Atlanta, GA

163 posts in this topic

Posted

Is it possible to get around Atlanta without a car? I don't drive and I'd rather not start now. I can deal with inconvenient, but is it reliable and safe? I was accepted to Emory and would want to live in the city rather than the suburban-type area near the campus.

I live in downtown Atlanta and do not drive a car. I do have a scooter though, which makes transport convenient, but before that I walked and used MARTA. Atlanta's vast sprawl does rely heavily on cars, but in the 8 years I've lived here (6 of which were downtown), I have found that not having a car is only a deal-breaker if you live outside of the Perimeter (I-285). If you live/work/learn/shop downtown, MARTA is much more accesible. And in the event that you NEED a vehicle for some reason, Zipcar memberships are available.

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Posted

As for cars, I'm from near Atlanta and went to Georgia Tech for undergrad, and I go back to visit a couple of times a year. I never have a car when I go back to visit and the friends that I still have there do not exactly have wide open schedules all the time, so I spend a significant amount of time wandering around town on my own by foot and transit. Even though a lot of locals will tell you otherwise, Atlanta is a fine place to live without a car. There are lots of fun, walkable neighborhoods where you could live where you would also have easy transit access to most of the other fun neighborhoods. If you want to check how transit accessible a particular part of town is, you can use this screenshot of my Google map (I tend to collect stars in places I visit or live to keep track of interesting places I want to check out): http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c160/DJLamar/Atlanta.png The only really spiffy places which don't have a star in them are Virginia-Highland (literally just centered around the intersection of Virginia Avenue and North Highland Avenue) and the area around the intersection of Howell Mill and Marietta St. (which has a nearby star anyway).

As for places to live, if you're going to Emory and won't own a car, you probably want to live in Midtown (slightly less convenient for Emory unless you're living close to Midtown Station in particular), around Inman Park / Little Five Points, Virginia-Highland / Poncey Highlands (anywhere near N Highland Ave between Inman Park and Virginia Avenue), or Decatur. Georgia Tech and Georgia State are more accessible by train and such, so for those places Midtown (and any place near a train station) is more easily convenient than for Emory and you might add the Old Fourth Ward / Sweet Auburn to the list (a part of town which is fairly recently gentrifying which seems pretty awesome, but where I've never hung out much so I can't tell you much about safety, fun, or convenience from personal experience -- I'm eagerly awaiting my next trip back to explore it).

Also, Midtown has a really broad geographic definition that includes some pretty sleepy places with poor transit access, so if you want to live in the fun part of Midtown, consider the parts within 3 blocks of Peachtree Street between North Avenue Station and Arts Center Station, or the little area around Howell Mill and Marietta Street which is super awesome but a relatively difficult jumping off point for public transit to other fun parts of town.

For other tips, check Wikitravel's Atlanta article, if you browse it you can get a pretty decent idea of where the bars/restaurants/etc. are.

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Posted

Greetings,

Are there any apartment complexes/rental companies that should be avoided at ALL COSTS? Why? I'll be attending Emory in the fall, so any advice would be amazing! Also--are there any complexes that are highly suggested? Any near the Emory shuttle? Thanks! :)

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Posted

I'm bumping this thread for the 2013 cycle. I have an awesome offer from Emory and was wondering if someone could suggest names of apartment complexes or communities in or around Candler Park that are more affordable or highly recommended. I'm a quiet person who enjoys city life and went to visitation weekend but don't really remember what the area looked like :)

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Posted

I got accepted to GA Tech and I'm wondering about the safety of the campus. What are the good and bad parts on/near campus? Do you generally feel safe on campus, or no because of its location in the city?

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Posted

I'm bumping this thread for the 2013 cycle. I have an awesome offer from Emory and was wondering if someone could suggest names of apartment complexes or communities in or around Candler Park that are more affordable or highly recommended. I'm a quiet person who enjoys city life and went to visitation weekend but don't really remember what the area looked like :)

Hi Rise!  ;) My prime concern is housing at this point... :( There are some complexes with good ratings around campus, but they are expensive... I mean, more expensive than Clairmont or Briarcliff apartments. I do not know what I am going to do since I want to wait until I am there to rent something not furnished. On the other hand, university complexes are also available for undergrads which I find unattractive. I am big girl now hahaha  :lol:

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Posted

I've lived in Atlanta for 15 years. Stay out of downtown. You want to live in Virginia Highlands (midtown), or Buckhead if you must live in the perimeter. If you can handle a 15 minute drive, live in Sandy Springs or Dunwoody. Do not go the west side!!!! I cannot emphasize that enough. There are parts of Decatur that are nice. I would say live in the northside of town, with good access to 400 and 85. 

 

Best of luck. 

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Posted

I gotta disagree with Decaf.... I've lived in Atlanta for about 5 years now, and there's not much I can think of that would make me move OTP (outside the perimeter). To each his own, but please, please take warnings to "avoid such and such at all costs" with a grain of salt. As a single female, I live in an area with a less than stellar rep near downtown Atlanta, but I've never had any issues with crime or felt unsafe. 

There are so many really great neighborhoods in this city! I recommend checking out Candler Park, Inman Park, Oakhurst, Decatur, Grant Park, Cabbagetown/Reynoldstown, Kirkwood, Edgewood, West Midtown, etc. The trick is to visit these places, look around the area, take note of things like abandoned buildings, if people are loitering in areas, etc. Talk to the neighbors and ask about their experiences. If you find a neighborhood you like, ask for input on it in a forum like this one. And, of course, use common sense and take basic safety precautions: be aware of your surroundings, don't take unnecessary risks, get an alarm system and/or dog, etc. But if you're going to school at GSU or Tech or Emory, you don't want to live OTP; the commute will not be fun and you'll miss out on all this great city has to offer. At least, that's my two cents.

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Posted

Hey all,

 

I'm not set on Emory yet, but wanted to ask about transportation. I don't drive, and usually bike or take public transportation to get around. There has already been a fair amount written about these things, but my question is this: does anyone drive scooters/mopeds around Atlanta, and specifically the Emory area? When I mentioned to my family that I would get a moped if I lived in Atlanta, they freaked. For people familiar with the city and its traffic, would you consider it unsafe to drive a scooter (probably not on the freeway or anything crazy, but just for distances over 8 or 10miles when the bus schedule isn't helpful).

 

thanks!

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Posted

Hi Rise!  ;) My prime concern is housing at this point... :( There are some complexes with good ratings around campus, but they are expensive... I mean, more expensive than Clairmont or Briarcliff apartments. I do not know what I am going to do since I want to wait until I am there to rent something not furnished. On the other hand, university complexes are also available for undergrads which I find unattractive. I am big girl now hahaha  :lol:

 

Hey all,

 

I'm not set on Emory yet, but wanted to ask about transportation. I don't drive, and usually bike or take public transportation to get around. There has already been a fair amount written about these things, but my question is this: does anyone drive scooters/mopeds around Atlanta, and specifically the Emory area? When I mentioned to my family that I would get a moped if I lived in Atlanta, they freaked. For people familiar with the city and its traffic, would you consider it unsafe to drive a scooter (probably not on the freeway or anything crazy, but just for distances over 8 or 10miles when the bus schedule isn't helpful).

 

thanks!

 

I'm bumping this thread for the 2013 cycle. I have an awesome offer from Emory and was wondering if someone could suggest names of apartment complexes or communities in or around Candler Park that are more affordable or highly recommended. I'm a quiet person who enjoys city life and went to visitation weekend but don't really remember what the area looked like :)

 

Hi Emory folks, I'm headed there too this fall and like everyone else, I'm quite concerned about accommodation as well, particularly since I'm an international student who has no idea how the US housing market works. Could anyone share a tip or two with regards to the entire process of viewing, negotiating and renting?

 

With regards to neighbourhoods, I've been speaking to some current graduate students and they really suggest Decatur because (a) it is near the MARTA train station, making it easier to get around, (B) there is a free shuttle from Decatur to Emory. Otherwise, houses along North Decatur Road and Clairmont road are the usual places.

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Posted

Hi Emory folks, I'm headed there too this fall and like everyone else, I'm quite concerned about accommodation as well, particularly since I'm an international student who has no idea how the US housing market works. Could anyone share a tip or two with regards to the entire process of viewing, negotiating and renting?

 

With regards to neighbourhoods, I've been speaking to some current graduate students and they really suggest Decatur because (a) it is near the MARTA train station, making it easier to get around, ( B) there is a free shuttle from Decatur to Emory. Otherwise, houses along North Decatur Road and Clairmont road are the usual places.

 

Hi!!! Great that someone else is going to Emory!!!! :) I am international as well and decided to do the following: rent at Briarcliff for a year or less while I get used to school and the US and once I know the city, the area, and the places I would like to live, I rent another thing on my own. My first priority is not to live alone, is to start off well and I know that there are going to be tough times during my first year away from home. So, I'd better don't worry if my apartment is well located/my furniture is nice (for the time being).

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Posted

I've been told repeatedly not to rely on MARTA. Is this because it is inconvenient (i.e. trips are infrequent), or is it actually unsafe? i currently live in a large city and generally don't ride public transit alone after 8 p.m., but at least here I never feel unsafe. I would really appreciate some insight on this.

 

And if it is unsafe, would it be less unsafe to bike in Atlanta traffic? :)

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Posted (edited)

I rode MARTA when I was there for interview weekend. I'd say MARTA is limited in the sense that it runs in a + shape going north-south and east-west. There is a MARTA station about 1 mile from campus which goes west to downtown, from where we rode anther train south to the airport.

I rode MARTA once in the morning on Sunday and again on a Thursday afternoon and I'd say that I felt both safe and comfortable. But I think they told you not to rely on it because, while it runs pretty frequently during the day, it doesn't stop anywhere outside of the the big plus sign on the map.

Edited by RiseofthePhoenix

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Posted

Any feedback about the buses? Frequency? Safety? Maybe it's just the train that is called MARTA. I saw several bus routes that go from Virginia Highland and Candler Park to Emory. (I'm wondering because Emory's free shuttle routes are somewhat limited.)

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Posted

MARTA = Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority

 

MARTA is the agency that oversees all the buses and trains in Metro Atlanta (meaning it covers several of the counties that make up Atlanta).

 

There is a light rail train system that has the "plus sign" routes described above but there are also buses.

 

MARTA buses are not great but they are okay. Like most public transit, they are sometimes late, sometimes crowded, and don't run as frequently as you'd like them to. On the other hand I found them serviceable for getting around the Emory area. Also, there are some buses that run from the Emory area to the rail stations, which can then give you access to the rest of the city.

 

Regarding safety, I don't know what level of risk you find acceptable so I'm not sure I can give a solid answer. I didn't find the buses and trains in Atlanta to be any worse than they are in San Francisco or in New York City. There are always the hustlers, the intoxicated, the rowdy and the pick-up artists looking for true love. Sometimes that can be annoying or even feel threatening but for the most part I was able to ignore it. Obviously you always need to be aware of your surroundings and protect your valuables though.

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Posted

Thanks Lexicon. I live in a major city now and almost always feel perfectly safe -- a few drunks and homeless don't bother me. It's good to hear that Atlanta's buses and trains are no worse than any other major city's. I've been a bit baffled by several people adamantly telling me MARTA is not an option safety-wise.

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Posted

For folks heading to Emory I want to plug their off-campus housing board. It's smaller and way more focused than something like Craigslist. I found two fantastic places to live using the site. Both were basically "in-law apartments" (a small studio or one bedroom apartment on the back corner of the property of a larger home) in the Briarcliff area (the large/nice homes ~5 minutes walking distance from campus).

 

One other suggestion I have is only for folks who are okay dealing with sales people. There's a business called ProMove that helps people navigate the many many apartment complexes in Atlanta. It's free for renters and basically you sit down with a representative and give your geographic area, price range, move-in date and size requirements. They make a map of all the places that fit your criteria and even call all the complexes to see if they are running specials and/or have availability for your move-in date.

 

The thing is, the way ProMove makes money is from you visiting complexes and saying they referred you and from the referral fee they collect if you actually sign a lease with one of the complexes they suggest. This means that they will call you and try to encourage you to sign with one of their client's complexes. I'm pretty shy and can have social anxiety, but over time I've become less sensitive to aggressive sales people so I felt fine just telling them no or that I'd found a place and they should stop calling me. Your mileage may vary. The service isn't perfect but I think it's a good way to get started as long as you're okay with the "sales" aspect.

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Posted

Thanks for the advice, Lexicon. How did the leasing process work with the ones you found on Emory's housing blog. I've seen some very attractive options on that site, and would live to find a place like the ones you've mentioned. Are these usually administered by the owner him/herself? And do you need cosigners and all the usual documentation for the owner-listed apartment leases?

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Posted

Typically they are administrated by the owner. Both of my agreements have been somewhat informal. Of course I signed a lease agreement indicating the amount of rent, due date, and other major points but if smaller details needed to be worked out that was done verbally.

 

I never had to do a credit check or have co-signers. One landlord had me give a security deposit equal to one month's rent, one had me give first and last month's rent but no additional deposit. One owner had me give proof of enrollment, the other just took my word for it. It all depends on the landlord, in my experience.

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Posted

I'll be attending Georgia Tech this Fall for the Masters program in Electrical & Computer Engineering. Like many others, I'm concerned about housing. I'm looking for something more afforable with a roommate. I went to Ohio State for my undergrad. I think I'd like something in the $500-$700 range. Anyone interested?

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Posted

I'm a 1st year neuroscience graduate student of neuroscience at Georgia State. Male, 24 years old.  Was accepted a few weeks ago and after visiting the campus this past week I'm looking forward to moving down to Atlanta as soon as possible.  I am of course looking for a place to live prior to making that move. I have quite a bit on money saved in the bank, so paying for an apartment prior to the fall semester starting (and my stipend and loans kicking in) won't be a problem on my end.  But all the same, transitioning into a nicer apartment complex with a better location would be easier with a roommate or two to split the costs with. 

 

I'm a typical introvert with extroverted tendencies.  Perfectly capable of entertianing and taking care of myself, but also looking to go out and have a good time with friends.  At the same time, I never have any qualms about being the designated driver.  I'll be bringing what I consider to be a lot to the table. Steady income, lots of entertainment things, Bigscreen TV, various computers and video game systems, I plan on building and stocking some kind of decent sized bar, and based on the apartment size, maybe a game room with pool, darts, lounge chairs, etc.

 

That being said, I'll be a graduate student, with graduate student responsibilites, and time constraints both regarding my research and classwork.  Parties would not be an everynight, or likely even an every week thing.

 

Graduate students (or responsible undergrads) heading to or currently attending Georgia State, Emory, Georgia Tech, etc would be very welcome.  I would like to move as soon as possible, and I'm relatively flexible about location.  I am partial to the downtown area at the moment. Currently looking very hard at the 2 and 3 bedroom lofts at the Pencil Factory Lofts (I was impressed during my visit), but I'd be willing to choose a more centralized living area in regards to wherever the other roommate(s) were attending.  Walking distance is a good thing though I assure you. 

 

Looking forward to hearing from anyone heading to Atlanta. 

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Posted

I will go to Atlanta this fall, attending Emory RSPH..

This city will be my first stop in USA..I am from China so I have no idea about how my life will be..

I knew that the cost of housing is not expensive here in Atlanta..but I want to know more about this city...! Is there friends in Atlanta? ^_^  :D

Is car necessary for living in Atlanta(or the place where Emory located?)..I had driving license in China but had to get an American one, is it hard for foreigner to get driving license in USA?

Thank you...

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Posted

Hi Billie!

 

I completely understand your concerns! I don't know anything yet, but I think that if you live within Emory area you will be able to walk/ride to school. As far as the driving license, in my case I only need to get the international one, which is simple to get here. It only lasts for 1yr or so, and then I have to get Georgia's one. I really don't know about that since I don't suppose I'll have car... :P

 

See you around campus!

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Posted

I don't think a car is necessary for living in the Emory area. There are buses and shuttles that serve the Emory area and bring you to shops and restaurants so all your basic needs are accessible by public transit and/or walking (there are some hills though!).

 

Having a car makes life easier but lots of people get by without one.

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Posted

I will go to Atlanta this fall, attending Emory RSPH..

This city will be my first stop in USA..I am from China so I have no idea about how my life will be..

I knew that the cost of housing is not expensive here in Atlanta..but I want to know more about this city...! Is there friends in Atlanta? ^_^  :D

Is car necessary for living in Atlanta(or the place where Emory located?)..I had driving license in China but had to get an American one, is it hard for foreigner to get driving license in USA?

Thank you...

Hi, I will start my PhD program at Georgia State U this fall. I definitely wanna befriend with people from GA tech and Emory :). I've never been to this city despite four years in US, but from other's advice, areas like Buckhead, Druid Hills, Virginia Highland, Decatur are decent and safe places to live and they are not far from Emory. In Georgia, as far as I learned, you can use the Chinese license in the first few months (Emory should tell you exactly what other documents you should bring along with the foreign license). You definitely wanna get a Georgia license in a few months. I don't think it's hard to get a license. I passed the written test and driving test in Indiana with a breeze...should be similar in Georgia i think...Use www.dds.ga.gov for more info. Get a car, your life will be much easier, but i guess in Atlanta, you don't have to drive everyday...

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