We asked Redfin real estate agents in Atlanta to tell us what it’s like to live in the ATL, and we don’t mean the airport. Read on for 30 signs you live in the land of the Peachtree and home of the Braves…
1.) You don’t get confused when someone says they’re on the corner of Peachtree and Peachtree.
“You’ll never forget what the state fruit is. Everywhere you go there are peach signs, and there are 50 or 60 streets named Peachtree. It’s possible to be on the corner of Peachtree and Peachtree!” said Danielle Coats, a Redfin real estate agent in Atlanta.
2.) Hearing “Spaghetti Junction” doesn’t make you hungry.
“People are always complaining of traffic in the city. The 75, 85 and 400 all collide downtown, creating merging madness. Interstate 85 and 285 intersect, and all the ramps resemble a plate of spaghetti, so it’s known as ‘Spaghetti Junction.’ People will take the side roads and drive even longer just so they’re not sitting there in traffic. The 400 takes you from Buckhead to various suburbs like Alpharetta, but it’s hard to travel east-west in the northern suburbs, because there aren’t any major highways that go that direction,” said James Marks, a Redfin real estate agent in Atlanta.
3.) You run to the store to stock up on bread and milk at the remote possibility of snow.
“When it snows, it gets icy, and the whole city shuts down. No one goes to work. The store shelves get empty, because everyone runs out to get supplies,” said Sascha Gummersbach, a Redfin real estate agent in Atlanta.
4.) You slow down when it rains. You slow down when it’s sunny. You slow down to let someone merge.
“Everyone drives like they’re on egg shells when it rains. People aren’t used to it, even though Atlanta gets heavy summer rains. There’s a lot of flooding on the roads. On really sunny days people slow down because they’re being blinded – it’s called ‘sunshine slowdown.’ Southern hospitality shows up on the roads; unlike other cities, people will actually let you merge in Atlanta,” said Gummersbach.
5.) Construction. It plagues your life.
“Construction on the roads happens all the time. You have to leave 30 minutes early to get anywhere. One day the street will be straight, the next day it’ll be right-turn only,” said Coats.
6.) Pollen. It plagues your life.
“Spring is the time of year when everything blossoms and its beautiful outside. But unfortunately that means the pollen gets really bad. When it gets breezy, you can see yellow dust clouds in the sky. Some call it Georgia snow! People with allergies need to take medication and run air filters to get relief,” said Gummersbach.
7.) You have clean, old-fashioned hate for Georgia Tech or UGA.
“The University of Georgia is about an hour and a half away from Atlanta, and Georgia Tech is right in the city, so people here tend to choose one team over the other. UGA is a big public schoold, while Georgia Tech is smaller, and there’s always a rivalry going on, all in good fun,” said Coats.
8.) You’ve nursed a hangover at Chick-Fil-A, Flip, The Varsity or Flying Biscuit.
“There are a lot of local restaurants and chains that specialize in comfort food like fried chicken, biscuits, burgers and hot dogs. Chick-Fil-A is headquartered here, so you see a lot of them,” said Marks.
9.) You’ve been a fan of The Braves ever since you got a Chipper Jones bobble head.
“People in Atlanta are fans of the Braves, even if they don’t watch baseball. Many people don’t know who the players are or the stats, but they go to the games. Chipper Jones retired last year but is still an all-time favorite. They have fan appreciation nights where they hand out bobble heads. Little League Baseball is also huge here; people lose their voices cheering on their kids,” said Gummersbach.
10.) You’re down with OTP. Yeah you know what we mean.
“Interstate 285 circles the city, creating what’s known as ‘the perimeter.’ People use the phrase ITP, ‘in the perimeter,’ and OTP, ‘outside the perimeter,’ to refer to areas of the city. A lot of people live outside of the perimeter and drive into the city for work,” said Marks.
11.) You would never name your kid Marta.
“The public transportation is called MARTA. It runs through the city, but doesn’t extend into the suburbs, so a lot of people drive instead,” said Gummersbach.
12.) You’ve purchased peach jam at a farmer’s market.
“You can buy fresh, locally farmed foods at farmer’s markets. There are really big ones, and smaller mom-and-pop versions that pop up on every corner on Saturdays. And of course they sell all things peaches; there’s peach jam, peach butter, peach pie, the list goes on,” said Coats.
13.) You realize how friendly Atlanta is when you travel to other cities.
“Atlanta is a friendly city. In other cities people hide from strangers, but here people don’t ignore you. People will say please and thank you, open doors, give directions to a tourist. Southern hospitality is real. People want to help,” said Coats.
14.) You’re tired of taking visitors to the World of Coca-Cola museum, the Georgia Aquarium and The Underground.
“Coke is headquartered in Atlanta, and there’s a museum called World of Coca-Cola. It’s huge. People from all over the world visit it. They have a vault where they keep the secret formula for Coke. Another popular spot is The Underground, a shopping mall that pretty much only tourists go to. And ever since the aquarium opened up, that’s a popular spot to take visitors,” said Coats.
15.) You feel guilty when you drink Pepsi.
“Since Coke has headquarters here, you feel like you’re betraying Coke if you drink Pepsi. Every soda is called a Coke here,” said Marks.
16.) You’ve asked someone if they mean Midtown or Downtown.
17.) You get excited when you meet someone who was born in Atlanta.
“Not many people are FROM Atlanta. So many people are moving to Atlanta at such a crazy rate that there’s actually a clock in Buckhead with a ticker that tells you the current population of the city. As companies relocate here, it’s becoming more of an international city. We’re getting more diverse neighborhoods and food,” said Gummersbach.
18.) You have a favorite flavor of peanuts.
“Roasted peanuts are a common snack in Atlanta. You’ll see guys on a corner selling all different types. There’s cinnamon, apple, spicy, all sorts of interesting and unique flavors,” said Coats.
19.) You remember the ’96 Olympics. Or just Izzy, depending on how old you are.
“Izzy was the mascot for the 1996 Olympics. No one knew what it was, so they called it Izzy, derived from ‘Whatizit?’ People here who were kids at the time have fond memories of the character. Unfortunately those who were adults will always remember the Centennial Olympic Park bombing that took place that year,” said Coats.
20.) You’ve debated “St. Louis Style” vs. “Carolina Style” barbecue.
“Barbecue is big in Atlanta. You have ‘St. Louis’ style, which has ketchup and sugar, and ‘Carolina Style,’ which has vinegar and mustard. People argue about which one is better,” said Marks.
21.) You’ve spent 20 minutes looking for parking to go to a festival at Piedmont Park.
“There are a ton of events that take place at Piedmont Park, from the Renaissance, to Jazz, to Dogwood, there’s always a festival going on. People like to get outside and take advantage of the amazing spring and fall weather,” said Marks.
22.) You’ve driven up north to watch the leaves change colors in the fall, or to Lake Lanier to cool off in the summer.
“In the fall, a lot of people drive up to Blue Ridge, Blairsville, Helen or Ellijay to go apple picking and see the colorful fall leaves. In summer, people go to Lake Lanier to cool off. It’s a huge reservoir formed by the Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River. People like to tie up boats together at Sunset Cove. The south end is where there are big parties,” said Marks.
23.) You’ve seen a film crew following a reality TV star.
“Atlanta is starting to become an entertainment hub. You see more and more movies and TV shows being filmed here, especially reality shows. I can go ten blocks in any direction and run into a TV crew,” said Coats.
24.) You’ve been to a haunted house in a strip mall.
“People love to party in Atlanta, and Halloween is a great excuse. There are huge costume parties all over the city. Our motto is work hard, play even harder. Haunted houses are huge! Stores and strip malls will close down and turn into haunted houses,” said Coats.
25.) You know a ton of Ray Charles songs.
“Ray Charles is from Georgia, so you hear his music a lot. Any kind of Georgia-related festival plays Ray Charles songs,” said Coats.
26.) The only tea you drink is sweet tea.
“Everyone drinks sweet tea for lunch. It has to be sweet. To make it, you take black tea, brew it, and then sweeten it with sugar while the tea is still hot. You let it cool down, and pour it over ice. Then you sip on it like candy,” said Gummersbach.
27.) You’ve told someone to turn at The Big Chicken. Or the Waffle House. Or the church on the corner.
“The Big Chicken is a landmark in Marietta. It’s part of a KFC that’s been there forever. There are also a ton of Waffle Houses, which stand out on the street with their big yellow signs. And since Georgia is in the Bible Belt, Atlanta also has a lot of churches of all denominations, including North Point, the second largest church in the country,” said Marks.
28.) You’ve considered getting satellite radio or using music apps in your car.
“There are several stations for country, top 40, hip-hop and sports, but not much else. There’s not a lot of variety. People are driving so much in Atlanta, you’d think there would be a lot more radio stations,” said Gummersbach.
29.) You’ve freaked out a little bit when riding the cable car at Stone Mountain.
“Stone Mountain is a large mountain on the east side. It’s a huge park, with a campground. There are a lot of trails, and a tram that takes you to the top,” said Marks.
30.) You’ve spent an hour packing for the laser light show at Stone Mountain.
“Stone Mountain hosts a laser light show that is really popular among families and teens. They have lasers and fireworks tuned to music. The seating is on the lawn, so you have to pack chairs, blankets, food, drinks, etc.,” said Marks.
What sign do you relate to the most? What signs did we miss? Tell us in the comments!