I am back from Georgia. Thank God.
Just kidding. But I really am back. That was a very short yet enlightening trip. I had never been to any of the states between Washington D.C. and Florida except for Raleigh so for me this was like visiting a foreign country with the intent to move there.
I must admit that the area of GA I visited was like nothing I had ever seen.
I read in an article somewhere that Atlanta was one of the top ten fastest growing cities in America and a wonderful place for real estate investments. Basically the kind of place I am looking for to settle down: somewhere not nearly as urban as NYC or Miami but somewhere that's not entirely rural. On paper at least, it seemed like a good place to start a life. Again. My cousin Elizabeth who lives in Marietta, suggested that I checked out that area because she simply loves it and as far as she is concerned, that's her version of heaven.
Anyway, this week I packed my bags and went to explore.
A few days before I got there, my mom, en route to NYC, stopped to take a peek and she called to tell me that Marietta was the place I was looking for: a New Jersey meets Germany type of place. I was excited. Very excited.
My general impressions were nothing like what I was expecting. The first two days I was there were spent mostly exploring Marietta. Sure, it has a lot of positives; but that place is far too rural for me. I like trees as much as the next person; however, the thought of having to live in what felt like the middle of nowhere worried me. For every two cars I saw on the road or otherwise, there was at least one pick up truck. The homes seemed very isolated. In terms of the people, I stuck out like a sore thumb. I guess I haven't lost my big city edge. Maybe I am just used to stylishness and over there that appeared to be unexistant. Hard to say. But people in general looked disheveled to me and I think that how you project yourself says a lot about the lifestyle you lead. I may be bummy but always stylish :P
Another thing that worried me about Marietta was some of the things I saw. Some of the homes had confederate flags hanging. For obvious reasons I found that troublesome, which then turned to worrysome when while driving around with Grant we spotted a sign that read “Stop the invasion – secure our borders now!”. I have never had to deal with such an in your face form of racism and ethnocentrism before in my life and I don't intend to go out looking for it now.
Atlanta, on the other hand, was wonderful. To me, downtown Atlanta looked a lot like Greenwich Village. It was a whole lot more urban than I anticipated but far less urban than I am used to. The people seem a little more worldly all the while they seem far more laid back. That I REALLY liked. I actually even saw an area that I really loved where I could totally see myself living. It had everything I love from Tasti D-Lite to IKEA and the city as a whole seemed less racially aware though this was probably because the area is more diverse, even if by diversity I mean mostly African American.
As a whole, I find Southerners to be very charming. I loved the accent, the hospitality, the politeness and am sure I would have loved the food were I a fan of fried stuff, meat, or seafood. I had a difficult time when eating out because they don't seem very accomodating when it comes to food and I am the first to admit that I am a picky eater, especially now that I am allergic to pizza but that's a whole other post.
As I mention before, I met Grant. We had dinner together last night and had a really nice time. Though he was quieter than I anticipated and far more willing to go in the general area of a church as he lets on, he was great company.
In any case, I dont' know if I'll move to GA for sure. There is a lot I need to think about before I do; however, for the time being I think that Atlanta would be a very good fit for me. I guess I have my work cut out for me now...
Oh and these are just so you can see that I survived and that I even enjoyed it...