A-T-L Baby!! Raised on the South Side, currently living in Decatur. I left in 84 after graduating High School, but I remember the way it used to be. When Campbellton Road was the Surburbs. Places like College Park, Ben Hill, Fair Street Bottom, Cascade etc. were the place to live and raise a family. The West End Mall was the place to shop. Krispie Kreme and Churches Chicken were the places to eat and snack. Greenbriar Mall Skating Rink was where the cool kids hung out. The Omni Ice Skating Rink was for the brave. The concerts were at the Omni. The Amusement Park was Six Flags.
Then came the rail line!! Suddently we could take a bus and a train and walk a bit and be at Lenox Mall, which seemed miles away from where we lived. The cops would chase us out during school hours, but that didn’t stop us from going to sit in the Food Court and people watch while eating pizza.
I came back in 98 to a whole new world. Atlanta was the so-called Black Mecca. We had pushed out from the City into the Dekalbs, Gwinnetts and what not. Every 25-35 year old had a job, a car, lodging and a bit of pocket money. You could travel around the city mingling with the Beautiful people. Celebrities milled around among us. We lived in SUB DIVISIONS and sent our kids to Theme and Charter Schools. Every where you looked there was constructions, we were being called the little New York.
Then slowly it started to change. Those of us who made it were becoming more and more disenfranchised from those that hadn’t. The hood and the surburb got farther and farther apart. The competition to live in the best neighborhood, with the best schools and the best cars grew. More and more people migrated to the city cause strain on the infrastructures and the job market. You started to get this bad taste in your mouth as you tried to keep up with the Jone’s who were trying to keep up with the Carters, we were just trying to keep up.
Now in some aspects the ATL has become the City of OZ. We move around as if this is the Emerald City. Today’s color is Yellow, it woule be mean if you were not seen in Green! The countries economic meltdown hit us hard. The sub-prime loan hit us harder. We spend a lot of money to keep the city lit up and attractive to visitors while wishing we could shut the border lines from letting anyone else in. The white people are tired of the long commute they have to take as they scattered to the outskirts of the State to escape the Blacks migration. They start to fight back, claiming the neighborhoods we destroyed while we were in a hurry to SUB – DIVISION/DIVIDE ourselves.
This town of mine, this town I love, where I can get fried fish, Milky Way 1b/30, a Ciroc on the Rocks and sushi on a wodden block, a solid education and a 3 bedroom/ 2 1/2 bath with a Yokon and live the high life – twittering back and forth between the American Dream, the Black Dream and is it all a dream!!
I LOVE THE ATL!!