Location: East Atlanta Village Criterium
Date taken: August 17, 2013
The streets around East Atlanta Village close down, and the bikes take over for one Saturday afternoon every August. Criterium implies a short course, usually less than a mile, and the EAV Criterium lives up to its name. Find a spot along the course, and you’ll see cyclists zoom by about every minute or so — they race on a small rectangle of a course around the main stretch of the neighborhood. Locals, family and friends and cycling enthusiasts cheer on the racers, starting with youth early in the day and ending with the veterans who compete for a cash prize. If you can’t make the EAV race, check out other criteriums nearby — Grant Park, Athens.
Location: The Biltmore
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to recreate the photo from this 1940s postcard of Atlanta’s famous Biltmore, which occupies an entire city block in Midtown Atlanta. A parking deck now fills the space immediately in front of The Biltmore … and blocks the view of the building’s main entrance. Once considered Atlanta’s premier hotel, The Biltmore opened in 1924 as a hotel and residences and hosted famous Americans such as Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Bette Davis and Charles Lindbergh. The two towers on the building’s roof, which have become a famous part of the Atlanta skyline, are former radio towers from WSB, which broadcasted from The Biltmore for three decades. Now, The Biltmore features condos, apartments and event space in two historic ballrooms.
Location: High Museum of Art
Date taken: November 20, 2012
Touring the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles earlier this year, I kept thinking to myself, “This looks familiar. This looks like MY art museum.” Of course, my art museum is the High Museum here in Atlanta. I grew up going on regular field trips to the High and exploring the children’s part of the museum, which back then featured a giant tongue, giant nose and giant ear for exploring. The Getty did not appear to have any of these giant body parts or a children’s area, but it turns out that the Getty and the High were designed by the same person — Richard Meier. Meier is know for his white buildings and rationalist style. Except the Getty is cream not white. People were afraid the California sun bouncing off the white walls of the museum might create a blinding sight for motorists on the nearby highway or people in nearby homes. While Atlanta’s sun might be hot it’s rarely blinding, so we got the real deal — classic Meier white.
Location: Festival on Ponce
Date taken: September 15, 2012
Along the path in Atlanta’s Olmsted Linear Park, there’s a stone that reads: “We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing. – Benjamin Franklin”. Parks, of course, are designed for play. They are designed for throwing a ball or throwing a frisbee, for swinging on a swing and hanging upside down from monkey bars, for playing tag or playing hopscotch, for running a race or jumping rope. And sometimes, when you stumble upon an arts festival, you might get to play awhile layering colors of sand in a small, plastic bottle. Play is simple. Simply play.
Location: Krog Tunnel
Date taken: November 3, 2012
Driving along Dekalb Ave at rush hour, traffic usually slows around Krog Street. As the main thoroughfare linking Inman Park and the Old Fourth Ward on the north side of the train tracks with Cabbagetown and Reynoldstown on the south side, Krog Street and its famous tunnel can get quite congested. In addition to cars, there is usually a flurry of bicyclists and pedestrians … and the occasionally film crew (such as on the day this photo was shot). But stopping for more than a few minutes in front the tunnel does have its advantages — you can find out about upcoming events. I don’t know when or how the tradition started (or who oversees the process), but the front of the tunnel serves as a homemade billboard for the next big neighborhood event. The main event is painted across the top, while smaller events find their way onto the pillars and inside walls of the tunnel. Drive slowly through and you’ll probably learn about some upcoming events.
Location: Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark
Date taken: November 4, 2012
The veterans gather on Sunday mornings at the skate park in the Old Fourth Ward. There are some newbies too … and kids on scooters and tourists and general onlookers. It’s part performance, part competition, part social club and mainly a great way to spend a warm fall morning. I recently fell down a set of stairs (yes, just walking normally), so placing a board on wheels beneath my feet and propelling myself down a sloped concrete wall does seems like a death wish. It also makes me more impressed with those who do skateboard … who gather early to share a few dozen Krispy Kreme donuts and a love of their sport.
Location: 2012 Chomp and Stomp in Cabbagetown
Date taken: November 3, 2012
Bring your appetite. Bring an extra hand or two. Bring a water bottle and maybe some cornbread. And, of course, bring a friend. The annual chili cook-off in the Cabbagetown neighborhood of Atlanta features booth upon booth of chili for tasting. Wander down two streets filled with everyday Atlantans who are eager to serve up their homemade chili (and maybe win a trophy for their efforts) and a third street featuring local restaurants. With a spoon in hand, you can spend an hour or more sampling chili (for veggie options, look for the green balloons). Your sample cup might be filled with pumpkin inspired chili, chili so spicy you’ll need that water bottle and cornbread, curry infused chili, chili served with popcorn (see the Plaza Theatre tent) or good old fashion chili that’s perfect for a fall Saturday in Atlanta. Hungry yet?