there.   But, then again try coming to Brazil and getting out without a Brasileira.  That is as hard if not more so.  At least in my case.

dk
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Don Kittelson

LIFE ON THE RIO NEGRO
03° 06' 07'' South 60° 01' 30'' West
Altitude 92 Meters / 308 feet above sea level
1,500 kms / 932 miles to the mouth of the Amazon River


Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil - A Cidade da Floresta
Where the world´s largest Tropical Rainforest embraces the Greatest Rivers in the World. .
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Click here to visit Amazonas
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#29 DoomsDave

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 04:17 PM

There were a lot of Mexican communities in the smaller towns on or near the Gulf.  Ruskin, near Tampa, La Belle inland from Fort Myers, and Goulds, near Miami, to name just three, had poco barrios exactly like the grande ones here in the Big La La, with taco stands (good!); clothing shops; "envios de Mexico" shops and loud nightclubs.  

Julio took me to this great Puerto Rican place in St. Pete, where he and I both ate food with plenty of ajo (garlic) for reasonable prices.

And, I did manage to find a few little comida Cubana places in the Miami area.

But, I missed the cheap but excellent Chinese, Viet, Thai and Korean places over here in Cali.  I noted that a lot of Thai places were also combined with sushi bars!  Sort of like combining Swedish and Italian in one place.  Good, I suppose, but a little wierd.
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#30 _Keith

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 04:33 PM

I have made many visits, business and private to both Florida and California, north, south and middle of both as well.

I find comparing the two states nearly impossible as they are quite different in almost every aspect.  I love them both.

Here are few, from my personal (personality) perspective.

It is easier for me to feel relaxed in Fl, than in Ca.  Don't know why.

Beaches are more inviting in Fl.  In Ca I feel like I need to be "from there" to be welcome.

Landscape vistas in California are awesome, nothing in Fl to compete with it, period

Ca climate/landscape more diverse in many aspects, FL diverse mainly in temperatures and more tropical plants to the south.

Fl a lot easier to get to (for me), than Ca

Fl lots of affordable accomodations (that I feel safe at), Ca everything expensive (that I feel safe at)

Ca is Innovation squared, Fl is Some Innovation.  (probably starting to guess what I do for a living on this one)

Bottomline, I go to Ca and Fl every chance I get.  They are both just really cool places.

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#31 DoomsDave

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 08:50 PM

Keith!

You've explained a lot very well.

I will only add that So-Cal is one big urban area, and that makes people a bit more territorial.

Particularly at the beach.

Which is why it's harder to relax here.  I felt the tension melt when I roamed the little towns . . . . .   Miami was more homey to me, with drivers cutting you off, excess everywhere.

Prices are lower in FLorida ESPECIALLY FOR RENTAL CARS.  Wanna scream!  (Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . .)

And I concur that we have what I call a culture of imagination, which many places (including, sadly, my beloved home state of Ohio) lack.

Florida's got that c of i in the south, especially in Miami.  Say what you will.  The rest of the state is more old south, which is okay by me.  

By the way, come out and visit.  I'll show you my garden, and we can dinner in China and lunch in Mexico, in the same day.
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#32 amazondk

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 10:32 PM

Dave,

In regards to the Latin American population in both places and the differences.  Florida, basically South Florida is a completely different animal from the rest of the Latin American populations in the USA.  For the most part it is not made up of people who migrated illegally to find a better home in America.  Of course there are plenty that did.  But, the vast majority, the Cuban Americans invaded South Florida and it was the most educated, professional, business person from Cuba.  This was especially true in the beginning.  What they created in Miami is the virtual capital of Latin America.  There is a tremendous difference between Cubans and Mexicans.  In fact Cubans and Brazilians have much more in common culturally than Cubans and Mexicans, in spite of the difference in languages.  The big difference with South Florida is that the Latin population is the affluent majority, not the poorer minority.  Sixty five percent of the people in Miami Dade County speak spanish as their first language.  Or, a mixture of Spanish and English.  I have worked with several very successful Cuban business men over the years.  One came to Miami with the clothes on his back in the early sixties and ended up a very wealthy multi millionaire.  He is only one of many.  There is also a lot of South American money in Miami in real estate and other investments.  Most people down here really have no interest in moving to the USA.  But, as a place to have a second home or to hide money South Florida has a lot of attractions.  And, the weather is warm which most people down this way appreaciate.  For the most part even the illegal immigrants in South Florida tend to come from higher income and education levels than those in California, Texas and other places.  A poor person really does not have a chance to accumulate enough money to get from South America to the USA illegally.  This is especially true for Brazilians.  And, Brazilians are the second largest immigrant group in South Florida after Cubans. What I notice when I go to Californina, which has been a while is the very strong Asian presence.  Which is natural due to history and geopgraphy.  Where California is part of the Pacific Rim, Florida is like a diving board pointed to South America.  As South America grows economically I imagine this link will grow even more.  We are both the same non stop flight time from Miami, 5 hours.  And, since the time zone is either the same or one hour later (when Miami in on daylight time, we never go daylight) I can leave on the TAM flight at noon and have dinner in Fort Lauderdale with my kids.  

Just some observations from someone south of the border.

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#33 DoomsDave

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 10:44 PM

dk:

Your obs are astute.

In Cali, Spanish is the language of poverty . . . .baseball caps and worn Converse All-Stars.  

In Miami, stockbrokers get pissed because they have to learn it, to sell to the Cubans, etc.

Si si si, yo comprende . . . .
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#34 amazondk

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 02:42 AM

Dave,

In Miami the stock brokers likely are Cuban.  Although Spanish is the first language at home for the majority in Miami Dade most everyone functions in a multiligual environment constantly switching from Spanish to English and mixing them together.  In fact many companies handling Latin American business out of Miami have to train the employees in the use of proper Spanish.  I have found from time to time that I understood spanish grammar than some spanish speakers in Miami.  What works on the street is not necessarily what you need to use with someone in an office in Santiago, Chile.  I speak pretty good Spanish, but rarely ever use it in Miami.  Firstly I look like a Gringo so most people address me in English, and secondly I figure I really have no need to speak Spanish if the person understands English.  That is unless I determine that the communication will be too difficult in English.  

All this talk got me thinking about having lunch in a Cuban restaurant with some friends over by MIA.  Well hopefully I will get up there in the not too distant future.

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Don Kittelson

LIFE ON THE RIO NEGRO
03° 06' 07'' South 60° 01' 30'' West
Altitude 92 Meters / 308 feet above sea level
1,500 kms / 932 miles to the mouth of the Amazon River


Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil - A Cidade da Floresta
Where the world´s largest Tropical Rainforest embraces the Greatest Rivers in the World. .
Posted Image

Click here to visit Amazonas
Posted Image

#35 bubba

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 07:17 AM

Great topic.I have traveled extensively in California and it is my wife and family's favorite destination in the US.From Eureka(is it always 51Fday/night 365 days a year?)to the Desert(Great golf couses and the ball goes further because of Heat/lack of humidity together with all sorts of great stuff)to the Mountains(coming in from Tahoe to Yosemite is incredible)to Wine Country(after my 16th winery,I always ponder how many DUI's CHP could issue)to San Francisco(incredible beauty for large city with that end of the world feel and that Fairmont Hotel looking down that hill)to Pebble(my wife and my personal favorite.She loves that Ocean Ave shopping stuff and I always expect to see elfs jump out of trees at Cypress Point)to Santa Barbara(eclectic spot with great Moreton Fig)to LA.(Beverly Hills Polo Lounge/LA Country Club/Newport Beach)to San Diego(Del Coronado Hotel and environs is the best perhaps with the exception of Raffles in Singapore to me in the world)-more to come
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#36 DoomsDave

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 10:27 AM


(bubba @ Jan. 10 2008,10:17)
QUOTE
Great topic.I have traveled extensively in California and it is my wife and family's favorite destination in the US.From Eureka(is it always 51Fday/night 365 days a year?)to the Desert(Great golf couses and the ball goes further because of Heat/lack of humidity together with all sorts of great stuff)to the Mountains(coming in from Tahoe to Yosemite is incredible)to Wine Country(after my 16th winery,I always ponder how many DUI's CHP could issue)to San Francisco(incredible beauty for large city with that end of the world feel and that Fairmont Hotel looking down that hill)to Pebble(my wife and my personal favorite.She loves that Ocean Ave shopping stuff and I always expect to see elfs jump out of trees at Cypress Point)to Santa Barbara(eclectic spot with great Moreton Fig)to LA.(Beverly Hills Polo Lounge/LA Country Club/Newport Beach)to San Diego(Del Coronado Hotel and environs is the best perhaps with the exception of Raffles in Singapore to me in the world)-more to come[/quote]
Next time you're out here, swing by my place.  I don't have much luxury, but I can show you (and your wife if she's so inclined) some cool private palm gardens, as well as serious Chinese food and Comida Mexicana.

I live right up the road from Louis Hooper's place, one of the grand men of the IPS and the SCPS.

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#37 jenks

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 10:29 AM

One of the things I love about California is the geographic diversity. I can't think of anything that comes close.

You can literally fish world class rivers or snowboard/ski and surf in the same day.

The only thing I would take from Florida is the year round warm water

Eastern Sierras
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Trestles
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Huntington with local moutains
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#38 paulgila

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 10:57 AM

great shots,john,they should be on postcards :)
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#39 DoomsDave

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 10:59 AM

S W O O N  . . . .

Especially that pic with the beach and mountains!

Ooomph!
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#40 DoomsDave

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:36 PM

Well, thought I'd revive this, and see what everyone has to say . .
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