I guess it's obvious by context, but isn't there a whole COUNTRY called Georgia nowadays? Shouldn't this page just be under 'Atlanta'? (I haven't quite come to grips with how the naming terminology really works but I'd GUESS that the capital of the state of Georgia is the biggest Atlanta around and gets the unadorned title.)
I've applied the 'large city' template to this article. I know Atlanta is a pretty large place, with many restaurants, etc, but in truth it is not a very interesting place for the traveller, with not much in the way of things to see or do. On that basis I decided not to use the huge city template, with all the district heirarchy baggage that brings. One consequence of this is that I have effectively orphaned the one rather vestigial district already present. I've moved the content to the main page, but here is a link in case somebody with a huge amount of info on Atlanta joins Wikitravel and we want to move to the huge city model. Atlanta/Little Five Points -- TheForester 12:32, 6 Aug 2004 (EDT)
Should we really describe things as "ghetto"?
Well, yes, we should. The previous description indicated that the shopping mall is posh at one end and grungy at the other. Assuming this is true, travellers would find this more useful than merely known that it's "upscale". Jpatokal 23:07, 28 Jul 2005 (EDT)
What is considered suburban?
Personally, i think considering the zoo as in the suburbs as absurd. I think anything within the city of atlanta should not be considered the suburbs. Maybe we should use the word "intown" for areas that are not necessarily urban but are still within the city. That is what most Atlantas call areas like grant park and virginia highlands.
The end of Music Midtown?
Peter Conlon cancelled Music Midtown for this year. The appropriate link is here: http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/nation/13569751.htm
I removed "Music Midtown" from the list of events. There is a chance Midtown might be held in the future, somewhere else in Atlanta, but it won't be held in 2006.
Recommendations & classifications
I'm certain that we can go round & round regarding which restaurants & bars to include, and I know that there isn't really a single "good" recommendation for visitors. That said, I'd like to take issue with: -Zyka classified as in the "East Suburbs." Zyka is in Decatur, and Decatur is not in the "suburbs." I don't mean to bring in the stupid ITP/OTP arguement, but Zyka lands very clearly within what people consider to be "in-town." That said, there are much better Indian restaurants to name (Udipi springs to mind,a nd it's even in the same area). -Hard Rock Cafe should be removed from the downtown list... because it's a chain restraurant that anyone can visit in any city. Should we be showcasing local resturants in order to truly reflect the character of the city? Or are we including this one as a fail-safe place that everyone knows? -Are the restaurant lists worht expanding? I've got a few good ones that come to mind.
188.8.131.52 10:17, 7 August 2006 (EDT)
I did a complete overhaul of the page the past two weekends to add/reclassify a lot of the restaurants, bars, shopping and sights. Please add on!
Having lived in Atlanta for almost three years-in the city itself I find it weird that there is no "Stay Safe" section. Atlanta was quite violent with shootings occurring on a regular basis. This is mostly in the southern and western parts of the city such as College Park, East Point and Bankhead. Downtown is filled with aggressive beggars and scam artistes.
OK, I've moved the list out of the article for now, so that they don't continue to get created... we should group these into maybe 5 or 7 total districts for Atlanta... User:Joggingman08, you seem to know Atlanta pretty well, can you help us to group these into a handful of districts? We don't necessarily go by the traditional areas of a city, unless the city is large enough to really require an article for each neighborhood. Are there certain ones of these that we can group together to make a bit larger of a "district" that makes sense for a traveler? – cacahuate talk 21:23, 7 May 2008 (EDT)
Yes, especially Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead should have their own districts. I'm classifying the other districts as their location/direction in relation to the city. -Joggingman08
I think the long list of suburbs needs to be seriously cut down too. Obviously some need to stay, like Decatur, but surely not all of those communities have enough attractions and accommodations to stand alone. Texugo 01:35, 8 May 2008 (EDT)
Sleep listings in the Atlanta overview?
Although there is an info box mentioning that all individual listings should be placed in the appropriate district articles, there are still some odd hotel listings in the Splurge sections, and even some advertisements. Is it ok to put the real listings in the appropriate district sections and delete the ad listings? --MarinaK 16:35, 23 March 2009 (EDT)MarinaK.
Some proposed changes to better organize the district:
Still a work in progress, will migrate info from larger district regions to specific districts, and then eliminate links to the district regions themselves. Any input, objections? --Jtesla16 01:05, 19 July 2009 (EDT)
This map is not article quality, but I think it can help organize listings behind the scenes, and be a basis for someone ambitious and willing to make a real map. The outlining blue road is 285, the "perimeter."
Definitions - District are probably most easily defined by street boundaries. North boundary denoted as N:Street Name; East boundary = E:Street Name; etc.
Feel free to debate the boundaries if you like, but lets try to use what we decide on as a reference to end the Atlanta confusion. --Jtesla16 01:54, 19 July 2009 (EDT)
Right now we have districts & subdistricts for Atlanta. I think subdistricts are almost never a good idea, since they bury content, and would prefer to see the hierarchy flattened into one level. The districts are already grouped nicely in the main article by city area—I just want to see the links to middlemen like Atlanta/Downtown, Atlanta/East, etc. go away. I think they unnecessarily spread out our content across too many articles, when all the information that would go in them could just as easily be put in either the main Atlanta article or the individual districts themselves. --Peter Talk 18:59, 19 July 2009 (EDT)
I removed this listing because an editor changed it to indicate it was closed. Please verify. LtPowers 15:26, 6 March 2011 (EST)
Atlanta vs Metro
Can I just say, I really dislike the current division between Metro Atlanta, Atlanta, and other nearby cities like Decatur? Having lived here for 10 years, I don't think of Decatur as being separate from Atlanta, and I don't think it's useful to travelers to present it this way either.
I think it would be much more helpful to ignore the historical trend of Atlanta not to incorporate its surrounding suburbs like Decatur, Chamblee, and Doraville, and treat Metro Atlanta as the main article here. Maybe a more appropriate division would be to separate ITP from OTP, or "places served by MARTA" from "places not served by MARTA" (although that's not very different from ITP/OTP). Or, maybe Metro Atlanta needs to be renamed Greater Atlanta area, to make it clear what the division is. There's a big difference between Decatur which is 15 minutes' drive from downtown, and Buford, which is almost 1 hours' drive on the highway. --BigPeteB 14:22, 8 April 2011 (EDT)
Proposed new breakdown for "Atlanta" limits
Please go read Talk:Metro Atlanta#Proposed new breakdown for "Atlanta" limits and contribute to the discussion. I consider it part of a large effort to restructure Metro Atlanta, Atlanta, and the districts within Atlanta. --BigPeteB 13:28, 8 May 2011 (EDT)
I realize Atlanta is big and all, but it's no New York City. Do we really need sub-districts within districts here? It seems like we should combine some sub-districts and get down to 9-11 single-layer districts. LtPowers 21:57, 27 December 2011 (EST)
SWEET TEA IS NOT A SOUTHERN TERM, but a corporate invention
I was born and raised in the south, and the term has ALWAYS been "iced tea." McDonald's put a commercial on television two or three years ago that re-named iced tea as sweet tea, and now this term is everywhere. Ask anyone who was raised here. They will tell you that they NEVER heard anyone say sweet tea until recently. I have lived in the south for fifty years, and I never heard of sweet tea until McDonald's came up with the term.
When ordering in a restaurant, people have always asked for iced tea. The waitress then asks whether you want it sweetened or unsweetened. Some places only sell unsweetened iced tea because you can add sugar or Sweet and Low or whatever you wish to sweeten it. It makes it easier on the restaurant to make it only unsweetened. However, most places give you the choice of sweetened or unsweetened, but ICED TEA is what you order.
Some young people do now suddenly use the term "sweet tea" because they have been brainwashed by a TV commercial. They do not even realize it.
The south is hot, and that is why iced tea came into being in the first place. It really isn't that hard to understand. All it is is hot tea that is cooled and then poured over ice. PERIOD! Incidentally, most people sweeten hot tea, so why not start calling hot tea sweet tea as well?
Get around by foot section
I overhauled the discussion in this section a week or two ago and was surprised to find most of my changes reverted back.
First off, I think it is silly to portray the city in a negative light and by its negative stereotypes by implying that the walkable part of town is so small (Midtown, Downtown, Decatur and Virginia-Highland? That's it?) and by saying that renting a car is "highly recommended." It is also redundant and negative to bother saying that "driving is often faster and more convenient than walking even in the more pedestrian-friendly areas, if you want to maximize your mobility." Most cities, even those with world-class public transit, especially in the U.S., are like this. San Francisco is an extremely walkable city with decent public transit, but driving from one place to another is consistently much faster than walking or taking a bus. Being able to get around easily in a city by foot and transit does not mean being able to get everywhere without a car as fast as you could with a car. It means being able to get around the places you want without a car without too much inconvenience or loss of freedom of mobility over having a car. That is how public transit works in all but the most congested cities worldwide.
The fact is, Atlanta has an urban core -- chiefly, the areas of Midtown, Downtown, the North Highland Ave. Corridor including Poncey and Virginia Highland, Little Five Points, Old Fourth Ward/Sweet Auburn, and the areas in between. In those neighborhoods, the city is highly walkable, and even walking between two of these places is not out of the question. Outside of that core and Buckhead, due to the large and liberally defined area of the city limits, the city contains lots of areas where walking and using transit are hopeless... but what visitor to Atlanta would run out of things to do in the core and have to resort to those parts of the city anyway? When you visit San Francisco, you don't hang out in the Avenues. When you visit New York City, you don't hang out in east Queens. When you travel, you hang out in the interesting parts of the town, which in Atlanta are mostly the core areas (plus Buckhead and Decatur which are not too hard and easy respectively to reach by transit).
Rant aside, this section should paint a realistic but positive picture of the possibilities for getting around without a car in the parts of town that people will want to go. I lived in Atlanta for three years with a car, one year on Georgia Tech campus and two years around Berkeley Park. Berkeley Park was out of the way for transit, but even there it was still not too bad using MARTA (which I did frequently -- I bought monthly MARTA passes instead of paying for parking on Tech campus and often used it to get to other parts of town as well). Now I no longer live in Atlanta but visit often. When I visit, I never have a car and spend a lot of my time exploring on my own. I use transit the whole time, and honestly, I rarely have problems getting anywhere efficiently or less efficiently than transit in any other city would get me around. The only transit trip that ever frustrates me is the extreme cross-town connection between West Midtown and, for example, Little Five Points (often a 40 minute trip due mostly to the idiotic route bus 1 takes). That one is annoying, but most of the time the transit works beautifully. Overall, I've lived in San Francisco before as well, and if you restrict your view to the core places I mentioned, mobility without a car in Atlanta is not far behind mobility without a car in San Francisco (where the situation is similar -- the interesting parts of the city are all highly walkable, but the relatively boring western half is much more difficult).
DJLamar 16:45, 7 April 2012 (EDT)
I agree with the fluff part and I'll try to be more concise with some of these things. I've been aware of Walkscore.com but have always been skeptical about it -- sure Atlanta has a relatively low score, but look at the distribution of walkable areas and not so walkable areas -- the areas I mentioned mostly all are rated very highly, 85+, and are mostly compactly arranged near each other where even walking between two of them is not that hard. The west side of the city and many other parts score horribly, but like I said, what tourist is going to go to those places? I've never been to most of those places in red and like I said I even lived in the city for three years. Besides, Portland, Oregon has a reputation for being extremely easily walked and pedestrian-friendly, but walkscore.com doesn't rank it that far above Atlanta (and only 11th in the U.S. rankings according to that site).
As for mentioning that driving is faster, it just sounds silly to me because like I said that's a fact of life even in many places with absolutely stellar transit, so it goes without saying. Go do a few searches for directions on Google Maps between different points in New York City and compare the estimated travel times by car and by transit. Even in Manhattan, driving is almost always faster, and if you're going between Manhattan and Brooklyn or Queens then transit can take as much as twice the time of driving. However, no one in their right mind would rent a car when visiting New York City and half of the people living there don't own one -- even most people living in the less accessible outer boroughs like Brooklyn. Subways and buses don't take you from door to door as fast as a car does -- and in most cities, for most trips, there will be walking involved -- but they free you from the stress of owning (or renting) a car and the stress of navigating traffic. Plus, your Five Points to Lenox analysis doesn't include traffic, finding a parking spot, or walking from the parking lot into the place. Have you ever taken MARTA to Lenox Mall? As soon as you step out of the train you're already closer to the entrance than many of the parking spaces are. In general, the flaws you're talking about with transit are true of most systems (though more heavily utilized systems are able to minimize transfer time etc. a little better than MARTA usually does, partly due to better funding and more fare revenue), and to some extent it's not that MARTA is that much worse than many other transit systems, but that parking in Atlanta is easier than in many other cities. But especially for visitors, having to wait on transit transfers is often worth the benefit of not having to bother with a car. Most people really don't want to worry about (or pay the extra money for) a car when they visit a place if they can reasonably help it, and most people expect to have to walk a bit when they use transit anywhere.
DJLamar 15:43, 9 April 2012 (EDT)
I wasn't implying that the further reaches aren't worth visiting because they're not close to transit. I was implying that, sure, while there's some stuff out there, most visitors (with or without a car) would be more likely to stick around the neighborhoods I listed than to go drive up Briarcliff Road to find an Indian restaurant in a shopping center. I meant that the cases where people will care much about going to those neighborhoods at all will not make up most of their trip usually, and if they do want to get to something out there it's still not impossible to get there by transit (even some stuff in suburbs like Sandy Springs or Doraville is more accessible than you might think with transit).
Your point about visitors that have a car anyway is valid though, and my main complaint to begin with was the implication of the section that getting around without a car is hopeless (which would just turn a lot of people off from visiting altogether if they were just seeking to travel somewhere new for fun). I think the section is quite fair for the most part now.
As for MARTA trip times, I already said that most trips would take longer and I acknowledge that, but as I said transit isn't there to get around as fast as a car without ever walking. And like I said before, many other cities that have excellent reputations for being able to live without a car have similar ratios of transit trip time to car trip time (I think part of Atlanta's obsession with cars is down to the availability of parking, really, and the fact that it's a catch-22 where if more people used transit then it would run more frequently and make trips faster and then more people would use it).
Anyway, like I said the latest iteration of the section looks good for the most part now. I think it would still be useful to have a brief "where to stay without a car" blurb (like before but shorter), just because of the broad boundaries of many neighborhoods of Atlanta. For example, Midtown is often defined (not legally but semantically) as stretching all the way up to the areas northwest of Atlantic Station which gets into the not so walkable parts of town. There's a hotel up there at Northside Drive and 17th Street that, while far from being a death sentence for someone without a car, would present a pretty sub-optimal experience for visitors traveling on foot (walkable to the West Midtown district, partly on roads without sidewalks, but a short bus ride away from Midtown proper), especially compared to something in the heart of Midtown near Peachtree Street. That hotel is inside Priceline's definition of the Midtown region, if I remember correctly. Maybe just put something to the effect of "stay a few blocks from Peachtree near a MARTA station, or near North Highland Avenue"?
DJLamar 10:25, 12 April 2012 (EDT)
Eat section (and reversions)
Please stop reverting back and forth. If the only problem with the "Straits" listing is that it's also in the Midtown article, it's hardly unique in that respect; all of the listings in this article should be moved to district articles or deleted as duplicates. However, rather than leave the Eat section empty, the listings should be changed into prose describing each restaurant briefly and linking to the appropriate district article. I suggest restoring "Straits" and then converting the whole section into proper prose. LtPowers 22:07, 24 April 2012 (EDT)
Neighborhoods in East Atlanta
Atlanta has a weird neighborhood situation on its east side. There are many small neighborhoods that are distinct enough to be referred to separately (and usually are referred to separately by locals), but that blend into each other and form larger cohesive neighborhoods, and there are a lot of places that are fairly small but don't fall into one nearby neighborhood cleanly.
Basically, we have Poncey-Highland and Virginia-Highland as two different places, even though they're less than a mile away from each other and pretty much one cohesive neighborhood by many people's standards. But then Little Five Points is right nearby, but has a separate identity. And then there's all the Inman Park/Old Fourth Ward stretch of N. Highland Ave. and Highland Ave. That doesn't fit into either category, plus the smaller outcroppings of stuff in EAV and the budding entertainment/restaurant/arts district around Edgewood and Boulevard.
To top it all off, the East Atlanta article looks nearly empty because all the content is relegated to the individual articles, so even though East Atlanta has many of the most attractive parts of town for many visitors, if they only click one level into that article they'll miss it entirely.
So what I'm saying is, all of the East Atlanta content of this page needs serious re-organization. Any ideas? We should probably move the sub-districts and their discussions to the main East Atlanta article. If we don't move the sub-districts altogether, we should at least group them more cohesively (i.e. Poncey-Highland and Virginia Highland go under a head called "Highlands" or "N. Highland Ave." with Inman Park or something, and maybe start talking about the Old Fourth Ward as a whole and including Highland Ave., Edgewood and Boulevard, etc.). DJLamar 11:23, 13 June 2012 (EDT)