Midtown, Atlanta

Midtown Atlanta is located right next to downtown, so it’s easy to get into the business district if that is why you are visiting Atlanta, but also right next to Buckhead, which is Atlanta’s number one night spot. It is a classy area with a southern flare! Amazing restaurants, hotels, bars, and cultural centers are all at your fingertips.   If you love the hustle and bustle of a big city, Midtown is where you want to stay.


  • The Fox Theater is an old movie palace and cultural centerpiece in midtown Atlanta. It is built in both an Islamic and Egyptian architectural style and the auditorium replicates an Arabian courtyard with a night sky of 96 crystal stars, which flicker during the shows. It hosts a variety of cultural and artistic events and well worth checking out while you are in town!
  • If you like orchestras, then check out the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in the Woodruff Arts Center.
  • The Center for Puppetry Arts is the largest American theater for puppetry and opened in 1978 when Kermit the Frog and his creator Jim Henson, cut the opening ribbon. It is an amazing museum with equally amazing shows, so if you are looking for something eclectic and different to do, check it out!
  • With over 15,000 works in the permanent collection, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art is the Southeast’s leading art museum.
  • The Margaret Mitchell House was home to the author of Gone With the Wind and the location for where it was written. It is in the heart of midtown and makes for an easy afternoon stopover.
  • The United States is well known for its drive-in fast food establishments, and Atlanta happens to have the country’s biggest in the world! The Varsity is a staple in midtown and if you have never had a sloppy dog, you’d better get down there and see what the fuss is all about!
  • John Pemberton created Coca Cola in Atlanta in 1886 and the history of its birth and evolution are well documented at The World of Coca Cola near Olympic Park. There you can check out sixty different flavors from around the world.
  • Piedmont Park is Atlanta’s urban park and it is nestled between Midtown and Virginia Highland neighborhoods. It has two softball fields, tow soccer fields, 12 tennis courts and plenty of dirt and paved paths for cyclists and joggers. It even has a fishing pond where anyone can fish, stocked with large mouth bass, crappie, bream, and catfish.
  • The Swan House is one of the most recognized and photographed landmarks in Atlanta, and one of my favorite places. It is a classically styled mansion built for the Inman family, heirs to a cotton brokerage fortune. The Atlanta History Center now owns it and so you can visit and take tours Monday through Saturday until 4:00pm.
  • I would be remiss to speak of Midtown and not suggest you visit one of the South’s biggest music festivals, called Music Midtown. It usually takes place in the fall in Piedmont Park and always has the biggest names of the day playing.

Where to stay

W Atlanta Midtown

Four Seasons Midtown Atlanta

Artmore Hotel

Stonehurst Place

The Ellis Hotel

Where to eat

Empire State South



The Lawrence

The Melting Pot

Steel Restaurant and Sushi Lounge

Front Page News

Where to imbibe

Henry’s Midtown Tavern

Tap: A Gastropub

Vortex Bar & Grill


Dive Bar Buckhead

Hangovers Buckhead

Red Door Tavern



Hannover, Germany

‘Hannofah’, as Germans pronounce it, is a medieval city which was at different times throughout its history a Principality within the Holy Roman Empire, a Province within the Kingdom of Prussia, an independent Kingdom and home to a three hundred year old monarchy that ruled its own territory, as well as that of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Yet, it is a city that now flies under the radar in Germany due in part to its post-war architecture and haphazard city zoning codes (or lack thereof), but also a city that doesn’t get enough praise for its remarkable attributes. Despite the city’s physical destruction during the War, its gilded atmosphere remains along with a rich history, alluring traditions, ancient legends and fantastic tales that span across two thousand years.

From 1714, the House of Hannover ruled over the entire British Empire and though their main family castle in the center of Hannover was destroyed in WWII, there are six more enchanting royal castles dotted over Hannover’s countryside that are still fully intact and sights to be seen.

World War II was atrocious for many reasons and from an architectural and city planning standpoint, it was utterly crushing. In West Germany alone, four hundred million cubic meters of rubble were piled up after the war, and in it, 30% of the country’s historic buildings. Hannover was no exception and in 1945 after eighty allied bombings, it quickly curtailed from a city of architectural regality and splendor to a city of architectural demise.

Unlike Munich, and its conservative resistance to modern architecture, Hannover adopted a modernist approach to its reconstruction. Many felt that even the most faithful attempt to reproduce that which was destroyed would evoke for the viewer a feeling of falsified history. Many German architects such as Friedrich Krauss called for “respecting the reality of history” and this is exactly what Hannover did. As a result, 90% of the current city was built after 1945.

Though Hannover’s architecture is modern, you can quickly find yourself in the picturesque old world backdrop that surrounds it. Many of the region’s historic half-timbered house towns are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Hameln where the Brothers Grimm Pied Piper comes from. The area is bursting with folk tales and in fact, the Brothers Grimm lived in, what was called at that time, the Kingdom of Hannover where they gathered local folklore and turned them into stories we know now such as Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Hansel and Gretel, to name a few.

Hannover is rich with folklore to this day and it still practices old Pagan traditions such as the Fire Festivals at Easter. This is an enchanting spectacle to witness as the towns and villages set up enormous bonfires in every neighborhood to burn throughout the night. It is believed that the fires chase the darkness and winter away and as far as their light reaches, the fields will be fruitful and the houses reached by the light will be safe from sickness. As the flames die down, young and old leap over them, and the cattle driven through the smouldering embers to give them health for the coming year.

Hannover’s prominence doesn’t stop with the Monarchs of England or Brothers Grimm, but it is also the place where the most prestigious German is spoken. It is here that ‘Hoch Deutsch’ (high German) is spoken as it is written and it is hailed all over the German speaking lands as the home of premier German prose.

There are many reasons that Hannover is worth a visit, but for me what matters more than sites in a city is the culture and people you find yourself amongst while you are there. That will either make or break any vacation. Hannover tops the charts in culture and kindness and makes Münchners look like an angry swarm of bees in comparison. Hannover’s reputation as a warm-hearted host has even earned it international recognition and it is now host to Europe’s biggest trade fair every year.

When you come to Hannover, you will be spoiled with swathes of green, shady places to relax, a big variety of leisure and recreation activities, open-air concerts and major festivals, all of which can be found here in my list of Attractions.

My recommendations on…

Reading List

Germany, 1871-1945: A Concise History, by Raffael Scheck
German History, 1933-1945: An Assessment by German Historians, by Hermann Mau and Helmut Krausnick
Journey Through Lower Saxony, by Georg Schwikart


20 Things to Know About Southerners

  1. We are extremely loyal people, but most especially to our frying pans. We have mastered the art of frying just about anything the good Lord gave us. Tomatoes, green beans, chicken, fish, okra, oreos, ice cream, snickers, and cheesecake to name a few. If you can eat it, you can fry it.
  2. Southerner’s often delight in a cold glass of iced sweet tea, as per the universal expectation. It’s the nectar of the Gods down in those parts.
  3. If you don’t like sugar it’s going to take us a little bit longer to build our trust in you.
  4. The South has its own version of English and I do believe being able to properly speak the Southern dialect should count on a résumé as speaking a foreign language. If you can define words like ain’t, y’all, awfully, Bammer, britches, cattywampus, conniption fit, critter, dawg-awnit, dern, gol-darned, hafta, high-falutin, holler, ida claire, little-bitty, ornery, ruckus, swaller, tarnation, tuckered out, yonder, or young’uns, then by golly you’re fluent in Southern and you should carve out a space for that on your résumé.
  5. If its not monogrammed, its not worth your time.
  6. We are always prepared for a guest. Every good southern household has a homemade cake and fresh pitcher of sweet tea on standby, should Betty Lou decide to stop in to tell you that she saw the Thatcher’s boy cutting Margaret Mae’s grass again today, which is the second week in a row he has cut her grass and that means that her husband Junior must be out of town again, doing Lord knows what.
  7. This is the land of Ma’ams and Sirs. It is our way of showing respect, so if you would like some, I’d suggest throwing a Ma’am (for women) or Sir (for men) on the back of any ‘Yes’ you give, otherwise you might be bagging your own groceries.
  8. ‘Up the road’ can mean anywhere from one minute to an hour, so you are best to be more precise with your question from the ‘get go’.
  9. Its not a shopping cart, it’s a buggy.
  10. If you are driving down the road and happen to pass a battle taking place in the field next to you, don’t be alarmed. It’s a fake one. We haven’t gotten over the Civil War yet and it’s a favorite southern pastime to dress up like Civil War soldiers and reenact the battles. Southern therapy.
  11. We love equipment, and particularly of the yard variety. In fact, yard equipment often gets more space on the property than the actual house.
  12. Southerners like a good buffet.
  13. We are extremely hospitable people and will give you the shirts off our back or that extra dollar at the grocery store if you realize you are short of change at the checkout.
  14. The southern police force are sneaky ole cusses. You’ll often find em’ hiding out behind a tree or around a bend in the road, ready to catch you speeding. They don’t take speeding lightly down there and the fines are proof of that. I once got pulled over for going 4 miles over the speed limit on the highway and the police officer had me get out of my car and sit in his while he was running my name through the system to make sure I was a law-abiding citizen. Meanwhile, his Doberman pincher was sitting in the back seat breathing down my neck. Four miles over the speed limit. You’d be better off to follow the law while down in Dixie.
  15. There are three sacred letters down South. Almost as sacred as the Bible. They are S E C. I am aware that for the majority of you reading this, you may have drawn a blank look on your face. But for the Southerner’s (and yes, I am capitalizing Southerner), they have already ‘hollered’ their battle cry while reading the last two sentences, e.g., Woooooo Pig Sooie or Go Dawgs (you know who you are). To Southerners, SEC doesn’t stand for Securities and Exchange Commission like it does for the rest of the world. For Southerners, SEC stands for South Eastern Conference and it is the most tradition rich football (American football) conference in the country. It is interwoven in the cultural fabric of the southern states, so between the months of September and December, ladies either paint their faces in school colors and stand by their man or join the local Saturday afternoon quilting club.
  16. This brings me to the next Southern tradition worth noting. It’s called tailgating. Tailgating is the supreme Southern party. Where does it take place? On or around the tailgate of a vehicle in a parking lot. How much fun can partying on a tailgate in a parking lot be? LOTS. When does it take place? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5+ hours prior to the game, depending on your dedication to getting stupid drunk. This is an important part of any sporting event or concert and where the ‘meeting of the minds’ takes place. Lots and lots of alcohol is consumed at tailgate parties and people usually bring portable grills, tables and chairs to add to the parking lot ambience. There is a new trend taking place whereby people send out invitations to their tailgate party prior to the game. As ridiculous as it may sound, it’s a blast of a time and well worth an afternoon of your life.
  17. Don’t ask where the recycling bin is. The entire neighborhood will be talking about your Yankee ass by sundown.
  18. The cut off jean short is alive and well in Georgia.
  19. … and Southerners have no problem going to the store in pajamas and slippers. Or Civil War uniforms, for that matter.
  20. We like to build our front porches big enough for some furniture to fit on them. If its not big enough for an actual couch, then whatever you put on it better rock or swing. Don’t even think for a second of putting a straight chair on a front porch.