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Coming Along

19 Mar

Imperial Hotel renovation

The extensive renovation of the 103-year-old Imperial Hotel at Peachtree Street and Ivan Allen Boulevard is scheduled to be completed later this year. The building was converted to low-income housing in the mid-90s after sitting vacant for about decade and was purchased by Columbia Residential and National Church Residences in early 2011 when it was in danger of foreclosure.

It was here somewhere…

7 Jan

Faded crosswalk at Ralph McGill and Courtland

Believe it or not, those blotches of white paint in the foreground used to be a crosswalk. Over the last three years it’s slowly disappeared, reducing the chances that cars will stop for pedestrians here from “not that great” to “yeah, right.”

It’s in a “channelized” or separated right turn lane at the intersection of Ralph McGill Boulevard and Courtland Street, where cars making the right turn from Courtland are often speeding. If the light is red drivers generally slow down just enough to check for cars approaching from the east on Ralph McGill. If the light is green they’ll sometimes even speed up as they make the turn so they can beat pedestrians to the crosswalk rather than yield.

Faded crosswalks, missing curb ramps, broken or blocked sidewalks and other dangerous conditions can be reported to the City of Atlanta’s Department of Public Works with the pedestrian hazard reporting tool at PEDS.

You should receive an email with a confirmation number within a day and the requested repairs are generally supposed to be completed within 30 days.  This M.I.A. crosswalk was reported on January 3, so we’ll see how long it takes for it to reappear.

Did you know…

15 Nov
Southbound traffic on I75/85 passes under Civic Center Station

A window at Civic Center Station looks out onto the traffic passing underneath the station platform. The reflection in the center of the photo is one of the station's white-tiled columns.

that Civic Center Station is the only subway station in the world suspended over a highway?

Never a dull moment

1 Oct

The day started out normally enough. But within a couple of hours, streets were blocked, police were everywhere, helicopters were circling and at least 30 people were screaming on the sidewalk.

There’s nothing like an awards show to liven up the neighborhood.

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The BET Hip Hop Awards were filmed at the Atlanta Civic Center today, to be broadcast on Oct. 11. Good news for hotel and restaurant owners, limousine rental companies and ticket scalpers. Not so good for people who ride the route 16 bus or who needed to drive – or even walk – through the intersection of Ralph McGill and Piedmont, Piedmont and Harris, or Courtland and Ralph McGill.

The street closings were originally scheduled to be from noon to 11 p.m., but as of right now, the limos have mostly disappeared, the screaming fans have dispersed and regular traffic flow has been re-established.

Peachtree-Pine Shelter: The Big Picture

6 Jun

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To catch up on the protracted legal tussle over the Peachtree and Pine Street shelter run by Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, read this piece published in last month’s ABA Journal.

It’s long, but it’s light on legal jargon and free of the axe-grinding that tends to creep into anything written about the facility and its management.

Green means “Go”

28 Mar

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The paper is off the windows, the art is up, the furniture is in and the lights are on at Scene Cafe.

These photos were taken Friday night, just after 11:00.  It looks vastly different from just a couple of weekends ago, when I stopped in and talked to the owner, Samuel, while he was working inside. He said that the work stoppage during the summer was because of a death in the family and that the place was just a few weeks from being ready to open.

When I remarked that the building’s yards of glass had stayed improbably intact during his absence he said that people in the neighborhood knew his father – who owned the store that once occupied the building that is now Scene Cafe – and  “looked out for the place.”

Maybe ruin and wreckage aren’t the rule on Pine Street after all.

Unexpected Company

25 Mar

 

Before “Jack and Diane” and “Runnin’ on Empty” came thundering from across the street well before sunrise last Sunday, I’d mostly forgotten about the Georgia Marathon.

The music was soon accompanied by a voice with that simultaneously enthusiastic and professional quality cultivated by announcers at big athletic events.

Turns out that the first water station for the race was in front of the Civic Center, which placed it just across from my building.

After about an hour of one-sided banter from the announcer accompanied by more Top 40 hits of the 80s, the first wheelchair racers came flying down the hill along with race volunteers on bikes. Several minutes behind them came the lone leading runner, pursued by several tiny packs of others.

Then the groups of runners got bigger and bigger until they were deep enough and wide enough to fill the block.

Then it was time to go back to sleep.

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