Welcome to Atlanta
I took two trips by airplane this year. The first was to Cincinnati in February and the second to Atlanta last week.
I’m always looking out the window as I land, trying to feel the city below me. In February, I was captivated by the colorlessness of the Cincinnati landscape in winter – from the plane, there was only white and black below me, nothing else. Atlanta, by contrast, was a solid wall of green. I had expected autumn, but it was like going to a dense rainforest of trees and lianas.
The hotel held a surprise. I was going to a company conference at the Omni Atlanta – a fancy schmancy downtown hotel. Shiny floors, rich wood, giant floral arrangements. The usual for a place like this, right? But then I walked into my room on the ninth floor, opened the drapes, and saw this:
My room opened onto an atrium and my balcony overlooked CNN world headquarters.
I should have brought my binoculars, because try as I might, I could not catch a glimpse of Anderson Cooper. I went down to the Starbucks kiosk in the lobby and tried to see famous people, but I came to the conclusion that they have minions to fetch coffee for them. Conveniently, they have a dry cleaners down there in the lobby, which must come in handy for pressing Anderson’s black t-shirts when he’s out visiting a war-torn country.
There’s a giant CNN gift store, too, but if I were going to buy gifts for my news junkie friends, I think they would come from the NPR shop, not CNN. I’m snobby that way. Sorry, Wolf Blitzer.
That glowing spot is a giant – it must be 30 feet across – TV screen that blares CNN – what else?- 24 hours a day. It’s a little annoying – like having a motel room next to an annoying guy who never shuts the TV off. So much for the fancy-schmancy – I have had quieter stays at the Best Western by the interstate.
At least the room rates are pretty good – I just checked – $129 a night and up. It’s certainly centrally located, especially if you have an interview at CNN. I just hope for your sake that it is with Anderson Cooper and not Nancy Grace.