Thursday, August 6, 2009

Oh, Atlanta

so i'm reading "all over but the shoutin'" by rick bragg, who - as earlier mentioned - is from my home state of alabama. in his last section of his first book he writes about when the new york times moved him to atlanta to cover the south as a national correspondant. his quote sums up how I feel about this place so well i laughed out loud and then immediately had to share it.

"i knew, from reading about it, that it was about as southern as a snowmobile, a pretentious city striving for some kind of ridiculous national or interntional acclaim, or - as one native son once said - just a lot of really nice conventions. I have always been uncomfortable around people who are somehow ashamed of their heritage, who went to speech school to get rid of their accents. atlanta is like that. it tears down it's history with wrecking balls, and builds something bland and homogenized in it's place."

but don't be offended. he goes on to say some nice things too. and then he talks about traveling the south and he mentions my first food love:

"i write late intothe night at the tutweiler in downtown birmingham, and try hard to turn down that second cheeseburger at milo's over by uab, which has the best one in the whole wide world."

I laughed out loud again.

1 comment:

ian bowling said...

A similar point is made in the chapter on Atlanta in Confederates in the Attic by Horwitz. He says southern people like to get up in arms and bemoan Sherman's famous march to the sea when he burned Atlanta to the ground as some huge loss of history and culture, but Atlanta has been tearing itself down for the last 150 years in an attempt to keep up with "modern" northern cities.
I'll Take My Stand by the Rural Agrarians with their offensive against the demise of southern culture by the northern industrial movement is more the camp I find myself in these days.
Let's start shuckin corn and canning some beans.