Home to a beautiful skyline, craftsman bungalows and renovated warehouses, Atlanta is a charming city with very proud residents. But just like any other major city, Atlanta comes with many stereotypes. Whether it’s spitting watermelon seeds, drinking sweet tea, or singing Stephen Foster songs, only real Atlantans will know the truth about their lovable city. Here are 15 things that only Atlantans will relate to and understand.
1. The excitement of when your friend suggests Fellinis at 1 a.m.
Many Atlantas consider late night Fellini’s to be therapeutic. When facing a long day at work, you and your friends will make up for the lost time by heading over to Fellini’s for late night snacking. You’ll make a party out of it and text your other absent friends to come along and have a wonderful gorge-fest to melt your horrible wasted day away.
2. When your out-of-town friends want to go to The Varsity
You’re most likely proud of the number of restaurants Atlanta has, featuring high-end chefs and food prepared with love, and oh…the food trucks, the magnificent food trucks. But nooo, your touristy friends demand to go to The Varsity because it’s “famous.” And you’re pretty much nauseated by the food too, so you retaliate by either trying to talk your friends out of it or cave in and pitifully put up with staff’s abusive “What’ll ya’ll have” berating.
3. Yes, southern hospitality really does exist
Many out-of-towners are skeptical that people of Atlanta are really this nice. It’s hard to believe that it’s possible for everyone (despite the traffic and burning heat) to still manage to be extremely friendly and courteous. And it’s all genuine, that is, until you start discussing past mistakes of the Braves.
4. You’re not confused by all the different Peachtree street names
Any newcomers or visitors will often complain about the confusing similar street names (understandably so). Whether it’s W. Peachtree Street, NW Peachtree Street or Peachtree Lane, Atlantans are not at all fazed by this and have truly mastered the art of telling the difference and location of all the streets.
5. The relief when you see a King of Pop stand on a hot Atlanta summer day
Nothing beats spotting a King of Pops when its close to the boiling point outside. Atlanta’s most famous and ubiquitous food stand always seems to appear at the right time — when you’re sweltering like crazy from Atlanta’s heat. You’ll muster all the strength you have to fork over your money and taste the refreshing popsicle. (You probably have a favorite flavor memorized by now too, and it’s probably Blackberry Ginger Lemonade or Arnold Palmer).
6. Good luck getting Pepsi, it’s all about Coke
Prepared to hear muffled laughter when you shamefully ask for a Pepsi at any of Atlanta’s restaurants. The staff will apologize and smugly tell you that they only have Coke. Coca-Cola practically owns this city, and in a very mafioso way, nearly every restaurant has a contract with solely Coca-Cola (or else they’ll be sleeping with the fishes). Oh, and real Atlantans do not call them sodas or Coca Colas–it’s Coke. Just Coke.
7. Feeling like an adventurous eater at Buford Highway
When shrimp n’ grits gets old, you and your friend will embark on a foodie adventure by exploring the authentic cuisine of Buford Highway. And when you’re done with your bowl of squid stew or ox-tail tacos, you’ll often find yourself browsing at the Buford Highway’s Farmer Market for pocky sticks, durian, and imported borscht.
8. You’re not afraid to admit that you’ve been to the Clermont Lounge
Strip clubs can be a sleazy experience, but somehow, going to the Clermont is a perfectly normal and non-creepy thing to do in Atlanta. Atlantans are strangely proud of this unusual strip club hosting your not-so-typical-strippers. Most locals have had the personal pleasure to cheer on Blondie, Clermont’s most famous stripper as she crushes beer cans between her breasts — like a lady.
9. The rational fear of a potential snowpocalpyse
In 2013, Atlanta had it’s own Chicken Little experience when the sky fell on them (okay it was just snow). No matter how much Atlantans are terrified of snow, they’re never prepared for this. They’ll always find themselves in a bind with not enough warm clothes, the inability to drive on ice, and the lack of salt trucks. This is daunting for every true Atlantan. When the snow finally melts and the ground turns green again, they will come out of their caves and share their war stories.
10. When out-of-towners tell you Atlanta sucks after only exploring downtown
Atlantans know this annoyance all too well. The biggest misconception about visiting Atlanta, is that downtown is the place to be. No, it’s not. Far from it. Many Atlantans will find themselves aggressively defending their city to haters by pointing out the hot spots they’ve missed out on, such as L5P, Virginia Highlands, Decatur, or Midtown. A good analogy explained to non-Atlantans is that they might as well visit NYC for the first time, only explore the Bronx, and then come back to tell everyone how New York was disappointing.
11. They’re too familiar with this logo
If you’re in Atlanta, chances are, you’ll see this recognizable and iconic sticker stenciled throughout the city. The well-known artist R. Land also adorns the city’s restaurants and shops (whatever hipster hideouts Atlanta has) with caricatured animals and even substitutes the human prayer hands for a pair of furry cat’s paws. Pray for CATL anyone?
12. Unfortunately, you probably know exactly who Buckhead Betties are
When someone announces that they live in Buckhead, most Atlantans will automatically assume that you’re loaded. Buckhead Betties are usually your typical desperate housewives that spend their days canvassing Lenox Square Mall with their CEO husband’s credit card, buying $300 sweaters at J.Crew, and retire for the day with their girlfriend over $15 sweet tea cocktails. They’re glitzy and fabulous (and they make sure you know that too).
13. You’re still not used to the traffic
Everyone complains about the traffic. Everyone. The all-too-familiar feeling of lull when you’re trapped behind the wheel for hours causes many to anguish. Despite the newly-implanted HOV lanes, the traffic has only “slightly” improved.
14. Lets admit it, the world’s busiest airport thing is kind of a pain
While Atlantans try to remind themselves of the perks of having one of the world’s largest airports at your convenience, they’re still burdened with the consequences that comes with it. Atlantans are irritated from trying to locate their boarding gate in this confusing seven-mile airport. And not to mention, arriving to the airport less than two hours before flight is a grave mistake at Hartsfield-Jackson.
15. You most likely have seen famous rappers eating at the same restaurant as you
You’ve probably seen Gucci Mane ordering a shot at a club or Andre 3000 snacking on vegan empanadas at R. Thomas. You’re surprised by how “normal” they are up close and personal. That they, too, can eat at restaurants like ordinary people. Who knew?