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September 21st, 2006

Atlanta on my mind

People either love Atlanta, or they don't love Atlanta. Count me in the first camp. This is not because I get to do any casual touring of Atlanta.
I never have gotten to see, for instance, the Georgia Aquarium or the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I always get to see conference rooms in a neighborhood evocatively named Buckhead.

Atlanta has yin and yang.

Yin is riding MARTA, a wonderful mass transit system whose robot voices tell one all the cool attractions at each stop.

Yang is Hartsfield International Airport, at which my plan to stand by onto a flight three hours ahead of my scheduled flight was spoiled by
the longest wait for security ever imagined. I am all for extensive and search-happy security. That was not the problem. The problem was that they were filtering essentially all the passengers in the airport through two handfuls of lines. I arrived at the earlier flight's gate just after it took off. I had a non-zen reaction, in which I said, in a rather chipper but not hostile voice, "stupid security, stupid airline", which is, I confess, a stupid thing to say.

There is something to be said for trips when one arises at 4 a.m., flies to the place, leaves at 8 p.m., and flies home. I am not sure, though, what it is to be said.

My fantasy? To visit the Georgia Aquarium and the botanical gardens someday.

My consolation? An amazing seafood and pasta lunch, both healthy and divine.