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A Day at the Museum

September 25, 2010 is the 6th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day. I somehow missed years 1-5 but I’m all about it this year. If you follow the link you will be able to peruse the list of participating museums (you do have to pick one and only one) and register to get your free admission, for two, via email.

I will be dragging the boyfriend to the High for the Dalí exhibit that I have ever-not-so-patiently been waiting to see. I am kinda bummed that you only get to do one museum because there are so many fabulous museums in Georgia that I’ve never visited but at the same time it doesn’t pay to be greedy with generosity. So, what museum would you like to visit? Or if you already have your tickets, where will you be on the 25th?

Saw something, said something

I called the MARTA police yesterday.

When I got off the train at Civic Center, there was a large shopping bag from World of Coca-Cola sitting on the northbound platform. Hardly unusual, as it’s the closest station to there. But this bag had been placed right against a column at the north end of the platform, and rolled up clothes and a blanket were stacked up around three sides of it. No one was anywhere near it. At least two trains came and went from the platform,  still no one came for it.

The operator sounded a touch skeptical when I called. She asked a couple of times whether the bag had any wires protruding from it, whether it had a strange odor or was ticking. I didn’t see any wires and I passed within a couple of feet of it and didn’t smell anything, but do explosives actually tick any more? Besides, as loud as it gets down there with trains going in and out, that thing could have been playing the 1812 Overture and I wouldn’t have heard it. She said they’d send someone by. I waited a while. I never saw anyone come.

The chances that it was something dangerous are nearly nothing, of course. I almost didn’t call. It’s not as if it was purple and green with question marks all over it, like something from The Joker would leave. A “suspicious package” is only suspicious because someone is suspicious of it.

Maybe a homeless person left it there. But I can’t imagine why. When people own very little, they tend to always keep it with them and usually where they can see it. If they can’t keep it with them, they tend to put it behind or under something, or stuff into a bush or even up in a tree. I can’t imagine a homeless person just leaving their things where they’re sure to be stolen or thrown away. It just didn’t make sense, sitting there so neat and conspicuous.

I really hope that those clothes and that bag weren’t all that someone has in the world and that they weren’t thrown away by the MARTA police – if they ever came.


It’s hot, y’all.

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.


Silver Comet

Silver Comet Ride

Snapped around Anderson Farm Rd

Two words: Silver Comet

I work within a mile of the Smyrna trailhead. I try to get out there every day. Nope, not the most challenging ride in the metro area. Far from it. But it’s darn near a natural resource for me now.

(fyi… camera is from my phone strapped to the handlebar… much safer than a real point-and-shoot!)

ASA Route update

In case you missed it in the comments to the original post, the street closures for Atlanta Streets Alive have been changed.

The pedestrian route is now:

  • Edgewood between Peachtree Street and Boulevard
  • Peachtree Center Avenue, Park Place and Courtland between Auburn Ave. and Edgwood
  • Auburn Ave. between Peachtree and Piedmont

But, if you’re biking, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition volunteers are leading riders on a 4.4-mile bike loop every half hour, starting at 2 p.m.

“A drinking club with a running problem”

So, I’d like to introduce y’all to a new hobby of mine. (Well, relatively new-ish… I’ve been at it for about a year.)

To begin: Despite my good looks and stunning personality (and clear penchant for sarcasm) I have a hard time making friends. I’ve been in Atlanta for four years and have pretty well established my social circle. Well, it’s more like a nebula, but it’s a fairly tight-knit one. Thus, I’d been looking for some kind of activity that would facilitate expanding said nebula. For a while I tried playing kickball, but it brought up too many bad memories from grade school. I’m just not a competitive person. Even though my teammates assured me it did not matter that I was too short to catch the ball in the outfield, not fast enough to catch the ball in the infield, and not coordinated enough to even kick the ball anywhere not out of bounds, that I was still a valued member of the team. Be that as it may; if I’m failing miserably, I’m not having fun.

So, after giving up on kickball, the gentleman I had begun dating asked me if I’d ever heard of hashing. I had, once, several years ago. It was described to me as “running and drinking” which I envisioned as competitive racing while chugging beer at the same time. Needless to say, it sounded like at best a terrible idea… at worst a one-way ticket to the hospital. I soon came to find out that it is nothing like this– but first, a test.

Please gauge your reaction to the following photo:

Is it closer to…
A. Say no more. Where do I sign up?
B. Ummm… might be fun, but I paid $100 for my running shoes…
C. Gross!

If you chose A, then you would probably make a good hasher.

The group to which I belong is officially known as the Hash House Harriers. Hashing basically consists of one or two people (“hares”) laying a trail through the woods (or, sometimes, urban jungle) and everyone else following the trail, with the intention of either catching the hares, or simply making it to the end with life and limb intact. At the end of the trail, to reward the pack’s efforts, there is the drinking of beer and the singing of lewd songs, along with a little good-natured hazing. Oh, and everybody eventually gets a nickname, which is bestowed after saying or doing something particularly memorable. Your hash name may or may not be something appropriate to tell children, the elderly, or your parents.

So really, hashing is pretty simple: It’s not a race. (Racist behavior is in fact frowned upon.) It’s not a drinking competition. It’s a chance to be outside, get some physical activity, meet people, and drink beer. Alcohol is also a great social lubricant, so it serves a dual purpose. And yes, for you teetotalers, there are non-alcoholic options too… but then it’s just running. ;) The only “catch” is you pay a very small fee (usually under $10) to cover the beverages. I’ve been unemployed since I started, so if I can afford it, so can you! The best part is I have met so many awesome folks, not only in Atlanta but in other cities as well. It seems that hashers are not so much strangers as they are friends you just haven’t met yet. Refreshingly, there is a very low if not non-existent douchebag factor, unlike what I encountered in kickball. (People who take themselves too seriously don’t become hashers, for obvious reasons.) I rarely meet a hasher I don’t like.

Hashing in Atlanta is interesting. It’s amazing how you don’t have to drive very far to end up in the sho’ nuff middle of nowhere. (Run faster, I hear banjos.) Sure, there are trails in varying degrees of difficulty, but my favorites are the ones where you end up tired and dirty by the end. Usually 4-6 miles, avoiding pavement as much as possible. I’ve waded through waist-deep swamp water, jumped through sticker bushes that make razor-wire look soft and cuddly, climbed fences, been attacked by hornets, and almost shot by hillbillies. Well, I made that last one up, but it could conceivably happen. The whole point is by the end you feel like you deserve a beer. I’ve also been able to explore a lot of the city that I had no idea existed. A trail I ran a few weeks ago followed that unused portion of railroad track behind Piedmont Park and Ansley Golf Course, and ended under Buford Highway / I-85. It was cool as hell!

Really, this whole post is just my blatant attempt at trying to recruit more hash buddies, especially people who will embark upon those particularly off-off-OFF the beaten path trails with me. You should send me an e-mail (atlartist at for more information. ;D

something I’m excited about…

Tech Square E House

WAFFLE HOUSE is opening up across the street from my office!

This is the one chain restaurant I ADORE.  It’s mostly nostalgia, I suppose, but I also like to think that I’m supporting a successful hometown operation. I begrudgingly grant the Atlantan suburbs one point for having more Waffle Houses than we do in town, though we did score a win with the Underground Waffle House (just restrained myself from typing WaHo, thanks Washington Mutual), and I heard a rumor of another one going up somewhere else around GSU (can anyone confirm this?). There’s something about the 70’s color scheme, familiar menu and 24 hours of cheap breakfast food that I just love.

Mmmmm, mediocre coffee and a deliciously greasy bacon egg and cheese.

Heyward-bot re-calibrates

The machine that is Jason Heyward has re-calibrated his weapons.  No longer content with bashing cars with his homers, Heyward has moved on to targeting children.  The child fared better than the cars, however.

Just a reminder not to get complacent about our future in bondage to robot overlords.

Nothing is worse than Jim Leyritz

Screw you, Jim Leyritz. Seriously, I hate you.

Mark Bradley is calling the Hawks’ most recent loss worse than Jim Leyritz homer in 1996.  I didn’t catch the Hawks game tonight, and it sounds like an epic collapse.  But I have a hard time believing it is “worse” than Jim Leyritz, because nothing is worse than Jim Leyritz.  Not even Kent Hrbek or Kriby Puckett.  Braves fans will know what I mean – the thought of Hrbek and Puckett just make me sigh and wish what could have been.  The pain is still there, but it is a dull disappointment.

Jim Leyritz.  Just thinking of this man cause my face to twist into a scowl.  I am literally writing this with a curled lip.  Jim Leyrtiz and his crazy legs, twirling his bat.  WHO BATS LIKE THAT??  My heart rate increases, I grind my teeth, and I honestly kind of feel like vomiting.  I hate this man.  I imagine it is comparable to what Bostonians felt about Bill Buckner or that guy who caught the foul ball at Wrigley.

See, this Hawks collapse, you could sort of see this coming.  These Hawks haven’t been able to hold a lead for the last month of the season.  I told James that the Hawks would break his heart when he decided he would start following them.  “Even if they get good, it will only be to tease you before they let you down.”  James doesn’t know what it is like to be an Atlanta sports fan, so he gets a pass.  Sure, he’s a Cubs fan, which comes with its own neuroses, but he doesn’t know our franchises.  The Hawks, they are simply playing their role.  This loss doesn’t really change anything about the franchise.

Leyrtiz.  Leyritz killed the Braves.   (more…)

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