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Essential Reading: Creative Loafing Digs into Downtown

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Every Wednesday, all over Atlanta, a treasure trove of sweet, sweet original content appears on wire racks in businesses of every stripe, and in metal boxes on street corners. And while Creative Loafing technically falls into the "alt-weekly" category (and is thereby ignored by large portions of the population sated by inferior media made mostly of fill), categorizing it as such unjustifiably minimizes its vital importance to Atlanta's civic life. Because in there among the live music listings, ads for bars and bong 'n' dildo shops and delightfully-opinionated reviews of the arts is a rare and valuable commodity: fine, original journalism...produced in Atlanta, by Atlantans, for Atlantans. And it's free. This week's issue contains a trio of pieces that anyone even vaguely interested in Atlanta as a city, business environment, real estate market or place to live absolutely needs to read. Trying to summarize them here would do them a disservice. But by looking at downtown's vibrant past and frayed present, they illustrate a collection of challenges and opportunities that will define Atlanta's viability as a major city in the coming years.

· South downtown must be fixed for Atlanta to thrive [Thomas Wheatley / Creative Loafing]
· I like south downtown Atlanta the way it is [Besha Rodell / Creative Loafing]
· Solving downtown's homeless problem begins with taking the red pill [Eric Celeste / Creative Loafing]