Originally Posted by Andrea
As to my Aussie friends, they were mystified. They loved the river and they loved MARTA's $1.75 fare -- it's about $15 to ride the train from the airport to downtown Sydney. They were also impressed with the old Buckhead mansions and Grant Park. As to the rest of Atlanta, well, as we know, it's not exactly what you you'll find in some other cities. When I took them down Peachtree into downtown, they asked, "Could we see the central city area?" To which I replied, "Well, this is it." They didn't get it.
Had your friends never seen a central city or are they just mentally challenged? Or maybe you got confused and took them to Douglasville? I can hardly believe that being downtown on Peachtree St. isn't identifiable as a central city - especially Five Points or vicinity. Atlanta isn't exactly what you'll find in other cities...like which other cities and what exactly do you find there that Atlanta isn't/doesn't have? I tend to focus on the good things that Atlanta DOES have, and there are a lot of them.
Ya know, it's tiring to read the criticisms of Atlanta from outsiders, many of whom have never been here and simply jump on the easy targets that they read about. But it's even more of a concern when the pot shots and worn out "Atlanta isn't urban enough" crap comes from residents, and that's exactly where I think this is coming from. People in smaller/lesser cities than Atlanta (and there are MANY) would be and ARE amazed at the offerings of this city. If it's not good enough for you then try living in Montgomery, or Tulsa, or Toledo, etc...
Am I defensive? Yes, I am...and with good reason. If I were escorting friends around the city and they made sarcastic or rude comments like that one, the tour would be over. How about if you visit Sydney and criticize the city they are so proud of? I wonder what kind of defensive response you would get? Criticisms with a purpose are fine as are comments/questions seeking an actual answer. But a good visitor to a city keeps his catty comments and sharp criticisms to himself and enjoys the sights.