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ironchapman

The Absolutely Worst Places to Live in America

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Some of you might hjave heard about this on the radio or news, so I wanted to get your thoughts on it.

Author Slams Four Georgia Cities

A new book slated for release this fall is setting off a firestorm in Metro Atlanta. The book entitled "The Absolutely Worst Places to Live in America" names Atlanta, College Park, Douglasville and Hinesville among the bottom of the list.

The author, Dave Gilmartin, said people may refer to the city as "Hotlanta" but he calls it a pseudo McCity. However, Gilmartin said Atlanta is paradise compared to Douglasville.

Your thoughts? Is it mere humor, mean-spirited satire, something else?

Now, what really gets me about this article is what he has to say about Douglasville (people have said things like he said about Atlanta for years now). Now, I will concede that it does have a few of the things he writes about (this being the South, it's hard to escape rednecks, even in the most urban of areas down here). However, I'd hardly call it unlivable. It's no urbanist's cup of tea, but I'd still say it was hardly the place you'd want to stay away from.

As for Atlanta, as I said about Douglasville, it's no urbanist's paradise, but it seems to be more than a "McCity" to me. Also, it's not as if we're not trying to make improvements in the city to make it more livable.

As I said earlier, your thoughts?

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I think he was a little harsh on Atlanta, although I think he may be dead on with regards to the other two. Douglasville was singled out, but you could say much the same for quite a few ex-urban communities. The mentality of the average resident in these towns is, shall we say less then enlightened. As far as Hinesville, everything he said was correct, point out something that was wrong and I will certainly retract my statement. Again though, while he singled out Hinesville, the same can be said of most small southern towns...no jobs, no recreation (unless you call the shooting of defensless animals recreation), no prospects, and no future. I bet if you were to pick any small town anywhere in the south, 70-80 percent of the kids would say that they can't wait to get the heck out of Dodge.

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As far as Atlanta's nomination, maybe this ranking had something to do with it.

The author didn't actually select Atlanta to be on his list.

He merely took a little swipe at Atlanta when talking about nearby College Park. He made it clear he didn't care for Atlanta but didn't actually include it on the list.

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The author didn't actually select Atlanta to be on his list.

He merely took a little swipe at Atlanta when talking about nearby College Park. He made it clear he didn't care for Atlanta but didn't actually include it on the list.

I am particularly hesitant to get involved in this thread... or any thread dealing with these (mostly silly) 'city ratings'-- especially this one, which is esentially framed as a parody of all of those best places to live books...

but I would like to point out that Atlanta was NOT actually included and that (again, for what its worth) Atlanta has been very highly ranked in many of these best places surveys... It was, in fact ranked as the best place to live in The 'Places Rated Almanac' sometime in the late 80s--

as for bad suburban streets-- Atlanta certainly has its share... though I find Buford Highway with its incredible ethnic diversity to be quite interesting... and certainly no worse, urbanistically, than most suburban strips in America (they do all kind of look alike, you know)... Atlanta suffers (as well as benefits) sometimes from being the home of so many large media organizations regional or national headquarters--- its sure a lot easier (and cheaper) to do a story in your own backyard...

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True, Atlanta wasn't actually on the list--my bad. But a lot of the roads on the other list I posted aren't in Atlanta proper either. I don't know, I just thought maybe there was a correlation.

I, too, at the least, can respect the ethnic diversity along Buford Highway.

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I think he was a little harsh on Atlanta, although I think he may be dead on with regards to the other two. Douglasville was singled out, but you could say much the same for quite a few ex-urban communities. The mentality of the average resident in these towns is, shall we say less then enlightened. As far as Hinesville, everything he said was correct, point out something that was wrong and I will certainly retract my statement. Again though, while he singled out Hinesville, the same can be said of most small southern towns...no jobs, no recreation (unless you call the shooting of defensless animals recreation), no prospects, and no future. I bet if you were to pick any small town anywhere in the south, 70-80 percent of the kids would say that they can't wait to get the heck out of Dodge.

Actually, I can point out a good many places in Georgia alone that would be more deserving of "Heehawville, USA" (ever been to South Georgia?). Through my own observation, the average resident of Douglasville is fairly well educated and "enlightened"--to a level I'd say was on par with the average resident of Atlanta or several other cities nearby (though I'd really like to know what "enlightened" means).

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Seems a little harsh on Atlanta...but the city is just a medium sized town of 400,000 or so...I think the honor of worst place to live in America definitely applies to where the 4 million or so in "Atlanta" metro live. Most everything, except a few pockets, is pretty disposable outside 285...unless strip malls and mcmansions are your thing. Douglasville is a pretty good example of that...it does have a decent downtown, for suburban Atlanta, but no real dense neighborhoods surrounding it...just ranch homes everywhere.

suburban ATL definitely deserves worst place, its a disposable soulless environment...Atlanta itself, not so much in my opinion. Its too bad its so proportionately small compared to the burbs. and so expensive!

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Most everything, except a few pockets, is pretty disposable outside 285...unless strip malls and mcmansions are your thing. Douglasville is a pretty good example of that...it does have a decent downtown, for suburban Atlanta, but no real dense neighborhoods surrounding it...just ranch homes everywhere.

suburban ATL definitely deserves worst place, its a disposable soulless environment...

However, that seems to be exactly what the vast majority of folks want, not just in Atlanta but everywhere else in the U.S. as well. The statistics I've seen indicate that nearly 98% of people choose the suburbs.

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However, that seems to be exactly what the vast majority of folks want, not just in Atlanta but everywhere else in the U.S. as well. The statistics I've seen indicate that nearly 98% of people choose the suburbs.

many times they choose the suburbs, but would still like to be with in walking distance of amenities. There are tons of studies out there, the first I found showed this:

http://www.realtor.org/PublicAffairsWeb.ns...rts-release.pdf

factors in deciding where to live (and for the most part don't exist in suburban Atlanta)

sidewalks and places to take walks 72%

walking distance to stores and restaurants 51%

walking distance of schools and public transit 46%

This type of living accounts for (totally a guess) about 5% of suburban Atlanta (outside 285). According to the survey many people do want to be "away from it all" (60%), but I doubt being within walking distance of a few amenities constitutes being in the thick of it.

People want the suburbs...and thats fine, they are a great place to raise kids etc...but compare suburban Atlanta to suburban cities in the north and I find that up there they are many things that Atlanta lacks...

such as:

interconnections. kids can walk to school...weird

sidewalks

many neighborhood parks within walking distance

shops and restuarants within walking distance

Atlanta inner suburbs has this...outside 285 its very very very rare...when I look at Gwinnett on Google earth it really makes me sad. How do you fix that...?

anyway...yes people want suburbs but there are ways to develop them soooooooo much better than what is done in the south.

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many times they choose the suburbs, but would still like to be with in walking distance of amenities. There are tons of studies out there, the first I found showed this:

http://www.realtor.org/PublicAffairsWeb.ns...rts-release.pdf

factors in deciding where to live (and for the most part don't exist in suburban Atlanta)

sidewalks and places to take walks 72%

walking distance to stores and restaurants 51%

walking distance of schools and public transit 46%

This type of living accounts for (totally a guess) about 5% of suburban Atlanta (outside 285). According to the survey many people do want to be "away from it all" (60%), but I doubt being within walking distance of a few amenities constitutes being in the thick of it.

People want the suburbs...and thats fine, they are a great place to raise kids etc...but compare suburban Atlanta to suburban cities in the north and I find that up there they are many things that Atlanta lacks...

such as:

interconnections. kids can walk to school...weird

sidewalks

many neighborhood parks within walking distance

shops and restuarants within walking distance

Atlanta inner suburbs has this...outside 285 its very very very rare...when I look at Gwinnett on Google earth it really makes me sad. How do you fix that...?

anyway...yes people want suburbs but there are ways to develop them soooooooo much better than what is done in the south.

While I am not particularly fond of Suburban Atlanta, either its physical form or its politics, I think it pretty much like every other suburban place I've ever been... Intown (yes a disclaimer, were I live) is a pretty decent place to be-- it is increasingly dense, diverse and walkable and compared to other big cities still affordable (though it is becoming less so)...

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I'd really like to know what "enlightened" means).

In the way I used it, "less then enlightened" means simple minded. Examples:

  • Crime is on the rise, solution...just lock up all the criminals and through away the key"

  • Teen pregnancy and STD's, solution...just tell all them kids to stop javing sex

  • Traffic is horrible, solution...build more roads

  • Poverty is on the rise, solution...make all the poor people get jobs

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

You said Dougalsville was just as educated as any other exurb. There is a marked difference between education and intelligence. I'm NOT saying poeple in exurbia are stupid, just black and white, right and wrong. They seem to lack an appreciation for the subtleties of complex and interconnected issues.

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I havent read this yet but it sounds like just someone who needs to do his homework a little better before writing a book.

What other cities in the USA does he slam?

Where are the televangelists in College Park?

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I havent read this yet but it sounds like just someone who needs to do his homework a little better before writing a book.

What other cities in the USA does he slam?

Where are the televangelists in College Park?

Here's one with an 8,500 seat facility.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Changer...h_International

College Park looks like a warzone and does have an exceptionally high crime rate. I agree with what he said about it.

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OK then,,,he could say the same thing about New York City, since there are services for that church or whatever it is both In College Park and NYC.

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Everyone does realize that this author was doing this as a parody of the list that come out stating the best places in America to live. Irony, first, welcome back....anyway, I saw this story and did not even think it was worthy to be posted. It was meant as a joke. I knew the minute that I saw it that people would take this guy and the list serious. I would not worry too much over what he wrote. Everyone has an opinion...and everyone has a brain and should be astute enough to know that College Park and Douglasville are alot more than what he projected in the story.

Someone said that College Park is a warzone....but contrary to that view, it is also home to one of the south's oldest and most venerable private schools. It is home to a national known, 23,000 member church. It is also home to antebellum homes and a turn of the century downtown area. It is also home to a convention center that cities 10 times it's consequence can not boost. It's like the author choose (which of course he should since he was trying to be comical) the worst aspects of College Park and Douglasville to sell his book. Many people fell for it. I'm sure anyone can go to any city in America and find good and bad in an area. How many of you have been to Palm Beach County? Palm Beach is one of the country's most exclusive enclaves. Right across the intercoastal in West Palm Beach, you can see poverty. Would we base our opinion of the entire Palm Beach County on one area of the county. I would hope not.

It's all in what you see to try to prove your point. I try to see the big picture. Irony, if you like Douglasville, then you show your pride. Douglasville is not for everyone....but then again neither is Greenwich, Ct, Palm Beach, FL, South Hampton, NY, Beverly Hills, CA, New York, NY or Boston, MA....to name a few choice locations. Some people may want a Helena, MT or a Tulsa, OK. Some people may like the grit of some parts of College Park....and some may prefer the tree lined streets filled with antebellum homes of College Park. I think Douglasville is really not much different than many suburbs. It's not Alpharetta or Peachtree City but it's not some country bumpkin town either.

It's all relative........

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Someone said that College Park is a warzone....but contrary to that view, it is also home to one of the south's oldest and most venerable private schools. It is home to a national known, 23,000 member church. It is also home to antebellum homes and a turn of the century downtown area. It is also home to a convention center that cities 10 times it's consequence can not boost.

Celeste, I agree with everything you said. College Park is definitely a happening place. Woodward has a campus that would put many colleges to shame, and all those neighborhoods around Rugby and Harvard are beautiful. It has always been a strong community, but just wait until Ft. McPherson is redeveloped!

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Someone said that College Park is a warzone....but contrary to that view, it is also home to one of the south's oldest and most venerable private schools. It is home to a national known, 23,000 member church. It is also home to antebellum homes and a turn of the century downtown area. It is also home to a convention center that cities 10 times it's consequence can not boost. It's like the author choose (which of course he should since he was trying to be comical) the worst aspects of College Park and Douglasville to sell his book. Many people fell for it. I'm sure anyone can go to any city in America and find good and bad in an area. How many of you have been to Palm Beach County? Palm Beach is one of the country's most exclusive enclaves. Right across the intercoastal in West Palm Beach, you can see poverty. Would we base our opinion of the entire Palm Beach County on one area of the county. I would hope not.

I'm sure it has redeeming qualities, but I'm just talking about what I saw and know about the place. I saw abandoned buildings and all sorts of thugs roaming the streets, and the facts are that estimates place the city as losing over 10% of its population in the last 5 years and it has a pretty high crime rate.

You're probably right though, since I've only been there once (by accident).

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The different sections of College Park are like night and day.. there are certainly "bombed out" parts but in fact, I'd place some other neighborhoods among the nicest in Atlanta.

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