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Old 04-01-2008, 11:06 AM
 
4 posts, read 20,317 times
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My wife and I live on Capitol Hill, DC, with our toddler. We've been city folks for a decade but we can't keep up with the cost of raising a family in DC, so we're considering ATL, where we have family (but no friends). We hear great things about the schools and family life in Roswell and Suwanee but honestly I don't know if we're ready for that kind of car-centric suburbanization. I know ATL is sprawled out (my inlaws live in Duluth), and I'm ready to leave a dense city for the sake of my kids (and wallet), but I work at home as a novelist and I'm afraid that if I'm home all day in a cul de sac and have to drive miles for human interaction, I'll go insane and write really, really bad books. Can someone recommend a family-friendly place in the ATL area, with great public schools, but with a bit more of an urban or even neighborhoody feeling, like with a good coffeeshop and some restaurants we could walk to? Or am I looking for two mutually exclusive things here? Does Decatur fit this bill? Or is there some suburban middleground between Decatur and Roswell? We can spend about 550K... Thanks so much!!!
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:14 AM
 
1,516 posts, read 6,228,946 times
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Decatur, Inman Park or Virginia Highlands. I wouldn't look anywhere else with your criteria!
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Atlanta/Decatur/Emory area
1,320 posts, read 3,880,908 times
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Yes, Decatur is just about perfect.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Inman Park (Atlanta, GA)
21,871 posts, read 13,426,870 times
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I do think that Decatur fits the bill. Check out the website for the City of Decatur at City of Decatur, GA.

I live in Inman Park and it is a great city neighborhood. It was the first planned neighborhood in Atlanta and was founded in 1880. The neighborhood website is Inman Park. The neighborhood is very eclectic. The unofficial motto "it's hard to be odd in Inman Park." If you come to visit on the last weekend of April, you will be here for the Inman Park Festival and you will be sold. Living in the city - I do not have a large yard but there are parks within walking distance. MARTA (the public transportation) is also close by. MARTA - Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is the website.

Either locations have an intown feel with shops and restaurants and no cookie cutter neighborhoods. If I were moving from DC, I would check out these neighborhoods. Where will your wife be working? I am afraid that you will need a car in Atlanta - not like DC.

I have lived in Inman Park now for the past 10 years so feel free to email me if I can answer any questions for you on "city life".

Good luck!
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:10 PM
 
14,409 posts, read 23,100,268 times
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Recommended areas:

*Grady High; Inman Middle; Centennial Place, Morningside, or Mary Lin Elementary
Midtown
Virginia-Highland
Poncey-Highland
Candler Park
Inman Park
Ansley Park
Centennial Place
Home Park
Atkins Park
Downtown (areas zoned for Centennial Place Elementary)

*Anywhere in the City of Decatur (City Schools of Decatur)
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:21 PM
 
401 posts, read 1,593,951 times
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Another cool thing about Decatur for a writer like you is that it is a very bookish town. I read somewhere that Decatur has more bookstores per square mile than any other city in the nation (I believe that all of them are independent book stores too). Within four square miles there are at least 5 plus a public library, and I'm probably missing some. It is also very much a walking town - some of the folks walking around are almost militant about staring down cars at intersections!

Also, Decatur is home to the AJC Book Festival. It is actually becoming quite a big event with all sorts of visiting authors and "bookish" activities for adults and children. Here is the link.... The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical

Also, with City of Decatur being such a bookish area - the schools are excellent and very progressive.

City of Decatur Schools (they have their own school system) include Clairmont, Winnona Park and Oakhurst Elementaries, Glennwood Academy, Renfroe Middle School and Decatur High. ALL schools in Decatur are excellent so you don't have to worry about where you live so long as you are in the city limits. A huge number of kids walk or bike to school.

You can do well for $550K in Decatur - not the very top of the line - but very nice.

Re coffee houses - there are four within walking distance of my house, and only one is a chain store.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:29 PM
 
7 posts, read 17,869 times
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I would check out the schools on GreatSchools.net. Maybe look into Dunwoody or Sandy Springs....not too far from "intown" things.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Atlanta/Decatur/Emory area
1,320 posts, read 3,880,908 times
Reputation: 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmtiger View Post
I read somewhere that Decatur has more bookstores per square mile than any other city in the nation (I believe that all of them are independent book stores too).
But keep in mind, Decatur is tiny. I love the bookishness of Decatur, but wouldn't want you to get the impression that there are dozens of great bookstores in the city. It's either 4 or 5 and at least one of those is a children's bookstore. But Decatur is wonderful. Kind of a cross between a cool college town and Mayberry. In addition to the annual book festival, there's an annual Beach Party where they truck in tons of sand to the courthouse square; blue sky concerts on the square; a barbeque, blues & bluegrass concert; a 4th of July parade; periodic Art Walks of local galleries (monthly?); both a beer tasting festival and a wine tasting festival (lest you think the kids have all the fun); an Easter egg hunt; an arts festival. It's just a good, good place to live.
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