Archive for May, 2007

My Ex-Boss… The Bagel Shop Murderer


In the spring of 1991, I was finishing up my sophomore year of high school and I needed a summer job. Until then, I’d always gone to summer camp for the summers, and going back as a camp counselor wasn’t that appealing (and wouldn’t earn very much money). Being the nerd that I was, I attached a photocopy of my report card to a cover letter and handed it out to a few shop owners in town — starting with the ones that seemed like cool places to work. The video store expressed interest, but then never called back after promising to set up an interview. The printing place said they didn’t have any openings. The book store said they only hired college graduates.

Then I wandered into Super Bagel. There was a sign in the window saying “Help Wanted” and I asked the guy inside. He asked me to wait a minute, went into the back, and then came out and told me the boss wanted to talk to me. He told me to go back out the front door, walk around the corner, and past the record shop I’d see a little alleyway. Walk through that alley, go through the gate and knock at the door. The door opened, and I met Bob Anderson for the first time. He looked and spoke like Robert DeNiro.

“Authorities say the estranged husband of a woman found shot to death in a Huntington, Long Island bagel shop was arrested and charged with second-degree murder Friday. Suffolk County police spokeswoman Audrey Marrone said 66-year-old Robert Anderson was arrested at his sister’s home, hours after Ann Anderson’s body was found early Friday inside Super Bagel in Huntington.”
Husband charged in bagel shop shooting

After a quick interview, I was hired. Bob asked me if I was an early riser or a late riser, and eager to please the new boss, I said early. He told me great, that I needed to come in at 4:50 am. If I was a late riser, it would have been 5:50 am. If you came in later than 10 to the hour, he said you wouldn’t get paid for that first hour of the morning. His one other admonition: “Wear socks next time.” Since I’d just been dropping off resumes, I was wearing boat shoes with no socks. Wearing socks was important to Bob.

“Before dawn on Friday, police said, Robert Anderson waited in the alley across from the Huntington village bagel shop he co-owned with his estranged wife.

After she arrived, he entered the popular Wall Street shop and confronted his wife of almost 20 years, Ann Anderson, to talk about the distribution of goods from a messy divorce.”
Gunned down at dawn

Five days a week (both weekend days required, two random days off during the week) all summer long I walked through that alley as a short cut to Super Bagel. My parents’ house was about a mile away, and it was an easy walk in the cool mornings. The bars in Huntington close at 4am, and in order to get there at 4:50am, I’d take a few shortcuts through some alleys, and walk around the drunks who had recently been tossed out of the bars. It wasn’t an easy job, and Bob was nothing if not a demanding boss. But, after a little while, I really started enjoying working there.

I met Ann for the first time a few weeks into my job there. I don’t know where she was when I first started, but one Saturday morning I came in for the “late” shift (5:50 am) and there she was running the place. I remember thinking that she was strikingly attractive. Just as Bob reminded me of DeNiro, Ann reminded me of a movie star, though I couldn’t place who — perhaps Phoebe Cates. She clearly was in charge. Bob was in the back cooking bagels, as per usual, but Ann ran the store and was making sure that it ran smoothly. As a bunch of us were cutting bagels behind the cream cheese counter, the other workers were complaining about what a “bitch” she was. I had no idea who she was and given all the complaints (and still being new) she frightened me and I did my best not to screw up. It was only later that someone mentioned she was Bob’s wife.

There were a few other high school kids who worked at Super Bagel, but most didn’t last long. The early start on weekends didn’t go over well. However, most of the other people who worked there were older. They tended to drift in and out of jobs, and other than a few long-timers, most counter jockeys didn’t stay working there very long. The pay was $6/hour when I started. That was nearly $2 over minimum wage, which beat all my other options — but it was hardly a living if it was your full-time job. However, I worked hard, and Bob and Ann seemed to recognize that. I enjoyed working for them and getting to know them. Bob used to joke that I was the only employee that Ann didn’t hate. I kept working there after the summer and was given more responsibility. I got to open and close the store sometimes and they even let me manage the two other bagel stores they owned on weekends. Those were cushy assignments, since neither one got crowded (compared to Super Bagel, which often had a line out the door).

One time, probably a year or so after I’d been working at Super Bagel, Ann and I were both working at the Northport store and she asked me if I knew anything about computers. I still didn’t have a computer, but I played around with them at school and knew my way around a keyboard. She said she had just bought a computer, and asked if I could help her figure it out. The next week I spent the morning not slinging bagels, but getting her 286 (yes, 286) up and running (and telling her she should have splurged for the 386). I showed her how to use Lotus 1-2-3 to help her keep the books. She was really interested in managing the business thoroughly.

“Friends said she nearly went bankrupt in 1999 and worked seven days a week at one point to get out of debt. ‘She worked like a horse,’ the Canadian woman said. ‘That’s why he married her.'”
Long Island hubby pumped five shots into wife’s head: cops

All of the news stories say that it was Ann’s shop, and that Bob “co-owned” it with her, but when I was there, it was Bob’s shop, even if Ann ran it. Bob was a fascinating character. He was clearly proud of the success he’d built up at Super Bagel and he worked there 7 days a week, 365 days a year while I was there. He never missed a day. My second summer there, Ann and Bob planned a two week cruise away. They prepared carefully for it, and trained everyone else to keep the shop running while they were gone. On the day of the trip, however, Bob changed his mind and came into work. Ann still went on the cruise with a friend (who also worked at the shop).

About a year after I started, Bob and Ann had hired a guy named Bruce to work at the store. Bruce was way too smart to be working behind the counter of a bagel store. He claimed that he had been laid off from his stock broker Wall Street job and needed to do something to pay the bills. Bob and Ann took him under their wing a bit and taught him all aspects of the business, with the intention of having him help manage the store. However, after about 3 months, he quit. A month later, we learned that a new bagel store was opening up… just across the street. It was opened by Bruce and his brother, with money from their father. Prior to this, there were no other bagel stores within a few miles, and to open one up across the street after being an internal spy at Super Bagel seemed unforgivable. The morning Bruce’s store opened, my job was to go in and get a dozen bagels so we could do a taste test back at Super Bagel. I was scared to death that Bruce would recognize me, but he wasn’t up front in their shop. I took the bagels back, and Bob and Ann spent time critiquing the quality of Bruce’s bagels. Perhaps he hadn’t learned nearly enough while working for us.

“A man accused of shooting his wife dead in their bagel shop was ordered to give up guns six months earlier, a prosecutor said.

The victim, Ann Anderson, obtained a court order of protection in November against her estranged husband, 66-year-old Robert Anderson. The order revoked the husband’s gun license, and he turned in two guns to authorities, prosecutors said in court Saturday.”
LI Man Told to Turn in Guns Before Wife’s Shooting

I don’t remember Bob having much of a temper. He wanted me to wear socks. He wanted us to treat the customers right… as long as it didn’t involve taking the coffee cake out of order. We had a big coffee cake, and customers always wanted middle, not end, pieces. However, Bob’s rule was that the coffee cake had to be given out in order, and he would get upset at any employee who agreed to give out middle pieces out of order. I once had a customer walk out with nearly $100 worth of food on the counter after he argued with me and I told him the customer was always right… except when it came to getting pieces from the middle of the coffee cake. Ron, Bob’s son, once almost got into a fist fight with a customer over the coffee cake when a customer cursed him out for not giving him a middle piece.

Bob was much older than Ann (apparently 27 years). The whispered rumors among other employees was that he had been married before (in fact, his son Ron, from that marriage, still worked in the bagel place as well), but had hired Ann to work in the bagel place, and then ended up divorcing his wife to marry Ann. I never found out how true that was.

I once asked Bob how he ended up owning the bagel shop, and he told me, “Well, I used to be in auto body. You know what auto body is, right?” I nodded. He nodded back. “You know, you steal cars, you break ’em up and sell off the pieces,” to which I replied: “Oh, that kind of auto body.”

He said his lawyer recommended he get out of that business, and came to him one day with the proposal to buy this bagel shop. “What the fuck are bagels? The things with the holes in the middle?” was his response. And yet, he still bought the place.

“Robert Anderson is expected to be arraigned on second-degree murder charges Saturday at First District Court in Central Islip. He has no previous criminal record.”
Husband charged in bagel shop shooting

I have no idea how truthful Bob was being in telling me about his history. I assumed he was joking about the auto body shop, but I wouldn’t have been surprised to find out that it was true. He was a tough guy, and I could see him being in auto body (his kind of auto body). The only time I ever saw Bob look scared was when we got a visit from a tax inspector, concerned that we weren’t charging the proper sales tax. He pretended to not be at the shop, hiding in the very back, even as Daisy, the woman from Ecuador who would shuttle new tubs of cream cheese from the front to the back “accidentally” insisted that Bob was in the back, as one of the employees insisted he had left for the day.

However, Bob did have a run in with legal problems while I worked there. He and Ann lived in Lloyd Harbor, the wealthiest area around — and they were anything but the typical Lloyd Harbor couple (Debbie Gibson, who was still popular at the time, lived in Lloyd Harbor; as did Billy Joel). Bob built a barn in his back yard and brought in farm animals: pigs and goats to be specific. In Lloyd Harbor they had no problem with rich neighbors with horses… but pigs and goats were another story. His neighbors complained to the town council, who demanded Bob get rid of the goats and pigs for violating town regulations. Bob went to court to fight it, and eventually lost. He was told to give up the livestock, or face six months in jail. He held out until the last day and then gave up the pigs and goats.

He was thrilled with upsetting his neighbors though (and used to joke about how they still came to shop at Super Bagel, first watching from across the street to make sure none of their neighbors would spot them going into the store). A few years later, when I was back visiting, I asked him about the animals, and he said he was in the process of getting a llama. Someone he knew was apparently selling one, and he thought it would be great to have one for the kids. He called up someone from town hall, pretending to be an out-of-towner thinking of moving to Lloyd Harbor, and asked about what kind of animals were allowed.

“No pigs! No goats!” the woman told him immediately. “Horses, are fine, however.”

“What about llamas?” he asked.

“Llamas? The things with the two humps?”

“Actually, just one hump, but from the sound of things, the folks in that town could use a couple humps.”

The woman apparently said “they sure could…” before catching herself and saying “well, no, there’s no law against llamas, but your neighbors might not like it.” (Wikipedia tells me Bob was wrong: llamas have no humps… but the story was a good one).

“After she arrived, he entered the popular Wall Street shop and confronted his wife of almost 20 years, Ann Anderson, to talk about the distribution of goods from a messy divorce.

But she was dismissive, police said, and he became enraged.

Aiming a .22-caliber pistol, he shot her once in the side. Then, standing over her, he fired several bullets into her head and neck, killing her, Suffolk police said.”Gunned down at dawn

I don’t recall ever seeing the two of them argue. They were both strong personalities so I have no doubt that they clashed. Half the time I knew them she was pregnant. They had four kids in the course of five years (according to one of the articles), which matches up with the period of time I knew them. During college, I would stop by and visit whenever I was in town on break. They always made sure I left with a bag full of bagels (which surprised me since employees were never allowed to take bagels home, even if they were going to be thrown out). I went back to work there winter break of my freshman year, trying to earn some extra cash. They were kind enough to let me make my own schedule for a few weeks, and I helped them again with their computer system.

After I moved to California I obviously lost touch with them. They had talked about selling the bagel place, or maybe even moving elsewhere and opening up a new bagel place in a totally different area. However, just last month, as I mentioned in a blog post, as I was back in town, I stopped by the bagel shop early in the morning (around 6am) to pick up bagels before driving down to Baltimore. I knew they’d be open. Ann and Ron were working there, though they didn’t recognize me (it had been at least 12 years since I’d seen or spoken to them) and they were busy getting set up for the morning rush. Ann looked older and she looked distracted, but I figured it was just getting ready for the rush.

“He knew that she would be opening the store at 5 a.m.,” Fitzpatrick said. “He waited in an alleyway across from the building. He realized she would normally leave the door unlocked behind her.”
Long Island hubby pumped five shots into wife’s head: cops

I love telling stories from working at the bagel place. Back when I knew Tim Tayag in San Francisco (before he moved away), he used to tell me I should create a whole comedy routine around stories from the bagel place (there are lots more beyond the few I list here). Sunnia likes to make fun of me whenever I tell a bagel store story, claiming that they are “date stories” that I used to save up to entertain women on dates. I never thought I’d add any more stories to the bunch — and certainly not like this. They were always comedy stories, with the movie-star characters of Bob and Ann played for comic relief. I never thought it would end as a tragedy and a mugshot.


Web Conferencing With Barrack Obama

One of the cool things about our office building is the fantastic lineup of speakers and guests Saeed and crew like to bring through. There have been lots of big name tech execs, entrepreneurs, authors, investors and just generally interesting people. Not a week goes by without someone interesting either dropping by the office itself, or available at an event in the building. However, Saeed has outdone himself this month, getting Senator Barrack Obama to stop by the building on June 2 for a meet and greet. Unfortunately, the way politics works these days, in order to be included in the meet & greet, you need to shell out $1,000 as a campaign contribution. While understandable, it’s disappointing. I’m not a particularly political person. I tend to be turned off by almost all politicians. While I’m far, far, far from figuring out who I’d like to be the next President, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least interested in Obama’s campaign. At least so far, whether it’s true or not (or just a media creation), he comes off as being someone who actually is interested in solving big problems, rather than someone who’s just interested in power. I think it would be quite interesting to see him in person, but I’m not giving him $1,000 just to find out — even if Rick makes a very compelling argument that this is a once-in-a-lifetime politician.

Still, for those of us who don’t have quite so much money to toss around frivolously on every other politician who comes to town, Saeed and crew organized for Senator Obama to hold a webconference at the building yesterday — which was free. Oddly, though, you had to “apply” at the Entrepreneurs for Obama website. Just the fact that you had to “apply” was a bit of a turnoff, as it suggests the campaign is trying to keep out certain people (or, more likely, capture your personal info for later pleas). I made the cut though, and headed down to the cafeteria to see what it was all about. For a chance to interact with a leading politician, I was actually surprised at the relatively small turnout. They could have easily fit everyone in the auditorium, rather than the larger cafeteria. Not sure if others didn’t make the cut, or it just wasn’t advertised widely enough, but I was a bit surprised. There were maybe 60 people there and lots of empty seats.

Then… came the technical difficulties. For a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, it was a bit embarrassing. They used Yahoo Messenger for the chat, and as we started, there was pure static rather than Senator Obama’s voice. That resulted in a few minutes of tech support while Obama sat waiting. Finally, they got it working, but the “video” wasn’t a video at all. I don’t know if there were bandwidth problems or what, but the “video” was changing at about 1 frame per minute (no joke). Basically, it was a still shot of the Senator holding earbuds to his ear that would shift every minute or so. The sound quality was awful and there was a noticeable lag. There really was no reason not to at least do the audio portion over the phone.

Obama gave a short intro that was about what you’d expect and then took questions. People seemed a bit shy to ask questions, but eventually came up with some challenging ones. That’s actually where Obama started to shine. While he initially started off his responses with the typical pat politician answers, with each question he started to dig deeper into his thoughts, and it showed that either he was really well briefed or was really thinking about these issues… Unfortunately, though, technical difficulties got in the way again. Grier’s brother David asked a long question about tax policy and government expenses and just as Obama said “that’s a really fantastic question,” the static came on again and we had to wait another 2 minutes to get the system working again. Obama joked, of course, that the technical difficulties had nothing to do with him trying to avoid the question. And, while he did give a good answer, the technical quality was really distracting. A total loss of communications happened a couple more times as well, and while the Senator was kind and gracious enough to stick around 15 minutes longer than he was supposed to, a lot of that time (both his and ours) was totally wasted.

After this, Obama’s “New Media Director,” Joe Rospers (who was there in person) gave a presentation that was somewhat forgettable. It was nice that he gave a little history of campaign websites, but it began to drag on after a bit and I gave up and headed back to work.

All in all, it was interesting. I’m still intrigued by Obama, though not enough to give him $1,000 just to be in the same room with him. I was impressed by his grasp of the issues being discussed, and the obvious depth he was willing to delve into in answering the questions. Other than a brief mention of how the patent system needed to be reformed, he didn’t touch on my pet topic of intellectual property reform. The guy organizing the event noted that the “Entrepreneurs for Obama” group had put together a position paper for the Senator on patent reform and I may try to get a copy of it — though I’m almost afraid of what it might say. As for the overall event, it would have been much better if the technical difficulties weren’t such a huge distraction, but give the campaign credit for at least being willing to try something like a web conference.

I snapped a few pictures from my seat, though, they’re hardly anything special.



There’s a radio station here in San Francisco called KFOG that puts on a big concert, called Kaboom on Piers 30 and 32 every year, which is followed up by a big fireworks display synchronized to music. Sunnia and I try to go pretty much every year — especially since it’s free. Except… this year, it wasn’t free at all. Apparently the costs have gone up, so they decided to charge everyone $10 to go, which really isn’t that bad a deal, and actually could cut down on the crowds, which might be nice. However, before we even had a chance to make that decision, Byung and Greg invited us to skip the crowds and watch the fireworks from the comfort of their sailboat out on the bay. Cool!

Sunnia cooked up a strawberry-rhubarb cobbler and we drove up to Emeryville (where they keep their boat). We were a bit late and then got lost in the parking lot (don’t ask) trying to find the right dock. However, we eventually got there, and joined the crew of folks on the boat, which included 8 other adults and 5 children (I think all under the age of 6…). 6 of those 8 adults were all sailors, so Sunnia and I went below deck to get out of the way and hung out with Byung (and ate too much food) while we motored out. When I was a kid, I went sailing a few times with my Dad and Wil (on a much, much smaller sailboat), but it’s been at least 20 years since I’ve been on a sailboat, so it took a little getting used to the motion.

It had been crazy windy and cold (as the weatherman said on the radio “unseasonably cold and blustery”) all day long, and when I’d been walking Sugar earlier, I got worried about just how icy cold it would be on the water. And, indeed, even though I came bundled up in four layers, I was told I probably wasn’t wearing enough. So I stayed below deck on most of the ride out — and as we left the dock, the water seemed pretty choppy, so the ride was a bit bouncy. However, as we passed under the Bay Bridge (both the new and old part), amazingly the wind went away and it actually became pretty nice out, so we popped out to see the view. We motored over to McCovey Cove, with a nice view of AT&T Park and then anchored to wait for the show. Apparently someone was supposed to bring a boombox so we could hear the concert and the music synchronized to the fireworks, but somewhere along the way it was forgotten. No matter. Soon enough, the fireworks went off — and we were actually really close to the barge where they were setting them off. It was a long show (20 to 30 minutes or so) and both kids and adults seemed to enjoy themselves. About 3/4 of the way through, I figured I might as well try to see if my cameraphone would work and snapped a bunch of pictures. Unfortunately, most of them look like a boat exploding in the Bay:


Oh well. I did get one that actually looks like fireworks:


All in all, pretty cool. After the show, they turned the boat around and started to motor back, just as we had motored in, and we were all amazed at how nice it was out. Not too windy. Not too cold. Then, apparently, the sailors noticed that there was another sailboat nearby… and it had its sails up, rather than motoring. In an effort to defend their honor as sailors, they put up the sail, turned off the motor and away we went. We got to sail all the way back and it really was a lot of fun. As we got close to dock, Byung asked me if I would blog about this… so, what else could I do? All in all, it was a really fun experience, both the fireworks and getting to hang out on the boat. Hopefully we’ll get to go again sometime.

At What Price Would We Sell Our Wedding Date?

There have been huge collection of news articles lately about the popularity of July 7th for weddings this year. Even famous folks like Eva Longoria are planning to get married that day — though, she hasn’t found a location yet and, I’d imagine it’s getting increasingly difficult to find any venue at this point. It’s not too difficult to understand why. The date 07/07/07 has a nice symmetry to it, first of all. Then, of course, for many, 7 is considered a lucky number. Some religious folks believe that 777 is a number representing God. Then there are those who believe that 7 is a lucky number in gambling — and you can see that in slot machines where 7 – 7 – 7 wins you the jackpot.

Of course, for those of you paying attention, you’ll also note that July 7th, 2007 is when I’m getting married as well. Not only that, but we have a pretty damn good location for such a date: Heavenly. If you really think it is a godly number, what better place? Then again, if you’re not so into the Biblical aspect, but more into the gambling aspect, the location still works, given its proximity to Lake Tahoe casinos. Needless to say, we were pretty happy once we realized how cool the date was (and Grier insists that a secondary wonderful aspect of it is that I will never forget my anniversary).

In many of these articles about July 7th wedding days, they talk about desperate brides (it’s always the brides, isn’t it?) who so want that date that they’re willing to pay those who’ve already secured the date. That resulted in a conversation tonight at dinner where we began to wonder at what price would we sell the date (and location… and what the hell, I’d even throw in the cool artwork I made for the Save-the-Date) for our wedding? It would have to be something overwhelming, just to keep my mother from strangling me. So, we figure that it would have to be enough that we could make it up to all the guests who already made plans to travel to the wedding, and then would probably need to buy us a new home as well — given that our current search for home has made us realize how ridiculous home prices are in the Bay Area. Also, if it helps us afford a nicer honeymoon, that wouldn’t hurt either.

So, that probably prices most folks out of the market (though, Ms. Longoria, I imagine it might be well within your budget — so feel free to call). In the meantime, anyone have any suggestions on how much we should sell our wedding date and location for? Sunnia thinks we should put it up on eBay and see what happens.

* PS: If my mom hasn’t yet discovered this blog, I get the feeling she may find out about this post rather quickly. She may require that the amount get bumped up to pay for the hospital stay that would be induced from finding out we were potentially changing the date of the wedding after so much planning.

The View From The Top

Okay, I had you going with that last post, right? I don’t post for a month, and you figure you’ve got at least another few weeks before I’m back at it. However, with all that travel, I might as well post at least some images. So, this is from the trip to Atlanta, where I got to stay in the Westin Peachtree which (I learned from a voiceover in the elevator) is the tallest hotel in the western hemisphere. When I checked in they asked if I wanted a floor closer to the ground or higher up, so I said higher up (I never seem to get that option). At this point, I had no idea how tall the hotel was, having only been focused on finding the hotel itself, rather than how many stories it had (I hadn’t looked up on entering it). They gave me a room on the 39th floor, which isn’t bad. The elevators I entered only went up to 45, so I assumed that was as tall as it went. The entire building is a cylinder, so each room is wedge like, with floor to ceiling windows curving around the outside (pretty cool, actually). Even at the 39th floor, it seemed like there weren’t many other tall buildings around, so I snapped some photos with the camera phone:


So that was fun. Of course, my second night there, I got to have dinner at the Sundial restaurant, which happens to take up the top 4 (72 through 75) floors of the building (and, yes, it rotates) — at which point, I discovered my “high” room, wasn’t really that high up the building. Turns out folks who room on floors 46 through 70 get their own separate elevators. And, of course, the Sundial restaurant gets its own damn elevator, which happens to be glass and on the outside. Lots of fun, though some people who I shared the elevator with were apparently afraid of heights. Either way, it was sunset, so I snapped a couple shots out the window from the 72nd floor:


Not much else to report from Atlanta. I did have one fun experience, though. I normally am better at preparing before going on a trip to a city I’m mostly unfamiliar with. However, this time, I didn’t even bother to figure out how to get from the airport to the hotel, figuring I’d just grab a cab and “how bad could it be.” Well, it would have cost $30, which isn’t too bad, but the insane line waiting for cabs had me thinking twice. I saw various airport shuttles and wondered if the Westin had one. Someone at the taxi stand told me they did, but gave me directions I think were more designed to get rid of me than help me reach my destination. I found a courtesy phone and called a different Westin (the Peachtree wasn’t listed — which I knew was a bad sign). The woman their told me that there was another shuttle called the Linq (or Link, I forget) that would take me to the hotel.

I headed back outside and found the shuttle… which had a line nearly as long as the taxi line. And there was one shuttle at the front and it looked like a minivan. The wait was going to be ridiculous. I asked the woman in front of me if this was the right line, and she said “well, this is where the reservation said to go” and pulled out a printout reservation. Reservation? Oops. So I wander off and see another long line, and ask the guy at the end if it’s to buy tickets on the shuttle. He thinks so, but notes there are no signs and there doesn’t appear to actually be anyone at the front of the line serving people. Oh yeah, the cost for the shuttle: $20. We stand in line for about five minutes with nothing happening, and the guy says that he’s been to Atlanta before, and he remembers that there was a train, so he’s just going to take that. He seems like a nice enough guy, so I tell him I’m following him.

We wander over to the MARTA, which is the subway there, and discover that, unlike just about every other subway station I’ve been to in the country, people are *damn friendly*. The woman at the ticketbooth knows exactly where I need to go to get to my hotel. Total price: $1.75. Then, again, as I actually used the ticket to enter the station, there’s another MARTA employee waiting at the gates, asking where my destination is, and again telling me the best way to get there. Very easy. Got to chat with the guy I followed and he’s an interesting guy. He’s an IT manager for the United Nations and had worked there for over 20 years. Had some fascinating stories.

Anyway, after all that, it should come as no surprise that I just took the MARTA back to the airport at the end of my trip as well. I wanted to get to the airport by 9am, so I left the hotel at 8am, figuring that there would be some rush hour traffic on the subway in the middle of downtown. Apparently, folks in Atlanta aren’t big fans of their public transportation system. As I rode the huge (probably 5 or 6 stories in one go) escalator down, I realized I was the *only* person on the entire escalator. At 8:15am (I was a little late) at what appeared to be the middle of downtown. Oh well. Made the trip even easier.

Also, when you get to the airport, if you’re flying Delta (I was), you can actually check-in, getting your boarding pass, and check your luggage from inside the MARTA station, avoiding all the main terminal lines. All in all, quite nice. So, if you’re flying to Atlanta and your hotel is somewhere downtown, skip the cabs and the shuttle and just take the MARTA.