Atlanta has left a favorable impression on me, from a scant single day of driving around it. I had the vision of a crime infested wasteland but in fact the bits we saw were as nice as anywhere. Boy, once again, my BIL’s words ring true: Vancouver is shabby compared to, it seems, just about any other NA city.
Stop 1: The World of Coke. Basically a giant advertisement – from the strength of their marketing message one would assume Coke is responsible for everything good including “the thing that makes babies cute”; they actually said that. Trivia: the guy who invented Coke, an ATL pharmacist, sold the company for $2300 to the guy who really made it take off (the same thing happened when the McDonald brothers sold out to Ray Kroc), Coke is served 1.6 billion times per day, Coke also makes Minute Maid and Powerade. The Coke tour ended in a room with about 50 fountain dispensers, each providing a sample of a different Coke product from around the world. Cool idea! One odd thing: as you leave everyone gets a tiny bottle of Coke. Just one. couldn’t they let you have a nice big bottle or a handful of small ones? Though I am not a huge Coke fan byway.
Stop 2: CNN world headquarters. Extremely cool. They broadcast about 40% of everything they do from here. Lots of studios and control rooms and desks with half a dozen big monitors. I think working in TV would be very fun. Trivia: 11,000 people work for CNN. They operate four stations and have 48 bureaus around the world. Their morning show person gets to work at 2 AM. Each major personality, eg. Anderson Cooper, has their own dedicated team of writers and technical people. They don’t use green screen anymore, now it is all real giant touch sensitive displays.
Stop 3: Stone Mountain, roughly speaking the Grouse Mountain of Atlanta. Georgia is overall, like most places, very flat, but Stone Mountain rises 800 feet up, out of the blue and for no apparent reason, kind of Ayers rock like. Like Ayers it is almost totally bare and kind of cool looking. There is a gondola to the top and a train ride around the base. Standing on top the major impression is how dense the Georgian forest is, and only 10 miles or so from downtown.