What is Underground Atlanta like?

Jan 8th, 2005, 11:47 AM
  #1  
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What is Underground Atlanta like?

I'm going to be moving to Atlanta in a couple months and am going there shortly to check some more things out. I am curious ... What is Underground Atlanta like? I know it's downtown near the Coca-Cola Museum and has shops/restaurants, but I was wondering if it's worth checking out. What can I expect in terms of safety on a weekday night, weekend day, weekend night? Are there a fair amount of people of various ages mingling around or does it tend to attract a younger crowd? When would be the best time to go there and where should I park? Any specific restaurant recommendation?
Cher is offline  
Jan 8th, 2005, 12:23 PM
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I moved away from Atlanta five years ago, but when I left it was a big, fat tourist trap with nothing to appeal to locals. The restaurants were all dependent on tourist trade, which meant that they didn't even try to be good enough to attract return business. Other areas of town--midtown, VA Highlands, Little Five Points--are much more worth your time.
crys is offline  
Jan 8th, 2005, 12:32 PM
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It's been a while since I've been there, but it wasn't worth your time. Many shops failing, a few restaurants, nothing good. I'd skip it.
lisettemac is offline  
Jan 8th, 2005, 12:42 PM
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Underground was totally revamped over the last year. Five new night clubs opened up last weekend, four are run by the same group which operates Masquerade. Underground was given a special "exemption" from the 2:00 a.m. bar closings now being enforced in Buckhead. Underground bars can stay open until 4:00 a.m. Security is supposed to be better and the area is supposed to be safer than Buckhead where there seems to be a killing every month or so. I have not been yet, don't really plant to go, but there supposedly Underground is now a little bigger and better than before, although geared more towards the night life.

DD
ddcnga is offline  
Jan 8th, 2005, 01:27 PM
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I used to work at the Underground while I went to GSU. The shop I worked at closed down - many (many) stores closed down. It isn't really a fun place ... but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Coke museum, so take a stroll through the Underground while you are there. It is prettty safe. It is attached to MARTA, so you will more than likely see a panhandler or two (or 10) but they are harmless.
I was there last week in the morning. Bathrooms were clean. MARTA elevator still smells like urine.
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Jan 8th, 2005, 01:34 PM
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Even revitalized again, Underground attracts tourists and conventioneers. Not many locals go. If I were you, I would visit the intown neighborhoods Virginia Highland or East Atlanta before I went to Underground. VH has lots of shops, bars, restaurants...EA is an up and coming back neighborhood- what VH was 20 years ago.
padams421 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2005, 01:42 PM
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Cher,

if you are in the downtown area, I would suggest you check it out. During the day it would take less than an hour. It has become and evening and weekend hangout. Then you can judge for yourself. I always take visitors who continue to find shops underneath a street interesting
sk84fungirl is offline  
Jan 8th, 2005, 01:50 PM
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To the poster who mentioned the frequent killings in the Buckhead area - What parts of that area are OK and what should be avoided? Aren't there alot of frequented restaurants in that area? Also, isn't it expensive to live around there?
Cher is offline  
Jan 8th, 2005, 01:56 PM
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There have been deaths in the early A.M. in Buckhead. Typically when clubs are closing and folks are spilling out into the streets from the bars and clubs. It gets a lot of attention because it's Buckhead. Would venture out and statistically bet that it is still a pretty safe area. I've been in ATL 18 years, frequent Buckhead bars, and have never had any problems...AT ALL!!!
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Jan 8th, 2005, 02:25 PM
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In the past couple of years, several people have been shot at 3 or 4am leaving bars in Buckhead when fights have broken out between drunken patrons.

Buckhead is a neighborhood with homes in the range of 300,000 to millions of $$$. Buckhead has a commercial area with a couple of malls, several strip malls, and a lot of restaurants and bars. In the last 10 years, the number of bars have overtaken the number of restaurants. The people who frequent the bars in Buckhead don't live in Buckhead. The residents have increasingly complained about the noise, traffic, occasional murder, etc. to the city. The city has been trying to get the situation under better control by stopping cruising and increasing police patrols in the wee hours of the morning. The area is as safe as any other major city. I would compare the bar district to New Orleans' French Quarter or New York's Times Square.
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Jan 8th, 2005, 02:37 PM
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I've been considering areas to live that aren't too far. My husband and I are in our mid-40s, no kids; my job will be in Smyrna ... not sure where he will be working yet. We definitely want a house w/2 car garage and basement (not a townhouse or condo), and don't want to be too far out. So we were considering the Vinings or Smyrna area, and some of the outskirting area of Buckhead where the prices are more reasonable. Fulton county taxes are pretty high compared to Cobb county, so you can get a bit more house. Vinings is pretty expensive, but I like the village feel and it seems relatively easy to get into the city compared to going farther out in Cobb County. The Sandy Springs area seemed pretty congested and very busy, however that could have just been the day/time we went through there. Any recommendations?
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Jan 8th, 2005, 02:41 PM
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I haven't been to Atlanta for several years, but here are my thoughts for what they are worth. The undergound had lots of shops - I was thrilled find a cafe' du monde where I could get beignets! I felt completely safe there, but had my wallet stolen, so it was evidently a false sense of security!

I liked eating in Buckhead - Atlanta Fish Market and Buckhead Diner (I think they migh have the same owner?). We went to a nice mall there as well.

I remember being impressed with the diversity of the people of Atlanta. It seemed like a nice place to live (my brother went to college there at Emory Univ).
snowrooster is offline  
Jan 8th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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It seems like every couple of years you hear: go to Underground Atlanta! It's been revitalized!

Then the next year or so: Stay out of Underground Atlanta! It has the highest crime rate in the country!
 
Jan 8th, 2005, 04:41 PM
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OK - I think I get the idea on Underground Atlanta. Any recommendations regarding whether Vinings is a good choice to live since working in Smyrna, and still want to be convenient to city for shops, restaurants and other things to do?
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Jan 8th, 2005, 07:35 PM
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Cher,
I like Vinings/Smyrna and would definately consider living there except that it would take me forever to get to work. Since you'll be working in that area, I see no reason for you not to househunt on that side of town. Most of my friends are in their mid-late 30s and love it over there. My husband and I are in Sandy Springs and like it here too--dont' know that the traffic is any worse (or any better!) though.

Do you have a realtor to help you look for a house? If not, I can recommend a couple of people to you.

OWJ

PS I was on jury duty this summer and had lunch at the Underground. It holds no appeal to me--tourist trap and not a very nice one at that. If you decide to go over to World of Coke, then take a look because you're right there anyway but don't go out of your way.
OneWanderingJew is offline  
Jan 8th, 2005, 08:22 PM
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Thanks. I have a recommendation for a realtor from the relocation service I'm working with. I've met and spoken with her and like her and have gotten positive feedback from others that she's worked with ... She's with Jenny Pruitt Realty. My husband and I did some initial looking around a couple months ago to get a feel for the area ... mainly in Cobb County, but also a bit intown (Virginia-Highland, Midtown, Buckhead). I am also trying to find out as much as I can on my own from other various sources.

Do your friends live in Vinings or Smyrna? I like Vinings, but the prices are significantly higher than Smyrna. However, it seems to have a bit more character than Smyrna, but since I was only there a few days, I'd appreciate your thoughts on Smyrna.
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Jan 8th, 2005, 10:39 PM
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I moved from Atlanta a couple of years ago after living there for many years. I lived in Buckhead but if I were to move back to the area I would probably not choose Buckhead again. If you'll be working in Smyrna then Vinings would be a good choice. I have some friends who live in Smyrna and liked it but when I went there it felt extremely suburban and characterless.
The Virginia Highland and Morningside areas are nice and have some charm. But they would not be very close to your work (although you'd be doing a reverse commute).
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Jan 9th, 2005, 06:17 AM
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Cher,
They're pretty much in Vinings but technically in Smyrna. Depending on where you are, there isn't much of a distinction and the two areas run into eachother. Jenny Pruitt has a pretty big presence here so if you like the person you've spoken to then that's great.

Cobb Co., as you've discovered, will save you $ on taxes although I don't think prop. taxes are that bad compared to other places I've lived...

If you have any more questions, ask away!
OWJ
OneWanderingJew is offline  
Jan 9th, 2005, 08:07 AM
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sequess: Thanks for your input. I'm curious, why wouldn't you live in Buckhead again ... It seems like a great area, however I've only been through there briefly so I'm very interested in input from persons that have lived there.

OneWanderingJew: Thank you as well. I really liked the Vir-Highland and Morningstar areas, especially because we would be closer to restaurants, shops and things to do. However, I was a bit concerned that on a day-to-day basis for commuting to work, it seemed a bit far. I'm coming from Rochester, NY where it doesn't take much longer than 20 minutes to get anywhere. So the commuting time is very high on my list of concerns on where to live. That's why I'm leaning towards Vinings. It's obviously close to my job in Smyrna, but also would seem to be convenient to get into the city for other activities. However, the home prices are very, very high compared to Rochester and compared to what I would find in Smyrna and Marietta ... But it seems that it may be worth it by making it easier to get into Atlanta proper itself (than from outer areas in Cobb country). This is important to us because we really want to enjoy all Atlanta has to offer, rather than just hang out at our house (since we don't have kids and like to go to restaurants and do other things). I also want some place that's relatively easy to get to the airport ... For travel, of course!
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Jan 9th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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I live in Vinings - the "real" Vinings. Much of Smyrna, which is the area across I-285 from Vinings, has been redeveloped in the last 5 years or so. Many developers built new subdivisions (tearing down old neighborhoods of small ranches on relatively large lots built in the 50s and 60s) in Smyrna and named them "Vinings" something to attract buyers. Real estate agents have also helpd the sprawl of the "Vinings" name. Some of my neighbors refer to those areas "Smynings", "Nouveau Vinings", "New Vinings", you get the idea.

The number of restaurants and shops will greatly increase in Smryna over the next few years because of demand from the new residents. Also, the town of Smyrna has been aggressive in seeking redevelopment. Check out the "town square" area of downtown Smyrna next to the gov't buildings in Smyrna. I think Smyrna will see more of that sort of development.

The "real" Vinings is actually pretty small. Many apartments and condos have been built in the last 5 years. A recent article in the Atlanta newspaper claimed that Vinings have the highest concentration of single females in the city. Looking around the shops and restaurants, I do think the area is hot for single, young women in their 20s. I am guessing that the males will start moving in soon.

The single family homes in Vinings are always in demand because we are close to Buckhead and downtown but we pay Cobb County taxes (about 1/3 of what we would pay if we lived inthe City of Atlanta). We are also close to several of the popular private schools.

Numerous Vinings homes, particularly the 1970s contemporary-style ones, are being knocked down for new homes. Those older homes are basically selling as lots in the 400,000 range (700,000 if it is on the Chattahoochee River).

You can get a lot more house, and much newer, for your money in Smyrna.
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