How did Little Five Points get weird?
March 28, 2016 11:13 AM   Subscribe

last time I was there it looked like it had become the Good Charlotte ride at DisneyWorld

/get off my lawn
posted by thelonius at 11:31 AM on March 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

Too bad the junkies got so bad over there they got rid of the benches on the square, and you step on needles all the time now.
posted by dortmunder at 11:32 AM on March 28, 2016

Murder Kroger will become a 12-story office building.

Is this just the author speculating, or is this really happening? It's mentioned in the same sentence as the redevelopment of the Clermont, which is happening, but I've heard nothing about demolishing Murder Kroger. That's my Kroger, murders or no.
posted by dortmunder at 11:43 AM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

On Friday, January 15, 2016, Kroger announced that the location would be demolished in favor of a new location as part of mixed-use development incorporating office space and expanded parking.

Oh fuck me. I've got to stock up on Murder Kroger t-shirts, so I can wear them while I loiter in the parking lot of this new hellhole.
posted by dortmunder at 11:47 AM on March 28, 2016

I miss Atlanta, but am fully aware that what I am missing is a time period encased in amber. When I get missives from old friends either online or when they visit, I notice that more and more of my landmarks either disappear or get replaced.
posted by Kitteh at 11:48 AM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I actually remember the 1991 murder, but another one, in Candler Park, was much more concerning to me, since I lived there.
posted by thelonius at 11:53 AM on March 28, 2016

I actually remember the 1991 murder

There was another murder in the Kroger parking lot almost exactly a year ago, right when they were trying to rebrand it as the "Beltline Kroger."
posted by dortmunder at 11:56 AM on March 28, 2016

I lived in L5P from 1994 until 2005, first over on McLendon (fourth house down from Elmira heading toward the park, which according to Zillow is for sale at $639,000) and then over in Euclid Court Apartments. I banked at BOND, and I even went to Dr. Shapiro for my dental work. I drank many beers at the Point, bought many CDs and zines at Criminal, and did a lot of people watching on my days off. It was an interesting place to live, but like Kitteh I realize that what I miss is a period in time, not so much a place. Oxford Books, Creative Loafing when it was an actual two section paper, Album 88 (Hang the DJ, Radio Birdman, etc). That's the Atlanta I miss. Whenever we're back in town for something I'm always sort of amazed at how much things have changed, and how built up things are - it's like they're trying to squeeze a house into every free inch of land.
posted by ralan at 12:26 PM on March 28, 2016 [5 favorites]

Yeah, I was 1999 to 2009. When I first moved to Atlanta, I was renting a bedroom from my then-employer's friend on Boulevard right near Grant Park. When that arrangement went south--I was young and reckless and stupid--I rented a basement room in Candler Park on Oakdale (soon to be followed by a roachy apartment right there on McLendon), and thus spent way too many nights at the Star Bar, the Yacht Club, the Vortex when the bartender I knew was working there, and sometimes the Brewhouse (it seemed to be the one place everyone could agree on if they didn't know L5P very well). I was an Aurora barista for many years (mostly the Va-Hi location) and then a SFCRC barista (Poncey-Highland). Like, I dunno, I was a hot drunk mess for that decade, but I still miss a lot of things about that time period. I haven't been back since 2012 (not for not wanting to but traveling from one country to another is expensive) but I still keep up any way I can, even when things aren't the same anymore.
posted by Kitteh at 12:40 PM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

> Too bad the junkies got so bad over there they got rid of the benches on the square, and you step on needles all the time now.

From some brief googling, it seems that syringe exchanges are still illegal in Georgia, and any that operate do so with the cops turning a blind eye. Perhaps some Atlanta and Georgia residents could lobby their lawmakers to change this.
posted by rtha at 12:41 PM on March 28, 2016

Too bad the junkies got so bad over there they got rid of the benches on the square, and you step on needles all the time now.

haha, also remember that time that Atlanta became the first major city in the US to demolish all of its public housing and replaced it with far, far, far fewer units of mixed-income housing? which explains why so many of the homeless shelters and public places tend to be crowded with the homeless?


oh, okay, nvm me, back to your jokes
posted by runt at 12:50 PM on March 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

L5P is great. It's not too far from my hood and I trek through there weekly taking baby girl to oboe lessons. We usually end up having dinner there on the way home. It's been a mainstay of Atlanta culture for FOREVER. Always something fun to do or good to eat, they have the best festivals and parades. Always nice people to talk to... I love going to hang in L5P. Anyone coming to the ATL should check it out.
posted by pearlybob at 1:20 PM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

oh, okay, nvm me, back to your jokes

I wasn't joking. There's been a big push to clean up the neighborhoods around the Georgia Dome, where the new stadium will be (which is where heroin has traditionally been bought and sold, and is also home to the city's only needle exchange (which is, as, rtha pointed out, illegal)) combined with the general uptick in heroin use overall has made Little 5 Points a new gathering spot for needle drug users. Public housing isn't going to solve the underlying problems that cause addiction anyway, so I'm not sure what you're getting at. Atlanta has a huge homeless problem, yes. I know some of the homeless people who hang out in Little 5 by name, and, if anything, they like junkies less than your average citizen because they have nowhere to go to get away from them.
posted by dortmunder at 1:21 PM on March 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

Weird to think how many of you I might have seen walking by as I chilled on the Bass Loft steps (which they've now fenced off, the fuckers). My stint was roughly 2004-2009, renting an apartment right next to the aforementioned Bass Lofts.

For my go-to L5P grimy story, I submit for your approval, the time I found my upstairs neighbor trying to open my door with his key at 3 in the morning. Since he was obviously drunk and I was stumbling home from last call, I invited him in for a nightcap. We got to talking about our mutual neighbors and he informed me that the building next to ours was a crack house.

"How do you know it's a crack house?" I asked.

"Because I've been smoking crack over there all night," he replied.

Sadly(?), the crack house shut down and is now a music school run by a complete dickhead.

Really though, the best part about living in L5P is being able to look down your nose at all the tourists and out-of-town visitors mucking up your lovely slice of weirdness. That and being on first name basis with the regular bums, to the point that Copper John started asking if he could use my basement washroom to do his laundry.
posted by Panjandrum at 1:33 PM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I lived in ATL and that general area for something like 17 years before moving out to the lovely PNW. I was about to get all nostalgic about L5P when reading this article but then remembered that it was never really that great. I mean some great people (interesting and artsty) and some cool little shops but there's just something about ATL and L5P doesn't really fit in.

There's also something about how all the neighborhoods are somehow closed off from each other. It's hard to explain but getting into or out of L5P to the Oakland Cemetery area was just so difficult even though there is so much cultural overlap. And it's not just those two areas but all over ATL.

Basically everything feels isolated. And I guess it's because of the horrible road system. Ugh. I don't miss that.

And yeah, in the time I lived in ATL L5P was clearly succumbing to a corporate sheen. I mean Starbucks, really?

And the area was never that safe but then up the road in Candler Park you get kind of like a mini-L5P with some good restaurants and shops but without the drama.

Honestly, I don't miss ATL, not even a bit. It tried so hard during the '90s and I guess it's still trying but it just feels like there's too much holding it down.

Still, ATL needs L5P to keep some semblance of a soul so I hope we can still be talking fondly about the area in another 20 years and post pics of the always fun and NSFW Halloween parade.
posted by bfootdav at 1:42 PM on March 28, 2016

Panjandrum: Weird to think how many of you I might have seen walking by

I was the guy with the really long hair in a pony tail and really long beard (down to my waste) before it was cool!
posted by bfootdav at 1:43 PM on March 28, 2016

I was the guy with the really long hair in a pony tail and really long beard (down to my waste) before it was cool!

were you selling The Great Speckled Bird?
posted by thelonius at 2:16 PM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was the guy with the really long hair in a pony tail and really long beard (down to my waste) before it was cool!

This really does not narrow it down in L5P.
posted by Panjandrum at 4:35 PM on April 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

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