February 2010


Georgia’s Really Peachy Sides

I was just looking at my current posts and realized that I’ve been whining a lot. I’ve complained about littering, the colorless Georgia travel guide and the worst state capitol tour I’ve ever taken.

Honestly I know that sometimes I’m in an overly snarky bitchy mood, but it seems to have come to the fore in the past week. Maybe the littering complaint was over the top, especially coming the same day as my complaint about the “real food” at Farm Bloomington. The colorless travel guide for Georgia is something worth a minor observation – it lies about the make up of the state.

About the only rant that wasn’t ranty enough was the one about the tour of the Georgia state capitol: it really was that awful. What was missing from my rant was how cheery and positively happy I sounded when I told the woman behind the desk that the tour of her capitol was the worst tour of any state capitol I’ve ever had. I wasn’t paying attention but my RealHusband said that the look on the woman’s face was priceless.

Anyhow, enough about that for now.

I’m back in Germany and thanks to a mild snowfall, my plane circled Frankfurt causing a short delay to my trip home.

Meanwhile I did a number of things whilst in Atlanta that are interesting and worth mentioning.

Monday PseudoWife and I took a road trip west from Atlanta to Buchanan, Georgia, a rather unassuming small city that, as it turns out, I’d passed by once with Disenchanted. We didn’t stop then, but PseudoWife and I intentionally headed to this small city because it was hosting a special Smithsonian touring exhibit, Key Ingredients.

The Key Ingredients exhibit was a small and interesting—an examination of how food is involved in our lives and how its role has changed over time—including discussing how biscuit making has slowly shifted to pre-made biscuits bought at the local supermarket.

I’d suggest going, but the exhibit ends in a couple days and Buchanan was its last stop—I might note that I initially learned about the travelling exhibit in the African-American guide to Georgia.

Tuesday it was my turn to hang out with RealHusband, and after we left the dreadful confines of the Georgia state capitol we had a fabulous afternoon consisting of a trip to Mary Mac’s and to the Dr. Martin Luther King National Historic Site. Both were well worth the time.

Mary Mac’s is a local Atlanta tradition—serving that hearty southern food that I’ve come to appreciate and love. We started out splitting an appetizer of fried okra—and honestly I have no idea why I love okra so much. It’s not a part of my childhood. It’s not something that’s eaten in Colorado or Wyoming, and it’s not something one readily bumps into in Indiana. I guess I blame Disenchanted – she likes fried okra and she must have infected me—it’s one of my favorite foods now and I seek it out at every opportunity. Mary Mac’s had great fried okra.

For the main course, at lunch, it was a good thing that I’d skipped breakfast. It was also a good thing that we weren’t having dinner until late—8 o’clock, to be exact.

I had the baked chicken served over cornbread stuffing with my two sides: fried green tomatoes and collared greens—I guess you could call it a “meat plus two veg” type of meal that the south is known for. (And now that I think about it, collared greens is something I’d never eaten before I knew Disenchanted—and I’d rank it quite highly in my favorite vegetables category.)

If this wasn’t enough, we foolishly ordered dessert: I had Pecan Pie. For those of you who’ve never had a traditional southern Pecan Pie, it’s basically a piecrust that’s been filled with a generous helping of very sugary syrup and topped with pecans

Basically it’s heaven.

And one bite into it, I could feel the sugar shock hitting me.

While we had walked to Mary Mac’s, afterwards we waddled out and to the nearest Marta metro station and adventure onward to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, which is located just east of Atlanta’s city center on Auburn Avenue.

We had a great time at the site, although I didn’t really feel like I learned a whole lot of new information from the visitor’s center—this might be because I’m pretty well educated and have read quite a bit about the civil rights movement. What was really illuminating was the tour of Martin Luther King Junior’s birth home, which was located just down the street. Our tour was given by a blind park ranger and consisted of three people: RealHusband, a single tourist from KC, and me. It was a fabulous tour and intimate. He was a really great storyteller and I felt that I learned a lot of meaningful information that I hadn’t known before taking the tour.

From there, we were exhausted and headed back to the apartment where we zoned out and relaxed for awhile, waiting for the PseduoWife.

Which brings me to the most fabulous aspect of my time in Atlanta—it just so happens that the Transkitten was in Atlanta—and we met her for dinner at a great vegetarian restaurant, Sunflower Café. The restaurant itself is a charming intimate venue with a rather sophisticated feeling—we had a nice waiter (tall, fauxhawk) who provided decent service.

And then there was the company: PseduoWife, RealHusband, and the Transkitten. It was an amazing evening with great conversation and some of the most interesting people I know. I feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people.

My last day in Atlanta, I was left to my own devices in the morning and I went to visit Outwrite, Atlanta’s gay bookstore. It’s impressive that Atlanta supports its gay bookstore. New York City and Indianapolis have both recently lost gay bookstores. I bought one book after looking through the store. It has a decent selection, a built in coffee shop, and excessively loud music. I would have stayed longer in its small café, but after buying my book I headed out, back into Atlanta’s biting cold and off to meet my friends for lunch before heading to the airport.

11 comments to Georgia’s Really Peachy Sides

  • Anon

    Maybe your whining will ensure that that’s your last visit to the Peach State.

  • I am so glad you came back from Atranta!

  • I dislike most of those foods you mentioned, but especially okra. Robb, on the other hand, loves it. Of course, he’s from the South. Well, Miami, actually, which isn’t really considered part of the South.

  • disenchanted

    Okra has got to be my favorite vegetable except for maybe friend green tomatoes. It’s great fried. It’s great stewed. It’s great as a thickener in gumbo. Of course, try getting decent okra in the midwest …

    Well, wait. My local CSA had all sorts of okra last year. Maybe my little gardener dude is southerner or something?

  • Anon – you really do not get my sense of humor. It might make your life easier if you stopped reading my blog.

    cliff1976 – I’m so glad to be home, I can’t express it!

    staman1695 – It’s strange because I really never had these foods before meeting disenchanted, but now I love them. I have no idea why it happened to me.

    disenchanted – at least you can get okra in the midwest. Try Germany!

  • It was really lovely to catch up again and Pseudo Wife and Real Husband are such lovely people!!! I shall definitely be dropping them a line the next time I’m in Atlanta! I’m also intrigued where you and I will next have dinner… Let’s see where our travels intersect next time!

    And I have to say, hearing the story about your visit to the State Capitol was just fabulous… I’m still giggling away at your answer to her question of whether you enjoyed it! 🙂

  • Anon

    Oh, that’s humor, huh? Well then let me ask you this:

    What did the sadist say to the masochist?

    “Hurt me.”

    And what did the masochist then say to the sadist?


    (Feel free to throw an evil laugh in there.)

  • RealHusband

    I’m glad your trip ended on a positive note. PseudoWife and myself had a wonderful time with y’all at the Sunflower Cafe- I hope we’ll see each other again soon.

    I share your ambivalence about Atlanta, though on the whole I really enjoy it here. Wouldn’t be so bad to have some colder weather and straighter roads, but that’s life.

  • Emily – Maybe I should make a trip to south-east Asia. At least it would be warm there, although knowing my luck, they’d have a freak snow storm.

    Anon – I’ve heard that joke before. It’s cute. Unfortunately you fucked it up and it’s not really funny the way you say it.

    RealHusband – I had a great time with you and PseudoWife, but I’m not really clear why one wants to live there — I get why you want to live there, just not why some random stranger would move there…

  • Anonymous

    You really do not get my sense of humor. It might make your life easier if you stopped reading my comments.

  • Pseudo Wife

    Typical Pseudo Wife commentary is a bit late…but, I loved having you in ATL! It reminded me of last summer and the fun times we all had in Weimar and Jena. I wouldn’t say that ATL as a city compares but the company was sehr schoen! Sunflower was amazing and I can honestly say that I am glad I had to miss the infamous State Capitol Tour. I don’t think it will be your last time in ATL 🙂