Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mysteries of Atlanta

The alleyway behind my condo is a fascinating place -- with a variety of businesses (including one bar) backing on to it, you overhear a lot of slices of life. Flirting, fights, vomiting, car hood sex. All there.

One of the buildings there is the old Hilan Theatre, a mid-20th-century movie (I think) house more recently converted to a Starbucks and Ben and Jerry's. The Starbucks, with a fantastic rooftop patio, was about the only Starbucks I ever felt fond of, so naturally it left not long ago.

There's been working going on for a while on the theater part (the part that backs against the alley), but to what purpose I'm not sure. There's been rumors that an improv theater will open there (which would be cool) or that a nightclub will (which would not), but aside from the very occasional workshop, there's nothing actually going on, other than vague construction. They do have an ear-splitting alarm which goes off if anyone dares to walk within ten feet of the heavily-secured doors, which is fantastic, because it's a pretty heavily-trafficked alley. Hear that alarm go off at 8 am (and believe me, you can hear it) and you start rethinking old attitudes about murder being wrong.

Every once in a while, an odd item appears outside those doors. Lots of stuff gets dumped in alleys, as you can imagine, but there have been a few things that stood out. One was an orange rabbit statue which appeared a few years back (somewhere on this blog, there's a photo of it). It gradually fell apart as passers-by kicked it, revealing something about Atlantans in the process, but the base is still there.

This week? A pile of sodden neckties. Still there last night. I didn't feel like handling moldering fabric so I didn't examine too closely, but who thinks "I've got a pile of old neckties -- gonna go dump them out back of the theater"? I bet that's what set off the alarm. Is it some kind of offering?

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