Panorama of my town

Panorama of my town

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Saying 'Good-bye' to Ponce City Market - Loki and I are Moving On

My last blog about life inside PCM was in April - where has the time gone?

On October 2, it will have been one year since Loki and I became one of the first residents to live in the Flats at Ponce City Market.  As I have learned recently, that is a little like saying we were at Woodstock.  Only 100,000 or so people were actually at the concert on that little New York farm, but everyone over 60 years old swears they were there, and if the math is right that means 8 million people attended the coolest three days of music in history.  

2014, Loki happy to be in his new home

Welcome Gifts 

Well, there were only 4 of us who moved into PMC that first week of October but already I've talked to 10 complete strangers who have tried to convince me they were the first to sleep under its roof.  
October 2014

They didn't know who I was so I acted very impressed and let it go.  PCM is going to grow a cult following and will spin a history of its own, far greater than the reality, perhaps not as big as Woodstock, but the stories and wild tales have already begun.

Loki and I are moving out on the exact anniversary of the day we moved in.  We have enjoyed our year in the once 'old Sears Building' and now  'iconic Ponce City Market' and we have some GREAT (and mostly true) stories we will take with us and share with friends and family for a very long time to come.  

We have welcomed hundreds of curious friends and acquaintances into our little 655 square foot apartment.  We threw parties (yes, security came to the door during one of them).  We took official and unofficial tours (smile) at all times of the day and night.  

We gave friends what we now refer to as 'drunk tours' of the building (before the locks were added to the doors) consisting of a lovely evening stroll with a glass of wine in one hand and flashlight in the other.  We got stuck on an elevator with friends once. We got slightly lost once (probably because of the wine).  

We took hundreds of photos. We eagerly watched as life came slowly creeping back into that massive structure.  It was a time of incredible freedom - Loki went leash-less for much of the time we were here. Scandalous. 

In the earliest days, we got to know each new neighbor one at a time, as we rode the elevators. Then suddenly there were so many new faces (people and dog) as the flood gates opened.  Today most of the apartments are rented - there are only 2 vacancies on my floor.
That's the way it should be.   

A quick note; the Flats security people are all wonderful and Loki befriended them all.

We saw cool stuff like a Nick Cave performance. 

We read scores of  enthusiastic articles, posted hundreds of Facebook pictures and updates and Tweeted about the building's progress and new vendors (when they finally arrived).  I was interviewed several times about life in the old building, including once by CNN International. That was pretty cool.

But we also suffered through endless fire alarm tests, repeated gas shut off and on and off and on, and we locked ourselves out of the building several times after the electronic locking systems were activated. UPS and Fed Ex couldn't find us, at first. The leasing office had 100s of new processes and snags that had to be worked out on the fly because they had no previous experience with such a building.  We followed most of the rules...but not all.

We paid top dollar to live in a construction zone. Who knew that sound traveled through concrete with such efficiency??  There were days when it was deafening.   Very few of the fantastic amenities proffered in October 2014 were actually delivered while we were here. A mountainous parking deck has been under construction along the Beltline (just outside our window) for many loud months.  The Rooftop putt-putt golf won't be ready for several more months. Still no word on when the train car bar might open (I think this is my greatest loss).

The disappointment of repeated reports that the food court was delayed had become wearying.  As of this writing there are 5 food vendors in the Court now.   I've eaten at all of them.  Bummed that Super Pan won't be open before I move :-(  but I'll be back, Hector!

All that said, and while we didn't get much of the experience we were promised when we moved in, we can say we did get our own very special and unique experience. I suppose that is what I wanted when I moved in and what I take with me as I make my exit and short hop to Midtown. 

Oct 2014

Oct 2015
We 'Firsters' did have the pioneering spirit.  We are the ones who had experiences no one who comes after us will ever have. We were here at the rebirth. 

pre- William Sonoma

We walked this cavernous PCM in awe and wonder while the paint was still peeling and inhaled the dust of her revitalization.  We were here when the halls were filled with more anticipation than people.  We were more intrigued by the possibility of what was to come than by the actuality of what was, and mostly we were okay with that.

So just as Ponce City Market prepares to show the public her finished look, Loki and I prepare to move on.  We are going to miss the free on-site public parking transitioning to paid parking (but we residents always paid for our parking!).

We are going to miss the Masquerade music festivals that screamed techno and hip-hop into our windows until 11 at night.  Truth be told, I kinda liked it. 

Its not really 'good bye' because I am confident we'll return to shop at the stores and eat at the food court that we have been waiting (not so patiently) for a year. And when we do visit, we'll tell tall tales of the early days and fondly 'remember when' to the hip shoppers who will be haunting her oh-so-cool courtyard, rockin' rooftop and trendy stores.

Think I'm gonna miss the view most of all. Each day Loki and I took at least 2 strolls through the Historic 4th Ward Park and at night our park and downtown views were  breathtaking from the 6th floor.

I am grateful to my friends and family who came to visit us this year and helped Loki and me to make this concrete box a warm and welcoming home.  

All in all, its been an adventure we do not regret and an exciting year in apartment E621, but now its time to move on. 

Funny thing is, I'm actually making almost a full circle. This daughter of Atlanta, spent the first 4 years of my life on Peachtree St. at 10th in another iconic Atlanta building once called 'the Dump'.  Loki and I are moving back to Peachtree St. - into the historic Cornestone Building at 5th.  We love Atlanta history!

Thank you for joining us on this journey.

See ya' on Peachtree!