Monday, August 25, 2008

Downtown on the weekend

I didn't realize that my last post was Wednesday. Wow. Well, I told you the first week of classes would impact blogging.

I went downtown over the weekend to register voters during the German Bierfest. I got pressed into service by el hermano. I end up downtown a lot of weekends, typically to get to the GSU gym for some racquetball. I usually play in the morning, when downtown is pretty dead. There just isn't a whole lot going on a 10am on a Saturday downtown, y'know. So I was mildly surprised at the scene downtown during the Bierfest.

I was surprised by a) the number of people who weren't there for the Bierfest; and b) the number of people who were foreign. It's not that a lot of people were unaware of the Bierfest, but there were enough for me to take note. It was the number of foreign (and also out of state) tourists that really surprised me. I have to admit I have a hard time seeing Atlanta as a tourist destination, no matter how many press releases the ACVB puts out. So it was a welcome change in perspective.

Also, Woodruff Park isn't a bad event space. The event guys I talked to seemed to prefer it to last years location in Atlantic Station, although who knows what the final attendance numbers were like. If the City could include the Park, block off P'tree and Fairlie-Poplar, I think it could work for the Dogwood Festival if Piedmont still isn't available. I might be misjudging the scale of the operations, though. I think artists markets through Broad, Walton, Luckie and Peachtree would be a lot more interesting than Centennial Park though, not to mention shadier.

It'd be great to re-introduce Fairlie-Poplar to the rest of Atlanta. Sure, the Downtown Neighborhood Association throws a street party every year, but the Dogwood Festival gets so many more artists and has much better name recognition that it'd be a great opportunity for PR. And you could give all the GSU students at the dorms a discount or something, since they could just walk a few blocks.

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