Having a weekend free to go about and explore the city you reside in is easier said than done. When people come into town and ask me advice for things to do while here in Atlanta, I normally only have three or four solid options because, like most of the older top-half of millennials, I’m a creature of habit and consistency. Sticking to the normal can prove well for someone who identifies as an extroverted introvert, however, as a true Enneagram 4, curiosity tends to get the best of me. While exploring this city alongside someone trustworthy, “I wish I knew better” became my mission.
Fall in the south means that there is an overabundance of activities you can plan to attend and essentially build an entire weekend around. I figured the best way to kick off the weekend would be to visit Ponce City Market Friday evening for a warm bowl of ramen from Ton Ton and a cup of chocolate chip cookie dough from Batter. The plan for the next day was to make our way back downtown for The Little 5 Points Halloween Parade and Festival, so we thought we’d take it easy and make our way to Foxtrot Liquor Bar for our nightcap. As mentioned before, a creature of habit I am, I stick to rum in the fall and winter. Once we settled in at Foxtrot, I ordered my old faithful, an Old Fashioned with Bacardi Ocho, a twist on the classic. It was light and a perfect way to end the evening before another day of exploring.
Another thing to know about the South is that the weather is pretty unpredictable. Saturday proved to be quite windy and rainy, causing traffic to be worse than normal. This meant it was time to reconvene for a game plan. We headed to my favorite breakfast spot, Thumbs Up Dinner, off Edgewood Avenue. We would try and enjoy some parts of the festival and brave the rain until it got unbearable and then make our way to our next stop.
Once breakfast was over, we trekked to one of Atlanta’s most well-known neighborhoods, Little 5 Points. I’ve spent many weekends around the neighborhood, however I have never been around for the Halloween parade. We walked around to some of the shops, like the historic Criminal Records and the famous Rag-O-Rama thrift shop. The weather picked up and so we decided it would be best to make a hasty exit to the next location on my list of never-have-I-ever-been.
Being the competitive person I am, the next spot was my most anticipated stop on this journey.
The Painted Duck was a perfect mix of afternoon debauchery, duckpin bowling and a bar where I could indulge while imparting a beating to all that dared to challenge me. 2 daiquiri no.2 paired with tempura onion rings kept me satisfied while we played through and by the end of our visit, it was time to decide on dinner.
The rainy weather ended up working in our favor as most people opted to stay in as opposed to going out for dinner. We were able to get a reservation for STK Atlanta, somewhere I had been looking forward to go to for awhile now. A good steak is hard to find, and I had heard nothing but wonderful things about the restaurant itself. I paired my filet mignon with one of their signature drinks, Shake Your Honey-Maker. This was definitely a weekend for new experiences, as I typically stick to the most basic rum-based drinks. This cocktail with honey, pineapple and Bacardi Cuatro rum was a course veered from my normal palate, but a welcomed one.
By the end of the evening, I was not only full in the literal sense, but also in a spiritual sense. This city and I go back and, while I’m not from here originally, I have spent my most formidable years here. Atlanta has a piece of my heart and while I may not give myself (or my time) to her often, when I do, I’m never let down.