Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Isn't It Peachy

Magnet # 428:  Symbols of Atlanta

Material:  Rubber

Purchased By:  Me

It was on this day in 1847 that a rather small town in Georgia that had previously been known as Thrasherville, Terminus, and Marthasville was incorporated under the name of Atlanta.  Over the past decade, it had built up to become the railroad hub for the state, after it had pretty much been picked off a map.  When the first freight and passenger trains finally began rolling in, they allowed the community to grow and thrive.  And when additional lines were added that ran from Atlanta to places like Macon, Savannah, and Chattanooga, the town boomed even more.  Of course, all of the businesses and progress proved to be a detriment when the Civil War broke out and Atlanta became a critical supply hub for the Confederacy.  Sherman and his troops were sent to the area, and they burned nearly every building in their path to the ground.  But the people of Atlanta were not broken by this assault, and they rebuilt an even greater Atlanta, one that developed into the South's commercial and industrial center.  In 1868, it became the state capital and continued to grow into the twentieth century.  And during then, major companies like Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines began to spring up and their headquarters in the city helped it to become even greater.  Atlanta has had its share of troubles, likes its 1906 Race Riot and KKK activity at nearby Stone Mountain, but it's weathered the scandals.  Even a 2008 tornado couldn't slow this city down.  And the symbol of the city has become the phoenix, after Atlanta's miraculous ability to rise from the ashes.

I'm pretty sure I've spent more time in Atlanta that any other major metropolitan area in the United States, certainly in recent years.  It's a great place to meet up with my family in Montgomery, as they just have to head three hours east and I drive four hours northwest.  It's certainly quicker than either of us making the full six hour drive to either Montgomery or Savannah.  I also have a few friends in and around the metropolitan area that I sometimes head up to visit.  I guess I make it to Atlanta about five times a year, so there are some parts of town I'm pretty familiar with.  I've checked out quite a few of the city's tourist attractions, like the Georgia Aquarium, the High Museum of Art, the Center for Puppetry Arts, the World of Coca-Cola, and the Fox Theatre.  And, yes, I've toured the Georgia Capitol there and had a look at its infamous two-headed cow.  I've also found a few restaurants there that I really like, including Silk, an upscale Midtown Asian fusion restaurant with excellent sushi, Brio Tuscan Grille a casual Italian eatery, the Buckhead Diner, which is a pretty elegant place in a traditional diner setting, and the Oriental Pearl in Chamblee, which features traditional Chinese dim sum.  But the most memorable Atlanta eatery I've tried may be Dante's Down the Hatch, which serves fondue in an environment decked out to resemble a ship and nearby buildings.  There's even a moat underneath the diners, complete with alligators and turtles.  Dante himself is often on hand to meet with his customers, and he has all sorts of interesting stories to share with them.  In fact, a friend of a friend was dressed as a pirate when he ate there and Dante challenged him to a duel and even brought out swords.  If you're ever in the city, this is one place worth stopping by.  And while I enjoy my trips there, I'm not sure if I'd ever want to move to Atlanta.  The traffic there is just a disaster, typical of a big city.  And they make matters worse by naming about half the downtown streets Peachtree - it's pretty confusing.  There's Peachtree Street, Peachtree Road, Peachtree Boulevard, Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Peachtree Parkway, and so on.  It's enough to make a driver nuts!  Regardless, it's fun to know it's just a short drive away and I'm sure it won't be long before I'm on the road to Atlanta once again.


  1. You forgot to mention the shopping. For those of us living in shopping challenged locations, Atlanta is like Mecca. You can spend all your time and money with a plethora of possibilities for both.

  2. You're right - Atlanta is one of the best places to shop in the Southeast, and I have plenty of goodies from there.