After being an Atlantan for two weeks, I feel like I have gotten a small taste of life in the South. Or at least life in Georgia. I have been informed that Atlanta isn’t exactly the South. But if we’re going Mason-Dixon line style, I say it’s legit. I must confess, prior to my current stint in the ATL, I had never really spent a lot of time in the South. And I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that my family’s trip to Disney World when I was four years old probably doesn’t really count. While I don’t think two weeks has really given me enough time to fully experience all that the South has to offer, I do think life is completely different down here. It’s not just the movies exaggerating things – Southern living is different. Anyway, below are a few of my general observations, both positive and negative, about life in Atlanta, the “Capitol of the South”.
- Porches are amazing. I live in a nice neighborhood by a decent park and when I go for runs in the evening my favorite part of the run is checking out the various porches along the route. I mean, the park is nice and all, but the porches are amazing. Each porch is unique, but they pretty much all consist of a swing, a fan, and chairs. My favorite porches have the long white curtains on the sides. Breezy, casual, and quintessentially Southern. I have already determined that no matter where I end up living, a porch is a necessity. Porches are a part of Southern living that I am completely on board with.
- Southern hospitality might be dead. My friends and I have been very confused about the existence of this so-called Southern hospitality, because so far we have not experienced it. To be perfectly fair, this may be due to the fact that Atlanta traffic is horrendous. I would be constantly stressed out too if I had to commute on I-285 every day. Which brings me to my next point.
- Traffic is not fun. Atlanta apparently has the third worst traffic in the country. I believe it. Not to mention the fact that the streets make absolutely no sense to me.
- It’s all about the neighborhoods. On Friday night, I was walking around with some intern friends in Little Five Points, and I said to one of my friends, “You know, I don’t know what I pictured Atlanta to be like, but this was not it.” I mean yes, Atlanta has a downtown, but it seems to be fairly corporate. The cool bars and restaurants are all in different neighborhoods around the city. Little Five Points. The Highlands. The only downside to this is that as someone not familiar with the city it’s kind of hard to get a grasp on where stuff is located.
- People enjoy their leisure time. Compared to Denver, Atlanta is definitely not an active city. This is also because Coloradans are somewhat crazy about their outdoor activities, so it’s probably not fair to compare Atlanta to Denver. However, I also feel like generally speaking there are completely different attitudes towards leisure time in the South. If I have a few hours free in Denver, I will happily go for a trail run or do something active. If someone in the South has a few hours free, sure maybe they’ll go for a run, but they’ll also be glad to sit on their porch and enjoy a glass of sweet tea. My examples are extremely cliche and I apologize for that. Just trust me, as someone coming from Denver, it’s different here.
- Southern accents are great. I love listening to people with Southern accents. People in Atlanta don’t seem to have heavy accents, but every once in awhile, I will hear a great Southern accent. I am currently working on incorporating “Good lawd!” into my everyday vocabulary.
So far, I do not think Atlanta is somewhere that I would ever want to live long-term. For the short-term though I am going to make it fun! Some of the activities on my Atlanta To-Do List include:
- Braves game
- The Atlanta Aquarium
- Zoo Atlanta
- The World of Coca-Cola
- Sweet Water Brewery Tour
Also my friend Liz has been doing a sampling of red velvet cakes and cupcakes in Atlanta, and we have all been enjoying the fruits of her labor. Today we went to the Highland Bakery for cupcakes followed by pool time. Not a bad way to spend Labor Day Weekend!