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Old 09-08-2008, 11:15 PM
 
3 posts, read 26,725 times
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Default Perspective SCAD student: Atlanta or Savannah???

I'm currently taking online graduate courses at SCAD but plan on moving to one of the campuses (Atlanta or Savannah) in the next year. I am in my mid 20's, white, female, and my girlfriend and I (lesbian couple) are trying to decide which campus/ city best fits what we want...we'd appreciate any help.

We just got back from visiting ATLANTA, where we spent most of our time in Midtown, but drove all over.
We LOVED:
+how open the gay community was
+how clean the city is and
+how diverse the different areas were
....but did NOT LIKE
-the traffic
-although clean with several trees and parks..we've visited several large cities and Atlanta lacks that scenic element (rivers, lakes, mountains, anything) which made it seem very concrete jungle to us.
-how everything seemed to be spread apart. We're looking for an area where we can ride our bikes/ scooter/ walk to EVERYTHING. We're really tired of driving. Without expense being an issue...we're looking for a location with everything at our fingertips -- parks, coffee shops, bars, restaurants -- we thought Midtown would be the place but it offered a lot less then we expected. Is there more in Midtown then just that intersection at Piedmont with the bookstore and the carribou coffee?

After our visit to Atlanta, we left feeling a little discouraged so we started doing research on Savannah. It seems beautiful in every way..and has several of the scenic elements that were missing in Atlanta. We also read that almost everything in Savannah is walking/ bike riding/ scooter ride distance, which is what we want. Just when we thought Savannah was the right pick, we started to discover article after article that said that SAVANNAH is:
-not safe/ very high crime
-the locals are not friendly to newcomers (so we're nervous they'll be even less friendly when a lesbian couple moves in town)
-the school districts are horrible and unsafe (my girlfriend is a School Counselor)

Is Savannah that bad? The way everyone talks about it is that yeah..every thing is walking distance, but chances are you'll get mugged or roughed up along the way. If anyone has any opinions or suggestions on either places we'd love to hear both negative and postive. Again...our biggest issue is safety...and since we're two small, gay girls...we don't want to be hassled..

Help!
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:26 AM
 
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......."Is Savannah that bad? The way everyone talks about it is that yeah..every thing is walking distance, but chances are you'll get mugged or roughed up along the way....."


Let's begin with this. Savannah is much larger than the Historic District, so while it is possible to walk everywhere in that small Historic District, you may not wish to spend a couple of hours walking or biking getting to work from elsewhere. Nor would you want to walk or bike if it's rainy or HOT. You get sweaty in the humidity very quickly. If you wish to live in the HD and close to SCAD, be prepared to pay more for rent than you would for a similar place farther out. And yes, the downtown Historic District does have more than it's share of muggings, etc. The safest areas are in the suburbs.

The most public schools are not in the Historic District, so your partner would probably have to work much farther out than walking distance from your home.

As far as the general attitude toward lesbian couples, I just don't know. However, I do know that a lot will depend on your immediate neighbors. Savannah welcomes all people, but you could have the bad luck of picking a place to live where the neighbors don't like anyone....especially someone that is different from what they think is correct.
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Savannah, GA
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Where are you moving from? This might help me understand a bit more about your situation and what you need are looking for.
Also, what department at SCAD?
-- dave
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:31 AM
 
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2manyquestions said:

'We're really tired of driving. Without expense being an issue...we're looking for a location with everything at our fingertips -- parks, coffee shops, bars, restaurants -- we thought Midtown would be the place but it offered a lot less then we expected. Is there more in Midtown then just that intersection at Piedmont with the bookstore and the carribou coffee? '

I have a feeling you missed a lot of midtown but it might not be that different from what you saw.


About 5 miles from midtown there is the City of Decatur. Agnes Scott College is located there and Decatur is progressive and diverse offering as much of the environment you seek as you will find in Atlanta. Emory University is also nearby.

You will not find 'everything at your fingertips' and driving is part of life in Atlanta for most of us.


City of Decatur, GA
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:55 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island and Atlanta, GA
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My daughter attends SCAD Atlanta and normally takes the MARTA line from Decatur (which is on the E-W line) to the Arts Center station (on the N-S line)...from there, she catches the SCAD shuttle from the station...they run every few minutes. Some of her colleagues at SCAD Savannah have complained about not feeling secure in many of the areas where the campus is located, particularly the dorms. One girl pulled out of school because of issues of security.
BTW, she loves living in Decatur.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:05 AM
 
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We're from Cleveland, Ohio-- and with the economy and long winters, we have been looking for awhile to make a move. Because I want to attend classes on a SCAD campus -- Atlanta or Savannah are the immediate options right now, but we have yet to find all or most our major strong points for either city which would make us stay long term.

As stated above..Savannah has the beauty and access to outdoor activities...but Atlanta seems to have more open minded friendly people with more of a nightlife. We did briefly drive through the city of Decatur on our trip, but who knows if we were in the right area...? We'll have to visit a few more times. We also plan on visiting Savannah in December to check it out...

I noticed you're from Brooklyn..and to make a comparison...We've lived and visited in and around New York City over the years. What we desire and hope to find would be comparable to the West/ East village, or for others -- Chicago's Lakeview/ Wrigleyville neighborhood . Close enough to parks to walk our dogs without getting in a car, coffee shops, deli's, ect... I'm realistic in knowing that we'd have to use our cars to get to work and such...but the hope is to be in a location where the need and use of a car to do stuff around the neighborhood would be very minimal.

Also I am going for my Masters in Graphic Design.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:10 AM
 
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We did hear from several friends before visiting that Decatur was a cool little spot. We did go searching for it on a whim but who knows if we were in the right area so we'll have to check it out again. Thanks for your input... People keep on mentioning Decatur so even though its not walking distance to SCAD...we'll definitely check it out. Thank you.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ManyQuestions View Post
We did hear from several friends before visiting that Decatur was a cool little spot. We did go searching for it on a whim but who knows if we were in the right area so we'll have to check it out again. Thanks for your input... People keep on mentioning Decatur so even though its not walking distance to SCAD...we'll definitely check it out. Thank you.
Adjacent to Decatur are several other neighborhoods that are in the process of gentrifying. There are a number of threads in the Atlanta forum about Candler Park, Inman Park, VA Highland, Kirkwood and East Atlanta that provide detailed FYI on the lifestyle.

As Lovin' Decatur said you can easily use MARTA to commute to SCAD/ATL. 10-15 minutes--that would be no problem.

Atlanta does have the Chattahoochee River and there are several state parks around the metro area that are great for dogs and walking. You would need a car to get to these parks.
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area - Areaparks.com

The mountains of North GA are a nice weekend escape from the city-- a couple of hours away.
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:28 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island and Atlanta, GA
12,712 posts, read 18,647,948 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ManyQuestions View Post
We did hear from several friends before visiting that Decatur was a cool little spot. We did go searching for it on a whim but who knows if we were in the right area so we'll have to check it out again. Thanks for your input... People keep on mentioning Decatur so even though its not walking distance to SCAD...we'll definitely check it out. Thank you.
Yes, you want to make sure that you're in the city of Decatur (30030); a large portion of unincorporated DeKalb County has a Decatur mailing address. The heart of Decatur is the old courthouse, where Clairemont Ave dead ends into Ponce De Leon Ave.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Savannah, GA
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Yup, I'm from Brooklyn for now but not for long. I'm moving to Savannah in January. Not a question mark for me, but a relocation reality. I'm becoming a professor of interaction design in the industrial design department there. One of many buildings NOT in a great neighborhood for sure.

I'm very familiar (at least I think I'm sympathizing) with the exact requirements you are asking for. I used to live in the E. Village and before that in Berkeley, CA and also lived in the burbs of the Bay Area as well. I've gone through many different kinds of environments. In NY par lance the best you will probably find in either Atlanta or Savannah is Park Slope.

I do think that either place is going to have compromises. Whether it is Decatur or the Historic District you are going to have issues with your plan. And unfortunately you are going to have to not just weight your points of need, but prioritize them as well. Of course you know this ... blah blah blah.

I find that Atlanta reminds me of LA and place I REALLY dislike b/c of the sprawl. Yes, there are areas like Westwood (now dilapidated) and the Santa Monica promenade, but these were more like destinations. Even places like Venice really require a car to do the simplest grocery shopping.

My experience of Savannah (I've made a few research trips now and is pretty confirmed here on this board) is that a car is necessary for 90% of your life, but the town (the HIstoric District) does offer some walking abilities that are just grand. The rest of the town though is sketchy (downtown/midtown I mean) and the islands and southland parts while safe are car required. The islands of course are just beautiful and the northern islands are just so close to Tybee that it might even be worth while. Heck, just living on Tybee might be worthwhile. (one of the options I'm considering).

Anyway, I think that your choice if you are indeed "stuck" on SCAD (there are other design schools, but few I think will fit your need except for maybe CA College of Arts or Emily Car in Vancouver) is pretty equal. Either way you'll be loosing in some areas and gaining in others. In many ways the 2 areas are just incomparable. It's like comparing Apples to Fish (maybe Peaches to Fish would have been more appropriate).

Anyway, good luck and if you do turn up at SCAD, I start teaching in January and I'm friendly! (so is my wife and 2yo boy).
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