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New Atlantan has interesting take on our city

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Relocated Texan writer laments hills, smoke, food — with some tongue-in-cheek jabs

New Atlantans have an array of opinions about the city. Understandable, really, considering they come from all over the country and around the globe.

But when new residents are writers, some pretty strange missives about the ATL can result.

Recently, a journalist from West Texas relocated to Atlanta — specifically Avondale Estates — to write for music and entertainment publication Paste magazine. Since arriving in the city, he noted in a recent article his first impressions, which are pretty absurd.

Between a few tirades about unlikely places to buy food, levitation, and tree elves, Jason Rhode does pay Atlanta some compliments and gets to a pretty valid point at the end about traffic and pedestrian amenities.

Along the way to that point, however, Rhode’s piece highlights some of the interesting elements of the city that locals might be blind to.

His first observations involve food in the city, and can only be described as completely off base; he notes that the only food he has successfully discovered is pizza, and even insinuates that IKEA doesn’t serve food. Dude, ever heard of köttbullar?

The second observation focuses on the topography and greenness of Atlanta. When compared to the desolate flatlands of Texas, our city could be pretty shocking for a newcomer. In a good way. He takes the opportunity to pine for Lone Star State barrenness, and Atlantans should take pride in the crux of the matter. Our reputation as a city in a forest holds true.

Item three on Rhode’s list is that the city could potentially still be burning from that fire 152 years ago. His arrival happened to coincide with the forest fires across the state, and given the smokey haze that enveloped the city this month, he can be forgiven for the jab. Plus, it’s raining. Finally.

The aftermath of the first burning of Atlanta.
via W. Daniel Anderson

And, finally, Rhode comes to the lack of pedestrian friendliness that Atlanta is unfortunately known for.

While pockets of the city are immensely more accommodating than they used to be, there are many, many more swaths that have a long way to go.

While outlandish, the article does play up a few of our city’s unique attributes; and given the tongue-in-cheek nature of the publication, Rhode can probably be forgiven for the knocks.

Though, in all honesty, someone should probably take this guy out for something more than pizza.