Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
63Trip End Ongoing
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"Um, oh (searching for words), uh, that's an eerie town."
Yes! I exclaimed!
"It's a ghost town, it's the capitol but when drive in, there's nobody there."
Yes! I exclaimed again.
"And there's no where to eat but fast food."
Guess my response.
"I stop by there on my way to New Orleans, its just spooky. Get out of there."
So I did.
I got here by early afternoon, but she was busy so I hung out in DeKalb for a bit (near where she lives)- she suggested I shop along there. Well, there's only two blocks and I discovered that the few restaurants there all close at 3 (I was there at 3:30) except for, Ruby Tuesdays! I wouldn't go in. Got a taco at a stand, drove over to a nearby mall in hopes of catching a movie (its been 4-5 months!) but nothing playing. So I wandered around the mall (again, been months since I did that) and then took a nap in the parking lot (an experience indeed).
Anne finally found me and we drove off to the DeKalb Farmers Market. I must explain, as I write this a day later, that thus far this was the high point of my visit to Atlanta. This farmers market is enormous. Easily twice the size of grocery store that I am used to, it contained everything that could be grown, caught, harvested, hatched or lucked. And moreover, everything is local, fresh, organic and beautiful in a way that food must have been one hundred years ago. We got mostly fresh fruits but looked at the huge variety of herbs, vegetables, fish, meats and so on. The smell was overpowering. I kept wondering why the rest of the country doesn't have this. I truly can't describe it except to say, ifyou are ever in Atlanta, the thing to see is the DeKalb Farmer's market.
Back to Anne's, where I played with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Rupert- we fell in love with each other). I have always wanted a CKCS but seem to have always picked up strays (no insult to any, those of you who know me know I love my dogs more than I love most people). Anne lives in an original Arts and Crafts bungalow and it was wonderful to finally see it and all the details she has described to me for years. We ate at a local restaurant- and yes, I gorged again. Oh my god, the food! I had shrimp in a Creole sauce over grits mixed with white cheddar cheese. I could live on grits mixed with white cheddar cheese. I think EVERYONE should live on grits mixed with white cheddar cheese, the world would be a kinder, albeit heavier, place.
Today, after sleeping in, I tried to navigate Atlanta's streets. I had read a guide book of Anne's and decided to 'make for' (still using that phrase) the Atlanta Historical Center. One thing I had noted in reading the guide book; there is little here I wanted to see. There is little here of historical interest, or other interest in fact. The city was re built after the Civil War, and then as it grew, whatever was re-built was bulldozed and built upon again. The guide book is replete with entries of 'on this spot used to stand...' and then descriptions of things I would have wanted to see, should they still exist. Alas, I thing the average age of everything here is about 10 years old! To make things worse, the roads here are a true warren and the guide book even notes that there is a great lack of street signs (I can attest to that) and that not only are there 30+ Peachtree somethingstreets, but that many streets are replicated, with no indication of which is what!
Somehow I made it to the Atlanta Historical Museum (seemed like the best bet out of the choices). Located in Buckhead, it took me about a forty five minutes to navigate streets and the famous Atlanta snarled traffic to the area. The museum is overall only moderately interesting. It was built on the grounds of a 1928 mansion (The Swan Mansion) which I toured. Again, I hate to snipe, but... as mansions go (not that I could afford one) I done seen better. It was nice, graceful, but, well, nothing worth writing home about (although that is what I am doing). I went back to the museum and was trapped inside by a downpour (of biblical proportions) that led me to explore every exhibit. Not as bad as the St. Louis Arch museum by a long shot, and somewhat interesting. But as even native Atlantans say, there aint much to see and aint much history left!.
I drove back to Anne's house. Unfortunately, I used a map. One hour and forty five minutes later I was close to tears (and close to her house but didn't know it). Atlanta is not for the faint of heart who are driving. Again, in conversations throughout the last few days, I have learned that everyone gets lost, everyone hates the traffic, everyone hates the fact that there are NO roadsigns! (I cursed, smoked like a chimney, hated other people, hated the city planners of Atlanta and nearly wrecked often while trying to read roadsigns in my rearview mirror).
We went out to dinner in a different neighborhood (I forget the real name, Anne called it the intersection of Gay and Gay streets- yes, the gayborhood). We went for Sushi (I don't eat it) fusion- again- fantastic meal (I had some sort of Thai ground chicken with cilantro- heaven) then to a nearby bar. We had a great talk, spoke to a guy up from Charleston (I have all the in's on what cemetarys to go to when there) and now am back.
Tomorrow, if I can bear to drive again, gonna try to find the Martin Luther King Center and the Jimmy Carter Center. God be with me on this excursion!