the capital of the south

This recession/foreclosure business hasn’t dealt a good hand for parts of Atlanta, Georgia. There seemed to be a decent amount of homes, in varying locations and sizes, that were boarded up, and returning to nature.  This almost villa-style estate had many broken windows and a completely open back door.

• Visiting different places, one wants to feel inspired.  I mean, for example, I’ve been to Boston a dozen times, and each time I want to be excited about the town, the people, the buildings, the scene, but I can never seem to scratch the pristene surface.  Everything is in it’s proper place.

Alternatively, one thing that I’ve always loved about the slightly warmer American South is the way that every spare bit of space turns green.  I mean, nature reclaims territory fast.  If a parking lot is abandoned, weeds shoot up through cracks seemingly instantly; there’s just a general lush quality in the air.  Not quite as pronounced as tropical areas, but certainly a feeling that is missing in New York and New England.

What I’m getting at is that I had an opportunity to spend about five days down in Atlanta, Georgia last week.  Having been my third trip to Atlanta (though the previous two trips were over six years ago), I was determined to scout out the scene a little, with my brother’s help, and via bicycle, naturally.

My brother, at a late-night rib shack called “Fat Matt’s.”  Not seen, on the other side of the table, my sister Hillary flew in from North Carolina to join up with us for some adventures.

On the left, I test-rode Clay’s friend Zach’s new ride: a great looking Sparton frame with Campy components and Phil Wood hubs.  On the right, my brother’s old Royal got me around town.  I may always remain baffled by the physics behind coaster brakes on bikes.

The primary event that brought me down to Atlanta was my friend Steve’s (left) wedding to Erin (right).  Steve’s former roommate, Frito, is in the middle.  It was a great ceremony and reception, fun times.

This man was writing a long piece seemingly loosely about Christianity, and was living in a patch of woods near a trainyard in a rough area of town.  A few hundred feet away, a couple was having sex in an SUV.

The Varsity is a landmark fast-food establishment in the midtown area of Atlanta.  It tends to be a madhouse at any given time, and when we swung by on Friday for lunch, it was no exception.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen more people and seating in a single restaurant before.  Thanks to my brother knowing a trick to a secret, short line, we had our food in just a few moments.  Those are raw onions in the middle.  I was actually taken aback by the ubiquity of fried food all over the town — I guess the South has a reputation to uphold.

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