When I mentioned to friends that I was going to Underground Atlanta, the response that I got from every one of my friends was the same: don’t go alone. Don’t go alone, don’t go after dark, and call if you need anything.
This was my first Underground experience, so I didn’t understand why they were all so concerned until I got to the space.
Underground Atlanta is not very well lit. There are nooks and crannies in the walls large enough to hide a person, the cell service inside is abysmal at best, and the understaffed stores and kiosks show an absolute disregard for the small handful of people wandering the mall.
In my hour and a half there, I passed a total of 15 people inside the mall. Outside, however, was another story. Recently an Atlanta music venue called The Masquerade relocated to Underground, and its doors are located outside past the end of the shopping strip.
The day that I went, there was a concert at the venue for someone named Jacob Sartorious, who I later looked up and found was a young teen pop star. This explained the demographic of the people outside of the venue, and why it was so different from the inside demographic.
The people lined up at the venue were mainly white middle aged parents and large groups of mid-aged teenage girls. In direct contrast, most of the people inside of the mall were individuals or very small groups, at max three people, of people of color.