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Sometimes life takes precedence

April 6, 2011

I know it’s been nearly a month since any of us updated this blog. I feel like I take the blame, since it’s been my baby in the last few months. My obsessive baby that I coddle and fret over. But the Accidental Commuter is in something like her twelfth year of grad school, That’s MARTA has been house shopping, house buying, and house moving and there’s some computer problem she has or something, and I’ve been, well distracted.

A couple of weeks ago I lost my father, who had been battling cancer for three years. We were supposed to have at least another year, if not three, but Daddy developed a blood infection which he simply couldn’t fight, and our year quickly became twenty-four hours.

My father and I were very close and he supported me in everything that I did; he liked to tease me by calling One the Bus Driver and would gladly ride MARTA downtown with me, which my mother has yet to do.

Since it’s apparent that I won’t be moving back home to help take care of my father and his business now, my mother has tasked me with finding a place to buy down here. She figures real estate is a better investment than the bank these days and is giving me a generous down payment.

My criteria is for a place to be walkable, transit accessible and safe, which is kinda leaving me downtown, Castleberry, and Decatur. But if I listened to Creative Loafing, I’d be looking in like Brookhaven.

Say what?

Creative Loafing recently published their Neighborhood Guide, which highlights, among many things, transit accessibility, prompting us to receive the following e-mail.

Imma be upfront:  These guys are full of shit.

Not to be too neighborhood partisan, but somehow Brookhaven and Little 5 Points outrank Castleberry on transit. 

Castleberry:  3 MARTA stations in a mile with access to all rail lines, 20+ bus routes on 4 different systems with access to 12 counties.

Little 5 Points: 2 MARTA stations in a mile with access to 2 lines and under 10 bus routes, all MARTA.

Brookhaven: One train station, with under 10 routes.  Locals still have to look up the word “bus” in the dictionary unless they’ve already been to a public hearing to complain about it.

Other observations:
The neighborhoods covered tend to be hipster/yuppie/gentrifying neighborhoods, while the descriptions occasionally pan those neighborhoods for gentrifying.  In what is essentially CL’s attempt at a guide to where white people should move, they snarkily comment that Grant Park has “whitified in recent years.”  Seems like a disconnect between their reader and their tone.  If they’re going to be so biased in where they’re covering, why pretend like they’re too cool for participating in gentrification?  And I’m going to throw out that I think their inclusion of Buford Highway (because apparently it’s one “neighborhood”), West End, and College Park are token inclusions either to pander to existing readership bases (Atlanta University Center) or to fend off accusations, frankly, like mine.

I’ve already sent an e-mail to them asking what their methodology for determining transit access is, using the Castleberry example and asking if they incorporated subjective elements like perception of crime.  Should be interesting.

Anyway, had to vent, and could be a fun “MARTA Rocks!” topic if you want to kick the hipster beehive.  I’m sure there are other easily findable transit discrepancies – try Downtown versus Emory!

One more possibility – they may be doing graphs lazily, using Excel or whatever their software is that automatically adjusts the scale of their graphs.  If this is the case, the graphs don’t have a set scale and are functionally useless for comparison.  Who knows.  it’s funny, but you have to force Excel into making things usable sometimes.

So look for more blogging as I find the perfect place to live. I’ve already fallen in love with one place, but I’m nervous that moving onto the same street as That’s MARTA and the Bus Nerd and the same neighborhood as One might seem a little stalker-creepy. At least it’s not the same building, right?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2011 8:04 pm

    I’m so sorry about your loss, CCTGirl! My and Juan’s hearts go out to you and your family at this time.

  2. Debbie permalink
    April 8, 2011 2:48 pm

    Ash, glad to see you blogging again. I’ve missed your voice.

  3. 10B permalink
    April 9, 2011 12:38 am

    Glad to hear again from you! I hope your matters are getting back in order. Earlier this week I visited a friend’s apartment half way between Civic Center and Peachtree Center, just next to Centennial Park. Not sure what the required budget is and how it would feel to go around, but the view of downtown alone was amazing!

  4. Jim Dexter permalink
    April 9, 2011 4:59 pm

    Good to have you back, Ashley.

  5. ATL Urbanist permalink
    April 11, 2011 4:24 pm

    That email was hilarious. Pretty close to my response on the CL neighborhood writeup. CL kinda pissed me off, fairly dissing my downtown neighborhood by not even using a resident for their quote in that section.

    Good luck with the home search! Your own experiences in walking around the neighborhoods will be the valuable tool (versus CL or Walkscore).

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