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Tallahassee, FL

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I received a nice offer from FSU, but I heard alot of Tallahassee is run down. I love to run and bike and do just about anything outdoors (of course when I have free time which will be scarce shortly) so is this a town with the same kind of people and activities? The town itself is one thing that is going into my considerations for which school I choose and I wanted your honest opinion of it. Thanks alot 8)

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Sorry this will be quick. If you have more questions, ask away.

Tallahassee is definitely not run down. The city has made an active effort to clean up what used to be the bad neighborhoods (and i mean 10 years ago) and to keep other neighborhoods from getting run down. Unless you mean something by "run down" that I don't quite get.

Running and biking are definitely possibly. St. Marks Trail is great and only about a 20 min drive away. There are also plenty of parks and trails in town (I'm not too outdoorsy so I don't have all the details) and there are definitely community (and probably campus) running and bike clubs that explore the various trails in the area. Biking on roads can be dangerous, there are some bad drivers in Tallahassee. One thing to consider though is the heat, humidity, and mosquitoes that will be upon you for 8 months out of the year. I don't think they are that bad but I've heard differently.

Like I said, ask anything you want. Oh, and what program at FSU?

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The program is Econ.

Nothing hidden was meant by run-down, just dilapatated or poor condition. Is the area around the college nice?

Thanks for the info.

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Sorry, that one above was me. I don't know anything specific about econ at FSU unfortunately.

The area around campus refers to a lot of different places since FSU is huge and borders on several different neighborhoods. The College Avenue side of campus borders on downtown Tallahassee which has a bunch of construction right now (they're building high rise condos, bleck). I should say that even the high-rise condos aren't that high because there's a height cap in Tallahassee.

The area by the stadium is... different. It borders on some of the more predominantly African-American communities where a lot of FAMU students reside (I'm think of the Gaines street area). Also by the stadium is Jackson Bluff Road, home to tons of FSU and TCC (that's Tallahassee Community College) students.

Then there's the part of campus that borders Tennessee St., which is populated mostly by businesses and also includes 'The Strip', a group of clubs/bars. The Strip is still popular but nothing like it was when I was younger. Tennessee St has lots of fast food places that stay open either 24 hours or until midnight or 2 am on weekdays and 4am on weekends. The McDonald's on Tennessee Street is, for whatever reason, a place lots of people go after going clubbing. :? don't ask me. I should also note that during Homecoming (FSU and FAMU), Tennessee Street frequently gets blocked off or is bumper-to-bumper or has a million cops on it. That is one road that you never want to speed down, trust me.

Across the street from part of campus (more like the Theatre and the Loop, a pizza place), is Frenchtown. I suspect this is the place you've heard bad things about. Frenchtown is a predominately black neighborhood. It used to be known for prostitution and drugs but that's not true anymore. The city and local community leaders have spent years trying to turn around the area's image and it's working. They're building all sorts of new businesses. In fact, one of the more popular student coffeeshops, All Saints Cafe, is in Frenchtown. Only once in my life (I lived in Tallahassee for 17 years and spend pretty much all my vacations and summers there) have I ever felt unsafe in Frenchtown and that was only because it was late at night, I was by myself, and I think I heard a car backfire. Needless to say, nothing happened to me.

Have people told you that anywhere specifically is dilapidated? I'm curious to know because I really don't think that's true anymore.

Nice is relative in Tallahassee. I like the canopy roads and heavily wooded areas so I don't think campus is that nice. That isn't to say that the campus itself isn't pretty. A fair amount of green space, several gorgeous fountains, etc. (I haven't really walked around FSU in about 5 years...) Tallahassee is filled with tree-huggers. If you ever commute long distances (by which I mean 6+ miles), you'll understand quickly. Basically, we like the trees too much to cut them down to widen roads. Which means you sit in traffic. It's really only bad during rush hour and even then only in certain places. The rest of the time, I can get anywhere I want to in town in 15 minutes or less. Very nice. But, like I think I already said, you pretty much need a car. There are no grocery stores in close proximity to campus.

Oh, and don't live in the Alumni Village.

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Great, thanks for all the info. You are a wealth of information.

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Hi All!

I am currently an FSU undergrad but have recently accepted an offer in the Psychology department. I have been in Tally for 4 years and LOVE this city.

I wanted to throw in my two cents about housing in Tallahassee. Obviously it depends on what you are looking for but I suggest the east side if you are looking for a quite, residential atmosphere. Major road on that side of town include (East and West) Park, Appalachee, and St. Augustine and (North and South) Blair Stone, Magnolia and Victory Garden. I live on this side of town and LOVE it!

If you like to be outside, make sure you live near Tom Brown Park (East Side) or Lake Ella (Just north of Down Town). Tallahassee has LOTS of great parks but these two are my favorite. FSU also own a great property called The REZ on Lake Bradford. If you like to be outside it's a MUST SEE! http://fsu.campusrec.com/reservation/index.shtml

If you won't have a car in Tallahassee, consider living on campus. FSUs newest housing complex, New Hall (opened 2003), is a GREAT place to live. These are 4bd/2ba fully furnished apartments that include EVERYTHING (except cable) for less that $500 a month. They are centrally located on campus and are very quite. http://www.housing.fsu.edu/housing/grad ... ility.html

On a different note, I am looking for a roommate. If you're interested or have any other questions please don't hesitate to email me at Brewer@psy.fsu.edu.

Cheers,

Lauren

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The only downside to living on the East Side of town is that traffic can get pretty backed up. The northeast and parts of the northwest sides of town are known for their quietness because they're predominantly non-student residential neighborhoods. Check out the rental listings on http://www.tallahassee.com if you want to get an idea of how much townhouse and house rentals cost. I must say that renting a house is getting a bit exorbitant, particularly in the nicer neighborhoods.

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I am currently living abroad and will be attending FSU in the fall. I won't be able to leave Europe until mid-August and was leaning towards living in Alumni Village (I am married) until I get my bearings and have time to look for a more permanent place to live.... Is Alumni Village that bad?

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Alumni Village has definitely NOT been renovated in recent memory. At least 15 years, I'd say. I had some friends that got married and lived there but I think it's less than ideal. It does have the advantage of coming furnished with very basic items, which may be helpful if you're coming from abroad. If you check out the floor plans for 1 bedrooms, http://www.housing.fsu.edu/housing/grad/avfp.html you'll note that the bedrooms themselves are kinda small.

I would consider this factor though:

Apartments are not air-conditioned; however, a limited number of apartments have window air-conditioning units. Residents may purchase and install window air conditioning units in University designated and approved location inside the apartment. The University does not rent or sell window units.

I'm not sure how long I'd live in Tallahassee without an air conditioner given that the unit is typically in use from late April to early October.

There's also the transportation factor. Alumni Village is kinda isolated (even in terms of bus line) making grocery shopping a bit more difficult. For information on the bus line that goes to Alumni Village: http://www.talgov.com/starmetro/routes/rt20.cfm . I realize that probably means nothing to you. So, let me explain. You can ride the bus for free (by showing your FSUCard) and the #20 takes you right to campus in about 20 minutes according to the schedule. If you didn't have a car, you'd need to change buses at the Plaza to get to the grocery store, adding to the amount of time it takes to get groceries. Of course, bus transit in Tallahassee isn't great no matter where you live...

Summary: If you've got the money, I'd try and live offcampus. Maybe someone else could weigh in but that's my opinion. And, if you buy an inexpensive used car, living offcampus is an even better option.

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Thanks for the info! I have a car in storage in the U.S, but only one, and I would rather not buy a second if I could make my way to campus via the bus service... From what I could gather from the website, the lease at Alumni Village is month to month... But I will take your advice and try to look around for an off campus apartment.

Thanks again.

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Be careful about offcampus apartments. A lot of them are dominated by college students, even ones that aren't right near campus. London Town and Meridian Place apartments are great, near lots of things, and away from college parties.

Quick question: Why would you need a second car if you already have one in storage?

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Because there will be two of us... My wife will definitely need the car, and I was trying to live close enough to campus that I won't need one as well.

I will check out the places you mentioned.

Thanks!

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I have been in Tallahassee for four years (as an undergrad) and will start at FSU as a grad student in May. I agree I have several friends (all graduate students) that live at London Towne. It's a great apartment complex. If you don't want to buy a second car, I suggest a bike. Nothing in Tallahassee is too far from campus that you can't bike in.

Regarding Alumni Village, one of the guys in my program lived there is first year. He said it was the worst thing he ever experienced. I would stay away from there if at all possible. Like I said, invest in a bike.

I also have friends living at Franklin Point. It's a family oriented complex and about a mile from down town, two miles from campus. A one bedroom starting at $325. It's a very quiet residential area. More info on Franklin Point can be found here

http://tallahassee.collegerentals.com/d ... linPointe/

Cheers,

Lauren

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If you go to the website Lauren posted, here's a list of places I would avoid.

Greenbriar Apts (and anything with that management. I had friends live there for a year and they had MANY problems)

Boardwalk at Appleyard, The Exchange, Frog Pond, Jacob's Landing, Osceola Village, Players Club, Tuscany Village, University Gardens - all are mostly undergrads and noisy on the weekends

I don't know that much about the rest of the complexes, simply because new complexes open every year and since I'm not a student in Tally I don't keep up with it anymore.

You can do an apartment search through Tallahassee.com and get some great results. I just did a sample one and got reminded of a few nice complexes. Arbor Station is nice though it's a bit far from campus but walking distance from the mall which means more bus lines though none goes directly to campus. The Paddock Club is also nice and Oak Ridge Apartments and Banyon Bay (that name might be wrong) are in that same area. Not that close to campus but could be more convenient for your wife since it's by tons of businesses.

Hope that helps you some.

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How is your apartment hunt going? Have you had any luck?

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Hey, I accepted a place at FSU's PhD in Lit program and am, therefore, on the prowl for an apartment. I randomnly got in contact with a very nice landlady who has been bending over backwards to help me out, which is nice. The only problem is that my husband doesn't yet have a job down there. He's a high school Math teacher, so we think he has a pretty good chance of getting a job but it may be in one of the surrounding counties. My inclination is that, if he does get a job somewhere other than Leon County, we should live there and I can be the one to commute. It won't always be necessary for me to go to work 5 days a week like it will be for him, and I am assuming that living expenses will be less outside of the city. Is that completely wrong? Anybody have an "in" with any school boards?:) I'm afraid of waiting too long to sign a lease, but I don't want to be rash either. Any advice will be great.

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Although I can't speak for Leon county specifically, I have heard that the state of Florida in general has to hire 20,000 teachers through out the state. I am sure a qualified math teacher will be picked up quickly.

I'm not sure what prices are like outside the city. I live on the east side away from undergrads and love it. Franklin county isn't far to the east and Wakula county is south of campus and not a bad drive either. Good luck with your search. I think you'll be satisfied where ever you end up in North Florida.

Cheers and congrats!

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My mother worked in Gadsden County (about 30 min to the west of Tallahassee) for like 8 years. And honestly, she preferred it to working in Tally. The commute into Tallahassee is much worse than leaving town, simply because so many people live in the surrounding areas and work in Tallahassee. And while housing and utilities are cheaper outside of Tallahassee, I'm not sure how much savings there would be overall. For most shopping needs you would need to come to Tallahassee (clothes, etc.) which is what makes me doubt how much you'd save. Then there's the high price of gasoline (I don't know where you're from but gas in Tallahassee will pass $3 probably in the next two weeks) which would be exacerbated by a long commute on either of your parts. Sitting in traffic (ie community INTO Tallahassee) would probably waste more gas than just driving.

If you want to talk more about the pros and cons of commuting to campus versus commuting to a surrounding county, just shoot me a Private Message.

And like Lauren said, there will be a lot of hiring in Leon County and the surrounding counties for math teachers. The school year isn't over yet so they can't really advertise openings. School ends just before Memorial Day so start looking then. I'd say, go ahead and get a lease if you've found a place that you like, go ahead and get it. Your husband will certainly be able to get a job, there are 6 public high schools in Leon County, and many more in the surrounding areas.

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Thank you two so much; that gives me a little better idea of what my next move should be. Does anyone know anything about Mission Road? We're looking at a duplex there and thinking about leasing it sight-unseen, but I thought I'd at least get an idea what the area was like first.

What did people do when they had to move long distances before the Internet?!?

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I know a few people who live over that way and love it. It's a very scenic side of town. I will caution you about undergrads though. FSU is known as a party school and that side of town (although maybe not where you are looking) is densely populated by undergrads.

The Publix (grocery store) located near Mission Road was voted the number one place in America to meet singles. People tend to get quite dressed up to so there. Of course I am sure that you can find times when it's not as crowded, you might was to at least consider those things before signing.

If you are looking for a duplex away from the younger partying population, I would suggest looking on Monroe St. North of I-10. I have several friends who have bought (and also rent) duplexes up that way. It would put your husband close to the interstate in the event he does get a job in another county.

Regarding potential schools for your husband, many of the faculty's children are districted to go to Chiles High School. It's a wealthy area and the parking lot is filled with brand new luxury SUVs. The students there are quite spoiled (not all but most) and have access to more money than most of the teachers make. I don't know how much money you two have to begin with, but it can be a challenge teaching to students who are better of than you.

Rickards HS has the IB program but is districted for kids with lower SES (on average). This, of course, come with its own set of problems. There are several private and parochial schools too that he may want to consider. Also, last I heard, Florida ranks 49th in average teacher pay. I don't know where Georgia ranks but it's only about 20 minutes north of town. The distance driven may be made up in the salary increase.

That's all I can think of for now. I'll post again if I think of anything else.

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Sorry for all the typos. I should have proof read it first.

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Honestly, the kids at Chiles are no more spoiled on average than the kids you would find at Leon High School (where I went) and Lincoln High School. Rickards is a poorer school on average and their situation with books and classrooms a few years ago was deplorable (they have fewer students so they get less money which becomes a vicious cycle and leaves them with fewer resources).

I can't remember much about teacher pay in Gadsden County. But Wakulla, Liberty, Gadsden, and Jefferson counties are the closest to Tallahassee. Just over the border there's Thomasville Schools and Thomas County schools. There's also Grady County just over the state line.

I would avoid the Mission Road area. There used to be a lot of families out that way but they have all moved to other areas as the undergrads have moved in and taken over the area. If you want something quiet, Lauren's suggestion of Monroe north of I-10 is a good one. There are also some family-oriented apartments on North Meridian (London Town and Meridian Place Apartments) that are nice and quiet.

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