Unraveling hometown mysteries

A stone engraving at the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta. Via Flickr user andrew d miller.

A stone engraving at the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta. Via Flickr user andrew d miller.

We all think we know our hometown well. We know where places are and what restaurants to stay away from. Even if we move away and visit 10 years later, we’ll still know how to find our way around without getting lost.

That’s why I can’t believe there are still attractions in my hometown that I haven’t visited.

I’ve lived in Atlanta for 15 years (including 3.5 in Athens, Georgia for college). I’ve been to the Fox Theatre, the World of Coke, the CNN Center, Stone Mountain, and other places people go when they come to Atlanta.

But on Sunday, with the perpetual rain forcing me to choose an indoor activity, I found the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University. It houses one of the largest ancient art collections in the Southeast — and I had never even heard of the museum.

If you’re ever in Atlanta, I recommend it, especially if you like kitten mummies.

It astounds me that I had never come across the Carlos Museum. In a city of almost 6 million people, there are always lots of new events and activities going on that I never hear about. But the Carlos Museum has been around since 1876, making it almost as old as Atlanta itself. What’s the deal here?

I suppose it comes down to the age-old wisdom that people are never interested in the attractions their town has to offer because, hey, we live here. We can go to these places anytime. I’ve visited the World of Coke twice — because both times, out-of-town friends wanted to learn about the company’s history. (Just kidding. All-you-can-drink international soda, anyone?)

I rarely seek out Atlanta attractions. Besides Stone Mountain, Piedmont Park, and a few others, you don’t want to go to attractions more than once. Most are crowded and expensive.

Besides, I live in Atlanta. I can go anytime.

My discovery of the Carlos Museum makes me think there must be other activities that I don’t know about. Like the city is teeming with possibilities, or something.

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