Atlanta is the capital of Georgia and its largest city, and the largest metropolitan area in the American South. The Coca-Cola Company (Pepsi is blasphemy), Delta Air Lines, Chick-fil-A, Mercedes-Benz USA, and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have headquarters here. Turner Broadcasting, which owns CNN, is also based there. Atlanta can roughly be divided to areas within and outside the Perimeter (Interstate 285), a beltway highway that is known for insane traffic.
Atlanta has at least seventeen streets named with variations on Peachtree. The city hosted the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, in which East African marathon runners collapsed with heatstroke. The city infamously listed Olive Garden as the best Italian restaurant in the city in the guidebooks for said Olympic Games. Right by Centennial Park is the Georgia Aquarium, the world's largest indoor one.
Hometown of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and was nicknamed "the city too busy to hate." It also prides itself on being the epitome of the "New South," with modern architecture and industry. Atlanta can be used as a "But Not Too Southern" setting, a good choice for artists who want a story in the South without interacting with the Deep South or Sweet Home Alabama.
Rappers call it the ATL, after the airport code for the busiest airport in the world. Said airport is city owned, and the city is not allowed to make any profit off its operation. In addition to being the busiest airport, Delta's hub is the largest single airline operation of any airport in the world. ATL also is a major focus city for Southwest, inherited from their recent merger with AirTran who maintained their principal hub there. It seems like a joke when discussion about the city inevitably leads to the airport, but the scope of the operation there is really unlike anything else. This is especially due to the disproportinate amount of connecting traffic it handles (ie, passengers just passing through who aren't actually originating or arriving there). Other cities with similar megahubs such as Chicago and Dallas have much larger amounts of local passengers. An old joke says that when you die, it doesn't matter whether you go to heaven or hell because you'll connect in Atlanta either way.
Many old-fashioned Southerners detest Atlanta. The city is an upstart by Southern metropolis standards, founded in 1837 and incorporated ten years later. Its perceived cultural blandness, relatively liberal politics (it's one of America's "Gay Meccas"), incessant self-promotion, and seemingly undeserved prosperity grate on Southern sensibilities.
Atlanta is home to several major professional sports teams:
- The Braves are a Major League Baseball team that started in Boston, moved to Milwaukee, and finally ended up in Atlanta in 1966. They've won exactly one World Series in each city (1914, 1957, and 1995), so they might be looking to move again. Formerly owned by Ted Turner, and as such had most of their games broadcast on cable station TBS from 1973 to 2007. They did very well and were popular enough in the 1990s to be nicknamed "America's Team", but entered a slump in the 2000s. In 2010, longtime coach Bobby Cox, known for being A Father to His Men (and being one of the most ejected coaches in the MLB) retired.
- The Falcons are an NFL team, generally mediocre but with occasional strong seasons, and one Super Bowl appearance in 1999. Best known at the moment for a former quarterback running dog fights.
- The Hawks are an NBA team that used to have a logo that looked suspiciously like Pac-Man. Another middle-of-the-pack team, also owned by Ted Turner for a few years. Their most notable player in recent history was Dominique Wilkins, nine time All-Star, two time Slam Dunk champion, and often cast as one of Michael Jordan's Worthy Opponents.
- The Dream are a WNBA team founded in 2008; in their first season, they made a heroic effort to be the worst team in the history of ever, finishing 4-30. They got better.
- Atlanta had two different NHL teams, both of which were stolen by Canada: the Flames, which moved to Calgary in 1980, and the Thrashers, which were bought by Winnipeg in 2011.
- Suburban Atlanta is also the home of Atlanta Motor Speedway, a legacy NASCAR track.
- Atlanta Nights
- The Change Up starring Ryan Reynolds.
- Class of 3000
- Designing Women
- The Devils Panties
- Driving Miss Daisy
- The Dukes of Hazzard occasionally uses it as a setting, and the first five episodes were filmed in the area.
- Futurama, "The Deep South": Atlanta was relocated to the middle of the ocean and sank, becoming a stand-in for Atlantis.
- Gold Digger: The Diggers family lives in Atlanta, creator Fred Perry's hometown.
- Gone with the Wind - not only is the Burning of Atlanta included in the second act, but Margaret Mitchell was born and died in Atlanta, hit by a car on Peachtree Street.
- The Kate Daniels novel series is set in Atlanta that's been overrun and partly destroyed by magic.
- Though it doesn't pass through Atlanta proper, Left 4 Dead 2 begins in Savannah and the Survivors pass through the state on their way to New Orleans.
- Life As We Know It starring Katherine Heigl.
- A Man In Full by Tom Wolfe.
- Single Ladies, a VH-1 show produced by Queen Latifah which can be considered Sex and the City IN ATLANTA!
- Most of Tyler Perry's movies take place in Atlanta.
- The Walking Dead started out next to Atlanta, although they moved away fairly quickly.
- The Zoë Martinique series of novels takes place in Atlanta.
Shows based in Atlanta:
- The internet comedy group Dormtainment live in the Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody, in fact at least two of their videos require you to have some knowledge of the Atlanta area to get it (though you could probably figure it out): "Straight Outta Dunwoody" (a rap song about an upper-middle class suburb) and "Bday Bash" (annual concert held by a radio station in Atlanta).
- Good Eats is primarily filmed in Alpharetta and Marietta, Georgia.
- The Neal Boortz Show
- The Real Housewives Of Atlanta, on Bravo.
Musical acts based in or originally from Atlanta:
- Atlanta has a strong hip-hop and R&B scene, perhaps best known for the "Dirty South" movement, but producing a wide variety of acts such as Arrested Development, Ludacris, OutKast, Goodie Mob (CeeLo Green's old group, who first coined the term "Dirty South"), Usher, T.I., Keri Hilson, Young Jeezy, Lil Jon, TLC, Monica, and Ciara.
- Atlanta-based producer Bill Lowery launched the careers of Ray Stevens, Jerry Reed, and others.
- The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is one of the ten largest orchestras in America (measured by annual budget)
- The Black Crowes
- Cat Power
- Canadian Justin Bieber moved to Atlanta to forward his music career.
- The Indigo Girls grew up in Decatur and started performing locally when they were students at Emory University.
- India Arie moved to Atlanta when she was 13 and still lives here.
- Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown lived in Atlanta when they were married. In fact, Whitney's daughter Bobbi Kristina still lives in Atlanta with her aunt and uncle.
- Many European plants not normally thought of as aggressive went berserk when introduced to the Americas. Much of the Deep South was overrun by peach trees; Argentina was smothered by feral spinach. (For a twentieth-century repeat of this story, see... that.)
- That doesn't even include Delta Connection flights operated by regional partners, the bulk of which is handled by Expressjet Airlines
- Yes, really. Stop laughing.