Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The ATL


Phallic ATL


This trip to ATL was primarily to see if I could live there since the CDC is headquartered there and they hire alot of my kind.

Short Answer: Yes.

Past Impressions
Back in 1996 I spent 8 months in Atlanta. I became very familiar with the path between Hartsfield airport and BellSouth downtown. At that time a good friend and native to Atlanta was living there and he was able to show me around town. I loved Atlanta then; the culture, the endless things to do and particularly the people, much more down to earth than Dallas. But after 10 years, how had the ATL changed?

Current Impressions
Its bigger, WAY bigger. While people compare it to Dallas, I object, it doesn't resemble Dallas in any way. It reminds me more of Houston, not just on population scale (circling 7 million metro) but on the sprawling 60 miles of city that you will traverse before actually leaving the city limits. You might want to allow 3 hours for that traversal since the traffic in ATL is comparable to midtown Manhattan, any day and any time of day it will be bad.

Although some natives object, I still feel Atlanta is a down-to-earth city. Everyone I came in contact with was helpful and friendly, with the exception of some coked-up circuit boy we met at HoeDowns (ATL's gay C/W bar), but drugged-up, bitter, bar people dont count for anything in the final analysis.

Its greener than I remember - everywhere, even Midtown, which is famously dense and urban, is also very green.

Its less diverse than I remembered. I specifically noticed the lack of Asian, Latin and Indian in the population, but maybe they hang out somewhere other than Midtown.

Dining
Dining out options are enormous and all that I tried were great. Instead of giving a low down on each I'm just going to recommend one.


Deb, Matt, Paula & Jim ramping up @ Einstein's Midtown

Einsteins
1077 Juniper St @ 12th
Atlanta, GA 30309
404.876.7925

Einsteins is a fantastic bar/resturant in Midtown with a spectacular patio. I liked this place because it was a mixed crowd; gay, straight, young, old, dressed-to-kill and uber-casual. Everyone seemed to having a great time. The drinks are killer and the food is even better. Definitely try the Artichoke dip, Calamari and Fried Green Tomatoes. At the bar they seem to have mastered the Mojito and Manhattan to everyone's delight, particularly me since I had 4 Manhattans, which is why I am sitting in Paula's lap :) lol

Nightlife
Nightlife options are almost staggering but again I going to recommend one.


Matt, Deb & Paula @ Red Chair

Red Chair
550-C Amsterdam Ave.
Atlanta, GA. 30306
404.870.0532

Sure I liked Einstein's, Hoe Downs (gay CW bar) and to a much lesser extent, Amsterdam (G&L dance club) but Red Chair was my favorite. Its more than the sleek curvy interior mainly accented in red and local artist's fare. Its the atmosphere and the fact that every night is a theme night. We went on Hip Hop night. Funny, I am not a hip hop fan but I really enjoyed myself because the big patio outside kept the music inside at a comfortable level. We were 4 of about 10 white people in a mainly Af.Am. crowd but noone gave us any 'you dont belong' looks.

I have to admit, you will find the most beautiful men in Atlanta here, beautiful black men.

Things To See

Georgia Aquarium

There are too many things to see in Atlanta but the one thing I will recommend if you only have time for one thing is the Georgia Aquarium, awesome!


Friends
Any trip is only as good as the people that you travel with and see along the way. So, thanks to

Paula
Who was crazy enough to hire me when I worked at Nortel and crazier to remain friends with me for these past 8 years. Paula and I travel so well together, we can spend hours and hours together, and more importantly we can be content going off to do our own separate things. If it werent for Paula I would not have met Deb

Deb
Who just recently relocated to ATL, is my female counterpart. We are so much alike in so many ways its almost scary; calm, cool and highly analytical. She was generous enough to put us up in her lovely home during our visit as well as toting us to and from Midtown twice a day. Thanks to my caffiene addicition, Deb also is quite familiar now with every Starbucks and Caribou in the greater metro area :)

Matt
Who I met in Dallas when he was a mere pup of 23 is now a handsome young man of 28. He is SO old, lol. Matt moved to ATL last year and much to my delight, he looks very, very happy now so I am happy for him. Matt was kind enough to navigate us through the many options of nightlife in the city.

You may already know Matt from his blog, My So Called Life

Sam
If you had the good fotune of reading Sam, The Honest Me before it was taken off the air, then you got a good eye full of some painfully honest blogging. I had never met Sam before this weekend but I had heard alot about him since Matt and Sam are roomies. He is smart, funny, sexy and surprisingly reserved in person.

You can see the rest of the Atlanta pics here Atlanta 9/2006





14 Comments:

Blogger Jason said...

Sounds like you had a very good time in Atlanta. I've only spent a little time there, but it looks great and I have friends that are itching to move back there!

Good to see Matt is doing well- he needs to blog ;)

I love your travel posts, you could totally be a writer for a travel mag or something.

11:42 PM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Thanks Jason!

I think travel guide writing would make for a fun career, maybe that will be next :)

8:23 AM

 
Blogger john said...

mI've never been to Atlanta but would love to visit the city.

12:16 PM

 
Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said...

Atlanta is a cool city...Peachtree Street, Avenue, Way...EVERYWHERE. You need a map just for the Peachtrees. I'm sure it's exciting figuring out where you're going to live. Nice pics too.

10:05 PM

 
Blogger Jim said...

John, I hope you get to see it!

7:12 AM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Thanks Steve, yes it is exciting!

7:27 AM

 
Blogger purpletwinkie said...

I heart Atlanta. I didn't know you knew Matt.

All this blogincest going on....you know who, you read who. haha

2:43 PM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Yes Scott, I knew Matt when he lived in Dallas, great guy!

4:34 PM

 
Blogger BRETTCAJUN said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:28 AM

 
Blogger BRETTCAJUN said...

Awww.... you are quite the looker Jim. Damn you are handsome! I am glad you got to see Matt again. I hope he cleaned out his car for you and didn't leave McDonald's bags everywhere. (lol!) Yes, Sam is a sweet guy too. Matt's the miscievous one you have to look out for. Sam is the angel. ;)

10:31 AM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Thanks Brett.

Yes, its interesting that you dont get the whole picture of anyone via reading them. Matt is very introspective in his writing but in person he is very much connected to what is going on.

12:26 PM

 
Blogger Matthew said...

Jim - great post - :-) - I guess I am biased lol - i enjoyed having you here - you need to move here - again me being biased

9:28 PM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Thanks Matt! I liked Atlanta so its definitely an option :)

1:05 AM

 
Anonymous Honest Sam said...

I had to stop by Jim, you are too kind. It was great to meet you as well. Lots of fun. We look forward to hanging out with you again. ;P

4:48 PM

 

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