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News - Is Midtown threatened with Buckheadization"?"

No. The idea that an increase in the number and popularity of bars/clubs in a particular area is a pox upon the community is just plain provincial.

I must confess that I am puzzled by the all the hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth caused by the current increase in development in Midtown Atlanta. The fear that Midtown will succumb to "Buckheadization" is just plain silly. The way people have been carrying on, you'd think the area is heading for Armageddon faster than you can say "Cobalt Lounge."

Like it or not, Midtown is a vibrant, growing business district, not some needs-to-be protected urban Walden Pond. This is America. This is the land of capitalism and free enterprise. If throngs of "yuppies" (or whatever they're called these days) want to spend thousands on over-priced high-rise condos or luxury apartments, who are we to stop them? Likewise, if some entrepreneurial developer or aspiring barkeep wants to pursue the American dream in Midtown, why should we dissuade them? "We have nothing to fear but fear itself," right?

Excuse my Chamber of Commerce spiel, but Midtown Atlanta is an ideal place to live and work. There is no shortage of nationally recognized employers (IBM, BellSouth, Bank of America and EarthLink) who call Midtown home. Why wouldn't employees want to eschew the madness of Atlanta's highways in favor of the convenience of MARTA?

And if others share my observations, where are these folks going to live? Where are they going to "eat drink and be merry" when the workday is done? Where are they to wet their collective whistle after an exhibit at the High Museum, or a show at the Fox? The idea that an increase in the number and popularity of bars/clubs in a particular area is a pox upon the community is just plain provincial.

We keep hearing dire warnings that Midtown may become the "next Buckhead." I don't see that as a problem. The truth is that there are thousands of tavern-owners, restaurateurs, bartenders, waiters, valets, etc. who welcome the prospect. Whatever problems exist in Buckhead were/are caused by the lawless behavior of a handful of business proprietors and patrons. There are laws on the books to address these "problems"; the solution is to enforce those laws, not try to prevent growth and development.

I currently reside in a rapidly growing Southwest Atlanta enclave called Capitol View. Capitol View is a transitional neighborhood where the only "restaurants" (save a couple of mom-and-pop soul food joints that close before 5 p.m.) have drive-thru windows, and the only place to get a cold beer is the corner convenience or package store. The sad truth is, the area is still plagued by the drug trade and prostitution. So pick your poison, Midtown. You want to be plagued by poverty — or progress???





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