I’ve talked about my favorite places to spot street art all over the world, from Berlin’s East Side Gallery to Melbourne’s Hosier Lane. But what about where I live? Atlanta is certainly an “up and coming” city with hip neighborhoods comparable to those in Brooklyn but at half the price.
My favorite neighborhoods for Atlanta street art are Cabbagetown and Old Fourth Ward. I hang out there a lot because my friends live there and it’s near where my sister works at Zoo Atlanta. Both certainly have the gentrified bohemian vibe, where you’ll find restaurants and cafes on random side streets.
Cabbagetown runs along one side of Oakland Cemetery and was named for the cabbages that grew in the yards of residents in the 1800s when the area was a cotton mill. Small shotgun houses surrounded the mill and are still popular today. Now the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill facilities are expensive lofts surrounded by restaurants and boutiques.
Krog Street Tunnel is Cabbagetown’s largest unofficial community art project, serving as a place for anyone and everyone to spray their message. The tunnel goes underneath the railroad tracks between Dekalb Avenue and Wylie Street. The top two images feature the work of two artists commissioned by Living Walls. It’s a common spot for photo shoots.
Reynoldstown is another neighborhood hard to distinguish from Cabbagetown, but is closer to Grant Park and Moreland Avenue. This part of town was also formerly covered in factories but has recently been revitalized. Award winning restaurants like H. Harper Station now call Reynoldstown home.
What many of these neighborhoods share is access to the Beltline, a revitalized railroad track turned walking trail. It runs between Piedmont Park and Old Fourth Ward with parks and access to public transportation along the way. It is currently in works to expand throughout the city.
Old Fourth Ward is another neighborhood to see street art, particularly around Edgewood Avenue, the street for restaurants, stores and nightlife. The area around Boulevard has gone through ups and downs over the years as an area known for crime but is back on the rise.
The neighborhood turns into it’s own nightclub corridor after 9 pm, with restaurants like Sound Table and Noni’s turning up the music and bars like Sister Louisa’s staying open late. Old Fourth Ward is also part of the streetcar project, which will connect the downtown area (Centennial Olympic Park tourist area) with Old Fourth Ward and Sweet Auburn (Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site).