September 18, 2011

∴ Athens, GA: Sovietski-style Cell

We’re on a wandering journey this week, looking at destinations for the rest of our lives after I walk away from the joy that is my day job. This time out we’re in Athens, Georgia, home to the Bulldogs and R.E.M..

We booked a room at Hotel Indigo, a boutique residence near the heart of this college town. It’s a Green™ hotel, they’ll tell you at every turn. It features room lights that shut when the door key is removed from an obligatory slot on the wall. Low-flow everything. Minimalist decor; high, unpainted concrete ceilings and no drawer space for clothes. You’re here to save the fucking planet and you’re damn well going to feel it. Environmentalism has reached the point where it’s a marketable feature for which you’ll pay extra.

Except the lights don’t really go out when you pull the key. The air conditioning effectively kelvinates the room, and that expenditure in carbon-fueled hoo-hah trounces any savings from the rest of it. And the spare decor is a bit, well, off-putting. It’s a little like sleeping in my basement at home. Or a large cell.

We’ll sniff around the town tomorrow. Maybe geez around the campus a bit before driving out to see how far the hipness extends before tailing off to trailers and the rest of The South. I was expecting a sprawl extending from Atlanta, but our drive from the Interstate highway was rural right up to the beltway surrounding this town.