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Old 02-04-2013, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Denver, Co
25 posts, read 19,248 times
Reputation: 38

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Wow everyone's responses are incredible in the best kind of way. Just want to say thanks for all the detailed responses. I've read them all so far and taken them into consideration, even the post that simply stated "Don't Move". haha Nobody said advice had to be complicated.

The job I'm interviewing with is located in the Norcross area right outside 285 and 85.

The things we really enjoy about living in DC are:
Conveniences-I walk to the grocery, pharmacy, barber, bars, etc..
Food choice diversity-Indian, Burmese, Greek, Ethiopian, Thai, Italian, Vietnamese are all within a short walk of my place.
Metro rail-though the weekend track work makes things pretty slow.
Decent pay scale.
Diversity-I work with people from Cameroon, India, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Scandinavia, Korea, China, Cuba, the list goes on and on.
The downtown attractions-museums, art galleries and such.
Decent outdoor opportunities-though the good spots are overrun in the summer.

The things we don't enjoy about the area:
High real estate/rent cost.
Lack of urban green space-Rock Creek Park is kind of an exception, but I have other not important issues with it.
Traffic of course.
River boating-would rather boat on a large lake, the river can be gnarly and swimming in the Potomac can be risky for many reasons.
Lack of live music and street festivals-There are some, but they are rarely worth attending IMO.
Nightlife-DC nightlife has it's merits, tons of places to try, but the entitled yuppie crowd gets old real quick. Not many people of substance to chat with.

Our life plan has always been to try 2-3 big cities before settling somewhere for retirement. We aren't by any means well off, so we have to weigh this decision out carefully.

There is a lot about the DC area that we like, but are ready for a change of scenery. Also the job opportunity so far seems to be a good step for me.

The thing is, we have never really felt comfortable in DC. Without going into a bunch of touchy feelly explanations, the best way I can put it is we want something more real and substantial.

-The race relations discussion is settled for me, it sounds like it's a non-issue and the only way I'll be able to form a real opinion on it, is to live there.
-It sounds like the outdoor opportunities are ample enough. The water level at the lake concerns me, but so does swimming in the Potomac.
-The local travel situation sounds like it exists but with a different more southern style, no problems there.

Like the title of the post, I know DC has a lot to offer. We are really just starting to get a real feel for the city after being here for 6 years. I just don't want to leave something good if the alternative doesn't seem to be a good fit. So far I don't hear any real game changers that would keep us from at least pursuing the opportunity to live in Atlanta.

I wish I could have replied to each post, but there are just too many. Thanks again for all the info.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Denver, Co
25 posts, read 19,248 times
Reputation: 38
Just thought of this...

We are looking for a place where the people don't define themselves by the money in their bank account, the religion they practice, or the people they vote for. A place where the people are laid back, fun and know how to party. Does this describe Atlanta?

Some times it takes a beer or two to make the right words come out.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:08 AM
 
Location: Atlanta ,GA
9,086 posts, read 12,880,214 times
Reputation: 2908
Quote:
Originally Posted by germansoldiers View Post
Sigh. Yes I should be banned/ignored for speaking my mind.

How intolerant you all are. Listen to yourselves. What happened to free speech?

As a former Atlanta resident I am thrilled to be out of there. I offered my opinion to the original poster, who is considering leaving DC, the wealthiest, most educated metro region of America, for Atlanta, the poster child of sprawl and an example that other cities should never emulate.

Thanks for making my case for me.
Well see that the case with you.You say you given advise because "you care" but its all negative.As if all the people that move here and all the positive stuff that happens here is somewhat void because of what you say.Its often one-sided with you.You have no creditbility. Especially when you make statements referring to Fulton County being like Fairfax.
You bring up anything as that bad as evidence to support your argument but NEVER have I seen you post anything personal that YOU can actually testify something happen to you while in Atlanta to support such claims.

You can talk SPRAWL all day long.Truth is whether you hate it,it still show yous that it takes PEOPLE to create sprawl.People move here because they may want that.Which is another one of your one sided notions.
http://http://www.planetizen.com/node/35939

Last edited by afonega1; 02-05-2013 at 04:28 AM..
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:26 AM
 
Location: Atlanta ,GA
9,086 posts, read 12,880,214 times
Reputation: 2908
Quote:
Originally Posted by It's Bobby Again View Post
Just thought of this...

We are looking for a place where the people don't define themselves by the money in their bank account, the religion they practice, or the people they vote for. A place where the people are laid back, fun and know how to party. Does this describe Atlanta?

Some times it takes a beer or two to make the right words come out.
Stay away from many of the Northern suburbs of Atlanta and you will be fine.Stay away from Alpharetta.(great place but full of what it sounds like you wish to leave behind) cross is actually a good balance of everything you are looking for.Diverse,not to far,reasonable housing stock.I think you may also like Downtown Decatur,Lawrenceville,Brookhaven(if you want to be closer in).
Some of Atlanta's older neighborhoods might interest you also.Downtown College Park is a sleeper in my opinion.Make sure its DOWNTOWN College Park and not the other parts.That the same with Decatur also.

Im African American in my early 40's and i have a very multicultural and diverse group of friends and have had NO problems.We hang out in some of the neat neighborhoods and enjoy friendship of each other every chance we get.Asian,white,black, Hispanic,European,gay,straight old and older.If you have any specific questions feel free to private message me.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:39 AM
 
Location: Atlanta ,GA
9,086 posts, read 12,880,214 times
Reputation: 2908
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
I'm really surprised by this. Can you describe in detail the racial tensions you are talking about? I haven't really seen many.


I used to think there were no "all white" areas of metro Atlanta, because I have certainly never lived in one. When I looked at the census map, I did see there are very small pockets of East Cobb that have white population percentages in the 90s....but that's it (I didn't know because Cobb is the county I am least familiar with).

Despite those little pockets, I find Atlanta to be incredibly integrated. There are some places that seem to be close to 100% black, but aside from those little areas in Cobb, I can't think of any other are that is almost all white. From Buckhead to Smyrna to Alpharetta to Kirkwood, you're bound to see whites and blacks together pretty much everywhere you go. Maybe there are a few exceptions, like I noticed there weren't many blacks at Music Midtown or the Christmas light display at the botanical gardens....but that is preferntial by activity, not geographic. There are certainly plenty of black in midtown.

So if you think people aren't integrated down here, I have to ask, where do you live? Where do you hang out? What people do you think you don't see any of? Maybe it's because most of my time in Atlanta has been intown and Gwinnett county, but I pretty much see white, black, Asian, and Hispanic people everywhere I go whether I'm buying groceries at Publix, going to the movies, or filling up at QT. In fact, I can't think of any place I have ever seen that is more integrate, with the possible exception of certain parts of Florida.....but even down there, it's mostly just white and Hispanic, not so much black, Asian, middle Eastern, etc. like we have here.
I agree.I dont understand it either.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Atlanta and St Simons Island, GA
21,010 posts, read 32,987,960 times
Reputation: 12675
Quote:
Originally Posted by It's Bobby Again View Post
Wow everyone's responses are incredible in the best kind of way. Just want to say thanks for all the detailed responses. I've read them all so far and taken them into consideration, even the post that simply stated "Don't Move". haha Nobody said advice had to be complicated.

The job I'm interviewing with is located in the Norcross area right outside 285 and 85.

The things we really enjoy about living in DC are:
Conveniences-I walk to the grocery, pharmacy, barber, bars, etc..
Food choice diversity-Indian, Burmese, Greek, Ethiopian, Thai, Italian, Vietnamese are all within a short walk of my place.
Metro rail-though the weekend track work makes things pretty slow.
Decent pay scale.
Diversity-I work with people from Cameroon, India, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Scandinavia, Korea, China, Cuba, the list goes on and on.
The downtown attractions-museums, art galleries and such.
Decent outdoor opportunities-though the good spots are overrun in the summer.

The things we don't enjoy about the area:
High real estate/rent cost.
Lack of urban green space-Rock Creek Park is kind of an exception, but I have other not important issues with it.
Traffic of course.
River boating-would rather boat on a large lake, the river can be gnarly and swimming in the Potomac can be risky for many reasons.
Lack of live music and street festivals-There are some, but they are rarely worth attending IMO.
Nightlife-DC nightlife has it's merits, tons of places to try, but the entitled yuppie crowd gets old real quick. Not many people of substance to chat with.

Our life plan has always been to try 2-3 big cities before settling somewhere for retirement. We aren't by any means well off, so we have to weigh this decision out carefully.

There is a lot about the DC area that we like, but are ready for a change of scenery. Also the job opportunity so far seems to be a good step for me.

The thing is, we have never really felt comfortable in DC. Without going into a bunch of touchy feelly explanations, the best way I can put it is we want something more real and substantial.

-The race relations discussion is settled for me, it sounds like it's a non-issue and the only way I'll be able to form a real opinion on it, is to live there.
-It sounds like the outdoor opportunities are ample enough. The water level at the lake concerns me, but so does swimming in the Potomac.
-The local travel situation sounds like it exists but with a different more southern style, no problems there.

Like the title of the post, I know DC has a lot to offer. We are really just starting to get a real feel for the city after being here for 6 years. I just don't want to leave something good if the alternative doesn't seem to be a good fit. So far I don't hear any real game changers that would keep us from at least pursuing the opportunity to live in Atlanta.

I wish I could have replied to each post, but there are just too many. Thanks again for all the info.
I was amused by your impressions of DC; I was left with the same feeling after living there. It's very much a 'company town', and I often felt new acquaintances were more concerned about what I could do for them than who I was. Ambition reigns supreme there.
I haven't found that in Atlanta. It is to me a very open and welcoming place.
Judging from the description of what you aspire your life to be, I would recommend you begin your search for a living situation in the following neighborhoods:

Virginia-Highland
Midtown
Poncey-Highland
Inman Park
Candler Park
Ansley Park
Decatur

Most all these neighborhoods offer w reverse commute to Norcross via Freedom Parkway and I-85.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:16 AM
 
7,709 posts, read 9,559,058 times
Reputation: 5688
Quote:
We are looking for a place where the people don't define themselves by the money in their bank account, the religion they practice, or the people they vote for. A place where the people are laid back, fun and know how to party. Does this describe Atlanta?
To be totally fair, I have lived in a lot of places, and there is nowhere that is like this. Most places have people who are like this, and people who are not. You just have to self select who you associate yourself with. I can't think of an enclave in America where nobody is like this. Maybe Topanga canyon?

I can address a couple of your points.

I think you will find Atlanta slightly less diverse in terms of eating that Washington. There is tons of Asian fare here and pretty much every ehtnic restaurant you can think of. Trouble is, they aren't all going to be within walking distance of your house. I know living in Gwinnett county I have definitely redefined what I consider good Chinese food, but I don't think we have a Burmese restaurant anywhere in metro Atlanta.

I think Atlanta's green space is spectacular, especially Gwinnett county, which has a nationally recognized park system. One issue is you may have to drive a bit to get to the really awesome ones, but they are great. There are also really nice parks all around the Chattahoochee. I've recently discovered that the city of Duluth maintains a small, but impressive system of parks. There are greenways, green spaces, rivers, sports fields, you name it. The problem is, as I have said before, Atlanta is a city that rewards the patient explorer, so these may not all be obvious when you first visit. There are hidden gems everywhere waiting to be discovered.

Regarding retirement, I don't know many people retiring in Atlanta, but it seems like the North Georgia mountains are attracting a lot of retirement attention, especially from people in Florida. I would think the best solution would be to spend June - October in North Georgia and the rest of the year in Florida, but I know that's a pricey proposition.

Oh yeah, don't let anybody concern you with Lake Lanier. I think it's awesome. It's another gem that rewards the patient explorer. Just this summer a friend and I wanted to swim in the lake, so we went to one of the kind of trashy free access parks....but we swam across a small channel to a sand bar and walked across it to an area that is only accessible by boat and it was gorgeous and we had a great swim. Maybe not so obvious to someone who only goes to the easiest place, but certainly there waiting to be discovered.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:31 PM
 
27 posts, read 30,636 times
Reputation: 67
From my perspective, here is your challenge.

There are places in Atlanta that are walkable. There are places that are diverse. There are places with low traffic. There are places with green space. Your challenge will be finding a place to live with all five of these qualities. I'm inclined to agree with LovinDecatur that your best bet is probably living in one of the Intown neighborhoods on the Eastside Beltline Trail (Midtown/Ansley/Virginia-Highland/Poncey-Highland/Inman Park/Old Fourth Ward) and doing a reverse commute (via I-85). They are walkable, green, culturally rich, and close to nightlife (i.e., Midtown and Edgewood). And because you'd work in Gwinnett, you'd have exposure to a more international part of the metro. In sum, that maximizes a lot of what you have stated you value. The downsides: (1) Living intown is more expensive than living in the suburbs (though other than Ansley Park, the prices are nothing like DC). (2) The neighborhoods are not particularly international compared to a couple of other places in the metro.

The second best option is to move to Gwinnett, because it's close to work and the most diverse part of the metro. Parts of Gwinnett also border Lake Lanier. That said, it is very much the suburbs. It's not walkable and you'd be far from the nightlife. Based on what you've stated you value, this option is a distant second.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:43 PM
 
7,113 posts, read 8,128,888 times
Reputation: 1777
Quote:
Originally Posted by It's Bobby Again View Post
The thing is, we have never really felt comfortable in DC. Without going into a bunch of touchy feelly explanations, the best way I can put it is we want something more real and substantial.
Both vague and understandable wants. Is Atlanta "real" and "substantial"? Because of its high growth, transient nature of its population, poor preservation of its past, and lots of strip malls and chain stores, I'd have to say no. Atlanta is not so much a culture but rather what has been built up by developers to meet demand.

Quote:
-The race relations discussion is settled for me, it sounds like it's a non-issue and the only way I'll be able to form a real opinion on it, is to live there.
Race is still very much an issue in Atlanta. It permeates our politics at the macro and micro level.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:06 AM
 
3 posts, read 3,458 times
Reputation: 12
Don't move. As a Northern moving to a red state, with roots in NYC and Los Angeles, it's been very hard for my family to adjust to the tension and discrimination around this town. I've never felt it like I do here, which makes me sick. I agree with lack of trust in local government and very anti-public transit. There is a ton of $$$ wasted in this city. I'm actually trying to get back to DC, an actual progressive city. Atlanta tryies very hard, but it's just not doing it. Living in areas like Lake Lanier/Lake Alatoona and commuting to the city will be a NIGHTMARE of a commute and you will not enjoy your time in Atlanta. One positive of this town is the cheap housing costs, but beware if it's IN the city, may not be safe.
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