Number of posts: 15
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By Tom Walker:
Surely, you’ll dress to the nines today, 09/09/09.
Numbers freaks are thrilled by such conjunctions of digits, which to most of us, are just numbers.
If for no other reason, however, 09/09/09 is the last such set of repeating single-digit dates for almost a century — until Jan. 1, 2101, or another millennium — Jan. 1, 3001.
As best I can count, 93 writers have contributed more than 500 columns, stories, yarns, reports, “posts” or whatever to Likethedew in the first five months since the website was launched (I upper-case it for reading convenience). They have written about everything from poetry to catfish, happiness to tombstones, Congress to horse racing, sex to baseball, they have memorialized eminent persons such as the late Bill Emerson. Paul Hemphill and James Dickey, commented on the legendary likes of Paul McCartney and devoted tons of words to food and humor, triumph and tragedy.
You may wonder what I’m up to here, but it’s simple enough. I have from Day One been enormously impressed with Likethedew, its writers, articles and other online services. Out of curiosity I decided to examine the archives of Likethedew to see just how big the website has grown, how many columns had been written and by how many writers, just for my own interest, sort of an instance of content analysis. The archives lists the headline for each contribution “posted” to the website since it was launched. Anyone can do this, but since I already have, I’ll share my findings for whatever they’re worth.
Is nothing sacred? The Dow Jones industrial average, the oldest and best-known barometer of stock market trends, is for sale. That news comes from The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by the same Dow Jones & Co. that owns the Dow Jones industrial average. The Dow, of course, is an index of 30 large, blue-chip corporations — including Atlanta’s Coca-Coca and Home Depot. Using a formula that adjusts for occasional shifts within the companies, the index monitors the daily price changes of the 30 companies. It has been criticized as being too small to be accurate and for giving too much weight to large companies. But in fact it has, over time, accurately depicted the broad sweep of the stock market and also opened a window on other broader economic, social and political trends. Apparently the sale is not yet a done deal. According to the WSJ, sale discussions […]
No, no, say it isn’t so. After surviving in downtown Atlanta when you could shoot a cannon down Marietta Street and not hit even a panhandler, when the streets were so barren that pedestrians could hear their voices echoing off the walls of empty office buildings, when even the original Underground failed to survive the out-migration of law firms, accountants and assorted merchants — that pillar of urban strength and anchor of sense and sensibility, that purveyor of news, information and wisdom, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, now says it may leave 72 Marietta Street. The paper’s announcement says the decision is necessary to cut costs, and we certainly appreciate what a wringer newspapers have been through in this economy. But now? Of all times, just when there are signs of renewed life downtown, when you can actually see people on the streets who aren’t looking for a handout. That means poor […]
Never mind Peachtree Street, give me Cheshire Bridge Road. We know from the AJC, of course, that something like 21 “landmark projects” are stalled along the Peachtree Street/Road spine, but life goes on along Cheshire Bridge Road, which is at least as old as Peachtree. Where else will you find a Colonnade Restaurant, or an Alfredo’s, or a Nino’s, or a Woodfire Grill, or the Doll House or 24K Club — you get the idea. Don’t get me wrong. Peachtree Street is Atlanta’s defining thoroughfare, known worldwide as one of the most prestigious addresses as it winds north from downtown Atlanta through Midtown to Buckhead and beyond. Peachtree is slick and sophisticated, while Cheshire Bridge Road is, well, skuzzy, a miscellany of food, booze, antiques, flesh and other attractions. But I like it that way. And those of us who love the road and especially those who do business there […]
If you’ve had a notion in recent years that Atlanta is getting crowded “inside the Perimeter,” you’re right. Some new research shows that the core cities in America’s largest metropolitan areas have been growing faster than the suburbs outside those cities, which the experts regard as a significant change. And — no surprise — the City of Atlanta has posted one of the strongest records of population growth since 2001 among the 75 large urban areas surveyed. Also no surprise, the worst economy since the Great Depression is partly responsible, although this trend apparently started before the recession and is expected to continue even when the economy recovers. The research by Brookings Institution demographer Richard H. Frey was reported in The Wall Street Journal, and can be accessed at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124641839713978195.html. As with most population changes, this one “is the result of a whole slew of factors,” says the WSJ, citing […]
If the saga of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford proved nothing else, it shows there’s more than one way to become a Gamecock. Everybody knows by now that the Republican governor, once touted as a possible presidential candidate, did not disappear for a trek along the Appalachian Trail as alleged, but flew instead to Argentina to meet his sweetie, leaving his wife and four kids behind. Turns out, he confessed in a tearful press conference, it was his goodbye trip to the Argentine lady, who he says he has known a long time. These lapses from moral behavior by politicians are becoming so frequent they’re beginning to lose some of their news value, although even The Wall Street Journal saw fit to put Sanford’s story on the cover with a big mug shot. But his confession came just eight days after Nevada Sen. John Ensign revealed that he, too, had […]
Would Coca-Cola ever leave Atlanta? You betcha! Most Atlantans would probably disagree, just as I imagine the fine folks in Dayton, Ohio, did a week or so ago if asked about the prospect that NCR would move somewhere else — why, it’s been in Dayton 125 years! Who would have thought that Boeing would move its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago, or Georgia-Pacific from Portland to Atlanta (and then merge with another company) or RJR Nabisco from Winston-Salem to Atlanta — I’ll bet you forgot that one, which was also acquired. Other companies on the latest Fortune 1000 list relocated to Atlanta from somewhere else include UPS, AGCO, Newell Rubbermaid, Mueller Water Products, and Spectrum Brands. Let me make it clear that there’s absolutely no reason to think that Coca-Cola will ever move its headquarters, since it can do everything it needs to do from Atlanta as well as anywhere […]
The head counters at the Census Bureau tell us that Atlanta continues to attract new residents. It occurred to me that any newcomer would be interested in Atlanta’s history, if nothing else to find out why there are so many Peachtree Streets. Actually, Atlanta has a dramatic, exciting and important history, right from the beginning in the 19th century and now into the 21st. As a collector of books about Atlanta — and I read them too — I thought I would offer at least a start on providing a booklist for newcomers (and old-timers). Let me assert at the start that I will leave out some books that other locals would mention, either because I forgot it or possibly didn’t think much of it. My list does not include “Gone With the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell or “A Man in Full” by Tom Wolfe, not because they aren’t worthwhile […]
I don’t mean to brag, but I Googled my own name recently and it showed more than nine million hits. Granted, that includes Walkers who are not Toms and Toms who are not Walkers, but still, that’s a big number. Just for a benchmark, I Googled the name of a friend who is at least as eminent as I am and it came up with just 694,000 hits. I didn’t see any reason to go on and do a 10-person average. But now the truth: if you Google Tom Walker, which I recommend, you’ll find out that most references to “Tom Walker” have nothing to do with me, but refer to an odious character in an 1824 short story by American author Washington Irving — “The Devil and Tom Walker.” I had known for many years that Irving wrote such a story, but never bothered to check it out before. […]
Mr. Pat McCrory, mayor Charlotte, N.C. Dear Sir: According to a published report you have visions of Charlotte surpassing Atlanta as “economic King of the South.” I take that as tacit recognition that you believe Atlanta already is King of the South. A word of advice: Forget it. It’s not that you can’t overtake Atlanta in many ways, economically and culturally, but in one way you’re woefully outmatched: You’ll never top Atlanta’s slogan meisters, those old-fashioned civic boosters who are credited by some historians for making Atlanta what it is. Haven’t you heard that Atlanta is “the City too busy to hate,” “the World’s next great city,” a “world class city,” “the new international city,” “home of the American Dream,” “a city without limits”? Boosterism is to Atlanta what air is to biological organisms, smoggy though it may be at times. Surely you’ve heard of “the New South,” an economic […]
Are you as disappointed by the 3rd Millennium as I am? Think of the great expectations that greeted the latest thousand-year cycle of Western Civilization in 2000 (millennialism is a uniquely Western phenomenon inspired mainly by the Book of Revelations, which you’re invited to consult for more details if interested). Strictly speaking, the first decade of the latest Millennium has another full year to run after this one, ending on Dec., 31, 2010. But given that the world chose to celebrate Jan. 1, 2000, as the beginning of the New Millennium – as well as the 21st century – I’m inclined to get on with it and weigh the positives and negatives of the decade that ends this coming Dec. 31. So far, at least, the 3rd Mil has hardly given us much to cheer about. You’ll recall that it got off to a rocky start, known as Y2K, the […]
The Atlanta Beltline has to be one of the two or three brightest ideas for improving the City of Atlanta that has come along since railroad engineers drove a stake in the ground at the Zero Milepost in 1837. What’s puzzling is why its advocates have not taken a page from one of the world’s great cities – Vienna – and promoted the Beltline as a local version of that Austrian city’s beltline, known as the Ringstrasse. The Atlanta Beltline is an urban development proposal for parks, high-end dwellings and other model urban development along existing but little used railroad right of way. The 22-mile loop encircles the historic core of the City of Atlanta and right now is a mix of overgrown woods and marginal property. Vienna’s Ringstrasse is a ring of classic buildings and greenways encircling the city center along what had been the walls surrounding the city […]
There are two interesting trends unfolding in our society right now that run parallel to each other but are not necessarily related. Both are, to me at least, unexpected. In both instances, people who had been highly critical have since, for various reasons, reversed course and become staunch defenders. On the one hand, there’s the surge of support and even sympathy for the troubles that newspapers are facing now, and from many of the very individuals who were most critical of newspapers in the past – the ones who lambasted The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for its “left-wing bias” and other such stuff. Even a well-known Atlanta talk show host who rarely if ever has anything good to say about the AJC has been on the record several times recently showing genuine concern for the demise of newspapers as we know them. Even the alternative media that usually criticize the AJC, such […]
We know by now that newspapers are threatened with extinction, as least as we have known them over the years. All sorts of reasons are given for why that’s a bad thing, but frankly I think we’re worried about it for the wrong reasons. The demise of newspapers is usually couched in grave terms such as the potential threat to our democracy, the loss of the important watchdog function that TV and the Internet can’t hope to fill — not to mention the loss of a veritable cornucopia of useful and important daily information. But let’s face it, that’s piddling compared to what the absence of the traditional printed paper would really mean to our broader society, to our daily lives. Think of the movies. How will Hollywood convey important plot changes in future movies without the device of a printed newspaper, splashed on the screen bearing some meaningful headline […]