Sunday 1 April 2012
The last time I was in Atlanta, about 12 years ago, I had the ignominious experience of being pelted with chimpanzee shit by said creatures. I was visiting the world famous primate research institute at the university where they study the intelligence and behaviour of our genetic near cousins. I guess the shit slinging just went to prove how bright they are, a display of boredom or protest at their incarceration.
Anyway this month's visit had no such scatalogical overtones - save perhaps my references to to Zabbleen pig ordure in the debate.
Atlanta may not be top of most European visitors' must-see list in the USA, but it is a friendly, well-run and unpretentious city, well worth exploring. As my time was limited I went first to the Georgia Aquarium -- the world's largest. It is an amazing place. The huge tanks are home to sea life that you would need to travel the world and dive to see any other way. Most impressive for me the family of whale sharks, living along with manta rays, sawfish and plenty of other warm water sharks.
My only complaint was with the Hollywood music blasted out to "enrich" the awesomness of it all.
The it was onto the High Gallery, an hidden gem of a place.
Beautiful new building housing some very fine American art and furniture and a rather second division collection of old European pictures. The great treat though was its hosting of the Picasso to Warhol show, very impressive. Also tucked away on the top floor a beautifully displayed collection of Anish Kapoor.
Well done Atlanta and particular praise to the city fathers for a great metro system -- clean, fast and cheap.