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Old 08-16-2006, 05:12 AM
 
57 posts, read 60,723 times
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I'm an Australian from Melbourne, the most liveable city in the world. I have been living in Seattle for a year, and I have an investment there, so I will have ties there for sometime. I really like Seattle a lot because it is unpretentious, socially liberal, quite friendly, eccelectic, open-minded and non-judgemental.

The nightlife is fun too because of the many microbrewies in the area, the live music scene is still strong although the days of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Mudhoney etc., are gone. There are many dark pubs/bars too that I like. The weather is dreary of course, but it means plenty of green parks, flowers and clean air.

Seattle also has heaps of interesting shops and stores and coffee shops of course and one of the most beautiful city skylines in the US. For the last five months though, I have been in Phoenix for work, and this place is a hole! I cannot stand it! It is ugly, and it doesn't have any urban culture or character whatsoever.

The CBD (downtown) is not existant, and there are nothing but strip malls! It is the most putrid anti-urban city that I could ever imagine, and it looks like the background of a cartoon that keeps repeating itself. People don't walk around here, so cars are used for everything! I need to be able to walk around again when I choose to.

Thankfully though I am getting out! In September I have the opportunity to move to Atlanta for work, and I think I want to live in a midtown high rise. I need to be able to park my car in a secure underground garage on a Friday night, and not use it again until Monday morning if I choose.

I want to walk to a park with my iPod and a book, and I want to go to a coffee shop and watch people go by. I want to walk to a museum, a pub/bar, interesting shops, a movie cinema and restaurants again. I want to see some arts when I can such as a show at the Fox Theatre etc. All the things that cannot be done in Phoenix!

Now that I have explained some of myself, my needs, and my background, I need to know if Atlanta would be good for me. It certainly cannot be any worse than bloody Phoenix, and any input would be gratefully appreciated! :-)
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:39 AM
 
Location: ga
985 posts, read 5,474,103 times
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Check out Atlantic Station near Midtown. Great project. You can work, live in the same place. Only wish I have more money.
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:38 PM
 
722 posts, read 3,112,497 times
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Just so you know, Atlanta is no New York in terms of urbanity, and it definitely would be grouped with Phoenix in th category of urban sprawl cities. Luckily, the city is experiencing an urban renaissance; it's very exciting to watch
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:56 PM
 
57 posts, read 60,723 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tdiddy0027
Just so you know, Atlanta is no New York in terms of urbanity, and it definitely would be grouped with Phoenix in th category of urban sprawl cities. Luckily, the city is experiencing an urban renaissance; it's very exciting to watch
Oh, don't get me wrong, I don't mind a sprawl, but the Phoenix sprawl could not possibly be called an urban sprawl. It is a suburban sprawl only without a single sign of urban culture anywhere. I would not group the Atlanta sprawl with the Phoenix sprawl, but with Seattle, Sydney and Melbourne.

Unlike Phoenix, Atlanta however appears to have some urban culture, some mix of old and new architecture in the inner city, and places to walk to in a living environment. All of the architecture in Phoenix is new only of course without any history of any kind, so it is ugly to me!

I don't mind the idea of driving into the Atlanta suburbs when I need to either, providing I'm not living in them, and I am aware that urban living in Atlanta is not going to be the same as living in New York of course, but no other city is. I like that Atlanta's urban areas are growing, and if I like what I see, I may consider investing in a property in the area. Of course that is best as the renaissance is occurring, and not after it has been completed as it is in New York.

My home city Melbourne is a a very large urban sprawl, the largest in the southern hemisphere, although Sydney does have slightly more people in a slightly smaller area. I am used to a sprawl, Seattle-Tacoma's is about the same size too, but I only use the areas that I want to use and need to use in a metro area.

Phoenix shows how anti-urban it is with a population of only 3.9 million in an absurd 37,744 km² area and completely without a downtown. Much of this are strip malls, dust and cacti. An experience to visit, but awful to live in. NYC has 22 million in a smaller area.

Atlanta: 21,694 km² (5.4 million population)
Seattle: 20,109 km² (3.8 million population)
Phoenix: 37,744 km² (3.9 million population)
New York City: 30,671 km² (21.8 million population)

Sydney: 21,435 km² (4.3 million population)
Melbourne : 22,769 km² (3.7 million population)

Atlanta's sprawl is something I'm more accustomed to because it is about the same as Seattle, Melbourne and Sydney, but smaller than Phoenix, although a higher population than all of them.
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Old 08-16-2006, 06:21 PM
 
Location: ga
985 posts, read 5,474,103 times
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Yes, the whole Midtown area has a lot of high risers. Wasn't the case when I was in school ten years ago. A lot of stuffs going on now. Perfect for young singles or empty nesters. The city of Atlanta is in middle of revitialize. Just a little history, since 70's, it lost a lot of people to suburb north until Olympic 96 (due to crime rate and poor school). Since Olympic, the whole midtown, buckhead area revitialize a lot. This year alone 20,000 people move back the city.
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Old 08-17-2006, 08:25 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
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Ok, the short of it (sort of) - Atlanta is no Seattle, and is not Melborne for sure. More like a Phoenix, with more crime and more suburban sprawl (and slightly lower temperatures but with more humidity).

I once had a friend from Christchurch, New Zealand who would come to the states for a month at a time and during that time visit 3-4 American cities on each trip. He LOVED Seattle, Portland, Denver, and Chicago. He HATED L.A., Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston. His comment about Atlanta to me over dinner when he was here, "It's like a third world Island nation only with a lot more cars!". Urk!

Another example: A couple of years back, there was a small conference here in Atlanta where several Mayors of fast growing medium sized cities came here. The reason? To see what NOT to do as their cities continued to grow - Atlanta as the poster child for them of "What not to do" regarding sprawl, traffic, crime, etc. It was covered by local news, but I have a feeling the city tourist and development center didn't exactly greet these folks at the airport. ;-)

Ok, if you are coming here, Midtown is about as close to a large city, diverse, urban city environment as you're going to get - this is provided you're not homophobic, as Midtown is the West Village/West Hollywood equal in Atlanta has having a large gay community. It's walkable, has the city subway nearby (MARTA) and near Piedmond Park (our Central Park). Most condos are newer, cost more, and steel/glass. "Atlantic Station" which someone mentioned is across the interstate from Midtown - brand new built from scratch neighborhood. Some love it, some think it's too "Disney-ish" being generic and sanitized. Your call.

If you want older, "Virginia Highlands" is a neighborhood next to Midtown and has older homes, and a nice little "Village" which many people like, filled with varied shops and restaurants. If I *HAD* to live in the inner city of Atlanta again, I'd probably pick Virginia Highlands.

I think travel is great and you learn from each experience, but once you're finished with Atlanta and move on to your next destination, I have a feeling the words you'll describe it with will like Phoenix be "sprawl", as well as "smoggy, congested, lack of charactor".. etc. We'll see. ;-)
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Old 08-17-2006, 04:32 PM
 
57 posts, read 60,723 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg
Ok, the short of it (sort of) - Atlanta is no Seattle, and is not Melborne for sure. More like a Phoenix, with more crime and more suburban sprawl (and slightly lower temperatures but with more humidity).
Oh I'm definitely not expecting a Seattle or Melbourne, but it does not have the sprawl of Phoenix. The Phoenix metro area is a far more sprawling 37,744 km² of strip malls, dust and cacti and 3.9 million population, while I'm sure Atlanta is more built up than that in it's 21,694 km² metro area for 5.4 million population.
Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg
I once had a friend from Christchurch, New Zealand who would come to the states for a month at a time and during that time visit 3-4 American cities on each trip. He LOVED Seattle, Portland, Denver, and Chicago. He HATED L.A., Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston. His comment about Atlanta to me over dinner when he was here, "It's like a third world Island nation only with a lot more cars!". Urk!
Seattle is a lovable city for sure, and Portland is beaut too, although the 1.5 million population there is much too small and quiet for me. Even Denver's 2.4 million is a bit small for me, and far too cold as well, while I have not been to Chicago. Christchurch is a very small city though, so it will be interesting what Australians from much larger cities such as Melbourne and Sydney feel about it compared to New Zealanders from much smaller cities such as Auckland and Christchurch.

I have a friend from Sydney that has lived in Atlanta for 2 1/2 years, and she loves it, and there also seems to be quite a large Australian presence in Atlanta. I also have another friend from Northern New York that lives at the Spire at Midtown, and he loves it a lot too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg
Another example: A couple of years back, there was a small conference here in Atlanta where several Mayors of fast growing medium sized cities came here. The reason? To see what NOT to do as their cities continued to grow - Atlanta as the poster child for them of "What not to do" regarding sprawl, traffic, crime, etc. It was covered by local news, but I have a feeling the city tourist and development center didn't exactly greet these folks at the airport. ;-)
It's got to be a step up from Phoenix though surely I hope. This is the worst designed city that I have seen without any urban culture whatsoever. The metro area keeps expanding back into the desert and the sprawl far exceeds Atlanta. The strip malls are the most horrible things I've ever seen!

The crime rate in the Phoenix metro area keeps rising, while the crime rate in Atlanta has been falling. The latest figures show that Phoenix is a more dangerous metro area than the Atlanta metro area, and it can't be avoided in Phoenix either because for the most part, the good and bad areas are mixed in together every few blocks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg
Ok, if you are coming here, Midtown is about as close to a large city, diverse, urban city environment as you're going to get - this is provided you're not homophobic, as Midtown is the West Village/West Hollywood equal in Atlanta has having a large gay community. It's walkable, has the city subway nearby (MARTA) and near Piedmond Park (our Central Park). Most condos are newer, cost more, and steel/glass.
No I'm not at all homphobic, and I am socially liberal. From what I have learned, it seems that Midtown would be best for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg
"Atlantic Station" which someone mentioned is across the interstate from Midtown - brand new built from scratch neighborhood. Some love it, some think it's too "Disney-ish" being generic and sanitized. Your call.
I don't know enough about it, but is seems that could be so from what I do know. I am visiting Midtown for six days next weekend, so I will know more about it then.
Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg
If you want older, "Virginia Highlands" is a neighborhood next to Midtown and has older homes, and a nice little "Village" which many people like, filled with varied shops and restaurants. If I *HAD* to live in the inner city of Atlanta again, I'd probably pick Virginia Highlands.
I will also check out Virginia Highlands and Little Five Points when I am there, although it appears that Midtown may be first choice at this stage.
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Old 08-17-2006, 04:40 PM
 
57 posts, read 60,723 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg
I think travel is great and you learn from each experience, but once you're finished with Atlanta and move on to your next destination, I have a feeling the words you'll describe it with will like Phoenix be "sprawl", as well as "smoggy, congested, lack of charactor".. etc. We'll see. ;-)
All of that sounds better than Phoenix though so it is a step up I'm sure! Atlanta is not as sprawling as Phoenix by 15,000 km², Atlanta's pollution is much lower than Phoenix, Atlanta's crime is also lower than Phoenix now. From what I have learned, Atlanta was not in a position to host the 1996 Olympic Games, and this was shown when they didn't go as well as they could have, and a long way behind the success of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. However, Atlanta is now in a position that would have been far better to host an Olympic Games than it was ten years ago.

Atlanta is also a lower cost of living than Phoenix, and definitrly more so than Seattle. You definitely can't get a Midtown high rise for the same price in Belltown, Seattle! I am low maintenance though, so as long as I can park my car in a secure garage at night, and then walk to shops, pubs, restaurants, the movies, the park, then I will be very happy! None of that can be done in Phoenix of course!

I like to talk to people, and although I'm sure I will have cons in Atlanta and that it is not like Melbourne or Seattle, I do like experiencing new cities, and Phoenix has not satisfied that urge because it is an 'anti-city' city. The character has also got to be better than Phoenix. Everything is new without any historical architecture at all. Atlanta is sure to have more history than Phoenix surely!

Last edited by AussieGirl; 08-17-2006 at 04:49 PM..
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Old 08-17-2006, 05:39 PM
 
321 posts, read 1,480,947 times
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AussieGirl, I like a lot of the same things that you do, I hate this suburban sprawl, I'm up here in Cobb County. I really enjoy going into Atlanta, though I don't get there often enough and I'm not very familiar with it. I will say that if I could afford to buy a place there, I'd be back up in Washington DC in a heartbeat! Midtown sounds like a good area for you. Atlantic Station is cool and very convenient, but since it's brand new there is no history, nothing architecturally significant.
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Old 08-17-2006, 09:46 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,191 posts, read 31,712,765 times
Reputation: 5220
Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieGirl View Post
I also have another friend from Northern New York that lives at the Spire at Midtown, and he loves it a lot too.

The crime rate in the Phoenix metro area keeps rising, while the crime rate in Atlanta has been falling.
-----------

Well heck, if I could afford the Spire I'd love it too! LOL! Up to $329,000 for a 1 BR condo - give me one and I'll love Atlanta so much I'll be a walking Viagra ad. ;-)

If you want to compare Atlanta vs. Phoenix crime stats (per capita, per 100,000 people) then you can go to the following link to do so...

Moderator cut: linking to competitors sites is not allowed

Last to consider is that after Hurricane Katrina, Atlanta "adopted" roughly 25,000 to 30,000 (est) evacuees. Many just poor victims, but a number of them criminals. Houston saw a nearly immediate 37% increase in some crimes after they took in even more - Atlanta has had a noticeable increase in crime due to this as well. The media here usually takes the time as well to add when someone is captured, "so and so, and evacuee from New Orleans now in Atlanta.. was caught...". I don't think there are any numbers indicating how much Atlanta's crime rate shot up after that, but I've personally seen a number of news reports about crime related to drugs, rape, carjackings, where those caught were here now, but from New Orleans pre-Katrina. Sad that a few ruin the image of so many true victims, but regardless, it's there (or that is, HERE).

Again, you'll develop your own impressions of the city when here, and if you like it that's all that matters. I just know that SOME folks have this really odd impression that Atlanta is some kind of oasis big city or something, then when they come here they're like, "Uh... what???"

Last edited by Yac; 01-09-2008 at 06:32 AM..
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