Tag Archives: Grant Park

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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Why I don’t ever have to make lemonade because it’s usually sitting right around the corner.

17 Jan

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I love this photo for many reasons, most of all for the awesome photo bomb by dude in the chair. This photograph was taken by a random but cool Facebook friend of mine who just appeared in this particular restaurant in real life (I’ve only seen him one other time in the five or six years I’ve known him). Also, this is a great group of guys. My husband has known them for forever (since preschool and beyond), and I really appreciate how fun they are to hang out with. A couple extra friends came to brunch and they turned out to be psychologists and graphic designers and UX-ers, and it was very inspiring to talk to them about what I already love to do and would like to pursue career-wise.

Last weekend was really incredible. Following a recent blog post of mine about some of the serious things in life, a lot of people in my life came out of the woodwork to talk to me. And speaking of woodwork, my husband and our friend Lloyd built a beautiful privacy screen on our back porch this past weekend. They finished literally as the rain started, so I haven’t had a chance to stain it yet! I’m glad the sun was out yesterday to dry the wood. It looks extremely magnificent even unfinished though!

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Lloyd and his wife, my dear friend Leslie, also invited us to Morningside’s Couples Group dinner on Friday night where Dave and I were the youngest people by 25 years (except Leslie who is my oldest brother’s age), yet we really enjoyed chatting with everyone there. And they like to play a simple game every January where everyone writes a resolution for his or her spouse, and then everyone else at the party has to guess who it is about. It was silly and fun. I was talking with a wizened photo editor in the kitchen and could hear all the laughter in the background. He was telling me what I should do better re: the Christmas card I designed for our church. The whole night seemed to be about life, purpose, career, and calling, yet in a very fun delivery. Even the prayer about our current world unrest before our delicious pot luck dinner was beautiful.

Fast forward to Sunday brunch with our friends at Stone Soup Kitchen next to Oakland Cemetary, and I feel like the world is showing me my new path. There are constant signs in this world if you simply want to notice them. I personally like to pick out the good signs, the signs that bring me to calm and peace and happiness and art and adventure too. Otherwise the downward spiral is not fun. I’ve seen behind that curtain and try to avoid it as best I can.

Stone Soup Kitchen is by far the best breakfast place I’ve ever eaten at. Every dish looked amazing and I wanted my stomach to be big enough to eat the menu. After our table got all their beautiful looking meals, I got my plate and it looked like it was going to be disappointing. But I was rewarded for my choice by then devouring the best plate of eggs I’ve ever had in my life. Our table was in the hidden back porch and the ambiance was the coolest I’ve enjoyed at an in-town restaurant yet. I want to go back there every weekend until we move to the burbs.

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Playing in the afternoon sun

3 Dec

I love having Grant Park just down the street from us, and with lots of free parking too. It’s so easy to go for a walk or play in the grass. I imagine that if we stay in this house for a while we’ll be playing catch here in a few years.

This last time we went, I knew I should bring my camera. I’ve been playing with the settings and was very excited to try out my new knowledge in a different location. It always seems like creative education is never ending. Let’s be honest. No true education is ever really finished, is it?

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Did I mention this boy loves to run already?

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This is the one that really makes me believe Dave’s aunt is right. They are clones.

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Left-handed pitching training.

A little boy and his park

30 Nov

It is possible to find very pretty parts of Atlanta, even downtown. We went out for a little afternoon walk and let Walt loose in Grant Park. We will be doing it again. He loves having the freedom to roam where he pleases!

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Music in the Park

23 Jul

A couple weeks ago I signed up for the Koala play group on Facebook for me and Walter. They let us know about playdates and other fun things happening in our neighborhood for his age range. So when they started posting about Music Mondays in Grant Park, I got excited. Yesterday was hosted by The Music Class (which I’ve taken one of my babysitting charges to before) and it is this fun, interactive music class for young babies. Music is so important for our development and lives (I actually studied Neurobiology of Music for my psych degree), and besides, if it was a nice day outside, I wanted the three of us to enjoy some family time together.

I wasn’t sure the rain was going to hold out. Earlier in the day, during a trip to Target, Walt and I got soaked on the way back to the car. Sopping clothes, crying baby, and all. And when we finally got into the car I offered Walt his sippy cup of water and he gave me this “are you kidding me?” look. But I guess the rain didn’t make it to our house/the park because the ground was only mildly wet when we joined the group later that evening. It was a lovely summer evening for a little “concert”!

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Dancing and shaking to the music!

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Lots of families out picnicking and playing in the good weather.

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Mama enjoyed participating too!

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Uh oh. Someone was getting bored of music class!

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Clearly it’s time to go home.

 

What will your destiny be today?

7 Feb

I started off my morning by having a dream that I was on an elevator so packed with people we thought it wouldn’t be able to move but faster and higher we went until we flew around the house and through the attic door while I thought “and here awaits our destiny.” Then someone died after being thrown out the window (the elevator was moving too quickly) and Dave became friends with a zombie woman I didn’t like. I could have just left it at the scary elevator ride.

It was a beautiful day today so Walt and I went to the park after his afternoon nap. We walked around and then we went to the playground so he could watch all the other little kids play (I can’t wait til he’s old enough to walk around!). Every time I go there it is filled with children and their parents. There is even a stroller parking lot.

Stroller Parking lot

We stayed a while to enjoy the 60 degree weather and sunshine and then started back to our car. I was walking ahead of a crying child, and the further we got the more I wondered, Why couldn’t the parents or mom quiet this little kid? I didn’t want to look at them because I thought it would be rude to stare at the unruly family but at some point I stopped to let them pass so I could enjoy the rest of my walk with Walt without the crying following us. Much to my surprise I saw a mom holding a fairly sizable child and he and his sister were covered in blood. They were accompanied by another mom and her kids. Whoops. I offered some assistance but they had it somewhat under control. The kid had fallen on his chin and I think the blood was the result of a rather superficial wound, the child looked like he was crying more for show than true anguish, but the mom was definitely still freaking out. The other mom told me head wounds bleed like that as she walked back to the park with her children. I guess I should get used to that. Dave’s parents keep warning me about what kind of headstrong child their son and I most likely produced.

But right now he’s so cuddly it’s hard to imagine what he’ll be like.

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He’s so interested in the world. I love watching him watch everything going on around him (like how he loves petting the cat now). I’d like to get some memberships to the places around Atlanta (the Zoo, the High Museum, the Botanical Gardens, etc.) so even though he’s not one year old yet we’ll both be entertained by the sights and sounds of these places. Atlanta has a lot of stuff to offer that I don’t usually take advantage of, unfortunately.

There is a new Draft Filling Station on the way home from Dave’s work. Cool concept; you buy reusable jugs and then fill them up with draft beer. They have a large, unique selection — uh oh! They’re thinking about doing wine on tap too! So far it’s turned our drying grass into a multi-functional tool for both Daddy’s and Baby’s bottles:

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So many possibilities await us.