Last week, my friend Nilsa wrote a post about the unique culture of her home, Chicago.  I was so entertained while reading it, I have been inspired to write my own about my hometown Atlanta.  The capital of the South.  (That’s right, we capitalize South)

  • “Coke” means any carbonated drink that isn’t water or an energy drink.  Even then, and enery drink can occasionally be referred to as Coke.  Pepsi, Sprite, Fanta…whatever, it’s a Coke.  Other places say “soda” (weird) and “pop” (extra weird), but we just want a Coke.
  • “Bless your heart.”  Seems like a concerned saying, maybe even a compliment.  Not so, my friends.  This is a back handed compliment (which we have perfected down South).  As in, “Bless her heart, she’s from New York.”
  • “Yankee”  Anyone born above the Mason-Dixon Line, and even people from Florida.  And, down here, it’s not a compliment.  Everyone from Atlanta knows, Yankees are rude, loud and don’t have any manners.  Their mothers’ didn’t teach them right.  “Bless his heart, he’s a Yankee, you know.”
  • MARTA.  Our only means of public transportation.  Which is a joke.  Pretty much.  We refer to it as the train that goes no where.  Atlanta isn’t a very walkable city and if you aren’t directly on a stop, you’re screwed.  And, it takes forever to get anywhere.  I’ve included a map so you can see the full awesomeness of MARTA’s line.  The Yankees always call it “The MARTA.”  ‘sigh’
  • That circle around the map is called, “The Perimeter.”  AKA I-285.  It’s a highway that goes all the way around Atlanta so if you don’t want to drive through the city, you don’t have to.  “I live right outside The Perimeter.”
  • Which leads to the next item, OTP & ITP.  Inside the Perimeter and Outside in Perimeter.  I live ITP which makes me cooler than everyone who lives OTP.  That’s just how it is.
  • Everyone who lives in a 30 miles radius of Atlanta considers him or herself “in Atlanta.”  Those of us who actually live in Atlanta don’t appreciate this.  This 30 mile radius is referred to as “The Metro.”  As in “I live in the Metro, only like, 20 minutes from Buckhead.”
  • Buckhead.  How does one describe Buckhead…Buckhead seems to think it’s self the Rodeo Drive of the South.  If you want to buy Prada or Guicci, go to the mall there.  If you want to run into famous people, there.  If you want to way over pay for valet and a meal…you got it, Buckhead!  And, if you stay out late enough, you’ll probably see someone get stabbed.  Entertainment for all ages.
  • We don’t like Florida.  There are too many Yankees.
  • If you say “I’m watching the game” in the Fall, it’s University of Georgia or Georgia Tech.  If it’s summer, it’s the Braves.  We love our Braves.  In general, we don’t care for the fans from out of town.  They don’t have manners like we do.
  • Every time the Braves are sucking someone inevitably says, “They won the World Series, ya’ll.”  Like 15 years ago!!
  • Almost every street is name “Peachtree” something or other.  It’s pretty confusing.  But we don’t mind.  It’s just the Yankees who get lost.
  • In Atlanta, you must look everyone you pass on the street, ride in an elevator with, open a door for in the eye and smile/nod & say Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening.  We which, to be honest, creeps me out a bit.  Southern hospitality is great and all, but pan handlers use this as a great in.  But it has been coded in our DNA to acknowledge everyone’s presence.
  • We buy manners books and read them.  And refer to them when in doubt.  I love that about Atlanta.
  • It’s still a big deal (somewhat) if your ancestors owned slaves.  That proves you had an influential family at one point and your roots go deep.  It’s not that we believe in slavery or that is was okay by any means.  However, this mind frame doesn’t do anything to heal our huge racial divide.
  • Little 5 Points.  This is the “we’re so artsy we’re dying for it and I have every orifice pierced” part of town.  Goths every where.  Kitschy little head and consignment shops.  It’s a great place to visit.  Fortunately, it’s right down the street from my house.  Every high school kid in The Metro thinks hanging out in Little 5 Points makes him cool.  It’s that season again.

Are there fun and/or unique things about your city?