My Personal Experience at Peachtree Center Mall

I have been to Peachtree Center Mall multiple times before, because of Atlanta parades, visiting the Georgia Aquarium or the World of Coca-Cola, and watching the Peach Drop at Underground Atlanta. The mall became a popular stop for me when visiting Atlanta, because most of Atlanta major attractions were near it. Often when I visited the mall, customers were jammed inside making the area crowded. For example, the Chick-Fil-A parade, hundreds of people were watching the parade near Peachtree Center Mall. Each year, thousands of tourists and football fans flock to Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A bowl, a college playoff game. Before the game’s kickoff, the Chick-Fil-A parade happens downtown. Often the parade happens on New Year Eve when the weather tends to be colder. In the morning, the parade begins around ten and ends around noon. A lot of people attend the parade, because this parade finishes the year off. After the parade concludes, hundreds of people descend to Peachtree Center Mall to escape from Atlanta’s harsh winter and for a warm lunch or cup of coffee. Restaurant lines become packed with customers eager for something to warm them. Other customers crowded the mall just to use the restrooms and to have a chance to warm up.

On February 22, I went to Peachtree Center Mall via M.A.R.T.A., because Atlanta parking combined with Atlanta traffic can be a nightmare. Also, I found traveling on the train to be an easier and cheaper option. After Civic Center station, the train conductor announced the next station will be Peachtree Center Station. Once the announcement finishes, I started to gather my belongings and noticed a few other commuters gathering their belongings too. The passengers were a mixture of tourists with luggage, college students, and a couple of white collar workers. My morning commute often looks like this experience. I exited the train to my right to avoid collision with incoming passengers. I preceded up a short escalator ride and tapped my card to exit the station. To enter the mall, passengers must ride a steep escalator for a minute. Slowly, I approach the escalator shaking with a little bit of anxiety. This escalator felt terrifying to me because of the steepness and the constant shake of the escalator. Finally, the escalator drops me off at the top and I speed away from this death trap as fast as I could.

Immediately when I entered the mall, I noticed the crowds of people lined up at Willy’s Mexicana Grill and Checker’s.  The line stretched outside of the restaurant and people were waiting on the stairs. I slowly pushed through the crowds of people trying to enter further into the mall. Finally, I escaped the crowed staircase and found myself in even more crowded area. I started to scan the room for an available table. A customer will leave a table and another one will replace that customer. To find a seat, customers must be quick and on the lookout. I walked to another part of the mall where more of the retail stores were located. I decided to do my research in the area near Caribou Coffee and the Hyatt Regency walkway. I thought this spot will have the most foot traffic and a wide variety of customers. I noticed the sitting area did not have a lot of tables or benches. Tired of walking around the mall, I decided to wait patiently along the side for a seat. I started to scan the area waiting for a person to clear their table. I spotted one table near the Great American Cookie on the other side of the room. I started to “run” towards the table to secure a table.  I have been waiting for a table for ten minutes and grew tired. I did not get to the table in time and had to wait again along with another customer. Towards one of the pillars, I noticed a woman finishing her lunch and gathering her things.  I approached the lady and asked her nicely if she still needed the table. The lady said she did not need the table anymore and allowed me the table. Finally, I had secured a table and began to start my observations.

Peachtree Center Mall Foot Traffic

On February 22, I went to Peachtree Center Mall to conduct detail observations. I went to the mall around noon when most people have their lunch breaks. I went to the second level of the mall towards the food court. I sat in the second dining area which is located near the busiest intersection. To get accurate observations, I took detailed notes for two hours on the interior, design, customers, and the traffic of the area. I decided to write a detailed blog post on the Peachtree Center Mall foot traffic and customers.

I entered the mall from the Peachtree Center M.A.R.T.A. entrance. The Peachtree Center M.A.R.T.A. station is located underneath the mall. When I exited the station, I noticed a vast amount of people entering the mall. They entered the mall from the Peachtree Street entrance. The customers were dressed in business attire and had expressionless faces. Also, a small group of protestors entered the mall holding banners and signs. The protestors were coming from a rally held at One-Ninety-One Peachtree Towers. I noticed from the location that the mall gets a lot of foot track from the surrounding businesses and people passing the mall.

When I entered the mall, I noticed the crowds of people ordering food from different establishments. I noticed at Willy’s Mexicana Grill the lines were out the door. Customers were standing along the wall waiting to enter the restaurant.  I went past Checker’s, Farmer’s Basket, and Roman Delight Pizza, when I climbed the stairs to get further into the mall.  Each restaurant had at least five customers either ordering food or waiting to be severed. The restaurant’s customers were a mixture of people. Some of the customers were college students, blue collar workers, or hotel guest from the Hyatt Regency next door.

On the gallery level (2nd floor), two dining areas are available for customers to sit at. The first area includes two parts allowing for more customers. Most of the restaurants are located near this dining area. The dining area location makes this area more desirable for customers during lunch. Due to the area’s popularity, customer must wait for available tables.  Sometimes, customers wait along the sides until a table becomes available. Once a table appears, customers rush to the vacant table to secure their table.

The second dining area located next to a small staircase remains remotely vacant. Customers tend to avoid this area because of the location. The area does not get a lot of foot traffic due to the lack of restaurants back there. Customers eating here tend to be eating alone or with another person. The silent chewing of food or muffled conversations can be heard back here. In the center, tables remain vacant and often left unoccupied. But the smaller two person tables tend to fill quickly.

Based on my observations, I concluded Peachtree Center Mall to be a popular destination in Atlanta. The mall offers a wide of variety of restaurants for their customers. The mall being in the heart of the city allows for more foot traffic to the area. The mall’s location increases their popularity because more people can access it including college stunts, tourists, and hotel guests. I came up with this conclusion based on detailed research. But further observations and research can be conducted to discover the reasoning behind this.

 

Peachtree Center Mall Observations

Peachtree Center Mall

Entrance from Peachtree Street and Peachtree Center M.A.R.T.A. Station

Dining Area

  • the area located on the gallery level
  • located next to Caribou Coffee, Great American Cookie, Panbury’s Pie Cafe, and Firehouse Subs
  • surrounding the perimeter are black benches
    • the benches are in the middle
    • next to the bench is a trash dispenser
      • the dispenser is grey
      • rectangular shaped
      • two pushed doors
      • two large rectangular openings
    • on the other side is a potted plant
      • a houseplant/indoor plant
      • multiple green leaves sprouting from it
      • the planter is black and round
      • the plant is covered with potting soil
    • the dining area contain tables for four people
      • the tables are rectangular
      • the table tops are gray with black edges
      • the tables are two single tables pushed together
    • the customers eat by themselves or with a group
    • the dining area is packed with customers
      • customers wait along the edges for seats
    • design
      • the dining area is covered
      • nine pillars hold the covering
        • the pillars are a creamy white color
        • the pillars have an orange sticker on top of it
  • white collared workers
    • men: collared shirts slacks tie name badges suit jackets dress shoes
    • women: paint suits dark blue and black skirts and dresses high heels
  • regular customers
    • men and women: tee shirts jeans loose fitting sweaters and jackets tennis shoes flats flip flops and converses
  • workers
    • men and women: light blue black or gray long shelve undershirt black belt khakis pants and tennis shoes
  • Caucasian, African American, Asian, and Indian customers

Interior:

  • low lights
  • light fixtures suspended from the ceiling
    • the light fixtures were dome shaped
    • they were made of clear plastic material
    • they were translucent
  • white titled ceiling
  • air vents along the ceiling sides
  • natural lighting

 

 

Caribou Coffee

is a specialty coffee(espresso)retailer that specializes in espresso beverages, their own blends of coffee, tea,sandwiches and bakery goods

  • a wooden exterior
  • stainless equipment
  • chalkboard styled menu board
  • a curved display case
    • the display is filled with muffins, brown bites, sandwiches, and cookies
    • the display had two shelves
    • small rectangular chalkboard sit next to the food
      • the chalkboard display the different menu prices
      • the lettering is capitalized and white
    • a colorful help wanted sign located on the left side of the board
    • two workers work behind the counter
      • one worker works the cash register/ restocks the coffee brewer
        • black female
        • wears a short sleeved pink shirt
        • black and green medium short curly hair
        • wears braces
      • the other worker barrister
        • white female
        • tall
        • dark hair pulled into a pony tail
        • wearing a brown Caribou apron
        • wearing a black shirt tee shirt
      • the Caribou sign
        • caribou is the mascot
        • a light blue background surrounded by a black border
        • the lettering is black, capitalized and slanted
        • the background is white
      • a cart
        • the cart is wooden
        • the door handles are silver
        • the cart is on four wheels
        • two sugar containers located on each side
          • the containers are medium sized
          • they are made of clear glass
          • they have a silver, domed shaped top
        • three insulated carafes/servers
          • stainless steel
          • tall and slender
          • push button lid
            • the lid is black
            • the sprout is slender in size
            • the handle is attached to the lid
            • lightweight
          • a napkin dispenser in the middle

Great American Cookies

is a chain of independently owned and operated franchised stores that specialize in gourmet cookies, especially cookie cakes.

  • design
    • the color scheme is white, yellow, and black
    • behind the counter is a Coca-Cola sod a machine
    • a small display above the Coca-Cola soda machine
    • next to the Coca-Cola machine is an ICEE machine
    • next to the cookie display is a counter
    • the counter is filled with different signs
    • the different signs show the store newest items and promotions
    • on the side, there is a glass sliding door opening
      • the opening is rectangular
      • there is a Great American Cookie banner next to the opening
      • in the background, there are two silver industrial ovens
      • there is a second register on this side
      • next to the register is a cardboard box filled with straws
      • one African American worker
    • Great American Cookies Sign
      • the lettering is red, yellow, blue, and green
      • the lettering on the sign is capitalized
      • the lettering is titled in different directions
    • the cookie display
      • a clear and glass display
      • the top two rows are filled with different types of cookies
      • beside the cookies are cookie boxes
      • on the bottom cookie cakes are displayed
      • both sides have three cookie cakes each

2nd dining area

 

  • located on the gallery level(midlevel)
  • located near the guest services counter
  • the area is more spread out
  • separate tables for two, four, and six people
    • two people table
      • the table is rectangular
      • a chair located across from another chair
      • located in the center of the dining area
    • four-person table
      • the table is squared with curved corners
      • one chair located on each side of the table
      • also, located in the center of the room
    • six-person table
      • the table is rectangular
      • three single tables pushed together
      • three chairs located on the longer side
    • grey and black four legged chairs
      • the back of chair is cut out with triangles
      • the triangles are symmetrical in size
      • curved seat

Interior

  • brighter area
  • natural lighting
  • clear, glass skylight
    • one shattered glass panel
  • four light fixtures
    • each fixture has four lamps hanging from it
    • the lamps are plastic and clear design
  • on the sides, air vents near the skylight
  • Outside
    • flags were swaying in the wind
    • a brown building located on each side
    • a set of flags on each side

Surveyors

  • conducted a public survey
    • the survey is about metro Atlanta transportation
  • conducted their survey near the guest service located on the gallery level(midlevel)
  • surveyors wore a light blue shirt with white lettering on the back
  • surveyors also wore black dress pants
  • surveyors stopped customers walking past their display
    • asked mostly white collared workers for their opinion
  • Display
    • thick, white poster boards were set on black art easels
    • in the center, a plastic table covered with black tablecloth sat in the middle
    • two easels on each side of the table
  • light blue plastic containers with orange labels were in a circle

Floor

  • polished marble white squares
  • a white tile in the shape of diamond
  • gray marbled strips along the perimeter

 

 

 

The Surrounding Environment

 

Sweet Auburn Curb Market and Homelessness

I approached the market, I noticed a couple of homeless people begging for money outside the market. One homeless made a makeshift bed along the wall sleeping with a couple of newspapers. At the entrance, another homeless man waited for customers to exit the market. I walked to the side entrance of the market to avoid contact. Once, I walked through the door; I smelled a strong fragrance of urine. I assumed the smell came from the homeless men outside surrounding the market. I think the men used the building cover to protect themselves from the harsh winter environment.

At 12:30 p.m., I noticed a homeless man had sat in front of my friend and me. The men wore dirty, blue hospital gowns. I assumed the man used to be a hospital patient who got turned out on the street. First, he placed a plastic bag filled with food on the table and then took of his shoes at the table.  He slowly began to eat his food when suddenly a security guard came out of nowhere. The security guard told the man he had to put on his shoes and that he could not eat inside of the market. Slowly, the homeless man slide back on his shoes and gathered his belongings. While the man gathered his belongings, the security guard stood in the corner and monitored him like a criminal. The security guard escorted the man out of the market and carried on with the rest of his day.

In Atlanta, homelessness is a huge issue. No matter where you go downtown there’s bound to be  a homeless person somewhere. On my daily commute, I often see someone begging for money or some food to eat tonight. It became second nature for people to just ignore them and pretend you do not hear them. Often, I do the same, because I do not feel like being bothered.

In the market, the same issue happened but I had a different outlook this time. The homeless bought food from a market vendor. He sat down and bothered none of the other market patrons. The security guard scouted this man out and escorted him out immediately. I felt a little hurt when this happened, because I knew this man just wanted to be treated like a human again. He just wanted a warm plate of food and an escape from the cold. We do not know what  happened to this man or let alone who he is. What gives us the right to treat him differently than anyone else.

 

Sweet Auburn Curb Market Customers

Sweet Auburn Market Customers

In 1924, Sweet Auburn Curb Market established their business inside the original Municipal Market building. The market is located on Edgewood Avenue in downtown Atlanta. Atlanta locals refer to the market as “The Curb Market.” The market houses twenty-four businesses include a bakery, a bookstore, a pharmacy, produce and meat merchants. Also, the market includes eleven of the most popular eateries in Atlanta.

Photograph taken by Carrie Dicks on February 7, 2017

On May 21, 1917, the Great Atlanta Fire destroyed 1, 938 buildings, 300 acres of real estate, and left over 10,000 residents homeless. Auburn Avenue used to be the epicenter of Atlanta. After the fire, farmers gathered at Auburn Avenue to start their own open air market. It became an instant hit. The Atlanta Women’s Club wanted to make the market a permanent feature., so the women launched a fundraiser. Their fundraiser raised enough money to build a fireproof, brick structure. On May 1, 1924, designed by A. Ten Eyck Brown the Municipal Market of Atlanta opened on Auburn Avenue.

African Americans could shop at the Municipal Market but were not permitted to vend inside of it. They were only permitted to vend outside along the market curb. In 1956, Fortune magazine called Auburn Avenue “the richest Negro Street in the world.” Auburn Avenue gained the nickname Sweet Auburn due to their propensity. In the 1990s, the Municipal Market of Atlanta became the Sweet Auburn Curb Market.

Today, Sweet Auburn Curb Market is ranked the 16th Best Food Market in the world by USA Today. The market is comprised of independently-owned business, including eateries, retail shops offering meat, seafood, produce, and sweets, and a pharmacy and bookstore.

Photographs taken by Carrie Dicks on February 7, 2017

Photograph taken by Zachary Cain on February 7, 2017

On February 7 around noon, I went to Sweet Auburn Curb Market for my observations. I choose this time, because this is when the market experiences the most activity. I sat towards the middle of the market to get a broader view of the whole market. I took detailed notes for two hours about the market’s audio, smells, customers, and visual aspects including the interior, restaurant designs, and color schemes. I decided to write my blog post about the market’s customers.

At the beginning of my observations, a small crowd of people were entering the market. The people entering the market were from Emory Healthcare. One man wear a white lab coat with a name badge om it. Underneath the lab coat, he wore a blue suit with a white shirt and a red and blue stripped tie.  Two women wore a blue scrub uniform decorated with the Emory Healthcare logo. The logo is capitalized with dark blue lettering.

Around 12:30, seven men entered the market wearing business attire. The men were dressed in full suits with polished dress shoes. One man wore a fitted dark blue suit with a light blue collared shirt underneath. He also wore with a dark blue tie with a gold tie clip across. Finally, he finished off his outfit with dark brown polished dress shoes. The men were having conversations amongst each other during their lunches. Towards the end, the men were on their cellphones ignoring each other.

Photograph taken by Zachary Cain on February 7, 2017

At the Afrodish Restaurant, fifteen customers were lined along the side of the restaurant. The line of customers stretched to the restaurant alongside it, Bell Street Burritos. Afrodish restaurant serves traditional African and Caribbean food including oxtails, beef patties, black eyed peas, jerk chicken, and curried goat. The customers inline were African American and African. I looked around and noticed another restaurant had primarily African American customers. This restaurant called Metro Deli & Soul Food had seven African American and two Caucasian customers.

Sweet Auburn Curb Market is a diverse environment filled with diverse cultural restaurants and customers from different backgrounds. I concluded this from detailed observations. But further research can be conducted to discover the reasoning behind this.

Bibliography:

“The Great Fire of 1917.” Atlanta Magazine. N.p., 03 Oct. 2014. Web. 18 Feb. 2017.
 “Today.” Today | The Curb Market. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2017.
 “Yesterday.” Yesterday | The Curb Market. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2017.

Sweet Auburn Curb Market Observations

Sweet Auburn Curb Market

Customers :

  • Blue Collared Workers
  • Emory Healthcare Workers (doctors and nurses)
  • Grady Hospital Workers(doctor and nurses)
  • Sweet Auburn Market Security Guards
  • Government Employee(Georgia Capital Workers and a forest ranger)

YumDiggity

a homemade and gourmet hotdog restaurantA silver bar is located on the side of the restaurant

  • A mural is located above the bar
  • The mural is a painted landscape of downtown Atlanta e.g. The Fox Theater
  • Nine silver, bar stools are located underneath the bar
  • Three wall outlets are located at the bar
  • Customers used their phones in between their lunch

Rawsome Juicery

is a fresh, cold-pressed juice bar

  • The customers inline are African Americans
  • In the corner of the bar, three plastic juice containers sit on  a counter
  • Located next to the drink dispensers is  a metal two door cooler
  • In the sink, two plastic bags sit on top of each other
  • A wire basket  filled with oranges sit above the cooler

Afrodish Restaurant

a Caribbean and African Restaurant serving  beef patties, curry chicken, jerk chicken, plantains,  black eyed peas, oxtail, curried goat, and  steamed cabbage

  • The sign is gold, black, red, and orange
  • The restaurant is buffet style
  • Two restaurant workers work with the customers
  • The food is served in Styrofoam container
  • Coca-Cola cooler is located behind the buffet
  • An hand sanitizer container  is  on the wall

Metro Deli & Soul Food

is a deli and soul food restaurant

  • The food is served buffet styled
  • A lunch counter is located on the side
  • The lunch counter is silver with red brick underneath
  • Behind the buffet, there is a griddle and a fryer
  • There is a red Coca-Cola cooler in the back
  • A health score sign is displayed

Tilapia Express

is a seafood restaurant

  • The sign is blue and white with two blue fishes on it
  • There are no customers ordering food
  • At the counter, five people eat their lunch
  • Coca-Cooler sit behind the counter
  • A Dasani Cooler sits beside the Coca-Cola cooler
  • A clear, mini fridge filled with sauces sits behind the counter

Mural:

a barnyard scene is painted on the wall

  • Three barn animals( a cow, a a goose,and goat) are depicted
  • The red truck is loaded with three, orange pumpkins, a bale of hay, and a barrel
  • The cow sits  on top of the red trunk
  • The cow wears  a purple dress
  •  Also, the cow wears a golden cow bell around her neck
  • The goat wears a pair of overalls
  • The goat holds a red cloth in his hand
  •   The goose leans on the red tuck
  • The goose wears an orange and yellow plaid dress
  • In the back, a black wind mill is painted

Three Cities

a pizza restaurant serving New York, Chicago, and Detroit styled pizza

  • The sign is white and red
  • Two workers work behind the counter
  •  A man makes pizza in the background
  • A woman works the register
  • A pizza rack is covered with pizza dough and pizzas
  • A two shelf pizza warmer display pizzas and strombolis.
  • On the counter , there are parmesan and red pepper flake containers
  • The containers  are curved in shape and clear
  • A red dispenser is filled with white napkins
  • Salt and Pepper Shakers sit next to the napkins
  • Three customers sit at the counter

Sitting Area:

a dinning and seating area located in the front side of the market located to the right

  • A green elevator is located on the side
  • A red and gold elevator sign is located above the elevator
  • A woman works the television
  • Three plants line a yellow wall
  • There is an industrial fan located on the wall
  • Two high chairs sit next to a wall opening
  • There is a Grady Hospital sign outside the window

The Hole int he Wall:

  • The door entrance is rectangular in size
  • A green curtain covers the entrance
  • A man inside cuts up a  green vegetable
  • The man listens to music while he cuts up vegetables
  • The man wears a green apron with a brown baseball cap
  • A grocery cart is filled with green vegetables
  • The grocery cart handle is blue

Interior:

  • Low lights illuminate the market
  • Small window panels line the top
  • Warehouse
  • Christmas lights wrapped around the light fixture
  •  Tables made of metal
  • Geometric styled tables
  • Hard, polished surface floors

Smells:

  • A urine smell near the market’s back entrance
  • Seafood from Atlantic Seafood
  • A hint of garlic from the pizzeria

Sound:

  • The middle sitting area is filled with multiple conversations
  • A worker asks  customers if they want a sample
  • A meat slicer

Photographs taken by Zachary Cain and Carrie Dicks on February 7, 2017.