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Relocating to Atlanta-Young, Single, Professional, No Kids...

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Relocating to Atlanta-Young, Single, Professional, No Kids...

Hello fellow ta's. I am writing because I am a young, black, single professional with no kids in my low 20's from chicago who attended college in Minnesota. I have really enjoyed visiting atlanta alot and am in a position where I can relocate there. I am interested in some opinions on where to possibly attend a church, live, (midtown, va highlands, buckhead, or whereever is a fun and hip area) things to do, and ways to volunteer. Any advice regarding the dating scene? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

M.

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: Relocating to Atlanta-Young, Single, Professional, No Kids...

First I would recommend that you visit any of these areas before renting something, because what is fine for some is scary for others.

These are the "trendiest" up and coming areas: Midtown (more established but in the middle of the action, lots of gay men, close to the GORGEOUS Piedmont Park which is always packed), Virginia Higlands (mostly hipper white yuppies in their thirties with cute boutique shops and lots of bars and restaurants), Castleberry Hill (lots of art galleries and cool lofts, but crime may be an issue), Grant Park (newly gentrified, gorgeous old homes, near the Zoo and East Lake golf course), Candler Park (similar to Grant Park but closer to town, very close to L5P), Little Five Points (very diverse - punk rockers, hipsters, hippies, yuppies, all races and ages, getting a bit more expensive), Cabbagetown (edgier neighborhood that was once ghetto and is now being restored), west Midtown (south Howell Mill Road area - formerly more industrial but several new lofts and new clubs and restaurants), Decatur (more established, family oriented, but lots of alternative lifestyles).

I think Buckhead is played out. There's a crime problem, traffic is AWFUL, and the bars there are no longer popular except with tourists who think it's still in its heyday from the 80's and 90's. That said, if it's close to work for you, south Buckhead, nearer Midtown, is really hopping. I live in north midtown and I love this area.

Some areas I have listed have more crime (you can go to the Atlanta Police Dept website and run a crime grid to determine what's acceptable to you). I don't know much about churches, but Hands-On Atlanta offers numerous volunteer opportunities. Check out their website. As far as clubs, midtown is popular for African American hipsters - clubs like Vision and Shout are always packed with beautiful people. I find that most other places, are pretty racially diverse, although, of the areas listed above, I would expect less diversity in the Highlands.

I hope this helps. I'm single, progfessional, no kids, early thirties, so I've had my eye on the scene a while. If you have more specific questions I'll be glad to give my input.

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2. Re: Relocating to Atlanta-Young, Single, Professional, No Kids...

Thank you JAtlanta for your great input. I am just looking to relocate and try something new. I definately want to get the best out of my new location. I would prefer a diverse area also. I like being around all types of people. Whats better to you, little five points or grant park? You said the south midtown area is good? What can one expect to pay for a one bed room apartment? I hear rooms to go has great furniture deals? Would you agree with that? So where are the hang out spots besides buckhead? Not necessarily clubs, but if you want to do a happy hour or a place where you can mingle?

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3. Re: Relocating to Atlanta-Young, Single, Professional, No Kids...

I just thought of some other area you may want to look for housing: Oakhust, Kirkwood, and East Atlanta. If you're looking for an apartment in a smaller building, any of these areas would be OK, but DON'T rent sight-unseen. Any of these neighborhoods might have sketchier areas and sketchier buildings. For bigger buildings and a more urban feel, midtown would have more options. A 1BR would run $750-1100, depending on how nice the building. There are tons of apartments listed on the Creative Loafing website that will give you a feel for the independent market.

The west side of midtown has some more inexpensive housing with new lofts and condo buildings.

Proximity to your job is also important. Traffic is awful and I wouldn't want to commute from, say, Grant Park to north Atlanta.

If I were looking for edgy, in a neighborhood with trees and houses where I could walk to casual bars or restaurants, I would go Va-Hi, Little Five Points, or East Atlanta. If you want something urban with tall buildings, mixed use housing (with stores, restaurants downstairs, etc.) then Midtown is the way to go. You should really come visit the areas to get a good feel. I really like Midtown because of its pace and activity, but others prefer more quiet and more room. You've just got to come down to Atlanta and spend some time driving around town to see what suits your tastes.

I am not sure how important ethnicity is in your decision. Any of the neighborhoods I have listed would be pretty diverse. North Atlanta tends to be whiter, and south Atlanta tends to be blacker. This is a vast over-generalization, however, there are some up and coming comunities in historically black areas that might interest you - Cabbagetown, Sweet Auburn, East Point, College Park, Reynoldstown, Edgewood. All of these areas are going through some gentrification and probably have some great real estate deals.

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4. Re: Relocating to Atlanta-Young, Single, Professional, No Kids...

Oh, to respond to the rest of your questions:

1) Rooms to go has decent deals but the furniture isn't top quality. There are several furniture stores that sell wholesale with better quality goods, so as Horizon Home. There are also tons of furniture outlets from big name stores, which have similar prices and better goods. You can check out Rooms-To-Go's website to get a feel for its products.

Also, and it's not high end, but a lot of the furniture at IKEA is really hgood-looking. I have some things from there and people are always shocked I got them from Ikea. You should hit that first - the prices are unbelievable.

2) Hang-out spots - each of the neighborhoods I have listed has local bars and restaurants that are really popular, especially the Highlands. I also go to Little Five Points and Midtown bars a lot. There is also the Crescent Road area in Midtown, along with several places along Peachtee in midtown. There are a lot of hip-hop clubs on Bankhead highway but I don't know much about them.

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5. Re: Relocating to Atlanta-Young, Single, Professional, No Kids...

Thank you again for your help JAtlanta. As you respond, I’m starting to develop clearer questions. Race doesn’t matter. As long as the area is nice and the people get along, that’s fine with me. You mentioned the commute. It would be great if I could leave the car behind some days. I may not take the car that I have in Chicago, just to get a feel for how to get around the city in all aspects. I may bite the bullet and get something else in Atlanta. How is marta in your opinion if you say live in Little five points, or midtown, or VA Highlands? Honestly, I never dealt with any Atlanta women in a relationship standpoint, but I was curious if it would be hard for a single guy in Atlanta. Thanks for the good feedback.

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6. Re: Relocating to Atlanta-Young, Single, Professional, No Kids...

I can always rely on JAtlanta to give great advice on neighborhoods.

I agree that you might want to avoid Rooms To Go. I have heard a lot of bad things from friends of mine who have purchased furniture from them. Delivery can be a real pain and often, the furniture comes damaged or broken. And getting RTG to replace it is difficult. They'll do everything to try to "glue it" before they'll replace it. Also, the furniture tends to wear pretty fast. Just my two cents.

Horizon Home is indeed a good place to look for quality furniture. At one time, I think Rhodes Furniture was closing some of their stores and offering great sales to get rid of their merchandise. But that may be long since past.

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7. Re: Relocating to Atlanta-Young, Single, Professional, No Kids...

It seems like a lot of blacks in Atl live in south Dekalb county along I20 all the way out to Stonecrest Mall. These areas might include Lithonia, Panola/Browns Mill, Stephenson High School, etc areas. But it's probably mostly families and I'm not sure the singles scene would be too exciting out there.

I think you'll definitely want to bring the car, or get one when you get here. If you have a car and auto insurance, then Marta's just not that practical.

I used to live in a nice, but not luxury apartment complex called Sloan Square, at corner of Lavista and Briarcliff. From that location, I could easily get to I85, GA400, 2 miles from Va highlands, 3-4 miles from midtown, 3-4 from Buckhead.

The complex was not real exciting, but the central location was great for getting to things and getting to different jobs I had. It was also an excellent location for dating b/c I could date girls everywhere from Dunwoody/Doraville, Emory area, Va Highlands, Midtown etc. without it being a pain in the butt. The logistics was easy b/c I was only 2-5 miles from these places.

But I will say that I'm white and Jewish, but I think that it would be a good location for anyone looking to meet educated, professional women.

So you may want to consider something like that-- a central location with low-moderate rent that lets you get to things quickly. After a year, you might be more certain of a particular area.

Another area that is gradually coming back is the Auburn Avenue area--Atlanta's most well known historical black avenue. I know there are clubs down there, but I'm not sure about the residential yet.

where do your friends in Atl live? what kind of advice are they giving you?

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8. Re: Relocating to Atlanta-Young, Single, Professional, No Kids...

I think you should concentrate on Midtown, Downtown (near Midtown), Va-High, East Lake, or towards Cabbagetown. Being young and single, you'll want to be where the fun and other young professionals are. Lots going on around the new Atlantic Station area, too, especially west of it towards Howell Mill. Buckhead is probably not the place you want to live; however, that said, there are a lot of apartments and condos (that can be rented) on Lenox Road which area nice, a good value and convenient to Marta, the expressway for getting to midtown in 10 minutes, and the mall. Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza is just down the street. Stay away from I-20. You'll just find families and suburban living there.

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9. Re: Relocating to Atlanta-Young, Single, Professional, No Kids...

Thank you all for your great insights and opinions. I was looking at an apartment in midtown, but a friend told me thats not really an area that I want to live, but that I should try some other areas. What areas are good in the north or south areas, within 285?

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10. Re: Relocating to Atlanta-Young, Single, Professional, No Kids...

I am surprised your friend would discourage you from living in midtown, and can only guess it would be based on the fact that several years ago there was the perception that midtown was only for gay men. That's no longer true. While there is probably a larger gay population than in some other neighborhoods, this area is very integrated and, as long as you are not living at the intersection of 10th and Piedmont you would not run into that. I would really discourage you from ruling out such a large neighborhood, especially one in which most of the nightlife and restaurants are concentrated, without first visiting.