Socially conscious, alternative, eco-oriented neighborhood in Miami?

Asked by Lauren, Brooklyn, NY Mon Dec 31, 2012

Hello. We are a young family who are interested in possibly moving to Miami. We are from New York City and are looking for a neighborhood that is less about fancy cars and shopping malls are more about organic, local food sourcing, yoga, pilates, progressive approaches to education. Any neighborhood suggestions?

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Rosie Morot-Gaudry’s answer
Rosie Morot-…, Agent, Miami, FL
Sun Jan 6, 2013
Hello Lauren,
The most energy efficient buidings in Miami are new constructions in my opinion.You can join a club who distributes local and organic vegetables, you can also find a variety of organic food in regular supermarket and farmers market.The area you end up choosing will depend on your budget and how much time you are willing to commute to your work. We have plenty of yoga /pilates classes all over Miami,
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Tue Jan 21, 2014
Well, let's hope that since Lauren posted this question over a year ago, back in Dec, 2012, she has already settled in somewhere, and is happily living as a Floridian now!
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Aha! Thanks...thought her post was from 2013! Hopefully she did find a place that worked for her and maybe my comments will help other progressive people moving to Miami in making a decision about neighborhoods.
Flag Wed Jan 22, 2014
Agiya, Home Buyer, Coconut Grove, FL
Tue Jan 21, 2014
We've been living here for a year and are still seeking what you describe. We are in coconut grove and I guess it kind of fits the bill for the most part. There are lots of young families here, we've got a great public library with an incredible children's librarian. There is free yoga at Peacock Park once a week, free bike tours around the Grove through the BID office, two farmers markets (one new on Thursdays and the other on Sat.), the requisite hippy African drum circle made up of mostly aging white people, plenty of good organic food at the small stores like Milam's and Fresh Market. We've got the terrific CG sailing club that's super down to earth and not "yachty" at all, there's a great independent book store, good (non chain) restaurants, and a mix of funky stores that are still hanging on despite the high rents. But progressive approaches to education?? Unless that's happening at the private schools in the area, it's not happening at the public schools here. It's been a big issue for us. It's not like N. Beach Elem (which is actually mid beach--kind of confusing, I know) which is predom Jewish. I hear they have a really incredible curriculum. That area was our second choice and we still consider moving out that way. Diff vibe but still appealing. South Beach (esp South of Fifth (Sofi) is super expensive but more families I hear are moving out that way and squeezing into little condos if they can afford it. That elem school is pretty incredible but I hear you do have to contend with the "moms with bags" and a bit of a snooty element. Otherwise, incredibly progressive education at that school from what I've been told. Definitely check it out if you can afford it and don't mind condo living and/or having no or little yard space.

Miami is also not as diverse as I was hoping it to be. As a northern CA transplant, I was a bit shocked by how segregated it is (esp for Black Americans). I know it's the South but I had been told, Miami was "different." Well, it's not that different when it comes to Black American upward mobility. There is no substantial Black middle class in Miami like there is in other major cities. It's a bit upsetting to us as an interracial family. I hate the fact that while I am cleaning my yard, I sometimes get approached by passerbys wanting to know how much I charge. Blacks live for the most part in the "Black Grove" or what some forum folks call "the bad part" of the Grove. We like the Grove for the most part but are not happy with the education. We do like that there is a good sense of community and people WALK and bike more than any other area I've seen yet. It's got an urban vibe but still so tropical.

We're still looking for that neighborhood you're describing b/c it's really too expensive in the Grove (which is what led me to do my google search that landed on your question.) Parts of South Miami near Sunset is also another option and Pinecrest too but they both have a low walk score in relation to the Grove or Miami Beach. Pinecrest has an awesome super kid friendly community center and although it at first seemed like the god awful suburbs we hate so much, it's growing on us because the pub schools are incredible, there are lots of terrific bike trails, wonderful organic food options, and each time we're at the community center, I run into more Black folks taking their kids to classes there than I do in the grove. I was told Pinecrest was not diverse at all but I've met more progressive (more so than just bleeding heart liberal) there than in the Grove. Ha! So go figure. Appearances are not at all what they seem.

Hope this helps's a complicated city and I'm not quite sold on staying but we'll give it another year before we make up our minds. It's about a good decade behind on environmental policies than most places like Brooklyn and Oakland. There is no substantial recycling at either of my kids schools. Very few people I know compost. There is no compost bin/pick up like in Oakland/Berkeley. The public transportation here stinks for a major city. There are far too many cars on the road and incredible road rage (another thing you might want to consider in choosing a neighborhood--Coconut Grove is situated in a great spot and we can take a number of side streets to avoid the mess of traffic that seems to always be on US1 and Bayshore. Miami does after all have the greatest incidents of pedestrian fatalities in the US--a testament that people don't know how to share the road. In other areas, you're just stuck in your car for a long while. It's far from being Green, progressive city but I have finally met like minded folks here and they are trying to make things change for the better here---slowly.
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I am not sure if you will see this but I somehow only saw this reply from you! And yes it helps. No we have not moved yet, yes we are still thinking on it. I did visit a bunch of public "great" schools on the beach last year and they were AWFUL. I would never send my kids there. The teach to the test is out of control it seems. So we are still wanting to move- and almost moved to Oakland/Berkeley but we love the East Coast, my parents are here and in many ways it is just easier. However, we would do private schools JUST so I can make sure they get a progressive education and are not cramming for tests all day long. The area that seems to be best for us is Coconut Grove. Are you still in FL? If so, how is it? THANK you for replying to me and I hope you are happy. Any other advice or thoughts, I would love to hear. Best, Lauren
Flag Wed Feb 18, 2015
AL, Home Buyer, Brooklyn, NY
Wed Jul 24, 2013
Lauren, I was wondering if you moved to Miami. I live in Brooklyn too and I was looking for what you describe here. Any luck? I would love to know. Thanks
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Ann Ryan, Agent, Doral, FL
Wed Jan 2, 2013
Miami is changing, but it's not there yet. Rather than trying to find a neighborhood where all this exists (and it doesn't) bring your modern values into one of the redeveloping areas... maybe Midtown and Coconut Grove. Or reallly go off the beaten path, and head to the Redlands and start your own ecotourist lodge/farm. I'm always surprised at how little local food we see in Miami... when nearly every fruit and vegetable can be grown in our own backyards!

Happy hunting!
0 votes
Thanks. I am just a bit worried about being off the beaten path. We are seeped in a progressive, liberal community here and leaving it will require a similar community.
Flag Wed Jan 2, 2013
a, , Hideaway, TX
Wed Jan 2, 2013
Hi Lauren,

First off, happy New Year! Wishing you and your family all the best in your real estate seach. What you're describing does not quite seem to fit Miami. Have you considered a bit North of Miami. I specialize in Broward County. Some areas I'd suggest would be Coral Springs and Parkland. Coral Springs was actually recently ranked, by Money Magazine, in top 100 best places to live! Definitely not a whole lot of the fancy cars, plently of organic stores and farmers markets, Yoga / fitness / cross fit places, excellent schools, etc. These towns are about 40-50 miles North of Miami.

Give it a look, I think you'll like what you see. If you'd like, you can search some potential properties on my website as well (below). If you have any others questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Avraham Yeini
CENTURY 21 City Real Estate
4500 University Dr.
Coral Springs, FL 33065
Cell: 786-763-3949
0 votes
Thanks for your honest reply. I will check into it with my family. I will contact you if we do indeed come out.
Flag Wed Jan 2, 2013
marc jablon,…, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Wed Jan 2, 2013
In terms of progressive approaches to education, you may want to look into the A.D. Henderson school on the FAU campus in Boca Raton.

Sure, we have lots of fancy cars and the Town Centre Mall in Boca Raton.

However, because we are a community that also keeps pace with what is popular among all age groups, you will find organic sections in our supermarkets, local food sources from Boca Raton to Wellington, and plenty of pilates and yoga classes.

We also have a numerous activities geared for parents with children.

Like New York -- of which we are a distant suburb because of the mass migration from there to here --we are aware, and occasionally ahead, of the latest trends.

While seniors with gray hair, walkers, and wisdom are a vital force in our population, so also are young families with children who help keep us vibrant and au courant.

To see a list of current homes available in Boca Raton, go to:… or contact me.

Marc Jablon, The Jablon Team
RE/MAX Complete Solutions
0 votes
Julie Rosent…, Agent, Jupiter, FL
Tue Jan 1, 2013
Lease see all listings and get free info at
0 votes
Maria Elena…, Agent, Miami, FL
Tue Jan 1, 2013
Davie and SouthWest Ranches. What is your price range?
0 votes
G, Home Buyer, Miami, FL
Tue Jan 1, 2013
Yes, exclude Miami from your search
0 votes
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