I have a new job in midtown. Each morning I merge onto GA 400 at 5:30 a.m. and leave midtown at 3:00 p.m. I'm the lucky one with my work hours because I get to enjoy a hassle free commute. Indeed, Georgia 400, without traffic, is one of the easiest ways to get into midtown.
And yet, there remains a vast divide between Alpharetta and midtown and certainly Alpharetta and downtown. I never fail to be amused when the, eh-hum, younger people I work with, who all seem to live in midtown, reference Alpharetta as if it were Athens, or Macon or some other distant location. They know absolutely nothing about it. The other day someone said, “So, what is there to DO in Alpharetta?” – like the definition for fun times is intrinsically different for those of us living way out in Alpharetta.
On another day, someone asked if I had tried this or that restaurant, all of them in town, of course. “No, to that one.” I said. “Haven’t even heard of this one.” She exclaimed, “But these are places with world-renowned chefs!” I felt so, so, backwards, so behind the times. I'm beginning to get a residential location complex.
Fact is, no matter if you’re a midtowner looking out towards Alpharetta, or an Alpharettan looking in at town, we’re in two different, shall we say, territories.
Which is one reason it feels so odd, for example, to be called into jury duty to the Fulton County Superior Court in downtown Atlanta.
Which brings me to this. The county of Milton, which existed from 1857 until 1932, and which encompassed my current territory of Alpharetta, was created “to allow a man to get to the court house in one day’s ride." Or at least said Ms. JoAnn de la Moriniere, former president of the Old Milton County, Georgia Historical and Genealogical Society.
And this strikes me as downright ironic because there is certainly no metaphorical “one day’s ride” to the courthouse from Alpharetta today. We are removed, distant, un-connected.
What’s really interesting to me though, is that it works both ways. Not only am I completely out of touch with the world of Fulton Countians in mid to downtown, but they are out of touch with my world in Alpharetta.
The Chattahoochee River may or may not ever be a dividing line again, but you can bet there is one. And it should be re-drawn.