Saturday, January 14, 2012

Atlanta - Home of the Braves

Atlanta, home of the Braves and Falcons, headquarter to CNN and Coca Cola, and the location of AmericasMart, the Atlanta Gift Show, that is held every January come rain or come shine. Thankfully, it is shining and the sky is a robin's egg blue. The air is crisp and cool. The trees line the streets like so many soldiers standing guard as the guests march to market. In winter the leaves have all fallen and the limbs point to heaven. And we are reminded that life on earth is short. The city, mindful of its night time guests, provides brightly lit streetlights in a turn of the century style. Oh why can't Wichita do the same along Douglas Avenue?

Unlike the High Point Market in North Carolina which showcases the major furniture manufacturers, Atlanta's market highlights apparel, rugs, gifts, and decor. The show is located in downtown Atlanta on Peachtree Avenue, Atlanta's answer to New York's Fifth Avenue or Chicago's Madison Avenue. If you are coming by plane the subway has a stop on Peachtree right at the market. Even so, we prefer to cab it from the airport to any number of hotels in walking distance of the market. The fare is a reasonable $35 and the cabbies are all friendly and foreign.

The more than 4,000 permanent showrooms are housed in three towering buildings that overlook Centenial Square and the CNN headquarters. Bridges connect the three towers on several levels making it easy to wander and walk back and forth between showrooms.

Traditions has been coming to the Atlanta show for over 20 years. Some of the recent finds at the showrooms have included brilliantly colored glassware, scented floral bouquets, and French milled soaps that have an air of Provence. There clearly is no rhyme or reason to what is shown at Atlanta, it is only the unique that strikes us.

More to come...

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