My traditional post-vacation love letter to the city I just visited starts... now

I had such a good time there last weekend in Atlanta. I want to go back.

Hanging out with my brotha' and going to the Falcons game rocked. And the ATL has so much personality... that's what I miss the most.

OK, I have two examples of Atlanta places I didn't even know existed, that really took me by surprise. First, I took a walk around my brother's neighborhood Saturday morning, and basically bumped into Alon's bakery. OMG it was so awesome. They had a huge-ass dessert case, sandwiches, cheese, wine... it was like heaven. I can't believe my brother lives two blocks from this place. I ordered a sandwich called "Asian BBQ salmon"... and it was incredibly good.

Then, Saturday night after the game, we hooked up with a bunch of my brother's friends at Gravity Pub in East Atlanta. Once again, I'd never heard of the place, but it was everything I like in a hangout: cheap beer, eccentric decor, and I don't have to impress anybody with my wardrobe or pay to get in. (And, you can park on the street for free, easily, without getting shaken down. What a concept.)

I think maybe my brother's friends thought I was weird, just standing on the stairs and soaking in the atmosphere. (Or maybe they thought we were both weird when we sang along to the jukebox playing "East Bound and Down" from Smokey and the Bandit. Apparently, they're thirsty in Atlanta, and, from what I've been told, there's beer in Texarkana.) And I think maybe the waitress was surprised when I tipped her $20 on the side, just because I was so happy to be there.

See, this is what I've missed by being here: I feel like I've missed out on the good surprises that come with city living. Oh, there are surprises here, but they generally turn out to be bad ones (at least for me). I've been in Washington from ages 26-29, and I feel like I've missed my chance to... be cool, I guess. When you're in your 20s, you're supposed to be out enjoying doing stuff; for whatever reason, that stuff I would like to do, in Washington, is either too expensive, too utilitarian, too inaccessible, or just plain nonexistent.

Anyway, this is clearly turning into one of my stupid rants on social stuff that I have no way of quantifying, so I'll stop now. Time to go batten down the hatches for this weekend's impending snow apocalypse (gahhh, two days too late!), which will probably force me to stay inside.

Party party party, and we're partyin'.

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