You know the Rosenbergs? Nice kids. They’re from here. Known each other since high school. He just landed a sweet job at an architecture firm in Midtown. She’s wrapping up her master’s in public health over at Emory. Their parents have been dropping hints for years about having kids, and they’re actually starting to think about it. They’ve been doing the apartment thing for a while, but they’re grownups by God, and life is happening, so they’re starting to poke around for a house. Nothing too expensive, but they’re not above making an investment, either. A cozy, convenient place to nest, maybe do some yard work on the weekends. A garage would be cool. He likes woodworking; she wants a garden. They don’t really need the thrill of the city, but it would be nice to have a cute town like Decatur closeby for when they want to hang out with friends for a beer. Otherwise, a half acre, all their own, that will see them through their five-year plan.
Chances are, the Rosenbergs are going to check out North Decatur, and more than likely, they’ll find an adorable mid-century, 3-bed, 2-bath ranch that gets loads of natural light, located on some nice little side-street. There will be a couple of huge oaks (and maybe a Georgia Pine or two) in the back yard, and plenty of room for a back porch (perfect summer project).
A woman named Mabel will live next door. She’ll bake cookies, and will check in on them from time to time, because she’s a little bored, but she’s sweet, and she thinks the Rosenbergs are nice kids.
If a commute to Downtown or Midtown is too hectic (the Ponce Corridor can get crazy at rush hour), there are a couple of ways around it. The Decatur MARTA station is just to the south of North Decatur, and there’s ample parking in a large garage closeby: a lot of residents will park their car in Decatur, and hop on a train into the city.
If access to some convenient shopping is at the top of your priority list, check out the western edge of North Decatur, near the neighborhood of Toco Hills. The intersection of North Druid Hills Road and Lavista Road, in particular, has a wealth of grocery and shopping options, not to mention a few no-frills (but super-tasty) dining options.
North Decatur is pretty far from the Connector, but it’s right up against I-285. It’s a useful route when it comes to heading to the airport, or even if future employment requires working up in the northern suburbs.
This neighborhood is served by DeKalb County Schools, and there are quite a few K-12 options scattered throughout North Decatur, as well as proximity to some options closer to Decatur itself, or in Druid Hills to the east. Here’s a roundup:
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Running along the north end of the neighborhood, Lavista Road provides a convenient route that leads from I-285, all the way to Buckhead. Scott Boulevard, meanwhile, runs along the south end of North Decatur, and grants access to the Ponce Corridor Finally, North Druid Hills Road runs east to west, through the center of North Decatur.
The I-285 Perimeter is the closest interstate to North Decatur, lying just to the east of the area. I-85, however, is less than two miles north of this part of town, and access is reasonably easy via Clairmont Road.
If you happen to find yourself in the southernmost sliver of North Decatur, you’ll find that the Avondale station is actually pretty close. In general, however, you’re not going to find a lot of walkability to any of the MARTA rail stops. Your best bet is going to be driving to Decatur, parking your car, and hopping on a train from the Decatur stop.
This one-stop shopping mecca features fare from across the world, sold in a venue that’s as large as your standard-issue Wal-Mart. People from all over Atlanta flock here to get their shopping done—there are products for sale here that you just won’t find anywhere else. 3000 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., (404) 377-6400,
While it doesn’t pack the luxurious punch of its brethren in Midtown and Buckhead, this shopping center is a thoroughly decent place to grab the basics. Look close, and you’ll find a plot of land out back that contains a lovingly cultivated, pretty huge community garden. 2050 Lawrenceville Hwy., (404) 320-7960, northdekalbmall.com
There’s a pretty big Indian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern population in the southeast of North Decatur, and an abundance of incredible restaurants that offer authentic representations of each region’s culinary heritage. The corner of Scott Boulevard and DeKalb Industrial Way, in particular, has some of the best Indian fare in Atlanta.
Turkish fare is authentically prepared and served in a lively environment that doesn’t pull any punches—floor seating, hookah, and belly dancers are regular occurrences. 1850 Lawrenceville Hwy., (404) 320-0054, cafeistanbulatlanta.com
It’s no frills, and you won’t quite know what to make of the building on your approach, but the food is stellar, from the halal meats, veggie options, and a dynamite “Chicken 65” dish that earns repeat visits. 1677 Scott Blvd., (404) 728-4444, zyka.com
There are a lot of fun dining options at the Toco Hills Promenade, but Top Spice gets bonus points: their Thai fare is solid as a rock, consistent, addictive, and they deliver to anywhere in North Decatur. 3007 N. Druid Hills Rd. NE, (404) 728-0588, topspicthai.com
North Decatur isn’t very far from Stone Mountain—only about 6 miles to the east. The main attraction is the namesake 825-foot-tall quartz monzonite dome that can be climbed via a gently graded trail, or circled via a charming, forested footpath. This spot is packed with history, and is a great way to get into nature without having to hoof it too far out of the city.