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Stories of Atlanta

Ever take a wrong turn in Atlanta?

If you’ve lived in Atlanta longer than about a day and a half, chances are pretty good that you have discovered navigating Atlanta’s road system can be a bit challenging and I’m pretty sure you didn’t need me to tell you that.

I’ll never forget my first day driving in Atlanta as someone from another city. As often happens to drivers unfamiliar with a city’s layout, I missed the street onto which I wanted to turn. No problem, I reasoned. I’ll just go down to the next street, make the block and get back to where I wanted to be in the first place. I was driving through the Ansley Park neighborhood and, if you know that area of town, I’m sure you know how my “make the block” maneuver worked out.

The truth is, Atlanta, at least the parts closer to downtown, has never been an easy city in which to get around. There are lots of explanations given to the navigation challenged and the one most often sited has to do with the multiple streets that begin with the word “Peachtree.” But it’s more than just the names of Atlanta’s streets.

Atlanta was not a planned city, it just sort of happened and rapidly. So, at least initially, not much thought was given to the layout of streets. Also, our city started life as a railroad town, meaning the paths of the train tracks dictated, in large part, how a lot of downtown Atlanta was laid out. And there is a third factor that enters into the equation and, as you’ve probably guessed, that is the subject of this week’s Stories of Atlanta.

Lance Russell

Lance Russell is an Atlanta-based filmmaker and media communicator who, for over three decades, has been entrusted by clients to tell their stories. A seasoned producer with an innate ability to cut to the heart of the matter, Lance’s instincts are tailor-made for today’s “media bite” culture. Brief, poignant and always entertaining, Lance’s current passion is bringing Atlanta’s colorful and inspiring past to life with his “rest of the story” style video series, Stories of Atlanta. “History’s best communicators,” says Lance, “have always been storytellers. It’s in our DNA. ‘Once upon a time’ is how we got to where we are now.”


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