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Old 04-12-2014, 08:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterlemonjello View Post
Hello to all my friends in Atlanta!

I recently returned for a three week assignment in Atlanta. I had the opportunity to spend time in virtually every area of the city as well as the suburbs. This was not my first time in Atlanta (I have been there at least a dozen times previously), but this was my first time spending an extended period in Atlanta. As such I was able to explore the city like never before making it my home for three weeks straight. I wanted to post some thoughts on a thread. Before I do, I have a couple of disclaimers:

1) I reside in the Dallas area. While the last thing I want this to become is a Dallas vs. Atlanta thread, you will see me make a lot of comparisons to Dallas.
2) I left Atlanta with a more favorable opinion of the city than when I went in. While not everything Im going to say is positive, overall my opinion of Atlanta is higher now than it was three weeks ago!
3) I was by myself the entire time outside of work. I spent a LOT of time talking to the locals as well as my colleagues that live in the Atlanta area. Knowing my interests, I asked about things like diversity, the city, dining, urbanity, etc.


With that said lets begin:

-Atlanta is a BEAUTIFUL city! It is lush, green, and hilly. Its one of the most beautiful cities in the US. I see a lot of people in the city vs. city forums trying to argue that cities like Houston or Chicago are prettier. They've lost their minds!!!

-Atlanta has a very lively core with lots of things to do and see, but sprawl takes over much quicker once you get outside of the immediate core than it does in cities like Dallas and Houston. Better core, but sprawl more. Thats Atlanta.

-The people in Atlanta are incredibly friendly! Much, MUCH more than Dallas. I have always said that I really don't view Dallas as a southern city and my experience in Atlanta has re-enforced that. People approach you to ask if you need directions, people will talk to you in the bars, people that barely know you will spend time talking to you. To be frank, its not like that in Dallas.

-I found the diversity of the city and metro area underwhelming. Not that the city/metro area isn't diverse, it is. But I guess I was expecting more. Many people I talked to seemed to think diversity is a code word for black/white integration. The truly diverse areas of the metro area extend to the east/northeast of the metro and and it seems as if all the multiculturalism is crammed into that area (namely the Buford Highway). In Dallas, I can think of at least 4-6 areas like the Buford Highways spread through out the metro area. There are a couple of exceptions. For example the Korean community is much more visible in Atlanta, but overall I find Dallas a much more diverse city/metro area.

-Comparing the dining scenes in Atlanta vs. Dallas, the restaurants in Atlanta seem to take a more creative, nu-age approach and they are delicious!!! In Dallas, the focus is more on authentic ethnic eating and they are delicious too!!! Of course both cities are too large and too diverse to be one or the other, but I do say I give Dallas an edge in dining.

-Religion seems to take a huge businesslike approach in Atlanta just like it does in Dallas. Megachurches and adverts for religion are ever-present. That said, I was never asked about religion anywhere. Its just like here in that regard.

-The gay community in Atlanta is extremely visible as is the arts community. In Dallas, the gay community is visible too although not quite to the same degree. The arts community in Dallas is a lot less visible.

-Atlanta is a great city for visitors! There are a lot of iconic attractions within a short walk of each other. I can definitely see why Atlanta has great tourist value! This is something that we are working on in Dallas, but that we currently lack.

-For the longest time, we've talked about Atlanta and Dallas and the comparison of which city is more international. After my visit, Ive come to this conclusion: Atlanta is more international from an economical perspective and Dallas is more international from a residential perspective. The fact that Atlanta gets more tourists would probably tip the scale in their favor. Its still really close though.

-I loved using MARTA. It has that big city public transit system feel that DART lacks, though DART has better coverage. Plus, lots of people use MARTA! Definitely a busy system!

-I can't get over how far the houses are apart from each other in the metro area! Thats crazy! I think its more of a southern thing.

At any rate, I don't expect you guys to agree with all of this or most of it. Im just your average joe that spent three weeks there and I enjoyed my time immensely! Atlanta is a great city and I hope to spend more time there in the future!

Great post and observations--very accurate!

I do want to comment on the diversity/multiculturalism:

Like others have said, there are many other quadrants in the Metro area with lots of diversity/multiculturalism. For example, in the northwest quadrant (Marietta, Smyrna, southern East Cobb) is a very large and vibrant Brazilian community (and lorilove already commented on this).

Moreover, it seems that many in mainstream America seem to think diversity/multiculturalism is only some "tan/beige" thing between black and white--or white ethnic neighborhoods found in the northeast/Midwest.
Atlanta has a large black/African diaspora "multiculturalism/diversity" element to the east/southeast--The east/southeast metro has a large West Indian and African (East and West) population.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Atlanta (Finally on 4-1-17)
1,850 posts, read 2,346,448 times
Reputation: 2572
Quote:
Originally Posted by aries4118 View Post
Great post and observations--very accurate!

I do want to comment on the diversity/multiculturalism:

Like others have said, there are many other quadrants in the Metro area with lots of diversity/multiculturalism. For example, in the northwest quadrant (Marietta, Smyrna, southern East Cobb) is a very large and vibrant Brazilian community (and lorilove already commented on this).

Moreover, it seems that many in mainstream America seem to think diversity/multiculturalism is only some "tan/beige" thing between black and white--or white ethnic neighborhoods found in the northeast/Midwest.
Atlanta has a large black/African diaspora "multiculturalism/diversity" element to the east/southeast--The east/southeast metro has a large West Indian and African (East and West) population
.

Excellent remarks. I was speaking to a gal back in Feb. about moving to Atlanta. Her response was: "I couldn't move to Atlanta, there isn't any diversity.

I was like, "Huh?" I decided to not fight that battle.

People seem to think, as your stated, diversity is black folks and white folks.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:47 PM
 
7,113 posts, read 8,116,736 times
Reputation: 1772
Quote:
Originally Posted by isawooty View Post
Off topic, but true. Austin lives up to its hype if you're white. I'm not, but I enjoyed Austin for what it was. I couldn't see anyone leaving Houston or Dallas, and certainly not Atlanta for it. That's just my opinion though.
I've heard the hype too, but Austin delivers. It's among the fastest growing metros so look for them to be among the bigs in the future. Their only downside is that they are susceptible to droughts.
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:12 PM
 
12,904 posts, read 20,974,770 times
Reputation: 4076
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocco Barbosa View Post
Excellent remarks. I was speaking to a gal back in Feb. about moving to Atlanta. Her response was: "I couldn't move to Atlanta, there isn't any diversity.

I was like, "Huh?" I decided to not fight that battle.

People seem to think, as your stated, diversity is black folks and white folks.

Well, I was actually saying that many seem to think that diversity only means a "tan/beige" sort of thing between black and white folk.

There are many that will call an area/city "so diverse" (insert tan/beige, white-ethnic, etc.) and the area is like close to 0% black.


Absence of black, to many, won't get cries of "there isn't any diversity."
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
13,403 posts, read 20,282,670 times
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To clarify, I don't just look at people to judge diversity. In fact, I actually judge it more by businesses and store in an area in addition to people. Its impossible just to look at people as a whole and find it.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:53 AM
 
12,904 posts, read 20,974,770 times
Reputation: 4076
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterlemonjello View Post
To clarify, I don't just look at people to judge diversity. In fact, I actually judge it more by businesses and store in an area in addition to people. Its impossible just to look at people as a whole and find it.

And that's great.

In some of the commercial parts of the northwest quadrant, it will seem like Goiás or Minas Gerais.

In some parts of the east-southeast, like Kingston or Barbados.
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Old 04-13-2014, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Orange Blossom Trail
6,370 posts, read 4,522,982 times
Reputation: 2575
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterlemonjello View Post
Hello to all my friends in Atlanta!

I recently returned for a three week assignment in Atlanta. I had the opportunity to spend time in virtually every area of the city as well as the suburbs. This was not my first time in Atlanta (I have been there at least a dozen times previously), but this was my first time spending an extended period in Atlanta. As such I was able to explore the city like never before making it my home for three weeks straight. I wanted to post some thoughts on a thread. Before I do, I have a couple of disclaimers:

1) I reside in the Dallas area. While the last thing I want this to become is a Dallas vs. Atlanta thread, you will see me make a lot of comparisons to Dallas.
2) I left Atlanta with a more favorable opinion of the city than when I went in. While not everything Im going to say is positive, overall my opinion of Atlanta is higher now than it was three weeks ago!
3) I was by myself the entire time outside of work. I spent a LOT of time talking to the locals as well as my colleagues that live in the Atlanta area. Knowing my interests, I asked about things like diversity, the city, dining, urbanity, etc.


With that said lets begin:

-Atlanta is a BEAUTIFUL city! It is lush, green, and hilly. Its one of the most beautiful cities in the US. I see a lot of people in the city vs. city forums trying to argue that cities like Houston or Chicago are prettier. They've lost their minds!!!

-Atlanta has a very lively core with lots of things to do and see, but sprawl takes over much quicker once you get outside of the immediate core than it does in cities like Dallas and Houston. Better core, but sprawl more. Thats Atlanta.

-The people in Atlanta are incredibly friendly! Much, MUCH more than Dallas. I have always said that I really don't view Dallas as a southern city and my experience in Atlanta has re-enforced that. People approach you to ask if you need directions, people will talk to you in the bars, people that barely know you will spend time talking to you. To be frank, its not like that in Dallas.

-I found the diversity of the city and metro area underwhelming. Not that the city/metro area isn't diverse, it is. But I guess I was expecting more. Many people I talked to seemed to think diversity is a code word for black/white integration. The truly diverse areas of the metro area extend to the east/northeast of the metro and and it seems as if all the multiculturalism is crammed into that area (namely the Buford Highway). In Dallas, I can think of at least 4-6 areas like the Buford Highways spread through out the metro area. There are a couple of exceptions. For example the Korean community is much more visible in Atlanta, but overall I find Dallas a much more diverse city/metro area.

-Comparing the dining scenes in Atlanta vs. Dallas, the restaurants in Atlanta seem to take a more creative, nu-age approach and they are delicious!!! In Dallas, the focus is more on authentic ethnic eating and they are delicious too!!! Of course both cities are too large and too diverse to be one or the other, but I do say I give Dallas an edge in dining.

-Religion seems to take a huge businesslike approach in Atlanta just like it does in Dallas. Megachurches and adverts for religion are ever-present. That said, I was never asked about religion anywhere. Its just like here in that regard.

-The gay community in Atlanta is extremely visible as is the arts community. In Dallas, the gay community is visible too although not quite to the same degree. The arts community in Dallas is a lot less visible.

-Atlanta is a great city for visitors! There are a lot of iconic attractions within a short walk of each other. I can definitely see why Atlanta has great tourist value! This is something that we are working on in Dallas, but that we currently lack.

-For the longest time, we've talked about Atlanta and Dallas and the comparison of which city is more international. After my visit, Ive come to this conclusion: Atlanta is more international from an economical perspective and Dallas is more international from a residential perspective. The fact that Atlanta gets more tourists would probably tip the scale in their favor. Its still really close though.

-I loved using MARTA. It has that big city public transit system feel that DART lacks, though DART has better coverage. Plus, lots of people use MARTA! Definitely a busy system!

-I can't get over how far the houses are apart from each other in the metro area! Thats crazy! I think its more of a southern thing.

At any rate, I don't expect you guys to agree with all of this or most of it. Im just your average joe that spent three weeks there and I enjoyed my time immensely! Atlanta is a great city and I hope to spend more time there in the future!
Thanks for the honest feedback.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:16 AM
bu2
 
8,968 posts, read 5,658,755 times
Reputation: 3529
Quote:
Originally Posted by aries4118 View Post
Great post and observations--very accurate!

I do want to comment on the diversity/multiculturalism:

Like others have said, there are many other quadrants in the Metro area with lots of diversity/multiculturalism. For example, in the northwest quadrant (Marietta, Smyrna, southern East Cobb) is a very large and vibrant Brazilian community (and lorilove already commented on this).

Moreover, it seems that many in mainstream America seem to think diversity/multiculturalism is only some "tan/beige" thing between black and white--or white ethnic neighborhoods found in the northeast/Midwest.
Atlanta has a large black/African diaspora "multiculturalism/diversity" element to the east/southeast--The east/southeast metro has a large West Indian and African (East and West) population.

I think it was a pretty accurate review.

His comment on diversity was accurate as well. Atlanta may be diverse compared to Jacksonville and Nashville or the Atlanta of 20 years ago, but not compared to other metro areas of similar size. In those places, you see it everywhere, not just in pockets. (I'm considering diversity more than just black/white).
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:56 AM
 
Location: East side - Metro ATL
1,325 posts, read 2,114,918 times
Reputation: 1197
Quote:
Originally Posted by aries4118 View Post
Well, I was actually saying that many seem to think that diversity only means a "tan/beige" sort of thing between black and white folk.

There are many that will call an area/city "so diverse" (insert tan/beige, white-ethnic, etc.) and the area is like close to 0% black.


Absence of black, to many, won't get cries of "there isn't any diversity."
Excellent point. Portland, Seattle and Denver are examples of this. They are diverse cities to a degree, but they lack "black diversity" (Africans, West-Indians, African-Americans, etc.) and they are held in high regard because of this too!
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
13,403 posts, read 20,282,670 times
Reputation: 10181
Quote:
Originally Posted by aries4118 View Post
And that's great.

In some of the commercial parts of the northwest quadrant, it will seem like Goiás or Minas Gerais.

In some parts of the east-southeast, like Kingston or Barbados.
Ehh…Im sorry but I don't agree (at least on the first statement).

Ive been to Minas Gerais and I couldn't find anything in Atlanta that reminded me of there.

I didn't spend as much time in the Southeastern side of the city, but I could see that being the case. Atlanta does have the 5th largest West Indian population in the US so it wouldn't surprise me.
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