Sorry to keep you in suspense of my misadventures, however I have yet to process them all myself. So where was I….
Oh yes, soul searching and whatnot. So there I was! Driving into Atlanta, the tall buildings welcoming me to its cultural oasis in the heat. Like some sort of engineered palm trees waving back and forth across the horizon line.
The interesting thing about Atlanta is how vast it is. IT TRULY IS HUGE! Apparently lots of tiny towns around Atlanta, and Atlanta itself at some point all expanded into each other VERY rapidly. This was the excute I heard multiple times while I complained about the obvious insanity of the engineer who decided not to put ANY left turning arrows any ware. So unlike Philly with its huge downtown area and surrounding residences and scattered slums. Atlanta is a bunch of little downtown areas separated by suburbia. Let me tell you, being in a city and realizing that there is no smog is kind of beautiful. Atlanta is also the birth place of the civil rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King started the worldwide “Civil Rights” movement there. Atlanta also has one of the highest LGBT populations per capita, ranking 3rd of all major cities, behind San Francisco and Seattle, with 12.8% of the city’s total population recognizing themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
Oh and did I forget to mention the state Capitol building is layered with 43 ounces of pure gold that was mined from Dahlonega, GA. For the slow at math that is 69,719.77 dollars!!!!
I finally arrive at my destination not the least bit disappointed. The neon company is part of a large U shaped graffiti covered building that shares a parking lot with IFO signs, Fallen Arrows Custom Printing, and Polly the potters ceramics studio. I would later learn that the parking lot sometimes turns into ground zero for pool partys and what not, on super hot days. I met the owner Gregg and the electrician (self proclaimed Jack of all trades) Jason, and got straight to work.
Georiga Tech has something they call “Tech Tower”. Erected in 1888 and named the Academic Building, Tech Tower was one of the first two buildings to be completed on the Georgia Tech campus, and is now the oldest still standing structure on campus. AND I GOT TO CLIMB ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP!
The channel letter on the top of the tower needed to be changed and the University also wanted extra neon letters to be made, so we carried them all the way to the top, via creaky wooden ladders and rickety metal handrails. Needless to say it was AWESOME!
So, at the end of my first day I still knew very little about neon, but I felt comfortable in my own skin in this strange city. And that gave me warm fuzzy’s. The work day ended how every day should, with the clink of tequila shots and a jump in the pool in the parking lot. After the dunk I went walking down to “little five” (the hip cool place apparently) and found the Vortex.
A bar where the entrance is a giant skull? YES PLEASE! and later I learned that the Neon Co. did the neon for the inside of this guys eye sockets! SO COOL!
Oh and this!
….all was right with the world and life was good.
Cheers until the next installment of this bligity blog