Whenever I bring up Atlanta in conversations, the first word that comes up is 'traffic'. Who knows what else goes on in that city. To the rest of the world, Atlanta is traffic. Too many cars going way too fast on very very wide interstates. In fact, the city has nearly been paved over completely.


In Star Wars, Coruscant is an 'ecumenopolis' - a city-covered planet. So is Trantor in the Foundation series. Atlanta seems to be aspiring to being the city that covers the planet.

If you live in Atlanta, especially in the northern suburbs, you live in your car as much as you live in your house. In fact, you may not live in your house very much at all, since in order to afford your cavernous mega-box with the 10ft ceilings and hardwood flooring, you have to work all the time. Your house becomes an expensive container for clothes and, if you have kids, great heaps of toys.

The land seems hard - the city sits on a layer of pavement over a layer of red clay. Trees grow huge but don't seem to offer any shelter. In fact, the whole place seems quite inhospitable to people. As if the city was designed and built for cars and people are just an afterthought, necessary for cars to operate.

Downtown atlantadowntown driving