Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

Ride Bikes!!

I used to be embarrassed about my fair weather cycling proclivities. I ride a bike to work, but only when it’s fun. To me, this means the temperature is over 45 degrees, under 90, and nothing is falling from the sky. This knocks me down a rung on various extreme groups’ cool ladders, but I’ve come around to it, as it means that I arrive at work wearing a reasonable amount of mostly dry, semi-professional looking clothing.

Image from nobrakes atlanta. I, personally, opt for brakes on my bicycle, but to each his/her own

Now that I’ve established that I’m not one of those cooler than thou fixie kids, a militant anti-car type (do we even have those in Atlanta?) or one of the hard core spandex and clip-clop shoes cyclists, I would simply like to point out that springtime in Atlanta is a beautiful thing to experience.  I would also like to put forth that one of the best ways to see it is on a bike – you move more efficiently than on foot and, on occasion, you can move more quickly than by car. It’s certainly a great way to explore Atlanta – I think it heightens the sense of responsibility and appreciation for the city when you ride our streets.  James has pointed out (in several entries on metblogs and elsewhere around the web), that most forms of alternative transportation (walking, biking, taking the bus or MARTA), are great ways to challenge yourself and see the city differently.

On my way to work, I smell the mustiness and spray paint fumes of Krog tunnel, get a birdsong morning ride by of MLK’s house, wait for the little kids in the crosswalk walking to Hope Elementary, bump down the cobblestones to the cool quiet of the urine-smelling underpass, continue through the throngs of students walking to class at Georgia State, smell the oatmeal and ramen (? I swear something smells like ramen by Peachtree Center) of office workers’ breakfasts, and join the string of bikers riding up 5th street to work and school at Georgia Tech. If I have to go to work, I couldn’t come up with a much more pleasant way, unless they added bike lanes or gave out free snoballs or something on Peachtree.

Atlanta Bicycle Coalition

But this is just to work! Have you considered the myriad of other perks for bike transportation? Sure, there’s exercise and enjoying the outdoors, but there’s also NO PAYING TO PARK.  No waiting for a valet guy. No circling the block to find a spot, no inching back to get less of your tire on the yellow curb. No problems getting dessert, as you’re going to burn it off on the way home.  No sitting in traffic on Marietta Street or Capitol Ave waiting to get to Phillips or Turner Stadium. The traffic cops will wave you through. And when you get there, you’ve got a free spot right by the entrance!

I love bikes in the springtime.  And would be remiss if I didn’t link to the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, which is working tirelessly to incorporate safe and enjoyable biking into more Atlantans’ lives. Though I bet most of them do ride when it’s under 45 degrees, they won’t judge me for not doing so.

Oh, and fair warning, stay tuned for more cycling-centric posts from me.

Urban Sprawl Made Last Year’s Tornado

Did you see this? An article at Wired Science explores the idea that urban sprawl, plus climate change, combined to manufacture last year’s devastating downtown tornado.

“The conditions that brought in the storm were the hammer,” analogized Purdue University climatologist Dev Niyogi, “but local features were the chisel. They pinpointed the severe weather.”

That tornado cut through town a year ago today, and as I type this it’s a mild rainy day inside the Perimeter, but just a few blocks from here houses still show their scars. If you know someone who was hurt personally when the sky came down to Atlanta that day, give them a call. Buy them a drink. Remember that strange and powerful day.

Winter blues

Atlanta isn’t really a winter town.  People don’t particularly get excited about winter here, and for good reason.  There isn’t really much special to do.  The best thing you can say about winter here is that it is fairly mild, and as a former Michigander I do appreciate that.  But without the snow, what makes winter special?  

Some of my ideas are sadistic, like hoping for snow or ice so I can watch everyone freak out and buy a week’s worth of water.  Others are masochistic, like the fact that I’ve been told the notoriously cold Nantahala River in North Carolina is warmer in the fall and winter because of the inversion effect.  I have no idea what this actually means scientifically or if it is true, but the disturbed part of my brain thinks that now might be a great time to go paddling.  

So what is there to actually do in the winter that you can’t in the summer?  Some things I am planning to enjoy:

  • Make my annual trip to Lenox Mall – I manage to avoid Lenox Mall for most of the year.  I have gotten to the point where I only go during the Christmas season, and I have to admit that I enjoy going for the people watching as much as for the shopping.  Lenox is always good for people watching, but not as good as during the holiday season.
  • A cup of tea at San Fransisco Coffee Roasting Company – I spent an hour in a plush leather chair chatting with a friend at my favorite local coffee shop.  Granted, I spend lots of time at SFCRC anyway, but the weather makes it feel more indulgent.  Having just finished finals, I am fine with that. 
  • See A Christmas Carol at the Alliance – this is one of those “I have memories of doing this as a kid” things.  I’m going to try and get over there this year.  The AJC gives it a good review.  
What are your favorite winter activities in Atlanta?

I’m Thinking Arby’s And Dagmar Tonight!

Arby’s getting guerrilla in their weekend efforts locally? That seems like big news.

The fact that WGCL advertisers their weather personality with just her first name? Dagmar-tastic.

More photos and MySpace profile of the raven-tressed Canadian, if you’re so inclined.

Of Fires and Closed Roads

What with the plume of gray smoke this morning and the closing of Techwood Drive, I’m hoping everyone made it in to work, school and the flow of life A-OK this morning.

For my part commuting was noticeably similar. No big deal, in fact.

If you’ve got a horror story or a good picture of the smoke from your vantage point on the fire (like this woman) please share either.

The Disparity of Groundhogs

Just a quick note, for those of you who don’t check these sorts of details first thing Candlemas morning: Lilburn’s resident weather-predicting groundhog, General Beauregard Lee, Esq., has predicted an early spring. He an Punxsutawney Phil don’t agree, again, this year. The North will get weeks and weeks of winter, yet. We will not.

This is a for-sure thing. The man’s a damn general (and, I think, a lawyer), after all!

72 In January

Good people, it is 72 degrees outside and today is January 7th. I say this, yes, I say this as a Yankee in your fair city, but I say it all the same: What the hell? We are not hardly past the Winter Solstice and I’ve got long-tailed birds outside my window dancing and flirting like French courtesans.

I like winter. I like it a lot. I like having a few months when my house isn’t an outpost in a jungle of bugs. Please, please don’t let this go on so long that the bugs unpack their things. Not yet.

Yet… yet it is so nice outside that I feel like I should get one good gulp of spring in before it’s gone again. I should hit the zoo or eat outside or do something outdoors to take advantage of this. But what?

You tell me, Atlanta. It’s taking me all my rational thought just to remind myself not to put on a sweater on account of it is January.

Drought Fantasy

I’m starting to imagine what the Dirty Dirty would be like if we step the water rationing up a notch and it starts to look a little like the scene in Mars Attacks? Batman 45? where the townspeople and news anchors stop using hygiene products and/or water for fear of being contaminated with some freaky toxic concoction…

Anyone know what the hell I’m talking about? Because I don’t…

Rain, rain, come and stay

Traffic is horrible, but we desperately need the rain.

Stay safe today.

Rain!

Real, pouring, running-down-the-streets, honest-to-goodness rain! In East Atlanta. I know it won’t make a dent in our rain deficit, but it sure is nice to see. I think I actually forgot what it sounded like.

My plants are digging it. I can tell.

Yeah, I know entries about the weather are kind of boring, but this is a pretty big deal. Anyone else getting a good thunderstorm?

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