Yesterday, I took a trek from my current home in Little Five Points through Inman Park, Cabbagetown, Grant Park, Summerhill, Mechanicsville, the West End, and up to the Atlanta University Center where the Morehouse, Spelman, and Clark campuses converge. Through this journey, I met with two former residences of mine (543 Boulevard in Grant Park and the old Southern Mills building in Mechanicsville where I managed Ambient + Studio for several years), and the nostalgia was overwhelming to the point of obliterating the present for more than a few moments, the feeling of having been there just yesterday. While in Grant Park, I felt viscerally an era with frequent strolls to visit the hornbills, meerkats, and snapping turtle at the zoo; going on a run through the neighborhood and ascending/descending the stairs of the Cyclorama like some famous movie about an Italian-American boxer; sledding on trash bags down snow-covered hillsides on dark winter nights; and well, the entirety of life with my boyfriend and two of my best friends (and our kitties) living in a home that was all at once cavernous, confusing, beautiful, and utterly ramshackle. Passing by Ambient was a more recent nostalgia, but it’s surprising to know that what feels so familiar was more than a year ago: cultivating a pollinator garden, painting giant rooftop murals, witnessing dozens of marriages, and of course having my path blocked by a slowly-moving train. This hike was one to remind that even recent memories can seem distant, a good indicator that we must live our entire lives all at once, like some Kurt Vonnegut quote I don’t feel like looking up. And of course, it provided a healthy dose of photographic material that I’m posting here, the catalogue of yet another journey from point A to point B through many incongruous neighborhoods (including some mild trespassing). And it didn’t hurt that I got some great hot wings at West End Mall.
Continuing on my exploration kick, I’ve decided to delve back to the very first hike I ever documented with both tracking software and photography. I’d been wandering around in disjointed and circuitous routes and snapping photos at whim for quite some time, but it wasn’t until I was the last American to jump into the smartphone pool in July 2014 that I was able to track my path and mileage. This was the first of those: a huge 23-mile loop cutting through the Atlanta University Center, Vine City, English Avenue, the semi-industrial and aptly-named Blandtown, Underwood Hills, the incredibly diverse monuments and spectacular views of Crest Lawn Cemetery, Loring Heights, Atlantic Station, Home Park, the Georgia Tech campus, and skirting along the edge of downtown before reaching back home, which, at the time, was at the convergence of Castleberry Hill, Adair Park, Pittsburgh, & Mechanicsville. Especially important hiker’s note: Laredo Nuevo Cantina is delicious, but never consume giant burritos & margaritas in the middle of a summer hike. I will never forget.
This journey was inspired simply by delving into Atlas Obscura and investigating what I hadn’t explored in my vicinity that ended up being fascinating. The two primary locations were the abandoned Atlanta Prison Farm on the south side of the city that was left to burn after catching fire several years ago (and was extremely difficult and dangerous to locate, wouldn’t recommend visiting alone unless you’re hoping for a slasher film ending to your life) and a mausoleum in a Wal-Mart parking lot, a site that exists only because the family refused to have their relatives disinterred and that small lot of bodies subsequently became a 20-foot-tall mausoleum after the corporate powers-that-be decided to dig out everything around it.
Five years ago, I hoped to engorge this blog with infographics on every possible subject about which I was currently obsessed. It worked for a time: I was tired of my fellow Atlantans pointing at the skyscrapers that defined their horizon, so I made a graphic; I moved into a home rife with household spiders, so I made a graphic; I realized I had been to DragonCon for ten years running, so I made a graphic. I also delved into a short foray of the creation and life of an art installation for an Art on the Atlanta BeltLine project, and I featured it here (hopefully, if my proposal is accepted, I’ll be doing the same this year!!).
But no updates in almost two years. My life has been full of work and moving and projects and everything that bogs down everyone who thinks it’s a good idea to start a blog but realizes that life has different plans, and I thought, “why not turn my life into the blog itself?” and it seems, well, logical. So I’ve decided to incorporate a huge part of my life into this blog to get it up and running again (and still dedicated to learning and, especially, exploring). I hike somewhere different every week, and I document the journeys primarily for myself and anyone who follows me on facebook, but hey, who not share these adventures with the world? For my fellow Atlantans, I hope it will encourage exploration of the hidden treasures of the city and its surrounding towns, mountains, forests, and more; for those of you outside of my surrounding area, I hope it will still incite exploration into those places you call home. Not to say I won’t delve back into infographics as soon as I can, but for now, a first installment of Time to Explore: a ten-mile journey around my very own neighborhood taken two weeks ago. There will be a lot more.
Sorry for the long break, but I’m hoping to plunge back into this with infographics of utmost simplicity & frequency.
First up, we all know that the freezing point of water is 32°F (0°C), at which point this ubiquitous liquid becomes a solid. What about some other common fluids?
Click to zoom, y’all.