The Curbed Cup, Curbed Atlanta's annual Neighborhood of the Year tournament, showcases eight seeds vying for our sacred fake trophy. Slotting was determined by preliminary votes. Voting for each contest is open for 24 hours. Today's contest pits Buckhead against Decatur. Let the eliminations begin!
The mention of Buckhead conjures many things: A towering business district, the manses of Paces Ferry, the leafy lanes of Garden Hills and Brookwood, sprawling Chastain Park, powerful men chomping steak, and that legendary, raucous party district (now deceased). We ask you to consider this so-called Southern Beverly Hills in its entirety. From its humble beginnings as "that place with a deer above the tavern door," Buckhead has flourished, landing in the top 10 of Forbes most affluent communities list. Positive signs include the reactivation and reincarnation of the failed Streets of Buckhead pipe dream. Numerous upscale apartment projects are sprouting on both sides of Peachtree, promising to infuse the signature thoroughfare with more street life. But overall, Buckhead is chided for its dearth of parks and walkability.
Perhaps the walkability capital of Atlanta, downtown Decatur has blossomed in recent years into a bona fide dining destination. Seems every few months a new concept is launched, and most of them tend to flourish, resulting in an eclectic culinary roster worthy of the national spotlight the "city within a city" has enjoyed. Not a bad slate of bars, either. Often cited by critical New Yorkers and Bostonians as the only place that feels like home, Decatur boasts terrific schools and direct MARTA access. By and large its evolution has felt organic, the antithesis of its mixed-use counterparts. Knocks against Decatur include its distance from the core of Atlanta and major interstates, and property taxes among the steepest in Georgia.