Is Atlanta Southern?

Last week at work we got into a heated discussion on this question, is Atlanta a southern town? Most of my co-workers said no. I vehemently argued that Atlanta is a southern town.

Maybe since I’ve lived in the south my entire life (I know, lame) I have a different perspective? However I have done some traveling and seen lots of other cities. I think it depends on where you go in Atlanta. There are pockets of true “southerness.”

Drive down Peachtree Street on Sunday about 12:30 p.m. You’ll see church after church letting out. Folks parading in their Sunday best heading to lunch. Go to The Colonnade on Chesire Bridge. Even in Buckhead, where I work, I see lots of old Atlanta. I meet the perfumed ladies and seersucker clad gentlemen with that “old south” accent.

Generally folks down here are friendly. We’ll help someone with directions. I find that folks are open to talking and meeting new folks. I’ve found those same qualities in New York and San Francisco but you have to be more intentional in meeting folks. Atlanta doesn’t have that urban energy and heartbeat that New York or LA has. Atlanta’s pace is more relaxed, especially in the summer. Where else will you hear, “Ya’ll,” spoken so frequently?

True Atlanta has changed and is an ever-growing urban city now. Still I think that Atlanta will always maintain an air of the south. What do you think? What makes a town southern anyway? Is Atlanta a southern town or are we simply just a city now? Does Atlanta still have its southern charm?

2 Comments so far

  1. tomitron (unregistered) on September 2nd, 2009 @ 9:35 pm

    the only universally recognized requirement for being designated “a southern town” is the availability of sweet tea. As for Atlanta’s southern charm, i don’t think it ever had much–it’s entire history has always been about making a buck. Savannah and Charleston have southern charm; Atlanner don’t. we’re still just a pretend city anyway.

  2. VVB (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2009 @ 12:57 pm

    I think ATL is as southern as a big diverse city can be. We have the tradition of a southern town just look at the food and drink choices. Also, look at the driving habits, people will just stop and let someone who doesn’t even have the right away go, just to be nice. Also, the southern manners by gentleman are very apparent and you do not see them everywhere.

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