A five-mile family walk through Atlanta

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Combine nice spring weather with good pedestrian infrastructure on a Saturday afternoon and you get the perfect ingredients for a long walk in the city.

We went from our Fairlie-Poplar home downtown to Sweet Auburn, Old Fourth Ward, Poncey Highland, Little Five Points and Inman Park. For the trip we walked on a combo of sidewalks, the Beltline Eastside Trail and Freedom Path. Here’s a map of our 5-mile walk:


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We took some much needed rest at Lotta Frutta for a fruit cup and at Java Vino for a cheese plate along the way. We also stopped by Criminal Records for Records Store Day.

My favorite stop was at the lovely grounds of the Carter Center, pictured above. Aside from having a nice skyline view in spots, the best part is that there a places in the forest behind the center, next to the pond, where you become so immersed in nature that its hard to believe you’re still in the city. Here’s another shot of our walk there:

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Another highlight was seeing the concrete water tower in the Old Fourth Ward. According to Return to Atlanta: “The water tower was built in 1906 as part of the South East Atlantic Cotton Compress Warehouses (now Studioplex lofts).” It’s a beautiful sight now, surrounded by a lively neighborhood and and entrance to the Atlanta Beltline path.

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We took MARTA back home from the Inman Park/Reynoldstown station. I can’t wait to do it all again.

The perks of being a pedestrian
I took this photo on Sunday, when I was walking up Boulevard to get to Condesa Coffee.
The periwinkle was a beautiful color. It covered a sizable hill along the sidewalk. Encountering unexpected sights like this — and being able to stop and linger over them — is one of the little perks you can only get as a pedestrian. This just wouldn’t be as charming from a car window.
And yes, I came across plenty of unpleasant things on my walk too (mostly near the interstate underpass on Auburn Avenue — I always pass through there at a quick pace). But it’s all part of the adventure.
Particularly with spring coming, I’m looking forward to a lot of nice long walks in the city and enjoying the patches of greenery.

The perks of being a pedestrian

I took this photo on Sunday, when I was walking up Boulevard to get to Condesa Coffee.

The periwinkle was a beautiful color. It covered a sizable hill along the sidewalk. Encountering unexpected sights like this — and being able to stop and linger over them — is one of the little perks you can only get as a pedestrian. This just wouldn’t be as charming from a car window.

And yes, I came across plenty of unpleasant things on my walk too (mostly near the interstate underpass on Auburn Avenue — I always pass through there at a quick pace). But it’s all part of the adventure.

Particularly with spring coming, I’m looking forward to a lot of nice long walks in the city and enjoying the patches of greenery.

Opportunities for growth on the streetcar route (updated)

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I took this photo of the streetcar tracks on Edgewood Avenue a couple of days ago. It’s exciting to see this visible progress taking shape.

And today, we have news of economic progress in the area with the eastern part of the streetcar route, which includes the portion in this photo, being designated an Opportunity Zone, as reported by the AJC.

Per the article, here’s what the designation provides:

state tax incentives for businesses that expand in the zone, with credits of $3,500 per job available for the creation of as few as two net new jobs. The credits are available to both small and big businesses.

It sounds like something that could definitely help to ensure that this streetcar investment reaches it’s potential for bringing growth to the route. I’m particularly glad to see the state getting involved.

The article points out that this Opportunity Zone project has had a couple of significant successes recently in the metro:

General Motors is converting a former UPS property into an information technology research facility in a Roswell zone, where it will employ about 1,000 people. Athenahealth, a health care IT firm…is negotiating for space in Ponce City Market…which is also in an Opportunity Zone.

I’m encouraged! We might actually end up doing this streetcar-based revitalization thing the right way.

UPDATE

Lots of great info on the streetcar project, including maps (which I love, because I’m a geek) are online now: Atlanta Streetcar Development & Investment Guide

One good thing about the otherwise dismal, leaf-less winter trees of Atlanta: getting nice views like this. It’s the downtown skyline as seen from the Freedom Path behind Across the Street restaurant in the Old Fourth Ward. During the summer when the leaves are on the trees, you don’t get this view.

One good thing about the otherwise dismal, leaf-less winter trees of Atlanta: getting nice views like this. It’s the downtown skyline as seen from the Freedom Path behind Across the Street restaurant in the Old Fourth Ward. During the summer when the leaves are on the trees, you don’t get this view.

"Making Boulevard safer for pedestrians and seniors will benefit both low-income residents who don’t have cars and newcomers who want transit alternatives. Improved pedestrian safety will also make it easier for Old Fourth Ward residents to get to, and use, the Atlanta Streetcar line."

A million bucks for Boulevard street improvements? An ARC funding recommendation could bring pedestrian safety fixes | Rebecca Burns, Atlanta Magazine

This exists in Atlanta: a park with an outdoor foosball table

I took a long kick-scooter ride through downtown, Inman Park and the Old Fourth Ward yesterday. The coolest thing I saw (among many cool things) was this O4W pocket park, called Parkway-Angier Park and located at the intersection of those namesake streets. The park is surrounded by beautiful oak trees and has a covered area with a foosball table.

I also scootered through Renaissance Park on Piedmont Avenue which was surprising in its size and greenery. I wanted to take photos but I was, frankly, freaked out by the scroungy (by which I mean ‘drug-dealer-ish’) bunch hanging out in the park. Maybe another time.

"There are corners of worse crime and pockets of denser poverty in Atlanta than Boulevard, but this street is notorious because it literally connects Atlanta’s haves and have-nothings while figuratively tracing a century of disconnect between the city’s polished image and the messy reality of misguided public policies."

A “Living Laboratory” : Can Kwanza Hall’s project transform intown Atlanta’s most notorious street? | Rebecca Burns | Atlanta Magazine