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Talk:Decatur (Georgia)

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  • I added a section on avoiding the areas far from downtown. I live in Decatur, near the prison on memorial and not far from Clarkston, and this area is not at all like the downtown. It is inaccessable without a car, relatively unexciting, and in parts dangerous (the area along Northern avenue between Memorial Drive and N Dekalb rings out with gunfire most weekend nights). Honestly downtown is trendy and exciting, but otherwise I wouldn't recommend many areas of Decatur to outsiders. For what its worth I plan on moving to downtown (or Little 5 Points) as soon as my lease is up. This town has its down side, and anyone visitng needs to be aware this article discusses (almost) exclusively the downtown.
  • Need to distinguish between City of Decatur and Decatur in unincorporated Dekalb. --Baxterguy 14:18, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
  • I did the following: a) some outstanding restaurants in downtown Decatur were missing from the list, while sandwich shops (Roly Poly) were included. I added the outstanding restaurants; b) Decatur's well-known festivals (four of which have won regional awards) were not in the travel guide. To leave out the beer festival, arts festival, beach party, etc., were major omissions; and c) there were two motels listed that are NOWHERE near downtown Decatur or Oakhurst neighborhood. Neither was located in Decatur, and I deleted them. (The same chain has 2-3 other motels/hotels in/near Decatur.) There was one motel blocks from Decatur Square that was not included, so I added it. --Baxterguy 09:11, 18 September 2007 (EDT)
  • "Buy" is by far the weakest section of this article. There are more shops of note than are listed here. It give the impression there are few places to shop in Decatur. Someone should work on this. --Baxterguy 09:49, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
    • I have updated this to be more thorough. --Baxterguy 14:17, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
  • Recreation does not listed private exercise and fitness gyms. There are too many to list, and it's of doubtful value on a tourist site. --Baxterguy 14:18, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
  • Spelling: Clairemont Avenue (south of Scott) and Clairmont Road (north of Scott) are the same street. Scott Blvd. is the dividing line - I have no idea why one has an "e" and the other omits it, but it's not a typo, so don't correct it. --Baxterguy 14:18, 1 October 2007 (EDT)
  • I have tried to adjust some of the descriptions to be more tourist oriented (restaurants and "buy", primarily). however, I am not sure if the "general" section of "buy" is tourist-oriented, nor whether "primary and secondary schools" should even be listed? I have seen both listed elsewhere, but I'd like some advice on the inclusino of both of these. --Baxterguy 09:31, 4 October 2007 (EDT)
    • I have stripped out the primary and secondary schools - since they are not tourist oriented. Let me know if I was wrong do delete that. (I was the original compiler, so it was my work that I was deleting.) I have also removed non-tourist oriented listings (local jeweler, boring chain restaurant with bad review, etc.). I have added some books under "reading" that have background info on the city (ie, the 1820 house of the civil war author still stands in the city), foreign consulates, an observatory that few know about near the downtown area (not sure how much light pollution interferes, though?) and info on the nearest campground. --Baxterguy 15:35, 4 October 2007 (EDT)
It's always fine to take out your own stuff (we can put it back if you do it out of spite :) ). And fine to do copyedits or anything on someone else's. If you delete listings you should give a reason in the summary box. Yeah, I don't find the schools to be of use to the traveler. Colleges, of course, have resources, athletics, theatre and other shows. I just promoted the article to guide, but some pictures would be a great thing to add. And a map if you think it's useful. -- OldPine 16:14, 4 October 2007 (EDT)
Only other quibble might be that the listings could have better detail (address/phone/hours of operation). Try to think of it as a guide that will be printed and carried... and so a computer will not be available to chase the links. OldPine 16:30, 4 October 2007 (EDT)
I took out the table format from the Buy and Eat sections as it breaks the template norm. I also eliminated the list of banks, as we typically don't list those unless there is some special reason (banks are not even listed in the Where to stick it article). I also struck the furniture section, as the average traveller is unlikely to go furniture shopping while on vacation. I still feel like both the Buy and the Eat sections are far too exhaustive for a suburb article. I don't feel like we need so many clothing/shoe shops listed individually like that, especially the very specific ones. I think a lot of the listings could be dropped and replaced with a better description of what's available in the Ponce de Leon street area and leave it at that. The eat section really ought to be pruned as well-- too many listings=might as well pick up a phone book. Choose a few great places that you'd recommend to a friend spending a few days in town, and describe major restaurant hubs collectively. As it stands, this article has as many restaurant listings as some of our articles for major world cities, which Decatur is simply not. Texugo 01:11, 17 October 2007 (EDT)
I will look at editing the eat section down. However, Decatur is not a suburb in the traditional sense. It is an inner city surrounded by Atlanta on two sides that is a major restaurant destination (which is why it has so many 'best of" restaurants in a metro area of 5.1 million people). Basically, it will have more destination restaurants than most cities, because it is an "equivalent" of Atlanta's midtown or Buckhead neighborhoods for restaurants. Thanks. --Baxterguy 12:06, 23 October 2007 (EDT)
As of 11/2/07, Decatur has it's own after-hours emergency vet clinic. However, it is so new, I think it's best to leave the other clinic on the list to see if this one remains open. --Baxterguy 09:30, 19 November 2007 (EST)
Honestly, what the heck kind of travel guide for a city of less than 20,000 would include veterinarians and dentists, information about the local cable providers, trends of local church congregations and local political leanings, unremarkable local YMCAs, and 31 references to a local zine (Creative Loafing)? What the heck kind of traveller would expect a guide to have this stuff? This article is completely out of control, currently at least twice as long as it should be in my opinion. As I said before, some serious pruning needs to take place here with restaurants and shopping etc., and for a city this small I would guess that a number of the listed attractions are pretty overrated. Also, things not relevant to the average traveller or not unique to Decatur alone need to be ripped out. Anything that is true for the metro Atlanta area as a whole needs to be taken out and put in the Atlanta article. All the excess just exaggerates the touristic importance of your city and seriously waters down the usefulness of the article by recommending so many things that the traveller can no longer see what the very best options are. Texugo 22:36, 19 November 2007 (EST)
Criticism accepted. I do think a 24 hour emergency dentist, and after hours emergency vet (for those who travel with pets) is valid. The politics was in the trivia section to add color, but I will delete it. In regard to the local zine (Creative Loafing), it focuses on restaurants, etc., within the beltway and is the most complete list of recommendations in the city. (It also published in 9/07 and is the most up-to-date.) Other magazines (if you live here, you know this) are going to include the suburbs, xurbs and even some rural areas in their coverage. If you think it is inappropriate to list the zine recs, you are welcome to delete them. But many internet recommendations are at times bizarre, with some terrible restaurants getting "loaded up with recommendations" - I prefer to have a reference to add credibility. Thanks again for the comments; you understand wiki very well. --Baxterguy 16:22, 20 November 2007 (EST)
I have tried to respond to your criticism. However, I am not a woman and cannot edit down all those shops listed because I don't go in them. They are almost speciality shops (although not as highly thought of as Decatur's restaurants and pubs) and a woman who shops in them and is familiar with them will have to do an edit - if the number needs to be reduced. Many of them are written up in Southern Living, Atlanta magazine, Creative Loafing, etc. - I have not listed all the recommendations from all sources. It's going to be tough for a guy. --Baxterguy 08:12, 5 December 2007 (EST)
Just want to note that there have been a few edits that are ALMOST CERTAINLY written by the owners of the establishments. I am editing them if they go overboard (listing "nightly specials", comments that read like advertisements, lengthly detailed list of items in stock at stores, etc.), but this has happened at least three times that I know of. In a part of metro Atlanta that is known for outstanding restaurants, the comments need to be credible and not read like an advertisement or claim to be "the best". With the exceptions of awards by independent outside parties ("chief of the year" by a leading NY foundation, "best of" from credible media groups, etc.) - edits need to be balanced. If this continues, I would like some help from other wiki editors to monitor this. --Baxterguy 10:20, 26 November 2007 (EST)
A new edit has added a restaurant under two categories. I have deleted the second listing. Beer and wine establishments that serve a short menu don't get listed under "coffee" just because they serve coffee. --Baxterguy 08:12, 5 December 2007 (EST)
I updated the article: a) deleted restaurants that are closed; b) deleting a reference to Dawson's Camp that I cannot find a primary source for; and c) deleted (again) a reference to Kavarna - calling it a music venue and referencing a Creative Loafing award that it could not have received. (Kavarna opened too late to receive an award in the year the edit claims it did.) --Baxterguy 17:11, 21 June 2008 (EDT)
Deleted references to 2007 restaurant recommendations by the local in-town press (Creative Loafing), since they will be outdated in August/September 2008 when new recommendations come out. Also did some minor clean-up to shorten the article - and it could stand to be shorter. The one thing that appears missing from this article is that Decatur is somewhat of a college town - with historic Emory, Agnes Scott and Columbia in/near the city. The student/collegiate atmosphere sets this town off, as any visit to a pub or coffee house will make clear. --Baxterguy 10:34, 18 July 2008 (EDT)
Nice work! Gorilla Jones 18:45, 18 July 2008 (EDT)

package store[edit]

I need some direction. There are recent additions to this site that do not belong on wikitravel - these include a package liquor store and a modest mexican restaurant in a non-tourist part of town. There are always debates/disagreements on what should be listed on this site, esp since Decatur has approx. 70 restaurants and is a "destination" in the 5.1M metro area for unique dining establishments. As a rule, I have tried to list unique restaurants (not mega chains) - many of the listings have appeared in Atlanta magazine, Creating Loafing (the local intown magazine), Southern Living, (which is HQ here) and Better Homes & Gardens. I have eaten at several, and ask advice on the ones I have not eaten at. I have also listed some more economical listings (i.e., Taqueria) to balance the high end nationally known restaurants (i.e, Watershed). Also, there are several good mexican restaurants, so I have tried to be selective and not exhaustive (i.e, listing Mexico City Gourmet and not listing local chain Willy's, which is well-thought of and across the street). Other than being vigilent, any advice or criticism? Any advice on keeping package liquor stores and (with all due respect) unremarkable mexican restaurants off the list? This city is truly a restaurant destination town, and there are several restaurants missing that I have kept off due to constructive criticism related to limiting the total list. --Baxterguy 13:32, 4 September 2008 (EDT)

I think the package store I had added should be put back for the following reasons
  1. Many travelers are very interested in finding a good package store at their destination. I know several people who get to their hotel, then go to the liquor store, then go about whatever it is they are traveling for. If it isn't under Buy/General, then maybe it should be under Cope.
  2. This particular package store has a tremendous beer selection, and is commended for such on beer-lover sites. You may not be interested, but there are people who travel explicitly for beer. Such people coming to Decatur would never want to miss the Brick Store, nor would they want to miss Decatur Wine & Spirits.
  3. This store also specializes in hard-to-find wines and liquors. People travel to different countries just for a difficult-to-find bottle of wine. I have traveled over 100 miles for a hard-to find gin (which I later found this store has, btw, and which I have not found anywhere else in the greater Atlanta area). I know I am not (at all) alone in such behavior.
  4. I didn't think this site was just for tourists who go to tourist traps. Just because it isn't in Decatur Square doesn't mean it isn't worth visiting. And, more importantly, not all travelers are tourists.
Also, why was my addition of El Toro removed? That place is a Decatur tradition. It may not be tourist glamor, but people who want the local experience shouldn't miss this little place. Taring 22:54, 6 September 2008 (EDT)

My responses are as follows:

  1. This package liquor store is not in Decatur - it's north of Decatur surrounded by car dealerships near a congested intersection.
  2. If wikitravel were to list a liquor store, there are multiple other package liquor stores in or closer to the city. The others are also in better areas of the city. Decatur Liquors on Clairmont is a much more likely candidate for inclusion on this list than the one you propose.
  3. I am skeptical whether this is this is the only place in a metro area of 5.3 million for hard-to-find liquors?
  4. I have never heard anyone imply that this historic city with one-of-a-kind restaurants is a tourist trap. And this list is for tourists, business travelers, suburban residents (tired of Cracker Barrel) and local residents looking for something unique.
  5. There are multiple mexican restaurants in Decatur. That category in particular is tough to narrow down - and, if anything, there are too many on the list now. Also, the typical tourist, suburban resident or business traveler - is almost certainly not going to come to Decatur to go to El Toro. I don't mean to trash it - it's a decent, regular restaurant - I just don't know of anyone who views it as distinctive enough to put on a national website (either in the economical or upscale category). Taqueria de Sol and Mexico City Cafe are listed (along with Oakhurst listings) - others may believe Willy's or Testoros are better listings. Seventy plus restaurants in Decatur - and you think El Toro should make the list for something outstanding, unique or remarkable? Come on, dude. And if you add it, there may be pushback from a failure to cull the site down to a reasonable number of restaurants (see earlier posts).
  6. If you populate this site with "regular" restaurants and non-destination package liquor stores, you will diminish it's value. Few are going to drive into from the suburbs or visit El Toro as a tourist/business traveler. I recommend you look at wiktravel listings on other cities to better understand the site. Baxterguy 15:27, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
The package liquor store has been deleted. The attributes he listed sound like an ad in a newspaper - particularly since it does not stand out compared to others. Nor is it the appropriate store to list (if one should be listed.). It is also highly suspicious to list a modest mexican restaurant and a liquor store in that location when there are many other higher quality mexican restaurants and similar liquor stores closer to Decatur. --Baxterguy 08:49, 23 September 2008 (EDT)
I'm gonna have to vote for deleting the liquor store as well. It just doesn't sound particularly distinctive, and seems pretty out-of-the-way, and I think the number of people who travel in search of rare beverages is likely to be rather insignificant. Texugo 03:16, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

Why is this article so long?[edit]

I don't mean to insult anyone who's put a lot of effort into this article, but this is way too long for a city that only has 20,000 people. (That's only 4% the size of Atlanta, and a mere 0.3% of Metro Atlanta!)

Yes, Decatur does have a lot of very good restaurants and boutique shops... but so does the rest of metro Atlanta. And Decatur is not so isolated that travelers would come to see Decatur and no other part of Atlanta. This article really needs to be pulled back into perspective as just one part of the extensive collection of cities and unincorporated towns that make up Atlanta. --BigPeteB 14:52, 8 April 2011 (EDT)

What in particular do you feel should be removed? Just because a town is small doesn't mean Wikitravel shouldn't have a comprehensive guide, and after a quick scan of this article I'm not immediately seeing anything that looks like it is overly verbose, excessively detailed, etc. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:21, 8 April 2011 (EDT)
Well, let's see. For starters, the Climate, Talk, Contact, Consulates, and Media sections are all totally redundant; they belong in either Atlanta, Metro Atlanta, or Greater Atlanta area. There are also a lot of listings that aren't actually in Decatur, based on the maps from Talk:Atlanta and Talk:Atlanta/East. And then there are things that I'm not sure why they're listed at all... like 3 hospitals, 3 walk-in clinics, and a veterinarian.
I guess I'm kind of annoyed that the rest of Atlanta's articles are a bit neglected, but then a small portion of it like Decatur gets so much attention lavished on it. --BigPeteB 19:10, 8 April 2011 (EDT)
As for the redundant info (consulates etal), they can be cut and merged into the relevant city or district articles (if not there already). Though population should not dictate article length (see Kununurra, a town of about 7000) brevity can make a guide more useful. Plunge forward and cut the cruft. - Cardboardbird 22:02, 8 April 2011 (EDT)

I finally got around to working on this a bit. I've started by removing quite a few sections that are badly misplaced (things that belong in Atlanta, Metro Atlanta, or even Georgia.). Next, there are a bunch of listings for things that are not really in Decatur, which need to be moved to the appropriate district of Atlanta. Then, perhaps a few of the listings should be pared down; I'm not sure this article benefits from having 12 clothing boutiques with no descriptions. --BigPeteB 14:30, 21 August 2011 (EDT)