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Atlanta: First Impressions

June 27th, 2021

I moved to Atlanta two months ago; here are some disorganized impressions of Atlanta and the Southeast:

  • The heat hits different. 85F in California isn’t too bad, but 85F in Atlanta gets me sweating right away.
  • You have to have a good handle on the weather here. I’ve been stormed out of a track meet twice already. So far I’ve been lucky with practice but it’s just a matter of time.
  • People sleep in here. In California, I was part of a solid 6AM crew at the track. Here, I’m often alone at 7:30. Downtown Charleston was completely empty at 8AM on a Sunday!
  • Everyone is friendlier here! It was actually a little disconcerting at first to actually make eye contact with people on the street. Now that I’m a bit more used to it, it’s a much nicer norm than San Francisco’s trademark cold avoidance.
  • Maybe obviously, the racial makeup is way different. There aren’t that many Asians in Atlanta (0.6%). Thankfully, I haven’t noticed any overt racism towards Asians or myself.
  • There’s more people out and about than I’ve ever seen in San Francisco. On the streets, in parks, shopping, at restaurants or coffee shops, everything is absolutely packed. I’m not sure if this is post-COVID excitement or if Atlanta’s just livelier.
  • The food scene is excellent for a lowbrow like myself. I’ve been trying new fast food places—Checkers is my favorite one that’s new to me. Of course, I’ve been eating my fill of Southern staples too.
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