If you run around Atlanta at all these days, you are bound to run into a New Yorker. Atlanta is becoming the southernmost borough for the creative class. Tired of the staid duality of youth and middle age spent in the chill and grind of New York City and old age spent in the melting heat and oft-selfishness of south Florida, creative New Yorkers now choose Atlanta in ever-increasing numbers. And not as a retirement destination. We get the best and brightest.
The Centennial Olympics, Turner, CNN, Cox, Coke, Home Depot and hip-hop pushed new Atlanta to the forefront of consciousness on the East Coast. Pre-recession ATL had the best new skyline, best growth economy, best weather, best residential real estate. Our residents were the most innovative in business conception and, more importantly, actual monetization fulfillment. Not to mention our national destination status for sporting events and conventions. Atlanta is on record as being the fastest growing civilization in the history of mankind. To quote my super-smart friend Brian Leary (new BeltLine CEO/President): “That’s not insignificant.”
NYC surely didn’t become the capital of the world because of the weather, or simply based on port location. They hustle. They are smart. They invent. They make things. They sell things. They build. They connect. They create. And they thrive on new and existing culture.
Land-locked, old-fashioned, “Dirty South,” we didn’t let any of that stop our new Atlanta from continuing to rise from the ashes. Propelled by both our unwavering Southern charm and our true grit, rocket ships for buildings suggest what we are: a great city ascending. The recession of our minds is now over, and the economy follows.
I gravitate to that hot, pulsing New York energy here (and there), because it drives the American spirit of freedom and the world economy. Land of the free, indeed.
So, if I’m working on a new project with the sharp Brooklyn guys at VINNIE’S Styles fly fashion house in L5P, or if I’m skanking to the sweet sounds of an ATL-Yorker like Aviva, of Aviva and the Flying Penguins, I’m simply feeling two coalescing into one more unified East Coast. Together we can make a difference through our love and belief in One America.
To New York’s new far southern creative class: “WELCOME TO ATLANTA.”