(Words and Images by Blair Crosby @bswank_ )
When I first moved to Atlanta in 2016, I had a very surface idea of Atlanta and the South.
As a D.C. native and certified city girl, I had no clue how much the ATL truly offered. I also didn’t fully appreciate southern hospitality and the many intricacies of history and community that are embedded in it.
At the time, southern hospitality to me was using sir/ma'am heavily, holding doors, and actually smiling at people as you walked by them. As a fairly recent college graduate, ATL was just another stop on my journey.
Fast forward to 2022, and this city has loved on me dearly. It has provided a safe haven for me and a place to grow and evolve without apology. Atlanta represents true Southern Hospitality; layers of diverse and intimate communities that love on one another through food, art, music, wellness, spirituality, and culture.
To remain intentionally fed and full in this beautiful city, I spend my time around communities that pour back into me:
Mutana, a Black-owned all-natural wellness shop in the West End, to re-up on crystals, incense and shea.
Asia Rose, located in the Virginia Highlands area, is my go to spot for holistic spa treatments. This Black-owned staple has a range of offerings, and a bomb skincare line. (I carry their toner in my Weekender Ries bottle!)
I use it after I hit up Vibe Ride for cycling and of course, vibes. Workouts at this Black woman-owned studio always leave me physically and emotionally full. (Plus who doesn’t like twerk riding to Beyoncé??)
(Image: Redbird Atlanta, courtesy Redbird Atlanta)
I’m grateful for intimate moments at restaurants like Rock Steady, BoccaLupo, Redbird, Kimball House, Biltong Bar, Arepa Mia, and Tassili’s. All these gems, sprinkled around Atlanta, always provide me with intentional service, memorable meals, and an authentic feeling of community.
(Image: Kimball House, courtesy Kimball House)
For Keeps Books is an essential bookstore to visit to fuel your spirit and your fire. I love having the pleasure of just being. Of indulging in books that leave me feeling restored and anew.
(Image: For Keeps Books)
Local treasures like 3 Parks Wine have, for me, provided a strong sense of hospitality and community in Atlanta. When I’m there for a tasting, or just popping by to grab a bottle or 2, I am reaffirmed and reminded that community is everywhere.
I’m thankful to live in a city that continues to grow and evolve while remaining so true to its roots. Atlanta has this beautiful way of making every person who travels here feel at home. And for me, I can proudly say that Atlanta IS home. This majestic city is a hub for culture, for love, for community, and for true southern hospitality. Each day is filled with gratitude.
Forever I love Atlanta.
Follow Blair Crosby on Instagram at @bswank_