I came across the April issue of Atlanta Magazine, with the cover title of 50 Things Every Atlantan Must Do. Intrigued, I grabbed the magazine and flipped to the article. Inside I found facets of Atlanta, I didn’t even know existed. This isn’t the first time this has happened. The most recent ‘Best of Atlanta’ issue of Creative Loafing also showed me that I have been missing out on what’s going down in Atlanta. Now, I consider myself an Atlanta native. I wasn’t born here, but I have spent the majority of my adolescence here as well as my late 20′s and live here now with my family. After reading this article I was finally inspired to kick off my Atlanta bucket list. I’m ready to become a tourist in my own city. I want to embrace the city for everything it’s got and leave no neighborhood or pocket of history uncovered. Armed with my Atlanta bible I’m ready to set off into the city, all with my boyfriend and baby in tow.
Very quickly I picked out some of my favorites, visit Oakland Cemetery, go to the ATL playscape in Woodruff Park, as well as I marked off some things I have already done, such as the Georgia Aquarium and The Varsity…. which I may add, sounds delicious as I write this. After testing my Atlanta I.Q., which is number 50 on the list, I was horrified to see I fell in the ranks of an amateur Atlantan. Unacceptable! Now, at home I tear out places, stores, museums, festivals, expos, etc. out of newspapers or magazines and post them on the fridge. I map out Atlanta and its hidden gems and when I have free time or an off day I set out to whatever destination I have chosen. My fridge has led me to the man-made beach down in Clayton Co. where the summer ’96 Olympics held their water events. But it was closed when we arrived, sadly but we were still able to walk around and check it out, all the water was running and the park was on, but no swimmers allowed that day. I’ve made it to Richards Variety Store which holds a crazy selection of random. From baby toys to coffee mugs with Jesus to pot leaf-shaped pot holders. I myself bought some Sea Monkeys and a couple of gangster salt and pepper shakers. We also went to the potion shop! Yes I said it, potion shop, do people even know that it exists?? Well it does, down on Mitchell St. sits Rondo Distribution Co. I do say though, if you are just going to peak your curiosity, don’t expect any help from the staff, clearly only seriously knowledgeable parties need shop. Needless to say, if what I was looking for was to be educated on witchcraft and it’s practice, the staff here wasn’t giving out lessons. The ATL playscape in Woodruff is amazing! Great build and it looks great sitting in the park amongst the skyscrapers and the downtown traffic, best of all it’s great for all ages. I went with my boyfriend and son after lunch one day and I think we had more fun than our 1-year-old did. Oakland cemetery is beautiful and when walking through it you truly feel as if your walking with legends…. even if they are dead. I didn’t get the chance to take one of the walking tours, because we got there after 6:00pm but I do plan on doing this in the near future. They even do a Halloween tour!
I’ve been to the soon to be departed Georgia Dome for numerous Georgia State University Panther’s games, as well as the Falcons games. I’ve made to a couple of Hawks playoff games at Phillips arena and even caught an Atlanta Thrashers game back in the day. Centennial Olympic Park lights up their trees around christmas time and puts up an ice skating rink. I have walked the park and admired the Christmas lights and giant Christmas tree but have yet to brave the ice. But I have all intentions of doing this holiday season. Fingers crossed I don’t twist my ankle or break my arm, sever a finger. Some other items on the 50 things every Atlantan must do list are at no. 2, treasure shop on Antique row, which conjures up Atlanta’s best Antique shopping at the Broad and Peachtree intersection in historic Chamblee. Number 11 is visit the Sun Dial to experience a 360 degree view of Atlanta, my parents use to go here on their anniversary, I too hope to honor their marriage by celebrating an anniversary of my own here. Number 19 is visit the Atlanta History Center and relive the 1996 Olympics after that, number 26 is sip a Negroni at the Georgian Terrace Hotel. Some other mentions are the Zoo Atlanta, The Chattahoochee’s devil’s stairsteps and time warping at the Plaza Theatre.
So my adventures in Atlanta continue, and every day I seek to delve deeper into my community. There is always something going on in Atlanta, it amazes and excites me that I can happily spend the rest of my life experiencing the city. I do feel as if I will never run out of things to do in my beautiful city. The best and worst relationship I’ve ever had is with Atlanta, and you know what they say about love, it’s a two-way street. Every day its a breath of fresh air, something new to learn, taste, smell and see.
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