Thursday, 25 July 2013

The BeltLine

21st November 2012
There weren't too many people staying in Atlanta for Thanksgiving however Sunbear and I were having a Thanksgiving dinner with a host family. But more on that later. By this stage, the start of Thanksgiving break had already started and I had wanted to explore more of Atlanta.

When googling for things to visit, the Beltline was one of the 'attractions' that attracted my attention. 

The BeltLine is a former railway corridor around the core of Atlanta, Georgia which is under development in stages as a multi-use trail. Some portions are already complete, while others are still in a rough state but hikeable. Using existing rail track easements, it aims to improve not only transportation, but to add green space and promote redevelopment. There are longer term visions for streetcar or light rail lines along all or part of the corridor.
We started the Beltline on the west side with plans to finish on the east and head up north to Piedmont Park. The west side was a little dodgy especially compared to Decatur where we were staying. Decatur is one of the richer areas of Atlanta (and technically its own city) and the typical two storey type mansions were plentiful. Out on the western side, these were considerably smaller dwellings and there is something unsettling when a house needs visible double bolts and sometimes bars around the patio, also with it's own double lock door.
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A homeless man's bed underneath the bridge. Impressive although a little scary too.

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  This was basically the entire area of the west side. I believe we also walked past some correctional services of some sort too. The Caucasian and the Asian walking around, an odd sight I am sure.

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This convenience store had bars on every single window and at the cashier desk, there was a whole window of, what I imagine to be, bullet proof glass.

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We headed to the east side (Old Fourth Ward) and the area was vastly different. The houses were a lot prettier and we stumbled upon a home with a puppy! It was originally lying on the patio however it quickly ran down to the gate and we petted it for a while. The puppy was so adorable and so hyper.

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The BeltLine is a work in progress, with the east side being predominately a walking trail through cleared bushland. The east side however is completed with bicycle and walkpaths.

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One of my favourite shots.

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Atlanta doesn't have a Chinatown. However very close to the outskirts of Atlanta in the north, there is a 'Chinatown' which is basically a small shopping area with Asian supermarkets and authentic Asian food places, almost like the food court at Dixon Street in Sydney. There were a lot of Asian-fusion chains such as Tin Drum, however, you can't help but raise your eyebrow when the pad thai has jalape├▒o on top. Hmm.

We ordered two spicy Szechuan dishes. After a while, I couldn't quite feel my lips anymore, it was a continual burning sensation. However, Sunbear loved it and loved spicy food. Although all the Asians were in total disbelief when we arrived back at Highland Lake.

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Overall, it was an interesting day. It was lovely to explore more of Atlanta and to see the 'darker' side of Atlanta. From what I gathered, the wealthier you are, the further north you would live. Conversely, the further south you head, heading to the airport, the more dodgy the areas became.

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