atlanta neighborhoods

Inman Park Festival This Weekend!

via historicinmanpark.blogspot.com

via historicinmanpark.blogspot.com

We hope you've recovered from last weekend's festivities because this weekend will be no less awesome. And to change it up a bit - we're focusing on one of our favorite Atlanta neighborhoods - Inman Park.

The Inman Park Festival will be happening this weekend, April 24-26. Taking place the last full weekend in April, this is widely known as Atlanta's best street festival and showcases the eccentric spirit of Atlanta's oldest neighborhood.

Home to some of Atlanta's best music and theater venues (as well as some really spectacular eats), Inman Park also boasts gorgeous homes and classic, tree-lined streets. As part of the festival, there is a tour of homes that will take place on Friday, April 24. The weekend will have a parade chock full of costumes, floats, and silliness - as well as food from some Atlanta heavy-hitters, an extensive arts and crafts market, and a community corner featuring Atlanta non-profits (and how you can help). 

The parade begins at 2pm on Saturday and will take up most of the Moreland Ave and Euclid intersection - as well as surrounding streets. So instead of driving through (boo), park and walk on over to where the fun is (yay!). And you know we love that. And it's free!

Planning on checking it out? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter! And #dropyourpin and let us know where you're at.

Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and Frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.

Atlanta Streets Alive and the Rise of Bicycles

Biking has grown in popularity over the past decade, with many cities seeing it as an effective transportation solution that can ease the traffic sprawl across the country. With the low cost, health benefits, and low impact on the environment - biking can make make a big impact on communities, and the government agrees. From this study in Bicycle Magazine, Federal funding for Bike lanes and other projects has grown by nearly 400% - so it's no wonder that advocacy groups like the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and events like Atlanta Streets Alive are spreading the good word.

Atlanta is one of the cities that has seen the highest increases in bike usage, and with the Beltline and other bike path projects of the past few years, bikes are only going to get more popular for families, the environmentally-conscious, and those looking to live in the city.

Atlanta Streets Alive, taking its cue from other festivals around the world, is making an effort to show how roads can unite communities for a common purpose, not just something for cars to drive on. Every year, some roads are closed off to cars and opened up to other human-powered modes of transport. People can walk, skate, ride, run - you name it - and this sense of community raises awareness for reducing the dependence on cars and supporting healthier ways of getting around.

It's estimated that if American made one 4-mile trip by bike instead of car each week, the country would save almost 6.6 billion dollars annually. Figures like this highlight just how much impact bike transportation can make, and with Atlanta Streets Alive and other groups doing some heavy lifting, Atlanta will have a chance to show just how awesome a bike ride can be.

And for One Spark, we've committed to pledging a dollar for every 5 dollars we raise as a part of our crowdfunding campaign to the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. We believe in the work they do and we think you should do. If you'd love to donate, check out our page here.

 

Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and Frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.

 

Atlanta Streets Alive Teaser

On top of our involvement with One Spark, LexArts, and the Nashville Opera - we're happy to announce our partnership with Atlanta Streets Alive on April 19th! This event will take place in West End, an historic neighborhood just west of downtown. 

Atlanta Streets Alive's mission is to create a healthy, sustainable and vibrant city street experience. Roads are temporarily closed to cars so that people can walk, bike, or skate - an idea they adopted from open street projects all over the world.

The event is funded by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition , as well as others, and supports a diverse transportation culture, using the streets as a common thread for all people. Because all of us at Walkabout believe in urban walkability, sharing your place, and celebrating community - Atlanta Streets Alive is right up our alley.

To support this awesome event, we'll be donating 1/5th of our proceeds to Atlanta Streets Alive and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition to support our shared goals.

We've created a custom map with the West End route for all attendees to enjoy and we'll have more information next week. April 19th is going to be a great day in the city.

 

Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and Frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.

3 Hot Stops on the Atlanta Streetcar

Now that you’ve been informed on the Atlanta Streetcar, we want to show you how you can take advantage of it. We love the transportation hybrid of the Streetcar. It’s not just about getting here to there - it’s an experience, which is great for commuters and even better for visitors. The Streetcar goes through some of Atlanta’s oldest, most famous neighborhoods - it would be a pity not to step off and walk around awhile. We’ve got a few stops you might want to make on your Atlanta Streetcar journey.


MLK Historic Site/Ebenezer Baptist Church

Auburn Ave is a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta, and only two city blocks holds Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood home, The Ebeneezer Baptist Church where he preached, and The MLK Jr. Historic Site where he is laid to rest. How amazing is that? Do yourself a favor and hop off at Auburn Ave, take a right, and walk the same steps of a man that changed history.


Centennial Park

This park was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and still hosts some of the city’s most popular concerts and events.There’s an aptly-designed Olympic rings fountain, some excellent green space, and is within eye-shot of CNN, The Georgia Aquarium, and the World of Coke. It’s an Atlanta sandwich, basically.


Sweet Auburn Curb Market

If you read our blog on old Atlanta Landmarks (and why wouldn’t you?), Sweet Auburn Curb Market  should have a familiar place in your heart. If you didn’t, Sweet Auburn Curb Market is a place that features fresh produce and unique food stands, so it’s a great place to catch lunch and take a walk! Some of Atlanta’s most unique and amazing eats call Sweet Auburn Curb Market home.


The Streetcar is bringing a much-needed transportation overhaul to Atlanta’s downtown area, an area brimming with some of the city’s biggest destinations. The Streetcar route is also providing a boost to the neighborhoods it goes through, increasing business development, shops and green spaces.

Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.

An Intro to the Atlanta Streetcar

Let’s be honest, Atlanta has struggled through the years with transportation issues. Unlike other major metropolitan areas like New York City or Chicago, Atlanta public transportation has failed to get the widespread support and resources it needs. Atlanta is a car city, which is both bad for the environment (ahhhhh, sweet exhaust fumes) and bad for visitors coming into the city who may want to explore the sites.

Enter the Atlanta Streetcar, a transportation effort from the City of Atlanta, local businesses, and MARTA. The goal has been to put in place the badly-needed infrastructure that can finally connect downtown to other regions, reducing the congestion and general headache of driving downtown. The lack of affordable (if any) parking and the limited number of MARTA stations means that this new infrastructure should create a welcome improvement.

The Atlanta Streetcar is making all rides FREE for the first 3 months (end of March) so that people can have a chance to use it, which we think is an excellent idea (c’mon, who doesn’t love free samples?). To get Atlantans used to the idea of sharing the road with cars, pedestrians, streetcars, and buses, the City of Atlanta has made big efforts to promote safety. The Be Streetcar Smart campaign has some helpful tips for riders, pedestrians, and gawkers alike that will make the transition easier.

So far, the East-West route from the Martin Luther King, Jr. historic site to Centennial Park is completed, with plans on the way to create a North-South route with federal grants.

So, readers, have you had a chance to ride the streetcar? What are your thoughts on cities embracing streetcars on public transportation? Can a streetcar really be named “Desire”? Let us know what you think?

Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.

Nom Nom: The ATL's 5 Best Brunch Spots

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a town that loves brunch more than Atlanta. A simple Google search for “ATL Brunch” will lead you down an exhaustive rabbit hole of limitless possibilities. Where do you even begin? Well, luckily, I’ve eaten my weight many times over in hollandaise and Bloody Marys, so I’ll steer you straight. And best of all, we’ve included a map where you can find these places, so as God as my witness, you’ll never be hungry again (end Gone With the Wind reference).


 

Homegrown

This local haunt is open until 3 pm every day - no dinner here - so brunch is their specialty. Google reviews for this place include “I would smack my grandma for a Comfy Chicken Biscuit” - so you know it’s got to be good with a threat like that. There’s a thrift store in the back (really) and the place is packed - but always worth the wait.

Dish to get: Comfy Chicken Biscuit (or the grandma gets it)

 

hour_pancake_650.jpg

Ria’s Bluebird

Ria Pell was a powerhouse in the Atlanta food scene. While she’s no longer with us, her legendary Ria’s Bluebird lives on. Lines on an especially busy weekend can seem endless but there’s a reason this place attracts Atlanta’s hungry and hip. Ria’s is home to the World’s Best Pancakes (a claim heralded even by the New York Times), and the recipe is a much coveted Atlanta treasure.

Dish to get: Pancakes, all day, forever.

 

West Egg Cafe

This critically-acclaimed restaurant, named after the fictional town in The Great Gatsby, is frequently named one of the best breakfast spots in Georgia. And who can disagree with pimento cheese grits and Coca-Cola cupcakes? The food is an interesting play on Southern favorites that is kind of life-changing.

Dish to get: Benedict Burger, because regular benedicts are for suckers.

 

Murphy’s

This popular spot has been featured by Zagat as a go-to brunch destination. The restaurant features upscale American fare and serves amazing breads and muffins from their very own bakery. And with so many movies filming in Atlanta these days, it’s not unusual to spot a celeb or two on Sunday mornings.

Dish to get: Portobello Frittata, because goat cheese is a superfood.

 

Sun in My Belly

Modeled after a traditional European cafe, Sun in My Belly in Decatur is quaint and adorable. There’s a nice outdoor patio that’s perfect for people watching and Sun in My Belly is a popular caterer for special events. They focus on seasonal ingredients, focusing on the freshest available, so the changing menu is filled with awesome surprises every time.

Dish to get: The Hangover (because Sundays).


Check out the map and make every weekend a delicious brunch adventure. These Atlanta standouts each have a unique personality that attracts locals and out-of-towners alike. Any places we missed? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

Christine Adams is a copywriter, honorary Atlanta native, lover of ugly animals, introvert dynamo, and frito pie enthusiast. Her work can be found on the internets without much trouble.

4 Old Atlanta Landmarks That Got A Cool Second Life

Image via Ken Rowland

Image via Ken Rowland

All of our talk last week about Ponce City Market got us thinking about other Atlanta historic sites. Taking old things and making them new again is something us Atlantans have gotten really good at (with the exception of “New Coke”, of course). Atlanta has no shortage of historically significant buildings, even with General Sherman burning the whole thing down a few years back, and many Atlanta landmarks have had interesting incarnations over the years. Think of it like the Sarah MacLachlan ASPCA commercial...but for buildings. Here are 4 Atlanta landmarks that got a cool second life.


The Flatiron Building (pictured above)

No, not that Flatiron Building. Atlanta has our very own Flatiron and, fun fact, ours was here first. Built in 1897, the Atlanta Flatiron building was originally called the English-American Building and is the oldest standing skyscraper here (hey, 11 stories was pretty impressive for the 19th century). The building is currently being renovated to be an “innovation center” by Microsoft and will be marketed as a next generation entrepreneurship hub - with Microsoft providing tenants with mentoring, grants, guest speakers, events, and state of the art technology.

 

Underground Atlanta

If you mention Underground Atlanta to a native Atlantan, you’re bound to get a wide range of reactions. Sometimes revered, often reviled, Underground Atlanta has a long, tumultuous, and legendary history. Remember that whole Sherman thing? Underground Atlanta’s construction dates between 1861 and 1877--making it the oldest buildings still standing--and being indeed under ground probably saved it from the cruel fate that befell the rest of Atlanta during the Civil War. Underground had a bad reputation, housing speakeasies and other gambling ventures during prohibition. It converted into a restaurant district and then became a shopping mall. It has since become a nightclub district again. Now under new ownership, the future is still up in the air for this Atlanta staple and, love it or hate it, it never stops kicking. And that’s got to count for something.


 

Image via  ciambellina

Image via ciambellina

Sweet Auburn Curb Market

The Sweet Auburn district of Atlanta was an important area for the local civil rights movement in the 1960s. Built in 1918 after the Great Atlanta Fire of 1917 (Atlanta was a big fan of getting burned down, apparently), the market started as a large tent and became instantly successful, bringing fresh produce to Atlanta’s urban dwellers. Sweet Auburn was the heart of the African-American commercial district - and is also home to the MLK Historic site. After an update in the 1990s thanks to the Atlanta Olympics, the Sweet Auburn Curb Market is better than ever, housing some of Atlanta’s best food finds and bringing business to one of Atlanta’s most historically significant neighborhoods.

 

tabernacle

The Tabernacle

Few Atlanta spaces have had the real underdog story that the Tabernacle has had. Built in 1910 as the Third Baptist Tabernacle, it housed nearly 4000 churchgoers well into the 1950s. After membership dwindled, the building was abandoned in the 80s and was in terrible shape for the better part of a decade. Enter the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Not wanting an abandoned eyesore near the newly constructed multi-million dollar Centennial Park (and who could blame them) the building was converted into a House of Blues venue for the Olympics. Renamed “The Tabernacle,” it’s now one of the nation’s best concert venues according to Rolling Stone and Paste Magazine - and the balconies still have the original pews as an homage to the building’s former life.


Ponce City Market isn’t the only Atlanta building given a second chance in the 21st century. We encourage you to explore the historic places you live in and embrace the idea of making old things new again. You never know, they might be the next big things 50 years from now.


Christine Adams is a really awesome person, copywriter, and lover of all things Atlanta. You can find her other work around the internets without too much trouble.

3 Reasons We're Excited About Ponce City Market

PCM Render

In our last post, we discussed what Ponce City Market means for Atlanta and the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. Now it’s time to get excited. PCM will be housing a ton of exciting things and is completely accessible through the Beltline - and we love a walkabout with a fun destination. Here are 3 reasons to get excited about PCM.


The Food Hall

This is no drab cafeteria we’re talking about. This is serious food--like, James Beard award-winning serious. Just like the legendary food hall at Chelsea Market, PCM’s food hall will offer excellent fare from all over the globe, some regional favorites, all with an Atlanta twist. Chai Pani, the Decatur staple for Indian street food, will expand their offerings to PCM. H+F Burger, the offshoot of supreme bakery Holeman and Finch and home of “America’s Best Burger”, will also be there. Market stalls offering fresh breads, meats, spices, and other delicacies will make the PCM food hall the destination for all self-respecting Atlanta foodies.


The Shops

This isn’t your typical shopping mall. PCM will be offering some major brands (J. Crew, Anthropologie, Willaims-Sonoma) as well as smaller, specialty boutiques and haberdasheries (Oakleaf and Acorn, Michael Star, Gorrin Bros). The unique offerings are sure to make PCM a premier shopping destination for the Southeast.


The Events

PCM is also home to some innovative companies and spaces that will have lots to offer. General Assembly, the startup and technological cooperative from NYC, has a brand new Atlanta facility at PCM that offers courses in everything from web development to digital marketing. They also host lunch and learns, workshops, and hackathons - many of which are free. Ponce Gallery will also be hosting exciting exhibits from renowned artists. In April, PCM will host limited performances of Nick Cave: Resurrection, featuring music, movement, and sculpture (and did we mention, it’s FREE).


With all this exciting stuff, there’s no doubt Ponce City Market will be the gathering place for Atlanta’s vibrant food and social scene, providing a unique opportunity for intowners and out-of-towners alike to appreciate an old building made new again.

What Ponce City Market Means for Atlanta

PCM

The historic Sears, Roebuck & Co building in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of Atlanta had been largely empty for nearly a decade. Even as the Atlanta Beltline was breaking ground nearby, the abandoned brick building loomed large - graffitied and nearly forgotten even among a booming development. In 2011, the city of Atlanta sold the building to Jamestown - the same development group responsible for the Chelsea Market in New York City. With a grand opening set for Spring 2015, Ponce City Market is being heralded as “History in the making” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is set to revitalize the Ponce de Leon corridor.


City Hall East

Most longtime Atlantans have known PCM by another name - City Hall East. For nearly 20 years, government offices resided in the former Sears, Roebuck & Co building, but by the end of its tenure there was little more than a bank and a police precinct in the 2 million sq. ft space. In 2010, the building was closed to the public and sat completely empty for over a year - broken windows on every side.  

In an article from the Creative Loafing called “The lost world of City Hall East,” they reveal that, even under the city’s ownership, no more than a third of the building ever saw use. Remnants from the Sears days were still in the maze-like basements, thousands of office chairs and mid-century gadgets stacked to the ceiling. The level of disrepair throughout the complex was immense. To see a truly bizarre slideshow of the items left behind, check out the article.

Making this building new again would be no easy feat - and all of us Atlantans knew it.


What Ponce City Market Means For O4W

The Atlanta Beltline’s development of the area provided a great starting point for bringing new energy into the historic neighborhood. Ponce City Market will be the anchor of this revitalization project, bringing in retail shops, offices, and a world-class food hall featuring renowned chefs.  And what this ultimately means is more traffic into the area, more interest from out-of-towners (PCM was recently voted by Travel + Leisure as one of “The World’s Coolest Tourist Attractions”), and a new model for historic preservation all over the country. If New York City’s Chelsea Market is any indication of the potential, Ponce City Market is going to be one of the top Atlanta destinations for years to come.

11 Romantic Places in the ATL

Sun Dial rests atop the Westin Peachtree.

Sun Dial rests atop the Westin Peachtree.

In case you didn't know Valentine's Day is, like, tomorrow, and while we're sure you have something super amazing planned out, we decided to take a break from creating awesome event maps to share this map of 11 amazing places to take your sweetheart this weekend. Ranging from restaurants like the Sun Dial and Agave, to attractions and outdoorsy stuff, this map has it all.

Here's a sneak peek:

Sun Dial Restaurant
Pretty much recognized as the most romantic restaurant in the city, Sun Dial has it all--great food, great service, and stunning views. Located at the top of the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel.


BeltLine Eastside Trail
The most unique outdoor living room in the city, the BeltLine eastside trail has everything--strolling, art, views, and about 1000 amazing restaurants and bars along the way.


Botanical Gardens
Built in 1980, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a Midtown mainstay. With beauty abound, and lots of little nooks and corners, the garden is the perfect Valentine's getaway.


You can check out the map here.

We hope you enjoy this romantic guide for urban explorers--with love from Walkabout.



Tres Crow is the CEO of Walkabout, and his social media team thinks he spends way to much time on Pinterest pinning color palettes.