Atlantans share why they love their neighborhoods and what makes them stay

ITP, OTP, east side, west side—where you live can be as big a part of your identity as the team you cheer for, and Atlantans pick with pride

Atlantans share why they love their neighborhoods
The Lee family, of Duluth

Photograph by Ben Rollins

Atlanta has always been a relatively easy place to move. With its sprawling 12-county metro area and diverse population, it invites newcomers with more housing options than most big cities. However, settling here, as elsewhere in the country, is more challenging these days. Michael Fischer, the outgoing president of the executive committee of the Atlanta REALTORS Association, says there’s a lot of anxiety in the marketplace. Supply is the biggest concern due to factors such as fewer new builds, older homeowners staying put instead of downsizing, and rising interest rates that have disincentivized buyers.

“As of September 2023, the Atlanta REALTORS Market Brief reported that the total number of transactions is down 20 percent year over year, with the median price up 2.5 percent and average price up 5.1 percent,” Fischer says. “It’s hard to imagine the supply increasing to a point where prices creep downward.” He projects the average price increase could be 5 percent in 2024. “I have seen a slight decline in demand for housing, but supply has plummeted, keeping prices stable through the year.”

Fischer adds that Atlantans are focusing on their primary residences more as places to live rather than as investment vehicles. “Over the past 10 years, it’s been, ‘How much do you think this house is going to be worth? What can I do to improve it so that when I sell it, I get the biggest return?’” he says. Now, buyers are more practical. “I think the shift is happening slowly as people start figuring out why they actually want to buy a house, and people are putting off moves and working with what they have.”

Thanks to flexible working conditions, more buyers are taking advantage of what Fischer calls “driving until you can afford it”: going farther out in exchange for more house, land, or other perks. “The intown communities will always have a high floor for demand, but prices have pushed a lot of prospective buyers further north and south,” he says, noting that areas like North Fulton, South Forsyth, West and North Cobb, and Gwinnett are seeing an influx now that some workers don’t have to commute every day, or at all.

First-time homebuyers are the ones suffering the most, as reasonable options are harder to come by. “Condos and townhouses are slowing down, and many prospective buyers are simply choosing to rent or live with friends or family. It allows them to save up longer for a bigger down payment, assess the right needs, and hope for better lending conditions,” says Fischer. He adds that builders are not producing new starter homes, instead preferring to offer high-margin, high-profit luxury homes.

By necessity, Atlantans have more incentives than ever to love where they live. Fortunately, we’ve always been loyal to our neighborhoods. Below, residents discuss what led them to their corner of the metro, and why they stay.

West EndRoswellBrookhavenCollege ParkCummingMidtownDuluthInman ParkAvondale EstatesEast Atlanta

Atlantans share why they love their neighborhoods
Angela Clyde, of West End

Photograph by Ben Rollins

West End

Angela Clyde, chair of Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Unit T (NPU-T)

Who lives in your house?
In my household, there is only myself.

How long have you lived in the neighborhood?
I’ve been in this area for quite a long time. Actually, my family lived in the West End area. I grew up here, elementary all the way through high school. Everyone has left the area except for me.

What’s your house like?
Three bedrooms, two baths. I’m not good at square footage. I have an attic and a basement. It’s one of the older homes, so the rooms are large. I’ve got a pretty large front porch that I have glassed in, and a pretty large back porch for my pet dove.

What’s its name?
Grace. I had Solomon and Grace. Solomon died. Grace is actually 18 years old.

Describe your neighbors.
There are our legacy residents: those who have been here, our seniors. But there also are a lot of 30- to 40-year-old couples with kids. The demographic has changed. There are some streets where you can actually say Black is the minority and whites are the majority. There’s a lot of walking with babies, and bike riders are huge over here now. The other trend that I’ve seen over this way, too, is a lot of singles. You’ve got a mixture of a little bit of everything.

You mentioned that other family members left the neighborhood. Why didn’t you?
There was a time when I thought I would leave. Then I got involved in the community. Right now, I chair the NPU-T, which oversees neighborhoods in the area like the West End, the AUC [Atlanta University Center], Westview, Ashview Heights, Beecher, and Donnelly. That community involvement has kept me here. Now I am able to oversee a lot of the changes that are happening in the area. There’s the new food hall that just opened at Lee + White. To have been here when those things weren’t here, and to not only see them come but to be a part of [them coming], has kind of kept me here. My sister’s like, “I want to come back, so you can’t leave!”

What excites you most about the West End’s future?
The continued growth and the continued development. Being on the inside, from the NPU perspective, knowing what’s coming and what’s being developed is exciting. Quite frankly, there were years when you didn’t have a nice place to walk, or you didn’t have some place that you could go in your area to eat. What I would like to see more of, and I never thought I’d say this, is affordable housing in this area. People who work at Lee + White should be able to live over here, too.

Does the neighborhood have any fun traditions or events?
Halloween is huge—they go all out for the kids. Every Christmas, there’s an annual Christmas party that’s held by West End Neighborhood Development. And every September, we get to experience a little bit of Chastain Park in the West End. There’s the Candlelight Concert in the back of the Wren’s Nest. There’s this huge garden. The tables are set up with all these white cloths, and there’s a lawn area. It sells out.

What’s within walking distance of your house?
Two places I love to go every week are Dendera Cosmetic Studio and Pathway Christian Church. There’s YG Urban Cafe. And then, right by the Krispy Kreme, there’s [the cafe] UniTea. There are a lot of small businesses that have opened up. Most of them are African American–owned. They’re also very involved in the community.

What’s going on with the Mall West End’s future?
The Prusik Group was the last developer. The head of that was Andrew Katz. We, as community leaders, actually thought they were the best developers that we had seen come through that area in a very long time. First of all, the mall is overpriced. Then you’ve got all of the structural [challenges], from the plumbing and all. So, it makes it very difficult for developers to come in and be able to absorb all those costs without getting some funding from the city. I think Andrew and his team did everything humanly possible that they could to try to make that deal happen. And it just did not happen. Now we’ve gotten word from the mall co-owner, Charles Taylor, that he does not want to sell it.

Atlantans share why they love their neighborhoods
The Poer Family, of Roswell

Photograph by Ben Rollins


The Poer Family: Lexi (34), content creator; Jordan (39), vice president of enterprise software sales; Kennedy (7); and Adeline (5)

How long have you lived in Roswell?
Lexi: We purchased our home in 2017. We did a full home renovation and moved in in March of 2018 from Smyrna. We plan to be here until the kids are done with high school.

What appealed to you about Roswell?
Lexi: We wanted more home space and yard space, and a really good school district was a top priority. We wanted somewhere with a cute downtown area and good restaurants, and somewhere we would feel comfortable staying within our community and not feel like we needed to go into town because we felt like we were missing something. We’re only about three miles away from downtown Roswell, on the East Cobb side. We love the easy, everyday access to things in East Cobb too, like grocery stores. It has all the appealing things when you start having kids and a family.

What’s your house like?
Lexi: It’s a 3,500-square-foot traditional colonial home built in the late ’60s. It has a brick front, and we’re on a corner lot. We’re adding 1,500 more square feet to make it a multigenerational home for my mom. She sold her home to move in with us and be part of our girls’ growing up. We love that our neighborhood is very multigenerational. It’s the perfect blend for us: people we can hang out with, people my mom can hang out with, and people with kids the same ages as ours.

Did you start your Instagram account, @strollinginthesuburbs, when you moved?
Lexi: What sparked the name was the move—something I never had pictured for myself. In the beginning [of our time in Roswell], I was struggling with leaving behind this life that I had planned, to be the mom in the city pushing my kids in strollers to go to the coffee shop or grocery store. Now, I’m part of the community. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of the restaurant and shop owners, and they’ve become good friends of ours. I love seeing our area do so well. It’s great for our family, but I think a lot of families would find joy in living here.

Where do you like to go in Roswell?
Lexi: We are members of the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Our kids are huge fans. My husband and I love working out. I’m a member at Burn Boot Camp, and we go to a yoga studio called Peach Out Power Yoga. We love Fellows Cafe and Gracious Plenty—I go to Gracious Plenty every single morning. We love Alive in Roswell, [a street festival] that is held from April to October. It’s the third Thursday of every month. They have activities for kids, and all the restaurants and vendors are set up [outdoors]. They block off Canton Street, and we just walk around.

Atlantans share why they love their neighborhoods
The Pyne Family, of Brookhaven

Photograph by Ben Rollins


The Pyne Family: Michelle (38), senior manager of a leadership program for the Home Depot; Bryan (40), investment banking; Jack (5); and Hudson (3)

How long have you been in Brookhaven?
Michelle: My husband, Bryan, and I bought our first home together in Brookhaven in 2017. We live in the Brookhaven Fields neighborhood, just off of Dresden Drive. We rented in Buckhead for a few years prior, allowing us time to figure out where we wanted to end up. We were drawn to Brookhaven because there are a lot of young families, and we loved the proximity to several areas with restaurants and shops. Our location is also close to Bryan’s office in Buckhead and provides easy access to the airport, since he travels frequently.

What’s your house like?
Michelle: It’s a traditional home built in 2006, with four bedrooms, three and a half baths, and a separate office space that was a godsend during the pandemic. We have done a lot of work to the house since we bought it to update the look, inside and out. We have a huge, flat backyard, a three-car garage, a playroom for our two boys, and a finished basement, all of which are big reasons we ultimately bought this house. The basement doubles as our UGA memorabilia shrine, since we both attended the University of Georgia.

Were you surprised by anything once you moved to your neighborhood?
Michelle: There are so many individual neighborhoods that make up the broader city of Brookhaven. Brookhaven Fields has a very active civic association that organizes so many activities throughout the year, especially around the holidays. Once we had kids, we realized how many parks there are in the neighborhood, which have become a great way to meet our neighbors.

We can easily walk to several restaurants, shops, and the Brookhaven Farmers Market. The restaurants really cater to their regular neighborhood clientele and have welcoming, family-friendly atmospheres. And the number of walkable restaurants has only continued to increase since we moved in over six years ago, with several more slated to open this year.

Who lives in your neighborhood?
Michelle: There’s a good mix, but it’s mostly younger families. Lots of kids riding bikes, dogs being walked, and strollers being pushed. We were fish out of water when we first moved here and didn’t have kids and/or a dog, but once we found ourselves out and about in the community, it was so easy to meet our wonderful, friendly neighbors.

What’s your favorite time of year in your neighborhood?
Michelle: Halloween is our biggest holiday. We have a big costume parade where all the families gather on a certain street to kick off trick-or-treating. There are hundreds of people who then walk down the street to the park, where there’s a cookout and activities for the kids. That’s our biggest annual event that brings out most of the neighborhood. And the decorating for Halloween is intense! There’s a big competition among the houses.

Atlantans share why they love their neighborhoods
The Walters Family, of College Park

Photograph by Ben Rollins

College Park

The Walters Family: Charita Walters (41), software engineer; Khamisi Walters (41), mechanical engineer; Arrington (11); and Mickey (3)

How long have you lived in this neighborhood?
Charita: I have lived in College Park my entire life. But I grew up in unincorporated College Park, which is now the city of South Fulton.

I’ve lived in College Park my whole life and in the historic College Park area for 13 years. [Growing up,] we lived not a mile from each other.

Charita: We actually met not far from here.

We met at the Hilton on Virginia Avenue.

It was at a high school scholarship competition.

What’s your house like?
Khamisi: Three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a flex space, a family room, an attached garage, and a veranda. Roughly 1,800 square feet. We moved in in 2023. It’s a modern Cotswold cottage.

What do you like most about your home?
Khamisi: The motivation to move and to build was all Charita’s. It was the lack of storage. What we love most about the new house is that it meets all of our storage needs, and everybody has a space of their own, a closet of their own.

You had a smaller house next door, right?
Khamisi: Yes, two bedrooms, one and a half baths. No garage. Little Mickey came along, and that changed the game.

What kept you in the neighborhood?
Charita: Originally, I guess we wanted to be close to our families. And we consider ourselves, like, College Park connoisseurs, so we kind of knew where the best places to live would be. But at that time, we didn’t have any kids. What kept us in the neighborhood was the school (Woodward Academy) being across the street, so Arrington has easy access to school.

What has changed most about the neighborhood since you’ve been here?
Khamisi: We’ve seen a lot of investment from Woodward Academy in the neighborhood. And what that has done is spurred a lot of interest. It was a catalyst for a lot of new development. There’s been somewhat of a development boom just in the span of the last 10 to 13 years. We came at a time when it wasn’t attractive to be here. Now, we’ve seen our property values rise in a relatively short time.

Describe your neighbors.
Khamisi: I would say they fall into two categories. One is the family that has children at the nearby school. They’re not here permanently, but for the duration of the school [years]. They represent the half of the neighborhood that’s high-turnover. The other types of individuals are true natives to College Park. They’ve been here for generations. They represent a significant part of the population. Our town meeting place is the grocery store, Eden Fresh Market. That’s a great place to get a sense of what the demographics are. It’s a unique and special mix of individuals.

Is it walkable?
Khamisi: Very walkable. Lots of dog owners, and lots of cyclists. Arrington will ride his bike, but walking is something we’ll do daily.

What is close by that you enjoy?
Khamisi: Brake Pad is probably my go-to restaurant whenever I consider [eating out].

What is your favorite time of year in this neighborhood?
Arrington: Football season! I go with a lot of my friends to the Woodward games.

They often play in the front yard, and other classmates and individuals that may not even be in their age group will see them playing [and join in]. It’s like pregaming. That’s the tailgate. There are a lot of activities. Young kids and adults alike, just enjoying the game.

Atlantans share why they love their neighborhoods
Patti Runfola and Scott Dixon, of Cumming

Photograph by Ben Rollins


Patti Runfola, President of PCR Services Corporation, and Scott Dixon, retired magazine publisher (both 69)

What’s your neighborhood like?
Scott: We’re a blended family, and we decided in 2019 to downsize out of Patti’s house. We fell in love with the Vickery neighborhood. It’s a New Urbanism neighborhood, designed famously by the same people who designed Rosemary Beach and Seaside in Florida. We needed a house that better suited our needs. They call it a 15-minute city. From anywhere in the neighborhood, you can walk and be at the center of the village in 15 minutes.

What do you love most about it?
Scott: We love the character of the homes. There are no two homes that are alike. Ours is a Craftsman style. Architecture would be one of the number one things I love. We also love that the homes are built close to the street, and a great majority of them have front porches. It’s all very walkable. We also love the people. Some people our age live in an age-restricted community, but that didn’t hold any appeal for us. We like that we have neighbors that are 75 and we have some with 5-year-olds. There are about five guys on my street who are also retired, and we walk the dogs together and talk about stuff. The neighborhood is vibrant.

Why come out so far from the city?
Patti: I have been in Cumming since 1990. I had lived in Roswell from 1978 to 1986 and then went to California for a few years. When I came back, I thought I wanted to be in Roswell. I was looking with the realtor on a Saturday morning in Roswell, and the traffic had changed dramatically. All of a sudden, I wasn’t as enchanted as I had been. I had lived in the city, I had lived in Roswell, but I wanted to move farther out to have more space for my family. At that point, it was very rural, but there was a brand-new community, Polo Golf & Country Club, and I was drawn to it.

Scott: I didn’t choose Cumming, I chose Patti. I moved back from Boston to the Atlanta area. I raised my family in Alpharetta.

Atlantans share why they love their neighborhoods
Steve Kamishlian and Neil Jones, of Midtown

Photograph by Ben Rollins


Steve Kamishlian (left) (63), digital marketing, and Neil Jones (50), consultant

How long have you lived in your Midtown condo?
Neil: We’ve lived here since 2014. The building was built in about 2006, and we live in about 1,200 square feet in a two-bedroom, two-bath unit. It’s not historic, but it’s older than most buildings in Midtown.

It’s a pair of twin towers, which is cool. We’re on the 20th floor. We had a friend who lived here, and we liked the way the building looked. We liked the idea of a 24/7 concierge and amenities like a pool and club room. It’s very walkable. We lived downtown for 11 years and decided we needed to get away from touristy areas. We generally walk to any restaurant we’re going to or entertainment. It’s a great location. It’s not right on Peachtree Street, so there’s not as much traffic.

Where do you like to go in Midtown?
Neil: We like the Consulate, Campagnolo. [Steve] likes to sing at Robert Ray’s piano bar [in Campagnolo]. He sings Elton John songs.

And then we walk home. It’s silly to get an Uber. Most of the places we go are within four or five blocks. It’s easy to enjoy the city. We don’t have to worry about how to get home. And we love Publix—we have a button on our elevator that takes us down to Publix. It’s our personal pantry. I tend to find myself down there daily.

What’s the makeup of your neighbors in your building?
Steve: Mostly, it’s a lot of gay couples, since it is Midtown, and close to our ages. There are not a lot of young families. There are some students because we are so close to Tech, but I’m not sure how they’re able to afford to live here. There are a lot of husband-and-wife couples here. It’s a mixed building.

Lots of dogs. But we don’t have one.

Do you both work from home?
Steve: Yes. We had to make some modifications. One of our bedrooms was a loft style, so we enclosed that. And the other is the guest bedroom. Neil has a desk there, and I work in the bedroom. We used to kind of flip-flop in the living room, but it was a lot of trouble moving stuff around. We keep our separate spaces during the day; there are no “drive-bys,” like in an office. We see each other at lunch and after work.

Do you both have a car?
Steve: Yes, we have two. We used to both drive out of the city for work, before the pandemic. I work in digital marketing, and Neil works in consulting. We still have the two cars. We haven’t decided on whether or not we’re going to get rid of one. We like both for different reasons. The nearby MARTA station is huge for being able to access the airport. That’s something we kind of knew in the back of our minds as an amenity, but being able to get out of town without having to call a $30 Uber is nice. We take MARTA a lot, when we go downtown for events or to see friends who still live there, or to get to the airport. We travel a lot.

Atlantans share why they love their neighborhoods
The Lee family, of Duluth

Photograph by Ben Rollins


The Lee Family: Kym (41); Brian (41), data science consultant in IT; Ellie; Enoch; and Joseph*

Why did you choose Duluth?
Kym: We moved here in July 2021, during the pandemic. Our jobs were remote. My husband works in IT, and I was formerly in finance. I had previously worked in Douglasville, and we lived in Smyrna for nine years after meeting at Georgia Tech. I was born in Taiwan and lived in Duluth as a child, and my husband emigrated to the U.S. from Korea in middle school. Because we were fully remote, we could move a little farther away.

After the spa shootings in March of 2021, it changed my thinking. My kids were the only East Asians in their classes in Smyrna. I was always acutely aware of being Asian, looking for exits at the grocery store. I wanted to be somewhere where we wouldn’t stand out. We feel safe here. I specifically picked where we are for the school district. I remember looking at the demographics of the high school. It was a good mix of white, Black, Asian, and Hispanic. It sounded like a great diverse place I wanted to live in. Right now, my kids attend a dual-immersion public charter school, and half the day is taught in Mandarin or Korean and the other half in English. It’s also close to Perimeter Church in Johns Creek, where we attend.

What do you love most about where you live?
Kym: We love the location. It’s accessible to great food and parks and stuff. It’s on the Suwanee border. [Suwanee] Town Center is close, as is downtown Duluth. They’re both about a 10-minute drive. We love the ASSI Plaza, which is about five minutes from us. It’s kind of like the H Mart shopping center in Doraville. We had my birthday party there last year. We ate at a restaurant, then went to a karaoke place, then went to a cafe, all in the same place. It’s one of our staples. We also love Jusgo Supermarket. It has a great food court.
* children’s ages private

Atlantans share why they love their neighborhoods
Pat and Richard Westrick

Photograph by Ben Rollins

Inman Park

Pat and Richard Westrick (both 80 and retired)

How long have you lived here?
Pat: We’ve lived in the neighborhood since 1975. This is our third house here. We’ve been here since 2017.

Where were you located before Inman Park?
Pat: My husband was finishing up his degree. We were in Boca Raton, Florida.

What brought you to Atlanta?
Pat: Richard got a job with C&S Bank.

What do you like most about the house you live in?
Pat: That it’s in Inman Park.

What brought you to Inman Park in particular?
Pat: House prices. It was affordable at the time we bought our [first] house. Morningside was $45,000. Virginia-Highland was $35,000. But we found a bungalow that was a triplex with an extra lot next to it for $25,000. We could afford that, right?

What do you love most about Inman Park?
Pat: The neighbors. We’ve known them going on almost 50 years. Some of them, and even the new neighbors, catch the spirit of Inman Park, which is friendliness and helpfulness and a love of old houses and a love of neighborhood. There’s just something about being in this neighborhood that makes you feel special. People are here to help, and people are here to make sure that everybody feels comfortable and welcomed.

With the BeltLine, Krog Street Market, and everything else, what are your thoughts on all the growth in your area?
Pat: I think that it’s great. I was on the committee that worked to decide what was going to happen to the old Mead paper plant. I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember that. That was where Inman Park Village is now. They decided that they were going to sell the property. And they came to us. God bless them. They said, “What would you like to see here?” The neighborhood got together, and our committee came up with a vision for mixed-use, high-density, and commercial. Just something that we really didn’t have in the neighborhood. That’s what we ended up with. We were thrilled with that. The Krog Street folks worked with neighborhood committees to develop what they ultimately did in the old Atlanta Stove Works property. We feel very, very optimistic about all of that.

What’s within walking distance of your house?
Pat: All the parks, of course, are close by. The restaurants. We’ve got BoccaLupo up on the corner. Revolution Doughnuts, too. Have you tried it? Oh, my dear!

Does the neighborhood have any fun traditions or events?
Pat: The last weekend in April is the Inman Park Festival. We have been doing this for 48 years, and the neighborhood does a house tour every year. We have food and lots of entertainment. I mean, bands, performers, and people selling all different kinds of things. It is an uberfestival. It’s great!

Atlantans share why they love their neighborhoods
Jonathan Elmore, of Avondale Estates

Photograph by Ben Rollins

Avondale Estates

The “Shipmore” Family: Jonathan Elmore (58), architect and mayor of Avondale Estates; Tamara Shipley (56), management consultant at Gartner; Tyson (19); Elena (19); and Sawyer (15)

Who lives in your house?
Elmore: Currently, three people. We have three kids, but two of them are at Western Carolina. We have boy/girl twins who are freshmen. And then we have their younger brother, who is a sophomore at Druid Hills High School.

How long have you lived in this neighborhood?
Elmore: Sixteen years

Where did you live before?
Elmore: We were in the city. I came here in 1985 to go to Georgia Tech. I have lived in the Atlanta metro area since then, except for two years when I went to Clemson for grad school.

Why did you move to your current neighborhood?
Elmore: The honest answer is that that’s where we landed. We lived in Ormewood Park. That was when we just had the twins. We’d been living there, I think, eight years. I’d always lived in Atlanta proper. But when we found out we were having a third child, we realized we needed more space. What we could afford was out here.

What’s your house like?
Elmore: It is a very durable ranch-style house. I like the inside of it a lot. The outside is nothing to write home to Mom about, but we’re proud of our house. It’s been a really good house for our family. It’s five bedrooms—three upstairs, two downstairs. One [downstairs bedroom] was already there, and then one we built. One of those is my wife’s office. From the street, it looks like one story, but it’s not. We have a full basement, so we’ve got a big game room down there, a laundry room, and lots of storage.

Describe your neighbors.
Elmore: More families are moving in. And as they move in, other families are like, “Oh, you moved to Avondale? We should check that out.” I’m not sure how that happens, but I’m glad it’s happening. Families spread the word that it’s a family-friendly place.

What sparked your getting into local politics?
Elmore: Oh, Lord. There was a discussion with some friends of mine following the resignation of our previous mayor, in 2015. We were sort of saying, “Oh, you should run. No, you should run.” All the fingers got pointed at me. People began calling me and saying, “I think you should run.” One or two knocked on my door and said, “I think you should run.” I talked to my wife about it, and she said, “I think you could do it.”

What’s been your proudest accomplishment during your tenure?
Elmore: Probably our most significant thing was the town green. A two-acre town green had been sort of suggested in our 2014 downtown master plan. So, it wasn’t an original idea of mine. It was already in the plan. It was just a matter of making it happen.

What businesses are close to you that you enjoy?
Elmore: All of them. I mean, I hate to call out just one. What I am proud of, though, is that a lot of our businesses are homegrown. Almost all of them. I can’t say there are no chains in Avondale, because there probably are, if you count a gas station or whatever. But I think the overwhelming majority of our businesses are family-owned. I will call out Garage Door Studio. They are friends of ours. Just completely came out of nowhere. They came up with this idea, in a really neat location, and they sell things that are made by artisans in the area. To me, that’s the kind of business you want.

Does the neighborhood have any fun traditions?
Elmore: The Fourth of July comes to mind. Our Fourth of July parade started here in the community. It was just people decorating cars and whatever. It was kind of a very homegrown thing. It’s gotten a little bigger. We always have that parade on the morning of the Fourth of July, and then we have fireworks in the evening. That’s a big deal.

Atlantans share why they love their neighborhoods
The Beecham family, of East Atlanta

Photograph by Ben Rollins

East Atlanta

The Beecham Family: Kristina Beecham (47), accountant, and Paisley (13)

What’s your house like?
Kristina: I have a two-bedroom townhouse. Two full baths and two half baths. I think it’s about 1,550 square feet.

How long have you lived in this neighborhood?
Kristina: I’ve been there since 2001. I had just graduated from college and rented for a couple of years, and decided I wanted to purchase a townhome. I was looking for something within the $120,000 range, so I was looking up in the suburbs, like Smyrna and Marietta. I just happened to be driving down the highway one day and saw this sign that said, “Townhomes from the $120Ks.” It was off Moreland, which, at that time, was considered the hood, but I was still familiar with it. So, I just pulled off [at the exit] because it looked interesting. The architecture and everything looked really interesting. It kind of gave you a European vibe. When you drove in [the community], it just felt like you were somewhere else. Of course, I go into the sales office, and $120K was for one-
bedrooms. But for me, if I’m making a big purchase, it’s to buy a two-bedroom. Those started, I think, at $150K or $170K. I was like, “Mmm, that’s a stretch.” But it just felt right.

What do you love about your townhouse?
Kristina: There’s really nothing major about the house. And that’s fine too. I don’t even know what to call it, but the arrangement of the neighborhood, it feels like a neighborhood. To me, when they build stuff [elsewhere], they just kind of throw things up. It’s just buildings. But the architecture here, the placement of the trees, everything about it seemed well thought out. It’s a small space, like, it’s literally just a circle. It’s not big, with acres and acres of land.

You’ve been in East Atlanta for 20 years. How have things changed?
Kristina: What’s changed is, obviously, the BeltLine. How you can walk to things. Before, it was nothing. East Atlanta Village was the only thing. But, really, that’s so specific. I never really walked over there. I mean, you were going over there for the club or for some different type of food. But now, you can walk to everything.

Where do you walk to now?
Kristina: I can walk to the grocery store. I can ride my bike to the BeltLine. I can walk to yoga. I can walk my dog to the groomer. The accessibility of everything has changed. And I love that. I feel like it’s gotten better and better. Glenwood Park wasn’t even here when I moved. Now it’s all those restaurants and boutiques. It’s just everything.

Describe your neighbors.
Kristina: Most of them are single. We are a community. It’s a couple of families. Actually, it’s only two. It’s catered more towards singles or couples with no kids. I mean, it’s a townhome. We don’t have yards. But we do have a pool.

Editor’s note: All interviews have been edited slightly for space and clarity.

This article appears in our February 2024 issue.