Georgia: Atlanta

Avoiding the heat and enjoying the southern gentlemen of Atlanta


Georgia: Atlanta

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by kylebarber on January 7, 2001

Atlanta is such a popular place to visit and relocate to these days, that I was initially surprised at the low key qualities it possesed for such a large city. But after a few days I came to realize that this is much of Atlanta's charm. While offering the laid back pace of life of a small town, this metropolis has most of the services one would need to appreciate a fll city life experience.

It's also a very gay friendly city, without sacrificing any of the southern carm you'd hope for. As a jaded New Yorker, I was completely disarmed by all the friendly smiles and conversations. Yet I never felt concerned that I needed to hide who I was in this forward thinking town.

The only real downside to Atlanta was the mugginess and heat. But even that had its benefits, as the locals seem to be in no hurry getting anywhere or gettig to know you over a cocktail.${QuickSuggestions} ${BestWay} Despite there being multiple mass transit options throughout the cty, I found having a car indispensible. Many of the sights, bars and restaurants I visited were in far flung corners of the city, and walking around in the heat was too taxing for this sightseeing by foot fan.


Einstein's

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by kylebarber on January 7, 2001

Located in midtown Atlanta near many of the gay bars, Einstein's is a popular restaurant late into the evening. They have limited seating on the patio, which is a romantic option for dinner. I would have liked to have made it to their famous Sunday brunch, for which apparently all the local boys drag themselves out of bed. But the two meals I had here for lunch and dinaner were both excellent, and the service was particularly friendly. I wish I could order up one of my adorable waiters.
Einstein's
1007 Juniper St
Atlanta, Georgia, 30309
+1 404 876 7925

Colonnade

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by kylebarber on January 7, 2001

Since 1927 this roadside family dining establishment has been serving up traditional southern meals to loyal patrons. I wasn't thrilled with all of the meal, and the senior citizen waitstaff made me feel like time would stand still forever. But the accompaniments to my turkey dinner were fresh tasting and loaded with fat, grease and other unhealthy pleasures. I think I'd pass on the turkey, though. I'm not sure I believe the waiter who said that it was freshly roasted on the premises. It tasted more like microwave reheated Hormel. The pecan pie was serviceable, but that's not going to cut it when I'm visiting Atlanta.
Colonnade
1879 Cheshire Bridge Road
Atlanta, Georgia, 30324
+1 404 874 5642

Outwrite Books

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by kylebarber on January 7, 2001

This gay bookstore has to be among the best in the country. It's not only large, but packed with a wide diversity of books not often found at the porn-obsessed "bookstores" found in other cities. Adding to its appeal is the full service coffee bar inside the shop, which features entrée items on the menu beyond the now standard muffins and scones. You can feel free tolinger at the tables for however long as you'd like. Lots of gay tourist information was available here, which added immeasurably to my trip. It's worth checking out just to learn which bars are truly happening on which nights, and what places should be avoided despite what your guide book says.
Outwrite Books
991 Piedmont Ave
Atlanta, Georgia, 30309
+1 404 607 0082

Underground Atlanta

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by kylebarber on January 7, 2001

When Atlanta was first starting out as an industrial hub it relied on the quick expansion of the railroad to help make its name. In order to accomodate the large number of trains coming in and out of the city Atlanta needed more land. They began building on top of the downtown area, which over time grew less and less important to the everyday citizen. But their neglect has resulted in the preservation of an important historical area now known as Underground Atlanta.

Supposedly the most popular tourist attraction in the entire state of Georgia, Underground Atlanta is bustling with activity and throngs of people. But the experience is not so much about soaking up the rich cultural heritage of the Old South as looking for sale items at Banana Republic. While the dark corridors continue to have a spooky resonance and a number of historical displays are presented in the main thoroughfares, the folks here definitely are more tuned in to the commercial aspect of this attraction / mall.

There are some Atlanta and Deep South themed stores, but most of these are little more than glorified souvenir stands. You will find an outlet for purchasing tickets to local cultural events and shows during your stay in Atlanta. And a number of the restaurants are good for a quick bite, if not matching the yummy fare offered by more traditional restaurants around the city.

Underground Atlanta
50 Upper Alabama St.
Atlanta, Georgia, 30303
(404) 523-2311

Piedmont Park

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by kylebarber on January 7, 2001

This beautiful park is situated near midtown and much of the city's attractions and sights. Its convenience makes it quite popular with many residents, who are all out working up a sweat making the loop around the jogging path. I really enjoyed walking along this trail, checking out the rolling lawns and gigantic trees as well as the friendly passerbys who all had a smile to greet me. Quite different than Central Park in New York City!

The adjacent Atlanta Botanical Garden is spread out over thirty acres and contains many interesting species that are local to the region. They have a greenhouse where they nurture tropical and desert plants, including the world's largest flower back in 1998. I guess it didn't last too long, but grew to over six feet. The outdoor gardens, however, are the highlights of the park. It's quite calming to walk through their manicured gardens and listen to the unusual bird calls from the trees above.

Piedmont Park
10th Street
Atlanta, Georgia, 30309
+1 404 817 6817

Blake's

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by kylebarber on January 7, 2001

I was warned by many locals that this bar is pretty snooty and that the boys are neither friendly or talkative. But I had no trouble striking up a conversation with some of the folks at the well-lit and casual Blake's. It does seem to attract a younger and more professional crowd, but for me that is a definite plus. It's also a bit cruisier than other bars in Atlanta, but for someone who's just visiting from out of town, another big plus...

Downstairs is the main bar, a large square in the center of the room with boys seated at the counter or lined up along the wall. It's not hard to make eye contact or navigate your way to a friendly stranger. Upstairs is a more relaxed setting where they show videos, have a pool table, and provide comfortable seating. It's a much more social area, though you can order drinks and cruise cute Southerners up here equally well as downstairs.

Off to the side of this room is a large outdoor patio that got quite crowded early on in the evening. Despite the heavy haze of smoke, this is perhaps the best place to stand and model, as the young folks gravitate out here all evening. It's also a good place to catch the evening breezes that temper the afternoon's lingering heat.

Blake's
227 10th Street NE
Atlanta, Georgia, 30309
(404) 892-5786

Burkhart's

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by kylebarber on January 7, 2001

Burkhart's is a very laid back and friendly tavern for gays and lesbians, much different than the video bars I'm used to visiting in New York City. It is a little dark and foreboding when you first enter, but everyone here is quite easygoing and more than happy to strike up a conversation with a stranger.

Perhaps it's the casual atmosphere of the place, but Burkhart's does tend to attract an older crowd that what you might find at Burke's. But if you are looking for a mellow place to sip a beer with some locals you can't go wrong.

There are pool tables and sometimes on the weekend a barbeque, which only add to the easygoing atmosphere. Burkhart's bar is located inside the very gay friendly Ansley Square mall. You can catch a drink or two and then attend to all your one-stop shopping! A dream come true for more than a few gay men...

Burkhart's Pub
1492-F Piedmont Ave
Atlanta, Georgia, 30309
+1 404 872 4403

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