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At Frantic Station

I’ve been Yelping about some of the restaurants around Atlanta this summer and was deep into a review of Atlantic Station when I ran up against the 5,000 word limit, I mean, 5,000 character limit (thanks Lynn) so I’ve decided to post the full body of that 1-Star review here for those who are interested…..

Atlantic Station, how my dreams art shattered ‘pon thy formerly blighty brownfields.

Once I dreamt of you in your blowzy high-collared finery, your pendulous breasts swinging, um, I mean your capacious parking structures rising…. your skirts hiked gloriously high above the thrice-cursed land of Atlantic Steel. You were to be our shining star of urban renewal and toxic land reformation, a veritable celebration of the reunion of our city’s fabric, ripped asunder by an interstate highway in the last millenia. You were to bring us order, layered density, live-work, wrapped parking, smart traffic, happy pants…. erm… well anyway, we hung our HOPES on you Atlantic Station, and what have you given us in return?


I mean…. “Wha hoppen?”

Parking decks straight out of a horror film, that’s wha hoppen!!


I dread those rare nightly sorties I’ve had to make into your twisty, torturous depths. By the time I reach my autocarriage I’m soaked in sweat (and perhaps a wee spot of pee)…. my heart hammering in my hairy space-pirate chest like an amorous Viennese harlot pinned wantonly against a headboard, simply glad to be alive. Facing those freaky exits with my paper checkout card is well worth any amount to escape your den of madness (maybe you designed it that way to keep visitors from questioning paying for parking at a mall?).

Your cute little Metro station entrances bely their true purpose as inlets to your hellish pit of dark oblivion. In truth they should be plastered with carnival-style posters with the words “Surrender All Hope Ye Who Enter” writ large ‘pon them. I mean!!

Does my screen name say “Theseus”? Do I keep a ball of twine in my pocket all the times for just such an emergency?? (Well, actually I do, but that’s another story entirely)

As a relatively high percentile of your visitors are unlikely to be ancient greek heroes or Boy Scout Space Pirates, how exactly did your planners expect people to maneuver through this labyrinth of doom?


I’ve actually frisked one of the lasses what worked on the architecture of this development and, were I to still be on good terms with her, I’d be curious to find out why the parking decks were given such short shrift. I mean, who was in charge of this development’s overall Strategy? Who put in the forethought, the planning, the understanding of the region and the intended audience? At what point was adequate lighting cost-engineered out of the budget?

Haven’t they heard of Captain Drew’s Rule 42 of Real Estate Success?

Good Lighting = Perception of Safety = Perception of Quality = Escalation of Reputation = Success

It’s the lighting, stupid.

When muggings in the deck become public knowledge… when somebody gets HURT (or worse), the developer will be forced to make changes. Why not make those changes NOW? What’s the greater expense, $6 Million of new lighting or a defection by your big box and specialty retailers? This should be part of a “booster stage” strategy package for Atlantic Station and you should be working on it RIGHT NOW.


As some of the dainty, sweet-bottomed wenches here have already posted, Atlantic Station be havin’ a split-personality… a classic case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome.

Dr. Jekyll is all bright and airy. Available surface parking, shafts of sunlight, warm brick walks, perfect chocolate mole chicken and sassy girlish stores where you can buy your… well, whatever it is you be buying in these stores, lasses… I won’t ask questions, though pictures WOULD be appreciated.

However, Dr. Jekyll is very superficial.
He isn’t a destination, he’s a convenience.
The only thing that keep the ladies coming back is that he keeps an IKEA in his back pocket.

Chicks dig a big furniture store…. and did you hear? They’re getting a “Tarjay“….. so the old Doc’ has things the lasses want to give a try.


Just like Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde is a convenience, but one you surely won’t repeat if you survive your first encounter with him. His long lines of traffic are confounding and the awkward competition between in-bound traffic and Dillards-bound pedestrians makes THIS space pirate think that Dillards is losing a grand number of casual shoppers and is eyeing the end of their lease with anticipation.

And then there’s Mr. Hyde’s Aggressive Cruising.
Down on the docks we call ’em “the Sallys”, but then down at the docks they’re all toothless female prostitutes who are wanting my hard-won pirate booty. At the Atlantic Station the cruisers are aggressive young men who have come to watch you sweet-bottomed lovelies strut your stuff, and to explain to you in explicit detail how they’d like to maximize the potential utilization of said sweet bottoms. While your dear Captain concurs on the topic of working out your sweet bottoms, he knows that this volume of unattended exuberant testosterone leads to POTENTIAL DANGER of the retail kind.

To whit, a corollary of my lighting rule entitled “Captain Drew’s Axiom of Lascivious Effrontery Toward Wenches

Unwanted Sexual Advances = Ewwwwww = I’m Never Coming Back

Fortunately, the people that run Atlantic Station have learned my rule… but they learned it the hard way… AFTER they were fully engulfed in cruisers and after losing (perhaps permanently) a large segment of that sweet-bottomed population they first set about to woo. Nowadays they like to prevent loitering to the point of distraction. Interestingly, the one opportunity I had to witness their anti-loitering plan, a security officer hounded a nearly 60 year old man around the area in front of the theater to tell him that he couldn’t stand there. Or there. Or there. Or there.

This stalwart officer of the Order of the Plastic Badge executed this decidedly dangerous duty over and over again while studiously avoiding the hordes of surly youths openly loitering in idle groups, laughing and cursing and saying rude things to nice young wenches (sorry, I can’t leave my crew alone for five minutes without them getting into trouble).

Way to go, Dirty Harry!
Chase that old man down again and again!!
Way to keep that first-time visitor to Atlantic Station from taking the place in!!
Way to make his friend email several dozen people in a variety of different states about how poorly the place is run!!

Apparently justice isn’t blind at Atlantic Station, it’s just a big scaredy-cat.


Still in its infancy, Atlantic Station is becoming a pariah among a growing number of Atlanta area residents. Every drug bust and homicide makes its reputation tumble farther toward the spoiled ground upon which it was built, and any honest local reporter will tell you that there’s a bit of a pile-on happening to Atlantic Station in the media.

Surely the Midtown Alliance is aware of the trouble brewing to the west. With all the high-end development going up along the Peachtree corridor the MA can’t afford to have a weakened western territory. How much pressure can they really bring to bear on Atlantic Station’s management?

What’s to say that the management for Atlantic Station isn’t already well into a plan to stave off a long-term bad reputation?

Who’s to say that they haven’t jumped squarely on the head of their current woes with vigor and gusto?

I truly do hope that be the case, as my hopes for them haven’t passed completely.

But you’ve only got so much time before the fight is lost.

Yes, this battle is still in the early stages.

And yes, the Atlantic Station has yet to bring her guns ’round to bear on the problems she’s facing, but she’d best be ready with full charge and a lit fuse in-hand.

I’d say the time is ripe.
Open fire.

[tags]atlantic station, atlanta, shopping, experience, wench, buxom, drug bust, homicide, peachtree, midtown alliance, lighting, parking, parking deck, loitering[/tags]


2 Responses to this post.

  1. Lynn's Gravatar

    Posted by Lynn on 29.07.07 at 10:42 am

    5,000 words or 5,000 characters? 🙂 5,000 words would be about 20 pages long!

  2. drew's Gravatar

    Posted by drew on 29.07.07 at 10:42 am

    That 20,000 word novel of mine is going to need a bit of padding… thanks for the catch though… I’ve noted the error up above.