Tuesday, October 9

Postcards from Atlanta

Greetings from Atlanta... Home of CNN, Coca Cola, Habitat for Humanity.
Downtown Atlanta
Atlanta... City of contrasts, with gleaming glass towers visible over the rooftops of beautifully-preserved historic buildings and sprawling brick homes.
View from an intersection on Piedmont Ave
And where tourist-oriented remembrances of Gone With the Wind are tucked under giant parking garages...
Miss Pittypat's porch restaurant
Atlanta... Southern city, but with an urban edge that reminded me more of New York than the South.

Runners do not nod, wave, smile, or say "hi" to one another in this city. I have to be honest, it was a little disconcerting getting the cold shoulder from fellow runners. I expect that in the northeast. I was not prepared for it in Atlanta!

Speaking of running... While I was in Atlanta for a couple of days, I ran a 6.25 mile run from downtown to Piedmont Park (route map).
Southwest entrance of Piedmont Park
View of the city from Piedmont Park
Park Tavern, at the southeast corner of Piedmont Park
Community garden in the park
View of the Park Drive bridge from the community garden
While most runners did not pause to pass the time of day, I did make an instant friend on this run.

Just past the community garden there are a series of trails that lead off into a tiny pocket of urban wilderness known as the Six Springs. I wanted to run the trails, but as a stranger to this town, I had concerns about how safe it was to run off-road.

I paused to scope out the scene, then decided it was too risky to run alone. Just as I abandoned the trail, another female runner did a similar slow-roll by the trailhead. She also seemed to have second thoughts, and turned away. I caught up to her, introduced myself, asked if she wanted to run the trails together so we could run safely.

Together we enjoyed a nice little spin through the Six Springs!
Trails through the Six Springs area
We split up when we got back to paved roads. I headed through the botanical garden, and my momentary friend turned south.
Civil war history
I admit to being a little jealous of Piedmont Park's "Active Oval" - a gravel track with athletic fields in the middle, and exercise equipment around the edges. I'd do my speedwork at the track more often if I had one close by that was so pretty!
Active Oval in Piedmont Park
Pull-up, push-up, step-up, and sit-up equipment at the Active Oval

Lake Clara Meer as seen from an overlook near the Active Oval
Heading back out toward the southwest gate
Another thing I noticed about the city is a plethora of "no cruising" signs. You know you're on an urban run when...
No Cruising zone...
Another Atlanta discovery: public art!
Atlanta had more sculptures, block for block, than any city I've visited in recent memory. I was a dorky tourist and took photos of dozens of sculptures, but I'll spare you the eye strain and share just one.
Sculpture at Speakers Corner in Woodruff Park, downtown Atlanta
Playing life-sized chess in Woodruff Park, downtown Atlanta
... my only final thought on Atlanta is:
I can't wait to go back!

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