I am part of a monthly blog circle with women across the globe. Each month we write about the same topic and link to each other. This months topic is to write about where we live – and I love Atlanta, in fact, in the past I have given historical tours of The Fox Theater, which is one of the few remaining atmospheric theaters in the United States, as well as the Druid Hills neighborhood, which is where the movie Driving Miss Daisy was filmed.
First of all, Atlanta is much more than Gone With The Wind. However, the most common complaint I hear about Atlanta is there isn’t anything old here. There is a reason for that. First of all, Atlanta is a young city, it wasn’t incorporated as a city until 1847. So – a mere seventeen years later, we had a visitor that was extremely careless with fire. In fact, General William T. Sherman destroyed 70% of the buildings What many people don’t realize, there was “The Great Fire” in 1917, which left 100,000 people homeless, burned almost 2000 buildings and covered 300 acres. So – it is not coincidence that the symbol for Atlanta is the mythological Phoenix, which rose from the ashes!
What should you do here?
First of all, EAT! Atlanta is foodie heaven! And, there is more than Southern food served here. However, if you want to eat good Southern food, and people watch, check into The Colonade, a better than average meat and two that was established in 1927 and still thriving.
However, Atlanta is home to some of the best ethnic cuisine around. Most cities have neighborhoods, like Little Italy and Chinatown in New York. However, we have Buford Highway, which runs for 30 miles from Atlanta’s Lenox Road to the city of Buford. On this stretch, it is possible to eat your way around the globe without leaving the road. You will find Mexican taquerias, regional Chinese cuisine, Korean barbeque, Vietnamese pho parlors, Maylaysian, Filipino and Indonesian food – and this is just for starters. You find places where you can barbeque at your own table, drop an raw egg into sizzling soup, eat out of a pot – the choices are endless. If you are up for an adventure, this is the place!
And, there is always the ART. I decided to concentrate on Atlanta’s public art, starting with the Krog Street Tunnel, which is known for it’s ever changing street art.
There is also the annual event, The Living Walls, The City Speaks. This is an all volunteer event that has produced over 100 walls by over 85 local and international artists in the city. This is like a scavenger hunt, traveling through the city and spotting walls painted throughout, many on abandoned buildings.
There is also The Beltline, a comprehensive, sustainable project that uses 22 miles of abandoned railroad corridors that connects 45 neighborhoods in Atlanta. Check HERE for some information about the art on the Beltline.
If you find yourself in Atlanta and need to make some quick cash, you can always be an extra in one of the television or movies being shot here. Atlanta is becoming known at the Hollywood of the South. Examples are: Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries, Dumb and Dumber II, Mockingjay, Identity Theft, Parental Guidance, Flight – the list goes on and on.
And, where do the stars go to relax? I seems as if everybody has been heading to The Clermont Lounge, the oldest continually operated strip club in Atlanta (since 1965). In fact, Jennifer Lawrence (Hunger Games) referred to it as a strip club for the elderly on Jay Leno. See a clip here from Anthony Bourdain’s Layover show at the Clermont Lounge interviewing Atlanta staple Blondie. In fact, the international band Mumford and Son recently got kicked out of the lounge. Click HERE to read what happened.
There is so much to tell about Atlanta, but I’ll leave it with this today. I have compiled a list of interesting facts about Atlanta that follows.
Two Nobel Peace Prizes live within the city limits, do you know who won them?
The first air conditioned department store was in downtown Atlanta
Atlanta is home to the world’s largest aquarium
The first coca-cola was sold here in 1886
Dorothy Alexander Concert Group opened in 1929 – who went on to become the Atlanta Ballet, making it the nation’s first regional ballet company
The Atlanta University is the nation’s oldest black university (founded in 1865) and is the forerunner of Morehouse College
Techwood Homes as the first publicly funded housing project in the United States
The Varsity Restaurant, a drive-in restaurant across the interstate from Georgia Tech, serves more Coca-Cola annually than any other place, 3 million servings a year.
The Atlanta Airport is larger than 45 football fields
The Peachtree Road Race, run on July 4th every year is the largest 10k race n the world.
Back to the “fire” – Atlanta is the only city in North America that was destroyed by fire as an act of war.