Atlanta Gets Big Ol’ Check For Downtown Streetcar

$47 mil to be precise on how “big ‘ol”.  Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood…

“We’re here today because you all have your act together,”…”People have to come together around a common agenda, list the priorities and then start working on them. And this community knows how to do it.

“I hope soon the state will take your lead and become a model for it,”

You gotta give Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed credit for this one.  He focused the greedy and scattered Peachtree Streetcar effort and got the city some cash.  The AJC reports that construction on the streetcar should begin in 2012 and be operational by 2013.

Whether downtown Atlanta is ready for a streetcar or a streetcar is ready for downtown Atlanta is yet to be seen.

Photo above courtesy of Kwanza Hall

Decatur Wine Festival Wine List Now Online

The list of the multitude of wines that will be at this year’s Decatur Wine Festival is now online (in PDF)!

It looks like there will be 50 tables at this year’s event, with I’d say an average of 10 wines at a table.  For those of you a bit skittish about trying 500 wines in a single afternoon, the list also highlights the “must try” wines at each table.

The theme of this year’s festival is “organic”, so you’ll see a wide variety of offerings with an (O) next to them, indicating that extra bit of “fest cred”.

h/t: DaveKell

Kristian Bush Sighting at Decatur CD

FM Fats writes in…

Sugarland’s new album, The Incredible Machine, was released Tuesday. As I was driving down West Ponce on my way home, who should I see walking out of Decatur CD with a vinyl copy of the album but Kristian Bush. I guess he wanted to be the first one on his block with a copy, but you would think he might have some connections for freebies.

Decatur Gets WSJ Shout-Out

Richard Florida, known for his fairly recent theories on “the creative class” and their clustering in post-industrial cities, wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal a couple weeks back about the qualities of America’s most resilient suburbs during an era where many suburbs are in decline.

In addition to the ongoing conversation about retro-fitting the suburbs to act more like traditional towns, Florida cites existing metropolitan suburbs that have held up well in the malaise of a stagnant economy.  According to Florida, these ‘burbs share many basic characteristics, such as dense commercial downtowns, a variety of housing options and are located along old streetcar lines.

Do you know any cities like that?

A 2007 study by Christopher Leinberger found more than 150 walkable towns in America’s 30 largest metro regions—places like Hoboken, Montclair and Princeton, N.J.; Stamford and Greenwich, Conn.; Brookline, Mass.; Bryn Mawr, Pa.; and Royal Oak and Birmingham, Mich. Newer versions of walkable suburbs can be found in regions that developed later, like Palo Alto, Calif.; Boulder, Colo.; Coral Gables, Fla.; Decatur, Ga.; and Clayton, Mo.

These are the places where Americans are clamoring to live and where housing prices have held up even in the face of one of the greatest real-estate collapses in modern memory.

So here’s a question…why is it that old streetcar suburbs are now the hottest thing going?  What is it about them that so appeals to the 21st century urbanista?

Thanks to Eva and Louis for forwarding!

Seniors Helping Seniors Yard Sale This Saturday

Kyle Williams writes in…

Would you help get the word out for Mayor Elizabeth Wilson’s Seniors Helping Seniors Annual Yardsale? The sale is Saturday, October 23 beginning at 8 am and going until everything is gone at the Big H/NAVO property in Oakhurst. The sale includes furniture, household goods, books, athletic equipment and everything in between. All proceeds go to assist Decauter seniors with taxes and home maintenance and repairs.