Kim Peran in Daytona, FL; Brooklyn Eagle Spotlight on Space
Transplanted Brooklynite now happy in Florida, wants to share the sunshine. Brooklyn Eagle Spotlight on Space focuses on a new trend: taking work remotely far south, or even retiring, to the warm sunshine and tax breaks of Florida.
In this interview, Brooklyn native Kim Peran puts on her real estate salesperson’s hat, and beckons.
SPACE SPOTLIGHT: Why did you relocate to Florida?
KIM: I have been visiting Florida since I was 7 years old and always enjoyed the weather and palm trees. Most of my Brooklyn family had moved there as well. I chose Northern Florida because we do get a change of seasons. It is beautiful all winter long with temps between 70-75 in the day and 50-60 in the evening. I am able to be outdoors year round to enjoy the parks, beaches and trails. It is also much cheaper to live here. Our property taxes are lower, sales tax
is lower and there is no income tax.
SPACE SPOTLIGHT: How did you choose your neighborhood?
KIM: My husband and I looked around for a year and finally chose Plantation Bay in Ormond Beach for the beauty and plentiful amenities. It is a golf community but you do not have to be a golfer to live here. We enjoy the 2 restaurants, gym, classes, Pickleball, tennis 2 pools with a Cabana Bar and fire pit (for those cooler nights) and of course Bocce (I used to watch people play in the parks when I was a child living in Brooklyn). There are parks inside of the neighborhood as well to walk, run, bike or just walk your pups and meet up with neighbors.
SPACE SPOTLIGHT: As someone born and raised in Bensonhurst, you share with all transplanted Brooklynites the nostalgic feelings for that special sense of neighborhood. What are some of the cultural similarities you found in Florida that remind you of Brooklyn?
KIM: Like Brooklyn, Florida is a series of many small towns, the communities become home. It has all of the happy interaction that comes from being good neighbors, but on the whole I actually think it is friendlier because of the slower pace, minimum traffic and the weather is always great. I remember how comforting it was to hang out with neighbors on our stoop in Brooklyn , when the weather was good. Not many old-fashioned city stoops in Florida, but neighbors have even more chances to get together because of the weather…did I say the weather is always great ?
SPACE SPOTLIGHT: Weather aside, what do you miss about Brooklyn?
KIM: Because Florida is very diverse and attracts people from all over the US (and all over the world, too) I am often reminded of Brooklyn’s ethnic diversity growing up. But whenever I meet someone from Brooklyn in Florida, it’s like being back home again. We talk about the neighborhoods, the schools, the churches and synagogues. But mostly, we talk about the food. My favorite pizza was from DaVinci’s on 18th Avenue around 65th street. Whenever I return to Brooklyn, I go there for a Sicilian slice that takes me back to my childhood. I loved Rispoli’s Bakery near my house on 72 nd, even though it is no longer in business, I do go back to other bakeries for pastry and italian cookies. In Florida I still find Brooklyn connections, foodwise. I would bet you that most nights of the week if I walk into any of the good restaurants in my area, and if I were so bold as to call out “Who’s from Brooklyn?” I would see hands go up. In Daytona there is a place called Rosie’s, run by a family originally from Brooklyn. Rosie has the most authentic Brooklyn food around and the Brooklyn Bagel factory in Flagler famously imports ingredients from Brooklyn to make authentic Brooklyn bagels.
SPACE SPOTLIGHT: If we have readers not ready for retirement, maybe younger family with kids? What can you say to them?
KIM PERAN: Where do I start? For the parents, no income tax. For the whole family, I would say good schools and endless opportunities for healthy outdoor activities, year ‘round. Children actually still go out and play here, just like when I was a kid. In addition. you don’t need to completely sever your New York connections, because there are plenty of inexpensive flights to and from NY.
SPACE SPOTLIGHT: With cold weather coming on, we love the idea of sunshine…but you don’t have Coney Island and the New York Aquarium.
KIM PERAN: True, but we do have Disney, Sea World and Universal. On a smaller scale we have Marineland and the Jackie Robinson Minor League Baseball Field and don’t forget NASCAR racing. Besides, you cannot even compare the miles of beaches and beautiful, clean waterways we have here in Florida.