Saturday, October 27, 2012

First week in Atlanta

It's a beautiful place we're staying.  The Georgian Terrace, a historic midtown hotel with all kinds of posh events and celebrity clientele.  The latest is a crowd from the show Ten, actors, crew, etc. and they're actually shooting footage in the hotel.

I think we are also just enjoying being in a place that's different.  The furniture is not the same furniture we've had at the last half-dozen corporate apartments!  The artwork is nice!  And the beds are the most comfortable we've ever slept in.  (Even though the girls have to share a bed here ... this happens to us every once in a while, living in a place without twin beds)

Living in a hotel is a little unusual, too.  There is room service and 24-hour housekeeping and maintenance staff.  They deliver mail to our door, and there is a constant changing stream of other travelers in the hallways and lobby.  We still have our 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment, and I don't know what the other rooms / apartments here look like.  I assume there is a whole range, from regular hotel rooms to penthouse suites.

Here's our standard routine - having all the TVs removed from the apartment.  Usually this is done before we arrive, but here we had to ask a couple of times.  Four giant TVs take up a lot of valuable space.  Not only do we not want TVs in our kids' bedrooms, but we really don't want the TVs around at all.  Greg and I are not anti-technology - we are as attached to our iPhones and laptops as anyone else.  We even watch the occasional movie on our computers.  But we have always been a TV-free household and don't have any desire to change that.  It is one less battle to have with the children; one less time-waster; one less threat to our brain cells.

Every once in a while I come across another TV-free family, but it is rare.  If you want any more inspiration to this effect, check out Kill Your Television.  (and as I was writing that, I couldn't resist going here as well.  Anyone but me remember Ned's Atomic Dustbin?  Ah, 1990... it has probably been that long since I heard this song.)

OK, how did I get off on that tangent?  Back to Atlanta.  One of Atlanta's quirks is that there are
over 70 city streets with a variant of Peachtree in their names.  I photographed a nearby intersection of Peachstreet Street NE and West Peachtree Street.  While this seems kind of cute and funny at first, in practice this is just a bad system.  What city planners ever allowed this to happen?!  How on earth can anyone regularly navigate a Midtown where every other street seems to have an almost-identical name?

Speaking of navigation, Atlanta is not proving to be an especially bike- or pedestrian-friendly town, but I'll be damned if this is going to stop me.  And every time I am out riding with little Isa on her Trail-A-Bike behind me, fluorescent flag flapping in the wind, I think, maybe I am contributing in some small way to a shift.  Maybe the more people who see me and the kids struggling with non-existent bike lanes, zooming traffic on multi-lane roads with no shoulders, and rough sidewalks, the closer Atlanta will get to setting up a better environment for cyclists.  (....or, maybe we will just struggle with this on our own for a couple of months and then move on.  Change takes time, which I unfortunately don't have.)

Isa and I passed through Georgia Tech's campus on our ride today, and apparently it is college football season.  (they had a game with BYU today)  We were amazed at some of the elaborate decorations on the frat houses.  With a little Internet research this evening I found out that it has been homecoming weekend at GT, and this "banner contest" is just one of dozens of campus events.

Finally, a photo of some of the munchkins.... Alyona, Ilya, Alina, and Isa all managed to be wearing pink the other day as they scampered around this little pink flower garden outside the Cirque gate.  It was a moment begging for a photo.  This is the next generation of school children - Isa and Ilya will start the Totem school in 2013, and Alyona and Alina in 2014.

1 comment:

  1. Something to keep an eye out for next April is 'Screen Free Week'. Might be a chance to help introduce other families to life without TV.