Don't consider this an apology for the Hot(lanta) Takes segment we posted at DSS earlier this week. It was too easy a segment to name to pass up. But so you know where we stand on that issue, here's a piece on things you probably shouldn't say to an Atlantan when you come to town to see your club lose to Atlanta United in 2017.
And because Atlanta has the world's busiest airport, is the capital of the south and was the epicenter of the American Civil Rights Movement, I've thrown in some things you might want to see when you are here as well. Or you can pretend Atlantans actually go to things like Underground Atlanta or the CNN Experience and do those things instead.
Let's start with some things not to do...
Don't...call it Hot-lanta.
Every time someone calls it Hot-lanta, an angel loses her wings. Or somewhere in sports heaven, Mark Wohlers throws another slider ahead in the count to Jim Leyritz even thought he has one of the best fastballs in the major leagues and Leyritz hasn't touched it yet. (No, I'm not still bitter 20 years later)
Seriously, this name is the Nickelback of nicknames. The nickname itself is a remnant of Atlanta' late 80s and early 90s push for national relevance and was heavily marketed when Atlanta won the bid for the 96 Summer Olympics. But it hasn't been cool since then either.
If you have to use a nickname for Atlanta, use "The ATL", though be gentle with that one because even that is getting a bit dated.
Don't...make jokes about William Sherman burning the city down.
We know that the north won the Civil War. And we are all too aware General Sherman made "total war" and war crimes fashionable by burning the city down and killing civilians doing so. The thing is, Atlanta moved on.
Guess what? Atlanta is and was the epicenter for the Civil Rights movement and home to leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young, Congressman John Lewis, Ivan Allen Jr., Hosea Williams, Maynard Jackson, Ralph McGill and others. In fact, if you are in Atlanta, it would be well worth your time to head down to the Sweet Auburn district and see where Dr. King and others formed the spiritual center of the Civil Rights movement. You could also visit the King Center, and later the Carter Center, named for President Jimmy Carter. If you visited both those places, you'd learn Atlanta is the only city in the world home to two Nobel Peace Prizes.
Don't...rip the traffic.
Oh there's no traffic where you come from, I guess?
Yes, it might not have been the greatest moment in the history of civil engineering and city planning when some folks decided to merge three of the south's largest interstates in one section of downtown Atlanta, but we've all moved on. And at least in Atlanta the drivers in your morning gridlock are likely to be friendly. Use the HOV line and be glad you aren't on the 405 in LA.
Don't...tell us that New York or LA hip-hop is better.
Cool, is this 1985? 1995? Then your hip hop probably isn't as good as ours, sorry. Yes, Outkast are from here. Don't ask where they live.
Do- check out other tremendous Atlanta hip hop acts like T.I., Young Jeezy, Usher, Lil Jon, Gucci Mane, B.o.B., Ludacris, 2 Chainz, everything Cee Lo has been in but Goodie Mob for sure, Soulja Boy, Akon, Killer Mike and Ciara.
Don't...say this is a bad sports town.
In addition to being really tired that argument isn't even factually correct anymore. The Falcons finished in the top half in the NFL in attendance to capacity in 2015, better than the Patriots, Giants, Jets and the Steelers. Good talk though.
The Braves have placed in the top half of MLB attendance 21 times in 25 years, while winning divisional titles 15 times in that span, and wild card berths on two other occasions.
And the NFL and MLB aren't even the city's sports passion. That would be college football. Atlanta is home to the College Football Hall of Fame, the SEC Championship game, the Peach Bowl, the Chick Fil A Kick-Off Classic and more than a million passionate college football fans who make pilgrimages all over the south on Saturdays in autumn. Given that college football is the second-most popular sport in America, and Atlanta is its most passionate city, I think that more ore less answers that argument.
As for soccer- well, let's just say Mexico never has trouble selling out and the Gold Cup crowds filled the Georgia Dome this summer.
Don't...go to CNN Experience or Underground Atlanta.
The only reason to go to the CNN Experience is to eat before a Falcons or Hawks game. And Underground Atlanta is a miserable and reasonably dangerous experience that can't be explained and shouldn't be experienced.
Try Fox Brothers and Fat Matt's BBQ on back to back days instead, and then have a bloodfight over which one is better. Or do the Sweetwater Brewery tour, to figure out which Sweetwater beer is best. Or lie about going to Stone Mountain without actually ever doing it, because that place is frightening in that dudes who look like the guys from Deliverance still meet there at night. But no one does CNN or Underground.
Everything in Atlanta is called Coke or is owned by Coca-Cola. Especially Emory.
Also no one likes Pepsi. Have some self-respect.
Yes, people really are that nice here. Enjoy it. And if someone says "Bless your heart," you are probably being rude, because they are calling you an asshole.
As for things to do, some are mentioned above. Here's a couple other suggestions.
Do...eat a burger at Holeman and Finch.
Yes, Waffle House is amazing.
Yes, there is a place in Thomas County, Georgia where there are two Waffle Houses on opposite sides of the street, and it is one of the wonders of the modern world.
But there are other places to eat in Atlanta, and Holeman and Finch is among the best of them. They only make a few hamburgers a day. You should try to make sure you are one of the people who gets to eat them. Not a meat eater? Fine. They have incredible stuff to eat there that is farm to table.
Do...hit up The Varsity before you watch your club lose to Atlanta United.
Whadd'ya have? Try the orange drink. And the chilli cheese dogs.
Do... brunch at Einstein's.
This place is a staple. They have a bloody mary bar. And a dish called buttermilk chicken eggs benedict. You're welcome.
Do.. go to the world-famous Georgia Aquarium and see the dolphin show.
Sit up front.
Do...happy hour at Euclid Avenue Yacht Club in Little Five Points.
This is every dive bar you've ever been into college but with better food (the Brunswick stew is LIT). Sure, it smells of Axe, cigarette smoke and occasionally, Patchouli, but there are sharks on the wall and a jukebox and the neighborhood is like Portland on southern hospitality. Plus, the city's best soccer pub, the Brewhouse, is just up the road.
Have other Atlanta things you'd suggest? Hate all of my ideas?
The comments are yours.