This Hispanic dentist office within the Plaza Fiesta shopping center on Buford Highway stuck out to me immediately after reading Gunther Barth’s chapter in City People about the department store. In Barth’s story an aunt and her nephew are “regularly interrupted” by the ladies department store on the way home from the dentist’s office located on Wall Street.  This story I would imagine is a common one for both children and parents frequenting the Kool Smiles Dentist.
Plaza Fiesta has become a cultural epicenter in the Buford Highway/Chamblee area with its shopping centers and even attractive nightlife for the local neighborhoods. It is an easy argument that the Plaza Fiesta shopping center brings patrons who are looking for culturally sensitive items as well as the Hispanic atmosphere that the Hispanic culture can identify with, shop, and socially gather comfortably. This collection of Hispanic shops and restaurants is a attractive epicenter for Hispanic culture and through its attractiveness to the surrounding community the Plaza Fiesta shopping center is also attracting other businesses and shops which then turns right back into developing the Hispanic community and culture in the North Atlanta area even further. As Gunther Barth equated this rise and evolution of the department store as a “focal point for downtown life”.  Through my research and observations I feel it is safe to say that Plaza Fiesta’s department store and shopping center is a litmus test that proves the advancement of the culture and economy of the Hispanic population in the North Atlanta area.
As you can see the Plaza Fiesta Shopping Center contains much more than a lady’s department store. In fact it carries everything from high fashion, ready to eat buffet restaurants, to commodity items such as CD’s and gadgets, and even groceries from the local Farmers Market. In alignment with Barth’s department stores Plaza Fiesta carries everything from ready-made clothing and shoes to fresh made take-out orders at the local fast food scene.  It is also surrounded by Marta stops, where upon driving through I saw two of them. Clearly there is a lot of traffic that goes through the Buford Highway area and in terms of its location and size Plaza Fiesta is equipped to attract numerous patrons looking fora multitude of goods and services.
While technically considered to be inside the city limit of Atlanta this shopping center is definitely part of Atlanta’s suburban sprawl. However the city of Chamblee that contains a population of 11,178 people, 64.8% alone being Hispanic, being just two streets away provides a clear economic incentive for other Hispanic businesses to establish themselves in this culturally rich area.  The only difference I have found with these suburban shopping centers and other malls like Perimeter Mall on Ashford Dunwoody Road is that they are typically not interconnected except for the inner mall of Plaza Fiesta (which I could not photograph due to “legal reasons”- Chamblee Police) so most of the stores have to be accessed outside via covered walkway.
Still in terms of matching up with Barth’ evolution of the shopping center with the magasin de nouveautés, the Plaza Fiesta shopping center seems to line up perfectly.  Where there are lots of advertisements, sales for customers to take advantage of, open areas for customers to browse products, and in addition even a local amusement park that at night becomes a clear community center and hotspot for entertainment at night. In ending this Hispanic shopping center again matches up with Barth’s description of an evolved shopping center as it is an epicenter and mark of the advancement for the Hispanic culture and economy in the North Atlanta area.
 Barth, Gunther. City People: The Rise of Modern City Culture in Nineteenth-Century America. Oxford University Press: New York. 1980. p. 110
 Barth, Gunther. p. 110-111
 Barth, Gunther. p. 113
 Advame, Inc., “City-Data.com.” Last modified 2011. Accessed November 18, 2011. www.city-data.com/city/Chamblee-Georgia.html.
 Barth, Gunther. p. 113