Atlanta is a beltway town—it is defined by the interstate, known as the Perimeter, that encircles it. It has a notoriously paltry system of public transportation. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, or MARTA, operates two rail lines, which form a cross whose ends extend, at most, a few stops past the Perimeter. Most communities have no access to it, and there are prejudices against it. (You don’t have to be in Atlanta long before someone relates, ruefully or conspiratorially, an alternative source of the acronym—“Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta.”) Decades ago, residents of two counties surrounding the city voted down an extension of the MARTA system.
Here’s some of the evidence from this recent interview with Jimmy Carter: “My sartorial misjudgment becomes even more glaring when we arrive at the restaurant, a small and homely diner with bottles of Heinz ketchup and a basket of paper napkins on each table.” Heinz ketchup on the tables. Amazing how slowly time passes for these rustics. “The secret service agents keep watch nearby, perhaps pondering how a career associated with glamour and excitement has brought them here.” Investigating counterfeiting is probably sometimes intellectually challenging and interesting, perhaps even exciting.
I stopped by Pastries a Go Go earlier today to pick up a dessert for our departmental party, and I helped myself to an extra slice of this delicacy. Now I’m the sort of person you’d have to remind that cakes normally have flour–sometimes have trouble baking brownies, etc.–but for the el supremo at the top of the stairs, this is the place. A lot of people might offer a recipe, but I’d have no more idea how to make this than I would a virgin speculum (and I’ve read The Phoenix and the Mirror—speaking of which, we are to expect the long-forgotten The Scarlet Fig to appear soon!).