For more than half a century, the Atlanta Braves have rented a prime chunk of property just south of Downtown. To accommodate this prized tenant, city and county officials have demolished entire blocks, proffered tax breaks, rerouted roads, and constructed not one but two massive stadiums. It’s not been enough. Today the Braves announced they will leave Atlanta proper – and move twelve miles up the freeway to Cobb County, hosting opening day 2017 in a brand new ballpark.
Rich history and culture, a sizzling culinary scene, unbeatable shopping, and iconic entertainment have helped Atlanta earn its place as one of the best cities to live in. And it isn’t just our Southern...
As its name suggests, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, which opens to the public on Monday, is about two struggles—the American one that was fought primarily in the South in the latter half of the twentieth century, and the worldwide one that involves oppressed peoples in distant (and not-so-distant) lands. While there’s an obvious thematic linkage between the American Civil Rights Movement and the broader human rights one, the line between them must have been a challenge for the Center’s designers to straddle. One has a built-in narrative, with a beginning and middle (if not yet an ending), and the other requires navigating the vast space beneath the human rights umbrella, whether it’s oppressed women in Africa, child laborers in Pakistan, or tortured activists in Burma.
When I moved to Cabbagetown a couple of years ago, I quickly learned what it means to be “on the other side of the tracks.” Literally. For those of us who live south of the CSX and MARTA rail lines that slice through the heart of intown Atlanta, getting around can be problematic.
After WABE-FM reporter and weekend anchor Jim Burress finished grabbing sound for Stuck in The Bluff: AIDS, Heroin and One Group’s Illegal Quest to Save Lives, a 30-minute documentary that airs tonight, he drove home, crawled into bed and stared at the ceiling for hours. “I could not wrap my head around everything that I saw,” he recalls of his day chronicling the work of the nonprofit Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition’s needle exchange program. “There’s the drug use and the drug sales, the nonprofit doing this work and the neighborhood itself. Spending time there forces you to ask: ‘Is this a forgotten land? Are these people basically being sentenced to a neighborhood like this because that’s the easiest solution?’ No matter what side of this issue you fall on, you’re going to be challenged as a listener hearing the stories of these people. This is a deep, complex and troubling issue.”
At some point, I suppose, it will stop being a surprise that movie folks ask Atlanta to stand in for so many other places. Odd enough that Woodruff Park was a facsimile of seventies-era NYC complete with overflowing garbage cans and yellow cabs for Anchorman 2. But today, while strolling around our neighborhood, my husband and I came across a crew hard at work constructing a faux Rhode Island streetscape on a long-vacant lot at the corner of Kirkwood Avenue and Pearl Street in Cabbagetown, about the most quintessentially Southern pocket of Atlanta you could hope for.