Friday, May 12, 2006

Gathering No Moss & c.

In Atlanta. A beautiful, cool, sunny day here. I've written before about my Atlanta routine, but each visit is like meeting up with an old friend whom you've not seen in a while. In general it's fun to have a familiarity with little segments of so many different places, favorite restaurants and little routines that one adapts and applies to these different places. I've come to love the Reading Terminal Market in Philly, for example. Here, it's Waffle House and Spondivit's (my routines are naturally all about food).

The areas we come to know in these myriad towns are those centered around our hotel, whatever can be reached on foot, or maybe by way of the hotel shuttle. This in itself is a roulette wheel kind of thing, and is an ironic limitation when we got to these places in the first place by way of a flying aluminum tube traveling at just barely subsonic speed. So we go really, really fast for 500 miles and then spend the day restricted to where you can get to on foot. Life at its two extremes of pace. So I don't "know" Atlanta, of course. But I know my very little corner of it, and my degree of fondness for all the places I visit is an amalgam of climate and points of historical interest and walking-friendliness. And restaurants.

In both Philly and Boston we stay right downtown, where one could walk and look at things almost indefinitely. In New York we used to stay right midtown on Lexington, but we've recently changed to some (very nice) place out in Queens. Sigh. I'd much rather be in a rathole in Manhattan than the Taj Mahal in Queens, though I suppose the quality of the REST is really the thing. This hotel here isn't ideally situated for walking around--we're in the midst of Delta's corporate and training center, which nowadays is like walking through a funeral parlor (you have to watch your wallet in case the wandering Delta pilots, who have given up a huge chunk of their compensation, might decide they can do better picking pockets!)--but it's right on the border of the Hartsfield airport property, which is guaranteed entertainment for an airplane person. So, a walk that terminates at Waffle House for some bacon & eggs and Diet Coke while I work on the day's sudoku & crossword puzzles. Then find a comfy chair in the hotel lobby, where I nurse another DC and watch people and use the free-only-in-the-lobby wifi. Maybe a nap in the afternoon, shower, a chicken caesar salad & a good book at Spondivit's, and it's time to pack up and head to the airport.

Tonite, back to Louisville, and probably sent off somewhere else again.


Noisette said...

Wow. Being an airplane pilot was a childhood dream of mine (oh well...!)- and I always thought the peripatetic lifestyle sounded romantic. You describe it well.
By the way, your little dog is phenomenally cute.

wunelle said...

She IS cute, isn't she? I decided she (Bella) made a much better avatar than my Buddhistic self.

I have far too many airplane-related posts if you're interested in more of what the life is like (a few are in the sidebar).

Jeffy said...

My experiences in some of the cities I've visited are in a similar vein. I fly in for a conference and spend the time within walking distance of a hotel not too far from a convention center - often downtown.

When in Atlanta I was right downtown in a very cool hotel. It would be worth the ride on the light rail downtown to check it (and a couple others) out. I stayed at the Marriott Marquis, which has an amazing atrium. It is a huge open space that all of the rooms surround. The Westin Peachtree Plaza is nearby and I think it had an observation deck or restaurant near the top that was pretty spectacular.