There is no denying that, as a whole, Atlanta has had an epic and hugely successful year. In fact, with all of the Beltline props, national accolades, swelling #weloveATL pride and thrilling projects like Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market and Inman Quarter, it can be easy to let our egos get the best of us. But we can't have that. We're Southern, after all; let's show some modesty. To keep our feet on the ground and our hubris in check, take a look back at some of Atlanta's less than shining moments.
Worst Near Apocalyptic Event: Snowpocalypse
It was almost August before Northerners stopped giggling at Atlanta's reaction to January's winter weather debacle. The city ground to a complete halt. People were stuck in cars overnight in what might have been the worst traffic jam in U.S. history. But at least we used the opportunity to demonstrate what makes Atlanta so great.
Most Controversial Party: The Krog Masquerade
This October party was so divisive, there's not even a way to summarize it without infuriating someone. The organizer was all, "Hey! Let's have a 'European-style' party in the dirty, graffiti-covered Krog Street Tunnel." Then the community was all, "Hell no, that's our dirty tunnel." Arguments ensued. White-washing of the art ensued. The party ensued and what we were left with was either a rousing success that was life-alteringly good or a total nightmare that pissed off an entire neighborhood, depending on who you ask.
Toughest Relocation: The Braves Move to Cobb
From the minute they announced their intention to move from downtown to Cobb, the Braves started catching flak (at least they're catching something, right?) and despite the team's attempts to put the happiest, most optimistic face on the relocation, it has been a bumpy ride. Scheduling quandaries, developers dropping like flies, lawsuits, lack of public support and reports that indicate the whole Cumberland Mall area is going to be walloped by traffic heretofore unknown outside the aforementioned Snowpocalypse — it all hit the Braves so hard they even came up losers in their own renderings.
Most Hyperbolically Overrated Project: The Corey Tower
The project that was touted as Atlanta's answer to the St. Louis Arch and Seattle's Space Needle ended up being even more disappointing than everyone expected, which is hard to do because no one but Bill Corey himself expected much at all. As one commenter (ATL4000) pointed out, the Grande Sombrero at South of the Border is more impressive.
Saddest Collapse: The Craigie House
Snow took more than our dignity this year. It also took down the Craigie House, which had been standing proudly on Piedmont Avenue across from Piedmont Park for more than a century. The collapse happened in the midst of a renovation and while the husband-and-wife team initially planned to continue trying to save the structure, the project was more than they could handle in the end.
Biggest Tease: The Atlanta Streetcar
Atlanta's shiny new streetcar will finally carry its first passengers tomorrow, but what a long road it's been (technically only a 2.7-mile road but still…). We have lost count of the alleged launch dates offered since construction began: mid 2013, spring 2014, late spring 2014, summer 2014, fall 2014, "by the end of 2014." The project was held up time and time again by utility complications, questions about who would operate the system, safety concerns and fools who could not stop running their cars into the giant, bright blue, impossible-to-miss trains. Let's hope the elusive, millions-over-budget people mover takes scheduling more seriously once it's running.
Proof That There's No Such Thing as Perfection: The Atlanta BeltlineWhat could possibly be the problem with Atlanta's most popular, most nationally praised project? Well, for all of its glory, the Beltline is a humbling reminder that every project has its trials and tribulations. From construction hold ups, funding shortfalls and scheduling snafus (where is that Eastside extension?) to beefs with Atlanta Public Schools, the Beltline is a reminder not to pat ourselves on the backs too hard. Oh, and that we could all use a lesson or two in etiquette now and then.