my hometown

Recently, a friend sent this my way, and i thought i might share it with my regular readers – namely that one guy in New Zealand. You know who you are.

While I currently reside in Raleigh, NC, i come originally from the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, a peculiar town with a blend of southern tradition and metropolitan sensibilities.

And so here is “A Guide to Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is composed almost entirely of one-way streets, all of which are named “Peachtree (something),” and change names at least once before reaching their terminus or the city limits. The only reliable way to find one’s way out of downtown Atlanta is to turn around and start over once you reach Greenville, South Carolina.

All directions start with, “Go down Peachtree….” and include the phrase, “When you see the Waffle House….” (except in Cobb County, where all directions begin with, “Go to the Big Chicken…”)

Atlantans only know their way to work and their way home. If you ask anyone for directions, they will always send you down “Peachtree”.

The City Planners of Atlanta have intentionally made it physically impossible to drive around one block and wind up on the street you started on. The Chamber of Commerce calls this concept a “scenic drive” and has posted signs to that effect so that out-of-towners don’t feel lost… they’re just on a “scenic drive”.

Outside of the Perimeter, “Sir” and “Ma’am” become common use in casual conversation if there’s a remote possibility that the person being addressed is 30 minutes older than the person speaking.

Ponce de Leon Avenue can only be pronouned by a native, so do not attempt the traditional Spanish pronunciation. Natives will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you. (The Atlanta pronounciation is “pahnss duh LEE-on” or simply “Ponce“.)

If you notice that all the drivers on the road with you seem to immediately forget all traffic rules, this is likely the result of a single drop of rain falling. Similar effects have been known to occur with daylight savings time, a girl applying eye shadow in the next car, or a flat tire three lanes over.

If a single snowflake falls, the city is paralyzed for three days and it becomes the lead news story on all the channels, and as a news flash every 15 minutes for a month. All the grocery stores will be sold out of milk, bread, bottled water, toilet paper, and beer if there is a remote chance of snow, and in the rare case of actual snowfall, people will be on the corner selling “I survived the blizzard” T-shirts.

It is always a Smog Alert Day.

Construction on Peachtree Street is a way of life, and a permanent form of entertainment, especially when a water line is tapped and Atlanta’s version of Old Faithful erupts.

Construction crews aren’t doing their job properly, and likely don’t get paid for the day unless they close down all lanes except one during rush hour.

The typical 8am rush hour is from 6:30am – 10:30am. The 5pm rush hour extends from 3:30pm to 7:30pm. Friday’s rush hour begins on Thursday morning and lasts through 2:00am Saturday.

So-called “reversible lanes” are a concept seemingly not understood by anyone in the state, especially those who live in the city limits of Atlanta. Stay out of them unless you’re looking for a head-on collision.

Atlantans are very proud of their race track, known as Road Atlanta. It winds throughout the city and on the Interstates, and, weekend or weekday, it’s always race day.

Interstate 285, the loop that encircles Atlanta and has a posted speed limit of 55 MPH (but you have to maintain the mandatory 80 MPH just to keep from getting run over), is known to truckers as “The Watermelon 500.” Georgia 400 is the southern U.S. equivalent of the Autobahn. You will rarely see an 18-wheeler on GA400, because even the truck drivers are intimidated by the oversized-SUV-wielding housewives racing from home after a grueling day at the salon or ALTA match to meet their children at the school bus coming home from their college-prep preschool.

The pollen count is off the national scale for unhealthy, which starts at 120 – Atlanta is usually in the 2,000 to 4,000 range. All roads, vehicles, houses, etc. are yellow from March 28th to July 15th. If you have any allergies at all, you will die.

Atlantans, moreso than the residents of most other metropolitan areas, do not believe in turn signals. You will never see a native signal a turn at a stop light, to change lanes, or to merge. Never. Ever.

Atlanta is home of the international Coca-Cola Bottling Company. That’s all we drink here, so don’t even bother to ask for any other brand of soft drink, unless it’s made by Coca-Cola. And even then, it’s still called “Coke”.

Gate 1 at the Atlanta airport is roughly 32 miles from the Main Concourse, so wear sneakers and pack a lunch if you plan to fly into or out of Hartsfield. Also of note is the fact that the doors on the trains in the airport, unlike those of an elevator, do _not_ reopen if you stick your hand or other body part between them as they close. And they hurt.

1 comment

  1. people in georgia do use a turn signal including the natives