Waiting for a MARTA bus in 1974

Cool dude waiting for a MARTA bus in Atlanta, 1974. This photo comes from Wiki Commons, with a note that there was a spike in ridership at this time because the fare was reduced from 40 cents to 15 cents. Also, new routes and buses had been recently added.

Current MARTA fare for buses and trains is $2.50, with an increase possible later this year if budgeting measures (and proposed privatization) are unsuccessful at alleviating financial woes at the agency.

I really like these old bus stop obelisks.

Every Day Is Like Sunday


Atlanta in particular is one hell of a beautiful old leaky old house. The whole Chick-Fil-A thing is actually kind of a perfect encapsulation of the strangeness of the city and the cultural faultlines its cultures straddle—the old-school conservative businessman and the religious right (usually aligned with the suburbs) versus the progressive urban center, and all the shades in between. The irony of it all is so striking, those statements (and that money) coming from a man who lives in, and in part owes the vast success of his business to, a city with one of the largest gay populations in the South, indeed one of the largest in the U.S. It’s counterintuitive and maddening and hard to explain to an outsider. It is so very Atlanta.

Filed under: Atlanta; The South.

Whatever it is you have never done before in your life and have no interest in doing, that’s probably what you’ll need to learn in order to keep your business running. Accounting, sales, inventory management. These are all things I’ve had to take on. These are also things that I would rather not do for the rest of my life. And while I’ll never be a crack accountant or a star salesman, it’s better to be mediocre than incompetent.

Lessons from a craft beer startup. My buddy Jonathan and his two co-founders Jeff and Joel make the best beer in Atlanta.

Everybody’s Al Capone in a barber’s chair.

Killer Mike. Also:

Atlanta [is] the post-civil rights city that worked. I think that’s the real legacy. All this foolishness we be doin’ as rappers is just something for the old guys to laugh at,“ he says with a conciliatory chuckle. "They did this on Simpson [Road] 50 years ago.”

Paper Trail: Atlanta | Features | Pitchfork. Nice interview with Kelefa Sanneh about the Atlanta book, and Atlanta, and hiphop.

Another thing that’s interesting about Atlanta is that it’s a real magnet. A lot of the people that define that music aren’t from there; they’re drawn there. Gucci Mane comes from Alabama.Waka Flocka was born in Queens. The amazing producer Lex Luger comes in from Virginia. T-Pain’s from Florida. Even when Lil B launched his own first co-sign post Pack, he goes and hooks up with Soulja Boy. Machine Gun Kelly, from Cleveland, goes to Atlanta and hooks up with Travis Porter. I think one reason why the city has sustained itself so well is that it has welcomed artists from all over the place.

Pitchfork: Yeah, even Ludacris is from Illinois.

KS: Right. There is this industry infrastructure. Maybe it’s because Atlanta is known as a comfortable place to live if you’re African-American and have some money, and people generally enjoy living there. Can it become the Nashville of hip-hop? With Nashville, it’s not even about a Nashville sound anymore. It’s just that if you want to go into country music, that’s where you go. It’s not impossible to imagine that Atlanta can get there.

And also:

Somehow, and this is weird to me, the labels are all still in New York, except for Interscope in L.A. But you see these people get contracts. Living here in New York, I got the feeling that the label people were signing Atlanta artists because they had to, but that there wasn’t much enthusiasm for them within the labels. It’s like the history of hip-hop in miniature because that’s how hip-hop used to be treated by the music industry, like: “I guess we’ll sign them because this is what the kids are doing, but we don’t really get it, and we don’t really want to spend more time on this stuff than we have to.” So, for better or for worse, the Atlanta stuff has been pretty grassroots.

Artists and fans in Atlanta don’t seem to struggle with [getting hung up on one style] so much. They don’t seem to get as hung up on it as people do in New York, which is probably the capital of hip-hop people getting hung up on stuff.

BEING THERE: ATLANTA | More Intelligent Life

Reflections on Atlanta from a Yankee who now calls it home. (via)

Atlanta is a profoundly pleasant city. That is not as easy as it seems. New York is thrilling, Hong Kong a marvel of density, Moscow the closest a city can get to a cocaine level of jitteriness and excitement, London endless: I love all four places, but I would never describe them as pleasant. They are none of them as comfortable and human-scaled as Atlanta. Social life just sort of happens here. In New York and London my calendar filled up weeks in advance; here it is not unusual to look forward to a relaxing, empty weekend on Thursday and then find that Saturday and Sunday are frantic.

The weekend thing is soooooo true. Also, while it’s in the South, it’s not always of the South:

Atlanta has always been about trade, business, enterprise—the hustle. And if that fact robs it of the stately southern charm of Savannah or Charleston, it also did much to protect it from the worst excesses of reaction during the turbulent mid-60s, and made it a bastion of openness and tolerance in the South (not to mention a springtime blessing for those of us allergic to both Spanish moss and antebellum nostalgia).

BEING THERE: ATLANTA | More Intelligent Life


ATL. Don’t expect Casablanca, but I recommend this without reservation – there’s some really great movie here. And it’s always flattering to have a movie in your home city. T.I. doesn’t do any dramatic fireworks, but he’s charismatic as usual. Big Boi’s character is terrifying and hilarious. You might know director Chris Robinson from his work on Bring Em Out, Shutterbugg, Go Getta, One Mic, No Love, etc.