Woodruff Park at Night
I was walking to my downtown apartment from Hill Street Tavern (recommended) on a recent night and passed reluctantly through Woodruff Park. I girded myself for the usual disappointment I feel during the weekdays in seeing this beautiful public space made less usable than it could be by the seemingly omnipresent masses of homeless men.
[I absolutely HATE writing about homeless people as  an aesthetic problem, by the way. I’ll have guilt for days about that after this  post. But as a downtown resident, I’ve been forced to come to terms with my  reactions to the daily sight of homeless men emptying out of shelters in  the morning and lingering in public spaces. It’s an emotional reaction  that can, in a selfish but unavoidable way, take me away from the act of  enjoying the built environment of the city that I love.]
To my surprise, the homeless people were gone. I assume the reason is that there’s some kind of cut-off time for getting settled into one of the downtown shelters at night. So it was just me, a few GSU students chatting in groups, and the park. I was able to enjoy it in a way that I usually can’t during the day. And, as you can see in the pic above (not mine — found via a Google search), it’s beautiful at night.
As unkind as it may seem, I can’t help but appreciate moments like this when I can take a break from the constant presence of homeless people and just enjoy the city structures downtown. Nonetheless, I also appreciate the way that the needs of the homeless can’t go ignored in a city where their presence is, during much of the day, unavoidable.
Donate to the Atlanta Union Mission
{EDIT: Tumblr blogger Highsee provides some good criticism of this post that highlights the difficulty of simultaneously sympathizing with homeless people while being irritated by the day to day task of living with them. It’s a tricky issue and would require a much longer post than this to explore fully and more tactfully.}

Woodruff Park at Night

I was walking to my downtown apartment from Hill Street Tavern (recommended) on a recent night and passed reluctantly through Woodruff Park. I girded myself for the usual disappointment I feel during the weekdays in seeing this beautiful public space made less usable than it could be by the seemingly omnipresent masses of homeless men.

[I absolutely HATE writing about homeless people as an aesthetic problem, by the way. I’ll have guilt for days about that after this post. But as a downtown resident, I’ve been forced to come to terms with my reactions to the daily sight of homeless men emptying out of shelters in the morning and lingering in public spaces. It’s an emotional reaction that can, in a selfish but unavoidable way, take me away from the act of enjoying the built environment of the city that I love.]

To my surprise, the homeless people were gone. I assume the reason is that there’s some kind of cut-off time for getting settled into one of the downtown shelters at night. So it was just me, a few GSU students chatting in groups, and the park. I was able to enjoy it in a way that I usually can’t during the day. And, as you can see in the pic above (not mine — found via a Google search), it’s beautiful at night.

As unkind as it may seem, I can’t help but appreciate moments like this when I can take a break from the constant presence of homeless people and just enjoy the city structures downtown. Nonetheless, I also appreciate the way that the needs of the homeless can’t go ignored in a city where their presence is, during much of the day, unavoidable.

Donate to the Atlanta Union Mission

{EDIT: Tumblr blogger Highsee provides some good criticism of this post that highlights the difficulty of simultaneously sympathizing with homeless people while being irritated by the day to day task of living with them. It’s a tricky issue and would require a much longer post than this to explore fully and more tactfully.}