A member of Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya community, Abu Talib endured a harrowing journey at sea to start a new life in Clarkston. But conditions continue to deteriorate for the family he left behind.
In 2013, the City of Atlanta agreed to fund $200 million of the $1.6 billion price tag for billionaire Arthur Blank’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. However, that covered only upfront development costs and did not account for operating and financing expenses, which will be paid with nearly 40 percent of the city’s hotel tax over the next 30 years, for a total investment of roughly $700 million. Blank pegs private dollars at $850 million, leaving 40 percent of the total cost coming from public coffers.
A quick guide to what’s in development in downtown Atlanta, what’s proposed, and what might have been
Hard to keep all the numbered buildings and buzzwords straight? Here’s a quick guide to what’s proposed, what’s underway, and what might have been.
Eviscerating a century-old office building and refashioning it into apartments is no easy feat. Older offices are nonpliable, stubborn things, riddled with secret problems and outdated floor plans. But the hassle was worth it for Centennial Yards Company, the developer behind a 162-unit project called the Lofts at Centennial Yards South, a remake of half of the long-vacant Norfolk Southern Buildings.
“There’s always been a fight for visibility for the creative community here. A lot of the artists feel like underground legends, even if they are known worldwide.”
Darin Givens—cofounder of ThreadATL, a nonprofit advocacy organization that aims to influence city planning and policy—explains why this cross-section of Forsyth and Poplar streets in the Fairlie-Poplar District has it all.
Proctor, Tanyard, Clear, and Intrenchment creeks all begin downtown and flow out from the city like spokes—west, north, east, and south. The creeks predate the railroads and highways that have nearly buried them, but their exact sources remain a mystery.
The excitement about new development obscures an awkward fact that the city and developers have to reckon with: Downtown already has more buildings than it has people who want to occupy them. It already has more road, rail, and bus capacity than any eastern U.S. downtown south of Washington, D.C. On weekdays, there are plenty of people there. The problem is that, at 5 p.m. on Fridays, the place clears out. Downtown Atlanta is often filled with a large, diverse group of people, but not many of them are residents.
The installations at the Museum of Design Atlanta’s new exhibition, Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture, include experimental visualizations, development proposals, facade studies, and building designs. Each riffs off of hip-hop’s methodologies—deejaying, emceeing, b-boy dancing, graffiti, remixing, sampling—to translate hip-hop’s energy into built form.
Stone Summit’s Adaptive Climbing Clinic breaks down barriers to welcome rock climbers of all abilities
Once a week, Adaptive Climbing Clinic, a volunteer-driven clinic offers climbers with physical disabilities the resources and equipment they need to participate. It is, unfortunately, a rare opportunity. Despite the recent boom in rock climbing’s popularity, lack of representation and support infrastructure remain daunting obstacles
The next time you watch a MARTA bus driver make a squeaky-tight turn with ease, you can thank Howard Harris, who teaches novices to navigate Atlanta’s labyrinthine streets.
Doug Elliott, a retired higher-ed executive, sits down to breakfast every morning with a coffee, perhaps some cereal, and Kim Kardashian’s boobs in his face. The billboard sits across from his apartment downtown. It’s one of several new billboards that have been erected in the Arts & Entertainment Atlanta district—an initiative, approved by the city in 2017, to “awaken” downtown by introducing outdoor media displays by local artists as well as advertisers.
Each of MARTA’s 1,500-odd bus drivers has a unique badge number. The lower the number, the higher a driver’s seniority; a new recruit might be assigned, say, Badge #1480. That makes Coy Dumas Jr., Badge #1—who just celebrated 50 years behind the wheel—something of a transportation sensation.
“It’s just getting harder for bees to do what they do,” Keith Delaplane says. Increasingly, honeybees and other pollinators face survival challenges from climate change, pesticide use, and habitat destruction—in addition to bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can swiftly decimate a hive. But researchers like Delaplane, a professor of entomology at the University of Georgia and the director of UGA’s Bee Program, are working to offer beekeepers tools to combat at least some of these threats. Next year, Georgia—home to one of the biggest commercial beekeeping industries in the country—might also be home to the world’s first vaccine for honeybees.
Chef Arnaldo Castillo pays respect to the South wherever he can. His anticuchos de corazon, a street food usually consisting of grilled beef heart, is made with deliciously tender pork hearts from local pigs, interspersed with fried yuca. Causa, typically a cold layered dish of whipped Andean potatoes, avocado, and proteins, is mounded like an adorable little cake with, in one version, a distinctive layer of chicken salad bound with mayonnaise on top.
Though it opened in the lead-up to Halloween 2022, Mambo Zombi is definitely not a Halloween bar. Despite the mai tai and Singapore sling on the menu, it’s not a tiki bar. Also, if you’re looking for it—you’re right, there’s no sign. But it’s also not a speakeasy.
Kevin Mobley grew up in South Boston, Virginia, eating macaroni and cheese made by his great-grandmother. Anna Bell lived and gardened on a couple acres of land and got milk from her own cow. He cooked with her but never wrote the recipe down. “Over the past 20-plus years, as an adult, I spent time re-creating that recipe exactly the way that it was,” says Mobley, who runs a tech company by day.
Return of the Max: Floral motifs, bright colors, and bold patterns dominate Atlanta restaurant design
Atrium is not the only restaurant embracing the ethos of “more is more.” Recent years have brought a shift from the crisp minimalist aesthetic that dominated Instagram feeds over the past decade to one that’s colorful and expressive.
Serious sushi with a cute name, Persian pleasures at Ponce City Market, and some of the best buttermilk biscuits in town.
Quintin Williams is one of two instructors (Michael Mack, Williams’s SCAD mentor, is the other) leading a 10-week quarter in classes like Rapid Prototyping, Marketing and Distribution for Footwear, and Digital Sneaker Design, which uses Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headsets and 3-D printers more than pencils and pads.
Joyland is a historic South Atlanta neighborhood not far from Atlanta Technical College and an unpaved section of the BeltLine’s Southside Trail. It was named after a short-lived amusement park that opened here in 1921 to serve Black residents, who were excluded from nearby whites-only Lakewood Fairgrounds—site of today’s film studios and Lakewood Amphitheatre.
The marble lobby in downtown’s Candler Hotel exudes Beaux-Arts glamour like nothing else in Atlanta. Built by Coca-Cola magnate Asa Candler as an office building in 1906, the property was remodeled into a luxury hotel in 2019.
With its recognizable logo in St. Patrick’s Day font, those simple but wonderful green awnings, and that chatty, sweet staff, Green’s operates stores across South Carolina and has two in Atlanta. But the original, and my favorite, dates back to 1937 on Ponce de Leon Avenue.