While Ponce de Leon and other intown strips were busy cleaning up their acts over the past few years, THE CLERMONT HOTEL
has been there to remind us that this is a living, breathing big city. A real city needs its contradictions, its yin and yang -- a smoke-spewing MARTA bus for every stretch Escalade, a familiar street person for every captain of industry, a pawn shop for every Phipps Plaza. Without that balance, you've got Hilton Head. After working in your office tower or visiting your family in the 'burbs, you could drop by the Clermont Lounge for a dose of urban reality to keep you grounded. Now that the landmark is being sold, we're not sure how long this tawdry touchstone will be around.
789 Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-874-4783. www.clermontlounge.net