NFT Atlanta Peoplestown / Chosewood Park

Peoplestown / Chosewood Park

Even though the Federal Pen is located here, its presence doesn’t seem to hinder revitalization efforts, which, happily, appear to be working. If the sound of hammers banging on cute craftsman revivals and smart remodels are any indication, this neighborhood is finally coming back to life. With wide, walkable, tree-lined streets that offer stunning vistas of downtown Atlanta, Peoplestown won’t be a secret for long.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Harold's Barbecue
So I pull open the entrance door to Harold's Barbecue by way of the steel bars guarding the place, catch the eye of a knife-wielding cook, and say: "Just one." To which he replies: "You mean just one sandwich?" Me: "No, I mean one customer. Just me." Him, smiling: "Well, then, sit your butt down, man." Me: "Uh, oh, sorry." That's the name of the game--no frills, to-the-point, all laughs--at this hallowed 'cue institution just south of Turner Field. Rumor has it the security system is a loaded shotgun behind the counter, but honestly I don't find the surrounding South Atlanta neighborhood as daunting as some make it out to be. Whatever the risk, the meat prices at Harold's are worth it. The charburger is two bucks, the hot dogs a mind-blowing $1.95, and 'cue sandwiches hover around the burger price. I opt for the "large" meat plates, which are partnered with top-notch bowls of Brunswick stew, a slab of cornbread and average cole slaw. Be warned, the hot bbq sauce recalls pure Tabasco. The tomato-based sweet stuff should pacify the less brave tongue. All the genuine hospitality you'd expect from a local shack with staying power that spans five decades.

Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Solstice Cafe
A simple "Nice to see ya, have a seat wherever you'd like" goes a long way when the speaker really means it. Upon each visit to the hip Solstice Cafe in Grant Park, the greeting has been identical (see: above) and the speaker--a youngish bartender lad drenched in vibrant tattoos--has inexorably meant it. I stumbled in here on a whim several months ago and have made monthly return trips. The big-portion/low-dollar dynamic does that to a frugal dipshit blow down by an economic apocalypse. This spot magnetizes the very hungry, the wildly broke and the parched. The steak crepes, priced at a fair $8, are a must. And that's about as pricey as it gets. Situated next door to a shady Laundromat, and a stone's throw from The Zoo, the Solstice is a joint you might expect in a trendier locale, but a hospitable anomaly like this will be welcome in any neck of the woods. Especially mine.

Posted By:  Mark Rogers

US Federal Penitentiary
The Atlanta Federal Penitentiary is not for petty criminals; this place is for the enemies of the state. But what a cast of characters! Capone and Gotti did time here. However, it’s the dissidents kept here that are of interest. The Cubans of the Mariel Boatlift were detained here for close to a decade on suspicion of being hardcore criminals with AIDS. Detaining and treating refugees like criminals—only 2 percent of 3,000 had felony records—resulted in a violent riot in 1987. Marcus Garvey was here; the FBI set him up for mail fraud just as Black Nationalism and his “Back to Africa” movement gained steam. And although the sentence was eventually commuted, the damage was done; the African Diaspora would have to wait not-so-patiently for Malcolm X, Stokely, Huey, and Dr. King. And Eugene V. Debs (American Communist Party) ran for President in 1920 while serving time for opposing WWI and the Patriot. . . . I mean, Espionage Act. Here, Debs wrote, “(And) while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” Makes you rethink the whole “enemy of the state” thing, huh?

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