the histories of our streets

Georgia State University students map Atlanta's past

Author: cnewton12

Located in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood of Atlanta, GA is a strip of Edgewood Ave. that seems to have undergone constant evolution. From the outskirts of the city, an industrial zone to now a thriving bar scene, is the area I will refer to as the “Edgewood Bars.” Bordered on the West by Hillard St. and the East by Boulevard, Edgewood is currently home to restaurants, bars, and a stop for MARTA’s streetcars. One such place is Joystick Gamebar. Located at 427 Edgewood Ave SE, Joystick is currently a unique spot for people of all walks of life to come together and share a beer or a game of Frogger. This bar, which to many of its guests seems like a blast from the past, has a significant history. While Joystick was only founded in 2012, the bar and its surroundings are the byproducts of its neighborhood which has undergone significant demographic changes in the last 10 years1 . Understanding the history of this street from the founding of Atlanta to its recent history in dealing with the struggle of gentrification is important for all those who flock to the Edgewood Bars on a night out.

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Mind The Gap

The intersection of Broad and Poplar downtown might not mean much to most GSU students but it has more to offer than what meets the eye.

selfie of me at my favorite spot on campus

Every day students walk in this spot to get food or to attend class. I never thought that this spot was special. Last month however my view of the sidewalks and the gap between them changed. I have been skateboarding, and snowboarding for years but had knee surgery this summer. I had been feeling very disconnected from these communities because of my injury. Last month my friend Carly, an avid skateboarder, gave me a call. She told me I need to head downtown for a Red Bull Mind The Gap event. I packed up and found myself standing in front of Aderhold watching the competition go down. It was funny for me to think that this place I walked by so often with no second thought was also a place that a Red Bull event could go down at. Funny enough a few of my friends were competing. Skateboarding and its community help me feel like myself. When I’m sad on campus wishing I was skating or snowboarding I feel happy looking back on this day. 

Places like this one by Aderhold are important to skate culture. Skateboarding is creative and thrilling and has no rules. When you participate in this sport you start to see the world around you differently. I look at benches and get angry when I see skate stoppers. I get happy when I see a curb or a ledge with wax on it. I hope that when other people walk by this spot downtown they can see how the world is our playground if we allow it. 

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