Monday, July 09, 2007

I Don't Like Atlanta

There is a reason it’s called Hotlanta. Apologies to anyone that reads this and loves the city, but I just do not like Atlanta. I have heard that occasionally, in winter, the temperature and humidity does get below 90° and 90%, but I’ve never experienced it.

I just don’t mesh well with those numbers. I don’t mind heat- the summer before last I had to go to Phoenix for a convention and the mercury hit 116°. No worries at all. It’s the humidity that does me in.

Last week during the ICRS Convention in Atlanta the heat and humidity was ON. I had a series of meetings set up in nice air conditioned locations, though some of them required a short jaunt through the oven of downtown but I wasn’t too worried. Each trip through the heat would quickly be met with that wonderfully refreshing feeling of walking through a revolving door into blessedly mechanically and chemically cooled dry air. I figured I would be ok wearing the nice new Nautica sports jacket I bought over a snappy (albeit thick) shirt, on top of a t-shirt and jeans.

I met up with Lisa for breakfast at 8AM. Our plan was to head to the convention floor after breakfast and spend the morning walking the floor and reviewing new products and concepts. It was Lisa’s first ICRS show, and I was going to guide her through all the different companies and products so she would have a better overall feel for the market. As we headed out of the hotel we had breakfast in, Lisa and I looked around for directions to point the way to the Georgia World Congress Center. She was pretty sure if we walked out a certain door we would be there after a very short walk.

We stepped out into the morning coolness (about 90° and 90% humidity), and started our walk. She thought it was down this block, and over one more. We walked and talked. Talked and walked. The convention center wasn’t there. “I think it’s down that street and then over a block or two” she said. We kept walking. And walking. The sweat started pouring. After a long stroll downhill for two city blocks, across another two blocks, through the Olympic park, uphill 4 blocks, across 2 blocks we returned to the exact spot where we had exited the hotel some 30 minutes prior. If I could have taken a Before and After photo, it would have looked like I jumped into a swimming pool fully dressed between the two. Turns out the convention center is next door to the hotel we had breakfast in, with an outdoor walk-way between the two of about 50 paces. We had simply gone out the wrong door.

As we entered the coolness of the hotel I asked Lisa for a few minutes to compose myself. I was hot, sweaty, dripping, and a bit ticked off (not at her- at ATLANTA and for its merciless heat and humidity and all the people that seem to like living there).

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