Archive for July, 2010

Dang.

It’s hot, y’all.

Atlanta: cheap and smart! and car-y.

Traffic mess? Don't drive on the connector!

Stumbled across this article from last month’s Boston Globe. I know we don’t have our shit together in A LOT of ways, but it makes me happy to see someone from a “real city” point out some of the good things we’ve got working for us. You’ll find a few backhanded compliments in there, but I don’t mind – I thought southerners were the only ones who insult people with compliments, bless our hearts!

One of my pet peeves is brought up here, though. I really wish everyone could chill with the car-centric-ness. Yes, you need a vehicle to get around the greater Atlanta area, which covers what, the northern half of the state now? But intown we are the littlest big city I’ve ever seen – you can get a lot done in a pretty small radius. Contrary to popular belief, some people even walk outside here to get from one place to another. Ridership is substantial on MARTA (1.3 million trips in a work week, made by students and employed people, at that!). Real-life people that wear suits to work commute on bikes. Even this swampy July I’m happily pedaling the 4 miles to work and haven’t had any coworker complaints about stinkiness.

At least with the Ox out of the Governor’s race runoff we won’t have our own version of the Big Dig running through the east side.

Late Night Edgewood

So Edgewood is the new Ponce. I mean this in the best possible way. It’s become one of my favorite streets in the city – delicious food, only the occasional whiff of fecal matter, a bar where they know my name, barber shops where they blast funk out the front door at 8am. You’ve got modern and retro with Circa and Rolling Bones. There’s high-minded good food and low-minded good food – Dynamic Dish and King Slice. New and old, with Sound Table and the Jamaican place, and, well, the neighborhood itself, a cornerstone of Atlanta history. It’s also one of the more racially integrated places in the city, in that black people and white people are there in roughly equal numbers (I’ve said it before: that’s a whole new post. Maybe more like a series of discussions. Decades-long series of discussions). But basically, it’s a good place to be at most hours, it’s bike and pedestrian friendly, and it’s about a 2 minute ride from home.

Image from the Atlanta Time Machine, Edgewood and Hillard, no date listed

Overall I was pretty happy to see some of the coverage for the city council’s proposal to designate Edgewood and Auburn Avenues a special “Entertainment District,” which would mean later closing hours for the bars there. Businesses would pay an extra fee to cover extra security and clean-up. Since it worked so well in Underground, why not, right?

Underground issues aside, we all know the story – old-money Buckhead Betties on their morning strolls didn’t like walking across the remains of late-night thugs shooting each other, so they voted to drop back the hours of bars throughout the whole city, because there aren’t any stabbings before 2am. Oh, and then, of course, they razed the Buckhead Village, which, though I couldn’t give you directions there (um, go north on Peachtree a ways?), still affects all of us in the message it sends.

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Vote or Die (just kidding!)

Historically, midterm elections do not see the turnout of a presidential election year. But for those that do go to the polls, pundits and the media alike usually think the outcome provides a commentary on a sitting president’s job performance so far.

Whether you agree with this or not, it’s time to go to the polls. The midterm primary is upon us. Next Tuesday, July 20, voters will go to the polls across the country and cast their ballot. Here in Georgia, primaries are being held for the majority of statewide offices and quite a few local offices as well. But, you do not have to wait until next Tuesday to vote. Advance voting is available in each county through this Friday, July 16. Contact your local Board of Elections for details.

Whether you vote early or vote next Tuesday, please just vote!

My Peachtree Road Race

…Was probably different than everybody else’s.

It started with a 5:00 am phone call: “Hey, where are you?”
– “In bed, dude. Where the fuck do you think I am?”
– “Well, they haven’t blocked off the roads yet, if you want to drive up, I’m parked at the shopping center at Peachtree Battle.”
– “…Shit. Okay. Give me 30 minutes.”

I call another friend while brushing my teeth at the same time. I throw on clothes and run out to my car, not even remembering the last time I was awake before the sun (unless I hadn’t bothered going to bed in the first place). I drive to Buckhead and meet up with my friend, literally pulling off Peachtree as an officer steps into the intersection and starts setting up barriers. Well, guess I can’t move my car now, even if I want to.

By 7:00 am, my friend and I have walked up to the intersection of Peachtree and Pharr Road, where there are at least 15 other people who got there before we did. They are already cracking open beers. It’s gonna be a long day.

Finally, the race began! After the lead group blew past us (recalling the Road Runner being chased by Wil E. Coyote), we stumbled off down the road. Along the way we would take detours behind bars and into empty parking lots for the drinking of beer.

Also we would purposely stop at red lights, much to the annoyance of everybody stuck behind us. (Look– if we have been walking and stopping to drink beer every 2 miles, and you are JUST NOW passing us, I don’t understand why you are concerned about your race time.)

By the time we got to Piedmont Park, everyone else had long finished the race and gone home.

Also by this time my feet hurt (after walking a 10k in flip-flops… probably a bad decision), I had a headache, I was out of cigarettes, and my pores were leaking PBR and Red Bull. I wanted to go immediately to sleep; do not pass go, do not collect $200. Surely the day had to be almost over. I looked at my phone: Noon.

Aw, hell.

The only fireworks I managed to see were on the way back to my house, courtesy of some kids standing on the curb around Boulevard and Ponce; I initially thought it was gunshots and almost swerved into a light pole.

Good times. Hope y’all had a happy 4th!

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The Peachtree Pub Crawl is organized by the Atlanta Hash House Harriers.

wherein just enacting a law provides zero deterrent value.

in case you hadn’t hear, georgia’s new “no texting and driving” law took effect today. it just so happened that today was also one of the rare days where i actually pointed my car north and drove from grant park to alpharetta to go to work.

so my frontline report from ga 400 north is this; apparently no one really cares that texting, emailing and updating facebook and twitter from the highway are now against the law. if anything it seemed lilke MORE people were typing on their phones. of course that could just be me paying a little more attention.

of course, announcing you aren’t going to be enforcing the law probably doesn’t help either.

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