Neighborhood Highlight: Inman Park

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The grass is always greener on the other side, right?  In this edition of neighborhood highlight, “greener” isn’t even the half of it.  Winner of best Atlanta neighborhood multiple times by Creative Loafing, Inman Park sits on a fence of what Atlanta once was and the direction Atlanta is heading in. Step over to the green side of things.

Atlanta’s first original suburb, Inman Park is located a little over a mile east of Downtown.  Suprisingly enough, Inman Park was what Gwinnett County is today: the last bit of civilization before you venture into the jungle.  It was created by engineer and real estate tycoon Joel Hurt who envisioned, like all streetcar suburbs, a place to get away from the city.  Evidence of this once rural gem is left through the many Victorian and Queen Anne-style homes that tower through the luscious greenery.  Of course, the automobile spelled death for the neighborhood but the bounce back came through willing folks who never wanted to see the neighborhood die.  Today, homes that were once worth only thousands of dollars now range into the million range.  It is also the focal point for local entertainment as our favorite nook Little Five Points lies within its boundaries. Two big projects are also slated to begin construction on and near the BeltLine, one being the Krog Street Market, on the location of Tyler Perry’s old soundstage, and 280 Elizabeth, a new mixed-use development in Inman Park’s neighborhood core.  

Admittedly one of my favorite neighborhoods in Atlanta, Inman Park shows great craftsmanship not because of its homes, walkability, or even amenities, but for its GREENSPACE!!! Parks, grassy nooks, and walking paths o’er the river and through the woods are everywhere here, which proves why the butterfly is placed with pride on the neighborhood’s emblem. Never a dull moment, Inman Park shines as an Atlanta original, and top notch for young couples, families and retirees alike.  See? It is easy being green. 

Neighborhood Highlight: Cabbagetown

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I figured that this might work where I highlight a very unique and well-planned out neighborhood that stuck in my mind as a staple of what Atlanta should look like.  Let’s start with a very unique (aren’t they all?) nook just east of Downtown.  Ladies and Gents, I give you: Cabbagetown

From walking through these sort of one-way streets, I felt like I was back down in Savannah from the one lone palmetto and the cottage-style homes.  It also had to do that the neighborhood sat next to the famed Oakland Cemetery.  It’s history is even more intriguing.  It was once a mill town before and after the Civil War, as noted by the large and hard-to-miss Fulton Cotton Mill Lofts, known as one of the largest loft communities in America.  The name association of “Cabbagetown” is debatable, but I will stick with the most reasonable of being that the residents planted Cabbages in the front yards to hide the foul odor of the neighborhood.  Yeah.   I grew up in a mill town in south Georgia, so I can relate. 

Today, the neighborhood boasts a mix of younger and older couples alike, a few unique spots like Little’s Food Store, which in my mind is the LAST REMAINING TRUE SOUTHERN GENERAL STORE IN ATLANTA!!!  They have great sliders, too.  Agave, the southwestern eatery at Boulevard and Carroll Street adds a high-class touch to the very laid-back ‘hood (expect long lines).  Also, 97 Estoria is a pretty hoppin’ pub near the famed Krog Street Tunnel, which connects the neighborhood with Inman Park with whom I’ve complimented both neighborhoods on their pride neighborhood conservation.  I love the feel of this neighborhood planning wise because it gives off the most close-knit family feel out of any neighborhood in the area.  It is small enough to walk from one side to the other, and the look of the neighborhood would give any guy looking to recreate the movie “Project X” a run for their money.  I mean, wouldn’t you rather walk through this neighborhood than have to hassle a vehicle around these alleyway streets? C’mon…