Atlanta – First Impressions

Jun 12, 2022 175.8K Views 657 Comments

Atlanta is an unknown city for most of us. Join me as I meet up with a local who who gives us the inside tour.

► Instagram:

► Island Takeaway Jamaican food:
► Pink Zebra Store:

► Video edited by: Natalia Santenello

(hip hop music)
– [Peter] This is crazy.
You have new $700,000 apartments.
– Yep.
– [Peter] Condos.
– Then you got the abandos over there, man.
– [Peter] The what?
– Abandoned apartments, we
call ’em abandos.
– [Peter] Abandos.
– [Qua] Yeah.
– [Peter] Sort of hood zone over there.
– Yeah.
– [Peter] Fair to say?
And then this.
– Yeah.
– [Peter] You’re an artist.
– Yeah, I’m an artist,
muralist, animator, illustrator.
And this is Atlanta.
So this is like my first large
scale mural I’ve done here.
– [Peter] This one?
– Yeah.
You know, it speaks volumes,
like, just the height of it.
Like, I went from just doing
like canvases about 25 to 34
to a mural, you know what I’m saying?
– What do you get out of making art?
What are you getting out of that?
– Expression. I get to tell a story.
I get to tell a little bit of my story.
I get to tell a little bit of the story of
kind of my experiences
and stuff of that nature.
– [Peter] Okay.
– Expression without
necessarily using words,
’cause sometimes words fail, at least me.
People congregate and
the big fire goes along.
– [Peter] Nighttime, you guys come out.
– Yeah, man.
You don’t really necessarily have to
come with the best dressed.
You just kind of bring your
people and just kind of chill.
It’s not bad.
If you don’t feel like waiting in line
for a club or anything,
just come here and just kick it.
– [Peter] Those days are over for me.
– Yeah, nah, I’m not gonna lie, man.
I’m not really feeling it too.
At least like the club scene in Atlanta
is kinda trash, bro.
– [Peter] Is it?
– If you can’t pay like $600 for
just sitting on a couch like
that with like $200 bottles.
– [Peter] VIP table.
– Yeah, man.
You’re not really doing it.
– [Peter] These places 700,000.
– Yep.
– [Peter] That’s steeper
than I thought it would be.
I think that’s some bubble action because
they don’t even have
garages I don’t think,
but they’re nice.
– They look good. Yeah, they look good.
They look good.
They put ’em out like that though.
The quality I’m telling you,
the quality gotta be (beep).
– [Peter] To then, we go
boom, right into this.
I mean, this is like-
– See,
that’s not even a mile, dog.
You see, you got the homies,
you know what I’m saying, posted up.
– [Peter] Right.
(wind blows)
That’s surprising, people
are gonna pay that much
to live right next to this right now.
– That’s how it starts.
– That’s how it starts.
Is that the story of Atlanta right now?
You’re seeing a lot of-
– Pretty much, yeah.
– [Peter] Like boom, right there.
– Yeah.
– [Peter] But then the Mercedes-Benz.
– [Qua] Mercedes-Benz stadium, yeah.
– [Peter] Stadium?
– Stadium.
So Boulevard is really weird, bro.
– [Peter] It’s pretty nice.
– They’re trying to gentrify it
and it’s still kind of
hood at the same time.
– [Peter] So he’s got a fire going.
– [Qua] That’s the spot.
– [Peter] What’s the homeless
situation like in Atlanta?
– Homeless situation,
it gets bounced around.
Some areas, they kind of
like scoot the homeless area
into like one kind of a pocket.
I guess, try to keep
other areas looking good.
– Right.
– We get to like downtown,
like in Georgia State Campus,
there’s all areas in the parks
where they have homeless people.
They can just hang, you know.
– Big increase since the pandemic
or nothing different really?
– Big increase.
– Big increase, yeah.
(hip hop music)
– If you’re doing anything
creative in general,
it’s almost like, in the city it’s great.
There’s a lot of artists here.
There’s a lot of opportunities,
but it’s also kinda like
a popularity contest
at the same time.
– Okay.
– So essentially, I know a lot of artists,
they had to go off to build a name there
and then come back in order to succeed.
And at least never in order to have like
their name in a certain light,
you know what I mean?
– Okay.
So Atlanta is pretty competitive?
– Very competitive, bro.
Everybody does everything.
Everybody’s an artist.
Everybody makes music.
Everybody a videographer.
This neighborhood is
nice and all that, yeah.
But whenever you start seeing
the Black Lives Matter signs,
that’s when there’s no more
black people in here, so.
So this area, Ponce and the Old 44,
was predominantly black, yeah.
– Okay.
– And like,
I wanna say like late ’80s, early ’90s,
but as soon as it gets more affluent
people with money in it, okay,
you know, a lot more white folks
and they start to put those
Black Lives Matter signs up,
it’s usually an indication that
all the black people have moved out,
which is like, yeah, you’re
trying to be an ally,
but at the same time,
you’re kind of the issue,
in so many words.
– Right.
And you don’t see those signs
in majority black neighborhoods?
– Nah, man.
– Which is interesting.
– We know our lives matter.
We don’t have to like promote it.
– Right. I’ve never in all
the American cities I go to,
to make videos.
– Yeah.
– I’ve never seen like BLM,
you know, soccer camp being started
or like anything for the community
in those neighborhoods
that need it, you know.
– Just, at least you’re in
the George Floyd murder,
it was a saying that
paintings are not policy.
Paintings ain’t policy.
Yeah, it looks nice.
– [Peter] Right.
– It doesn’t help.
Like it’s just like a,
not even a bandaid, bro.
It’s like, you’re just spitting
on a wound essentially.
– [Peter] Qua, this
is a sweet neighborhood.
– Yeah, right?
– [Peter] This is freaking-
– [Qua] I wish
everybody could live in this neighborhood,
you know what I’m saying?
– [Peter] This is like,
every house has style and-
– [Qua] It looks clean.
– [Peter] And detail and
look at all the flowers.
– [Qua] Like nice foliage everywhere.
– [Peter] Man, this is-
– [Qua] The city-
– [Peter] This is not what I thought of
when I thought of Atlanta.
(fountain flows)
Is this your house, Qua?
Is that-
– My house?
Yeah, that’s my look up to my crib, y’all.
That’s my crib. We got the water fountain.
– [Peter] Okay, we’re gonna
do a Cribs edition in here.
– [Qua] You know what I’m saying, man?
– [Peter] It’s good to
see you got a green thumb.
– Privacy, yeah man.
You know, I don’t do that, man.
I got people for that, bro.
I don’t touch that.
– You don’t? Okay.
You’re just taking a look,
making sure they’re doing it right.
Wow, Atlanta is impressive.
What is this?
– It’s the belt line, man.
It’s like a small 285, Interstate 285 for-
– Okay.
– This is like one of the spots to be.
You got nice family
fun out here, you know.
– [Peter] It’s the Venice
Beach of Atlanta, maybe?
– There you go, yeah.
– [Peter] See, this guy’s
right off Venice Beach
right to the beltway.
– [Qua] What’s up man?
– [Peter] Hello.
Ponce City Market.
– Ponce City Market.
People need to think, but in this thing,
in it’s initial development,
it was artist market,
like mostly for like artists
’cause it’s a lot of studio.
– [Peter] Right.
– With spacing in there.
But you know the money talks, yeah.
So of course they’re gonna be like,
hey, let’s put these overpriced boutiques
and the retail spots here
and let’s really get some
money like generated in here,
which it does it’s job.
It does it’s job well, but that’s just-
– [Peter] It’s a popular place?
– Yeah, of course. Yeah, it’s popular.
We can walk up in there.
– [Peter] Yeah, let’s check it out.
– We have a lot of art inside the cities,
either the city commissions
artists to make this,
either to recognize
Atlanta’s terrible past
and kind of like move forward,
move into a brighter future essentially.
– Okay. Very traumatic, dark history.
But looking forward,
is that what you feel here as a local?
You feel it?
– It’s definitely getting
better and brighter.
I guess just say we as the people
also have to have a part in it
and not just like have
people delegate for us,
to aid in that.
In the last few years,
I’ve been bigger on going to
like local city hall meetings
and actually like-
– Oh cool.
– Going into the spaces where
they’re having these events
and people that we need to vote for
to make decisions for us in our interests,
you know what I’m saying?
– I never cared about local politics-
– Bro, I didn’t need either.
– Until two years ago.
– Bro, I didn’t either.
So a few years ago, like-
– When the DA started calling
the criminals the victims
and our crime went through the roof.
I’m like, all right, something’s off.
– Yeah, man.
It’s terrible, bro.
– But you’re young and
you’re getting involved.
That’s really cool.
– I’m trying to, man.
It’s all a process, bro.
– [Peter] So is this, would you say,
one of these scenes,
like one of the top scenes in the city?
– Most definitely.
This is like one of the
highlights of the city.
Ponce City Market, man.
– [Peter] Oh yeah.
– The smell, like they just
kinda hits you immediately.
– [Peter] So Atlanta food scene is solid?
– Oh it’s great, bro.
You just gotta know where to look.
– [Peter] So this
neighborhood we’re in now,
was this run down at one time
and it’s coming back or
was it always pretty nice?
– Yeah man, I heard it was pretty rough.
Like in the early 2000s, ’90s,
all that good stuff.
And as of like recent now,
trying to like build it up to become a
central area to the city.
You know, like before
people weren’t come here
just to like hang out, you know.
You kinda came here if you lived here,
if you had business here,
but as of now, it’s just like
a central place to hang out.
You know, you get some ramen,
get some expensive (beep)
crystals, or a plant,
and be on your merry way, you know.
– [Peter] So you’re saying Atlanta,
there’s a lot of
entrepreneurial energy here.
Lot of startup action.
– Everybody has like a hustle in them.
Everybody has like a drive.
Everybody has a product
that they can package
and sell to other people,
which is a beautiful thing.
‘Cause a lot of people
don’t really realize
they can do that.
And there’s always a different
route that you could take
besides the straight and linear path of
go to school, get a good job,
live your rest of your
life and die at, you know.
– Actually some character
design stuff for school.
– [Qua] Oh (beep), that’s dope, bro.
– [Peter] For school?
– [Salesman] Yeah, well.
– [Peter] Art class?
– School, more like
portfolio stuff for myself.
I do game design right here.
I’ve been coming up with
like a few ideas and stuff.
Andrew Blooms tattoo
artist is really cool.
We’ve hung out a couple times.
We’re supposed to do you
some collaborations with him.
– [Qua] Which one’s Andrew, bro?
– He’s this one right here.
He’s got gold boy.
He’s got a bunch of phenomenal stuff.
– [Kuhway] That’s cold. That’s cold.
– Courtney Hicks, huge inspiration to me.
Adela Pons, beautiful John Lewis piece,
and Killamari, part of
the Lotus Theater Club,
so is was my cousin, so.
– [Peter] All from Atlanta?
– Oh yeah.
– What do you guys not do well?
– Traffic.
Oh dude, I hate driving.
I literally drive 45
minutes to work every day.
And somehow I’m always
either 10 minutes late
or 30 minutes early.
(festive music)
– [Peter] So this is your old gig here?
– Yeah, bro. This is where I’m at.
That boy, Abe, man. What’s up?
That’s one of my homies, right there.
(background chatter)
– [Peter] What a popular guy.
– Can I touch?
– Yeah.
(women laugh)
– It’s a boy.
– It’s a boy!
– Yeah.
– You gonna name him Qua?
– Clermont Lounge.
So this is like one of the oldest clubs
or strip clubs in the city
and it’s world famous for
having senior strippers.
So you can go see some like-
– [Peter] Senior strippers?
– See some saggy titties
if you want to, you know.
– [Peter] Like 50-60 up?
– 50 and up, bro. Yes bro.
– [Peter] And it’s still an operation?
– Still in operation, bro, to this day.
– [Peter] And that’s why you
worked here so after work
you could go across the street.
– There you go. You got it, man.
– [Peter] Alright, it’s
all coming together.
– It’s always a reason for everything,
you know.
– [Peter] And there’s a motel.
– Yeah, bro, it’s a hotel.
– Hey, it looks quite nice for being
cheers to the moms, okay.
For being a strip club. Are you serious?
– Yeah. It’s at the bottom though.
Not like, so all this is like,
you know, for sure rooms people stay in
at the bottom.
This be (indistinct)
– [Peter] It’s no secret.
– No. It’s not a secret,
but it’s like a hidden gem.
– Yeah, that’s what I’m going for.
– [Peter] It doesn’t work?
– [Peter] Wow. Dukes of Hazard style.
– Hell yeah.
– Yes.
– Right now we at Island Takeaway, man,
you know what I’m saying,
trying to get some good Caribbean food,
some good Jamaican food.
I might get some oxtails, honestly.
I don’t really know, man.
– [Peter] You’re gonna go for the oxtail.
– I might go for the oxtail, bro.
– I got jerk chicken, curry chicken,
brown stew chicken, oxtail.
– Yeah. Besides I got a plantains,
cabbage, and mac and cheese.
– [Peter] Island Takeaways
is the name your business?
– Yes sir.
– [Peter] Gotcha.
– Yes sir.
– [Peter] There we go.
– There we go. We got the oxtail,
the rice and peas,
and I got some plantains over there.
They look like they’re
cooked to perfection.
They look ripe enough.
– [Peter] I got Jamaican jerk.
– You got jerk chicken
with the rice and peas.
And you got some little,
you got some plantains too
that look perfection, bro.
They’re ripe to perfection.
– [Peter] Is this some of
your favorite, the Jamaican?
– Most definitely.
If I’m not eating this,
then I might be eating some wings.
I might be eating a
little bit of some wings,
but after awhile you get
kinda tired of wings.
You want to like diversify
it a little bit, you know.
– That’s a nice jerk.
– That’s a nice jerk bro, right.
– It’s got some hit to it.
– Exactly.
– [Peter] A little sweet.
– It’s just what you need.
It’s good for the soul.
– [Peter] Jerk is?
– It’s good for the soul, bro.
– [Peter] I think Atlanta’s
good for the soul.
Is that fair to say?
– Yeah, it’s a very accurate.
– [Peter] You guys have soul here.
– That’s a very accurate description, yes.
– [Peter] Nice, tender chicken in there.
Cut that out.
– [Kuhway] Get some chicken in there, man.
– Get some rice, some jerk.
– You haven’t had a good
jerk chicken oxtail combo
from a food truck,
I don’t think you living life, right.
– No.
– There’s something
you’re not doing right.
Like meet me outside.
Breathe fresh air.
We gonna put our feet
in the grass today, bro.
When last time you put
your feet in the grass?
Oh, dog!
– I live in Florida.
I live in Florida, last week, man.
– Last week, okay.
I was fixin’ to say, man.
Yeah bro, we gotta put your
feet in the grass sometime, bro.
Little Five Points with it,
Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
– [Peter] Little Five Points.
– Little Five Points, bro.
– There’s a-
– Bro.
– There’s a Big Five Points?
– It’s just, yeah, regular Five Points.
– [Peter] Okay.
– Where you got the underground Atlanta.
– [Peter] Are you guys
proud of having Coca-Cola
’cause you see the signs everywhere?
– Yeah, bro.
People are so proud of
having Coca-Cola here,
if you go into an establishment
and they only serving
Pepsi or Pepsi products,
no business gets done there, bro.
People were seriously die
hard about this Coke, man.
It’s ridiculous, bro.
They must have been drinking it
when coke was in the Coke or something
’cause they would just
like straight up leave.
See if the homie Pinks in,
I mean, see the homie Honeys in right now.
– [Peter] How you doing?
– Good, thank you.
– I told him to come to
one of the freshest spots
in Little Five Points
to chop it up with you
’cause you’ve been here
for, how long 12 years?
– 13 years.
– 13?
Yeah, 13 years.
– It’s actually gonna be
14, this year.
– Dang, bro.
– [Peter] So Five Points,
what’s the story here?
– It’s cool. It’s eclectic. It’s diverse.
Little Five Points is a staple in Atlanta
if you’re looking for the artsy community,
the independently owned
and operated businesses.
– [Peter] Sure.
– Retail that you won’t find anywhere,
you know, the cool things
just like right here
at the Pink Zebra.
Each rack is owned by
a different creative.
So we work with cut and sew designers.
We work with brands that maybe, you know,
you primarily see it like
a popup or a festival.
Some are online based
and some are literally,
they just work out of their homes.
And the Pink Zebra houses a
brick and mortar space for them.
I just wanted to create a space.
Actually, I made event
space as well in the back
and I incorporated-
– [Peter] Can we see it?
– Mm-hm.
– And I incorporated and added, you know,
suites for people.
– How about Atlanta? Give us vibe.
I’m a newbie. I’ve been
in Atlanta for four hours.
So far, I see a lot of creativity,
a lot of entrepreneurship energy,
a lot of positivity.
– Okay.
– I’m in the honeymoon period.
I just got here.
I understand.
– Yep, sounds like it.
– Is it fair to say like,
there’s a bubbling energy here right now?
Or am I just, I don’t know anything.
I can be honest here.
– Yeah, I think everything is different
depending on what circle you’re around.
And the people that you’re introduced to
and that are showing you around.
‘Cause I’m positive there’s
like some negative energy
out there, you know.
But I just kind of keep
myself away from that.
So I’m not subject to it,
but I’m also not oblivious
that it exists, right?
Because Atlanta also has a
huge crime rate right now.
You know, they’re breaking-
– [Peter] It’s up a lot?
– Yeah, but crime is
very subjective, right.
– [Peter] Right.
– But in particular I know
that there’s a lot of like,
car break ins, you know, right now.
Once upon a time, that
only used to take place,
quote unquote, in the hood, right.
Now it’s in the ritzier parts of towns,
which for us would be
considered Buckhead, right.
They’re breaking in cars like crazy.
They’re breaking into
like, our luxury malls.
They’re walking in doing smash and grabs,
which wasn’t a thing before.
So anytime that you, you know,
experience theft and stealing,
it’s because there’s a lack of, right.
People don’t steal just to
steal for the most part.
It’s because they’re stealing to survive
or you know, makeup for
what they don’t have.
– [Peter] Don’t you think,
but there are a lot of
jobs fair to say, right?
– Mm-hm.
– [Peter] Some people could
work instead of steal.
– No, I agree with that.
Some people totally could
work instead of stealing.
But then there’s also people that,
you know, are thinking of it in this way.
Well, this job is only
paying me X, Y, Z of hours
or maybe people are applying
and wanting a front position,
you know, for a job.
And then there are certain
people that are judging,
you know, and put you in the back, maybe.
Maybe you don’t wanna do that, you know.
So, not justifying it, but people say,
well, I can go get it
on my own in this way.
Super that they let you do a mural.
– What! Girl, not letting me,
they paying me to do a mural, man.
– [Peter] Are you working
on that now or soon?
– No, it’s done. It’s cemented.
– [Peter] Oh nice.
Oh, that’s interesting.
So you’re talking about re-gentrification.
So what do you mean, the history of this?
– Everyone’s familiar with like,
you know, past times where
everyone wanted to work in the city,
but after work, they wanted
to get out of the city,
and go home to the quiet suburbs.
– [Peter] Yeah.
– That was once a thing,
but now we’re in a, you know,
environment where everyone wants to be
in the mix of everything,
such as the city.
You know, the city life,
the best restaurants are,
you know, in the city now,
the best grocery stores are in the city,
the high rise buildings, the
live entertainment, you know.
That’s why even like when
you lived in the suburbs,
you would say, we’re going
to the city to do this
and that for entertainment.
Now everyone wants that
at their doorsteps.
So gentrification, right?
Kicking everyone out, you know,
who lived in the city,
who had to, you know,
that had less money,
that had to deal with the
hustle and bustles of everyone.
– [Peter] So what are they doing?
– Now they’re going to the suburbs
and getting kicked out.
They’re driving up the taxes,
making it where people
can’t even afford the taxes
for maybe their houses
that were passed down
from their grandparents or their lineage.
And they can’t afford, you know,
the taxes increase on it,
’cause maybe they were on
a fixed income or whatnot,
and so they’re being kicked out
because they can’t afford
to stay in their home
that’s paid for.
And people, investors,
are coming in and scooping them up
and putting hefty price tags on ’em
and giving them to the
rich or the wealthy.
– [Peter] How do you
feel about it as a local?
– I feel, I understand it.
I understand it, you know.
It doesn’t mean that I like it,
but from what I know,
usually what’s done is
there are steps that happen
and take place before your
home is taken from you, right?
And we all see what’s happening.
So we have to, you know,
equip ourselves and protect
ourselves to do that.
– We’re like right on Georgia State Campus
right now, essentially.
Bridges Park right here.
They come out, see the homeless dude.
See my man’s giving the show.
– [Peter] Little dance performance.
– [Qua] Yeah, bro.
Might do some magic man, you never know.
– [Peter] Yeah, that is interesting.
The University is right downtown.
– The whole campus is
like essentially downtown.
It’s a cool building.
– [Peter] Yeah.
– Very old.
(fountain splashes)
(hip hop music)
Man, we’re at my other mural location,
worked with Gusto.
– [Peter] Gusto.
– Gusto, man.
Get you some fresh, healthy food, bro.
– [Peter] There we go. Nice.
What is this piece called?
– Heart of the City, dog. It’s called-
– [Peter] Heart of the City.
– Heart of the City, man.
‘Cause you know, we hitting
the heart of the city, bro.
We got all Atlanta
iconography, Georgia State.
We got the Olympics, the ’86 Olympics,
got ATL in.
We got Atlanta Dreams up in here, man.
– [Peter] So how good did it feel to
paint this here in a business downtown?
– Bro, it was everything, dog.
It was like really kind of solidified me
as being like a part of the city.
‘Cause I been in the city,
but it’s one thing to be in the city,
to be of the city.
Now I kind of feel like I’m of the city,
you know what I mean?
We got state flowers,
Georgia peach state fruit,
Delta, black power going on.
It was a great feeling, man.
I’ve noticed a lot of dads
in like my generation,
they are more involved
in their children’s life
versus the dads from
the previous generation,
not being so heavy
involved in like their life
and whenever they children got going on
in sports and school and whatnot.
So it’s just a real good
dynamic to see like parents,
I’m not a parent yet,
but it’s just nice to see
dads being involved in life.
Like we just passed the field
of little T-ballers
and it’s like a lot of men out there.
It’s a lot of dad just out there hanging,
you know, with their sons or
their daughters or whatever.
So that’s just really
good to see, you know.
– Beautiful day, sun going down
over the skyline of Atlanta.
Thank you Qua.
– Thank you, brother. Appreciate you.
– Appreciate it.
If it wasn’t for Qua,
we wouldn’t have seen Atlanta like we did.
So we gotta give a big
thanks for the locals.
The ones that know the city,
the ones that are proud
of where they’re from
and doing cool things for your city.
You do art.
I’m gonna leave your link below.
Okay, that’s word.
– Instagram link.
– Instagram link, yes it’s @kuhway.atl
The website, wanna cross,
is, K U H W A Y .com
Check me out.
I do animations, illustrations, murals.
Anything you need, please holler at me.
I can do it for you.
– Yes, support Qua.
Support your local, sorry. Go ahead.
– Wherever you are in the world,
wherever you, the viewer
sitting at your computer,
are in the world.
– So guys, this is part of
a three part Atlanta series,
three different angles into
this fascinating place.
One through Qua’s world.
Also a video about the
wealthy side of Atlanta,
the very wealthy real estate.
And then the other side
of the tracks, the hood.
Place has many sides,
many different stories.
Check out those videos too.
Thanks for coming along.
Until the next one.
– Alright, we out.
(hip hop music)

If you’re interested in more content from around the WORLD visit these links below:

Be the first to see the next video