People hate Valentines Day, but I’m not a hater. In fact, just the opposite: I’m in love with everything. I’m in love with Atlanta, Atlanta INtown, The Clermont Lounge, The Star Bar, Sushi Yoko and Tomosan, Zuma and Kiyoan and Sotto, whose restaurant is now in Manhattan.
I’m in love with writing for a living (and writing this article), with the back roads in our town and completely head over heels with the weather. It doesn’t matter whether it’s sunny, rainy, blustery, cold, hot, 95 degrees or 25 degrees. I love the flowers, the gingko leaves, the magnolia trees, the brightly colored gerbers and the peonies. I’m in love with my VW. I’m in love with the Carter Center, the MLK Center, Videodrome, MODA, The Goat Farm, King of Pops, Buddy’s in Poncey-Highland and Grant Henry for opening my favorite bar, Church, on Edgewood Avenue.
I love my husband, my husband’s family, my parents, my daughter, my daughter’s froggy blanket, the things in my daughter’s pockets when I wash her jeans. She’s in love with Marvel comics, anime, Totoro – and I’m in love with that, too. And my heart beats super loud for our cat, Zen.
I’m in love with Sponge Bob Square Pants, Bewitched and Seinfeld reruns, books – lots and lots of books. Anything by Mark Twain, self-help books, fiction, non-fiction, biographies, autobiographies, history, Steve Jobs and Winnie the Pooh.
Some think I’m just a Pollyanna, and I embrace that characterization. Seriously I could fill this whole paper with all the things I’m in love with. Here’s a few more: smiles, laughs, ping pong, the ukulele (I’m learning to play), MARTA, the BeltLine and the food at Star Provisions and The Colonnade. I love the food in this town so much I could marry it and live with it for the rest of my life.
Then there’s all the music I’m in love with. Bands that have come and gone like The Selmanaires and Luna, local bands that still play like KingSized and the Dames of Flames, OutKast and Indigo Girls. And I love the places where the musicians play like The Earl, The Fox, Variety Playhouse, Criminal Records and the Yacht Club.
I’m even in love with the hard times, the tears I’ve cried, the hugs I’ve gotten, the hugs I’ve given, the camaraderie of everyone pulling together for others who are having a rough time. I’m just a smitten kitten and I’m not ashamed to admit it. So here’s to the Month of Love and all the love in the ATL. You can find it if you’re looking. It’s everywhere.