Recently I spent an entire week in Athens, Georgia for a student editor’s conference hosted by UGA. (Look up the annual MSCNE to find out more: http://www.grady.uga.edu/management)
So yes, I was immersed in Bulldog city.
But wrinkled dogs and red jerseys weren’t the only things I encountered during my stay there.
Downtown Athens holds within it 80 bars in a single square mile.
Holy shite, Batman, sign me up!
Seriously, I often waltzed by several bars in a row all on the same street. It was fascinating; I was in love. And to experience such a thing with fellow college student writers and editors was beyond my cup of tears.
It was like partying with a bunch of me’s.
This is not to say that all I did was drink my way through the originally intended educational week of professional networking.
Of course not. I’m a writer, not an actor.
The presentations held by seasoned editors and professors on UGA’s campus were fascinating, but nothing holds a candle to meeting top journalists and reporters at CNN.
Although the trip into Atlanta was less than thrilling (I made the mistake of drinking three coffees right before an uninterrupted two hour road trip), getting to meet Lisa Respers France was one thing I can mark off my bucket list.
Guys, this woman has been one of my top inspirations in journalism. She’s up there with Amanda Palmer and Chelsea Handler on my scale of beloved role models.
In short, she’s the bee’s knees AND ankles.
If you don’t know who I’m talking about, time for you to get some education. Check out this beautiful human here: http://www.cnn.com/profiles/lisa-france
Hanging out with the other student editors was simply fan-damn-tastic. I had to take a moment one night, in my hotel room, to observe the blissful situation: nearly twenty editors gathered ’round the TV, alcohol in each hand, watching the Democratic National Convention to see Clinton accept the nomination, discussing politics, and lamenting over Bernie’s loss.
I’ll be damned if I ever forget that moment.
Then, we took to the streets because it was our final night in Athens together, and such a night called for genuine bar-hopping.
My favorite place was The Rooftop at Georgia Theater. Live music (and good live music to boot), full bar, no cover, and an excellent view of downtown and the starry sky above. Ugh, it was this hippie punk’s wet dream full package.
Although Rooftop was my favorite, I loved every bar I visited. I fostered an immediate connection with each place, absorbing its atmosphere, unique subculture and nightlife.
Also, if you ever want to instantly feel like crap about your campus, take a stroll through UGA. Wow. Come on HSU, step up your game. We look downright trashy compared to UGA. It’s just… It’s just sad, guys.
I mean look at this place. This is just the library. We had a full, formal banquet here.
Yeah, not the best pictures, but hey it’s what I could do from my Tracphone so deal with it.
Not gonna lie, ever since the trip I’ve added Athens to my list of possible places to move to in the future. Downtown life is amazing, the education opportunities in and around Athens are phenomenal, and the career opportunities (especially in media) are endless.
So, I’ve got quite the crush on Athens now.
Here’s a list of links to the bars I hung out at during the week:
https://www.facebook.com/WalkersPub/ – Best place to chill. Great whiskey, beer, and coffee.
http://www.allgoodlounge.com/ – Excellent mixed drinks and kickass music.
http://www.georgiatheatre.com/rooftop/ – My favorite place, but I’m a sucker for live bands.
https://www.sisterlouisaschurch.com/ – Super weird…. But I dig it.
https://www.facebook.com/Manhattan-Bar-653638638060098/?rf=179790132107226 – If you buy one drink, you get endless popcorn for free the rest of the night. And it’s good, carnival-style popcorn too. Like listen, I just bought a PBR for two bucks and ate three bags of popcorn. THEY HAVE SEASONINGS FOR THE POPCORN TOO.
https://www.facebook.com/globe.athens/ – This place is a full-blown sports bar, but super classy. It’s got that leather and hardwood feel, with excellent brews and delicious burgers.