When I first arrived he asked if I took MARTA. "No, I just got here." "Well, you really ought to take it, it's a great subway". And I have subsequently taken it. It is a great subway... And then he said, and it struck me as sort of odd, he said "Well, it's not like your T in Boston"... And I thought to myself "The T, it's this old rat-trap, it clanks along and there's little cars." So that was fine. I just put that away. I was beginning to see there's a little insecurity underneath all this civic pride.
Later he was boiling down some of the differences between Atlanta and other parts of the county and had this gem of an anecdote.
Everybody knows there are problems in Atlanta and Atlantans will tell you about the problems. But, even when forced to, and they'll only do this under great duress, speak critically of fellow Atlantans, they'll do it in very quiet tones and drop their voices as if to say "this is just between the two of us". And they'll never be harsh: "so-and-so was mistaken, but he couldn't help it" Genteel, Southern, all that.
Then I went to New York and it was like getting a slap in the face with culture shock because I go to interview somebody in New York, we sit down, I pull out a pad of paper and the first thing he said was "Before we start, who else you been talkin' to?" And I said, "I just came from talking to so-and-so" "That son of a bitch!"