Atlanta acquired the nickname HOTLanta long before I can remember, but if forced to remember, I would say that it was the year 1995 when I remember taking my first trip and determining for myself why it’s HOT. Hot in a major way, not just the weather. However, considering it’s not the hottest city temperature wise, there’s no complaints here. It has always been a city on my radar. Aside from Atlanta hosting the largest, free Jazz festival in the Country, their educational programs such as: The Cultural Experience Project, I remember saying to myself that when I graduated college, I would go to Atlanta to secure employment and set up residency. Here’s why: Dominant Sectors Include: Trade, transportation, and utilities 530.3 Professional and business services 391.4 Government 311.9 Education and health services 282.3 Leisure and hospitality 218.3 Manufacturing 146.5 Financial activities 128.5 Residential Transit… (Employees (Thousands))-Wikipedia
Photo Credit: Ballard Spahr LLP
There must be a reason why Atlanta has the most traveled airport in the world, right? It ranked #1 – Serving 110 million passengers annually and functioning as headquarters for Delta Air Lines. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport connects more people than any other in the world. () It probably has something to do with the state of Georgia being ranked #1 as the best state for doing business: Corporate facility investors and site consultants awarded Georgia has ranked #1 state for business climate four years in a row and the #1 state for business three years in a row.
Business & Networking: Atlanta’s Business and Networking scene is almost unmatched on the East Coast, and ranks Fourth in the number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered within city boundaries, behind New York, Houston and Dallas. With many large companies and corporations established in the city, there’s a dominant source of leadership, mentorship and affiliates to connect with as an entrepreneur, intern, or for entry level and executive level positions. Atlanta has produced some of the Country’s best in Media & Communications, Film & Television and is the source for Logistics, such as Delta Airline, which is the city’s largest employer and the metro areas third largest.
Atlanta is also a major center of television production and is the hub of the nation’s third-largest film industry. Atlanta counts the presence of Turner Studios, which produces content for the Turner Broadcasting family of stations; since 2008 the Tyler Perry Studios in Southwest Atlanta; and since 2010 the EUE/Screen Gems soundstages in Lakewood Heights, south Atlanta. Atlanta is the setting for popular TV shows such as the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Tyler Perry’s series. Due to Perry, the “Housewives”, and others, Atlanta is also known as a center of black entertainment in the U.S
The city is a major cable television programming center. Ted Turner began the Turner Broadcasting System media empire in Atlanta, where he bought a UHF station that eventually became WTBS. Turner established the headquarters of the Cable News Network at CNN Center, adjacent today to Centennial Olympic Park. As his company grew, its other channels-the Cartoon Network, Boomerang, TNT, Turner South, Turner Classic Movies, CNN International, CNN en Español, HLN, and CNN Airport Network-centered their operations in Atlanta as well (Turner South has since been sold). Turner Broadcasting is a division of Time Warner. In 2008 Tyler Perry established his studios in Southwest Atlanta; and in 2010 EUE/Screen Gems opened soundstages in Lakewood Heights, south Atlanta. The Weather Channel, owned by a consortium of NBC Universal, Blackstone Group, and Bain Capital, has its offices in the Cumberland district northwest of downtown Atlanta.
Cox Enterprises, a privately held company controlled by James C. Kennedy, his sister Blair Parry-Okeden and their aunt Anne Cox Chambers, has substantial media holdings in and beyond Atlanta; it is headquartered in the city of Sandy Springs. Its Cox Communications division, headquartered in unincorporated DeKalb County, is the third-largest cable television service provider in the United States
Employment: Anytime there’s a strong and secure platform for networking, there’s a foundation for the possibility of securing long-term employment, accomplishing career goals and maintaining longevity in a position with a major company who provides adequate benefits and pay structure. You know the adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” Well, I firmly believe that it’s what you know also who you know.
Atlanta has a growing hi-tech community and is also home to a growing Biotechnology sector, gaining recognition through such events as the 2009 BIO International Convention. Atlanta is also the headquarters of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region II.
Unincorporated DeKalb County is also home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Adjacent to Emory University, with a staff of nearly 15,000 including: engineers, entomologists, epidemiologists, biologists, physicians, veterinarians, behavioral scientists, nurses, medical technologists, economists, health communicators, toxicologists, chemists, computer scientists, and statisticians.
Top Employers in the Metro Atlanta are: Delta Air Lines, Emory University / Emory Healthcare, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., The Home Depot and AT&T. Atlanta provides the stage for connecting the who’s who in business, and other like-minded business professionals, along with the movers and shakers in multiple industries….
Including several National and International companies which are headquartered in metro Atlanta, including seven Fortune 100 companies: The Coca-Cola Company, Home Depot, United Parcel Service, Delta Air Lines, AT&T Mobility, and Newell Rubbermaid. Other headquarters for some major companies in Atlanta and around the metro area include Arby’s, Chick-fil-A, Earthlink, Equifax, First Data, Foundation Financial Group, Gentiva Health Services, Georgia-Pacific, NCR, Oxford Industries, RaceTrac Petroleum, Southern Company, SunTrust Banks, Mirant, and Waffle House. Over 75% of the Fortune 1000 companies have a presence in the Atlanta area, and the region hosts offices of about 1,250 multinational corporations. As of 2006 Atlanta Metropolitan Area ranks as the 10th largest cybercity (high-tech center) in the US, with 126,700 high-tech jobs (Wikipedia)
So, what is there to do in Atlanta, other than Networking, Working and adding an esteemed list of acquaintances to your little black book, while establishing relationships with the Go-getters of the world? I am so glad you asked. Here’s what I recommend:
Photo Credit: Expedia
The World of Coca-Cola: World of Coca-Cola at Pemberton Place® celebrated its Grand Opening on May 24, 2007. It’s the only place where you can explore the fascinating story of Coca‑Cola® – the world’s best-known beverage brand
Photo Credit: Curbed Atlanta
CNN Center: CNN Studio Tours provides exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the world headquarters of CNN in downtown Atlanta, GA. The tour started in 1987 and has been growing in popularity ever since.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME AND CHICK-FIL-A FAN EXPERIENCE: 95,000 square feet. A 45-yard indoor football field. More than 50 engaging and interactive exhibits. A shrine to the greatest to ever play or coach the game. All in the heart of downtown Atlanta.
Photo Credit: Mommy Nearest
FERNBANK MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: adventure filled with dinosaurs, live animals, cultural artifacts and hands-on science explorations. Take a walk on the wild side as you explore 75 acres of new outdoor nature adventures.
Photo Credit: georgia Aquarium
GEORGIA AQUARIUM: Georgia Aquarium is a nonprofit committed to inspiring awareness and preservation of our ocean and aquatic animals worldwide.
From boutiques to art galleries, antiques and outlet centers, Atlanta shopping is everywhere. Venture into Buckhead for luxurious Atlanta shopping with upscale malls such as Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza that feature top brands.
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA):
Atlanta Streetcar: Began operations downtown in 2014
Buc Shuttle: Fast, frequent, free shuttle service in Buckhead
Georgia Regional Transportation Authority Xpress Bus: Regional express bus serving Cobb, Gwinnett, Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, and Perimeter Circle
Cobb Community Transit: Bus serving Cobb, Downtown, and Midtown
Gwinnett County Transit: Bus serving Gwinnett, Downtown, and Midtown
After a nine-hour road trip from Houston, Texas, to Daphne, Alabama to visit my parents; I am totally convinced of why children were made. They were made to keep us alive, by talking us to death! Because that’s what it takes to keep us alive, on the road. As sarcastic as that revelation may seem, it is the whole truth and nothing but the truth #ThatsMyFinalAnswer
It was bad enough that the trip should have only taken 6-7 hours, and after one stop for gas, it should have been smooth sailing. Had we departed Houston within the time frame, which my experience over the years, had stressed to me, to be the safest time to leave; I would have had 2 hours less the torture. However, because we were 1.5 hour late in leaving, due to making a last-minute grocery run for travel snacks, we also endured the feat of getting out of the city during Houston’s lunch time traffic.
I have never been asked, “why,” so many times in one day, and so I have never felt so ignorant in all my life. I also felt tired and exhausted, long before we made it to Beaumont, Texas. (Only an hour away). I began to question, “Why did I take this road trip? Can I do this? Am I really prepared for this……and LORD, will he ever just shut up and just go to sleep?” All the arrows pointed toward no, but I was waiting on the last answer from the man above, so I continued to drive.
I was already tired and still feeling the residuals of an “Adult Only” 4th of July weekend, which was followed by a lot of mommy juice earlier in the week. Nonetheless, I was still good for the road. Or so I thought. In my defense, this was not the first time I took the trip, so I knew what I was capable of doing it and I knew that it could be done. But, I must say, doing this trip with a kid, after the 4th of July, was a little different. Any other time, I can coast, with the music blasting… listening to the sound that my own mind makes, while I entertain thoughts of what I will do when I make it to my destination. I was not prepared for this! And GOD had not answered the call yet, about if my child was going to sleep any time soon. I kept driving and he kept asking questions. He continued to talk. No rhyme or reason of course, because he’s only 6-years old. It was random conversations and I truly felt like I was chasing him through a fully crowded amusement park, trying to keep up with him. He kept switching gears and I kept getting sleepier. I got more sleep than he did, so why was this happening to me? What did I ever do that was so wrong, that I would be “talked-to-death” like this? You can’t tell a child to shut up – that’s just wrong. But the traffic was atrocious! And the road rage and angry driver were all around me, so I had to take the good (staying awake and alert) with the bad (being talked into a coma) …and sang into the oblivion.
Finally, a phone call from a friend came in. I almost ran off the road, trying to take that call. It was like being stranded in a dessert and reaching for an oasis! I quickly answered and desperately sought out some adult conversation, almost as if in a hostage situation where I had a matter of seconds to get the information across. I just wanted to talk about nothing, just anything that did not involve, “Mom, do you know how many people are in the world? … Mom, do you know how many red cars are in the entire world? … Mom, why did GOD make the sun so hot? … Mom, are you going to take a short cut? … Mom, Mom, Mom … UTOH!” * RollsEyes… What is it now, Cornelius? What did you spill? So, anyway… I was happy to talk about a customer service complaint that my friend had to deal with at work earlier in the day. Who wants to hear that! ME! I did! I wanted to hear it, because I could not take another Knock-Knock joke, or another Why did the XYZ cross the road, what did the XYZ say to the XYZ, and I did not want to play I SPOT, anymore!
I feel so terrible about the fact that a game as innocent as I spot a little red car, could generate so much animosity. He just wanted to play a game. OMG, I am such an awful parent. I really just wanted to respond, “I SPOT SOME SLEEP! I SPOT A LITTLE BOY WHO WONT GO TO SLEEP! I SPOT A HEADACHE! I SPOT A BED THAT I WISH I COULD BE IN! I SPOT A MISTAKE THAT I MADE BY GETTING ON THIS ROAD, WHILE I WAS TIRED!” At one point, I swear I spotted an exit that said home, but I was still 6 hours away. Or so I thought. So, I took a deep breath and I kept it together though. I Learned how to do that in co-parenting class. I passed that class, so I knew the routine would work. 10…9…8…7… I couldn’t finish the conversation about the angry customer who called to talk about the over-priced service they were paying for, for the last 5 years and how she wanted out of her contract without paying any termination fees. That is because each time my friend got a word out, my son would ask, “ Mom, who is that? … How do you know him? … How do you spell his name? … How long are you going to be on the phone? … etc.
Right about then, we entered Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We were at a snail’s pace for 2 solid hours… until we hit the other side of Hammond, Louisiana and the talking had yet to cease. I stopped for gas and a bathroom break, just to stretch my legs and to give my ears, eyes and brain a break. I allowed him to pump gas and I just walked around the car, did some jumping jacks, jogged in place, did some YOGA, meditated, tried to summon the man above – so I prayed. Where are you GOD?
We hit the road again, for the final stretch home. But to my dismay, we were greeted by another set of halted cars, which prolonged the trip even more and subjected me to the final hour, which turned into the final 2.5 hours. When we made it to Tillman’s Corner, just after the Welcome to Alabama sign, I thought to myself, “OMG- 30 more minutes and I am home free. That is when the little tyke decided he had to do the number 2. Why GOD? Why? When I finally made it home, I realized that GOD was there the whole time. He was talking me to death to keep me alive.