You’re passionate about something, and hey, that’s great! It’s probably something infinitely important to you, like animal welfare... or hell, maybe it’s cosplay. You also probably live in Greater Atlanta, and that means you have really deep feelings about things that, to folks who don’t live in Atlanta, are pretty random and pseudo-ridiculous -- like fact-based opinions about MARTA or the Ying Yang Twins (is Kaine more talented than D-Roc?!).
The Margaret Mitchell House
For real, have you ever even been to the Margaret Mitchell House? Probably not. Why the hell would you? It’s a house where a book was written -- a book that’s basically the literary version of the song “Dixie.” And sure, people think Gone With The Wind was a great book, but people also think I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell was a great book. Both are actually wack. And nobody’s trying to turn Tucker Max’s boyhood Atlanta home into some weird shrine.
If you look up “Cabbagetown” on Google, the second result from the top is for the Cabbagetown Neighborhood Improvement Association. That tells you much of what you need to know, along with the increasingly popular hashtag “#keepCabbagetownshitty, which has become a bumper sticker and increasingly popular Reddit topic. Still, residents will get up in arms if anybody outside the neighborhood dares throw a masquerade ball and invites others who don’t live there to drink and dance in a graffiti-blessed outdoor space. Yes, shitty is how Cabbagetown will probably stay, so stop boasting that you live there or support it.
“2 Much Booty (In Da Pants)” by Soundmaster T
You can’t go a week without hearing this song on Atlanta radio. Nobody’s saying it’s not a really, really great song (it is). But why do we get so amazingly crunk whenever we hear that a capella opening? Is it the tempo, the usage of the word “booty” in the chorus, the anti-body-shaming celebration, or the nostalgia for the ‘90s? Whatever it is, Atlanta DJs, it’s too much sometimes, because obviously people here can’t control themselves and have to dance really hard whenever they hear it start.
Expensive dinner parties
People really want you to understand how serious eating is. You can’t simply go to a restaurant anymore. Now, you have to follow a dress code, arrive at a secret location, wear tribal face paint or some other weird decorative cosmetic symbol, eat things that are very strange, and post on your social media channels to make sure everyone knows what kind of freaky food experiences you’re spending half your paycheck on. To be fair, some of these events, like Dinner Bell, are based on Atlanta traditions that go back many decades. Others are just reasons for some goof (who you probably wouldn’t even hang out with if you met them) to charge you $100 per person to eat the same meal you could spend $40 on at a restaurant. But hey, you get to keep the mask!
Random farmers markets
You still can’t beat Buford Hwy or Dekalb for their super-diverse and affordable grocery supermarkets, where everything’s fresher, cheaper, and better-sourced than anything you’ll find at Publix. But some of the newer ones are popping up with stuff you never knew you wanted or needed, like sweet potato greens, at high prices. Still, you’ll never get in and out of a farmers market in less than an hour, because you simply have to taste all of the artisan olive oils. And you’ll get home having spent the same amount of money you’d have spent at Whole Foods. Why?!?!
Not even Coca-Cola, the blood that runs through Atlanta’s private parts, can captivate the minds and mouths of as many southerners as the refreshing mix of sweet tea and lemonade. People will spit on the floor and fight their waiter if they’re told the restaurant is all out of the sweet/sour thirst-quenching drink for even a moment.
People believe that southerners, by our very nature, have an insatiable lust for freshly fried yardbird. We love it and we celebrate it, because it’s tradition. But we don’t stop to think about the fact that we’re eating a creature that’s supposed to fly but is too fat, so it just wobbles, and basically only lives to be eaten. Should we care this much? Is fried chicken really something that you have to eat all the time just to live in ATL? Here’s something to ponder while you consider that last question: you can fry anything and it’ll taste good. Including buttholes. Seriously.
Using a T-shirt to communicate
Those “Atlanta Influences Everything” tees people are rocking right now are great, much like those “Never Sold Dope” tops and all the stuff you may have seen back in the day from Process, Esperanza, or Chilly-O. And you can understand the temptation -- it lets you convey to people how you feel without saying a word. But the result is that we have a bunch of passive-aggressive people who have eschewed conversation in favor of being walking billboards, even though these same people are probably adamantly opposed to being slaves to brands. Here’s a good idea for the next bigTt-shirt craze: one that says “I don’t know how to talk.”
Your phone’s camera is horrible. Actually, the food at the expensive restaurant that hooked you up with that “blogger discount” is horrible too, or else they wouldn’t have to give free food to randoms with smartphones. We know -- you want to be Atlanta’s “Next Top Influencer." But the field is crowded. And we’ve all eaten blistered shishito peppers, so we know what they look like.
The people who work at The Varsity are never, ever happy to see you, despite whatever you have trained yourself to believe, because they have to say dumb lines like “WhaddyaHave-WhaddyaHave-WhaddyaHave-WhaddyaHave” a zillion times a day to consumers who are too scared to challenge tradition rather than admit that The Varsity is wack. So you say it back to them -- you know, for the tradition. And you still eat a super-questionable chili dog made by people who do not like you, because that was what your Oldsmobile-driving grandaddy used to do when he got his Friday night check from the old Ford plant in Hapeville and didn’t know what to do with himself.
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