A Q&A with Dr. Alex Rodriguez, Inman Park Dentistry:
Q: I saw on the Inman Park Dentistry website that you’ve wanted to be a dentist since you were 5. Wow! What was it about Atlanta that made you want to set up your practice here?
A: Growing up in a military family, I moved often and didn’t really have a hometown. After dental school, I chose Atlanta mainly because I already had some friends living here, and it seemed like a good place to start my career. I discovered that loved living in this vibrant, diverse, and welcoming city. As the years passed and my roots spread, Atlanta grew on me and became the place I wanted to raise a family and start my business.
Q: What about your practice sets it apart from some of the other dentists in town? What do you hope people say about you after they leave your office?
A: I hope people leave my office feeling as though they’ve been treated like a neighbor. I spent years working in a corporate “chain” dental office. I was turned off that they favored quantity over quality and that they struggled with basic customer service. I believe that I am not simply in the business of dentistry, but rather I am in the profession of dentistry--and that there is a difference.
Q: I heard that you recently moved from Reynoldstown to Ormewood Park. What are some of the main differences you see in the two neighborhoods? Why did you choose Ormewood Park for your family?
A: We lived in Reynoldstown for 10 years, but with two young kids we simply outgrew our old house. Ormewood Park let us afford more house, more yard, quieter streets, and better schools. It’s an added bonus that the neighborhood has a beautiful canopy of trees and feels like a forest lies just outside our window. And while we might not have as many bars and restaurants within walking distance as Reynoldstown, we still feel very much a part of the city and enjoy all the convenience that it brings.
Q: You are also an avid cyclist. Tell me about being a bike commuter in Southeast Atlanta. What are the perks and the drawbacks?
A: I try and ride my bicycle to work every single day. It’s been a daily part of my life for as long as I can remember. There are classic benefits like exercise, fresh air, and one less car on the road. But for me it’s more about my personal freedom of movement. There’s something therapeutic about passing all those people stuck in their cars during rush hour. And while the roads aren’t great, cycling infrastructure in Atlanta is improving quickly. And in a few years, as the Atlanta BeltLine is developed through Ormewood Park, my bike commute will be a safer, flatter, and even quicker trip, nearly door-to-door along the path.
Q: Tell me a bit about the artwork you have displayed on the Beltline. How did that opportunity come about?
A: Bicycle-themed kinetic sculpture has been a hobby of mine for decades. But six years ago, when I walked away from my “corporate” dentistry job, I wound up with more free time than I had planned, so I was able to let my creative side shine. My wife suggested I submit a proposal to the BeltLine—it’s amazing to think that now my sculptures are part of the Atlanta scene and have been viewed by hundreds of thousands of BeltLine users. I still produce new sculptures for the BeltLine about every other year, but my main installation has been on permanent display since 2012.