January 12-14 // canon 5D // Atlanta, GA 

One of the things I really want to do in the next year or two is explore the United States. And I know how strange that sounds, because I live there, right? But with the exception of a Disney trip and a few flights out to the Southwest to visit family, I've never really left the Northeast. The country is so vast, and with a lack of public transportation and hostels (sigh), it's kind of hard to go the distance.

But recently, my dreams of European cobblestones and the colors of India have been replaced, with that of open plains and vintage downtowns. Instagrams and articles  have me thinking, wondering, planning. There is so much to see, such a distinct identity in the United States, and I want to explore and understand and experience and comprehend that.

These restless thoughts coincided perfectly with my family's mini trip to Atlanta, GA, to see my mother accept her master's in photography. We only had one full day to see the city, but it was clear from the moment we stepped on the MARTA  that we were no longer in Massachusetts. From the windows of the train, we could see neighborhoods, with long, one story houses with front porches, abandoned warehouses and buildings, kids walking home from school on the train tracks.

On the first night, after the ceremony, we explored the aquarium, through a tunnel of water, thousands of liters of water suspended over our heads, metallic fish flitting this way and that (more on this later). The next morning, we wandered from neighborhood to neighborhood, cursing the dreaded MARTA (I know that Boston's MBTA has its issues, but MARTA) We gawked over the falling-down grand Victorians of Inman Park, lunched in Little Five Points (which gets its own post) and toured CNN. Everyone was unfailingly polite, prepared with a ma'am or sir--different from New England, where we are Gruff and Rude. The downtown was strange--empty, often, seemingly deserted of people, like a ghost town, a showcase rather than a living, breathing, neighborhood.

After an expensive pizza in Midtown, we headed back to our hotel, which was resoundingly okay, a generic sort of place that had the slight misfortune of being located next to the subway ventilation shafts. And the next morning? We were gone, flying up, over the subdivisions that wrap around Atlanta and strange lakes that look like arteries, seeping into the lands.

It might have been the shortest trip in the world, but it did get me thinking.

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