Thursday, January 11, 2007

Meet me at the crossroads

Being in Atlanta last week has made me appreciate DC a little bit more. This was my third trip to Hotlanta. The first was during college, when I went to the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site and the High museum. The second trip was for a wedding, and I was too busy with bridesmaid related activities that I didn't see much of the city. That is, besides the bars and restaurants in mid-town near our hotel. This time I spent a whole week, and while I was working for most of it I did make an effort to go out and explore. Atlanta has always been nice, the people especially, but that is just it, nice. It isn't exciting, or full of energy, and it doesn't seem to have a soul. Atlanta feels like any other big city to me. Take away the sweet tea and the grits, which can be found anywhere in the south, and you could be in Any City, U.S.A. The aquarium was clearly the highlight of the trip. It is the largest aquarium in the world, full of amazing species of fish and animals to gaze at for hours, and we did. But it was disappointing in that there was little, or no, information available about the aquatic life. I don't know, the whole city is just missing that "something" that makes it feel alive. The point was driven home when we visited the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau's booth outside our hotel. We asked the kind man inside where all the people were, and where all the action was downtown. He stated that we were standing on the corner of what he considered the crossroads of Atlanta. The center of the city. I took a moment, and looked around. Behind me was the hotel. In front of me was an empty storefront. Across the street there were two restaurants, capturing all of the attention of the people on the street. There, The Hard Rock Cafe, and Hooters, represented the heart of Atlanta. The visual confirmed my doubts. As a guest in a town, I try to experience what makes that place unique. Whether it is cheesesteak in Philly, Canolli and a stroll around Central Park in New York, the beach in Miami, the architecture of Paris, the pigeons in Venice, or the beer halls of Munich, it is that special part of the city that stays with you after you have gone home. Atlanta offered me Hooters, and I don't care much for wings.

3 comments:

darprice said...

Oooh. Ouch. Now I'm from ATL (at least, I think I remember I am now with my travelling show these days) and it isn't as bad as you make it out to be. It is DEFINITELY not Chicago, Boston or DC, but it is a small piece of America. While it is a large city, it still carries a small town feel. Next time you are out, give a shout and we'll go play at little 5 points or the Highlands. The pace is slower, but there is still plenty to do and see besides Hooters...

Pop Princess said...

I have to agree...although the five points district is not so bad. But Atlanta just doesn't do it for me either....not sure but maybe it's because I almost died there and got to spend 5 weeks in a hospital were everyone calls you maam and when I could eat they offered me collard greens and grits. What? Go figure.

number4of5 said...

Dar...Sorry. We did make it out to the Highlands one night and had a good time, it was MUCH better than downtown. Perhaps it is the pace that I have such a hard time with.

pop princess...I laughed when you first wrote this, and I am still laughing now. Maybe I hate Atlanta so much b/c you almost died there.