I am SUPER-PUMPED right now because I just bought a ticket to see my favorite recording artist of all time, TOM WAITS, in Atlanta on August 1st. Apparently he hasn't played tour dates in the South since the '70s, and he's reclusive and isn't getting any younger, so I never thought I'd actually have a chance to see him live. Even though I live seven hours away in Orlando, Florida, I would never forgive myself for missing this.
So I have a will call ticket that will be ready for me, and now I want to find out more about Atlanta. The show will be at the Tabernacle, which is apparently a huge, beautiful venue that used to be a church. It is located at 152 Luckie Street in Atlanta. What kind of area is this? Slick, regentrified downtown, or more of a scary fringe area, or something else entirely? Is it close to anything? What are some good nearby places to eat?
As far as food, the one famous place I always hear about in Atlanta (from Food Network hype) is the Varsity. Will I be close to that? Naturally, I'd prefer to avoid big casual dining chains, fancy joints, and common fast food places, and stick to smaller hidden treasures, famous local institutions, and anything on the cheaper side. Ethnic food is A-OK with me. I'll be going alone, so I don't need to impress anyone.
Slightly off-topic, are there any affordable nearby hotels? (I'll be missing work on a Tuesday and Wednesday, and figure I'll need to crash in a room after the concert before driving home.) Any must-see destinations in Atlanta? Is this close at all to the World of Coca-Cola, which I've heard is pretty fun? What else do I need to know as I venture into the A-T-L?