Archive for the exploration Category

giant oaks, folk art, and babies’ heads

Posted in atlanta, exploration on June 18, 2018 by kaffeemitschlag



Hello all–

I almost started repeating myself repeating myself about how I let too much time lapse between entries in this project of mine (geez, check the date of the last post): the vacillation between the simplicity of MS Paint and the need to embrace better (and more expensive!) tools, the shift in focus from infographics through public art and into exploration photography, and this is already started to sound boring, right? Yeah. So.

This is a post. May it be one in a long line of others with increased frequency, expanded novelty, and just being goddamn interesting and informative. Let us pray.


Atlanta’s “Doll’s Head Trail” is so beaten off the path that it doesn’t exist until you see it: there is no indication of it until you a) turn off Moreland Avenue into a seemingly random trucking facility’s driveway, b) spot the almost-hidden sign for Constitution Lakes Park (which one would imagine could be located next to Moreland as it is a major thoroughfare rather than in a random trucking facility’s driveway, but hey, I’m not in the city government), c) walk through the well=kempt paved walkway through a lovely forested area with informative signs about the area’s ecosystem to the wooden decks overlooking the marshy lakes, d) suddenly notice a parting in the trees where a foreboding muddy walkway leaves the meticulously-manicured path through which you had until then leisurely strolled, e) decide to go for it, f) start seeing signs of stenciled infants’ heads indicating you should turn right against your own best judgment especially after seeing that water moccasin cross your path, and then g) arrive at the most amazingly awe=inpiring nightmare destinations of a lifetime.

The Doll’s Head Trail was inspired and created by local folk artists, and it is both beautiful and terrifying. Plus, the ecological oasis includes everybody from deer, beavers, magnolias, herons, snakes, ferns, mushrooms, bullfrogs, Georgia pines, and salamanders to a plethora of songbirds, fish, giant oaks, squirrels, and arthropods galore.

Check this photoset I captured back in 2015 during my very first visit, where I felt like I was certainly being stalked by baby forest demons (but in a reassuring way).


L5P to AUC

Posted in atlanta, exploration, photography on November 16, 2016 by kaffeemitschlag

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.

a trek back… in time!

Posted in atlanta, exploration, photography on June 9, 2016 by kaffeemitschlag

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.

time to keep exploring

Posted in atlanta, exploration, photography on May 22, 2016 by kaffeemitschlag

All right folks, a little more of my exploration around the city of Atlanta. Thought I’d post a jaunt from my home in Little Five Points to Decatur Square taken last week. Enjoy!

time to explore more

Posted in atlanta, exploration, photography on May 6, 2016 by kaffeemitschlag

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.

time to explore

Posted in atlanta, exploration, photography on April 24, 2016 by kaffeemitschlag

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.