In 2009, I arrived in Atlanta bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and barely old enough to buy a pack of cigarettes. Sooner than I could have my first ten-piece hot with lemon pepper sprinkles and peach drink, I was catapulted into the culture of the city—encapsulated by the unmistakable feeling and vibration that Atlanta produces.
This is a special place.
I graced the most beautiful scenes in this gem of a city, captivated by lights so bright that they widened the cones in my eyes. With a simple closing of said eyes, I can tap into the feeling of three “Incredible Hulks” flowing through my veins, resulting in brawling by default in Figure 8. I navigated the darkness of frequency, the heat of Primetime, the magnetism of Crucial, the charm of the Ritz, Esso, Central Station, Motions, Club Miami, Obsessions, The Libra! I could go on for days, but the point is simple—
This is a special place.
I grew as the city did, and my tastes elevated with my surroundings. Somewhere between college and early adulthood, we started to party properly (or like degenerates, depending on who you ask.) Our drinks were a little better, our drugs a little stronger, and money a little longer—but the feeling always stayed the same. Whether it was BeerxTacos, MJQ, The CruX House, 735 Pryor Street or 40 Griffin Street, we grew in unity as party animals, always keeping the culture in mind.
But nothing, and I mean nothing, compared to the allure and glamour of Edgewood Avenue—A place so special that the current attractions are remnants of the boulevard’s original greatness.
Edgewood was our Woodstock, our Sunset Boulevard, our Broadway Avenue! Every weekend the city poured the young and active into the street, causing us to congregate and mingle with one another, all while settling on our nucleus—
Department Store, the most special place. If Edgewood was Broadway Avenue, then Department Store was “Studio 54.” I could go off on a tangent like a true artsy writer—but I know that less is more, so I’ll say it the best way I know how—
You just had to be there.
Now, we’re a little older. Most of us are on the other side of 25, some of us (like me) are turning THIRTY in a few months, and we’re actively watching our twenties fade away literally and figuratively. A hangover puts us down for two days, Department store and about 80% of the aforementioned spots are gone, Peters Street is a shadow of itself, Graveyard is closing, the homies have become RESPONSIBLE Parents, and grey hairs are starting to sprout.
But hope remains.
There’s a place created by our friends and peers— the radiant children of every era mentioned in this passage. A place built from the concrete of Atlanta, the warmth of our souls, and every drop of liquor we ever poured into these glimmering streets. A place that’s bringing the vibe back and restoring the feeling—once again encapsulating us in the unmistakable feeling and vibration that our city produces.
OurBarATL, A Special Place.
I’ll end with a quote.
“Though time is undefeated, we must always remember that authentic feelings never fade, they simply become memories.”
Rest up to all the homies that we’ve lost.
Love you, Sarah.
I’ll see ya’ll tonight.
Malcolm “CHAMP” Heaggans. @writeorselldope on all socials.