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Why Atlanta?

I drove across the country to my new home this weekend—Atlanta. Everyone I tell has the same reaction: why Atlanta? Here’s why:

  • Cheaper cost of living. Coming from San Francisco, any city in the world would have cheaper housing. We’re getting much more for much less in Atlanta than S.F.: more than 15% cheaper rent for 40% more square feet, a more central location, and all the amenities a “luxury” apartment complex has to offer. And even excluding housing, various websites show that Atlanta’s non-housing cost of living is still 15-20% lower than San Francisco’s.
  • Growing tech scene. It’s no Miami, but Atlanta’s tech scene exists and is growing quickly—hot startups like Fullstory and Mailchimp are already in the area, and companies like Airbnb, Apple, Google, and Microsoft are opening offices and tech jobs. Plus, with Georgia Tech in the heart of the city, Atlanta has a shot at rivaling Austin, Denver, and Seattle as a premier secondary U.S. tech hub.
  • Location. Atlanta is within driving distance of mountains, rivers, and beaches. It’s easy to reach cute old coastal towns like Savannah and Charleston. Its airport is one of the biggest in the country, making it easy to fly anywhere. And it’s close (a couple hour’s drive) to Emily’s parents.
  • Food. I’m a sucker for Southern cooking and barbecue. I’ll get lots of both in Atlanta.
  • Diversity of people and opinion. Political conversations in San Francisco feel like a wokeness contest. No matter what you believe, you have to be on your guard. Atlanta promises to be more tolerant, if only because its demographics are more diverse. Relatedly, my vote matters in Georgia much more than in California. California voting for Biden was never in doubt. Georgia swung the election.
  • Great for track. I haven’t raced since February 2020. Even the California colleges that are holding meets this year aren’t allowing unattached athletes. In comparison, I have 6 meets scheduled in May and June alone in the Southeast. The competition is strong, and the weather is good enough (read: warm enough) to train year-round.

Overall, Atlanta promises to be a great city. I’m excited for the year to come!

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