This is a great article (and much needed). As a former New York native I can agree with most of the comments and a lot of the sentiments that the article offered. When you are born and raised there, where the living is a lot tougher, it's a no-brainer that one would view ATL as being less "progressive" in comparison. I've lived here since October 1999 and unfortunately have experienced some rather hateful things. ATL touts the "southern hospitality" however DON'T mix races (my husband is white and I am black). Don't walk too fast, work too hard, or beat your deadlines because others will view you as trying to "show them up" and then ostracize you (referencing you only as "that New York girl"). And if you are ambitious, fashionable, aggressive, attractive, and smart you better watch out! And there's no relief for the children. My oldest son, who was in high school when we moved here, was constantly antagonized by his TEACHERS because he was a NYer. The youngest, who was only 5 yeras old, was socked in the face on the school bus (by another black boy) who was none too happy with the fact that his white father walked him to the bus stop!
All of this aside, you have to admit that it is human nature to feel disconnected and apprehensive when you are in unfamiliar territory. The sensibilities and priorities are different; the work ethic is different; the food, scents of the city, and scenes are different; the sense of community and diversity in population and cultures are different; and we (as well as you) are different. Even after being here this long I still feel out of place. And I chalk it up to the lack of familiarity and the fact that it is pretty tough to make GENUINE connections here. Lip service abounds which is also very unfamiliar territory.
So if the only belly aches you hear from NYer's is about pizza and bagels then that's a good day! There's so much to love about NY that it can't be denied.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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