Featured photo for Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, GA

Ok, photos from Atlanta, Georgia are now posted. Includes gay bar scenes!

I came to Atlanta with pretty low expectations. This is mainly due to the following:

  • Atlanta is consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. Indeed, its police chief has recently claimed that his city underreports crime and that Atlanta is actually the most dangerous city in the U.S.
  • I’ve never been a big city type of guy, disliking the crowds and traffic that plague most large cities. To compound matters, Atlanta is infamous for its sprawl.

While my brief visit to Atlanta did not dispel these notions, I do have to say I never felt unsafe or threatened during the daytime in the downtown and midtown areas or The Underground (an underground mall). Traffic was definitely better than San Francisco’s, though Atlanta is decidedly less pedestrian friendly particularly outside of downtown and midtown. Much of Atlanta has no sidewalks or bicycle lanes, even in places where the roads were wide enough to have 6 car lanes.

I also did have fun in Atlanta. Here’s an email I sent out describing a rather interesting night:

I didn’t care for Atlanta that much though I had a few adventures out there. I will very briefly tell you about one of them. So on Monday-Tuesday I met some other travelers (Bryce from NY and Liz and Peter from Scotland). On Tuesday night we all went to a bar to do karaoke, though upon arriving we found out it was a… gay bar. (They did do karaoke at midnight, however.) Now, Peter the Scot was particularly excited by this (that we found ourselves in a gay bar in America) so we stayed. Peter particularly got into the gay scene (schmoozing with a whole group of gay dudes, getting interviewed by a TV crew doing a documentary and saying things on camera like “oh yeah I think it is all right for married guys in America to have an affair with a gay man” in his Scottish accent, etc.) During karaoke I sang a Garth Brooks song but I guess I didn’t do the most impressive asian country singer impression because no one was stuffing dollar bills down my pants, as was the case with Peter (who sang three Beatles song and sounded like the 5th Beatle.) Or maybe it was because I wasn’t rubbing my stomach or thrusting my pelvis like Peter. In any case, we had a blast, although it was sad that no gay guys were hitting on me, oh darn!

I drove down to Atlanta from Knoxville.  This photo depicts the skyline of Atlanta's downtown and Georgia Tech areas.
At the Atlanta Hostel, I met two Scots named Liz and Peter and a German named Alex.  We all went out for a bite to eat at a deli not too far away from the hostel in midtown.
Here we are inside the deli.
Later that night we played pictionary.  Here is Alex drawing the pictures for Peter, which was probably a relief to both of them, due to Peter's art skills (or rather a lack of them).
We also stopped by the Fox theatre where "Gone With the Wind" premiered in 1939.  Did you know that (a) the movie is still the highest-grossest movie of all time and that (b) it's the best-selling book of all time after The Bible?
On Tuesday morning we went up Stone Mountain.  My legs, still tired from the Knoxville Marathon, thanked Liz and Peter for insisting we take the lift round-trip instead of walking up.
Felix Wong in front of the carving of Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, which is supposedly 3X larger than the carving in Mt. Rushmore.
This was a water clock in the little village at Stone Mountain.  It was at least 133 years off!
Later that night we all went to a karaoke bar that turned out to be a... gay bar.  Here is Peter the Scot looking a bit drunk (but really was not) with a gay dude whose name escapes me at the moment.
Peter (who, I am pretty sure, is heterosexual like Bryce, Liz and I) really got into the gay scene tonight and is seen here humping his new buddy.
This is Liz the Scot singing.
Later, Pete even got interviewed by LOGO (a gay and lesbian TV network) who was doing a documentary here!  As his reward he got a T-shirt (and had to sign a disclaimer.)
This is Felix Wong singing a Garth Brooks song.  I don't think too many people down here have seen an Asian country singer before...
Peter helps his new buddies sing a song.
Peter goes solo.  He sounded like the 5th Beatle!  Unfortunately I did not get any pics of the best scenes, which were some of the gay people putting dollar bills down his pants while he was singing!
Bryce, the lead guitarist of the pop/funk/rock band Hyjinx, was from Long Island NY and also part of our group.  He, not being gay, was quite the heartbreaker since everyone (by which I mean guys) thought he was totally hot and people kept buying him drinks!