After waking up at 4am for my flight at 6:45am, I landed in Atlanta. I hopped in a cab to the hotel and waited for my mom to return from her meetings.
When my mom got back to the hotel, we walked around the area near us which included the Coca-Cola museum, the Georgia Aquarium, and Centennial Olympic Park.
After a quick snack and some more exploration of the area, we went back to the hotel to change and get ready for dinner. We had reservations at JCT Kitchen, a restaurant that came highly recommended. Everyone we interacted with in Atlanta was incredibly nice and pleasant - even all our waiters and Uber drivers. We had a great dinner and sat out by the courtyard with lights on the trees.
We began day two at the Carter Presidential Center.
I left the center feeling very inspired and learned a lot about Jimmy Carter, his family, his presidency, and all of his work post-presidency. No one can argue with the amazing things Jimmy Carter has doneto help people around the globe since his presidency ended. The humanitarian efforts and causes that Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have worked towards are incredible.
Following a few hours at the Carter Center we walked and shopped around the Inman Park area a little. There were several boutique shops and little restaurants and cafes. These are the kind of areas I love to explore in new cities.
We went to a restaurant called Barcelona for an early dinner. We decided to go with a tasting menu of all the tapas and a pitcher of sangria to share. Even just looking at the menu got me so excited and missing the amazing food in Spain. First we got our sangria, which I loved. It was perfectly balanced and had just enough fruit in it. The menu and tapas seemed very authentically Spanish and delicious. We began with Serrano ham, which was almost as good as all the ham in Spain! Our meal also included ham croquets (I can’t even tell you how many of these I ate each day in Madrid!), grilled zucchini and mushrooms, cooked cauliflower, and hanger steak bites. The last thing we had was quail… I was very skeptical of eating it because of the way it was plated. It was literally the whole little bird and freaked me out a bit. I tried a bite but couldn’t bring myself to eat much more. Each of these things came with a variety of seasonings and sauces on them – I have no idea what they were, but they were all delicious. Finally, we shared some churros and few bites of flan for dessert.
After dinner we wanted to stop by the MLK Jr National Historic site, knowing that the buildings would likely not be open. To our surprise, the visitor center, exhibits, and even the Ebenezer Baptist Church were all still open.
There was also some sort of street fair/arts show happening around the grounds of the MLK Jr. National Historic site. The streets got much busier around 8/9pm and we continued exploring. I watched a choir sing before moving on to the “Imagine Peace Walls” by Yoko Ono. There was a series of maps of different areas around the country and around the world. Stamps that read “Imagine Peace” and stamp pads were hanging on all of them maps so that people could stamp where they were from, where they had been, where they wanted to go, or where they would “imagine peace”. If you know me, you know I loved this. I love the Beatles. I love John Lennon. I love that Yoko Ono sponsored this event here. I loved how it brought people together and created an interactive experience.
There was also live music around the event. There was a choir singing that I mentioned before, a man playing songs on his guitar, and a quartet playing trombones that really engaged the crowd. I could’ve stayed and watched them play all night. I’m all about live music and the entire experience surrounding it. Read my previous blog entries (all of them but specifically Dublin, Barcelona, Prague, NYC – Round 1) to truly understand my live music love.
Another exhibit at the Flux Night: Dream event was “Bending the Arc”. There was an arc of microphones set up in a field facing a large brick wall. An arc of lights was projected onto the huge brick wall. When people spoke or sang into the various microphones, the corresponding part of the arc would lift and bend. So if all the microphones were being used, the arc would go very high and bend. At the end of the event (midnight) and artist was going to play a song inspired/influence by MLK Jr. and sample in some of the voices that sang at the microphones throughout the night.
We ended the night at the Hyatt Regency bar Polaris that sits at the top of the hotel and slowly rotates to give you 360 degree views of the city.
Maybe I just didn’t hit the right areas and right sights but overall I wasn’t too impressed with Atlanta. Both the MLK Jr. National Historic site and the Carter Center were incredible and I absolutely loved everything about the Flux Night: Dream event. However, outside of those attractions, Atlanta didn’t seem as big or interesting as I would have thought!
All the live music and arts experiences I’ve had in the past year have really guided my thoughts career wise into wanting to do something arts related. Yes, marketing is ultimately about driving sales and increasing revenue. I love having the opportunity to be creative, to create content for all different mediums, to engage with consumers, to review and understand analytics, to build websites and geek out on all things website/digital/social media related. I can do that with marketing for any type of organization or company. I’ve come to realize how much better it can be when I’m doing these things for an organization that I’m also passionate about. Both Bravo! Vail and Comedy Works gave me the opportunity to be a total marketing nerd while immersed in a field that I genuinely enjoyed and was passionate about – live music and live comedy, both live arts forms and experiences. I want to bring these unique experiences to people. I want to bring them the freedom and happiness of live art, whether it be music, comedy, dance, theater, or any other live experience.