Atlanta: Public Art and Architecture

You all understand the challenge.  You travel to a new city / country / place and arrive back home with a zillion photos to work through.  It takes time, but it also offers the opportunity to remember the experience and relive the fun.

I was in Atlanta for just 48 hours, but oh my gosh, I had a blast!  My son Andrew, who has only lived in Atlanta for 2 years, knows the city like someone who has lived there much longer, and he was an excellent tour guide around this diverse, exciting city.  He took me to the Jackson Street Bridge, a local landmark known as THE place to get a shot of the cityscape.

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With this post, and the two that follow, I’ll introduce you to the Atlanta that I experienced.  The posts are longer than typical for me, but years from now I’ll look back and be able to remember everything.

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While quite the tourist attraction, and evidently a bit controversial, the Atlanta Skyview allowed me to see Downtown from on high.

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All images were taken through the glass of the gondola.

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What fun it was to ride high above much of the city!

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The Skyview towers over the 21 acre Centennial Olympic Park, created for the 1996 Olympic Games.  Today the park performs a dual mission: it serves as Georgia’s lasting legacy of the Centennial Olympic Games and it anchors efforts to revitalize residential and commercial development in Georgia’s capital city of Atlanta.

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We spent much of my visit in various parts of Midtown, which is the “second largest business district in the city, situated between the commercial and financial districts of Downtown to the south and Buckhead to the north. Midtown is known for it’s cultural attractions, architecture, and urban layout”.

We visited walkable, intown neighborhoods, each one unique with shops, restaurants, and public art.

Visit my post on Monochromia to learn more about Celebration by Gary Lee Price.

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Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, the current Dekalb County Courhouse was completed in 1918.  The four previous structures were destroyed by fire, war, and demolition.

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I’m sorry to say that I did not document the name or purpose of this next building, but I loved the architecture.

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Whether commisioned or not, public art is everywhere.  On the sidewalk, seen during my morning walk,

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and along the Beltline, the city’s bikeway / walkway system.

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“The Beltline is transforming the city with a combination of rail, trail, greenspace, housing, and art. It will ultimately connect 45 intown neighborhoods”.

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Public Art can be found in Piedmont Park,

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in neighborhoods,

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and sadly, along the streets.

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If you’ve visited my blog in the past, you’ve learned about Ghost Bikes.

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When taking shots from the Jackson Street Bridge, Andrew pointed out a sticker for Tiny Doors Atlanta, an Atlanta-based art project bringing “big wonder to tiny spaces.  With the installation of a door, what was once a wall or the column of a bridge becomes an entrance to collective creativity and an invitation to whimsy”.

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As we walked along the Beltline, Andrew pointed out this tiny door.  How cool is that?

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I was also enamored by the messages posted on various streetlamps.  The words of Harry Crews, an American novelist, playwright, short story writer and essayist, are posted here.

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“So far as I can see, nothing good in the world has ever been done by well-rounded people.  The good work is done by people with jagged, broken edges, because those edges cut things and leave an imprint, a design”.

Next Post:  Atlanta Cuisine and Cocktails

It Is About the Destination Sometimes

A visitor to my blog might wonder where the name Life on the Bike came from considering that I haven’t written much about riding lately.  Between the campaign and starting a new business, my 2015 time on the bike was limited.

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2016 will be different! And in fact it already is.

Last weekend, I took at 500 mile ride to Virginia’s capital city of Richmond to have a reunion with friends.  It’s about 250 miles to get there and for efficiency in time, I took the interstate.  Bikers can often be heard to say “it’s the journey, not the destination” and sometimes that is true.  Every now and then though, time is of the essence, and the interstate is the way to go.  I was just glad to be on the bike.  It was a beautiful day and I was a happy woman.

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A quick stop on Afton Mountain, Virginia’s main passage across the Blue Ridge, offered a break for water, a handful of almonds, and a beautiful view.   Meanwhile, my roommates from Old Dominion University were waiting on me, so I was off and riding again in no time.

I met Jan and Angie 38 years ago, and we have maintained contact in one form or another ever since.  Isn’t it amazing how friendships can endure the test of time?

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Soon enough, we were sitting on the porch of this lovely Richmond home, reveling in the fact that even though it had been many years since all three of us had been together, we were completely at home with one another.

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It was a very late night, filled with lots of talk, laughter, and wine and I was glad that we didn’t have to do any driving (or riding).

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While opportunities for photography were limited, this curved brick wall caught my eye.

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The next morning, we enjoyed a delicious, homemade brunch,

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and of course, made time for pictures!

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Back roads carried me home to Radford, and while I didn’t have much time to stop for photography, something about this salt and pepper shaker made me bring out the camera.  You know me!

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So, sometimes it is about the destination, happily so.

Lookin’ For Adventure

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If you need me this weekend, just head out on the highway.

Hope the next few days offer you the chance to do something that brings you joy.

Monochromia: Riding the Storm Out

My contribution to Monochromia this week.

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The Roanoke Sound

This was the sky that met me as I left the beach on the bike a couple weeks ago.  Even though the rain threatened (and eventually soaked me), I could not resist stopping to take the shot.

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So many things at the beach are camera worthy, and let me tell you, I sure do have a lot of  photos to work through!

The water!  The sunsets! The wildlife!

and yes, the signage!

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No Pets, No Fires, No Parking

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So many places you can’t go …

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and things you can’t do.

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Don’t litter,

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pick up after your furry friends,

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and be sure to call 473-5252 if your vehicle is gone.

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But you know what?  It’s all worth it!

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More photos from Nags Head soon!

 

Nags Head, NC

This woman is on vacation!  Woop Woop!!

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The 420 mile ride to Nags Head, NC included

*wonderful views and roads,

*a downpour that thankfully lasted only 15 minutes,

* riding in the dark with my way illuminated by lightning (which also illuminated the “Bear Crossing” signs –  I SO want to see a bear!),

and as always, a cold beer at the end of the ride.

I wish I was better able to express myself with words so that you would understand what it felt like to ride across the Intracoastal Waterway in the dark, to smell the water, and to see the lights in the distance, but not see the water.  To see the huge orange moon and not be able to stop and capture it with my camera.  To know that somehow I had to share the glory of that ride in words instead of photographs.

You’ll just have to trust me.

Pittsburgh: Rivers and Bridges

Venice is known as the City of Bridges, but Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania actually has more.  Three more in fact, for a total of 446!

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Ruth and I planned our trip to Pittsburgh with a primary goal of watching a football game, but we had plenty of other fun things planned as well (see the posts about Fallingwater and the drive through southwestern Maryland and western Pennslvania).  We spent most of Friday exploring the city, walking over bridges, and soaking up the history, architecture, and culture of Pittsburgh.  Over 6 miles, and too many photos to count later, we felt we’d gotten a real taste of the city.

Many of you have posted photos of locks of love on bridges from around the world, and it appears that Pittsburgh is getting into the act, too.

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Some of the bridges in this river city have pedestrian walkways which join a riverwalk. The Three Rivers Heritage Trail evolved from five separate trails and today comprises several unique sections over 37 miles.

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The confluence of the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River is at Pittsburgh’s 36 acre Point State Park.  It is there that they form the Ohio River.  As we walked along the riverwalk, we passed a vibrant collection of runners, walkers, cyclists, and dogwalkers.

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Expansive views of the city can be found from many vantage points, including the Monongahela and Dequesne Inclines (more on these in the next post).

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Three of the 446 bridges are known as The Three Sisters.  Similarly built self-anchored suspension bridges that span the Allegheny River, the bridges have been given formal names to honor important Pittsburgh residents:  Roberto Clemente, Andy Warhol, and Rachel Carson.

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We walked over 2 of the 3.

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We were never at the right vantage point to catch a photo of the 3 Sisters in one view, so I downloaded this one so you could see how beautiful they are.

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The melding of the historic and the modern are everywhere.

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What a fabulous city!

Next post:  Pittsburgh – Buildings and Architecture