Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Georgia On My Mind


What’s one of the best things about living in Manhattan? Leaving it.

Every now and then when my calendar allows it I like to pack up my Tumi, pop in an Airborne and jet set to destinations like Miami (Via Delta Song), the Hamptons (Via Hampton Jitney) or occasionally the South of France (Via the Travel channel).

This past weekend, my travels took me down south again, to Atlanta. (Ok, so it’s not Dubai but at least there’s no jet lag involved.)

Now for some Manhattanites, including myself, Atlanta has remained an unknown entity. Many of us have yet to explore this southern city beyond the airport… but there’s much more to this town than the Budweiser Brewery and Cinnabon in Concourse A.

Take the food. The Flying Biscuit Café is the epitome of southern home cookin’. Owned by early 90s sensation the Indigo Girls, the café offers a genius combination of health food and soul food (think whole wheat biscuits and organic grits) so hippie locals and Emory students can listen to Galileo while munching on fried green tomatoes (it’s actually not just a movie).

For dinner you must try the recently opened Table 1280 restaurant located in the piazza of the High Museum. This is not your average museum café. An homage to minimalist elegance, the contemporary design by Italian architect Renzo Piano exudes a digital zen with a rainbow light installation that glows above diners feasting on Chef Shaun Doty’s gourmet crabcakes and chickpea fries. Go for lunch and check out the upcoming Chuck Close exhibit.

If you must satisfy your passion for fashion? Go to the mall. No really. Thanks to upscale Phipps Plaza, I can call myself a mall rat. Granted I hail from the Garden State, but they don’t make malls like this one on Route 4. With boutiques like Theory, Intermix, Jeffrey (the original), Blue Genes, and Bob Ellis (think Manolos Mary Janes, Jimmy Choo slingbacks and Lanvin ballet slippers), who needs Bergdorf?

Final Word: Whether you’re in town for business, pleasure or just need a dose of southern hospitality, Atlanta will satisfy any urbanite’s cravings for good eats, good sees and good times.

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