Travel Blog — Visiting ATL
My Long Weekend in Atlanta
It’s been called the “New York of the South.” It’s also known as “Hotlanta.” But however you refer to Atlanta, know that it is definitely a city to visit.
I was in Atlanta for a writing conference. It was my first time attending such a conference in Atlanta. I was excited at the opportunity to get to know the city.
And, believe me, I experienced a lot of Atlanta over four days.
To begin, I stayed at Hilton Atlanta on Courtland Street in the Northeast section of the city. My hotel was in the heart of everything. I had access to other hotels, restaurants, and the MARTA, Atlanta’s transit system. Buses and trains were within walking distance of the hotel. There’s even a trolley service that runs through the tourist section of downtown Atlanta.
On the first day of my conference, I was able to walk over to the location, Constellations, to check-in. Many of the classes were being held at the library. the Auburn Avenue Research Library for African American Culture and History. The walk was about 10 minutes from my hotel.
On day two of the conference, the workshops were located at Wine Shoe and Parlor Den, This was in the Southwest section of Atlanta. And this is when I learned that Atlanta is not a walkable city.
The GPS on my phone gave me the impression that the workshop location was only six minutes away by walking, That was wrong. Wrong. So wrong!
It took me nearly 30 minutes to reach the southwest area. But I did see some sites as I walked towards Wine Shoe. I walked by Peachtree Center where The Hub contains dining and shoppimg. There was Centennial Park and the Olympic Rings. There was the giant white Ferris wheel. There was the CNN building and the State Farm Arena. Right next door was the very large, very shiny, silver gem, the Mercedes Benz Arena. It was a gorgeous piece of architecture.
I saw the Hard Rock Cafe and its newer iteration, Reverb, the Selfie Museum, and art galleries. Wine Shoe is located in the arts and culture section of Atlanta. There was a lot of open space alog with apartments and condos. . A very eclectic area. It reminded me of Boston’s SOWA (South Washington) district.
Parlor Den was a restaurant/bar. It was small but cozy. It was a dimly lit venue. The staff was alright. But I was charged $5 for a bottle of water! I had walked so far that I needed to drink something. I figured the water would be an inexpensive item. Wrong again!
The evening culminated with an event at Neyows, a Caribbean restaurant. There was a rooftop party hosted by Black Writer’s Weekend. However, it was so hot up there. We didn’t stay long. We were given free water but there wasn’t enough shade. The music was my speed, Hip Hop & RnB, but it was hard to enjoy with the sun burning my flesh.
Before leaving Atlanta, I was able to shop at one of its popular malls — Lenox Mall. The mall is located in an upscale section of downtown Atlanta. It was a large mall with three floors. The lower floor was the food court. You need to go through a security gate to enter the food court. I had never seen that before but I was told by some workers that shootings occur often at the mall.
Lenox Mall has similar stores to Copley Place or South Shore Plaza. The main difference is high-end and low-end stores are mixed together. There was Nike Store and an Apple Store with an Armani Exchange and a Coach Store next to each other. There was an Alritiza next to a Gap and a Macy’s competing with Bloomingdales for customers.
Overall, the Lenox Mall is nice but nothing out of the extraordinary. I prefer another chance (and will do so) to visit other areas of Atlanta and see what the city’s culture and shopping really have to offer.