October 14, 2006

Thoughts on Atlanta

1. I've come down with a mild stomach .... "problem", so that has taken some of the wind out of my sails.
2. There is just one word to describe Atlanta, "sprawltastic".
3. I love the MARTA and am always shocked when I come out of the tunnels in a near-empty cab and see the interstates backed up and barely moving. I have the choice between taking a bus from Buckhead down to the convention center or the MARTA. After one try on the bus, I bought a MARTA pass.

4. About above-mentioned traffic, it is only bad during rush hour, which begins around 7am and ends at 7pm. Otherwise, the roads are fine.
5. Real estate seems very reasonable - there were some condos nearby that start at a mere $1.3 million.

6. Unfortunately, Atlanta businesses seem short on money, as there are several skyscrapers that appear to have been left unfinished for lack of funds.
7. I was walking around five points and was really getting into downtown. The tree-lined streets, the area with the fountains and statues, the city feel. Then, I turned the corner and somebody asked me "What the hell you looking at n*****." Yeah. I was actually a wee bit intimidated so I just kept on going, which is what he told me, in so many words, to keep doing. This reminds me of the trip I took to Pittsburgh, when my wife and I decided to walk home from the restaurant. The bridge crossing was great, as was PPG plaza, then suddenly we were in a "seemingly" sketchy area. That is the problem with visiting new cities it seems. I'd like to add here, that my wife and I were once nearly attacked by a homeless man at the corner of Franklin and Columbia in Chapel Hill back in 2000 during the big snow storm in February. So, it can happen anywhere I guess.
8. I have met a lot of good friendly southern folk. The fella I sat next to at dinner last night (just some random bar), the people at MARTA (very nice and helpful), and folks at Publix (God I miss Publix, my favorite grocery store all through grad school), and some real nice people ON the MARTA. Have I mentioned that I love the MARTA?

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