Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Inside Atlanta

Ready to go for the greenest motorized tour in Atlanta.
Atlanta is a fascinating city with an interesting history, but it can be hilly and is hot in summer. This can present problems for Levelers, but I've found a solution. Just remember, touring a city you think you know can be an humbling eye-opener. I've been visiting Atlanta since I was seven years old,  but on a city tour with ATL-Cruzers, I saw new sides of the city.

The relatively new company offers Segway tours but we piled into their five-passenger-plus driver/guide electric cars for a 90-minute tour of downtown, during which we saw and learned that

• Thrasher, Marthasville and Lumpkinsville were among Atlanta's several previous names.

Sweet Auburn Avenue was where the affluent African American community gathered including John Wesley Dodd, who began as a postal clerk, rose to wealth and was the late Mayor Maynard Jackson's grandfather and Martin Luther King Jr.'s mentor. Aretha Franklin debuted here the Top Hat, now known as the Royal Peacock. The Sweet Auburn Bread Company makes the best sweet potato cheesecake in town.

King Center. Photo © by Judy Wells.
Ebeneezer Baptist Church, now a museum,  and the King Center where MLK Jr. and his wife are buried are a national park. Both Martin Luther King Sr. and Jr. were originally named Michael.

The Kings lived here. Photo © by Judy Wells.
After reading about Martin Luther, King changed his and his 5-year-old son's name to Martin. The yellow and brown house is where MLK Jr. was born.  

Don't resist the Cremolattas. Photo © by Judy Wells.
Lotta Frutta is a must stop for Mexican-Ecuadorian breakfast, lunch, coffees, smoothies and their famous fresh cut fruit cups. Say hey to La Duena,  Myrna Perez Cifuentes

Now anyone can stay in Inman. Photo © by Judy Wells.
• The Inman area was the original millionaire's row. Designed to keep the ordinary citizen as well as the riffraff out, lots alone cost $3,000 in 1890! One of the original houses  Sugar Magnolia, is now a bed and breakfast.  Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler lived  here.

The last week of April, the Inman Park Festival attracts all of those ordinary people to tour a dozen or so of the houses, for a fee.

Cabbage Town and the Edgewood neighborhood are fast becoming an entertainment and foodie hot spot.

Oakland Cemetery, opened 1850, is a fascinating area to wander. Here you will find the final remains of Margaret Mitchell, Bobby Jones and Maynard Jackson. Every summer there is the Tunes from the Tombs music festival.

Bring your appetite to Municipal Market. Photo © by Judy Wells.
The Municipal Market, known to locals as the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, is a great farmers' market where you can nosh on the cuisines of 11 different countries and try a piece of that sweet potato cheesecake.  USA Today named it 16th of the world's top 20 farmers' markets.

SoNo, South of North Avenue, is where you'll find Emory University as well as Gladys Knight and Ron's Chicken and Waffles Restaurant

Margaret Mitchell lived here. Photo © by Judy Wells.
Midtown Village is where you'll find the Flying Biscuit, a 24-hour breakfast spot, the Interactive Rock and where Margaret Mitchell lived in a basement apartment she referred to as  "the dump."

Skyview Atlanta. Photo © by Judy Wells.
• Next came Georgia Tech, the Varsity, the striking new Center for Civil and Human Rights, next to World of Coca Cola, the unexpected Skyview Atlanta ferris wheel ($15 for two rotations, $30 for four rotations in the clear-bottom VIP gondola) and we were back at home base, entertained and surprisingly wiser.



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