Marietta Square is really a gem. I've traveled the country and lived in many places but I can't think of a city, town or village center I've visited that's quite as lovely as Marietta's. I went to the Phipps Plaza the other day and was struck by the synthetic "shopping experience" mall developers try to create when they build these things. It's all so antiseptic and contrived, designed to put us in the mood to spend our money. I felt like I was in the chemo wing of Kennestone Hospital.
Then, my wife and I went to dinner in Marietta the other evening. It was clear and cold, the lights of the little shops and restaurants clustered around the square cheerfully flickering with life and it occurred to me I was looking at the real deal, something no mall developer could ever replicate, a living connection to another time and place. Maybe that's why movie producers love to use Marietta Square as a location in their films. It would be difficult to imitate the natural ambiance and quaintness of this genuine slice of Americana on a sound stage.
In the north, everybody's always in a hurry. In the south, I've found the pace slower, more deliberate and certainly it's friendlier and more genteel in these parts. The next time you jump in the car to race to the mall or to eat at some chain joint, slow down before your speed up. Drive over to Marietta Square first and see if you can find what you're looking for there. Sometimes the best things are right in front of us.