Sunday, August 27, 2006

Continental Breakfast is not Real Breakfast

Atlanta is made for driving. It's spread out all over the place, the public transportation is negligible (by the time I get to a MARTA train station, I'm 3/4 of the way to work). And it's especially not made for walking. Long city blocks with no tree cover combined with the heat (which I may have mentioned before), sidewalks that look like they've taken mortar rounds, or often, no sidewalks at all.

But perversely, that can make walking more rewarding. You end up seeing Atlanta from a perspective not normally used, and you pick up many things often missed.

Back in Boulder, where the temperature is always perfect and all the people are beautiful and there's always rainbows and smiles, I walked a lot. When I moved out here, I initially lived in one of the lacking-sidewalks areas; there was a bar about 50 feet down the street, on my side, but I had to wander out into a six-lane road to get to it. Once I moved down to the Highlands, I got back into it a bit, and over the last few days, thanks to the 2006 Greg Commitment to Health, I've been doing it a ton.

And no one that doesn't have to do it, does it -- you'll have the streets to yourself. Off the main shop/restaurant drags, you don't get asked for money because the homeless guys figure you must be nuts if you're walking in Atlanta.

This morning I headed down to a few neighborhoods I know little about -- Cabbagetown and the old Fourth Ward. Didn't see much of either, but cool sights abound (this tower, f'rinstance -- no idea what it is, never heard of it. It appears to be opposite an old train station, but no clue). Up around the hip Krog Bar and Rathbun's, there's shells of old buildings (as above).

An Atlanta-native friend once bemoaned the city's relationship with its history -- saying it was only too happy to pave over everything unless it can be turned into a profit. That's largely true, I fear, but if you get off the main roads, get away from Peachtree, it becomes less true. There's a hell of a lot of cool old shit out there, and some of it's doing a good job surviving.


Anonymous said...

That might be an old water tower.


gsdgsd13 said...

That was my first guess. It's also right by what looks like an old railway station or loading dock, which probably makes sense.

Or, it's a giant monument to fertility.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that's possible. Maybe after Atlanta was burned down they had to do something to inspire the remaining souls to quickly repopulate. Maybe you could see if there's any historical record of priapic rituals that might have occurred ala some Annual Atlanta Debutante Ball and Ritual Stroking of the Giant Phallus. Hey, there are a lot of Greek city names down there...


JP said...

My Uncle grew up in cabbage town and his father worked at the mill, I love hearing the stories about the life Atlanta was back in the day. You had to be tough coming from Cabbage town, lot of poor people, mostly immigrants from up in Blue Ridge and surrounding areas. No heat there, and all the good stuff that comes with growing up in a poor factory town. Makes you a tough person. Now that place has changed alot, from then. But I love hearing stories about How rough ATL really was, and how just seeing it now.

will said...

hello, my name is Will Sanders and I am an atlanta boy teaching for a year in China. When I was in the ATL I was working a job on a low budget movie with Lee Majors where they were supposed to feed us (we got no break) and we worked 12 to 15 hour days. The food sucked and in the morning they just gave us continental breakfast and lunch was always late so we were starved. Well we went out at night and got drunk and bitched about it, and on the way home from the bar I was so mad (and hammered) that I spray painted the message you took a picture of on the crog street bridge. After that I started writing it everywhere. My tag. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

if that's true, will, then that's awesome. i know exactly the underpass that picture was taken and it frequently goes through my mind as to what state of mind a person would have to be in to be that enraged about something as seemingly mundane as breakfast.