Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

OMG Heyward shirtless!!

I was reading the local fish wrapping this morning when I came across an odd article about the Braves’ Jason Heyward. Apparently Heyward has put on some weight from last year, which is cause for uncomfortable sentences like these:

Jason Heyward reported to spring training Monday, then jaws hit the floor. Millionaire athletes reached for words to describe the masher from McDonough, whose already epic physique has become more so…

Most of his added weight appears to have been distributed across his muscular shoulders. Simply put: dude is shredded.

And yet, Heyward has maintained the narrow waist and V-shaped back that he had last spring training.
Um.  Right.  So I get that the guy is big.  But am I the only one who found this an odd lede for a sports article?  Well, maybe for baseball – middle aged men slobbering over the physique of teenagers is pretty common in football, so much so that my alma mater’s leading blog has coined the term ‘shirtless’ for 5-star recruits.  So I guess we can wait for posts that scream “OMG Heyward shirtless!”

Also, La Madre reaction to the article was “he’s on steroids, right?”.  I think part of the oddity of this article is that I remember when guys like portly Terry Pendleton and lanky Fred McGriff were typical ball players – as a smaller youth I was drawn to the game precisely because you didn’t have to be omg shirtless to play it well.  Mark Lemke was entirely average at 5’10” and 167 lbs – as a 10 year old, I could aspire to this.  I’m not used to viewing ball players as physical specimens like this, even though I get entirely too excited when I read about all the weight some sophomore defensive lineman put on over the summer.

American by birth; Atlantan by choice.

What genius gave me access to this thing? Look out now! My name is Sarah and I’ve been an Atlanta resident for about 4 years. I was born in Tallahassee, FL, and spent most of my life in southwest Georgia. From da woods to da ‘hood, y’all. I’m a bit delayed in making a post, but now I’m going to make up for it.

So, I have recently returned to the dirty south after spending a week in the frozen north; more specifically, Boston. Anytime I grow weary of Atlanta– be it due to the combination of soul-crushing heat and lung-crushing pollen, or the never ending traffic jams– traveling out of state always makes me appreciate Atlanta more.

Yes, Boston’s public transit would kick MARTA’s ass in a cage fight. But public transit in Boston is actually boring. Efficient, but not as entertaining. People just sit on the train and stare blankly, either at a newpaper, cell phone, or inside their coffee (maybe they are reading the grounds and trying to predict the future– who knows!). On the other hand, one of my favorite pastimes is taking out-of-town friends on MARTA because it seems like that’s when all the good stuff happens. People break out into spontaneous rap battles. Random dudes start preaching about the apocalypse and how we’re living in the End Times. Bums regale me with elaborate stories in an attempt to coerce a dolla’ dolla’ bill from my pocket.

And speaking of panhandlers; I think if you can deal with them in Atlanta, other cities are no problem. They are passive by comparison. Our bums are the stuff of legends.

The drinking establishments in Boston are way too homogenized and sanitary. I understand that smoking is uncool (I’ve never been one of the cool kids) but what else is a bar supposed to be if not a safe haven for people with vices? I have yet to find a northern equivalent to the Earl, El Myr, or MJQ, and that’s because I don’t think they exist. Part of the atmosphere of dive bars is that you leave feeling like a toilet and smelling like an ashtray. Sure, there are a lot of great non-smoking bars in Atlanta, but I like that we have options. In Boston, there’s no option, except to stand outside and suck on your nicotine stick in the snow. Amurrica is about FREEDOM! And that means the freedom to pollute my body as I see fit, dang it.

On the other hand, they do allow alcohol sales on Sundays, so… you win this round, yankees.

We also don’t have an Atlanta equivalent to the Harvard Douche. The worst you might encounter is a particularly intoxicated Tech student. (But at least they will fix your computer in exchange for a 12-pack of Natty Light.)

Probably the biggest thing I noticed is how people in Atlanta are much friendlier to tourists. Maybe it’s the Southern hospitality, or maybe people here are just tired of the entire South being stereotyped as backwards, so we’re enthusiastic about showing that Atlanta does indeed contain culture and history (well, the parts Sherman didn’t burn during the War of Northern Aggression). But mainly I think it’s because we actually feel bad when people visit here, given that the urban sprawl is atrocious, the highways are deadly (at best), the surface roads are all named Peachtree, most of the cool stuff is inaccessible by train and the bus routes make no sense. We want to help out tourists, not shun them. People in Boston, on the other hand… not so much. There is a disdain for tourists that floats in the air so thickly, it’s almost palpable. And I’m not just talking about the fanny-pack-wearing, “I’m going to stop in the middle of the sidewalk and block the flow of pedestrians so I can get a new Facebook picture in front of this old building” types of tourists. They seem to dislike anybody who might want to see (and, gasp, photograph!) some historical sites.

Also, Boston accents are not sexy. If I had to hear another person say “lobstah chowdah” I might have jumped off the Charles River Bridge. I’ll take a drawl any day!

Yep, I’m glad to be home.

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?

Is Atlanta "Home" To You?

I moved to Atlanta in 1995. September will be 14 years for me. During this time I can say with certainty that I’ve never felt at home in Atlanta. For me Atlanta is a place I live, not home. I’ve wanted to move but situations have kept me here. I’m not complaining in the slightest. I have a great life here, great relationships and opportunities. I’m not in a hurry to get somewhere else, although my house is for sale. I won’t get into all the reasons I want to leave, most are out of my control.

What I want to know is does Atlanta feel like home to you? If so, why? What do you like about it? Why do you choose to stay?

if we had named that panda p-dizzle would they want him back?

hagin by me

hagin' by me

time’s up…..

for zoo atlanta’s pandas that is. the lease on the giant pandas is up next year and zoo atlanta announced today it needs to raise $500,000 to reach the $2.5 million they need in order to renew the lease with the chinese on lun lun, yang yang and xi lan (mei lan is going back to china no matter what.)

it sucks that zoo atlanta doesn’t have the cash on hand to do this, but you know the drill, economy bad, corporate sponsorships are down, etc. etc. so anyway, the zoo is coming to you and asking for a membership or a donation or whatever you can do. they have set up a web site, give so they can stay, and you can check it out for more info.

i realize there are so many worthy causes hurting for money right now, but pandas, pandas are one of the things that make us big-time, in select company. and they are awesome.

you guys know how much i love these pandas. during the winter when i was going through a rough patch one of the things that got me through the day was pausing for a mintue and watching p-dizzle on the panda cam. i even bought a membership to the zoo so i could walk over there any time and see them. those animals are to me citizens of this city and part of us.

i hate this panda lease game with the chinese, but it is what it is. maybe this is the same kind of blackmail professional sports teams play with cities to get new stadiums, but damn does it work.

i think they are worth trying to keep here.

so who would come to a “keep the pandas here” party if we at the atlanta metblog were to throw one. maybe we could raise a few bucks.

who’s with me?

Missing Boot

Photo © Sara Hindmarch 2009

Photo © Sara Hindmarch 2009

As found near Twain’s in Decatur. This would’ve been the highlight of my night, if not for the vodka from a Crystal Head.

People Watcher

I was at Lenox Square yesterday and became transfixed by all the diverse folks walking around. I get this way at Hartsfield-Jackson too. I love to people watch. Sometimes I play a game where I create a story for someone.

The mall and the airport are great people watching locations, obviously. Back in the day when we had festivals and concerts at Piedmont Park, that was also a great place to people watch.

What are some other places in Atlanta to enjoy all the diverse folks that live here?

Songs About Atlanta: Soul Food


One of my favorites from Goodie Mob. One of the best things about Atlanta is all the great restaurants. In this song the Goodie Mo B mentions one in particular that every ATLien must experience, The Beautiful. Without a doubt some of the best soul food I’ve ever tasted. Don’t know if JJ’s Rib Shack is still open but I bet it’s good too.

“Come and get yo soul food, well well
Good old-fashioned soul food, all right
Everythang is for free
As good as it can be
Come and get some soul food”

Songs About Atlanta: Oh Atlanta

Ever heard this one? It’s a good one. Alison Krauss belts out this song by, oddly enough the English band, Bad Company. Krauss and Union Station’s arrangement of the tune has a decidedly southern feel.

“Oh, Atlanta, hear me calling, I’m coming back to you one fine day. No need to worry, there ain’t no hurry, ‘Cause I’m, on my way back to Georgia, On my way back to Georgia.”

If you’re a fan of the ATL, maybe crank this as you taxi down Hartsfield-Jackson or sit in traffic on 75 north.

Cut From The City?

Maybe you heard the piece on NPR on Wednesday about pay cuts at the High Museum of Art? Here’s my short recap: “Everyone at the museum’s getting a small, 5-7% pay cut, with the worst of it given to martyr the head of the museum. Oh, except for some people who are taking a 100% pay cut or something. Whatever.”

But I’ll admit that I’m just bitter. My wife was one of the people laid off from the museum on Monday. The story, though, will be that the High brass bravely took pay cuts. [This is where I cut some honest criticism for the sake of politeness.]

Here’s what the actual NPR piece sounded like:

“Five percent for the majority of the staff, six percent for the [department directors], and seven percent for myself.”

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