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Urban Living - Kumbaya my landlord

East Atlanta's Stokeswood Avenue residents live and sing in relative harmony

A couple of guys spend Sunday afternoon hanging out in a royal-blue den overlooking the corner of East Atlanta's Stokeswood and Ormewood avenues. No cookie-cutter mansions bigfoot the neighborhood, where cottages congregate like old friends between crumbling wood and tangled metal fences.

Renters Travis Flagel and Trey Lindsay of local indie label Rob's House Records call the corner bungalow with the blue den home. While it looks like an average house, a keg next to the backyard's fire pit belies the quaint exterior. Inside, the den's calm color scheme contrasts with the house's main attraction: an unfinished 30-by-30-foot basement where 150 party people regularly pack in right next to the washer and dryer.

Flagel lists coolness as the only requirement for Stokeswood visitors and residents, explaining, "When I say 'cool,' I don't mean like the Fonz. I just mean that people around here aren't douche bags."

Stokeswood's non-"douche bags" take many forms, from the lady sweeping the stoop across the street to the families with toy-littered yards. It also includes Flagel and his roommates, since even their raucous Saturday concerts end by 8 p.m., keeping in mind the neighborly golden rule: Treat others in a way that doesn't invite noise complaints.

A live-and-let-live attitude on Stokeswood lets the old, young, partier and pooper live in peace, harmonizing as neighbors and often as bandmates.

urban.living@creativeloafing.com

The Essentials on East Atlanta

TRANSPORTATION: East Atlanta is within throwing distance of I-20's Moreland Avenue exit. MARTA (404-848-5000, www.itsmarta.com) services East Atlanta with three bus routes including the No. 9 to downtown, Midtown, Buckhead and Grant Park; the No. 48 to L5P, Virginia-Highland, Midtown, Buckhead and Decatur; and the No. 107 to the Publix on Glenwood.

HOUSING: Apartment complexes and high-rises are rare in the East Atlanta area. Most folks shack up in old-school bungalows and Victorians. Recently, renovated homes have sold in the $200,000-$300,000 range, while new condos in Glenwood Avenue's mixed-use development Glenwood Park are priced from $165,000-$295,000. A two-bedroom/two-bathroom rental property runs about $1,200 a month.

NEIGHBORHOOD HIGHLIGHT: EAST ATLANTA VILLAGE spreads from the intersection of Flat Shoals and Glenwood avenues and provides the mostly residential area with a commercial center. Joe's Coffee (510 Flat Shoals Ave., 404-521-1122) has cozy couches, great coffee and free Wi-Fi. A few quick steps up the road at the Earl (488 Flat Shoals Ave., 404-522-3950) you'll find excellent burgers, lots of beer and the town's most consistent indie-rock venue. Gresham Avenue breaks off of Glenwood near EAV and leads to Cantina La Casita (560 Gresham Ave., 404-622-8081), home of cheap and delicious Tex-Mex.


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