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. (Pepsi doesn't exist)
- “Bless your heart.” Seems like someone with a caring concern for you, 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 people from Florida (which is NOT the South). 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 walkable city and if you aren’t directly at a train station, you’re screwed (if you're riding the bus, clear 4 hours of your schedule and you might get there on time but don't count on it). I’ve included a map so you can see the full awesomeness of MARTA’s line. The Yankees always call it “The MARTA.” ‘le 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 its self the Rodeo Drive of the Atlanta (as if). 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.” Almost 20 years ago.
- Almost every street is named “Peachtree” something or other. It’s pretty confusing. But we don’t mind. It’s just the Yankees who get lost (and the people OTP).
- 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 and say Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening. Which--to be honest--creeps me out a bit. Southern hospitality is great and all, but pan handlers use this as an 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.
Are there fun and/or unique things about your city?