Oh, 2000. How quaint you were. How innocent. How oblivious to such ills as tornados tearing up downtown Atlanta, drought drying up Lake Lanier, and rains causing creeks and rivers to rage, destroying homes, roads, businesses and lives. This was back before the housing market tanked and unemployment soared and nightlife (in Atlanta at least) soured — even before terrorists crashed planes into NYC’s skyscrapers.
But the aughts weren’t for naught. There was some good news in the past decade, predominantly in the form of technological time-sucks and cultural growth. Seriously, do you remember life before Gmail, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube and Facebook? Do you recall an Atlanta devoid of smartly crafted cocktails, chef-driven restaurants, DIY arts collectives, and such staples as Trader Joe’s, H&M and IKEA?
Most important, though, are the intangibles that injected deeper meaning into our lives: the camaraderie that followed the devastation of 9/11, the pride that accompanied the election of President Obama, the in-it-together attitude that has risen from the decade of disappointment and challenge. Is Atlanta the better for it? Did we collectively learn from the highs and lows of the ’00s? In some ways, yes. In others, no.
We spent hours — days! — digging through thousands of photos in our vast archives to bring you a stunning visual collage chronicling the decade’s highs and lows, its failures and victories, the tragic and the absurd, the forever infamous and the long forgotten. If you don’t go look at it, we will have spent countless hours of crushing tedium in vain. So check it out. Thank you.