Last weekend I had a great trip to Atlanta. I wish I would have took some pictures because the sights were great. I first went to Buckhead and ate lunch at the Buckhead Diner, which was great. Then I drove around some to see the beautiful neighborhoods and business district. Buckhead is very nice and has some beautiful home, but this is where I first noticed that Atlanta has a horrible street system. It's like the whole city was just a country town that filled up with houses and buildings without any infrastructure. I really like what was going on around Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza. This area is really a gem and looks like its getting even better. Phipps and Lenox should really expand their malls all the way to the street and have stores that directly front the street. The diagonal intersection there would really be something if that was to happen. Next I drove all the way down Peachtree to downtown. The road itself isn't any better than a street in the industrial area of Baton Rouge, but the buildings along the street really make it special. The city badly needs the Peachtree corridor plan to get built, with or without rail. Too bad there isn't enough space to make it the broad boulevard it should be. Midtown is really cool. It's very clean and neatly planned. I like how many of the buildings are turned so that you get a broader view down the street, though the extra space this requires may hurt pedestrian traffic. I stayed at a hotel downtown, which really wasn't anything special. I did like the bar at the top of the Westin. The view from there is gorgeous, and I ran into some old friends from college. That night I rode the MARTA to Midtown, and I was very impressed. I think the MARTA is one of the top rail systems in the country. The stations were nicely designed, but kind of dark and dingy. They need better lighting and more colorful public art. I liked how they left the rock exposed in the Peachtree Center station. They should uplight it with some halogen lighting to really show off the rock texture and make the station much brighter and warmer. In Midtown, I ate dinner at Zocalo, and I wasn't very impressed. The food was pretty bad and the place is a dump. I walked around and found a club called Front Page News. I really liked this place. The bartender was fun, the people were cool, and the band was good. They had kind of a John Mayer vibe, which I'm not used to seeing in a bar. The next day I took the MARTA to the Arts Center and toured the High Museum. The Louvre exhibit was pretty good, but was really moved by the Annie Leibovitz photography exhibit. It was also a treat to see some original Picassos, Rembrants, and Monets, which I wasn't expecting in Atlanta. I walked down the street to South City Kitchen and had a great lunch of contemporary Southern food. Sitting at the bar there, I thought, "This is what Atlanta really is about." After that I drove east to Little Five Points, which was impossible to find. The neighborhood was a little too alternative for me, but I picked up a couple of good CDs at Wax & Facts with the help of the staff there. From there I headed north on Highland through Virginia Highlands, and I was expecting it to be bigger, but I liked what I saw. Again, I couldn't believe the lack of roads in Atlanta. Other Southern cities like Memphis and New Orleans have beautiful grand boulevards through their older neighborhoods. No wonder traffic is so bad in Atlanta. It seems that the city was very poorly planned before the 1960s. In contrast, Memphis was very well planned prior to the 60s but has been comparatively stagnant since then. Very interesting. All in all, I really like Atlanta, and I'll be back soon.