Posts Tagged 'Atlanta'

This is CNN

Hello all.

Phew, what a day yesterday. As I said, JonXP and I headed into Atlanta downtown, which is to say we traveled from one city to another, slightly bigger city, via a city. We took the rudimentary-but-gets-the-job-done rail system in, and found ourselves at Five Points, the central station. Just outside is the entrance to the Underground, which is really pretty cool. In the Civil War, Atlanta was burned to the ground by the famous Union General Sherman, as forever immortalized by Gone With The Wind. When the time came to rebuild, instead of clearing out the rubble that was left, they built right over it. The space below the street is now a shopping centre with a lot of the original brickwork still on show. Very interesting, but hellishly difficult to photograph.

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From there we traveled on to the CNN International Headquarters, which actually proved to be absolutely fascinating. The tour wasn’t much in the way of content, but what was there was pretty great. After ascending on the world’s longest freestanding escalator into a giant globe, we walked along a little corridor at the back of the studio where a show was going out live that very minute (re: Obama’s healthcare speech). It’s highly surreal to see the back of the anchorman as the autocue scrolls away in front, with the weatherman away to the side. Also, you know how you always see the people on computers in the office behind the anchors, and everyone thinks it’s a fake? Well, it’s not. In fact, I got to see possibly the most Unbearable Person On Earth at one of the desks. A tubby early-thirties chap with long frizzy dark blonde hair and an excruciatingly fastidious manner. Really quite something.

Anyway, after this we visited the Coke museum, but decided not to go in, and then trundled over to Little Five Points, which is a small bohemian enclave lurking a little way from the centre of town, smoking a spliff and trying not to draw attention to itself. Very cool place, reminded me a lot of those weird little areas in London that somehow house thirty different tattoo parlours on one street.

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Everywhere has ‘tobacco accessories’ on sale, which is exactly what you think it is. Some of them are really very inventive. We then went to Vortex, which is the skull-adorned place from the previous post. Inside, the objective as I understand it is to eat the food before it eats you, though the decor does its best to distract.

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After heading home and sloughing off the city from myself, I headed out once again and joined up with Sara Lynn and Aneurhythmia for the night. We went to a nice place out on the fringes of town, where I could get a good glass of white wine, and then headed to Aneurhythmia’s place for smash bros. and lounging around, and also somewhere to crash. This morning I met Sara’s cat, who is teething, and had the ubiquitous ‘biscuits’, which turned out to be scones. All very tasty. After a brief jaunt in the park, though, it was time to come back here to Jon’s place.

And now we’re off again, to eat copious amounts of barbecue.

Tomorrow is an all-day drive to New Orleans, where I’m staying for the first time in hostel accommodation, so it’ll be a while until you next hear from me. But news shall follow!

‘Til next time.

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Rainy days in Georgia

Hello all,

JonXP – whose daughter calls me ‘Fwippy’, by the way – took me on a grand tour of the sights of Atlanta today. However, I am off out to sample the nightlife with Aneurhythmia and Sara Lynn, so I’ve no time to stop and post today. I’ll make up for it tomorrow. In the meantime, have some photos:

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Write-up tomorrow!

– Fwippy

Peachy

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:

“Hello?”
“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?”

Oops.

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.


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