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ATLienHopeful

Questions About Atlanta

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Hello all -

New on the forum, and I will try to be detailed but brief.

I am a college student at the university of memphis majoring in marketing/finance/intl business...sort of a mixture of the three, more so in marketing and advertising account executive type positions hopefully. My fiance is a psychology/speech path major, and we have started looking at potential cities to move to, as we are not fans of Memphis. I find Memphis to be not my cup of tea, I grew up in Dallas but am not a pretentious type of Texan, I think Dallas is great but it is not the promised land everyone there believes it to be. I am however looking for a city similar in size and things to do and hopefully safer, Dallas AND Memphis alike arent too safe to go do things in, and Atlanta seems like Dallas in the fact that there are a lot of five-star restaurants, theatres, etc and things to do, comparable with some of my other fav cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Austin, etc. I just have some questions and I hope some residents of the city and areas can help me out, about crime, is it going up or down, where do I need to stay away from, is it racially mixed or segregated, friendly race relations, Im an open minded person and am not prejudiced in any way and one thing about living in Memphis is it seems to be very racially charged, in my opinion...Are certain suburbs better than others (I LOVE Buckhead, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs i believe is the name) Is the economy good and growing, more importantly, are people moving into the area or out, etc. I apologize if there is a thread on this already and if so, if one of you could just politely direct me to it. :) Thanks and look forward to your responses, and hopefully I wont have any more questions :D

Zac

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wow i was hoping to get some responses...i would just like some opinions from natives/or people who live there or lived there recently to get a scope on things as to how it is now from a resident standpoint if i could, thanks again.

Zac

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Here are my 2 cents about this city: it is definitely still has racial issues, but you might not notice them as much as you would in a smaller city. Crime is up, big time, but as long as you're smart you'll be all right. The western and south western parts of Atlanta are known for being the most dangerous, but you can still find a good amount of crime in such supposedly gentrified areas as Midtown. It's all about knowing where to avoid. People are still moving into the city, although we have felt the housing crunch. Intown Atlanta is the best as far as diversity and creative businesses go. My favorite neighborhoods are East Atlanta, Midtown, Inman Park, Grant Park/Cabbagetown, Poncey and Virginia Highlands, and the Westside. As far as suburbs go, I would pick Buckhead as the most desirable, because it has the most cosmopolitan atmosphere. Sandy Springs and Dunwoody are much more office park - subdivision kind of places, even though they are served by MARTA rail. Another great suburb is Decatur, which is a small town 10 minutes from Atlanta that's been completely urbanized. It even has a MARTA station in the center of its town square. All in all, this is a great city to be a part of, it's changing everyday, and I love it.

Here are my 2 cents about this city: it is definitely still has racial issues, but you might not notice them as much as you would in a smaller city. Crime is up, big time, but as long as you're smart you'll be all right. The western and south western parts of Atlanta are known for being the most dangerous, but you can still find a good amount of crime in such supposedly gentrified areas as Midtown. It's all about knowing where to avoid. People are still moving into the city, although we have felt the housing crunch. Intown Atlanta is the best as far as diversity and creative businesses go. My favorite neighborhoods are East Atlanta, Midtown, Inman Park, Grant Park/Cabbagetown, Poncey and Virginia Highlands, and the Westside. As far as suburbs go, I would pick Buckhead as the most desirable, because it has the most cosmopolitan atmosphere. Sandy Springs and Dunwoody are much more office park - subdivision kind of places, even though they are served by MARTA rail. Another great suburb is Decatur, which is a small town 10 minutes from Atlanta that's been completely urbanized. It even has a MARTA station in the center of its town square. All in all, this is a great city to be a part of, it's changing everyday, and I love it.

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Actually in 2005, crime was the lowest in Atlanta it had been since the 70s. Whether that simply follows a national trend, it is much safer intown than it was perceived in the 80s. Relative to Memphis, ranked the 13th most dangerous city in the nation, Atlanta at large ranks 17th in 2007.

But it is true that Atlanta is a sprawling city with its good and bad pockets. The neighborhoods you mentioned are safe for the most part. Neighborhoods to the west, including Vine City and English Avenue, along I-20 and clockwise to around old Bankhead Hwy (Hollowell Pkwy) are largely in transition. I agree with eastatlanta119's choice of eastside neighborhoods. I would add that Reynoldstown and Old Fourth Ward are gentrifying and may soon in the future join a short list of up-and-coming and safer intown neighborhoods.

I generalize the northern suburbs as the face of a clock. The closer to 12:00, the more affluent the suburbs. Upper-middle class in Cobb and Gwinnett along the 75 or 85 spines. Lower-middle class along I-20 at 3:00 and 9:00. Of course that's a generalization. You can find expensive or affordable homes most any place. But we want to encourage you to move intown and not into the suburbs!

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Actually in 2005, crime was the lowest in Atlanta it had been since the 70s. Whether that simply follows a national trend, it is much safer intown than it was perceived in the 80s. Relative to Memphis, ranked the 13th most dangerous city in the nation, Atlanta at large ranks 17th in 2007.

But it is true that Atlanta is a sprawling city with its good and bad pockets. The neighborhoods you mentioned are safe for the most part. Neighborhoods to the west, including Vine City and English Avenue, along I-20 and clockwise to around old Bankhead Hwy (Hollowell Pkwy) are largely in transition. I agree with eastatlanta119's choice of eastside neighborhoods. I would add that Reynoldstown and Old Fourth Ward are gentrifying and may soon in the future join a short list of up-and-coming and safer intown neighborhoods.

I generalize the northern suburbs as the face of a clock. The closer to 12:00, the more affluent the suburbs. Upper-middle class in Cobb and Gwinnett along the 75 or 85 spines. Lower-middle class along I-20 at 3:00 and 9:00. Of course that's a generalization. You can find expensive or affordable homes most any place. But we want to encourage you to move intown and not into the suburbs!

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I'd say it's pretty rare to hear about serious crime on the MARTA system. Then again, anything could happen. Common sense always reigns: if it's late, avoid being the only one on a train car, etc. And while it is true that crime in the city is much better than it has been in decades past, this past year has seen an increase. This was due mostly to the absence of a narcotics unit as it was being completely revamped.

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I'd say it's pretty rare to hear about serious crime on the MARTA system. Then again, anything could happen. Common sense always reigns: if it's late, avoid being the only one on a train car, etc. And while it is true that crime in the city is much better than it has been in decades past, this past year has seen an increase. This was due mostly to the absence of a narcotics unit as it was being completely revamped.

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Zac, I've lived in Buckhead (and many other parts of town) for several decades. Violent crime is absolutely a non-issue. I'm completely comfortable going out anywhere in Buckhead and just about anywhere else in Atlanta day or night.

Yes, there are a handful of rough neighborhoods like there are in any city. But that's hardly characteristic of life in Atlanta. Anyone who tells you different is talking through their hat. Life in Atlanta is very safe and you won't ever have any trouble or feel any danger whatsoever.

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thanks a lot guys, i appreciate it! i love a diverse group of people, as long as there arent (too many) problems, like close-minded, we hate you, you hate us type of mentality, i understand thats everywhere. My fiance and I both love Buckhead, and I like I said earlier grew up in Dallas, I love your midtown area thats growing, i liken it to a burgeoning magnificent mile up in chicago, another one of my favorite cities...I would move to the Midtown area in a heartbeat if I got a job close to the area. About your MARTA system, is it as comprehensive as say, DART in dallas if you know anything about that (Memphis' rail/trolley transportation is nonexistant except for buses) and would you say there is a significant amount of crime on the public transportation? In Dallas, you could ride DART and get stuck up or shot on the buses, even during the good hours...very unsettling.

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some of these threads are crazy, talking about how atlanta is headed to a pre/post katrina new orleans type crime wave, etc...thats a bit scary..

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yall are helping so much, i really appreciate this :)

the last time i went to buckhead, crowe, was about 6 months ago. I am an urbanite at heart, ive never liked mundane cookie cutter subdivisions and have always believed the condo lifestyle was the life for me in the heart of the city and am lucky that my significant other thinks the same way. however, i am a very cosmo type of guy and love the feel and look of buckhead, it has some great shopping. we both love it, and would love to find a place out there.

as for marta, i have no problem with public trans, i actually would prefer taking it to a braves/hawks/falcons/thrashers game or just into downtown/buckhead (either or), i was just wondering about its safety. i had a friend who has family out in Alpharetta (sp?) and her and her brother went into downtown/around and rode MARTA and she says quote "i overheard some people talking about nearly killing a cop." Now shes prone to overreact and I know the city has its problems, but that threw me off a tad. DART back home in Dallas has disintegrated into that type of convo/ppl on the trams so safety was just a concern for me. I apologize if her comment offended anyone.

but yes, buckhead is just great for us, i would love for it to continue on an upward trend, i read these forums about the developments quite frequently and absolutely love what a revival of sorts the city is going through architecturally. makes me want a condo in one of these buildings more and more. :D

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yall are helping so much, i really appreciate this :)

the last time i went to buckhead, crowe, was about 6 months ago. I am an urbanite at heart, ive never liked mundane cookie cutter subdivisions and have always believed the condo lifestyle was the life for me in the heart of the city and am lucky that my significant other thinks the same way. however, i am a very cosmo type of guy and love the feel and look of buckhead, it has some great shopping. we both love it, and would love to find a place out there.

as for marta, i have no problem with public trans, i actually would prefer taking it to a braves/hawks/falcons/thrashers game or just into downtown/buckhead (either or), i was just wondering about its safety. i had a friend who has family out in Alpharetta (sp?) and her and her brother went into downtown/around and rode MARTA and she says quote "i overheard some people talking about nearly killing a cop." Now shes prone to overreact and I know the city has its problems, but that threw me off a tad. DART back home in Dallas has disintegrated into that type of convo/ppl on the trams so safety was just a concern for me. I apologize if her comment offended anyone.

but yes, buckhead is just great for us, i would love for it to continue on an upward trend, i read these forums about the developments quite frequently and absolutely love what a revival of sorts the city is going through architecturally. makes me want a condo in one of these buildings more and more. :D

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Aha! If you can afford and prefer a Buckhead condo, congrats and more power to you!

Alpharetta is at 12:00 on that clock-face I described earlier. Very affluent and sometimes a little distant from the "public" vibe, but still well served by the north terminus of a MARTA line. I haven't heard or encountered nearly as unpleasant a person on MARTA compared to what I hear on NJ Transit, Philadelphia SEPTA, and New York City subway.

Public transit will always be for the public, which requires some stomach for differences. During commuting hours, MARTA reminds me of NYC subway -- full of a mix of professionals, tourists, and residents, all largely respecting one another. And by the way, ALL stadiums are well served by transit!

Good luck with your search!

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ATLienHopefull - Sad to hear that DART is having all of those problems you mention, I had no idea.

Until very recently I commuted on MARTA daily, a mix of both bus & train. I'll echo what everyone else said, it is almost totally safe. You will sometimes hear bad language, and thats about it. Attacks and crime on the system are very, very rare. So rare that when they do happen, it's huge news - and it's been several years since I've heard anything. The system as of now is roughly the same physical size as DART, about 48 miles. What is really great about MARTA if you travel frequently is the direct access to the airport. I travel a lot, and haven't driven out there in over 10 years. Because of the airport connection, you will notice many tourists and business people mixed in with regualr commuters on the main North/South lines. The system is mostly derided by sububanites that "have heard" or "been told" stories that really have no clue, because they have probably never riden the trains. Keep in mind daily ridership is up to 267,000 on the trains alone, the highest in the Sunbelt at present.

If you can do a little planning on where you live and work, it works great. Sadly, a lot of people here (like everywhere now) commute from 'burb to 'burb, and that requires a car for sure.

Good luck, and keep the questions coming. For the most part, we're a pretty friendly bunch!

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ATLienHopefull - Sad to hear that DART is having all of those problems you mention, I had no idea.

Until very recently I commuted on MARTA daily, a mix of both bus & train. I'll echo what everyone else said, it is almost totally safe. You will sometimes hear bad language, and thats about it. Attacks and crime on the system are very, very rare. So rare that when they do happen, it's huge news - and it's been several years since I've heard anything. The system as of now is roughly the same physical size as DART, about 48 miles. What is really great about MARTA if you travel frequently is the direct access to the airport. I travel a lot, and haven't driven out there in over 10 years. Because of the airport connection, you will notice many tourists and business people mixed in with regualr commuters on the main North/South lines. The system is mostly derided by sububanites that "have heard" or "been told" stories that really have no clue, because they have probably never riden the trains. Keep in mind daily ridership is up to 267,000 on the trains alone, the highest in the Sunbelt at present.

If you can do a little planning on where you live and work, it works great. Sadly, a lot of people here (like everywhere now) commute from 'burb to 'burb, and that requires a car for sure.

Good luck, and keep the questions coming. For the most part, we're a pretty friendly bunch!

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As Andrea has said, I really am never afraid anywhere I go here. Just like every big city, you just have to be aware of your surroundings.

I will say that the "vibe" here between races seems to be on an entirely different level than Memphis. IMO, there is a comfort level here that simply doesn't exist in too many other places (and before anyone bashes me, I am well traveled).

Hmnn, taxes eh? Well we do have a state income tax, but it is pretty small. Not sure of the rate though. Sales taxes depend on what County you are in, with Atlanta/Fulton & De Kalb having I think an 8% rate. The suburban Counties are a little lower - someone else certainly has more info than me on this subject.

Property taxes of course are pretty high in the City of Atlanta, but again, it depends on which County and Municipality you settle in. Unicorporated DeKalb probaby has the lowest in the core due to a 1 cent sales tax to help offset the cost. Say a condo valued at about $165,00 would have taxes of around $1,200 a year or so.

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As Andrea has said, I really am never afraid anywhere I go here. Just like every big city, you just have to be aware of your surroundings.

I will say that the "vibe" here between races seems to be on an entirely different level than Memphis. IMO, there is a comfort level here that simply doesn't exist in too many other places (and before anyone bashes me, I am well traveled).

Hmnn, taxes eh? Well we do have a state income tax, but it is pretty small. Not sure of the rate though. Sales taxes depend on what County you are in, with Atlanta/Fulton & De Kalb having I think an 8% rate. The suburban Counties are a little lower - someone else certainly has more info than me on this subject.

Property taxes of course are pretty high in the City of Atlanta, but again, it depends on which County and Municipality you settle in. Unicorporated DeKalb probaby has the lowest in the core due to a 1 cent sales tax to help offset the cost. Say a condo valued at about $165,00 would have taxes of around $1,200 a year or so.

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I have lived in both Atlanta and Dallas and I don't see where Atlanta is more cosmopolitan or safer. That would be a gross generalization of the areas based on narrow personal experiences. I like both places. The main difference I see is Atlanta has more hills so more of the streets are crooked. DFW is more spread out because it has two large CBDs and has filled in between them. The cities are even similar in terms of the orientation of the "good" areas and the "dangerous" areas. Hell, even the most notable gay areas are located appoximately the same place relative to downtown.

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