February 20, 2007

Atlanta, GA

atlantashoppingmall.jpg

L and I were in Atlanta this weekend, visiting friends and family. I took this photograph from our hotel room at about 7 PM on Saturday night.

I used to live in Atlanta, and a lot has changed in the almost ten years since I've left. It was going through a huge building and population boom then, but today Atlanta has become what I call Los Angeles without the beach. There's no rhyme or reason to the development, and strip malls and housing developments seem to be placed with all the urban planning skills of a blind man throwing a dart at a map. Granted, a four bedroom house in Atlanta costs less than a 700 square foot apartment in New York City, but, at least in my neighborhood, independently owned businesses outnumber chain stores by ten to one and everything I need is within walking distance. The most walking I did in Atlanta was through the airport, and if I had wanted to get to the shopping mall seen in the distance from our hotel I almost certainly would have had to drive.

Part of what I liked about Atlanta when I lived there was its green space and abundant trees. But that's quickly being lost to what some people would call progress. A place where a friend and I used to go mountain biking is now an office park. They literally paved paradise to put up a parking lot. As much fun as it was to see everyone, I was a bit distressed to drive around the city and not see much of a city at all, just one sprawling suburb. I was everywhere and nowhere all at once.

(Click on image for a bigger view.)

Posted by Doug at February 20, 2007 10:12 AM