It’s hard to imagine a time when an Atlanta neighborhood four miles from downtown was considered a suburb. It’s even harder to picture the city with bustling transit, but Virginia-Highland was founded as a streetcar suburb nearly a century ago. Now incorporated as an intown ‘hood, residents can walk to restaurants, boutiques, bars, grocery stores, and even a neighborhood movie theater with the monthly Silver Scream Spook Show. There are few places in Virginia-Highland you can’t reach by way of a pleasant stroll along tree-shaded sidewalks or a quick bike ride. To the north, Morningside remains a dreamy - albeit pricey - destination for families.
For Gaddy and her now 3-year-old son Emory, Morningside’s many parks have been wonderful as a place to relax and meet other children. Sunken Garden Park has become a particular favorite of young children since the neighborhood raised $50,000 to upgrade playground equipment. “We were concerned about the old equipment,” explains Gaddy, who was involved in the fund-raising campaign. “It didn’t seem safe.” Now she says kids are always clamoring around the new playground.
Morningside/Lenox Park Civic Association Co-President Jodi Mansbach agrees that the neighborhood is a great place to raise a family. Most evenings her family, like others on her street, can be found socializing in the front yard. With the kids playing on the sidewalk and parents socializing in the street, Mansbach thinks “it’s a little like living in Brooklyn.”
During her time in Morningside, Joyce Jarema has observed a “re-generation” of the neighborhood. “As the older people have moved away, young people have moved in,” she says. Jarema believes that the affability of the tree-shaded intown neighborhood is what everyone loves about Morningside. “It’s the neighbors,” she explains. The same people are out walking every day, and “everyone is friendly.”
Whether you have a large family or live alone, Morningside probably has the house for you. The houses in the neighborhood are far from cookie-cutter replicas of each other, explains Mansbach. “We have a huge variety of homes.” Most houses in Morningside are older and range in style from cozy cottages, sprawling ranches and exotic Mediterranean villas to homes built by Atlanta’s best-known architects.