Thing is taxes. People want something for nothing in Atlanta and that's the big issue. Well not so much Atlanta, but Georgia in general.
I just came back from DC, well actually the whole DMV area and it's amazing how things have been revitalized there. Neighborhoods throughout the area are fully developed unique spaces.
A couple of things I noticed. Transportation is a breeze. Buses run frequently and are extremely accessible. They even run inside of apartment complexes, unlike in Atlanta where you have to walk for a mile just to get to a bus stop. Buses there literally show up at your doorstep. There are even fancy bush shelters in VA, bigger and nicer looking. Of course their metro system is really extensive, connecting all the surrounding areas and even connecting to Amtrak to get to New York, Pennsylvania, Boston and Jersey.
I was told that the area all worked together across state lines to create a well functioning transportation system. For some reason there's not all this fear that transportation will bring crime namely, "black people" out to the burbs. It's crazy how that mentality persists down here. It really trips me out but the city is hell bent on holding on to separate but equal and so it shoots itself in the foot, killing progress.
Added to that, I noticed people aren't as afraid of chains up there. Atlanta has a fear of the Yuppie that really trips me out. I feel you can have both and they can coexist nicely together even enhance each other. There's no reason why there can't and should be a Chipolte in the middle of Little Five Points. It wouldn't take away from the Pizza joint, just add more diversity. And added to that, why not put an Antico there, next to a Farmburger and why not a Chopt (a larger chain) and a Starbucks, yep I said it. All these are just food places, but man the foot traffic it would create, not just the drunken grungy crowd, but well, money. Because for all the talk, that's the only thing that's going to revitalize the city and if it ain't coming from taxes it's going to have to come from somewhere.
But no, for years I've seen whining about "character"and keeping shit the same, like there's some virtue in being as grungy and dated as possible. It's crazy and the city is suffering and lagging behind others as a result. I see more people here protesting to save Criminal records, for reasons that don't make no damn sense because most people don't buy vinyl then championing the inclusion of retail that would actually work. Where's the committee for that?
And the obsession with graffiti. TF? Not that I don't love Living Walls, I do, but none of that wall art makes this place a city at all. You can tell that most of the kids, inhabiting the city of Atlanta are from the outer burbs because of these silly superficial obsessions, hipster like culture. It's killing real progress and it's no wonder to me the city doesn't grow smartly.
There's no money to build because the tax base in the city is low, big developers with the money can come down and decide to do whatever the hell they want, old race politics prevents smart growth when it comes to transportation, and suburban kids flocking to the city are focus on inanity and being just like the hipsters they know in bigger cities like New York instead of real development.
Atlanta City Guide
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Creative Loafing Atlanta
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