Friday, March 7, 2008

You know you're in Dunwoody . . .

I'm sure every overachiever community like Dunwoody has its share of quirks. But since this is my habitat, Dunwoody's special flavor is an everyday experience.

Dunwoody is officially an unincorporated part of DeKalb County, an urban metro Atlanta landscape that is really too big to attend to its distinctive communities. I equate our set-up to the area around Boston. Instead of one government body trying to run the entire show, there are a multitude of small towns and villages, each taking care of their own business.

That's what we want for Dunwoody. Only problem is, we're the majority tax base for the rest of the county. They love our money. Hate dealing with us.

Right now, we're trying to become a town. If only the Legislature agrees we should make that choice for ourselves. (They're bogged down in "they don't really know what's good for them - we know ever so much better" discussions at the moment.)

What, in addition to a desire to self-govern, makes Dunwoody special?

  • You can't eat ice cream, have a cup of coffee, buy groceries, or pick up a prescription without running into people you know.
  • Our town hall is a farmhouse.
  • Even though rush hour traffic snails its way down two-laned Mt. Vernon Road and Roberts Drive, we are in no hurry to widen the roads. We LIKE slowing people down. Many neighborhoods even have "traffic calming" devices such as speed bumps and road islands to make sure everyone is driving a decorous Southern 25.
  • If you're stuck on a side street trying to enter Mt. Vernon Road, you can rest assured that someone will slow down and let you into traffic.
  • One of the busiest places at dinner time is the local Fresh Market, where harried commuters grab gourmet bites and a cup of funky coffee before heading home.
  • The Dunwoody Publix has the best outdoor grill around on weekends, stationed right beside the entrance - you can buy tasty hot dogs, hamburgers, and slabs of ribs as you exit the grocery store. The prices are amazing and the food is delicious.
  • If you have small children, you can fill their entire week without leaving a five-mile area: preschool, soccer, t-ball, swimming, music lessons, karate, art, playgrounds, doughnut holes, ice cream, Sunday School, and more are right here. As they get older, you can add Cotillion, movies, Youth Group, Scouts, fencing lessons, ALTA tennis, swim team, and more to your daily rounds.
  • Social calendars have a distinctive Southern twang: Dunwoody Woman's Club, Rotary, Dunwoody Homeowner's Association, Friends of the Dunwoody Library, Dunwoody Preservation Trust, Dunwoody High School Boosters, Dunwoody Country Club, Dunwoody Nature Center, and more are opportunities for civic participation. Depending on your neighborhood, you can add Book Club, Garden Club, Bunko, and Progressive Dinner to your agenda.
  • We have our own newspaper. The Dunwoody Crier covers our town with a charming mix of small town news bites (who made the dean's list? who just earned an Eagle?), political discussion, columns by elected representatives, investment advice, historical tidbits, and letters to the editor that are downright entertaining.
  • We're close enough to Buckhead, midtown, and downtown Atlanta to ease the commute but perched just outside the perimeter to keep a sense of separate identity.
There are also some rather quirky aspects of Dunwoody that make me wonder why the county wouldn't WANT us to take care of ourselves.

Hey, nobody's perfect!

1 comment:

  1. You cracked me up with your very true observations on what makes Dunwoody so special that I just had to share it on my neighborhood blog.

    I'm glad to see another Dunwoody blogger out there, I'll be checking in on a regular basis.


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