Whoever sets up the Virginia-Highland Summerfest each year must have a direct hotline to whatever higher powers there are. After endless sweltering, painful heat, followed by two days of torrential rain, it's been nothing but gorgeous for the weekend -- 80ish and sunny, light breeze, nice enough to fool me once again into thinking Atlanta's always got perfect weather.
I wandered up after my hangover cleared, thanks to a couple Bloody Marys -- Atlanta has some ridiculous draconian neo-fascist laws that mean you can't get served before 12:30, but when you got the connections, man, you can get hooked up. And if a day called for Bloody Marys, it's this one.
The festival is what you'd expect it to be -- crafts stalls, food stalls, cover bands ("man, as interpretations go, you do the best Cream"), lots of people. Pretty crowded -- as someone who's a relentless fast walker (to the point of near-rudeness, I fear), it forced me to put the brakes on a bit. None of that sounds terribly good, but it's pleasant. I live down the street, and look forward to it each year -- I'm regretting not taking the full weekend off this year.
I actually splurged on some art -- first time I've done that in a long time. My decorating skills are often derided -- my walls are a mishmash, with hockey jerseys, photos from various travels, concert posters, antique maps, a Czech flag, a poster for Bogart in "The Big Sleep" which has traveled to seven or eight different residences with me (and shows the wear), and a few other odds and ends. The new stuff doesn't give it any more cohesiveness, but it'll be a bit tougher for friends to mock than a Tomáš Klouček jersey.
The one thing I've been holding out for is a linocut by Katherine W. Linn. I saw her work for the first time at last year's fest, then dithered until post-festival before deciding I really wanted one. This year, no dithering (for the one I purchased, click that link, then "Linocuts I" -- I bought the "Rio Vista" print). She renders Atlanta landmarks of the non-tourist variety -- rather than Stone Mountain or the World of Coke, the neighborhood bars and restaurants and groceries. I love that sort of thing, as has probably shown through before. Many of her prints remember places that were gone before I came to Atlanta; others have since gone; a few (The Majestic Grill, Moe's and Joe's, George's, the Clermont) are still hanging on. I don't know how interesting the prints would be to those outside Atlanta, but I'm absolutely enamored of them.
I also broke one of my top rules -- that I only display photographs I've taken. This isn't as self-absorbed as it sounds; I fear that if I start putting up others' travel photos, that I'm -- in a way -- letting them do the work for me. But a photo by Hope Shakya caught my eye -- a shadowed doorway in an old Moroccan king's palace. It's probably some years before I'll get to Morocco, and there's no guarantee I could ever come close to capturing that scene. And most importantly, it just blew me away. Alas, it's not up on her website, but plenty of other lovely photos are.
One more link, though I didn't (due to limited money and wall space) purchase anything -- Atlanta Vintage Travel. It's local scenes (old and current) done up in 1930s travel poster style, and they're fantastic (if you like that style -- as you can probably guess, I do). Eventually, wall space or not, I'll have to get the Majestic poster.