Sunday, May 30, 2004

Because the landlord is selling the house, I have to move at the end of June. With all the rental difficulties I've had living in Atlanta, people might wonder why I'm so dead-set on staying here. When I first meet people from rural areas of the south and I tell them I live in downtown Atlanta, their eyes get wide. "Ooooh." they say, knowing that I must be wicked or gay or just plain odd to want to live here. They don't say those things to my face though. What they talk about is usually the horrific traffic, or our crippled public services (water, library, or police force).

The people who fear and loathe Atlanta just don't know the city like I do. Or maybe they do know the city but fear its racial problems or pollution. It takes a certain sensibility to live in the Dirtiest South, I admit. But for those great doubters, I will now offer up my top 5 reasons to live in Atlanta:

1) The neighborhoods.

Honestly, I talk more to my neighbors here in the city than I ever did in the suburbs. People in Atlanta are generally friendly! I love the neighborhoods of ATL, many of which are named after their own park system (Inman Park, Candler Park, Piedmont Park, Ansley Park etc.). I also love how each of the parks reflect the sensibility of that neighborhood. Inman Park, for instance, is rarely mowed, alllowing the wildflowers to run riot, and contains the old staircases of houses long town down embedded into weedy slopes. Piedmont Park is always carefully trimmed, best dressed to show the city how much it wants to be the center of attention. Ansley park has a lot of landscaping, formal flower beds. Other neighborhoods include Midtown, East Point, West Side, College Park and oh, the list goes on and on. And in your neighborhood there are people just like you, and lots of dogs that get walked, and a barrista who knows your name and how you take your coffee (half soy milk, have coffee of the day, with a shot of chocolate).

2) Public Transportation

Sure, it's old, and sure, it needs more money. But I don't have to own a car. Can you say that about your Southern city? Nope! We're the *only* Southern city with true mass transit. Bite me.

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