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Wed, Aug. 3rd, 2011, 11:10 am
Atlanta... a retrospective

So Monday morning suemac and I decamped for Hotlanta, ostensibly for me to do network work for UF. But we all know the REAL reason to go to Atlanta is for the plethora of vendors of culinary excellence, all designed to separate you from the bulk of your cash and all of your diet ambitions.

Surprisingly, there was very little construction on I-75, just a couple miles' worth near the 75/475 split south of Macon. Made it into Atlanta by midafternoon. suemac dropped me and a shiny 10G Cisco switch off at Telx's 56 Marietta teneme- er, facility. (Seriously, it looks all hip and mod and stuff from the front, but from behind it looks like a decrepit old apartment building that was on its last legs by the start of the Great Depression!)

After I was finished installing the switch in the rack in UF's suite, we checked in at the hotel and headed off to dinner. As usual, suemac found a bunch of funky eateries to try out. We wound up at Local Three. The food was completely beyond amazing. Siskel and Ebert give it FOUR thumbs up! Dessert was, of course, Cafe' Intermezzo. suemac got this way-over-the-top almond flavored something or other that was like taking marzipan intravenously. I had coconut cream pie, which while good, wasn't up to the level of their over-the-top chocolate creations. Live and learn.

Tuesday morning saw me back at 56 Marietta at 06:00 (parking in an alley in downtown Atlanta before the sun's up was kind of an adventure!) to cut over to the new switch and lug out the old gear. I hit The BakeShop for a couple of the finest croissants on the planet. Then back to the hotel to collapse and maybe regain some of the sleep I'd just tossed away.

The balance of Tuesday was spent scurrying hither thither and yon from one side of Atlanta to the other, shopping at various places and eating at various other places - lunch was Chinese, courtesy Gu's Bistro, wherein suemac got what had to be the SPICIEST Szechuan chicken dish I've ever tasted - the red pepper hulls outnumbered the chicken pieces 2-to-1, and you couldn't even SEE the chicken from all the pepper seeds coating everything. One bite and I was in sinus-protesting tears the rest of lunch! - and trying somewhat unsuccessfully to depart the city before rush hour kicked in in earnest.

Side note - that 5th runway they put in at Hartsfield-Jackson a few years ago is pretty impressive, sitting up there on top of as much as 11 stories' worth of fill, with I-285 tunnelling under the runway and a taxiway. Funky. Busy busy airport.

After several meals' and snacks' worth of culinary adventurism, suemac decided to bless me with utter conventionality at the end, and we hit Cracker Barrel in Cordele (interesting town - a gas station at exit 102 has a Titan missle in the parking lot, and we lost the gas tank and fuel pump off a car on "The Vacation From Hell™" there a few years ago). They do the most reliably superior pecan pancakes, served with really good bacon (that's important).

We rolled into town late last night to a houseful of rambunctiously hungry felines, and several overnight pages for network issues for FLR. So I slept in and got to work at 10:00. I figure I earned it.

Thu, Aug. 4th, 2011 07:24 pm (UTC)

"Seriously, it looks all hip and mod and stuff from the front, but from behind it looks like a decrepit old apartment building that was on its last legs by the start of the Great Depression!"

That describes just about everything in Downtown Hotlanta in my experience. The big Death Star Telephone building downtown? Mostly empty 70s-era cubicles when I was there for scab -er- strike contingeny training in 2009.

(BTW, Verizon's CWA contract is up this weekend. They generally have good labor relations so the strike threat may just be noise, but ya never know.)

The local CIA aviation front company here in Portland runs a decent air museum, complete with its own rebuilt Titan II in a visitor-accessible silo. It is also the current home of the Spruce Goose -- highly recommended if you ever have to head out here for any reason.