quillbilly

  • Local Expert 2,656 points
  • Reviews 9
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Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"We're Not in Buckhead Anymore..."

Midtown has, arguably, replaced Buckhead as the arts, shopping, financial, and entertainment center of Atlanta. Though Buckhead is still a popular tourists’ destination for its high-end retailers and fine dining, the community lacks something that makes it accessible and approachable to most of Atlanta’s live-in residents (see: the rest of my Buckhead reviews.)

Midtown, then, has quickly taken its place as a favorite answer to the question, “What is there to do?” Midtown responds with numerous trendy tapas restaurants, shopping options, and – for those looking to appreciate the arts – the High Museum, the Center for Puppetry Arts, and the Fox Theater, to name a few.

The area also has a thriving nightlife scene, as it hosts some of Atlanta’s most popular clubs, including the majority of the city’s gay bars. In fact, Midtown is often considered one of the most gay-friendly areas in the Southeast, and it’s not just because of the large live-in gay population, or the high volume of gay bars, or the frequency of unique little shopping experiences like the Outwrite Bookstore. No – every year in early October something magical happens in Midtown’s Piedmont Park. From the park’s lush, rolling green-space springs a congregation of the city’s gayest – rainbows, restaurants, pierced party-goers, organizations with a gay-rights aim, and even some churches whose message of welcome make it very clear: gay is okay. Capping off the festivities is an epic PRIDE parade. You need to see it to believe it.

Midtown’s diversity may be what keeps it from going the way of Buckhead – a gleaming, hulking, skyscraping, money-sucking relic recalling its glory days only with the popularity of Lenox Mall and some decent fine dining places. Midtown dominates the Atlanta social scene because of its flexibility, approachability, and cultural relevance. It may not be as hip as some of Atlanta’s smaller neighborhoods, but it has a staying power that has managed to transcend the limits of social circles.

Cheers!
Pros
  • Great restaurants
  • Gay friendly
  • Parks & green space
Cons
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"The VaHi"

The Virginia-Highland neighborhood (or VaHi as it is sometimes called) is a microcosm of some of Atlanta’s best qualities. Centered at the intersection of Virginia and Highland Aves, the area features many boutique shopping options and unique eateries. A number of Atlanta’s most popular summertime festivals take place in this clean, diverse metropolitan neighborhood.

Besides being a shopping and eating destination for in-town residents, Virginia-Highland is also a popular residential neighborhood, located within the school districts of Springdale Park Elementary, Inman Middle School and Henry W. Grady High School. Surrounded by Midtown, Poncey-Highland, Druid Hills and Morningside, the area also takes a little flavor from each of these neighborhoods, by essentially being a smaller, hipper version of Midtown mixed with the family-friendly qualities of Morningside.

Don’t forget, however, that this is still an urban neighborhood. Several violent incidents taking place in VaHi have recently made the news, including a murder and a sexual assault. These shouldn’t deter visitors and potential homeowners from checking out the Virginia-Highland neighborhood, but it serves as a warning to always be aware of your surroundings.

Younger folks appreciate the VaHi for its nightlife – with popular bars such as Dark Horse and Limerick, or Hand in Hand for those who appreciate crowds but can’t quite deal with Buckhead or Midtown clubs. For this reason, bars in the neighborhood tend to have a casual, dressed-down feel more suited to people who aren’t looking to dress to the nines and pop the Cristal, but instead prefer jeans, a hoodie and a beer with some buddies. VaHi appeals to almost every Atlanta demographic and is good for a night out or a shopping day well spent.

Cheers!
Pros
  • Eating
  • Shopping
  • Nightlife
Cons
  • Traffic
  • Some crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"The Hornet's Nest (or Yellow Jackets, whatever...)"

I had a conversation once with a fellow at a certain pizza joint popular with the Georgia Techies and other West-siders. Picture it: he is tall, wearing a ratty tee, and has long, tangly hair. He is behind the bar pouring drinks and wiping down the countertop.

He seems friendly enough and we get to chatting. Somehow, it comes up that he went to Tech and has some sort of engineering degree. Well, that’s neat, I tell him. I ask what he wants to do. He sniffs that he’s been working there for years and doesn’t want to do anything else. Except play music in his band. Okay, I reply, then engineering is a great thing to fall back on. He responds that he doesn’t need to fall back on anything; he’s good enough to make it. Then why the degree? I ask, predictably. He pauses and blinks at me several times before replying defensively, “Just because I can.”

And so it is with Georgia Tech, the country club of the University System of Georgia. Have you made me for a Georgia fan yet? Don’t get me wrong: Tech is an excellent school and churns out some of the brightest minds in the Southeast. It’s paying for that top-notch education that’s the issue, as Tech’s price-tag is on the higher end of the public university scale. Competition for scholarships is stiff even if you’re top of the class, and if you’re doing it “just because you can,” you better hope mum and dad’s pockets are deep.

I’m exaggerating, of course. Tech isn’t ridiculously expensive and the sprawling Midtown campus is clean and gorgeous, with large, modern edifices (oh, there’s my tuition!) and some renovated originals. The surrounding area is as metropolitan as Atlanta gets, just off the connector, on the west side. The Varsity is within walking distance of the main campus and has become an iconic landmark in the city. Sidewalks are numerous and spacious, with enough green area to walk your six-pound furball that generations of Ugas could swallow whole. Oh, what? Sorry.

As with most things in life, college is what you make of it. Some high-school students study away precious years of their youth to get into the school of their choice. And some, like our ratty-tee-wearing friend, aren’t interested in all that academic nonsense and do it just because they can. Ah, Tech… I hope UGA whips you soundly sometime soon.

Okay, sorry! I’m done.

Cheers!
Pros
  • Walkable
  • Lots of students
Cons
  • It's not UGA (kidding! sort of...)
  • Lots of students
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Edgy-wood"

As an area that is rapidly changing in character and popularity, Edgewood may be to the next generation of hip twenty-somethings what the East Atlanta Village was to the same in the 90s. Where the EAV was a product of community-focused urban renewal, however, Edgewood seems to be the beneficiary of focused efforts to draw homeowners and tourists to Kirkwood to the east and Candler Park to the north. Traffic to these neighborhoods has spilled over and created a new kind of urban hang-out, one that the giggling blondes from the – ahem – more “northern” neighborhoods haven’t quite discovered, behemoth eat-work-play complexes haven’t quite been built, and the area isn’t quite safe after dark.

It may seem like an overstatement to say that the area is undergoing some sort of Renaissance, until you visit Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium. And, yes, it’s as awesome as its name is awkward. Be sure to drop by on a Sunday night, where any number of karaoke favorites are belted out from the pulpit by volunteers donning clergy drag, while the organist pounds out familiar tunes and the congregation sings along from the pews. Yes, I’m still serious. The entire joint is decorated in bizarre religious paraphernalia, and if that makes you uncomfortable, order a beer and a hot dog and have some fun, you square.

Edgewood is also home to Noni’s, a popular bar and deli that hosts DJs and turns into an all-out dance party on weekends. The neighborhood also boasts its own member of the growing Corner Tavern family, but – no worries – it’s far from being the next Applebee’s chain. The Corner Taverns each have an extensive craft beer list, decent food, and appear in neighborhoods with strips of pubs and restaurants that are favorites of the locals.

While Edgewood living may still be a bit dirty urban for some, it’s at least worth checking out. It’s growing, and if you secure your loft and make friends with Grant Henry soon, you just might beat the Poncey-Virginia-Highland crowds.

Cheers!
Pros
  • Burgeoning
  • Sweet under-the-radar haunts
  • Affordable homes
Cons
  • Still not uber-safe in all parts
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Gay-friendly, veg-friendly, budget-friendly – just friendly!"

Some of the advantages of Piedmont Heights are obvious. Like the fact it rubs noses with Piedmont Park – Atlanta’s version of Central Park, meaning smaller, cleaner and with fewer drug users and homeless people hunkering in the bushes. Or the fact that it claims a pretty sweet location between Buckhead and Midtown, meaning you can probably score a duplex, apartment or even modest home for less than you’d pay a few miles north or south.

But there are some more under-the-radar highlights as well. Green Sprout, for instance, an all-vegetarian Chinese food restaurant at the neighborhood’s southernmost point; and Midtown Bowl, a pleasantly dingy late-night joint with quite tasty black bean burgers.

Okay, so apparently these are the vegetarian-friendly highlights. I don’t eat meat, so sue me!

If you do eat meat, you can hit up Fat Matt’s for dank southern BBQ, or Cow Tippers for a hunk of beef – and a beefy hunk (Cow Tipper’s is a honky tonk gay haunt much appreciated in this LGBT-friendly ‘hood).

Much like its generally more fabulous neighbor, Ansley Park, Piedmont Heights is a welcoming place for families, singles and retirees of pretty much any persuasion. They have a solid neighborhood association that helps keep it that way, organizing cheery community solidarity activities like trash pick-ups in Gotham Park (not to be confused with Gotham City, which would require a whole lot more than a few dozen hefty-bag wielding residents to sweep clean).

Cheers!
Pros
  • LGBT Friendly
  • Great location betwixt uptown and midtown
Cons
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Just now

"Growing toward the sun"

Vine City has been in bad shape for a while. Part of Atlanta’s historic downtown, Vine City went the way of so many other downtown neighborhoods once gentrification started spreading its great white blanket over the more “desirable” regions, forcing poorer folk and the crime and urban decay that often accompany them into pocket ‘hoods largely ignored and avoided by those better-off.

There’s quite a bit of hope out there for the area, though. It’s not so bad off as nearby English Avenue (which, for its part, has a least a handful of dedicated patrons who organize clean-ups and search out angel investors for renewal projects), but it’s not too good, yet, either. You’ll find plenty of rundown houses, burnt-out, broken-up former businesses and garbage and sketchy loiterers strewn about the streets.

You’ll also find a few bright spots. There are some revamped historic homes to be snapped up along Northside Drive. And it seems the whole “urban renewal” thing has caught on here much faster than in English Ave or Washington Park.

Given the fact that the Georgia Dome and Clark Atlanta University are at its doorstep, there should be some pretty strong interest in continuing to rebuild the neighborhood once the recession loosens its grip.

I’d say give it a few more years, then take a closer look.

Cheers!
Pros
  • Near Clark Atlanta & Georgia Dome
  • Slowly on the road to improvement
Cons
  • Consistent crime
  • Still pretty dirty
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"When three become one"

The name of this neighborhood may sound like something out of a crappy sci-fi novel, but it’s actually derived from the infamous (old people in Atlanta know about it, anyway) and bloody Battle of Peachtree Creek during the Civil War – or “the War Between the States” as residents are wont to call it.

The “Alliance” part comes because the actual neighborhood unites portions of three others - Peachtree Heights Park, Westover and Haynes Manor. These communities, under the banner of the Alliance, even have their very own battle cry. Don’t get too excited though, or you’ll be just as disappointed as I was when I realized “The Battle Cry” was their newsletter.

There’s not a whole lot to differentiate the three parts that make up the whole, which is probably why it works as a neighborhood in the first place. All the typical trappings of a family-oriented, largely wealthy demographic are present throughout – nice houses; an ideal proximity to local watering holes/boutiques/restaurants/interstates; and lots of lawn to mow.

The civic association, in true Buckhead fashion, is highly active. They even have their own “PBA Traffic Calming Committee,” which is charged with mitigating and improving the notorious traffic jams and cut-throughs that make getting around these neighborhoods a nightmare – even if you’re doing it in a Lexxus (or whatever fancy cars you and the neighbors are driving these days).

Cheers!
Pros
  • Strong neighborhood assoc.
  • Historic beginnings
Cons
  • Pricey
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Too cool for public school"

Not only does Mt. Paran claim one of the wealthiest zip codes in America, I'm fairly certain it would at least be in the running for most private schools per capita. All the biggest names (and biggest price tags) in independent tuition are within carpool distance, if not walking distance. Holy Spirit Prep, Lovett, Pace, Westminster, Galloway, Trinity, Schenck (just to name a few): these institutions crank out more future ivy-leaguers, business bigwigs, society wives and well-funded slackers than probably the entire rest of the state combined.

If you can afford to put a couple kids through Pace, etc., you can probably also afford one of Mt. Paran's restored-old or new-built "houses" big enough to run your own private school out of; or, if you're a real baller, big enough to lose your own kid in (this actually happened not too long ago, to an Atlanta basketball player whose initials were wrought into the gleaming gates at the entrance of his obscenely opulent abode). You get the Tiffany-framed picture.

Some more modest living spaces do exist (there are a few Post and similar apartment complexes right outside the Mt. Paran border), but most residents here are too rich to pay rent.

In addition to nicely treed neighborhoods and a few pocket lakes, Mt. Paran is also just southeast of a large patch of green space along the Chattahoochee River. It's a nice place for a walk or a jaunt with the dogs, as it really does feel like you've stepped out of the city for a moment - though, if you live in Mt. Paran, chances are you rarely venture much further than the Cumberland Mall/Vinings or South Buckhead area for your dining/entertainment/shopping pleasure.

Cheers!
Pros
  • Superior private schools
  • Close to the Chattahoochee
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Can be snooty
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Not much in common with its namesake"

Ironically, Margaret Mitchell never lived here. The "Gone with the Wind" author and former Atlanta-Journal Constitution reporter was a die-hard city gal (pardon the pun) who was struck by a speeding car near her Midtown home on her way to see a play. In short, Margaret Mitchell the woman was pretty bad ace, and Margaret Mitchell the neighborhood would never be caught dead (sorry, again!) using even the edited version of that phrase.

Basically, the neighborhood is a wealthy enclave of large, historic and new-construction family homes, many originally developed in the 50s as part of a different development. Plenty of trees and the lovely Nancy Creek give it a lush, garden-like feel. A central public elementary school and access to well-known independent educators, and the proximity-allure of the high-rollers in West Paces, ensure it's mostly all six-plus-figure-income, traditional family households.

Being near Buckhead and West Paces means there's plenty to do in your spare time (shopping, lunching, socializing, shopping...) which, if you're a lady member of the MMCA - Margaret Mitchell Civic Association - you probably have in spades.

Look's like there's also a pretty full neighborhood activities calendar, so if you're thinking about moving in, you better start stocking up on hostess gifts. I have a feeling the "Gone with the Wind" themed gift baskets are pretty played out by this point, though.

Cheers!
Pros
  • Bordered by Nancy Creek
  • Great schools nearby
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Seems a bit insular
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"One huge, new apartment complex"

As far as I can tell, this is pretty much one big patch of apartment complex located - you guessed it - near the gold-domed Georgia Capitol building. Apparently, you can see the gleaming cap (the gold plating was mined in Dahlonega, Ga., in case you were wondering) from the typical-looking apartments as well as from the typical-looking pool patio.

I'm not knocking it, per se - it all looks new, clean, contemporary. A lot like a nice hotel. If that's your thing, and you like the idea of living pretty much on top of Downtown, I'd say go ahead and buy yourself a nice pair of sunglasses to shield your peepers from dome-glare and post up in your very own one-bedroom (sorry, families and roommates, that's all they have).

I'll admit, the location is pretty sweet - and might even be the highlight of the Gateway "neighborhood." The Georgia State MARTA station is nearby (so this might be a good bet for students with some cash to burn on something other than beer, like say, rent) and you can walk, bike or - if you must - drive to Turner Field, Grant Park/Zoo Atlanta, Oakland Park Cemetery and plenty of worthy, less touristy spots as well (Eyedrum - a legendary music/art/entertainment venue beloved by locals - comes to mind).

Cheers!
Pros
  • View of Downtown
  • Location
Cons
  • Not much character
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Good for students and folks who like to eat"

Marietta Street really is just that - a street - but it's a pretty cool one.

As it serves as the southwest border of Georgia Tech's campus (and despite the fact that it rubs elbows with English Ave, one of ATL's scariest 'hoods), it's perennially popular with students. To that end, it's dotted with the kind of pupil-friendly establishments you'd expect - great coffee shops with WI-FI, mostly inexpensive eats and casual bars - and a few pricer, swankier options thrown in for the intown spenders (Bocado, Miller's Union).

A real highlight of the area, in my humble opinion, is 5 Seasons Brewing. You'll probably have to deal with the crush of drunk college kids on weekend nights (though GA Tech is known to be one of the tamer Atlanta higher eds - chalk it up to the nuggets of truth in the stereotypes surrounding the "tech" part), but the beer is worth it.

Brewed on the premises using local and sustainable practices when possible, it just goes down easy. I'd hit up La Fonda Cantina (my favorite salsa in the city) or Six Feet Under (for the great skyline view from the patio and tasty seafood - and that's coming from a former Marylander) for food and then hit 5 Seasons for drinkies and one of their $1 boules made from spent brewing grain. Mmmm.

Not because the food at 5 is bad, mind you, it's very tasty - if just a tad overpriced. I just have a soft spot for the Sandy Springs location, and this newer, fancier 5 just doesn't compare for me.

Cheers!
Pros
  • Great restaurants
  • Close to GA Tech
Cons
  • Neighbors English Ave
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Just now

"From scary to...slightly less scary"

It's next door to Bankhead, if that tells you anything. If you're not a big listener of ATL rap, then just know this hood (yep, intentional) is best known for two things 1) A brutal gunning down of an old woman by city drug enforcement officers, and 2) A valiant, if mostly ineffectual resulting effort to clean the place up a bit.

If you're still reading, it must be out of pure morbid curiosity, because you know you don't want to move here. So I'll indulge you:

Nightlife - Not unless you count picking up hookers and scoring drugs, which you can also accomplish in broad daylight.

Restaurants - Apparently, there is a "Dorothy's Hummin Skillet" and two Chinese restaurants. Plus whatever the rats haven't beaten you to.

Gyms & Fitness - Running from the drug dealers or the cops, depending. Not sure which is worse at this point.

Peace & Quiet - Not unless you can sleep through the riot of dog fights, sirens and gunshots.

Yes, this is tongue in cheek, but you get the idea.

I will say, there is an immensely dedicated and admirable group of people trying their hardest to scrub up "the Bluffs," though. So far they have managed a modicum of racial unity and some impressive trash cleanup and assorted repainting and repairing projects. It ain't much, but it's a start - which is probably more than English Ave's impoverished residents were ever expecting.

Cheers?
Pros
  • Concerned clean-up crews
  • It is getting better, slowly
Cons
  • Consistent crime
  • Established drug culture
  • Dirrrttty
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Cinderella Story"

The riches to rags and back story of East Lake is inspiring to be sure. Once a successful turn of the century vacation and recreation haunt for Atlanta's elite - centered around the East Lake Golf Club, of Bobby Jones fame - the Club and surrounding areas were plagued with social and political erosion just over 50 years later. Eventually, putting greens officially became the Projects.

Today, thanks to the concerted efforts of the East Lake Foundation, the neighborhood is getting back some of its luster. A come-one-come all housing development, the Villages at East Lake, puts a decidedly Disney spin on things, offering a variety of living options at escalating price points and espousing an ideal of welcome, neighborliness and community building. Very village-like indeed.

East Lake has its very own charter school as well, enrolling local Atlanta Public School students for what one hopes is an above-average education. Agnes Scott, an all-girls lib arts college with a wonderfully stroll-able campus, is right next door.

For those looking to add their chapter to a hard-earned success story, live thisclose to intown and Decatur for less, and who don't mind a little crime and grime here and there, this looks like a pretty good place to claim your castle.

Here's wishing you a happily ever after. Cheers!
Pros
  • Location
  • Affordable, up-and-coming housing
Cons
  • Some crime and grime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"If you know it as “The Wawa of Nawthern Aggreshun” you’ll be in good company"

Civil War buffs will be eager to hang their kepis in this neighborhood, which was the site of some of the worst Yanks-vs-Rebs encounters in Atlanta (Tanyard Creek Park, a swath of forest and grassy meadow shielding a few acres of the historic artery from further development, bisects the area into Collier Hills and Collier Hills North). The hilly, wooded landscape apparently made for a heck of a battleground.

Today, however, the biggest confrontation you’re likely to observe in these parts is an IPA-fueled rumble between a Phillies and a Braves fan at a post-Peachtree Road Race (a.k.a. July 4th) barbeque, or a particularly nasty debate over whether or not a neighbor’s army of Christmas inflatables are tacky enough to warrant an HOA intervention.

Houses here are a mix of augmented old Buckhead standards (much like many of the area ladies-who-lunch) and new-construction neo-mansions. The older homes don’t date quite back to the Civil War, thanks in part to General William “Slash-n-Burn” Sherman, but many post-WWII homes still stand – albeit with obvious facelifts. It’s pricey (it’s Buckhead) so less fortunate types intent on making a go of it here will want to track down a duplex or settle for an apartment in one of the neighboring neighborhoods.

Being part of Atlanta’s historic uptown, Collier Hills tends to attract well-funded families who revel in the area’s “high-society” billing and subsequent access to Buckhead's chichi businesses and wine-and-dine spots. A solid lineup of private schools is also a big draw for the breeding types, though if you choose to be a true rebel and send your young ‘uns to public school, there are a handful of well-regarded ones nearby. Cheers!
Pros
  • Civil War history
  • Green spaces
Cons
  • Pricey
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Much like its patron rapper/producer-saint T.I., this ATL hood is cleaning up its act"

If you’ve seen the movie “ATL,” rapper T.I.’s homage to his hometown, you’ve seen Mechanicsville. In a word, this ‘hood is pretty, well, hood. Walking though it – which you’ll want to avoid after twilight unless you have a large-armed entourage – you’ll see the prerequisite busted houses with peeling paint and porches littered with forlorn-looking children’s toys and grubby furniture; poorly kempt brick apartment complexes with residents milling about the parking lot and on individual doorsteps; and fast-food wrappers, shattered booze bottles and other jetsam tangling in the kudzu vines along roadsides.

But, just like in the surprisingly not un-watchable film, Mechanicsville also has a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps kind of cheeriness to it, and is, like many parts of Downtown Atlanta, hitching a ride on the urban renewal train. (Also known, at least in those parts that actually border the railroad tracks, as the Beltline Project – a massive and massively cool revitalization and redevelopment plan inspired by a Georgia Tech grad’s student’s master thesis.)

Many houses here boast fresh coats of paint in typical new-construction earth tones and pastels on their large, columned facades. Both single-family homes and strips of new townhomes crop up with surprising frequency, often dominating whole streets. Not too many noteworthy businesses call the area home just yet, but that’ll likely come with time.

It’s easy to see Mechanicsville following in the still-fresh footsteps of neighboring Summerhill, which is fast earning itself a new reputation as a budget-friendly, mostly safe-ish place for unfussy, wallet-conscious intowners to snap up their very first home.

Not entirely sure how T.I. feels about the spit-and-polishing and general gentrifying of one of ATL’s original ‘hoods (I myself give it mixed reviews), but whatever…

He lives in Buckhead, anyway. Cheers!
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Working it's way up
Cons
  • Some crime
  • Some less desirable nooks and crannies
  • Not so pretty yet
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Suburbia in the city"

Living in Summerhill seems kind of like being on a permanent Atlanta vacation, except instead of staying in a Lysol-and-smoke-scented hotel room, you can lay claim to your very own spankin’ new, neo-traditional abode or ready-to-build lot for a lot less than $200 a night.

You’re walking distance - yes, even for the kiddies - from Atlanta must-sees like Turner Field, the Atlanta Zoo and the Cyclorama; and just a few more blocks from Oakland Cemetery and the glossy highlights of Downtown (the Aquarium, Centennial Olympic Park, World of Coke…)

Summerhill used to look a lot more like Mechanicsville and Peoplestown - its less fortunate neighbors to the south and west - until developers descended in the mid-1990s to give the old ‘hood a facelift before the 1996 Olympics. An active neighborhood association and a stringent developer approval process have ensured that the “right” people, houses and businesses are allowed in (though the area could really use a lot more of the latter - so the HOA might want to ease up a bit).

And don’t fret, diversity-seekers! (The rest of you can fret all you like, then move to Alpharetta.) Thanks to its downtown locale and budget-friendly home prices, “right” doesn’t always mean middle-class white. Instead the "right" residents for Summerhill are typically younger to not-quite-so-young singles and couples (many with families) who like to feel hip and urban, while also satisfying their love of new construction and private garages. Cheers!
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Close to ATL attractions
  • No commute!
Cons
  • Bulldozed much of its historic appeal
  • Some crime nearby
  • Not many walk-to businesses for an intown address
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Seven of the loveliest blocks in Atlanta"

Were it not for the gorgeously ancient stone archways (maintained on a volunteer basis by rightfully proud residents) heralding its entrances on St. Charles and St. Louis streets, you might miss this teensy enclave tucked between the Atlanta-famous Virginia-Highland area and Poncey-Highland. And that would be a shame, because it’s quite a stunning example of an original Atlanta planned development.

The hundred or so homes are all historic and all beautifully maintained and landscaped, but no two are alike. English cottage-esque Tudors share fences with elegant Georgian Revivals and simple, white-columned craftsmans. Here and there you’ll spot something that looks like it’s been plucked off a cobbled street in France or Spain.

I’m pretty sure you’ll have a hard time scoring real estate here – this is an old neighborhood where people really invest themselves in their homesteads (obviously, it shows). The rare homes that do have a For Sale sign in the front yard will probably set you back a tidy sum, given the desirability of the locale as well as the value of the homes themselves. (There are a few complexes off Ponce that promise to be much more affordable for the average single or couple looking to call the area home; and it never hurts to see if some of the Park's houses themselves are actually duplexes in disguise).

The Atkins Park restaurant is right across the street, and has been since the 1920s. Inside, the place looks like it hasn’t changed much, and patrons can cozy up in dimly lit dark wood booths and lose themselves in the ambiance (and what is quite possibly the best vegetarian sandwich ever to grace a plate – their veggie mmmmmuffaletta).

Oodles of equally noteworthy dining, shopping and nightlife options are a short walk away, thanks to the VA-Highland influence. Unfortunately, that also means that by 9 p.m. on weekend nights the area is crawling with drunk OTPers (outside-the-perimeter folk), most of whom appear to be all the people I couldn’t stand in college. Ah well, it’s a small price to pay for the privilege of being an Atkins Parker (especially compared to your mortgage payment). Cheers!
Pros
  • Gorgeous old homes
  • Instant access to great shops/restaurants/bars
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Crowded on weekends
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"A home for homebodies"

Yet another nice, respectable Atlanta neighborhood that is frequently docked points for having (gasp!) some crime and grime. This is a metropolis, people. If you live intown, you are going to be a stone’s throw from a broken window. The big drawback to Adams Park, in my opinion, is not the shady bits, but the relative lack of bright spots when it comes to getting out and about.

Adams Park is closer to the I-285 perimeter than to the city center, that and the fact that it’s bordered by some grittier parts of the cityscape frequently equates to more house for less money. Homebodies can easily snag themselves a sweet spread with an entirely doable mortgage and be perfectly content staying within a dog-walk of the house most days, venturing into Atlanta’s more happenin’ areas whenever the mood strikes.

You’ll find a number of quite large older homes sporting distinctly suburban facades radiating from, you guessed it – Adams Park. The green space itself is ripe for recreation – sporting a golf course, pool, ball fields and plenty of room to run around with your dogs/children (neighboring Cascade Heights also has a huge nature preserve that’s great for leisurely hikes with said dogs/children, or possibly an outdoorsy date you’re trying to impress).

Honestly, though, if you’re looking to get dinner out, shop, spend a night on the town or soak up some arts and culture, you’ll probably have to head outside your ‘hood. Most restaurants here are either chains or unremarkable, and other than the great natural spaces I mentioned, there’s not a whole lot of places to go on the weekends.

Luckily, an intown location means the whole city of Atlanta is, if not at your fingertips, at least within arms’ reach. Cheers!
Pros
  • Cheap, nice homes
  • Outdoor recreation
Cons
  • Scant shopping/dining/entertainment options
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"My kind of dream home (a.k.a. Thomas Kinkade sucks)"

It seems nearly every time I venture out on my old blue Schwinn cruiser (by bike is possibly the best way to see the city; though I’m also partial to a good pair of walking shoes) I turn a corner to find yet another perfect little dream house with a perfect little dream yard on a perfect little dream street. But before you start picturing Thomas Kinkade paintings (see review title), let me mention that my version of the perfect dream home nearly always revolves around a decades-old bungalow, approximately the size of a Dunwoody garage, with an unmowed backyard twice its size, at least one massive, knarled tree and a porch big enough to hold an entire living room’s worth of furniture. I’m talking real corners of the world that make you just wanna pull up a lawn chair and watch the world go by – a.k.a. Adair Park.

Yes, for every handful of Quillbilly-approved dream homes there is a dilapidated old relic that is probably housing a nest of opossums. Yes, there are parts of the neighborhood you’ll want to avoid from twilight onward. Yes, there are also parts sporting clusters of garish fast-food chains (most actually just across the tracks in West End). But what’s a neighborhood without a few blemishes for the neighborhood association to complain about? And speaking of neighborhood associations, Adair Park’s is top-drawer. Credit for the area’s amenity-rich, kid-friendly green spaces (Bonnie Brae and Adair Park itself) and an impressive list of community events (an annual “pie off” looks especially tempting) is due to Adair Park Today.

In addition to its own charms, Adair Park is also a short drive (or bike ride) from the charms of some of my other favorite Atlanta ‘hoods – West End, Grant Park, Inman Park, etc. Each of which boasts enough perfect little dream houses to put Thomas Kinkade to shame. Cheers!
Pros
  • Parks
  • Historic fixer-uppers
  • Friendly folks
Cons
  • Some crime
  • Some less desirable nooks and crannies
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"It shall overcome"

A recent (virgin) visit to the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, one of the area’s rightful institutions, had me literally exclaiming to all who would entertain my rantings – “Why have I not heard more about this? How have I not been here before?” I am still hell-bent on instituting at least a monthly excursion to shop and lunch among the Technicolor slopes of familiar and unfamiliar edibles and exchange grateful, uninhibited smiles with the international food vendors. As a neighborhood gathering place, the SWAC is pretty infallible in my opinion (I only took off a few points for the parking experience, which is validated if you stay for an hour or so, but can get pretty pricey if you – like me – can’t tear yourself away from Café Campesino, Grindhouse Killer Burgers or the general joy-cloud of colors, sounds and smells that pervades the indoor marketplace).

Besides the market, Sweet Auburn is known for its place in African-American history. Martin Luther King Jr. himself was born in the neighborhood (his house still stands) and local historical and cultural centers devoted to his legacy continue to attract visitors from all over the city and the nation each year. John Wesley Dobbs coined the name “Sweet Auburn,” after observing the “gold-paved” streets of what was instantly recognizable as one of America’s most successful early black communities. This was a place where enterprising men and women could and did build everything from barbershops and churches to banks and insurance firms – and, for the most part, it still is.

As with many historic areas, Sweet Auburn sustained a period of decline from which it is still emerging, meaning that many areas of the neighborhood give way to crumbling, graffitied shells studded with discarded furniture and populated by the poor and homeless. There are still plenty of safer havens, especially in and around recently completed redevelopment and revitalization projects like Renaissance Walk, and adjacent to Georgia State University and Old Fourth Ward.

Bottom line – as with many urban areas, there are places you feel you belong, and places where that feeling will be a long time coming. Head for the sweet spots. Cheers!
Pros
  • Rich history and culture
  • Sweet Auburn Curb Market
Cons
  • Some crime
  • Some less desirable nooks and crannies
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Go West, young Atlantan, go West and grow up with the city"

This triangular neighborhood south of I-20, east of the North/South MARTA line and north of White St. is rising to its potential like cream from milk, thanks to the steady churning of its pioneering residents. The majority of the credit for the West End's rapid gentrification (which, in this case, has more positive connotations than negative – the presence of Clark Atlanta University ensures that the area’s historically black population retains its cultural and residential foothold) is due to average-income, salt-of-the-earth types who wanted nothing more than to buy a 1930’s fixer-upper on a quiet street and invite their neighbors over for a few beers on the front porch.

Such beginnings have – so far – made for an impressively unpretentious ascension into the ranks of intown cool. Students, artists, writers, musicians, enterprising white-collar types and other folk who pride themselves on social consciousness (local politicians not excluded) make up the majority of residents. The Wren’s Nest – former home of writer Joel Chandler Harris (“Uncle Remus” himself) and self-appointed bastion of the African-American storytelling tradition – serves as a fitting “town square,” where residents and visitors alike gather for historic and cultural events effusing a decidedly local spirit.

Owing to the nature of its borderlands, the area does experience a typically urban level of crime. In answer, and in true West Ender style, the neighborhood association (WEND) took matters into their own hands by creating The West End Security Group, a contingent of off-duty police officers they pay to patrol the community. So you can feel quite safe when this review inspires you to experience West End for yourself.

I recommend West Fest, a three-day festival of neighborhood music, art and culture held in the spring – that is, if you can wait that long. Cheers!
Pros
  • Socially conscious neighbors
  • Locally grown art & culture
  • Rich history
Cons
  • Some crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"For Winners"

Get it? Battle? Winner? Bad intro jokes aside, the Wesley Battle area (also known as West Peachtree Battle) is yet another expected consequence of the Buckhead/uptown area’s highly cultivated milieu. “Winners” here, are (surprise) those with money and the time to spend it. Whether they choose to spend it on a nice Neo-Colonial, or Neo-Federalist, or Neo-Georgian (most original homes in the area seem to have been dubbed “not big/impressive/Southern-Living enough,” and razed or renovated to better jive with the local aesthetic, which is something along the lines of “Southern prep in the city, y’all.”

Plenty of nuclear families here, partly owing to the pro-family feel these neighborhoods tend to nurture, and partly due to the number of chichi private schools within carpooling distance. The Country Club atmosphere is greatly enhanced by the fact that there are two golf courses a short drive away (and the bad jokes continue) – Cross Creek, which lies within the boundaries of Wesley Battle, and the famous Bobby Jones.

All the typical Buckheadian amenities are close at hand; meaning you won’t go hungry for $60 bottles of chardonnay or Lily Pulitzer sundresses. Peachtree Creek flows through the neighborhood, forming its southern border, providing some nice wooded walks and no doubt increasing property values (though those looking to move to the area might keep the flood of 2009 in mind – many lots along the creek were swamped by up to 20-foot swells). Still, it’s nothing a little flood insurance won’t fix; and all part of the price of being a winner. Cheers!
Pros
  • Swanky green space
Cons
  • Traffic, home cost
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"You can't afford it"

You know the expression “born with a silver spoon in her mouth?” Well, in West Paces Ferry, these kids are sucking on the whole antique Tiffany service - right down to the monogrammed cake saw.

In fact, this review – while admittedly fun to write – is probably going to be pretty useless. I guarantee you, dear reader, if you are shopping for a new neighborhood on Street Advisor, you will not be living in West Paces. That would be like walking into IKEA and seeing yachts for sale. You might stare open-mouthed at the yachts, pondering how these gilded anomalies could exist within 10 leagues of an IKEA; you might compose “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” voice-over clips (or “The Fabulous Life of…” for you whippersnappers) of what your life would be like if you indeed owned a yacht; you might even convince yourself that you have what it takes to captain “Liquid Assets,” “Monument II XS,” or whatever other ego-stroking moniker is plastered across her stern. But the simple truth is – you don’t walk into IKEA with two million dollars burning a hole in your Levi’s.

Trade “yacht” for “house” and you have West Paces Ferry. Okay, so the median home price for the whole West Paces/Northside area is more like $620,000, but still, you get the idea. Five blocks from your comparatively measly half-a-mil pad will be a seven-bedroom behemoth lined with Egyptian marble, with an in-home theater modeled after the Fabulous Fox (look it up if you’re not from Atlanta), and its own hair salon, clocking in at $10,000,000 neat. No kidding – that thing actually exists.

For most of us, the closest we will ever come to living in West Paces Ferry involves driving through it in our ’90-something Hondas, drooling out the windows like overheated Labradors and then heading back to our 600-square-foot apartments to stuff ourselves with microwave popcorn and watch reruns of Seinfeld. But, for all you big dreamers, sleeper millionaires, hedge-fund hunters, and live-in nannies out there, here are even more Paces perks to whet your arriviste appetite and render this review almost entirely irrelevant: Platinum-level dining, shopping and partying is only a limo ride away; The Buckhead Village can satisfy all your designer-label and haute cuisine desires; or you can pay someone else to satisfy them for you using any of a number of local personal shopping and concierge services - including an actual business called “The Silver Spoon & Co.” in nearby Vinings. Bunny and Rex, Jr. can matriculate at one of a half-dozen heavily lauded private schools, where you can rest assured they won’t encounter any riff-raff on their way to Princeton/trophy wifedom. And finally, you’ll have the privilege of sharing a mailman with whichever Republican is currently running Georgia (the Governor’s Mansion is located at 391 West Paces Ferry). Champagne wishes and caviar dreams, y'all. And cheers!
Pros
  • Good for ogling
Cons
  • Prohibitively, depressingly expensive
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"This one's juuust right"

Comfortable is a good way to describe the overall affect of Morningside/Lenox Park. Distinct from its neighbors on all sides (Lindbergh to the north, Piedmont Park to the west, Virginia-Highlands to the south) the area is mostly composed of decades-old single-story homes and unimposing cottage-like double-deckers – nothing too showy, nothing too shabby. Families make up the majority of the residential population, which collectively exudes a laid-back sense of welcome. You get the feeling that your neighbors won’t get their panties in a twist over the plastic kiddie pool that languishes in your side-yard all summer (though some many gently raise the standing-water/mosquito issue). But, then again, if you lived here, you’d be too darn nice to put your fellow Morningsiders in that position in the first place.

Amenities are plentiful, but low on the braggadocio. People who live here know and love their impressive green spaces (including two bona fide nature preserves) and their resident foodie haunts (Atmosphere, Woodfire Grill, Floataway Café), but the area manages to remain a place where you suddenly “stumble upon” these gems, rather than seek them out en masse – an admirable and hard-to-manufacture quality that keeps Morningside/Lenox Park from getting too popular for its own good (cough, cough, Virginia-Highland, cough). All in all, this is an entirely pleasant and as-yet not unattainable corner of Atlanta in which to make yourself at home. Cheers!
Pros
  • Low-key
  • Great natural spaces in the middle of the city
Cons
  • None worth noting
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
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"It makes way more sense after that third spiked slushy"

This is a rather odd patch of Atlanta that owes its incongruity to a major redevelopment venture gone south (and no, unfortunately, that is not pun). Shiny new suburbanite staples like Longhorn Steak House, Chili’s and Five Guys look highly out of place in a city that prides itself on having one of the most original and innovative dining scenes in the nation. Add a towering “mixed-use” stretch dubbed Lindbergh City Center, which, in light of its distinct lack of residential appeal, has amounted to little more than an outdoor shopping mall, and this hardly looks like the Atlanta I know and love at all.

The effect is especially jarring when approaching from the south on Piedmont, where motorists emerge from “rubdown row” – a neon-sign-studded “massage” district – only to find themselves suddenly yearning for an Orange Julius. Though that particular merchant is absent from both the City Center and its neighboring Lindbergh Plaza (home to the requisite Michael's, Ross, Target, Home Depot, etc.) thirsty visitors can indulge their slushy beverage craving in true college-coed style - spiked with grain alcohol at an alarmingly titled and weirdly punctuated “Wet Willie’s” daiquiri bar. Other area oddities include Tongue & Groove, a skeevily lit club/lounge decorated with what appears to be remodel cast-offs from three separate, and probably much cooler, Miami counterparts; and The Dump, yet another terribly named venture that apparently does its business in bargain-basement furniture three days a week.

But look on the bright side: Thanks to the Lindbergh MARTA station, you can avoid the heinous pay-for-parking situation whenever you do get that hankering for a generic chain meal and a few hours of uninterrupted big-box shopping. Cheers!
Pros
  • MARTA
Cons
  • General bizarreness
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Old South, old money, same old story - almost"

Yes, it’s considered Buckhead and, yes, it fits the ($$$$) bill. You’ll need a pretty golden nest egg, or a wealthy, ailing ex-Coca Cola exec uncle, in order to make the mortgage on one of the Hills’ admittedly gorgeous Old-Atlanta half-acres, many of which sport purposefully ostentatious Sotheby’s signage in their immaculate front lawns. Not surprisingly, given its price tag, its relative sedateness, and it’s location to some of Atlanta’s oldest Buckhead society haunts (not to mention Piedmont Hospital), this particular section of uptown is decidedly more old money than new money. Many residents are of the blue-blooded, blue-haired variety (that’s beneath the $300 dye job, of course), who delight in publicly berating and/or doting upon their bowtie- and Vera Bradley-wearing progeny and grand-progeny at after-service brunch each Sunday. You won’t see much “color” in these parts; Old Buckhead still prefers its primary demographic like it prefers its cotillion dresses. On that note, you won’t see too many Obama bumper stickers, either, unless they read something like “KEEP THE CHANGE” or are accompanied by a sickle and hammer.

But really, are you surprised?

I could say this is all just snark on my part, but having spent six months as a server at a popular fine dining establishment in the heart of the Hills, and having had a majority of these southern “ladies and gentlemen” bark at me over their calf’s liver or lobster BLT in between drawled mouthfuls of saw-edged ‘gossip’ and racist/sexist/classist slurs, I can attest my exaggeration for effect is not quite as exaggerated as one might hope.

But don’t go reporting me to the Street Advisor moderators just yet. Even a jaded, anti-Buckhead soul such as myself can be dazzled by Peachtree Hills’ bright spots. The neighborhood itself is unquestionably lovely, there are some supremely tasty gustatory offerings to be had and some fabulous antique shops to wander through. Obviously, a significant number of the people you’ll rub elbows with as they walk their dogs, pull their toddlers in wagons, or mosey the few blocks to the Peachtree Hills Shopping Center or the ADAC (the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center) are not hideous caricatures of the Old South. As with any other neighborhood in Atlanta or anywhere else, there are people who will feel wholly at home here, and people who will happily cruise by on their way to their own greener pastures. Cheers!
Pros
  • Beautiful "Old Atlanta" homes
  • Dining & shopping
Cons
  • Money makes people cranky
  • High cost of living
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
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"Castleberry Still...very still"

When I first visited the Castleberry Hill neighborhood, I immediately noticed how bizarrely quiet it is. Because of the area’s reputation as a growing arts district, I had pictured a gritty, hip enclave, not unlike Little Five Points, where smokers’ eyes linger on you for too long outside of dark dive bars and the walls are littered with graffiti and old concert fliers.

What I found was cleaner, more upscale – and utterly deserted. I attended the launch party for Dodekapus, a collective aimed at supporting emerging local artists. I wandered around a few blocks, beginning to wonder if I had missed the memo about an imminent zombie apocalypse, when finally I stumbled upon the crowd spilling out onto the street from the entrance to the party at the Raw Space Gallery.

This kind of experience is typical for Castleberry Hill. By day, restaurants such as Wasabi or No Mas Cantina are popular spots for people from all sides of town looking to get out of their own neighborhoods. By night, the scene tends to thrive in pockets – focused around parties or events, usually with an artsy theme and aesthetic to match. Seek out these spots, and you’ve likely found the bleeding edge of cool, where artists display their creations in warehouses or converted lofts and everyone grooves to a local band on a makeshift stage while drinking cheap beer. Miss these shindigs, however, and the area is a relatively quiet urban ‘hood where the lit windows of spacious lofts show signs of life, but shops are dark not much later than 9 p.m.

It’s an area that’s definitely worth checking out, night or day, for the art alone, but also for its offerings of decent restaurants and daytime activities. I’m willing to bet that in just a few years, the social scene will ignite as well, and a bona fide new Atlanta arts & culture district will explode into being. For now, it’s still relatively underappreciated. Though it’s worth finding a launch party and dragging your friends along – if for no other reason than to prove your art cred doesn't end with the High. Cheers!
Pros
  • Art scene
Cons
  • Can be a bit of a ghost town
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"Upper Crust Crunchy"

With its incongruent collection of hippies and yuppies, Old South sensibility and New America progressivism, million-dollar-homes and a home for the homeless (Clifton Sanctuaries is the oldest operating house-of-worship shelter in Atlanta), Lake Claire could be seen as a bit of an anomaly; were it not for the fact that its bordering communities – Candler Park, Edgewood, Kirkwood, Decatur – seem pressed from similar, highly successful molds. Like its neighboring ‘hoods, Lake Claire is flush with places to dine, shop and entertain yourself, and the family-friendly dynamic means solid schools and relative safety are sure bets. Of course, as any respective resident of the aforementioned neighborhoods will emphatically point out, each of these communities also has its own distinct flavor and appeal.

In Lake Claire’s case, that flavor might be described as “upper crust crunchy,” or “earthy with notes of la-di-da.” Here, historic bungalows open on riotously colored gardens spiked with sculptures made of repurposed car parts; skateboarding youths reverse-nod to pairs of parents pushing $650 stollers; and the age-old “whose tree” argument centers not on which party can axe it, but on who gets to stick their resin “wood sprite” face on its façade.

Of course, you cannot mention Lake Claire without also mentioning the Lake Claire Community Land Trust, a hippie haven of pesticide-free garden plots, pet-able livestock (chickens, a pig, and Big Lou the Emu), and rustic wooden stages perfect for impromptu drum circles. Established in 1987 and still going strong, the Trust and its fierce defenders are largely responsible for the tenor of the community.

So even if you can’t quite put your finger on the “flavor” of Lake Claire (emu, perhaps?) most will agree it’s a highly appetizing address. Cheers!
Pros
  • Big Lou the Emu
Cons
  • The NA can be a bit pushy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"The Eastern 'Wood"

Slightly less edgy than Edgewood (owing in part to the latter’s proximity to Little Five Points, Atlanta’s pocket-sized bohemia), Kirkwood balances its more provincial couple and family-oriented appeal with a generous dose of historic intown cool. Housing is what you expect and adore when it comes to this neck of the ‘woods – decades-old, “they-don’t-build-‘em-like-this-anymore Victorians and Craftsmens variously restored to their former (or future) glory punctuated with the odd run-down lot. The availability and affordability of family-sized houses, along with the area’s relative “under-the-radar” status as compared to nearby destinations like Inman Park, Grant Park and Candler Park have kept residential developers largely at bay.

Speaking of parks, Kirkwood is graciously riddled with them – from the tiny half-moon canopy of Gillian Park, to Bessie Branham (boasting a $2 million rec center), to the 17-acre DeKalb Memorial County Park, where residents can shoot hoops, swing racquets, bat balls, toss a Frisbee with the dog or chat about the latest restaurant/bar that just popped up down the street while their progeny clamber through the playscapes. (Several schools in the area, elementary through high, make Kirkwood a favorite of young families who shudder at the mere mention of living OTP – outside the I-285 perimeter.)

Among a growing segment of eateries, drinkeries and local businesses, Arizona Pub, Le Petit Marche, Kirkwood Public House and the Edgewood Shopping Center - a Target/Kroger/Lowe’s anchored mixed-use hub sandwiched between the two ‘woods and the closest intown ever gets to traditional suburbia – are well patronized by residents and non-residents alike. Though residents have the option of transacting their purchases of locally sourced lunch fare and “Up and Up” toilet paper through their very own credit union. Cheers!
Pros
  • Up and coming
  • Family-friendly
  • Plenty of green
Cons
  • Some less desirable nooks & crannies
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
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"The Six Degrees of East Atlanta Village"

In a city that boasts a population of around a half million people within its limits, and more than 5 million in the greater metro area, you would think your chances of the random awkward encounter with your ex, or the date you blew off after reconsidering your cosmo-induced public display of affection, or someone else from your past you’d otherwise like to avoid, would be slim to none.

Think again. At least if you’re thinking of heading to East Atlanta.

Atlanta is a city of neighborhoods full of personality, but few can claim the kind of die-hard patronage of the East Atlanta Village. East Atlanta is a mostly residential area between Moreland and I-20, and more or less ends with Flat Shoals/Bouldercrest to the west. Homes are modest and close together, and the socio-economic demographic is a bit of a mix, mostly of middle to lower-middle income residents. Let’s be honest, though, when someone refers to East Atlanta, it’s taken for granted that they are referring to the East Atlanta Village. EAV – or the Village, as it is affectionately called by those who tip their mugs there – is the crux of the area, an intersection of bars and pubs at Glenwood and Flat Shoals. Party there enough times and you’ll begin to notice that, every time, you’re rubbing elbows with the same tattooed smokers at the Flatiron, or pixie-cut karaoke pros at Mary’s, or tangly bearded friendly old dudes at the Earl.

For intowners who consider the Village their main haunt, this is definitely a positive, in a very Cheers-y sort of way. Throw back a couple of pints with your buddies on the weekends where the bartenders all know you by name and have your regular order at the ready as soon as you grab a seat. But beware – there is a fierce kind of loyalty that Villagers have to their stomping grounds and to each other. Outsiders are cool so long as they haven’t offended; and if they have, it’s likely that they will run into someone who’d happily remind them of their indiscretion at any of the bars crisscrossing the Village.

Besides the familiarity of beer and bro-ship, East Atlanta offers a few eclectic and quirky shopping options, as well as hair salons, pet groomers, tattoo parlors, and other services. Run-of-the-mill fast food chains dot Moreland Ave, and some fancier options, such as Thai favorite Spoon, can be found tucked into neighborhood shopping centers with ample parking – a rarity in Atlanta.

For those who desire a strong sense of community and a thriving social life, East Atlanta – particularly the Village – is the ‘hood to be in, whether you’re living there or just a frequent visitor. Cheers!
Pros
  • Nightlife
  • Music scene
Cons
  • Some crime
  • Panhandlers
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"An apple a day keeps the XDR Tuberculosis away"

If you are a parent, and you’ve ever taken your soon-to-graduate son or daughter on a visit to Emory’s sprawling campus on a warm spring day, you’ve seen Druid Hills. And if your pride and joy is fortunate enough to attend the prestigious college, you’ve also seen the best Druid Hills has to offer.

An affluent neighborhood that reflects the university both in demographics and cost, Druid Hills lies in DeKalb County, north of Ponce de Leon and east of Briarcliff, just west of Decatur.

If you’re on that campus tour and you happen to see someone who looks like your gynecologist walking his dog, that’s probably because it’s your gynecologist and he’s walking his dog. The neighborhood is home to employees of not only the university, but also many of the doctors and practitioners that work for Emory’s medical center.

Beware, though – when it’s time to get the little prince or princess their pre-college-entrance vaccinations, you’d better play by the rules. Druid Hills also claims the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though an employment and research intelligence boon to Atlanta, the CDC is still a government agency and a behemoth of a bureaucracy, no stranger to public relations gaffes and controversies. I am, of course, being a touch snarky – the CDC operates with the purpose of preventing the spread of infectious diseases and, thanks to the diligence of its employees, most of us will never come into contact with these mischievous microbes. It may be an arm of the Fed, but unless you’re an XDR-infected man with the bad judgment to honeymoon with his wife while doctors hem and haw and generally disagree with each other about your contagiousness, you probably don't have to worry about the CDC airing your dirty medical laundry.

Talk of flu shots and antiseptics aside, the neighborhood houses more than just the sterile (pun intended) gray CDC and Emory edifices. The green space is filled with parks and churches and – in a uniquely Atlantan nod to its history as a suburb – a golf club.

Finally, your proud new Emory freshman is going to need student housing, and Druid Hills has you covered. Though expensive, the area is safe, clean, convenient to the campus, and has ample options for employment, whether it is a part-time student job or post-grad employment. Of course, competition is fierce and if Junior isn’t top of the class, he’s going to have to fight for a coveted med-school slot. Don’t worry – Emory also has a law school. Cheers!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Students
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Mall rats rejoice"

Basically, this “neighborhood” is one giant swath of mall sprawl. In fact, I’m not entirely sure you can even live here, unless you’re squatting in the Crate & Barrel… Which may not be such a bad idea (if you can get away with it), given that the actual residences in this chunk of Buckhead’s immense shopping district consist of a handful of pool-dotted, electronic latchkey apartment complexes priced to reflect the area’s coveted “uptown” image. Traffic is heinous; the population is harried and largely looking to spend money and be seen doing it; and tour-ons flood the place every weekend and on major shopping holidays.

Not even the much-touted fireworks show every Fourth (20 minutes of increasingly unimpressed oohs and ahhs preceded and succeeded by about an hour and 45 minutes of stop-and-go Buckhead traffic or a similar-length trip spent sardined in a MARTA train); or the fact that the mall parking lot – yes, you heard right – serves as the starting line for the Peachtree Road Race (world’s largest 10K, on and off), is enough to redeem this area as much more than a place to drop $$$$ on a pair of undoubtedly fabulous boots.

But, to each his/her own, as they say. If florescent lighting, unflattering mirrors and relentless, base-heavy musak really gets your blue-blood pumping, then welcome to the mothership. Cheers!
Recommended for
  • Tourists
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Budget Buckhead"

This tiny slice of north Atlanta delivers pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a strip of streetscape sandwiched between Chastain Park and North Buckhead. So go ahead and read the SA reviews for its neighboring neighborhoods (you can get a pretty complete portrait of this oddly defined pocket ‘hood that way), but read on for a few specifically East Chastain highlights that, I assume, are responsible for the codification of this less than two-mile long, less than one-mile wide tract as a distinct Atlanta address.

For one, housing appears to be slightly more affordable here than across the Roswell Rd and certainly the Powers Ferry Rd borders - especially if you’re not opposed to posting up in a Post apartment (one of Atlanta’s most ubiquitous multi-family housing builders). The Post Chastain apartments are roughly in the center of East Chastain, across the street from the lovely Blue Heron Nature Preserve and complete with pool, fitness center, blah blah blah for those who dig the whole “all-inclusive amenities" thing. East Chastain is also more commercial than either of its neighbors, which prefer to dedicate their real estate to million-plus dollar homes, private schools, and property-value-enhancing green spaces. Roswell Rd in particular constitutes a major thoroughfare for the area, with traffic getting pretty ugly around rush hour and pick-up/drop-off-the-kids-at-school time. Family-friendly restaurants are plentiful (I highly recommend Taxco – pronounced TAH-sko, please – for authentic Mexican; a gift from the significant Hispanic population here), while a few reasonably well-patronized strip malls provide shopping/dining destinations for those who don’t feel like driving into ‘town’ or OTP.

All in all, I’d say East Chastain is best viewed as a budget alternative for people who really want to live in “real” Chastain or N. Buckhead, but just can’t quite make the mortgage payments – possibly because they are already paying way too much for that private school tuition. Cheers!
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now
Editors Choice

"Neighborhood PRIDE"

Ansley Park is one of Atlanta’s oldest historic districts. Flanked by Piedmont Road and Peachtree Street, it is virtually a miniature suburb within the metro area. Adjacent to Piedmont Park and complete with its own golf course, it’s a clean, upper-middle class neighborhood built on well-maintained landscapes and smooth, wide roads. What it lacks in socioeconomic diversity, it makes up for in line-dancin’, drag showin’, pride paradin’ pastimes; to be frank, Ansley Park is arguably the most gay-family-friendly neighborhood in Atlanta. Its proximity to the rainbow flag-draped establishments in Midtown as well as Piedmont Park, the central location for almost every Pride Festival in recent years, is a clear signifier to young couples of any orientation that Ansley Park is a welcoming place to start a family. For the partiers in the crowd, Blake’s on the Park and Three-Legged Cowboy are great places to grab a cocktail (ha!), check out a drag show, or get a line dance lesson.

The best part about living in this bitty ‘burb is that a trip to the city is only a walk away. Ansley Park is surrounded by skyline on nearly all sides, and a night out on the town is only as much of a commute as finding a parking spot on Juniper Street. Ansley Mall, at the intersection of Piedmont and Monroe, provides the day-to-day essentials: Publix, CVS, a pet-needs store, and even some smaller boutique shops. Nothing pretentious or intimidating about this neighborhood, and if there is any drawback, it’s that it might be a bit too clean-cut and dry for singles not quite ready to settle down, or couples still looking to maintain a little edginess in their style of living.

Often enough, couples that choose to own homes in the heart of Atlanta have the option to send their children to private or Montessori schools. Ansley Park parents electing to educate their tots in the Atlanta Public School system will send their impressionable offspring to Morningside Elementary, their precocious pre-teens to Inman Middle, and their diversity-tolerant and well-rounded teenagers to Grady High. It’s probably important to note that, for all of its shiny qualities, Ansley Park is ultimately still a neighborhood in the middle of a metropolitan area, so break-ins and car-thefts are not uncommon. Fortunately, if you’ve been a good neighbor, you’ll likely have no shortage of community folks watching over your Colonial home and its manicured lawn. Cheers!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
ellielyn
ellielyn Sounds like Ansley Park could be a good option for my family. I am mostly concerned with having the option to send my kids to <a href="http://www.treeoflifemontessori.com">montessori</a> schools and private school later and a place that is central to allow me those options would be great!
2yrs+
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4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Mmm, mmm good intown living south of 20"

Ormewood Park is one of several formerly suburban boroughs east of Old Atlanta that has clearly mastered the recipe for an ideal intown neighborhood – and man, are they cookin’! Generous helpings of historic craftsman bungalows, brick ranches, cottages and a sprinkling of original Victorians attract DIY renovators and other industrious inhabitants who build community as solidly as they build window benches and breakfast nooks. Well-conceived restaurants and retail establishments put a heavy focus on local roots, drawing their inspiration from the diverse character of residents (all races, ages, orientations and backgrounds seem stirred happily together here).

Glenwood Park, one of the best realizations of a modern smart-growth community I’ve ever seen, has no equal when it comes to new, green-centered construction in a planned-community frame. They even have their very own beer fest each year (pretty much a requirement for any true intown neighborhood).

Schools here are surprisingly good for being South of I-20, likely thanks in part to Ormewood’s proximity to Grant Park – a giant among Atlanta neighborhoods, and a distinctly family-centric one at that. Instant access to main thoroughfares like Moreland Ave, Boulevard and Memorial make getting around a relative snap – even taking Atlanta’s infamous traffic into account.

All in all, Ormewood Park is a prime example of what we intowners crave; a trademark Atlanta neighborhood – hip, historic, diverse; a delicious address any way you slice it. Cheers!
Pros
  • Just heating up
Cons
  • Some less desirable nooks & crannies
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"More like New Fourth Ward"

Rubbing elbows with the likes of Inman Park, Poncey-Highlands, Midtown and Downtown, it’s no wonder this ‘hood (and I mean that in more ways than one, for now) is the site of some of the most rapid gentrification in metro Atlanta.

Pre-real-estate-bust condos line North Highland, North Avenue, and Boulevard, promising budget city views of the Downtown skyline on enormous hanging banners. (A recent sunset prompted a gaggle of photogs – professional and amateur alike – to halt traffic on the Jackson St. bridge.) Young urbanites flock to swank gastropubs and must-eateries like P’cheen and 4th & Swift; couples congregate in long lines to chat over coffee and croissants at the Highland Bakery...

But the million-dollar townhomes behind Boulevard and Freedom Parkway juxtapose eerily against the flip side of this neighborhood – a six or eight block area that landed Old 4th Ward in third place for violent crime in a by-neighborhood list published by the AJC in ‘09. Low-income and Section 8 housing is crushed together by a land creep of smart new craftsmans and rennovated-chic commercial establishments opened by enterprising city folk attracted to the proximity of Downtown, Midtown, IP, the Highlands, etc.

But gentrification - in all its tarnished glory - isn't Old 4th's only claim to fame.The neighborhood lies squarely on the Beltline, the shining focus of a multi-million dollar, 20-year redevelopment project aimed at integrating transportation, boosting economic development and adding green space (complete with eagerly anticipated ped-friendly trails) - all designed to centralize Atlanta’s growth and alter the course (or should I say curse?) of disconnected development that has famously plagued the metro area. Needless to say, The BeltLine Project has no shortage of ardent intown fans; as evidenced in part by the art initiatives that have taken root along the Beltline’s rough-cut paths. Local "starving artists" jumped at the chance to showcase sculptures, street art murals and other works celebrating the cultural diversity lining the old railroad corridor.

Yep, pretty soon this former 'hood will become a true restaurant-weeking, homeowner's associating, festival-throwing intown neighborhood (no Section 8 allowed). I can see the faux hand-painted sign now: "Welcome to New Fourth Ward." Cheers!
Pros
  • Beltline access
  • Affordable, up-and-coming housing
Cons
  • Some crime and grime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now
Editors Choice

"Buckhead Light"

This up-uptown neighborhood showcases Buckhead’s softer – but no less moneyed – side. Here, people are just more apt to spend their six-plus figure incomes on private school tuition, lake houses, renovations and garden-party-perfect landscaping at the hands of the largely Hispanic labor force who also make their home here (albeit in far more modest accommodations in marginalized stretches of town).

As you edge closer to the Perimeter, towering glass-sheathed high-rises cease to pierce the skyline. Neon fades, car stereos quiet, and the demographic shifts to settle primarily on either side of the 20 to 40 curve. Here you’ll find ample evidence of a different version of the good life – one involving weekly church appearances (spiritual, social, whatever – just be sure to let your neighbor see you tithing) rather than weekly rump shakings at that club-slash-lounge where so-and-so rapper was last seen. Although, for those North Buckheadians who still harbor a desire to resurrect their college years, Johnny’s Hideaway – a purposefully tacky groove joint billing itself as an “Atlanta Original” (whatever that means) is conveniently located crawling distance from a Waffle House just north of the Roswell-Piedmont split.

Nearby schools are, of course, top drawer; dining and shopping options are acceptable and well patronized (regular Buckhead is only a few minutes away, even with traffic, so the area need not overexert itself); and streets are mostly sheltered, quiet and well-maintained. Housing prices remain predictably high, although evidence of Atlanta’s deflated housing market is evident in half-constructed or clearly empty McMansion-esque oddities that sit, regrettably, on the former foundations of many a perfectly lovely circa 1970s brick ranch house.

By far my favorite North Buckhead feature is the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, a 25-acre natural area located off Roswell Road along Nancy Creek. Wooded trails, a community garden, a waterway that is just barely canoe-able after a few good rains, and a dedicated preservation and education staff make this an ideal spot to get away from the city without ever leaving it. Cheers!
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Renaissance done right - maybe"

Next door to Cabbagetown, the Reynoldstown ‘hood exudes a similar level of unkempt, unpolished appeal. Wonky streetscapes that seemingly all lead to or from Memorial Dr. are edged by unapologetic houses in various states of repair. Narrow lanes are friendlier to pedestrians than to motorists, which hearkens back to the neighborhood’s history as a berth for mill workers and other immigrant laborers.

Dogs are fixtures here, and the homey, come-as-you-are coffeehouse-cum-dog park parked on the triangular median off Flat Shoals Rd. is an appropriate magnet for the bedheaded artsters, grassroots politicos and rest of the restless proletariat (most of which are likely rebelling against their upper-middle-class parentage – whether they know it or not) who make their home here.

Race lines still exist (we are in a Southern red state, after all), but they are beginning to blur. It’s a sad fact in Atlanta –and, I’m sure, most major urban cities – that neighborhood renaissance often translates to one minority or another being slowly edged out. One hopes though, that places like Reynoldstown will do it right, blending longtime residents with new; creating a dialogue rather than a debate of cultures; and ultimately producing a truly American community in the best sense of the word; as opposed to the gated and regulated kind. It certainly has the potential. Cheers!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"For cool dads and moms"

This is one of the few neighborhoods you hear about before you even set foot in Atlanta – most likely from an art-collecting, 30-something couple with matching designer eyeglasses who gush about their restored craftsman and how lucky they were to snag the place before the baby was born. Think quintessential family neighborhood meets intown cool. So, needless to say, it’s hugely popular among young, breeding-age couples who are growing up and out of their endlessly repainted one-bed duplexes stumbling distance from the bar.

I have to admit, it’s a good call. You’ve got one of the most gorgeously shade-saturated parks in the city (Grant Park, duh); the Zoo, whose kid-centric programming is reason enough to pop out a couple of clones; ample stroller-joggable sidewalks and plenty of places to grab a bottled microbrew on date night. Add to that top-rated schools and can-I-borrow-a-cup-of-Turbinado neighborliness and it’s no wonder family-minded types can’t get Grant Park off the brain.

It’s not all PTA members either. Many residents of the more stunning historic homes have spent decades growing into their homes, a fact which shows in their impossibly neat hedgerows and lovingly repainted lacework. You won’t find too many single-incomes living here though. A neighborhood this good comes at a price. Cheers!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
runningchef
runningchef Put the first comment in the wrong field whoops but here it is in the right one! Great reviews very informative and enjoyable! I did have a question though what do you think of the Boulevard Heights area just south of Grant Park?
2yrs+
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Tolerable Buckhead"

If you’ve read my other Buckhead-inspired posts you’ll gather I’m not exactly a black-card-carrying member of Atlanta’s excessive uptown. I did, however, live there briefly, and when I did I lived in Garden Hills; in a windowless room in a teensy condo in a fabulous yellow stucco eyesore that began as a luxury hotel in the 1920s. The Alhambra (you can’t miss it from Peachtree) happened to abut the Garden Hills neighborhood in the rear.

Such things are not unusual in B-head.

I loved to hop on my rusty blue Schwinn cruiser and cycle through the aptly named neighborhood’s rolling, winding streets; past the iconic old Buckhead homes with their aged brick and their chandeliered porches and their sweet little front gardens. I adored that I could walk to Trader Joe’s to pick up a budget organic dinner, or splurge at an adorable cottage-turned-restaurant nestled among the neighborhood’s preponderance of cottage-turned-hair salons. I still have terribly romantic memories about slurping mussels in front of the fireplace at Anise – an evening which would have been even more perfect had not the older, crotchetier couple next to us been barking at their server the entire time.

The Atlanta International School – which is private and, I hear, quite excellent – has its campus here, which is a plus for all those parents hoping to raise bi children. (Bi-lingual, that is – it’s a requirement at AIS). There is also a neighborhood pool that is always boiling with bodies in high summer, and sheltered, stop-sign-studded streets on which shouting children can ride bikes, skateboards, scooters (and anything else their parents buy them) with impunity.

Bottom line, if you don’t like Buckhead, there is a chance you might like Garden Hills, or, at least, not hate it. Cheers!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Just now

"Things'll be brighter there..."

Fair warning: By the time you read this review, the actual residency potential of Downtown Atlanta (at least, what qualifies as “Downtown” as far as yours truly is concerned) may very well have changed - such is the determination of the urban renewal machine cranking away in what was once the heart of the Southern capital. Indeed, quite a few pockets of the Downtown cityscape – near GSU or Marietta Street, for instance – are already looking more like places you’d consider paying rent, and less like places you walk through in a hurry at twilight, pretending to talk on your cell phone.

Once upon a time, I would have advised you to take MARTA to a Turner classic Braves game (see what I did there?) and then take it right on back to civilization as soon as the final ball was caught.

If you were a local, that is.

If you were a tourist I would be required by law to tell you to also visit the Georgia Aquarium (the world’s largest!), Centennial Olympic Park (we hosted them in 1996!) and World of Coca Cola (make your own soft drink!)

These days however, even the tourists are probably noticing that Downtown is starting to grind away some of its rougher edges, and is becoming more and more viable as (dare I say it?) an actual neighborhood.

Progress may have slowed some (the Big Peach took a big hit when the economy tanked), but you can bet that as soon as the cash starts flowing again Downtown Atlanta will be making it rain, baby - especially when it comes to attracting future residents who prefer the skyline view from the ground floor up (see it airbrushed on a T-shirt at Underground Atlanta!) Cheers!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Students
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Hang-your-hat-worthy"

Living in neighboring Inman Park, I often find myself running, walking, biking – and very occasionally driving – in Candler Park. If I’m not just out for a jog around the edges of the Candler Park Golf Course (so rolling and lush and lovely that it almost makes me want to take my putt-putt game up a notch), I’m likely cozied up in a perfectly grubby secondhand loveseat at Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea House enjoying a frothy chai and a $1 paperback from the stacks…

…Or, possibly, I’m digging into my favorite slice (veggie doused in creamy Italian) by the fountain at Fellini’s and sharing a pitcher of beer so cheap I’m amazed it’s not illegal here in good ol’ Marthasville…

…Or I might be having brunch at the original Flying Biscuit with some out-of-town friends, having happily waited for an hour for a table because the black bean love cakes and warm buttery biscuits are just that good.

Regardless of what I’m doing in Candler Park, chances are pretty good that I am enjoying myself immensely; once again affirming that this neighborhood is one of the few places I would deign hang my hat in Atlanta.

Maybe it’s the fact that it manages to seamlessly blend homey and quirky with an equally identifiable element of Southern class; or maybe it’s because I can’t help imagining Candler as Inman’s charming little sister, with her irresistible penchant for whimsical paint jobs, picket-fenced dollhouses and underwater tea parties. Cheers!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Smells Like Rebirth"

Cabbagetown’s origin as a mill town is evident in the persistence of its narrow, perpendicular streets and lingering “shot-gun shacks” – some shabby, some repainted in vivid shades of yellow, teal and pink, and some impeccably upcycled into quaint, artsy cottages with herb gardens and bottle-trees. The reason behind the odd name remains in contention (my personal favorites are the story of the overturned train and the cry of “free cabbages!,” and the pervasive smell from the cooking pots of the mostly poor, Scottish-Irish-born mill workers). Whatever the legend, the name has stuck.

Today, Cabbagetown has become a popular home for artists, musicians, activists and other renaissance-makers who have gravitated toward the affordable, history-rich community to establish galleries, coffee houses, non-profits, and add their calling cards to the layers of graffiti bedecking the Krog Tunnel. Carroll Street - a street so narrow it requires that one car stop to let the oncoming car squeeze by – is a one-stop neighborhood gathering ground, complete with java fix (Carroll Street Café), watering hole (Millhouse Arms Tavern), pizza joint (Village Pizza), date-night destination (Agave), and the prerequisite tattoo parlor (Graveside). From here you can glimpse the east border of Oakland Cemetery, with its vast expanse of beautifully decomposing headstones and equally vast collection of ghost stories.

No doubt the geographic juxtaposition of this monument to death with the spirited rebirth of the surrounding community has not gone unnoticed by Cabbagetown's resident artists, who would likely find it perfect fodder for a mixed-media installation. Cheers!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"When you mix hipsters and yuppies, you don’t get hippies…"

...You, in fact, get Poncey-Highland. Anchored by a few city blocks between the well-known (and according to StreetAdvisor ratings, much adored) Virginia-Highland district and Inman Park, the neighborhood is named for the throbbing arteries of Highland Avenue and Ponce de Leon (that’s “duh-LEE-ahn,” not “dey-LEE-own” for you non-natives) that define the heart of this eclectic enclave.

Radiating from this intersection you’ll find hangouts popular with the fixed gear and creative facial hair crowd (Urban Outfitters, the Righteous Room and the Plaza Theater - an indie cinema where you can get $1 off your ticket by paying in cash - are shoulder-to-shoulder); as well as more conventionally inviting restaurants and businesses (Two Urban Licks, Eclipse di Sol, the ever-busy Publix Supermarket).

Apartment abodes are older, but largely in a charmingly chipped sort of way, as are the smatterings of single family homes. Everything of note is within walking distance, which is good because both Ponce and Highland have a tendency to crawl during peak hours, and stoplights are long and frequent.

Speaking of places of note, the neighborhood also lays claim to two Atlanta institutions – The Carter Center and the Clermont Lounge. Perhaps nowhere is the area’s split-personality appeal more apparent than in a comparison of these two beacons, located exactly one mile apart. One is a carefully landscaped campus tucked off of Freedom Parkway, where you can throw breadcrumbs to the ducks beneath a view of the skyline and learn about Georgia’s favorite President and humanitarian. The other is an intentionally seedy basement strip joint where you can throw dollar bills to some of Atlanta’s most unlikely and unforgettable peek-a-boo artists and learn creative new uses for PBR cans and Mardi Gras beads. Both, in their own ways, represent an enduring Georgia-grown legacy while paying due homage to beloved local personalities (who can resist Blondie’s can-crushing charms?) Which makes both equally perfect destinations for a Saturday in Poncey-Highland. Cheers!
Pros
  • Eclectic entertainment
Cons
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"More than a walk in the park"

One of Atlanta's many semi-suburban ITP (inside the I-285 perimeter) neighborhoods, Chastain Park permits residents the luxury of a 5-plus bedroom home and their very own lawn, while keeping the commute into the city minimal.

The laid-back, family-friendly concert venue - the Chastain Amphitheater - draws residents and visitors in about equal measure. Not surprising, since popping over to neighboring Roswell Row for takeout at Willy's Burritos or Fellini's Pizza (local institutions, particularly among the Galloway School crowd and the area's many nuclear families) or packing a picnic into the open air amphitheater for a front row "table seat," constitutes some pretty perfect summer entertainment. Be prepared if you're the competitive type, though - many groups go all out when it comes to decorating their folding tables - from checkered table cloths to candles, flowers and granite wine chillers.

Chastain Memorial Park itself boasts a golf course and tennis center, as well as plenty of pretty places for a stroll. An old roommate of mine routinely spotted Atlanta's own Andre 3000 (of Outkast fame) walking through the park on her evening runs; which, I'll admit, I found surprising until I considered Chastain's close proximity to Buckhead - Atlanta's glitzy uptown district.

Northside Drive and Mt. Paran Street showcase plenty of million-and-up spreads - which are at least fun to ogle for those of us who can't even afford the custom mailboxes. Less expensive, but by no means modest, homes are also available in the customary rancher, bungalow, Georgian and Federalist styles, largely left over from the 1950s-70. The Galloway School, one of Atlanta's more well-known charter schools, is located at the northern edge of the park, espousing a highly rated liberal arts education for grades 3-12 under the motto of "behave yourself and try." If you're looking for a socioeconomic rating for the area, let's just say that most Chastain Park residents can easily afford the five-figure annual tuition, with plenty left over for the mortgage, the landscape crew and four tickets to "An Evening with Sting" - complete with picnic basket. Cheers!
Pros
  • Superior private schools
Cons
  • Pricey
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now
Editors Choice

"The self-proclaimed "Rodeo Drive" of Atlanta"

Thanks to an oligarchy of moneyed movers and shakers, the stretch at the Roswell/Peachtree split – once dominated by packed nightclubs and bars that brought a little too much “downtown” (read: ATL rap royalty and their entourages, noise, crime) to their uptown streets, today’s Buckhead Village is a strategically high-priced enclave in the glittering heart of an area where, according to the unofficial Buckhead motto, old money lives and young money parties. Though it's not so exclusive as to preclude an influx of more averagely yuppie partiers from flocking here every weekend to run up their credit cards and rub up on each other in its now gentrified club/lounge hot spots.

The Village itself represents a cultivation of luxury shopping (the Streets of Buckhead, boasting classic high-end staples like Gucci and Hermes, is perpetually “coming soon”) posh dining (the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group has a near monopoly on “it” eateries here: Nava, Chops, Pricci, Kyma, Atlanta Fish Market, Buckhead Diner…), velvet-rope entertainment (plenty of venues abound for the black-tie gala set) and the kind of discerning clientele who tend to congregate at such locations – usually with their designer bags/dogs/children in tow. Tourists, too, are frequent visitors to the area, often shuttled in by their hotel to shop and eat at, of all places, The Cheesecake Factory, which sits next to the even more incongruous ESPN Zone mega-bar (complete with disturbingly animated sports reliefs in a faux-stone facade).

Actually living in the Village most likely equates to buying/renting a high-rise condo, townhome or apartment – the few family homes that have held their ground here are not likely to be up for sale any time soon, unless it’s to a developer once the market recovers. Most residents are upwardly mobile singles or new bachelors/bachelorettes priming themselves for a post-divorce attempt at recapturing their roaring 20s.

Still, if you have a champagne taste for Buckhead’s version of the good life, and the income to back it up, you can’t do much better than the Village – which, I’m sure, was exactly what you were hoping to hear. Cheers!
Pros
  • Makes ya feel fancy
Cons
  • $$$$$$
  • Snobbery can get out of hand
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Keep your condos off my lawn!"

Thanks to an intensely proud, hyper-involved and uncompromising Civic Association who routinely fights tooth and manicured nail over everything from zoning ordinances to faulty water meters, Buckhead Forest has remained a real, honest-to-goodness, tree-lined neighborhood, despite being fenced on all sides by the gleaming facades and high-brow hustle-bustle of Buckhead’s commercial districts.

Walking its neatly edged, leaf-dappled sidewalks, you expect to encounter men in grass-flecked polos taking a break from mowing the lawn and trimming the azaleas to chat about the Braves’ play-off bid; children in boutique-bought day dresses and smaller versions of their daddies’ polos cavorting in the traffic-less streets; wives in crisp white pants drinking equally crisp white wine on their flower-bedecked porches. And that’s exactly the image Buckhead Forest is going for. Does the fact that the idyllic “refuge in the city” vibe is somewhat contrived – a unavoidable result of years of fighting off urban encroachment, in part by defining exactly and absolutely what the neighborhood is and should remain – detract from the appeal of its tidy Tudors and power-washed brick bungalows? You be the judge. Homes here are not prohibitively expensive for the average upper-middle family, but prepare to devote a sizable amount of income to maintenance, renovation, landscaping, etc. each year in order to keep up appearances.

When you do venture out of the Forest, Buckhead becomes a whole other animal – something suitable for skinning and draping around your shoulders at a black tie gala. Towering sky condos, hotels, high-end retail real estate and “it” bars, restaurants and velvet-rope clubs provide a shimmering playground for the Atlanta elite, splotched here and there with more everyman options like the Rio Grande and Shane’s Rib Shack at the Roswell/Peachtree split, and the nearby Moondogs strip (the last vestige of the base of the Buckhead Triangle’s former life as a rollicking and rather crime-heavy clubbing and rubbing haunt for the grittier urban set).

However, if you live in Buckhead Forest, chances are none of these options will excite you half as much as the fact that Trader Joe’s, Atlanta’s largest Presbyterian church and a handful of highly rated elementary schools are all within walking distance. Cheers!
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Where country club meets MARTA station"

Brookhaven is one of an armful of neighborhoods just outside the city proper (in this case, on the well-trimmed fringe of high-brow North Buckhead) that straddles the line between “urb” and “suburb” – and does it pretty darn well. The area’s sought-after sub-neighborhoods, blending expensively bulldozed and redeveloped plots and more tastefully renovated originals, are posh destinations for well-heeled families who want to ensure their kids – most likely named things like “Chase,” “Hurley” and “Ella” – an easy commute to private school. There are several top-ranked and quite varied choices within a few-mile radius, including Marist, Galloway, Holy Spirit Prep and the Greenfield Hebrew School. This last draws a sizable population of orthodox jews, whom are often seen walking leisurely to and from synagogue along the lushly treed residential side-streets, making Brookhaven a slightly more diverse area than one might first guess.

Oglethorpe University, whose campus resembles a sprawling medieval castle and hosts predictably excellent year-round productions by the Georgia Shakespeare Company, doesn’t look out of place in an area that is anchored by the mind-bogglingly exclusive Capital City Country Club. If you can’t afford the five-figure annual membership fee, or one of the million-dollar-minimum adjacent properties that seem to go with it, the imposing Georgian and Federalist homes and the rolling, tree-dotted hills of the golf course at least make for a lovely backdrop for a weekend drive.

Make no mistake, you’ll have a hard time snapping up your own little corner of Brookhaven without a sizable nest-egg to back you up, but there are some options (nice, typical apartment buildings and less flashy homes further from the Country Club) that appeal to those who weren’t enjoying Bush-era tax cuts. A nearby MARTA station makes traffic-free travel into the city for Braves games, etc. a Breeze (Card) for those who don’t turn their noses up at it, and Buckhead is only a string of traffic lights away for those craving upscale shopping, eating and getting fashionably tight over a sweating bottle of chardonnay.

Personally, when I’m hankering for a taste of Brookhaven, I pop over to the humble Brookhaven Shopping Center and slide into a dimly lit table at the equally humble and hidden Sushi Mania for an indecently tasty roll named after the neighborhood itself. Follow that up with a stop at Bruester’s Ice Cream for a pistachio cone and a berry-something milkshake for the boy and that’s my idea of haven indeed. Cheers!
Pros
  • Family friendly
Cons
  • Pricey
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Love it/hate it"

There really is no neutral ground when it comes to Atlantic Station – it’s either all your American dreams made shiny, sparkly reality, or it’s a recurring nightmare in which you’re trapped in a maze of mall retail, chain restaurants and parking decks. For those of you in the latter category, I suggest skipping the labyrinth altogether and visiting instead for the top-notch entertainment the Station hosts (unfortunately, you won’t be able to avoid the parking deck - unless you take MARTA, which I always highly recommend). Cirque Du Soleil, Cavalia and other attractions make their Atlanta home here in enormous, flag-topped tents you can see from the interstate, and the exhibition center never fails to deliver (by popular demand, Dialogue in the Dark and Bodies just extended their run to May 2011).

If, however, you yearn to hang your hat in a trendy loft, luxury condo, townhome or “detached home” (an unfortunate phrase, but that’s directly off the website) a minute’s walk from more than one million square feet of shopping, dining and entertainment – including a 16-screen movie theater, a bowling alley and a museum – Atlantic Station is your dream come true. Shopping-wise, Dillard’s, Target, H&M, and Express are a few of the more popular offerings, not to mention the small town that is IKEA (my boyfriend and I went in once for wall shelves and couldn’t get out for over an hour and a half, prompting the poor guy – now delirious from the effects of the “one-way layout” – to exclaim “It’s like shopping in space!”). Restaurants range from popular mall and tourist trap fixtures like California Pizza Kitchen and Fox Sports Grill to quite good boutique-y haunts like Rosa Mexicano and Geisha House. There’s also pockets of pretty landscaping, fountain-studded lakes and cute, walkable streetscapes scattered about, and easy access to the many pleasures of Midtown (Atlanta’s Manhattan) and the main arteries in and out of the city.

Whether you love it or hate it, you do have to admit that when it comes to the whole “live/work/play,” mixed-use community thing, Atlantic Station is pretty freakin’ impressive. The whole development was built on what used to be the grounds of the defunct Atlantic Steel Mill, making it the largest “brownfield redevelopment” in the world. It’s also done an alright job of applying that green sense throughout its design, with refurbished steel presses from the mill making up some of the architecture and at least some treed, green spaces to help balance out all the towering stores and neon signage. Cheers!
Pros
  • Shopping/dining
Cons
  • Possibly everything that is not shopping/dining
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"This is exactly why I love Atlanta"

For all Hotlanta's faults – muggy, buggy, sweat-through-your-shirt summers, a blundering and insufficient police force and award-winningly atrocious traffic congestion – it is possibly the only metropolis in the world that could give rise to the urban utopia that is Inman Park. Today’s Inman Park stretches far beyond the several acres of grandly restored Victorian mansions – many of which have been divided into duplexes, triplexes and other exes – and hundred-year-old trees of its original namesake suburb (Atlanta’s first, developed in 1888).

Here you can walk or bike (driving is for outsiders) along streets lined with boutique and specialty shops manned by smiling locals and stocked with handmade, “upcycled,” Fair Trade and vintage goodies; pick up fresh produce from an impromptu stand; post up on a patio with a $10 cocktail made with organic lavender; or join a band of sweaty bootcampers for a romp in Freedom Park. Have a dog? Perfect – so does pretty much everyone else, and with the park nearby and retailers happy to keep water bowls and pup-approved treats readily available, it’s no wonder you have to watch your step when leaving the sidewalk (plenty of residents appear too proud to poop scoop).

Atlanta’s dismal police record doesn’t really apply here, and crime is surprisingly minimal for an area that’s a stone’s throw from several neighborhoods you wouldn’t want to walk through at night. Chalk it up to a near-militant (in a good way...mostly) neighborhood association and Inman Park’s very own security patrol. Needless to say, the area is popular with families, single professionals, retirees and pretty much anyone who refuses to shop at Wal-Mart and can afford to drop $100 on boutique wines and free-range pork chops at Savi when they don’t feel like trekking to the international market five miles away.

But it’s not all vintage BMW drivers and the rest of the Tour of Homes crowd (part of the annual Inman Park Festival, which draws about a thousand people who wish they could live in Inman Park to its perfectly manicured streets each spring) who get to enjoy the “small town downtown.” After all, I too live here – in a charmingly chipped and repainted 1920-something duplex – for a measly $500 a month. All it takes is a couple of roommates to split the rent and a willingness to live closer to Little Five Points than to the historic Trolley Barn - which is actually preferable for a hip young thang like myself. Plus, I'm still eligible to buy one of those coveted butterfly flags (yes, the neighborhood has its very own, very fruity logo) for my front porch - or, rather, our downstairs neighbor's front porch...Cheers!
Pros
  • Neighborhood vibe
  • Plenty to see & do
Cons
  • Can be pricey
  • Parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
runningchef
runningchef Great reviews very informative and enjoyable! I did have a question though what do you think of the Boulevard Heights area just south of Grant Park?
2yrs+
quillbilly
quillbilly If you love the Grant Park area (you can check out my review for more info), but can't quite afford it, than Boulevard Heights could certainly work for you. Though it's only a short walk from the park (and zoo) itself, the neighborhood definitely falls in the "up-and-coming" category - which is coming along a bit more slowly these days since the Great Downturn. You'll still have to cross into the actual Grant Park community and parts north for worthy restaurants, bars and such, but if you don't mind doing more driving than walking overall (since it's not as nice as GP proper, it's not as safe as GP proper, either), then I say give it a shot. I can say that because I'm a renter, not an owner, so if you're looking to buy instead I would definitely do some additional digging. The neighborhood association - look up SAND + Boulevard Heights - is a good place to start, and NA-ers are usually pretty eager to gush/grouch about their home turf. Good luck!
2yrs+
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