Thursday, June 24, 2004

Things to do in the City of Peaches

In a comment below on my "Underground" post, someone asked about fun things to do in Atlanta, especially for kids, in the way of educational entertainment. I decided to respond here since my reply was getting too long for Haloscan, and also since this way it is much easier to add links.

I haven't been to Fernbank Museum of Natural History and Science Center yet, but I hear it is fantastic. (I need to get out more, apparently.) That'd be a great place to take kids.

Also, there's the High Museum-- they have a neat folk art secton now. I think you can get in free on some days, but you might want to check on that for sure.

The Botanical Gardens are supposed to be cool. I've seen billboards all over for an interesting artist's exhibition there right now.

If you have time and can afford it, visiting the Fox Theater, even just for a matinee, is an amazing experience. The ceiling alone is worth the price of a play. Of course, I have this great friend who works there who gave me a free tickets once (the only time I've been), but I know if you live in town you can be an usher and see shows just by handing out programs. If only we had the time! If you have the opportunity to see something there, do.

This place is quite scary to me, but if your kids like puppets...

Let's see... they are building the largest aquarium in the South right here in ATL, but I don't think it is supposed to be finished until next year. If you can make the drive, though, the aquarium in Chattanooga is wonderful. I've been there quite a few times, and have taken many groups of campers to see the seahorse exhibit there.

That's about it...I really haven't been in Atlanta long enough to recommend much else. I would suggest touring the Atlanta History Center and some of the historical areas-- I think they have some houses that survived Sherman's march somewhere around here. I also drove through this cool covered bridge once out west of the city near Mableton, but I don't remember how to get there. (See how helpful and specific I am?)

I've never been to the World of Coke myself, although I'm looking out the window at the huge, lighted Coke sign near the Underground right this very minute. I hear if you can drink $7 worth of Coke, it justifies the tour. Actually, with the lack of sleep I've gotten since last Monday, maybe I could do with that much caffeine... ;)

I hope this inspires some of you to visit our fair city. I'm still amazed at how much downtown ATL feels like a miniature New York-- I don't feel like I'm in the South at all. Though the public transportation here is terrible (Marta is NOT always "smarta," as my professor found out yesterday before class), and the traffic insane, I'm getting used to it.

Mainly, though, I think I enjoy the little corner of the metro area where we live the most--northeast of the city, just near the Perimeter (I-285). Doraville, after all, as the town signs announce, is "a good place to live." (What can I say, though, when I grew up in a place that declared itself "A Friendly Town"?) We live just around the corner from Buford Highway, where you can walk two blocks and barely see a sign in English. It's the multicultural capital of Atlanta, and I love it. Most of our neighbors are either South American, Central American, Mexican or some other Hispanic origin. Of course, we've also met many people from Korea, Ethiopia, China, Sweden, and the Ivory Coast. The world at our doorstep, and so many of them who have never heard the Gospel. What an opportunity we have! Atlanta's urban sprawl is a long way from my tiny rural hometown of Geneva, Alabama (population around 5,000), but I think living in Birmingham during college helped me make the transition. After two years here, it is really starting to feel like home.

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