Atlanta - the city too busy to notice that no one likes us anymore. In a matter of hours we lost a museum, a Fortune 500 company, a few thousand more jobs and a monster truck-load of pride.
Meanwhile, our former Golden Boy of a mayor is doing the I’m Not Really A Perp walk for local media every day. At least no one cares enough about Atlanta to send much in the way of national media to cover this sorry state of affairs. Otherwise, we would be The City Too Pitiful To Hate.
Enough whining. Shirley has a boatload of damage control to do now, and she needs every citizen to help The Beloved Cause. So let’s get started. For once, can we all just forget the “global arena” for a few seconds and concentrate on our own backyard? Every PR person and spin-meister in town needs to roll-up their sleeves and get to work in there.
Forget Hollywood for a moment. Pretend California doesn’t exist. Go native. Go local. Eat at the Varsity. Go to spring training at Georgia Tech. Annoy people at parties by droning on about the time your brother fell out of the Pink Pig when it used to be at the downtown Rich’s. Remind them of the Pink Pig’s resurrection at Lenox every Christmas.
Don’t stop there. Tell friends and family about the stunning fireworks display at Lenox every Fourth of July. Do not leave town for vacation this July 4. Stay here this summer and go see that one urban wonder alone.
Grab a laptop and head to the world’s hottest Wi-Fi spot, Hartsfield-Jackson. Don’t worry if you can’t even power the thing up. Just pretend! Trust me, Hartsfield-Jackson is the best place in town to find a date. Think about it, not much else to do while passing through except strike up a conversation with that hottie on the laptop next to you on Concourse T (the coolest concourse by far). Sure beats Match.com.
Visit the Zoo. Take a Republican to Manuel’s Tavern on some of our new sidewalks. Drive around Nisky Lake. Take a tour of Auburn Avenue and see what’s happening there. Then keep going and be stunned by the trendy urban renewal efforts going on in any direction you head.
People in in-town neighborhoods, get with the program. Bore colleagues to tears by going on forever about all the majestic trees on your street. Pretend you’re a wild and crazy youth again by eating at the real Majestic on Ponce.
Tell a Yankee about the local music scene and our venues where the world's trendiest acts pass through: The Variety, Eardrum, the EARL, the Tabernacle. The Symphony’s got it going on, or what about that hilarious children’s show every Saturday at Dad’s Garage Theater in Inman Park? Talk-up amazing local radio stations like AM1160, WRFG or WRAS.
Fly in Sir Elton and make him drive around the perimeter until things improve. Send Jane Fonda back to Hollywood until we perk-up. Re-enact something! Anything.
Heck, everybody, make a wacky film about traffic conditions and send it all over the Internet. Better yet, make a cool artsy film about, say, Oakland Cemetery and send that all over the Internet.
In addition, be sure to drive down Peachtree Battle when the azaleas are in bloom. Then blog to the world that if that’s not the prettiest boulevard in springtime on the face of the planet then you’re Ashley Wilkes. The world will be hard-pressed to argue back about that.
And please, visit the Aquarium and then walk through Centennial Park at dusk. If you get mugged, blame me. I live just a mile or so away, and likely always will.
But hurry, the azaleas won’t last long. I hear Peggy Mitchell’s ghost is threatening to move to Macon. And Lewis Grizzard’s is headed to Charlotte.