December 5th, 2010


20 Nice Things That Have Happened In / To Downtown Atlanta

As I took the bus through my neighborhood today, I was thinking how very easy it is to be negative. Specifically I was thinking about the way Downtown residents think about our neighborhood. Sure, there are things we love, but more often we talk about the things we hate, lost opportunities, closed businesses, broken promises, etc.

Anyway, in the spirit of some positivity, here's a list of 25 POSITIVE developments in Downtown in roughly the past 10 years or, OK, since 1997, when I first started working here. (I've lived here in 1998.) I'm only counting positives changes which have been permanent and not undone, i.e. no cheering Fleur de Lis or a business that's closed.

20 Nice Things That Have Happened In / To Downtown Atlanta

  1. Major upgrades to Woodruff Park.
  2. Vending booths instead of ramshackle street bodegas.
  3. 200 Peachtree St. nearly all in use despite exit of Macy's.
  4. Expansion of Georgia State University.
  5. Ice skating and awesome decorations at Centennial Olympic Park.
  6. Broad Street Plaza noticeably less filthy.
  7. Development of Centennial Hill.
  8. Restaurants that have opened and stayed open -- Slice, Sidebar, Ted's, etc.
  9. MARTA bus 110 ("The Peach") runs constantly up & down Peachtree.
  10. Atlantic Station - not IN Downtown, but bringing movie theater & retail much closer to Downtown.
  11. Wyncoff Hotel transformed from crumbling eyesore to swank boutique hotel, The Ellis.
  12. Glenn Building rescued from demolition, turned into Glenn Hotel.
  13. Phillips Arena.
  14. Sweet Auburn Curb Market has come a long way.
  15. Atlanta Streets Alive.
  16. Ongoing success of Wind-Down Wednesday and other free Downtown concert series.
  17. Opening of Gateway shelter.
  18. Big growth in neighboring 'hoods like Castleberry Hill and Marietta Artery.
  19. Balzer Theater at Herrens and people piling in for Theatrical Outfit.
  20. Relocation & improvement of Five Points CVS.
My list of 20 (at least!) negative developments can wait a few days.
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    "Leave in Silence" -Depeche Mode