Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Atlanta: Big Pigeon is watching you

I'm back from a four-day trip to Atlanta for a class in relay design. The instructors, all three of them, were Greek -- apropos of nothing, but an unusual occurrence here in the south, I'd think. For some reason I missed, the owner of the laptop used for the presentations had a favorite bird picture for his wallpaper, creating the interesting effect seen here.

I made my obligatory trip to The Varsity on Monday; this is one of those places that achieves the coveted Michelin "Pilgrimage" status. Somebody has to have their chili recipe online somewhere. An unexpected discovery was Ray's N.Y. Pizza, just up the street from the Georgia Tech Conference Center -- two thumbs up for the "Manhattan" stromboli. No interesting dinners other than carry-in Chinese -- I had some writing and research to do back at the room and didn't go into any restaurants after class.

The hotel was an oddity. There is apparently a slow-motion remodeling job going on, so the lobby looked like a Frank Lloyd Wright tribute -- Johnson Wax "lily pad" columns, for example -- but upstairs you were likely to find the room number scribbled directly on the door with a Uniball pen, or a Marks-A-Lot if you're lucky. Most perplexing was the overall layout; did Holiday Inn go through an architectural "with-it" phase in the early seventies? I've seen more round Holiday Inns than any other hotel, for example, but this one took the cake -- a tri-lobed design which somehow put you two hallways away from anywhere, at any time. Really, really peculiar; triangles are good for bridges and roof trusses, not for floor plans.

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