Unruly trees clear the way for orange and yellow maple leaves hanging from white bark that line the freeway. Georgia plates infest the smooth tar as clean lines pave the way into the big city. I ride through the city in wide-brimmed hat reminiscent of witch. It’s October.
A pecan farm along the way showcases rows and free samples of various types of brittle, canned fruits and vegetables, sauces, beef jerky, butters. Almost anything you could think of. I walk away with pickled jalapenos, a pack of beef jerky and a tub of pecan brittle. A group of too-clean-cut bikers crowd the front of the store while one licks his (peach, I’m guessing?) ice cream cone as another asks me if I want to pick cotton across the street as a stroll over to photograph a lonely barn.
Sluggish traffic and break lights control the flow in and around the skyscraper horizon. While, Atlanta is much too sprawly to completely grasp all at once, I did arrive at an eclectic burrow they call Little Five Points.
The sky is stark blue, filled with tennis shoe silhouettes hanging on a cluster of telephone lines. Shop entrances are loud, bold and artistic. Murals cover old historical buildings. Homeless people represent faded punk rock singers.
After rummaging through the vintage racks of a local vintage boutique and admiring the extensive boot collection, we (Sam & Cindy) pop into the Porter Beer Bar. Regulars drink and eat in the darkness of the long bar with their backs turned to art-filled brick wall. The only light is the sunlight that seeps into the front window creating a warm and inviting filter of coziness.
We curiously order the bone marrow after I show my distaste. We also order salt and vinegar popcorn, mussels and something I can’t quite recall. The bone marrow tastes like butta. We want to stay longer but leave to prepare for a dinner with friends and family.
At The Butcher The Baker we dine. We drink. We have wonderful conversation. I throw my brothers fake kisses, hoping the camera will capture a moment I approve of.
The only thing on my mind now is da bluuuues. I strut into Darwins Beer and Burger Bar – the crowd is pointed at the stage of performers. A young man is getting down…I mean, DOWN on the vocals and that shiny harmonica. We debate if he’s good looking, and he is.
The largest city in the southeast: thick with culture – rich and poor – feeding my taste for adventure and wanting to meet everyone in America that wants to talk about Kerouac. And those that don’t.
I scream “God Bless America” in my head every time I pass something I love. Opinions and politics are absent.
The trip ends with the usual two eggs, bacon and toast from a LEGIT lil dinner and I head back home to Tampa.