Date sent: Fri, 18 Jul 1997

My wife and I traveled to Atlanta this June to visit a friend of hers who had moved down south last fall. I was more interested in the Atlanta Braves game I had charged tickets for, since Turner Field is a brand-new stadium and I've been seeing the majority of my baseball games at the dank hole in Flushing known as Shea Stadium.

We stayed at the Highland Inn near Little Five Point (called that because it's the intersection of five major roadways in the area). We got the info on the hotel from her friend's boyfriend, who lives across the street. The rates were incredibly cheap -- $29 per night. When we got there we found out why -- it's a step up from summer camp, with thin walls and beds crammed against the wall, so my wife had to slither to the bottom of the bed in order to get in or out.

The weather was generally damp and rainy the four days we were there, although it stayed completely clear the Sunday we went to the baseball game. That night, we headed back to her friend's apartment for a cookout and game one of the NBA playoffs, and it poured. So we got lucky that day.

Anyway, I asked the boyfriend for the story behind the Highland Inn. You had to be buzzed in, and they had a "No Guests After Noon" policy. He explained that the place had been a crack hotel infested with prostitutes, dragging down property values left and right. Finally, the community sued and kicked out the owners and a new investor bought the place, slapped on a new coat of paint, and kicked out all the deadbeats. The seemingly harsh no visitors policy was a way to guarantee virtually no hookers (how many hookers operate from 9 AM-noon?).

Our stay was all right. The hotel was uneventful. I was a little suspicious of the people in the next room who left a "Do Not Disturb" notice on the door for three days and kept dumping their towels outside in the hall.

We saw some of Atlanta's tourist spots (the Underground, Jimmy Carter Museum, and CNN Center) and some that aren't as widely known (the Museum of Puppetry). For a long weekend, it's a nice place to visit.

Jeff Cohen

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