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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Atlanta: 9th dirtiest city in the country, but thank god for the sloppy barbecue

Dirty south
  • Dirty south
There is little that infuriates me more than the smug dismissal of the South from people who obviously know nothing about the region. So yesterday, when I saw Travel + Leisure had put out a list of the 20 dirtiest cities in the country and read the entry for Atlanta, I was thrown into fits of sputtering rage. The blurb reads:

Many cities that made the dirtiest Top 10 scored well for having a vivid nightlife, cool neighborhoods, or great live music. Alas, Atlanta couldn’t claim any of those in the survey. At least the city has its quality—and sloppy—barbecue going for it.

OK, apparently there's some survey that they're referring to that justifies the ridiculous claims that we have no decent neighborhoods or live music (we all know how accurate rankings and surveys can be). But the barbecue thing? It's so obviously some writer who knows nothing about the city going "Atlanta, that's in the South, right? They have barbecue down there, I'll make a snarky comment about that. Heh heh." Pats self on back, turns in copy to equally oblivious editor.

It wouldn't bother me so much if Travel + Leisure weren't one of the best respected travel magazines in the world. Or if we even had much barbecue in Atlanta. Or if the barbecue we do have had any sauce on it. But for any other region of the world, I doubt such inaccuracy would slip through. Can you imagine a blurb that said, "Gosh Thailand is hot - good thing they have such yummy tandoori!"?

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