Atlanta is growing, expecting to sit at the core of a metropolitan statistical areas boasting a population of 9.0 million residents over the next twenty years. I saw something at the Whole Foods in Midtown during Hurricane Irma that made me question the resilience of the city. While customers raided the shelves for bottled water, they left a lot of alkaline water on the shelves. These are the very customers that swear by the health benefits of alkaline water, but in this instance they were foregoing health for the cheaper water. Shouldn’t health be a consistent part of life?
It just seemed a little hypocritical to me that residents of a city sitting over a thousand feet above sea level and relatively inland would go forego their values regarding health because of a storm that was not expected to bring any where near the damage expected by our neighbors to the south. But there the shelves were; not one bottle of water with the exception of $3.99 bottles of alkaline water.
The 21st century Atlantan is interesting to observe. No, more like slightly amusing. The body language of the people in the core city reflects not a care in the world. I often wonder if these people have jobs much less a care in the world. They look more like displaced mid-westerners trying to make Atlanta proper look and feel like Manhattan. I guess this is the type of swag you should expect from citizens that occupy an alpha-city.
But it looks more to me like a city that has no character. Yes, the jobs are coming here. Almost 80,000 were created in Atlanta in 2016, but I see a blandness. The city is so transient that the people with some skin in the cultural game, mainly those that were born here, appear to be outnumbered by those of us who were not. This is nothing new. I heard this complaint back in the mid 1980s when I first lived here. The resentment of people who were born here that believed they were being foreclosed from opportunities because out of town people moving to the Peach City were blessed and highly favored by employers.
They are probably right. I know very few people who were born here. Mary Norwood, a candidate for Atlanta mayor wasn’t born here. Cleta Winslow, a member of the Atlanta city council representing my district, wasn’t born here. I have high school and law school classmates that live in the area, none of whom are from here.
Southern charm is being pushed out by Northern and Midwestern blandness.