#FreeArtDecatur and Sodabooze

FreeArtDecatur

Image courtesy of Emily Chapman. Art courtesy of _CheckTheBox_. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

I grew up just outside of Decatur, an intown suburb of Atlanta that bills itself as “a city of homes, churches, and schools.” (Yes, really.) Though it’s not really Atlanta, in a metro area that still includes suburbs 2 hours outside of town, it is close enough. The town is basically what Berkley would be if it happened to be in Georgia; there are competing, longstanding independent coffee shops, and art fairs, and an annual book festival. A lot of earnest high school students are always around, playing ultimate frisbee.

It’s a lovely town. I would be charmed if I discovered it as an adult. But I didn’t, and as a result I’ve maintained an uneasy relationship with it into adulthood: I like it, I should like it, I am a product of it, but it seems like cheating to stay in it. I’m not establishing myself as an adult in any meaningful way if I’m still getting coffee at the same coffee shop I’ve been loitering at since I was 15, even if it’s a wonderful coffee shop (and I drink beer in it, now). So, I’ve been staying away, finding new coffee shops in my new neighborhood a few miles away. It’s been a good choice, I think.

But I was reminded how much I like the place this weekend, when I went back for the second annual Great Decatur Art Hunt. The event grew out of Free Art Friday/#FAFATL, a city-wide group of artists (loosely affiliated in some cases, unrelated in others) which drop art around town for folks to find. This was a concentrated version of that: starting at noon on Saturday, the artists gathered to drop art and watch as folks gathered it. Decatur was such the neighborhood for it: lots of families with small kids who wanted to participate, high walkability for finding drops on foot, a huge number of earnest people who Want to Support Art. Continue reading

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Human Interaction Good Times

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Image courtesy of Jason Eppink. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

This weekend, I volunteered at BaconFest, the annual Dad’s Garage tribute to bacon and beer. I did my eco-friendly part, and walked from my apartment to the venue using Atlanta’s super-excellent rails-to-trails program, the Beltline.

This was a mistake. First off, as I am reminded of while writing this, I am in terrible physical shape/do not consume enough milk, and if I walk at something speedier than an amble, my shins hurt for the next three days.

More than that, however, was the nice reminder that street harassment is a Thing. I normally assume that I don’t get harassed much out in public because I maintain an A+ bitchy resting face, or because I’m kind of mousy. Not (exclusively) so! I don’t get harassed out in public because I have the incredible good fortune to spend most of my transit time in the car. Continue reading