Tag Archives: Cyclorama

Connections

1 Jul

Yesterday was a very interesting day. I met two strangers with whom I had brief conversations, both of which made me feel, at the very least, entertained.

I had to drop my car off at the Nissan dealership to fix the airbag that may or may not kill everyone in the car if I got in to a wreck. Since Walter was at my mom’s, I decided to Uber my way to her house to save her the hassle of picking me up. Enter: Henry.

Henry is a full-time limo driver and Ubers on the side. He usually carries around rich people in his limos, so we talked about the difference between Uber riders and limo riders (well, besides the amount of cash they might have in their pockets). He said rich people are usually more reserved and keep to themselves. We speculated if that might be because they are always thinking about money (haha). But he said the ones who open up talk about the same type of stuff we all go through, but say, for instance, if rich dude’s sprinkler system breaks, he calls his lawn guy. If Henry’s hose breaks, he goes to Lowe’s to get another one.

He said, “We all have the same issues, we just talk about them differently.”

After thinking that that was a pretty profound thing to say, I then said that I didn’t think I would like to be mega rich, because you would never know after that if people only liked you for your money. I said a million dollars would probably do very nicely. We spent the rest of the car ride talking about what we would do with a million dollars. Henry told me he would like to go back to South Korea, a very cool place with really good food. And then he recommended a place on Buford Highway to patron. The restaurant with a red roof right next to QuikTrip off of 285.

I left the car feeling refreshed, to be honest.

I spent the rest of the morning hanging out with my son and mom. This included some castle building and a walk to the playground and a small bridge nearby on a nature trail. Luckily a friend of mine texted me that the Cyclorama was closing its doors that day. I had been putting off and putting off going, even though I had wanted to visit it for a while. I thought I had til the fall before they were closing the doors for their big move to the Atlanta History Center, and I even had a date scheduled with one of my friends to go visit next week. After picking up my car, Walt and I hurried there and went to the second to last showing in their current location.

There was a long line to wait in before we could buy our tickets. The air conditioning was not sufficient to keep the place cool. Because I had never been, when we walked in and saw the big train “Texas” and no giant painting, I asked out loud “Where is the painting?” This gentleman with long sideburns was standing nearby, and he said, “Oh you haven’t been? You can’t just walk up and look at it. It’s a show. You watch a video first, and then they take you to another room for the viewing.”

He then said, “But there are cool things to look at upstairs while you wait. Is your son a Christian?”

Hm, I thought. “I don’t know. He’s only 2,” I said.

“Well, is he a Gentile?” he asked.

“Um, what?” I said.

“Is he a Gentile?” he persisted.

“Oh, um, I don’t know,” I said.

“Well, do you see that cannon right there? You know how they used a cross and thorns and other things to kill Jesus? That’s the same type of cannon they used in the Civil War to kill General Hood. It ripped right through his chest and before he knew it he woke up in heaven,” he told me. Then he said some other things about how he brought his crazy to Atlanta from Macon, and how I couldn’t have possibly known I would run into him today and talk about this kind of stuff. Dave thinks he might have been a KKK recruiter.

Before I said goodbye to him, I said, “Well I don’t really like to label him right now. He’s too little.” And he said, “Yeah, he’s not a little lazy white boy, is he?” before he left and I didn’t see him again for the rest of our visit there. It was one of those encounters in life that I really appreciate because it just goes to show you how many different types of people there are in the world. And some of those people make me feel really lucky that I am who I am, and not them.

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Supposedly we’re not General Johnston’s kin, but maybe he’s some distant cousin we don’t know about.

The Cyclorama visit was interesting. While I hate seeing it leave our neighborhood — especially since the painting shows the 1865 dirt road version of Moreland — the Atlanta History Center is one of my favorite places in Atlanta. They do a beautiful job displaying exhibits and bringing history to life. It seems like the Grant Park Cyclorama gave up after the ’70s. The best part of the video they have you sit through is James Earl Jones’s commanding narration. The upstairs museum was hard to read, the infographics were confusing, and the pictures were falling down. The carpet covering the auditorium seating at the painting was ridiculous. I think they keep the lights dim so you can’t see what you’re actually sitting on.

But, the painting is pretty badass. It’s the largest oil painting in the world. And I’ve certainly never seen a 360° painting before that you experience from the inside. All in all I was glad to bring Walt there to see it before it moved. Now I only hope we put something else awesome in that building.

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All the Downtown/East Atlanta things I want to do before we move to the suburbs

19 Jan

1. Ride the Ferris Wheel.

I think we’ll save the streetcar ride for when we’re “out-of-towners”. And Walter still hasn’t been on Marta. That boy needs to ride a train soon!

Ferris Wheel
I’ve been on the one in Paris, I should brave going up this high in Atlanta. I just bought plane tickets to D.C. and I wonder why I continue to do that when I am terrified of flying (deep down). On my bucket list is traveling around the world staying on the ground. Very The Signature of All Things without the moss and the large dresses.

2. Visit the Cyclorama.

It’s moving to the Atlanta History Center soon, yay, but I have not been yet. I’d like to see it in its “original” location near the Zoo. Poor animals in the zoo. My mother has taught me not to support any zoos. And I agree. They are very sad.

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I love anything to do with history, especially if it’s interactive.

3. See a movie at the drive-in.

I can’t believe I’ve lived next to the Starlight 6 Drive-In for years and I’ve never been. We should have capitalized on this before Walter came along. I guess back then when we wanted to stay up we always went out to a bar and played darts. We never really have been a movie theater couple. We’d rather watch Netflix or the Braves (or go to a game!). And anyway I usually go see movies with my bridesman Jason.

Drive In
They always play bad movies in the 9pm slots, and 11 is just too late to venture out. Dave went once before my time when they filled the back of Alex’s truck with couches. That would be fun to do again.

4. Patron several East Atlanta restaurants

We need to go to all those little places we’ve never been but always said we wanted to go. Dave hasn’t been to Daddy D’s BBQ. And the little Greek restaurant at the corner of that street that you don’t want to drive down but it’s been there forever, so why not. Stone Soup Kitchen showed me the error of my ways. We’ve been foolishly avoiding the hole-in-the-wall joints in our very cool neighborhood.

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Yum.

5. Visit Oakland Cemetery

I’m finally going to the Margaret Mitchell House next week, but I’ve never seen her grave either. I have seen her alive at The Fox recently, exhumed just for that event, before the 75th anniversary premiere of Gone with the Wind. The cemetery should be a great place for photographs too.

Oakland Cemetery
How have I never been here? I used to break in to this abandoned psychiatric hospital in my neighborhood where I grew up. I wish I had pictures from that. But still, a cemetery is kind of a creepy place to visit — if you have an overactive imagination like I do.

6. The Center for Civil and Human Rights

This is one that I’ll bet I’ll be going to more than once, if it’s any good, which I’ve heard it is, so I’m excited to see it for the first time while I still live close. I just hate going down to that area because parking is so expensive near Centennial Park, and I really can’t stand having to pay for parking. I always make Dave drive to pick up our Vietnamese food at Dua on Broad Street for that very reason.

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The Man.

7. Throw parties at the house

It’s a great house for a party. And it looks so pretty now, it’ll be fun. I’d like to host Georgia Tech folks, Walt’s preschool class and teachers, our neighbors, and more friends. If the weather cooperates we can show off our new porch. I am very close to buying an outdoor heater so only rain would keep us off the deck.

  outdoor heater
Wouldn’t that be incredible if this was my backyard?