Atlanta can be broken up into several distinct neighborhoods or districts all which offer different vibes based on the people that make up the area and the specific culture that stems from these areas. The most alternative of these neighborhoods Atlanta has to offer being Little Five Points. There are an almost infinite number of ideas that could be utilized to define the space of the off beat district; types of buildings, store fronts, street art, color usage, and the list could easily go on, yet I don’t believe Little Five Points is defined out right by the architecture within it’s location. The true defining idea of what establishes Little Five Points’ progressive identity is established by the people who inhabit it’s space, sidewalks, store fronts, and plaza.
With this idea in mind as I allowed myself to stroll through the environment and eventually stop to take in it’s perplexing array of individuals that so clearly make this area one of the most interesting in all of Atlanta. From record store to plaza bench I experienced a myriad of personality. Allowing myself to roam freely through each store front I deemed interesting I found myself within Criminal Records, the local record store which hosts a very distinct homegrown air about it. Gazing through the buzzing store at what had to be one of it’s busiest hours I noticed an obvious trend among the majority of shoppers; they all made an effort to stand out through alternative fashion trends. Nose rings, septum piercings, electric blue hair, and jean jackets littered with patches are some distinct examples of what sculpted each person within the space as unique, yet ironically kept them grouped them together in my analysis simultaneously.
Browsing the store I found an album of a band I considered to be my personal secret as their following was generally considered underground, yet upon picking it up for examination I was complimented on my taste by a short girl who had to be in her early 20s donning a cute pixie cut, jet black hair, and anywhere from 3-5 piercings between her ears and nose. Upon check out I found myself behind a middle aged man and his wife hoisting what had to be a haul of nearly 30 comic books politely stressing to the cashier to check their stock for a specific United States only edition of a D.C. comic in a distinctly British accent. As their conversation continued I was able to collect that the man and his wife were comic book collectors from London, yet only had the British English print of the treasure they so long sought after.
My point in outlining these people is to establish how I internally categorized those of the neighborhood. Little Five Point’s inhabitants, although incredibly diverse through appearance, can be separated into two categories; the alternative and the abstract.
The majority of people lining the coffee shops, pizza spots, and tattoo parlors of Little Five adorn and project themselves with objects of underground, alternative culture which challenges that of the traditional and mainstream. They wear black on their clothes, vibrant colors in their hair, and silver through whichever crevice of their face can hold it. They are engrossed by all types of art and music, unafraid to explore the undiscovered, and have established a distinct homegrown, local culture in the district that upholds individuality and acceptance above all.
Between the alternative however, are the individuals that I believe truly define the nuances of Little Five Points’ oddities: the people I can only describe as the abstract. This is a category of people who can not be categorized, as their sheer personality and appearance even upon first sight can only be rationalized by the same mechanics that keep reality stranger than any imaginable fiction. These are the individuals who keep Little Five Points (and arguably all of Atlanta) odd. They are comic book collectors from across the Atlantic Ocean, and musicians busking on the streets with acoustic guitar rhythms and over turned plastic bucket beats.
Little Five Points is a neighborhood unrivaled in it’s individuality, and it’s people are it’s flavor.