December 1, 2009
Are you asking, “what the hell is Peachtree City?” Peachtree City is a suburb of Atlanta, and it is a fascinating place. More on that in a moment…
I was in Atlanta a few weeks ago, working with the band at Georgia State University and also the Metropolitan Atlanta Youth Wind Ensemble — both conducted by Robert Ambrose. This was for a joint concert of both bands, playing five — FIVE! — of my pieces in a single evening. They called it MackeyFest. It was a fun couple of days, but wow, that’s a lot of Mackey. The second band at GSU was performing Strange Humors the next day (after I left), but I rehearsed with that group, too, meaning that on a single day, I rehearsed four ensembles on a total of six of my pieces, all back-to-back. That’s too much Me, even for me.
Upon my arrival to Atlanta, one of the conducting grad students presented a welcome gift to me: homemade carrot cake cupcakes, using Ina Garten’s recipe. Best carrot cake cupcake ever? Yes, yes I think it was.
The GSU Wind Ensemble performed Asphalt Cocktail and three movements of my Soprano Sax Concerto, and a chamber ensemble from GSU performed “Damn.” I arrived for the first rehearsal to see this on the massive overhead projector.
It may be time for me to write the “Damn Asphalt Concerto.”
All of the performances went really well. (MAYWE performed “Aurora Awakes” and “Undertow” — conducted by Laura Moates Stanley — and did a wonderful job.) I had a fun time with the students, and was treated to some excellent food — like this sushi.
Speaking of food — I saw this in Robert’s kitchen. I assume there’s a note somewhere on the box: “Do not use to cook babies.”
One morning, we stopped at a Starbuck’s just outside of Atlanta. This was the view from the parking lot. This has the be the prettiest setting for a Starbuck’s ever.
But what of Peachtree City? That was where I stayed during the residency. Robert Ambrose lives out there, and he and his wife were kind enough to host me. If you like picturesque suburbs with hundreds of miles of golf cart tracks, you’d love it.
If you like your lakes man-made, you’d love it. (I joke, but really, this is awfully pretty.)
I’m serious about the golf carts. I took this picture at the local high school. This is the student golf cart parking lot. Seriously.
On the other side of this bridge? That’s where the not-white people live. (I’m kidding! There aren’t any not-white people.)
(Before I get angry letters from the Peachtree City mayor’s office, I’m joking. I really am.)
The golf cart trails are pretty awesome. They’re all tree-covered, over rolling hills, and you pass all kinds of interesting things — like this tiny family cemetery from the 1800’s.
Peachtree City and its surrounding areas have lots of fun stuff. I love Chik-fil-A (maybe not as much as Jonathan Castillo, but I do love it), and the Atlanta area has this amazing place: the Chik-fil-A Dwarf House! It’s a Chik-fil-A — but with TABLE SERVICE!
And a tiny front door. (No exaggeration — this door was probably 4-feet high, small even for me.)
I loved the Chik-fil-A Dwarf House, with its expanded menu, but offering an item called a “Hot Brown” seems like a misstep. That was really the best name they could come up with?
How many towns offer both BJs…
… and a happy ending? (I’m not sure what an “oil change” is, but it’s probably a euphemism, too. Maybe it goes with the “hot brown.”)
Atlanta is a big, major city, but there’s one big giveaway that you aren’t in, say, New York. You ain’t gettin’ free copies of this in NYC. (More likely: Sodomy Today.)
A sincere thank you to Robert and Sarah Ambrose for being such wonderful hosts during my visit. And thank you to the students, who I kind of hope do not read this R-rated blog entry.
I have to run. There’s an oil change with my name on it. Badda-bing!