Atlanta is full of quirky, diverse neighborhoods, and I grew up a stone's throw from one of the most interesting spots: Little Five Points. It's hard to drive through without giving in to the impulse to pull over and sightsee. Little Five Points is listed on the map as one of Atlanta's longtime historic landmarks, but how many who pass through know how it got its name?
Leave the heart of downtown Atlanta and drive about 2 miles east to find Little Five Points, also known as L5P. Historically, the name refers to Five Points, which began a gradual development from rural farmland as early as the 1800s. The neighborhood is in Atlanta's Inman Park and Candler Park districts, and its "points" are made by major streets bordering the area.
Two points are created by Moreland Avenue, two more points by Euclid Avenue, and the fifth was originally made by Seminole Avenue. Seminole Avenue was eventually converted to a plaza, but many consider nearby McLendon Avenue, which extends eastward from the intersection of Euclid and Moreland avenues, to be the current fifth point. In fifth and sixth grade, I spent plenty of time after school at my aunt's home on McLendon.
A People-Watcher's Paradise
LP5 has come a long way since its inception in the 1800s, but the history of how it got its name is secondary, I believe, to what you can find when you spend some time here. Shopping is great, especially in a store called Junkman's Daughter at 464 Moreland Ave. The store has two levels of merchandise ranging from books and psychedelic T-shirts to throwback fashions and items from the 1960s. Purple spiked hair and body piercing fit right in, both with customers and employees.
Hungry shopaholics can walk over to The Vortex Bar & Grill at 438 Moreland Ave. The burgers are good, but it warrants a trip just to see the architecture and soak up the atmosphere. When you're done with your burgers, stroll down the sidewalk and people-watch. You'll see bikers, college students, and professionals, all in the same community.
A Mix of Businesses
Merchants include tattoo parlors, hookahs, a community theater, book stores, coffee shops, and restaurants. This isn't your average shopping district. The businesses here are like none other.
The Wrecking Bar Brewpub, located at 292 Moreland Ave., was named Best Brewpub for 2011 and 2012. It is housed inside a Victorian-style residence built in the 1900s, which is a former Methodist Church and a dance studio.
Criminal Records, at 1154-A Euclid Ave., sells vinyl records, comic books, music, and CDs. Music lovers can pick up their favorite tunes here.
Psycho Sisters Consignment Boutique, at 428 Moreland Ave., sells costume jewelry, boots, and wild fashions. Stop in for a deal on masks; tutus; tie-dye T-shirts; or go-go, hippie, or disco dresses.
Not in the mood for a burger? Try Front Page News at 351 Moreland Ave. This eatery has menu items like alligator and crawfish pie, Cajun jambalaya egg rolls, agave barbecue chicken sliders, calamari friti, and hummus and olive tapenade.
Face it -- how many locals have actually stopped long enough to get acquainted with these shops and frequent its restaurants and bars? For Atlantans in a hurry, Little Five Points is worth slowing down for.