City, Seen: Atlanta with Syn
Check out our latest City, Seen travel guide featuring Synitta Delano as she takes us around Atlanta, GA.
What are your favorite places in Atlanta to…
Eat with the kids? “My daughter and I love going to Pastries A Go Go for breakfast. My favorite dish is Bob’s Loaded Potatoes. The half portion is more than enough but the whole portion is big enough to share with everyone at the table. It’s a family environment, with a fish tank so the kids have something to entertain them while waiting to be seated. The service is above par every time we go and they love talking to all of the little kids.”
Eat with adults? “Houstons this place holds sentimental value for me. I used to eat here for lunch every Monday for about 4 years straight. It was my time to read and enjoy a good meal. I usually got the beer can roasted chicken with garlic & parsley mashed potatoes and 1-2 glasses of Riesling. It became a favorite dinner spot with an old friend of mine and we always had the Hawaiian rib-eye with a baked potato. I took my daughter once and we started going for her birthday every year because she also loved it as much as me.”
Play with your daughter? “Piedmont Park is a HUGE park and the grass is ALWAYS green. My daughter loves to run all over this park. The people and their pets add to the friendly appeal during the day. I also used to work out here. It’s one of the more comfortable places in Atlanta.”
Favorite museums? “Atlanta is full of classic and contemporary art. We love High Museum of Art. Fernbank Museum of Natural History has some of the world’s largest dinosaurs on display, hands-on exhibits, live animals, and Atlanta’s biggest IMAX screen. There’s Children’s Museum of Atlanta, which is specifically for children up to 8 years old. Lots of hands-on exhibits for them to enjoy. Museum of Design Atlanta used to be the Atlanta International Museum of Art & Design. This museum explores design in architecture, electronic media, fashion, furniture, graphics, industrial, and interior. The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia houses galleries that display a variety of art. A lot of SCAD students showcase their art here and I’ve been to several interesting shows.”
Must see tourist spots? “If you want to see beautiful displays of plants and flowers, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens is the perfect place to go. Every time I go, I remain in awe of plant life. The Atlanta History Center is a huge campus which includes the Atlanta History Museum, Centennial Olympic Games Museum, The Sawn House, The Smith Family Farm, six historic gardens, and the Kenan Research Center. It’s a one-stop shop kind of place to soak in a bunch of art, history, and beauty. You’ll learn how Coca-Cola was originally made at the World of Coca-Cola. You can taste different Coca-Cola products and also purchase a ton of memorabilia you can’t find anywhere else. I took my nephew to the Georgia Aquarium when he was a little kid and took my daughter, twice. Children love this place because they get to see aquatic life that they usually only see on television. The best part for me was being able to touch the sting rays.
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights and Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site: Both of these places are important to see while in Atlanta because it’s such a part of The South’s history. They lend credit to some of our countries most pivotal moments in our world history. At the Fernbank Science Center, there’s an exhibit hall, planetarium, observatory, outdoor garden, and library all dedicated to the amazing world of science. They’ve recently renovated the Center for Puppetry Arts and added an additional stage. It’s a wonderful place to take children so their imagination can be piqued by the great world of puppetry.”
What is your favorite thing to order at your favorite spot? “When I go to Houstons, I like to eat the Hawaiian Rib-eye and the grilled artichoke.”
What’s your favorite neighborhood? “Downtown Decatur.”
What does your best day look like? “Brunch with my daughter, catching a movie, doing some shopping, getting some writing done, and closing out the day by having dinner and drinks with friends in my home.”
What is unique about living in Atlanta? “This took some time to answer because I wasn’t looking at Atlanta as a place that’s “one of a kind.” The more I thought about it, it became clear that it’s really the people. It isn’t something you can grasp just by visiting. You have to come and soak in the people AND the culture at the same time. This is where I first experienced blatant racism but it’s also where I experienced a standard of friendliness that was different than in California. Californians aren’t mean but growing up in Oakland, you learn to be cautious of your surroundings and people. I didn’t go through that when I first moved to Atlanta. It’s changed because of all the transplants that have filtered in during the last 15 years but it was refreshing the first 5 years I lived here.”
How has Atlanta changed for you since becoming a mother? “When I first came to Atlanta, I was 21 years old and ready to party! Everything in my life was about having a good time. Fast forward 15 years and life looks a hell of a lot different. I’m a mother of an amazing 7 year old little girl and soon to be divorcee from my best friend. This city looks different because I now absorb things for more than just my own personal interests. Even though I see how it’s family oriented, I have very little family here. The culture is one worth acknowledging but it isn’t as diversely blended as I’d like to see or be around. Atlanta strives, diligently, to be another metropolitan city but its roots are still firmly embedded in a Southern state of mind. So, as much as it has changed and grown, a lot of Atlanta is still very much the same. It’s really me who’s changed.”
What’s your favorite place to get lost? “Any comic book store can suck up my time. It used to be BORDERS when they were still around. I would spend every Monday in the book store for 2-4 hours reading. Pier 1 is also a place I like to get lost in. Redecorating my living space in my head.”
Share your favorite view.
^^ “The view of the city from Savannah College of Art and Design’s parking deck. I love to look at Atlantic Station from their parking deck. I remember when that part of Atlanta didn’t even exist.”
What makes Atlanta home? “Atlanta became a second home for me, by default. Being here for 15 years, I eventually started embracing the city. I spent my twenties here. I shifted into my 30’s, while starting a family and my first business. I’ve definitely matured with the city. I have a love/hate relationship with Atlanta but being 100% honest, it became my home because of the people. I’ve definitely learned what family truly means because of everything and everyone I’ve experienced here between 2001 and 2016. I’m grateful for this part of my journey.”