Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
What’s up, Hawaii. #oahu #vscocam
Last night’s Black Cherry Crumble Pie. 7/50 #muriels50pies
Drunken photo booth strip from Ash’s bachelorette party last September.
What happened in Atlanta this week is not a matter of Southerners blindsided by unpredictable weather. More than any event I’ve witnessed in two decades of living in and writing about this city, this snowstorm underscores the horrible history of suburban sprawl in the United States and the bad political decisions that drive it. It tells us something not just about what’s wrong with one city in America today but what can happen when disaster strikes many places across the country. As with famines in foreign lands, it’s important to understand: It’s not an act of nature or God—this fiasco is manmade from start to finish. But to truly get what’s wrong with Atlanta today, you have to look at these four factors, decades in the making.
Regionalism here is hard. The population of this state has doubled in the past 40-45 years, and many of the older voters who control it still think of it as the way it was when they were growing up. The urban core of Atlanta is a minority participant in a state government controlled by rural and northern Atlanta exurban interests. The state government gives MARTA (Atlanta’s heavy rail transportation system) no money. There’s tough regional and racial history here which is both shameful and a part of the inheritance we all have by being a part of this region. Demographics are evolving quickly, but government moves more slowly. The city in which I live, Brookhaven, was incorporated in 2012. This is its first-ever snowstorm (again, 2 inches). It’s a fairly affluent, mostly white, urban small city. We were unprepared too.
The issue is that you have three layers of government—city, county, state—and none of them really trust the other. And why should they? Cobb County just “stole the Braves” from the city of Atlanta. Why would Atlanta cede transportation authority to a regional body when its history in dealing with the region/state has been to carve up Atlanta with highways and never embrace its transit system? Why would the region/state want to give more authority to Atlanta when many of the people in the region want nothing to do with the city of Atlanta unless it involves getting to work or a Braves game?”
Hi, all of this, and also how many times to do I have to hear Kasim Reed explain to local—as in located in the city of Atlanta!—media that the fucking interstates, while they may pass through the city, are not within his goddamned jurisdiction?! I’m seeing our modest city of around 500,000 becoming a scapegoat for a region of 6 million, because it’s convenient and acceptable.
It’s snowing in Atlanta, always a plus. Not a plus is how unprepared the city was for this, all of the stranded people and how our train system leaves A LOT to be desired.
We decided against France this year and instead booked our tickets to Iceland and Amsterdam. We also booked our lodging, including a fucking camper we are driving on the south coast of Iceland. Holy crap.
Freelance is an all-time high and I am thankful for today’s snow day so I can catch up on life and all of the deadlines I have.
We leave for Hawaii next Thursday and while laying on the beach sounds really nice right now, I can’t help but be crazy excited about the snow sticking around.
Alta and Jack are now BFFs and my heart can’t take it.
That is all.
I’m okay with this.