I want to get a sense of the cycling culture in different spots around the city, starting with Atlantic Station. I am in talks to sit down with some folks from AS to discuss their attitude towards cyclists, but I also (and more importantly) want to hear from anyone that has had a positive or negative experience there. Send any and all comments/stories about your experiences as a cyclists at Atlantic Station to email@example.com
Watching the Atlanta Beltline grow and develop has been to watch the city of Atlanta grow and develop. As one progresses, so the other benefits.
To recapitulate: the Atlanta Beltline is a rails to trails project (developing existing (yet unused) rail lines into pedestrian pathways) that circles the city in a 22(ish) mile loop. Thus far, only a couple of miles have been paved, but that section is a resound success. Some major features of the paved portion:
- Access to Piedmont Park (and the surrounding shops)
- The Old Fourth Ward Skate Park
- Amazing views of downtown Atlanta
- Opening up Inman Park to foot and bike traffic
In essence, the importance and impact of the Beltline to the overall strength of the city can’t be understated. Having visited major cities around the world, my first thought when running or walking along the Beltline is “Now, this feels like a city.“
Another great addition to the Beltline is the rotating and permanent collection of art. Here is a fact: whoever thought of Art on the Beltline is a freaking awesome and mad scientist. I would highly suggest you head down to the Beltline yourself to check out some of the pieces, but in the meantime, here are some photos of the works. Also, head over to my Flickr to find some more photos of Atlanta (and beyond!) if you so wish.
This past Saturday saw the passing of the 13th annual BaconFest in support of Dad’s Garage. The event, held primarily in the parking of the improvisational theater, featured plenty of Bacon (though, to be honest, I was so caught up in the festivities that I went the entire BaconFest without a single piece of bacon), several cups of beer, a myrid of booths (ranging from a naughty Easter Bunny to the sanitary kissing booth), and some live music. While last year sported an appearance by Kevin Bacon, this year’s crowd was to be content with an engagement, with the happy couple earning the titles of Bacon King and Queen. For all those that say love is dead, I give you 2013′s edition of BaconFest. (And, as always, head over to Flickr to see some more photos from the event.)
We leave the relative solitude of Point Reyes and head South. As the city looms, the life around us become no less vibrant than the winds of the lighthouse, but is charged in a different manner. It is human, electric, motorized. We cross the Golden Gate Bridge and pass through tunnels and by rows and rows of houses. There is life and it is constantly on display.
Though, even in the city, there are moments of respite. A run through Crissy Field to the shadow of the Golden Gate. A stretch of beach full of running dogs. The methodical casting of a fly fishing rod. And in and around and amongst; the city.
More pictures of San Fran and California (and beyond!) can be found here.
Overnight the sky had dropped and waking in Yosemite was to wake in a different world. The sheer walls were robbed their grandeur by a low lying grey cloud cover. Clothes are packed, rain jackets donned, and the car loaded up. We drive to the West, to the sun, and not to stop until an ocean forces us North.
We emerge from the clouds, shake the raindroplets off our jackets, blink in the sunlight. We find Highway 1 and head up to Muir Woods, a quiet and tucked away grove of giant sequoias. In the hushed woods we tread as lightly as hiking boots allow along the wooden boardwalk between soaring trees, splattering of clover, and a persistent and burbling stream. The sun is setting and the muted dark of the woods begins to deepen. We find our way back and again to Highway 1, searching for the sunset on a short expanse of beach.
The Pacific gleams in the setting sun as the waves do their best to jewel the sun. The rocky coast is battered and we leave before the sand loses it’s sheen.
We wake to the threat of rain, the clouds crowd around Stinson Beach in eager anticipation, though their restraint is admirably as they hardly do more than swirl around looking formidable. We leave Stinson to again head north to Point Reyes National Seashore.
And it is here that we become the only humans on earth. For a time at least. The roads wind through wind-swept and cow spotted landscapes. It is a rugged and tough land. A land that is pounded on either side by waves. A land that lays low to shelter itself from the wind. And we arrive at the outermost point to find a squat lighthouse deep at the bottom of a hill. Thrust into the ocean and wind and forever willing to send out it’s signal. Saying, “I am here.” Saying, “I will protect you.”
More photos of California (and beyond) can be found here.
The problem with words is that they are so limiting. How can one describe a misty rain just tickling skin, beading on clothes, caught in hair? How can one write a sentence that captures the depths of the pain and joy that one feels when seeing a loved one after an absence? Hell, how is one expected to capture in words the stress and frustration of traffic? The exultation of a well executed joke on The Big Bang Theory? The problem with words is that they fail us in the extraordinary as well as the mundane.
Driving along California Route 140 into Yosemite National Park, my words begin to fail me. When looking at the road before me or perhaps a quick glance at the deep green of the trees whizzing past, I am fine, and perfectly able to describe my experience. But it only takes a look up to the sheer and immense stone that form the walls of the valley to simply remove my powers of description. I am struck immobile, dumb; unable to truly process the immensity of the landscape. And while the stark walls in contrast with a misty white waterfall and muteddeep green trees is impressive, it is something much more that gives me pause.
There is, inherent in the carved stone, falling water, and enormous rock piles, a power that is beyond my comprehension It is the Merced River that carved the valley. It is a waterfall that is molding the rock face. It is tons of granite cascading down a sheer face and following only two rules: what must move, will move; what must stop this, must be more powerful. And there is me, so small against the backdrop as to almost linger out of existence. I am perhaps lighting a camp stove or taking a photo, and am not more than a momentary flash of life in a cycle that expands out and beyond what I am able to comprehend.
So I am left with this pitiful post and these photos. It’s a shame that with all that we as humans have been able to accomplish, our words continuously leave us lacking.
More photos of Yosemite and Northern California can be found here.
The city of Sonoma, California is relatively small, only about 10,000 people live there. And, in the world of wine, is significantly smaller than it’s nearby neighbor of Napa. Yet, for all that, Sonoma offers a fantastic opportunity to see the wine country of Northern California without all of the glitz and glamour of Napa.
At the beginning of March Sonoma sits in a state of anticipation. The rains are just beginning to fall, sneaking into the ground to the delight of the eager vines that have just been put into place on their rows of wooden supports. There is a quiet to Sonoma in March. A quiet and a sense of rest for those that know what is to come. The grapes exploding on vine, the throng of people with noses in glasses and wine on lips, the harvest. But March brings the first stirrings of spring, the empty rows of vineyards, the welcome trough of a seasonal wave. More photos from the California trip can be found here.
Our last day in the city started with a fly fishing casting lesson at the Anglers Club in Golden Gate Park. They have three casting pools and provided rods for all beginners. It was a very low key experience and I found the act of casting to be very calming.
From there it was off to brunch then a quick hop to the beach. It was a beautiful day and the beach was full of folks running, surfers, and dogs.
We then drove up the coast a bit to Lands End Overlook and the Sutro Baths. The Baths were a sort of Roman bathhouse that has since fallen into great disrepair. It is now a beautiful park complete with visiting river otter. Unfortunately, the otter wasn’t around.
We then drove up and up to the Twin Peaks area for an amazing view of the city.
Later that evening we hit up the Mission District where we had a super taco, saw a cat cake, and had some very local drinks at Southern Pacific Brewing.
We are currently at the airport waiting for our flight back. All told it has been an amazing trip!
Today was a 100% San Fran day.
I started it off with a run from the Marina District through the Presidio to Fort Point in the shadow of the Golden Gate. It was a great way to start the day.
If you haven’t read any Oates I would suggest checking out one of her most famous stories, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”. It is an amazing read and you will be haunted. Tomorrow will find us checking out some parks and getting a fly fishing lesson.