Over at Reddit, a Tampa Bay couple considering a move to the Atlanta metro area initiated a lively debate by asking Redditors to be brutally honest about the city's virtues and faults. Predictably, debates over racism and ITP vs. OTP started pretty much immediately, but looking beyond those two topics reveals some interesting trends about what Atlantans love and hate about their city. One commenter noted that "you're not in a place like NYC — where people move because it will have a transformative effect on them. Instead, you're in a position to be a part of the transformation of a city that really is progressing." That sentiment was echoed by quite a few Atlantans, which begs the question: If we're really part of the transformation (and we are), what does our ideal city look like?
Let's start with things that Atlanta shouldn't change:
1. The cost of living - We're living in spacious houses for less than New Yorkers or San Franciscans are paying for shoeboxes.
2. The food - Between celebrity chefs, Buford Highway ethnic eats and amazing local restaurants, Atlanta is a foodie heaven.
3. The airport - Having the world's busiest airport in your backyard? Beyond handy.
4. The weather - Four different seasons. Four! There are plenty of places that can't say that. Oh, and spring and fall are just perfection.
5. The diversity - Even through the arguments about racism, Atlanta's diversity got high praise.
6. The music scene - Atlanta is a stop for pretty much any national touring band and has a great local scene on top of that.
7. The neighborhoods - With such individual personalities, Atlanta's neighborhoods have something for everybody.
8. The lack of major natural disasters - They may have forgotten that a tornado took out part of downtown. Still, we're doing better than many places.
9. The green space - City of trees indeed.
10. The events - Atlantans never have a lack of things to do. The festivals alone will keep a newbie busy for a year.
And now, the wish list:
1. Better public transit - Atlantans want better transit like 9-year-olds want a bike for Christmas. Sooooo much.
2. Less traffic - The obvious one.
3. An ocean - The Decatur Beach Party isn't quite cutting it for some people.
4. Less racism - The City Too Busy to Hate needs to be exactly that.
5. Sports teams - Yes, we have them but how about if they didn't specialize in crushing dreams? It'd also be great if they didn't move to the suburbs.
6. Better public schools - See also: fewer cheating scandals/higher graduation rates.
7. Less crime - Ideally, you know, no crime at all, as long as we're wishing for things.
8. Comcast competition - The number of times this came up should really say something to Comcast.
9. Better walkability - Seeing a theme here?
10. In-N-Out Burger - What's wrong with Varsity?
Aside from the ocean bit, the wish list seems attainable (though not easy). What would Atlanta change if we could wish for anything? (Think Magic genie level stuff.) A few ideas from Curbed Atlanta:
1. Build city-wide transit in the form of rollercoasters. Loop around Spaghetti Junction bridges.
2. Force developers of sub-par architecture to sit in a dunk tank for a minimum of 48 hours while Atlantans take aim. See ya, Novare.
3. Have trash picked up daily by magical fairies that eat garbage and poop out glitter and/or coins.
4. Send Park Atlanta packing. Replace with friendly parking enforcers who won't actually write tickets unless the meter is expired.
5. Turn annual pollen attack into one-day event to get it over with quickly — like that movie The Purge, but with pollen.
What are we missing?
· Atlanta: 5 Best & Worst Things [Reddit]