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Rating the BBC's Recent Impressions of Atlanta

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The world's oldest national broadcasting organization published a wide-ranging article this week that reads like a how-to guide for Atlanta, and — bloody hell! — it's not entirely a condescending rant! Titled, "More than Coca-Cola and the world's busiest airport," the BBC piece rattles off the ATL's attributes like a chamber of commerce spokesman on Red Bull, managing to mention the Civil War only twice. The big takeaway: Our "Southern graces" are contributing, more than ever, to a cultural and business boom. The writer sounds a bit surprised, in fact, that we're not a bunch of chaw-chewing nincompoops firing muzzleloaders while spooning our cousins. They tap one Berlin-based businessman who's been visiting Atlanta for decades and makes this observation of downtown: "Twenty years ago I wouldn't go there, but now Centennial Park is my favourite area to stay." How's that for progress, London?! After the jump, we've rated a few of the BBC's impressions on a scale from "accurate" to "smoking narcotics."

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BBC: "Atlanta may sit squarely in the southern United States, but, in spirit, the Georgia capital is full of northern bustle."

RATING: Accurate sugarcoating. Should read: "… the Georgia capital is full of goddamn Yankee bastards who don't know how to yield."

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BBC: "The airport is one of the few spots in Atlanta with readily available cabs."

RATING: True, but incomplete. Additional context: because Uber took their jobs.

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BBC: "A car here (is) a necessity if you want to get out of downtown, with traffic a constant headache. Public buses and trains from MARTA don't help much if you want to get out of the city center or go anywhere off of a main line."

RATING: Now you've gone and let that cat out of the bag, jerk. There goes the economy.

BBC: "At the same time, Atlanta's downtown has gotten easier to navigate."

RATING: Smoking narcotics. Have you seen that confounding "grid"?

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BBC: "The Atlanta Beltline, a multi-use trail built along a former railroad corridor, is expanding to connect key downtown areas with walkways and light rail."

RATING: Generous use of the word "expanding."

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BBC: "Atlanta is far less expensive than other major US cities like New York, San Francisco and Chicago. An average cup of coffee costs about $2."

RATING: Why were you buying coffee at QuikTrip?

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BBC: "(The city's) friendliness is genuine and translates into the business setting as well, where meetings are likely to start with getting-to-know-you banter before getting down to work. Work days tend to be shorter and the pace slower than in cities like New York or Chicago, leaving time to catch a happy hour or go for a run after work."

RATING: Bless your heart.

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BBC: "Atlanta also has four seasons with flowery springs and golden autumns bookending long, hot humid summers. Winter is short and the occasional small dusting of snow paralyses the city."

RATING: Ding ding ding ding ding — jyyackpot! Like you've lived here for years, chap.

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BBC: "Every major hotel chain has at least one Atlanta outpost, but travellers looking for boutique options have plenty of choices."

RATING: Hmm. If by "plenty" you mean about four.

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BBC: "Atlanta is dripping with restaurants that embody the new South."

RATING: Shucks, thanks for noticing. Excuse the pride-blush.

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BBC: "Trying to pick the best barbeque is likely to set off another Civil War, but you can't go wrong with down home Fat Matt's Rib Shack and Daddy Dz and the slightly more upscale Heirloom Market and Fox Bros."

RATING: Reliant on a painfully tired cliché, but otherwise astute, with apologies to Community Q, Sweet Auburn and D.B.A.

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BBC: "And if it's a bit of shopping you're after, take advantage of Atlanta's numerous malls and outlets and low sales tax of 8 percent."

RATING: What oppressive economy have been you been shopping in when an 8 percent tip for the government is a bargain?

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BBC: "Head to the Georgia Aquarium on Baker Street to see hundreds of species, including whale sharks, beluga whales, bottlenose dolphins and manta rays."

RATING: Misleading. Wise visitors head straight for the trippy jellyfish, and then the whale sharks. And then straight the hell home.


OVERALL SCORE: Cor, blimey! It ain't too shabby!


· More than Coca-Cola and the world's busiest airport [BBC]
· Traffic, Transit Dominate List of New Atlantans' Complaints [Curbed]