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Atlanta, anyone?

plantastic

Member
Messages
11
Points
1
I am facing a possible move to Atlanta due to my spouse's job. We have heard the horror stories, and currently reside in Raleigh, NC, where the traffic and sprawl are starting to be compared to Atlanta (you can't drive here without being held up behind 1200 SUV's driving from store to store because of the total lack of mass transit or pedestrian transit). Would the move be a huge disaster in the way of quality of life or keeping our sanity? I am more prone to liking small town life, although a big city does appeal to me somewhat. Is Atlanta REALLY as bad as they say?
 

Lisa in Las Cruces

Cyburbian
Messages
27
Points
2
No, it's worse. I got out three years ago and my relatives who have remained behind say it's exponentially worse than it was when I left. My advice, if you can afford it, is live as close as possible to your work and avoid the suburban counties (Cobb, Gwinnett, et al) like the plague. Where is your wife's job going to be?
 

plantastic

Member
Messages
11
Points
1
Oh, fantastic! As a matter of fact, the office building he would be in is in Perimeter Center East off of Ashford Dunwoody Drive. We will definately have to go for a mid-week visit before a final decision is made. Thanks for all your helpful advice!
 

plantastic

Member
Messages
11
Points
1
That is what I would want to do, live in the central city instead of the horrific commuter suburbs. However, the tales I have heard about the mass transit in the city is that it is not that great. My HUSBAND's job will be right off of I-285 on the northern edge of the city. Is that particular area any better or worse? Like I said, we are still trying to decide if we want to risk it. Cost of living is ever rising here in Raleigh, but I am not sure what we could afford in Atlanta. Obviously not much on my planner's salary !
 

Lisa in Las Cruces

Cyburbian
Messages
27
Points
2
Oh no, please tell me it's not the "perimeter" area: do the names Ashford-Dunwoody, Peachtree Dunwoody, Hammond Drive, Glendale or Johnson's Ferry Roads ring a bell? The WORST traffic is on the northern edge of the city right off I-285. The nearby residential areas are "upscale" and tend to be expensive but of course that's totally subjective. There are pockets of less expensive housing in the area, but they aren't "nice". Of course, I've been gone so things may have changed.

Transit is improving, but of course you get better service in the central city. As you get further out there is sketchier service, but there ARE rail lines that serve that part of town now. If you can, go for a visit and see what traffic is like on the northern arc of I-285 between 4-6 p.m. It ain't pretty. My ex-husband who still lives there (and works in that area, off of Hammond Drive) has modified his work hours to 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. just so he can GET to work (he commutes from Gwinnett County).
Incidentally, sorry, but your alias was not gender-specific.
Good luck.
 

kbm

Member
Messages
15
Points
1
When we lived in South Carolina, my sister in law lived in Atlanta and we would visit her quite often. I have to say that I would rather be homeless and jobless in any other city in the US (even Buffalo) than have to move to, work and live in Atlanta. My sister in law lived off Roswell Road (the north of 285) and traffic was just beyond unbelievable. I don't think we visited once without witnessing a car fire, someone driving into the median or an airplane crashing into commuter traffic.

Atlanta is planner's hell. And I don't say that lightly.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,259
Points
51
The fact that I-75 is six lanes or wider through most of Georgia, even rural areas in the southern end of the state, should say something.

If you're stuck on the Perimeter, at least you'll have plenty of reading material to keep you occupied! I don't think I could live in Georgia, period. When I moved from Denver to Orlando, I drove down I-75 through the state, and never saw so many billboards as I did through Georgia. Huge large format signs, most doubled or tripled up (see http://bpsoutdoor.com/photoshotel.htm for some particularly wonderful examples). Ugly, ugly, ugly -- some rural areas seemed worse than El Paso (the only major city in Texas that hasn't banned new billboards), believe it or not. I could imagine that some neighborhoods in Atlanta would be utterly covered in 'em.

OTOH, I'm told that Atlanta has far more than its fair share of attractive single women. Not that it would matter to you, but for me ...
 

Linden Smith

Cyburbian
Messages
141
Points
6
I'd never heard that about Atlanta, Georgia in general, yes. North Carolina, I saw only 3 women under 40 in 18 months working there, really.
 

Lisa in Las Cruces

Cyburbian
Messages
27
Points
2
Dan, as a planner you should know that there is a lot more to a place than what you see driving through on the interstate! Sure, Atlanta has big problems but it does have its charms as well. AS for El Paso, go to Kern Place, Memorial Park or Government Hill: yes, even in El Paso there are some nice places.
Can you tell that the two cities I have spent 95% of my life in are Atlanta and El Paso?

Incidentally, I am living proof of the fact that native Atlanta women are by far the most beautiful . . .

Good luck on the exam tomorrow.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
My most memorable experiences of a week in downtown Atlanta were searching for and never finding a good restaurant, and trying to find a drug store open at 9 in the morning, then trying to find any open store, then driving ten miles. Downtown Atlanta, despite the size of the metro area, has to be one of the deadest central cities in the world. As for El Paso, at least it does have an active downtown.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,388
Points
31
Yes the traffic is bad, but I really don't mind the area that much. I have a very good friend that lives in Dunwoody, and I sort of like the area. It is upscale and once you know your way around enough to avoid I285, the traffic isn't that bad.
 

plantastic

Member
Messages
11
Points
1
Well, we went for a visit this week. And, just as you all said, traffic, traffic, traffic! There were some nicer parts of town, but Michael S. is right, no center city! In fact, I didn't find that Atlanta had any character at all. It was like a city that accidentally got really big and then didn't know what to do with itself. Anyway, I think Atlanta has moved way down on our list of places to go. I guess we'll see what happens.
 

Jerry Weitz

Cyburbian
Messages
77
Points
4
As a resident of the Atlanta area, and having moved away and then back again (somewhat reluctantly but no regrets now), I can agree with most of these observations. And I am not necessarily in a position to defend residing in Atlanta. But I would say if Atlanta is as bad as some of you think it is, then why are so many people moving here? Get the message out to them!

From the standpoint of the planning profession, the Atlanta area has never been a better place to work. Lots of job security and opportunity in Atlanta; newfound respect for planners. And on the Perimeter area, while I would agree on potential problems with finding housing in the immediate vicinity, it is served by a MARTA rail line.
 

Jerry Weitz

Cyburbian
Messages
77
Points
4
Oh, and as to the deadness of downtown Atlanta, that may still be true but the city increased population during the 1990s, reversing the loss in the prior decade. Much new housing is going in downtown, and so there may be a slow but steady reversal of Atlanta deadness. You have to look beyond the suburban edge city areas to begin to find the "character" in the metro area. Jerry.
 
Messages
101
Points
6
Dan said:
Jerry Weitz (152.163.213.187)
Saturday, May 19, 2001 - 11:25 am
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oh, and as to the deadness of downtown Atlanta, that may still be true but the city increased population during the 1990s, reversing the loss in the prior decade. Much new housing is going in downtown, and so there may be a slow but steady reversal of Atlanta deadness. You have to look beyond the suburban edge city areas to begin to find the "character" in the metro area. Jerry.
It's increasing in population, the neighborhoods are very strong, and despite the continuing incompleteness of downtown, part of this is due to the shift of the dense and dynamic core to Midtown (three train stops up from Five Points).

I have a lot of observations on the situation in Atlanta at

http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com

Larry
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
Messages
894
Points
21
Anyone who is in Atlanta Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday to be exact) can get a taste of both MARTA and the night scene as we are having another MARTA Pub Crawl. For those of us who live downtown, it is great since we get to stumble home without endangering everyone else on the road (something pretty much impossible to accomplish in the 'burbs).

http://www.evite.com/pages/gt/events/view.jsp?event=TBQQKBYAMPWZDKKBFECY

In general, I would think Atlanta (the city not the metro) would be a planner's dream. Since the city was so abandonded by suburban flight, there is a lot of undeveloped parts of town. Now that there is a movement back in town, past problems can be corrected without being hampered by existing infrastructure since it is in many cases is non-existent. Also you'll find that the people living in the city have seen the horrors of our endless sprawl and are very receptive to good planning. You will of course get tarred and feathered by residents (but not developers) if you propose putting a parking deck in a park, an elevated freeway through a hot area so suburbanites can get to said hot area quickly while also destroying it in the process, or if you are anti-transit. The inner suburbs are starting to turn around too, but with less control over their surface roads (downside of getting the state to pay for all your arterial roads is you lose control) and small size, it is more of a challenge there.
 
Messages
101
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6
AubieTurtle said:
In general, I would think Atlanta (the city not the metro) would be a planner's dream. Since the city was so abandonded by suburban flight, there is a lot of undeveloped parts of town. Now that there is a movement back in town, past problems can be corrected without being hampered by existing infrastructure since it is in many cases is non-existent. Also you'll find that the people living in the city have seen the horrors of our endless sprawl and are very receptive to good planning. You will of course get tarred and feathered by residents (but not developers) if you propose putting a parking deck in a park, an elevated freeway through a hot area so suburbanites can get to said hot area quickly while also destroying it in the process, or if you are anti-transit. The inner suburbs are starting to turn around too, but with less control over their surface roads (downside of getting the state to pay for all your arterial roads is you lose control) and small size, it is more of a challenge there.
You betcha. I live in East Atlanta, a few blocks from where Charles Brewer's Glenwood Park development is going in. Nearly every vacant lot or old industrial area near me is in some phase of redevelopment. And the west side has enormous amounts of undeveloped land and old industrial sites ripe for redevelopment. It's already starting along Howell Mill near 14th Street and I fully expect it to surge westward.

This is a very exciting time to live in Atlanta.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
City vs. Metro

yes, first you must seperate ATL vs Metro Atlanta or Inside the Perimeter (ITP) vs Outside the Perimeter (OTP)

Living in ATL is wonderful, cool restaurants, shops, bars, buildings, homes, etc...

OTP is blah......sprawlville.

Traffic ITP is not that bad, OTP it is. :-S

Viva Hotlanta, the birthplace of this Cyburbanite. :)

Although I dont have plans to move back anytime soon, while ATL is cool, I am having too much fun exploring other places as of now. :)
 

ebeech121

Cyburbian
Messages
83
Points
4
It's not that bad! (Well..maybe the northside is..)

When someone says "suburban Atlanta" the first thing to pop into a head is "horrible traffic" "Roswell" or "Perimeter".

Well, I've got some news: There's another side to Atlanta other than the north side!

I live on the southeast side of Atlanta, OTP, south of I-20. It's somewhat rural, but drive 10 minutes and you hit crappy strip malls. The traffic is bad, but we're not completely insane like the northside.

I realize that the northside was what sprawled first and that it did so very fast (like..uh..15 years fast). I have been to the northside (against my will) and have seen the chaos that makes up Roswell-Alpharetta. But please don't think the whole of the ATL metro area is that way. Granted there are "1200 SUVs" down here too, but there are 1200 SUVs no matter where you go in the U.S. There's lots of construction down here, but it's all spread out because we haven't had the growth like the northside.

The southside is still un-molested. Come visit. Then go back home. :)
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
Messages
894
Points
21
You are right, southside is relatively untouched when viewed against the northside, but the same insane development that happened on the northside is coming to the south. You all are now growing faster than the north for all the same reasons the north originally did. It would be nice if the southside learned some lessons from the mistakes of the northside. The problem is that even if your mayor has a clue and tries to have sane controlled development, the guy in the next town over is a Wayne Hall wannabe and will approve all manner of sprawl that will impact your town too. The lack of cooperation between government entities (and in some ways downright hatred of each other) really hurts the Atlanta metro.
 

Floridays

Cyburbian
Messages
769
Points
21
You couldn't pay me enough to move back to Atlanta. I dub it "the year from hell." Icky place. :-#
 
Messages
101
Points
6
Floridays said:
You couldn't pay me enough to move back to Atlanta. I dub it "the year from hell." Icky place. :-#
Just curious ... What parts of Atlanta did you become familiar with? I ask because people's experiences here often depend on where they were.
 

Floridays

Cyburbian
Messages
769
Points
21
Larry Felton Johnson said:
Just curious ... What parts of Atlanta did you become familiar with? I ask because people's experiences here often depend on where they were.
I lived in DeKalb County (eastern perimeter) and commuted to downtown (Peachtree Center).
 
Messages
101
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6
Floridays said:
I lived in DeKalb County (eastern perimeter) and commuted to downtown (Peachtree Center).
Not trying to be pushy on the issue, but what did you think of any of these neighborhoods with which you are familiar:

East Atlanta, Inman Park, Grant Park, Cabbagetown, Virginia Highland, Little Five Points, Adair Park, Capitol View, Ardmore Park, Home Park, Ormewood Park, Ansley Park, Kirkwood, Sylvan Hills, the Old Fourth Ward, Little Five Points, Candler Park, Oakhurst, West End, or East Lake?

The reason I ask is that I've known people who for years lived outside the Perimeter, worked inside the Perimeter, and couldn't tell me where East Atlanta is located (except that it must be somewhere east of downtown).

I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with that, as I spent several months
in NYC and developed only a vague notion of where Queens and Staten Island were. But I find that in the case of Atlanta there's a widespread lack of understanding of the intown neighborhoods.
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,551
Points
23
Just an observation: do people in the Atlanta area really talk about being inside or outside, or on the northern or southern edge of, the "Perimeter"? It sounds so militaristic.

In the DC area, the term "Beltway" makes sense because it seems (to me, at least) to be a clearer name for a roadway.
 
Messages
101
Points
6
pete-rock said:
Just an observation: do people in the Atlanta area really talk about being inside or outside, or on the northern or southern edge of, the "Perimeter"? It sounds so militaristic.

In the DC area, the term "Beltway" makes sense because it seems (to me, at least) to be a clearer name for a roadway.
Oh, yes. In my more anti-regionalistic moods I've often thought the Perimeter would make an excellent moat if flooded. That way all the people who have bragged over the past few decades that they "never go inside the Perimeter" will be relieved of any temptation to do so.

The Perimeter is of course I-285.

Before the Perimeter became the metaphor for the virtuous Ozzie and Harriet suburbs versus the evil and dangerous city, the line of demaraction was either 10th Street or Ponce De Leon, depending on whom one talked to, as in "I NEVER go south of Ponce De Leon... It's DANGEROUS".
 

Floridays

Cyburbian
Messages
769
Points
21
One of my former co-workers from Atlanta sent this to me. I think it probably sums up the area pretty well! :-D

There are some new additions to the Barbie line based on the Atlanta Metro Area:

Buckhead Barbie - this pretentious bitch Barbie is only sold at Phipps Plaza, she comes with Kenneth Cole 4 inch clunky shoes (actual size), an assortment of real Kate Spade handbags, a take-out box from the Cheesecake Factory and a mini BMW convertible. Options include the Buckhead Nightclub Barbie which comes with a mini 9mm handgun and a Ray Lewis knife.

Dunwoody Barbie - this trendy homemaker Barbie is available with the mini-SUV or mini-minivan vehicles. Available at Perimeter Mall locations. Traffic jamming' cell phone sold separately.

Doraville Barbie - this Barbie comes in a silk Kimono, speaks broken English but is fluent in 7 computer programming languages, has 3 college degrees, and is only sold in Buford Highway stores.

Tucker Barbie - this special white-trash model comes in Wrangler Jeans that are 2 sizes too small, a NASCAR shirt, big hair, a mini Coors Light in the can, and a Hank Jr. CD set. Pull a string and she spits over 5 feet. A mini pickup is also available with Rebel flag bumper stickers and the former Georgia Flag.

Midtown Barbie - this model features Ken in a sequined cocktail dress, breast implants, press-on nails, and a really really bad wig. Details include a to-go cup from Backstreet, a rainbow scarf, and a CD box set featuring Judy Garland, Billie Holiday and assorted big show tunes.

Decatur Barbie - this Barbie model is sold in Ken's clothes, features hairy armpits, tattoos, and a mini CD set from the Indigo Girls and KD Lang. A special limited edition militant penis-hating Lillith Fair model is also available.

L5P Barbie - this Barbie model features non-functional 10-inch platforms, over 12 body piercings, 14 tattoos, and purple-green hair.

College Park Barbie - this thick Barbie comes with 4-inch long airbrushedcurved nails, a blonde hair weave, excessive gold jewelry and caps, bling-bling, and is also available with the 'Lil Kim SUV with automatic weapons. Miniature Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes house burning lighter set sold separately.

East Atlanta Barbie - this Barbie was previously a crack Ho Barbie, but was recently displaced by a new 25 to 30-year old Barbie that is actually a $80K/year Yuppie masquerading as a down/out artsy Barbie. Comes with a full black wardrobe from second hand stores.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
pete-rock said:
Just an observation: do people in the Atlanta area really talk about being inside or outside, or on the northern or southern edge of, the "Perimeter"? It sounds so militaristic.

In the DC area, the term "Beltway" makes sense because it seems (to me, at least) to be a clearer name for a roadway.
The name of the road (285) in Atlanta is "The Perimeter" so it does make sense there. I personally always just thought "Beltway" in DC sounded like a snobby way to say "Perimeter" :)

But I havent heard anyone say northern or southern edge, I just hear 'northside' or 'southside'. So one might say, "I am from the northside of Atlanta inside The Perimeter."
 

ebeech121

Cyburbian
Messages
83
Points
4
I completely agree (with AubieTurtle. Henry County just got a new transportation manager and I'm a little hopeful since she used to be the trans manager for the mayor of Detroit. I have no clue about the traffic problems of Detroit or its metro area. All that makes me hopeful is that she worked with a fairly large city and has a good amount of experience.

The southside needs some really awesome guidance because, like you mentioned, it could become like the northside, and probably worse.

Replying to above: When there are new people in Atlanta, they are easy to spot. Their eyes cross when someone asks if they live ITP or OTP. Or their response includes the word "pharmacy" (OTP -> OTC). :D

We're all crazy down here. ;)
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
Messages
894
Points
21
Dan:

I'm curious... what motivated you to repost this thread? Not that I mind since Atlanta (the city) is changing and some parts of the metro are waking up too. Because sprawl is so bad here, we've felt the effects in their full force and now are the front line of the battle between the Knustlers and Coxs of the world. It is interesting to be here now and I hope that those of us who want to turn things around win in the end. The desire is certainly there... it is really a question of being able to overcome the incredible momentum that exists in favor of sprawl.
 
Messages
101
Points
6
Floridays said:
One of my former co-workers from Atlanta sent this to me. I think it probably sums up the area pretty well! :-D

There are some new additions to the Barbie line based on the Atlanta Metro Area:

Buckhead Barbie
...
Etc and so forth down to ...
...
East Atlanta Barbie -
This got circulated around East Atlanta a few years ago and generated a few chuckles, although it doesn't bear much resemblance to the reality of East Atlanta We've never had much of a Goth/artsy thing going here. Our artists tend to range between 30 and 60 years old, and are racially mixed. If they are working artists they don't come close to 80,000. I doubt that even our most prominent gallery owner clears 80K, and the people who do make 80K generally want it to be known that they a financially stable.

But since I've been provided with an abbreviated list of Atlanta area locations (all of them either intown or second ring suburbs) there's the basis here for a quiz on knowledge of locations in the city. It's based on my premise that a lot is written about the city by people who don't make much of an effort to really learn much about the city. I'm posting it under the title Quiz on Atlanta's Intown Neighborhoods and Second Ring Suburbs


Larry
 

jeff_1

Member
Messages
4
Points
0
Atlanta anyone?

This is my take on a large area north of Atlanta. I'm sorry if I offend anyone here! My take on the Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta areas is - avoid with one exception*. Three words for you considering a move that way, "sprawl, food, traffic". Yeah, you can find a spec home in one of those ubiquitious developments and shop at Harry's for your seabass, nicoise olives, and Gruyere cheese..but you've got to spend to much of your life Monday thru Saturday, dodging traffic. Get use to the idea of not cooking much at home (or at least going to an upscale market to load up on gourmet ideas to pack on the pounds). Most people there have an encyclopedic memory for places to go to eat out, and everybody seems to have a drawer full of takeout menus. Atlanta is so much about e-a-t-i-n-g, driving, and watching sports. That "southern hospitality" reputation gets pretty thin quick.* If you can afford to have an escape cabin home as well as your 'burb-home ( in, an area like Blue Ridge, GA to shake out the North Fulton blues from your mind) you may be able to cope with life there. Unfortunately many other 'burb dweller's are figuring this out too, and north GA is beginning to grow rapidly.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
jeff_1 said:
This is my take on a large area north of Atlanta... [snip]Sandy Springs[/snip]
I was born a raised in SS. I absolutely loved it then... would not trade there for any where else in the world to grow up.... then.

Now, well unfortunately I aggree with what you said. I have no desire in anyway shape or form to move back to ATL or surrounding area. It is everything one might dislike about suburbia (for those that might dislike it that is)... It makes me sick to my stomach to see what has happened to my city's surrounding area (intown has improved:)). But so many places are like that (minus the Southern hospitality)... It is not just Atl., the probelm you mention. :-(

I could substitute your words for almost any large metropolitan suburban area. Bash ATL if you will, but you are really just bashing the modern American way of life. :-|

I see you are from Ariz. I heard it has some growth issues as well. ;)
 
Last edited:

jeff_1

Member
Messages
4
Points
0
Atlanta redux

I was well acquainted with Sandy Springs & the general area best from the early 1970's. I'm not knocking North Fulton per se, and I'm aware that it's hardly alone in having become a sprawling retail, suburbian, densely-gridlocked area. There still are many little spots there that remind me of the past, and what it used to be like living there. My old high school was long torn down for a townhouse development. Most of the homes of my friends are long gone, replaced by pricey townhomes/residences on miniscule plots. Even back then we used to joke that there were going to be alot of redneck landowners driving Mercedes's in the future - how sad to see it have come to pass. The amount of open land views once appreciated has shrunk 90%+ for the development of housing/retail. We all fought to save the Fox Theatre back in the day - I wish we had had the foresight and resources to have stopped some of the onslaught that was to come.

My latest home is indeed Arizona. I've been passing through and visiting Flag, Sedona, and Tucson for years when I lived out west. I'm not another equity-fat Californian buying a second..third home in this area, be it for investment or personal use. I am a renter until I can plan my next move. Just a comment on Sedona. People are often overheard here saying, "..another day in paradise!" Well, red rocks only go so far. Traffic through Sedona is ghastly much of the week & weekend. The cut-through(to I-17), the Village of Oak Creek is better, but constantly growing too. Sedona has changed drastically since my visits ten year ago! The town is tourist-based mostly, jobs are few and low pay. Most people are over forty. For all the tourism hype, good restaurants are few and far between. Most people take there out-of -town friends & family to the Hyatt complex and the new BICE and Wildflower to woo them. Californians relate well to this type of foodservice. Reminds them of predictable dining like Puck Cafe were you can feel affluent without spending too much. But Sedonians have those red rocks - hooray for them. You'll hear alot or muttering from native Arizonian's (and recent transplants) about the "Californication" of Arizona - especially that sprawling mess called the Prescott Valley. The Cottonwood area in the Verde Valley is devoid of charisma - a place to await the nursing home, and she's growing fast too. Phoenix is where the jobs are of course, but who given a choice wants to breathe the air in the "Valley of the (smog) Sun? Well Californian's, at least Phoenix has Trader Joe's, har har. Some folks (who don't need current income) hide out in places like Jerome, up high above the Verde Valley. Good luck making it to a hospital in time if you live there though! Flagstaff is the best place there in my opinion, but locals decry the cost of homes and the growth too. At least Flag has a young spirit (University Northern Arizonia), good energy, pine trees and beautiful peaks, cleaner air, real diversity of seasons, cooler summer weather (than the oven to the south) and pleasant places to grab a bite. Anyway, enough jabbering for now. Anyone wanna discuss Miami, FL, the Catskills, the Upper East Side, LA?? It's fun to shot the s___ here, and exchange opinions. Peace (harder to come by these days) to all.
 
Messages
11
Points
1
My life in Atlanta

I have much to thank Atlanta for. You see, I was born in what I consider to be beautiful east Atlanta/Decatur, and subsequently my parents joined the "jump to Gwinnett County" movement. Anyway, I grew up in Gwinnett, spent most of my formative years there, and witnessed some of the nastiest sprawlification (making up words is fun!) known to mankind. The city is a contrast to the, well, areas outside of the perimeter and that spurred me to begin examining my preference for the city over the extra-perimeter suburbs. Long story short, that's what got me into Urban Planning.

I thought I had posted this before, but I agree with a previous post stating Atlanta as a serious land of opportunity. Much is happening there, and many development opportunities are present. Atlantic Station? I'd like to get some views on it, as well as updates on how it is progressing from current ATL residents. The slow transformation of the whitewashed suburbs? Has anyone else noticed this? I was recently back in Gwinnett shopping not far from my former HS, and I noticed something. There was an amazing mix of people of different races and nationalities! Things are happening down there. I, personally, love this city.
 

dbarch

Cyburbian
Messages
52
Points
4
Haven't actually set foot on Atlantic Station property yet, but what is visible from the Downtown Connector is disappointing: townhouses that rival the most average in Gwinnett County, a mediocre 25-ish story office tower for SouthTrust bank, and what I think will be the "big box" retail center (yawn). A sad missed opportunity!

Don't have any hard figures about ethnic/cultural diversity OTP (outside the perimeter for you non-Atlantans) . Anecdotally, though, I think the 'burbs are becoming vastly less monolithically white and middle-class. The Latino population seems to be spreading further to the NE. Lots of tiendas and taquerias that used to be confined to Buford Highway are appearing further out in Gwinnett County. DeKalb County is now majority black. Lots of the new development there (especially in S. DeKalb) seems to be targeted at upper-middle class African-Americans, including a huge new regional mall on I-20 east. I've also been told that the percentage of households of unrelated, unmarried members of the same sex (census talk for gay couples) in DeKalb is higher than any other county in the country, which I could well believe. They have a lesbian garden club, "The Digging Dykes of Decatur" who march in even the non-pride parades!

Urban planning is still a bastard stepchild in much of the metro area, but Midtown has some excellent guidelines, and is becoming the "24-hour downtown" that city leaders have talked about ever since I moved to ATL in 1979. Many intown residential neighborhoods (as mentioned above) are redeveloping, and some of the most successful are instituting more rigid controls to avoid dryvit McMansions on 75' x 150' lots.

I agree with others here that much of the northern suburbs are a vast car-clogged wasteland. That's why I live and work in town and avoid the whole thing!
 

Trinity Moses

Member
Messages
229
Points
9
My sister used to live in DeKalb county when she was working at Emory, and it seemed pretty nice. The southern part was black, but the nothern part, this "Toco Hills" area where she lived, seemed to be Jewish?....Decautur seemed OK...there was some womans college on the S. Side of town.

They had this neat market there with all this foreign food, too..east of Decatur...and that Druid Hills area was fancy.

What struck me about the area was how wooded the whole area was....seems like it was built in a pine forest. My sister and I took a drive to Athens and didnt see any real farmland..just forest and scrub. This is the same for the built up suburban areas too.

Atlanta proper seemed ok...actually more urban than I thought. Parts of it, like Ainsly Park, Piedmont Park, and Virginia Highlands, remineded me a bit of Louisville. Buckhead, too, a bit.

Aside from Decatur (and maybe that villiage of Stone Mountain further out) the place didn't seem to have real suburban towns...just big collections of subdivisions which took on a place name, like Toco Hills.
 

dbarch

Cyburbian
Messages
52
Points
4
RE: ethnic diversity in ATL suburbs

NPR had a piece this AM about large scale ethnic grocery stores taking business away from Kroger and Publix in Gwinnett County.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4461075

They said that Gwinnett has the largest population of both Hispanics and Asians of any county in GA. All told there are about 140,000 foreign-born residents in the county.
 

steel

Cyburbian
Messages
456
Points
14
dbarch said:
NPR had a piece this AM about large scale ethnic grocery stores taking business away from Kroger and Publix in Gwinnett County.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4461075

They said that Gwinnett has the largest population of both Hispanics and Asians of any county in GA. All told there are about 140,000 foreign-born residents in the county.

Is DAN one person or many?, because it seems like he is always moving to a new place.
 
Messages
101
Points
6
dbarch said:
Haven't actually set foot on Atlantic Station property yet, but what is visible from the Downtown Connector is disappointing: townhouses that rival the most average in Gwinnett County, a mediocre 25-ish story office tower for SouthTrust bank, and what I think will be the "big box" retail center (yawn). A sad missed opportunity!

Don't have any hard figures about ethnic/cultural diversity OTP (outside the perimeter for you non-Atlantans) . Anecdotally, though, I think the 'burbs are becoming vastly less monolithically white and middle-class. The Latino population seems to be spreading further to the NE. Lots of tiendas and taquerias that used to be confined to Buford Highway are appearing further out in Gwinnett County. DeKalb County is now majority black. Lots of the new development there (especially in S. DeKalb) seems to be targeted at upper-middle class African-Americans, including a huge new regional mall on I-20 east. I've also been told that the percentage of households of unrelated, unmarried members of the same sex (census talk for gay couples) in DeKalb is higher than any other county in the country, which I could well believe. They have a lesbian garden club, "The Digging Dykes of Decatur" who march in even the non-pride parades!

Urban planning is still a bastard stepchild in much of the metro area, but Midtown has some excellent guidelines, and is becoming the "24-hour downtown" that city leaders have talked about ever since I moved to ATL in 1979. Many intown residential neighborhoods (as mentioned above) are redeveloping, and some of the most successful are instituting more rigid controls to avoid dryvit McMansions on 75' x 150' lots.

I agree with others here that much of the northern suburbs are a vast car-clogged wasteland. That's why I live and work in town and avoid the whole thing!

I haven't been there in a few months, so I don't know how the buildout's looking, but the park/pond partially wrapped with condos on the west side of the development was very good as of summer..

Here are a few links to observations and photos from my blog:

http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/atlantalarry/2004/06/atlantic_statio.html
http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/atlantalarry/2004/05/note_from_an_at.html
http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/atlantalarry/2004/05/a_few_more_atla.html
http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/atlantalarry/2004/04/atlantic_statio.html
http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/atlantalarry/2004/07/comment_on_the_.html

I plan on doing some followup wandering and photographing of Atlantic Station, Glenwood Park, and Sembler's Edgewood Retail district over the next few weeks.
 
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