The People's Guide is Curbed Miami's tour of neighborhoods led by our most loyal readers, favorite bloggers, and other luminaries of our choosing.
Today's neighborhood is Mid-Beach, an area of Miami Beach running from 23rd street to 63rd Street on Collins Avenue and Indian Creek Drive.
Our interview subject is Mid-Beach resident Will Manso, WPLG Local 10 Sports Director and Miami Heat studio host on Fox Sports Sun.
How long have you lived in Mid-Beach?
I've been back in this area for three years now. I lived here previously for three years, but missed it so much while I was gone that I had to move back.
What do you like best about the neighborhood?
I love the vacation feel the area has. There are so many nice hotels, but sprinkled in between are the condos and homes. The beauty of the area is that you don't have the wild party feel of South Beach, yet you're close enough to it all that you can always find what you want. It has a great mix of nightlife, restaurants, outdoor activities and just plain relaxation.
What do you like least about the neighborhood?
Like anyone who lives on Miami Beach, parking and traffic can be a little hectic. The city does provide some convenient parking, but there are certain parts of the day where it feels like it'll take you an hour to get 20 blocks and park.
Is it a good place to raise a family?
I think so. I moved to a more suburban part of Miami thinking I needed a yard and more quiet streets, but the reality was what better yard is there than Miami Beach? I moved back and my 10-year-old daughter is close to her school, steps from the ocean and parks and surrounded by great culture and history. You really can't beat it.
The biggest misconception?
That it's too expensive and elitist. I live in the area of Miami Beach called "Millionaires Row" and trust me, I'm far from a millionaire. Sure, there are areas that are pricey, but it's not all glitz, glamour and money. You find a lot of regular, hard-working middle-class people who just want to be close to the ocean and beauty of South Florida to raise their families.
How has it changed since you moved there?
I've seen more and more younger families move into the area. I think for a long time this was seen as a quieter part of the beach to retire or for snowbirds to come down and live in the winter. But, I notice more and more families moving to the area all the time.
Are you concerned about Climate Change affecting your living situation?
Very. Of course, I have that concern for all places, not just my neighborhood. We have seen a real increase in tide issues and the city has spent millions to try and correct it. Whether the work started too late and the issues will only grow, we'll have to wait and see. But to think these beautiful beaches and this community could be destroyed in the lifetime of our children is frightening.
Tell us something we don't know about mid-Beach:
They still have the old Russian and Turkish bath house open over on 54th and Collins. I think many people think it's been closed, but it's actually still around and makes for a relaxing day.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
So many spots I love in the area. The obvious is Cecconi's at Soho Beach House. They have a great lunch and happy hour during the week. You can never go wrong at the Forge and the Fountainbleau has a handful of nice restaurants on property. Essencia in the Palms Hotel is a great spot.
What is your favorite local activity?
The beach is the obvious and easy answer. The stretch from around 41st to 54th has some of the quietest and nicest beaches you'll find.
Cafe Avanti is a classic Italian restaurant right on 41st Street that I didn't mention earlier. It may not have the trendy buzz of some other places, but it's always a nice meal with family and friends and not too pricey.
Sell us on living in mid-Beach.
I haven't sold you yet? I think combining everything I've said I love about it from the combination of quiet and fun and it's beauty make it an obvious place to want to live.