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Liamlunchtray

Hotlanta

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Im in Atlanta for the week on business. Never have I seen such horrible sprawl. I b_tch about Rt 2 in Warwick, but compared to here Rt 2 feels downright rustic. Just horrible. We asked a few people if there is anywhere we can go and just walk around to shops, restaurants, etc and the general reaction is "Well there are a few Malls around". Just terrifying.

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Im in Atlanta for the week on business. Never have I seen such horrible sprawl. I b_tch about Rt 2 in Warwick, but compared to here Rt 2 feels downright rustic. Just horrible. We asked a few people if there is anywhere we can go and just walk around to shops, restaurants, etc and the general reaction is "Well there are a few Malls around". Just terrifying.

go to the underground... it's similar to a mall, but it's not. it's actually pretty cool with some neat shops and restaurants (and i think there's a strip club there too). it's where the city used to be before it was built up (or something like that). so the bottom floor in it was actually a street.

the CNN tour was also pretty neat and they have the world's tallest unsupported escalator (ok, it's not unsupported, but it only connects to the floor at the bottom and the top).

there's also some cool looking buildings down there. i think the bank of america building was designed by a guy who graduated from GA tech. it's main supports are in the core of the building rather than the outside frame. supposedly he failed a project in class because his professor didn't like the idea. so he had the building built where his professor could see it from his office window. at least that's the story i got. it's this building.

and if you like burritos, there's a great place by the GA tech hotel. i wish i remembered the name of the place, but the burritos were huge!

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go to the underground... it's similar to a mall, but it's not. it's actually pretty cool with some neat shops and restaurants (and i think there's a strip club there too). it's where the city used to be before it was built up (or something like that). so the bottom floor in it was actually a street.

Liam,

I agree. I was there for a conference a couple years ago. Completely worthless downtown. Even the touristy stuff, like the Underground, was pretty dead, at least in February.

Makes Providence look like Manhattan...

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Liam,

I agree. I was there for a conference a couple years ago. Completely worthless downtown. Even the touristy stuff, like the Underground, was pretty dead, at least in February.

Makes Providence look like Manhattan...

i was there for a conference in the summer. the underground was pretty dead after they closed early on a sunday (the free day we had during the conference), but because the weather was so nice, it was pretty crowded before the stores all closed. because the weather's so nice here right now, i could only imagine it's pretty nice there. i'd check out the underground. but yes, there's not that much to do there.

the coolest touristy thing i saw was the stone mountain laser light show (it's the largest exposed piece of granite in the world or something like that). the laser light show was actually quite impressive.

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Now hold on there guys! I am a resident from Atlanta and I can tell you MANY places to go if you want to walk down and see shops. Go to Virginia Highlands or Midtown. You guys have it all wrong! Go to the Atlanta forum to check out the NEW Atlanta! You will be quite surprised!

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Just terrifying.

Absolutely. We think Seekonk and Warwick are bad... They're like Colonial Williamsburg compared to the horror of sprawl in places like the suburbs of Minnesota, Atlanta, or Scottsdale, AZ. The miles and miles of sameness, McHouses, McMalls, forced character in the form of cheap fascades covering otherwise cinderblock developments. Horrible, horrible stuff. Its superficiality says more to me about modern America than almost anything else.

The best capsule description of this sprawl I've read was in the beginning of an article in The Atlantic Monthly in 2002 by David Brooks (who we recently discussed here). Here's a quote from the larger article:

"If you fly over Scottsdale, Arizona, and look down at the vast brown desert, here and there you see little ribbons of green fairways, with country-club communities clustered around them like reeds around ponds-tile-roofed McMansions with mouse-pad lawns and little blue dots where the backyard spas are. Along the nearby roadways you can see massive two-tier malls. In the front tier are strings of chain restaurants that, if they merged, could form Chili's Olive Garden Outback Cantina, serving enough chicken wings to fill a canyon. In the back tier a line of megastores stretches out like a parade of pachyderms: Target, Petsmart, OfficeMax, Lowe's, and Barnes & Noble. Cutting diagonally across the empty parking spaces in between are ninety-eight-pound women in aerobics outfits steering 4,000-pound SUVs (these days, the smaller the woman, the bigger the car). If a modern Pied Piper came down to round up all the kids, it would be called The Gathering of Ashleys, and hundreds of cheerful ten-year-old girls would pour out of the Gaps and Abercrombies and Wal-Marts, drawn by the piping of Britney Spears. They'd have their peach tank tops, their 2 Grrrls brand strawberry-scented spritz, and their pink backpacks, and they'd be led, mesmerized, to soccer practice..."

<Shudder> :ph34r:

- Garris

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Get yourself to Buckhead. Great area, restaraunts, nightlife etc.

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Get yourself to Buckhead. Great area, restaraunts, nightlife etc.

Buckhead is pretty nice. I have a collegue from work who lives in Buckhead. I've enjoyed myself there. It's a shame, but it's the only decent urban experience in the entire metro. My company has a large operation in Atlanta. I'm there frequently and I have to agree that it's one of the worst urban areas I've ever been. There's no there there. I don't want to insult anyone from Atlanta, but let's just say that if old Northeastern cities (like Providence, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, etc.) are your idea of a fulfilling urban experience, Atlanta will always disappoint.

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aww I love you guys :)

I ask anyone who lives in Atlanta now, and anyone else who may be there right now, will the new proposed and under construction projects that I've seen in the Atlanta forum give life to this apparent not so lively city? I think Atlanta is only behind Miami when it comes to the amount of constrcution going on. OHH YA.. and Dubai ;)

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Saw "Hotlanta" and couldn't resist clicking on it.

Im in Atlanta for the week on business. Never have I seen such horrible sprawl. I b_tch about Rt 2 in Warwick, but compared to here Rt 2 feels downright rustic. Just horrible. We asked a few people if there is anywhere we can go and just walk around to shops, restaurants, etc and the general reaction is "Well there are a few Malls around". Just terrifying.

Our reputation preceeds us.... ;)

In all honesty, Northern and Southern Cities are two different animals in many respects. Outside of the Northeast, Chicago, DC, San Francisco, and South Florida, you'd be hard pressed to find any city that is urban by the standards that places like Boston and Providence are. In most Midwestern, Western, and Southern cities, there was more room to spread out, so cities took advantage of it...you can obviously see what happened.

Just take a MARTA train or bus. The train route may be small compared to many cities, but it usually gets you where you want to be so long as it is inside the city limits (except they don't go near Turner Field...a fact that continually irks me and many other Braves fans). The bus routes are much more extensive, but I don't have much experience with them.

With regards to malls....

I can see where you'd make that assessment. We do have a few malls too many down here. However, a couple have proven to be worth their weight...particularly Lenox and Phipps Plaza, which together are the center of one of America's biggest shopping destinations.

For some fun, try Buckhead's shops, restaurants, and clubs; Midtown's museums and theaters, not to mention Piedmont Park; Underground and Centennial Olympic Park are two separate areas central to entertainment Downtown; Fairlie-Poplar is a nice old section of town, the oldest part of the city, in fact, in the middle of downtown (just find Woodruff Park); and the Sweet Auburn area makes a nce stop if you're looking for some history.

aww I love you guys :)

I ask anyone who lives in Atlanta now, and anyone else who may be there right now, will the new proposed and under construction projects that I've seen in the Atlanta forum give life to this apparent not so lively city? I think Atlanta is only behind Miami when it comes to the amount of constrcution going on. OHH YA.. and Dubai ;)

Well, thank you. :)

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Tonight we ended up at Atlantic Station, which is this strange development that I guess would be considered New Urbanism, but is essentially a fake downtown setup built on top of a giant parking garage. It felt like a soundstage of somesort. I was also amused by the expansion joints which would run across a street, through a building, etc. It was nice to be able to walk around outside, but the creepy factor was way to overwhelming. We were just amused by it and kind of half expected Roger Rabbit to pop up somewhere.

I noticed that even here people mentioned Buckhead. Maybe we were just in the wrong part, but all I saw was an endless string of Chain stores that were very close to each other, yet entirely impossible to navigate on foot. Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to check out some more stuff & maybe hit up midtown. I guess the whole concept of a city as a large area of sprawl just doesnt make sense to me. I want urban canyons and every thing built to the street, dammit!!! :D

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LIAM!

I miss ya brother. sorry we didnt make it to the shindig.. we were out of town.

I seem to remember walking around an awesome part of Atlanta while on tour stops there... the Little Five Points area? Kinda like Wickenden st but bigger I think.. check it out!

Little Five Points

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Another very long escalator in the area comes out of the Peachtree Center Marta station.

This station is one of the deepest subway stations in the USA. It was blown out of solid granite and the station platform sort of "floats" inside the exposed granite walls. It's a very interesting effect.

Here is an image from John Bell's excellent transit site.

Link to Image

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Another very long escalator in the area comes out of the Peachtree Center Marta station.

This station is one of the deepest subway stations in the USA. It was blown out of solid granite and the station platform sort of "floats" inside the exposed granite walls. It's a very interesting effect.

Here is an image from John Bell's excellent transit site.

PeachtreeCtrPlatform.jpg

I guess he doesn't like it if you link directly to his images. Peachtree Center pics are on this page.

It looks like almost every station in the DC Metro system, Metro Center in particular.

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It looks like almost every station in the DC Metro system, Metro Center in particular.

Yes they are very similar systems. Marta, the DC Metro and San Francisco's BART, are all about the same age, have similar technology, and they used similar techniques to build out the systems. Even the vehicles have a similar appearance somewhat.

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Another very long escalator in the area comes out of the Peachtree Center Marta station.

Long, narrow, and completely enclosed. I almost fell backward riding up that thing because of vertigo. Not cool and very cool all at the same time.

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Long, narrow, and completely enclosed. I almost fell backward riding up that thing because of vertigo. Not cool and very cool all at the same time.

I was with someone on the Bethesda Metro escalator on the DC Metro who totally started freaking out because of the vertigo. Like we thought we were going to have to call an ambulance freaking out.

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I was with someone on the Bethesda Metro escalator on the DC Metro who totally started freaking out because of the vertigo. Like we thought we were going to have to call an ambulance freaking out.

are these worse than porter square station in cambridge?

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are these worse than porter square station in cambridge?

I think so.

The only one in Boston that I ever thought came close is the relatively short (but very enclosed) escalator at the Arlington (I think) Green line stop.

Hello! Hello!

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I think so.

The only one in Boston that I ever thought came close is the relatively short (but very enclosed) escalator at the Arlington (I think) Green line stop.

have you been to the porter square T station? it's pretty freaking high... (i don't think that pic was taken from the top either)

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have you been to the porter square T station? it's pretty freaking high... (i don't think that pic was taken from the top either)

I have.

the mural thing along the top and the width of it give you less of a sense of confined space. In the peachtree one you really lose track of the horizon.

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have you been to the porter square T station? it's pretty freaking high... (i don't think that pic was taken from the top either)

Porter doesn't come close to Bethesda.

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have you been to the porter square T station? it's pretty freaking high... (i don't think that pic was taken from the top either)

Porter Sq. is indeed a scary escalator. It may be an illusion due to the length, but it also seems unneccessarily steep.

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This is one of the challenges of building really deep subway stations. How do you get the people to the surface? I've been in a few stations that are so deep the only way to get the peeps out is via elevators. If you have not seen one of these, they have two doors. A mass of people leaving the car fills up the elevator by going in once side of the elevator, and they are disgorged at the surface when the other door opens. Nobody has to turn around. Even with that it is a lot slower than escalators.

The station in Atlanta is about as deep as they get until other methods have to be used.

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The station in Atlanta is pretty deep, but I think Porter in Cambridge is deeper...however, I don't think either come close to some of the stations in Prague...now those were some LONG escalators!

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