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Chess Playing in Downtown Atlanta

Photo Credit: Joeff Davis/CL Staff

A View from Woodruff Park - A Neighborhood Tradition - Chess buff Larry "Ayatollah" McNeil


I'd like to direct your attention to CL News Editor Thomas Wheatley's deep dive into the making of Little Five Points for this issue. At a time of so much development, where progress too often seems to come at the cost of character, the story of Little Five shows what's possible when neighbors rally around the building blocks of community. In their decades-long effort to create and maintain an independent and interdependent neighborhood, Kelly Jordan, Don Bender, and other property owners and residents have proven how important the basics are. Sure, the neighborhood isn't exactly what it was 30 or even five years ago, but at its core it remains a loveably weird little spot where it's as easy to buy mystic crystals and ear candles as it is to cash a check or grocery shop.

From public transportation to affordable housing to food access, Atlantans have basic needs that must be met for the city to be a diverse and inclusive place to live. In Old Fourth Ward, the Boulevard Food Co-Op is addressing food insecurity among the neighborhood's low-income residents. A new partnership between Georgia State University and the Morehouse School of Medicine called the Healthy Corner Store Initiative is taking small steps to increase the availability of healthy foods in neighborhoods throughout Atlanta's west and southwest sides. An examination of what it means to be middle class in Atlanta by Senior Writer Rodney Carmichael offers a glimpse of what it takes to survive in the city with the nation's highest income inequality.

This Neighborhood Issue looks at some major changes on the horizon such as Google Fiber's much anticipated arrival as well as the massive overhaul of Atlanta Dairies and the surrounding stretch of Memorial Drive. We also thought it important to stop and appreciate the long-standing traditions in certain neighborhoods such as the chess scene at Downtown's Woodruff Park and the piano bar at McKinnon's Louisiane in Buckhead.

As always, you can count on us to help you navigate all Atlanta has to offer with Creative Loafing's Atlanta City Guide. We have more than 1,000 CL picks for dining, nightlife, culture, and shopping, overviews of more than 30 metro neighborhoods, and tips from locals you love such as Ruby Velle and Corey Davis. The Atlanta City Guide publishes a new See & Do list and profile every week.

As the city grows, it's unrealistic to think Atlanta will remain the same as it was 30 or even five years ago. But perhaps if we can learn from Little Five Points to focus on the basics and to embrace the weirdest parts of ourself as a city, the future of Atlanta's neighborhoods will be something exciting to look forward to.

-- Debbie Michaud, Editor-In-Chief


Atlanta has 242 official neighborhoods. We're slowly working our way through them to learn about all the mini-communities that make this city tick. Creative Loafing's Atlanta City Guide contains overviews of more than 40 metro neighborhoods. For the 2015 Neighborhood Issue, we profiled 25 more, from Polar Rock to Sherwood Forest. This year we're adding another 10 in order to learn a little more about the history of Collier Heights, Lake Claire's bi-monthly drum circle, and more.

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Thursday March 24, 2016 12:00 am EDT
Back to basics | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
A look back at the art deco building's history before it's repurposed into a mixed-use playground | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
Fans of street grids and bungalows priced below Old Fourth Ward prices, welcome to your dream ’hood. Developed as a streetcar suburb in the early 20th century, the residential neighborhood enjoys the 50-acre Perkerson Park to the south and the Atlanta Beltline’s under-construction Westside Trail to the north. You might not be able to catch a clear view of the actual Georgia Capitol, but you can... | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
Harris Chiles takes its name from two public housing projects that once anchored the community. Harris Homes, built in 1956, was demolished as part of the city’s plan to replace low-income developments with mixed-income complexes. It’s now the site of Ashley CollegeTown Apartments, where “life is a journey full of everyday adventures.” The neighborhood’s other namesake survived the scrub and... | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
GSU, Morehouse, and the CDC collaborate on a Healthy Corner Store Initiative | more...

Article

Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
Besides a helluva hype train, what is Google Fiber? | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
Woodruff Park hosts some of Atlanta's most devout players | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
The resident-run initiative tackles food insecurity in Old Fourth Ward | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
When former Atlanta construction magnate Herman J. Russell’s 1963 ranch home hit the market earlier this year for close to half a million dollars, it symbolized the hidden cultural riches of Collier Heights. Located on the city’s Westside, Collier Heights remains such a treasure due in part to its lauded history as the first mid-century neighborhood of affluence in the United States originated... | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
A hilly residential enclave in the shadow of Buckhead’s towering skyscrapers, Garden Hills offers a schmancy suburban-style experience minus the trip OTP. Many of the current homes for sale hover around the $1 million mark. Those who can afford to live in such curb-appealed splendor between Peachtree and Piedmont roads get cute pocket parks, old growth trees, swim and tennis, and historic... | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
Greenbriar abuts I-285’s western edge at Arthur B. Langford Jr. Parkway. Its huge shopping institution, Greenbriar Mall, may be the area’s most recognizable feature, with more than 50 stores in its structure — a whopping eight of those specializing in footwear specifically. Greenbriar is also home to Tyler Perry Studios (which will expand to the Fort McPherson property once it’s built out),... | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
You can tell Horseshoe is almost OTP by the sheer amount of greenery present. Nestled between Cascade Road, I-285, and the historic Cascade Heights neighborhood, the horseshoe-shaped subdivision in southwest Atlanta is easy to miss. Home to only about 80 residents, the neighborhood boasts a mix of styles from mid-century ranches to slant-roof modern abodes. — Samantha Reardon | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
Tiny Oakland is bound by MARTA’s east-west rail line to the north, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to the south, Grant Street to the east, and the Downtown Connector to the west. Oakland does not contain the famous landmark with which it shares a name. Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery is situated one block east. But Oakland is home to a newer landmark, the 300-foot Corey smokestack, whose digital... | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
Situated between Buckhead and Bankhead, Underwood Hills is within spitting distance of I-75. Though established in 1902, when it was called Northside Park, the neighborhood didn’t begin to thrive until the ’20s, when many residents worked for the nearby Seaboard Coastline Railroad. Today, Underwood Hills is a close-knit community of families who gather at the popular Underwood Park for its... | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
A snapshot of fair-to-middlin' living in the city of Atlanta | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
Twice a month, free spirits convene in the Lake Claire neighborhood for its public drum circle. The drumming starts at sundown, and the beat goes on until nearly midnight. This bohemian paradise is an oasis in the heart of Atlanta, rooted in the values of diversity, community, and neighborly love. Lake Claire’s cohousing facility is the first of its kind in Georgia. — Karley Wilson | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
A closer look at the restaurant's charming, campy improv cabaret | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
And how long can it stay that way? | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
Three pieces of outlier architecture in Atlanta neighborhoods[| "] | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
6 forests hidden inside the Perimeter | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:00 am EDT
Lakewood Heights is tucked away between the Downtown Connector and Chosewood Park. The once thriving Southside neighborhood has been in a state of decline since the Lakewood Assembly General Motors factory closed in 1990. Recently, it’s become fertile terrain for DIY operations looking to build a community. Carver Neighborhood Market and Community Grounds Coffee shop serve as... | more...

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Thursday March 24, 2016 04:01 am EDT
Readers reveal the spots that remind them why they love the A | more...