We’re in Atlanta for the weekend. Sorry friends that we aren’t getting in touch with. It’s always tough to come back here because we can book every possible second catching up with friends without seeing everyone. We’re here for a high school reunion, hanging out and seeing old friends (we’re reaching the age where you can read that phrase two ways.) Swoopy of Skepticality was kind enough to invite me to participate on the podcasting portion of the Dragon*Con panel and I really wanted me to do it but it just didn’t seem doable to make the trip two weekends in a row. Now that I’m here though, I kind of wish I had agreed. Oh well, there is always next year.
I was absolutely flabbergasted when we drove in yesterday, coming in from the east on I-20 and up 75/85 to 14th Street at 5 PM on a Friday without ever really getting in stop and go traffic. What has happened to this place? My first thought is that there must have been some kind of horrible pogrom that thinned out all of the shitty rubbernecking drivers that used to jam up every possible driving surface. Then we exited into Midtown and I found them. My faith in the consistency of the city has been restored.
Dinner with friends last night was good. It’s weird, but we had to think hard how to work the interstate. I couldn’t remember if you could get on to GA 400 if you get on I-85 from W. Peachtree, forgetting about the cutover at Sidney Marcus. Then we had to remember how to get to Sandy Springs down Glenridge. I’ve spent 11 years here at various times and yet when we come back driving is always tricky. I never fail to get where I want to go, but it may not be the optimal route or in the first attempt. I can see how the place would complete confound the out of towners who don’t grok at first that there’s a difference between say, West Peachtree and the west part of Peachtree.
During the visit we’ll go to the park where we used to walk Gracie. They raised money for renovations by selling bricks in the central part, and the one we bought has her name on it. I’ll Flicker a photo of it soon.
I’ve had a growing love/hate thing with this city for years. It’s a good place and I enjoy being here yet the last stint when we lived here, I couldn’t wait to leave by the end. As a city, it has a lot of problems and I think the Atlanta of 2006 is much less charming than the Atlanta of 1985 I found when I first came to college. Still, it is filled with memories for me and I can’t claim that I don’t have a good time when I’m here. I now think the best strategy is to visit more frequently and make sure to never ever live here again.