And so I am in Atlanta, home of Coca Cola, Martin Luther King, and peaches. Lots and lots of peaches.

Did you know that in Atlanta alone there are over one hundred different roads with the word ‘Peachtree’ in?

Guys. Guys. Come on guys. That is a silly thing. That is not conducive to navigation.

JonXP picked me up, though not without some complications:

“Hi Jon, it’s Phillip”
“Oh hi there, yeah”
“I just wanted to say, we’re in traffic, so gonna be a bit later than expected”
“Oh that’s okay, I’m sitting here at the station already, so…”
“Yeah, I’m not sure exactly where the station is, he said ‘downtown’ but that looks-”
“Uh, downtown?”


Turns out Jon thought that I was getting off at the previous stop, which I didn’t actually know existed until I was there. Chances are we were sitting entirely oblivious, just metres from each other. But, he followed me and took a faster route, so by the time I got there he was only ten minutes behind.

Atlanta is a big city that, from what I know of its history, has no actual purpose for existing. As in, someone just decided that they’d simply build a settlement there. This means it has been able to expand a great deal in every direction, and the suburbs are so dense that they’re more like small towns in themselves; constellations of housing orbiting the central, glassy mass.

That said, it’s not all that glassy. Last year a tornado blew through downtown, knocking out quite a few of those bespoke glass panels. They’re still refitting them, and what I initially thought were arty black panels in the side actually turned out to be cavities in the corporate smile.

I arrived in the worst part of town – a theme common to all Greyhound stations so far – and what struck me is that, economically speaking, it looked noticeable worse off than any other city I’ve been to yet. Or rather that part of it did. Tall grasses were growing through the paving, sirens were sounding close by, and many of the buildings were smashed in and/or deserted. Though not for want of residents. As we were driving out of town, some homeless people were being rounded up, not forcefully, by the police, and Jon told me of Atlanta’s problem with comparably high rates of poverty. I wonder if I’ll see anything more like this.

On the way back we stopped off at a diner where we were served simply ridiculous amounts of food for under ten pounds or so – so much so that we brought a bunch of it back and will probably finish it off tomorrow. Food over here is incredibly cheap. We then stopped by Krispy Kreme and I had a hot doughnut fresh off the line. Except it wasn’t so much a doughnut as some sort of airy bag of sugar into which had been weaved a trace amount of pastry. Tasty, but I don’t think I could eat more than one without having a seizure.

Jon has an adorable daughter, three years old, who upon getting used to me being about the house, proceeded to vigorously demonstrate the nature and usage of every object to hand. So now I know what a washbasket is, and a button, and a guitar, and a rubber ring, and a badge… But now, I think I better acquaint myself with a bed. More news, as ever, tomorrow.

6 Responses to “Peachy”

  1. 1 Garrett 23/07/2009 at 1:30 am

    Krispy Kreme owns bro.

  2. 2 asimperson 23/07/2009 at 2:59 am

    I can’t think of a Greyhound station I’ve ever been too that wasn’t in the worst part of town.

    Anyway, your main goal for Atlanta needs to be to GET SOME BBQ. My favorite is the Swallow at the Hollow way up in Roswell, but if Jon’s an ATL lifer then he’ll know better than I do.

    Overall, Atlanta lacks somewhat in touristy things to do but does not lack in good local eating. None of which is good for you. I don’t think it’s a coincidence I lost weight after I graduated and moved out to California.

  3. 3 Houn 23/07/2009 at 8:13 am

    I concur. Krispy Kreme, while tasty, cannot be eaten in large quantities. There’s something evil and ephemeral about them…

  4. 4 JonXP 23/07/2009 at 9:46 am

    I was mentioned!

  5. 5 Arminas 23/07/2009 at 10:15 am

    Share with us your newly found wisdom, Flippy. What is a rubber ring used for?

  6. 6 Annie 23/07/2009 at 5:07 pm

    I’m sure I’ll repeat myself if and when I run into you, but just in case:

    The Greyhound station in downtown Atlanta is actually right next to the city jail, so it is absolutely one of the rougher areas, if not one of the most destitute. It’s also really close to Magic City, a strip club often named in rap lyrics and nearly as often portrayed in music videos.

    As far as purpose is concerned, Atlanta wasn’t originally the capital of Georgia or its biggest city. It grew as a major railroad hub, joining coastal and western rail lines. That’s why it was burned to the ground during the Civil War. Of course, rail isn’t quite the industry it used to be, but it still runs through Atlanta. It’s also the busiest air transportation hub in the world now. But yes, the exurban development is a fucking blight.

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