Thursday, May 1, 2008


ITP: Inside the Perimeter, noun, adj., adv.: an abbreviation for "Inside the Perimeter," relating to the area inside Atlanta's I-285 loop highway. Contrasted with OTP, "Outside the Perimeter, which is all the area of Atlanta outside of I-285.

ITP and OTP are much more than geographic descriptions. They divide states of mind and ways of being. ITP is urban and Democratic; OTP is suburban and Republican. Old money lives ITP; new money lives OTP. Gays and lawyers reside ITP; straights and corporate people will be found OTP. All the cool restaurants and coffee shops are ITP; it's hard to find anything other than chain restaurants and corporate coffee shops OTP. People ITP drive Smart cars or ride bikes or walk; people OTP drive SUVs or SUVs or SUVs. ITP couture is funky-cool; OTP couture is Polo-Macys.

Before attending my Emory class last night ("Wednesdays at Atlanta's Microbreweries"), I stopped by an ITP coffeehouse for some caffeine fortification, grabbed a table outside, and overheard a conversation that could only happen ITP. A youngish man (30?) talking with a similarly youngish woman, who seemed to be his counselor or therapist or life coach or Scientology leader or something. I only picked up snippets over the traffic noise of the busy intersection, but it went something like this:

He: "Yes, my parents . . . family . . . frustrated . . . Do I really want to start a relationship with a pot-smoking graduate student? But I do like him . . . he doesn't smoke that much . . . my dissertation . . . watching pornography and measuring . . . "

She: "An unusual dissertation . . . a bunch of guys jacking off . . . "
Somehow, I found it difficult to concentrate on my book of Orthodox theology.


  1. Back when I was a child, Mom taught me the meaning of "MYOB". That's today's version of "mind your own business".

    Yep, MYOB in the ITP. 'Specially in the coffeeshops. What makes you think that the OTP is all that different? Appearences can be deceiving. The same shenanigans happen everywhere we go.

  2. no i could never dislike you. . . especially after a blog like that. haha

  3. i'm surprised you didn't see through the disguise i was wearing.. :)

    its hard to read anything at coffee shops b/c of those conversations..
    at least you're not at the one in swaunee where i am right now... soccer moms are arguing about the best time to stop breast feeding...
    i'm going to throw up now.

  4. Matt -
    Thanks for a good laugh.

    Yesterday at JavaMonkey in Decatur it was 4 people from 3 different parties discussing whether Obama or Clinton is the better choice (I guess McCain isn't on their short list).

    And then at my beer class a little later, I found out from a "local" that Decatur is called by some Dikecatur, due to its large proportion of lesbians.

    Yes, it's different ITP. And you don't even need a passport to visit (though coins for the parking meter will come in handy).