Saturday, May 21, 2011

Memorial Blues

I don't go down to Memorial Drive a lot, because aside from Oakland Cemetery and the wonderful but too-rarely-visited-by-me Six Feet Under, there's not a lot there. It's just a bit too far to walk from my place and as much as I love abandoned buildings, it's not a great place for a walk. Abruptly ending sidewalks, little shade, long stretches of nothingness. In the 1970s, Life Magazine named Tucson's Speedway Boulevard the ugliest street in America. Memorial looks like Speedway after the rapture.

Mom visited a couple of weeks ago, and circumstances (visits to the Cyclorama and Oakland, trips to a rental car place) took me down Memorial multiple times -- probably more than in the time since my last post on the place, three years ago. Some stuff did catch my eye, so needing a stroll this morning, I headed down there.

I'm not much for religion but I'm curious what the Omega Holiness Church's story is. It looked boarded up and defunct, and the bulletin board by the door had notices from 2006. But signs on the door indicated it's still going -- it also seems to be a church that's active in the community, so a rousing rah for that. Even the active businesses on Memorial are thoroughly covered with graffiti, which can get confusing for the abandoned-building seeker.

Somewhere around here, I heard a rooster braying repeatedly in a nearby backyard. Strange sound for downtown Atlanta.

As I was taking this photo of the smokestacks, I heard a distant "hey!" Thinking nothing of it, I walked on. Shortly after, a pickup truck barreled past me, turned left onto a side street, and a man hopped out. He started walking toward me -- a ridiculous figure, short, toothless, 50s-ish and meth-damaged. In a tent-like t-shirt, he looked strangely sunken. Chest puffed out, he planted himself in front of me and said "you taking pictures of my house?" I was a head taller than him -- he would have needed a bazooka to be threatening. I just responded with a curious "no..." Laughing weakly, he said "Oh. I thought you were taking pictures of my house." I walked on, flashing back to this stupid incident, leaving him laughing to himself behind me.

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