OUT­SIDE THE BOX

Down­town At­lanta gets a bad wrap. For years all that seemed to ex­ist in the heart of our city was crime and Un­der­ground At­lanta, but so much of that has changed thank­fully to the mas­sive growth of Ge­or­gia State, the devel­op­ment around Cen­ten­nial Olympic P

GA Voice - - Columnist - By BILL KAELIN Bill Kaelin is the owner of Bill Kaelin Mar­ket­ing Events and Con­sult­ing Agency in At­lanta, Ga. www.Bil­lKaelin.com

I was re­cently home­less. My bed­room was be­ing re­mod­eled and my en­tire home was full of dust and work­ers cov­ered in dust. At the same time, the air-con­di­tion­ing was bro­ken at my boyfriend’s home and we only had a mat­tress on the floor to sleep on, since we sold ev­ery­thing while pre­par­ing to fi­nally move in to­gether.

We were in a strange tran­si­tion be­tween homes, and on top of it all, I was hav­ing one of my busiest weeks ever. I couldn’t fo­cus, and be­ing hot while sit­ting on a floor try­ing to work was mak­ing me boil with frus­tra­tion. I was so stressed out that I had to move out. For­tu­nately, I was able to move right into The Westin Peachtree Plaza. Fly­ing solo with­out my boyfriend for a few days, I set­tled into my gor­geous room on the 50th floor, which has floor-to­ceil­ing win­dows over­look­ing the sky­scrapers of Down­town. The view was stunning, and it im­me­di­ately made me start hum­ming the words to the 1964 Pe­tula Clark song, “Down­town:”

Down­town At­lanta gets a bad rap. For years, all that seemed to ex­ist in the heart of our city was crime and Un­der­ground At­lanta, but so much of that has changed due to the mas­sive growth of Ge­or­gia State Uni­ver­sity, the devel­op­ment around Cen­ten­nial Olympic Park and the brand-new At­lanta Street­car.

Thanks to $5 UberX rides, it is now eas­ier than ever to come to Down­town and en­joy amaz­ing arts, mu­sic and dining, and there is no bet­ter place to start your adventure than at the Peachtree Plaza, home to the iconic Sun Dial restau­rant and lounge. Hands down, there is no bet­ter 360-de­gree view of the city than on the 73rd floor. Sit back, re­lax and en­joy the ride on the ro­tat­ing floor that al­lows you to see ev­ery­thing from Stone Moun­tain to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Moun­tains.

This sum­mer, my client the W At­lanta Down­town is host­ing a wide va­ri­ety of public events ev­ery week­end at Wet­bar, its stunning pent­house pool bar. The Satur­day event, ap­pro­pri­ately called PLAY, en­cour­ages lo­cals to ex­pe­ri­ence ur­ban life un­der the sun, and will fea­ture a com­mu­nity Crosley record player with a slew of new and vin­tage vinyl records for guests to lis­ten to at their leisure while loung­ing pool­side.

Fi­nally, if food is what you’re look­ing for, the Sweet Auburn Mar­ket has a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing. This unique Down­town curb­side shop­ping cen­ter has been around since 1924, long be­fore the trendy times of Krog or Ponce City Mar­kets. It is su­per cool, and houses lo­cally owned ven­dors like the orig­i­nal Grind­house Burger, Bell Street Bur­ri­tos, the Sweet Auburn Bak­ery, and in­sane butch­ers like the Porky Pig, where you can buy ev­ery­thing from hooves to hor­mone-free chick­ens and Ge­or­gia grown pro­duce. I am em­bar­rassed to ad­mit I had never vis­ited Sweet Auburn Mu­nic­i­pal Mar­ket un­til my re­cent stay Down­town, but I fell in love with it and stopped by ev­ery day.

Down­town is quickly be­com­ing one of my fa­vorite At­lanta des­ti­na­tions. The an­nounce­ment of the re­cent pur­chase of Un­der­ground has only made the ex­cite­ment and buzz grow, so now is re­ally the time you should go visit.

“When you’re alone and life is mak­ing you lonely You can al­ways go down­town. When you’ve got wor­ries, all the noise and the hurry Seems to help, I know, down­town.”

“Things will be great when you’re Down­town. Don’t wait a minute more, Down­town! Ev­ery­thing is wait­ing for you.”

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