This morning, after sleeping in much later than I had planned, I threw some clothes on and headed out to do a few laps at the park. The day is dreary, and I’ve no pressing plans. I could just have easily stayed in my pjs and sat on my couch to watch Friends reruns or movies all day. (Which, may still be in my future this afternoon, because, why not?). But, with Machu Picchu on my mind, I thought it best I get moving.
I live just a few blocks from the park, so on my way there, I get to pass all these beautiful old homes. Large canopy trees. And the occasional boa feather, or beer bottle left over from someone’s night out.
But once you’re in the park, that’s where things really get interesting. Because, the park isn’t just for you It literally, is the backdrop to so many story lines. On any given day you can see:
- a couple on a first-ish date
- people walking with beer or wine
- people walking with coffee
- people walking with a boombox on their shoulder
- moms with strollers
- a dad posse who have kids hanging off of them
- someone playing a board game
- picnic goers
- kite fliers
- a drum circle
- a guy with a guitar
- a guy with a guitar singing
- someone with bagpipes
- a proposal
- a wedding
- wedding photos
- engagement photos
- a guy flipping a large tire around
- someone carrying a loaded down backpack and and trekking poles
- someone crying
- someone reading
- people falling love
- people falling out of love
- a family reunion
- a kid learning how to ride a bike with their parent chasing after them
- a couple making out in broad daylight on a blanket
- a runaway dog
- frisbee throwers
- yard game players
- skyline photo takers
- Baton Bob
I’m leaving people out, I know. But it’s this little slice of heaven, where everyone is accepted. And everyone is welcome. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, you turn the corner, and there’s a guy with a chain around his waist lugging a large log.
And because the Beltline is basically just the arm that connects us Midtowners to our even more hipster brother, Old 4th Ward, I recommend taking a trip down that lane as often as possible. Because on the beltline, instead of the gorgeous Atlanta Skyline emerging, you have emerging local artist who leave little nuggets of joy all along the path. And Friends of the Beltline workers pulling weeds. And the guys under the bridge with the drum set and trombone playing incredible tunes on Sunday nights. And people walking to one of the delicious restaurants in the area (ie Ladybird. Rathbun’s. Fred’s Meats and Cheese, Barcelona), or stumbling back from one of the restaurants in the area. Poetry, some of which isn’t very good. Krog Street Market. And the new shiny object of all our affection, Ponce City Market!
Oops, sorry, I got distracted by how lovely this part of town is, back to my Piedmont Park story. Where was I? Oh yes, I was walking in Piedmont, about to be tempted by the Piedmont Park Farmers Market. I said I was just going to walk through and keep my eyes on the ground, but I failed. By the time I got to the end of the row of tents, I was weighed down with a bouquet of sunflowers (that are gorgeous!), the most amazing lemon goat cheese from a local farm, lemon poppyseed scones, 2 candles (one of pine and one of smoky woods. is it fall yet?!), a handful of the gnarliest tomatoes, rosemary, and carmelized ginger.
Since the exercise portion of my day was clearly over, I made a quick stop by Arden’s Garden for a Grand Slam before making the slow walk back to my home with two armfuls of goodies.
And now? Well, I’ve set up camp on my front porch with coffee, one of the lemon poppyseed scones, the record player in the background, Page at my feet, and you.
Here’s to the unexpected treats of this day!