Last week I spent a few days bumming around small towns in middle Georgia on a meandering reporting trip where one of the only must-do’s was visiting both of the Yesterday Cafes that claim to have the best buttermilk pie in the state. This one was superior. But the other one looked just like it.
Flannery O’Connor bought this Hotpoint refrigerator in 1956 after she sold the TV rights to “The Life You Save May Be Your Own.” Apparently she was not very into the eventual adaptation. But her food was cold. (Here’s more from Andalusia adventure companion Brooke.)
Knoxville! Your downtown is lovely and I am ashamed it took me so long to realize this! Thank you for the surprise existence of your Tupelo Honey outpost and all the puppies at Market Square yesterday and for keeping the Tennessee Theater intact and for Rhythm & Blooms working whatever magic was needed to get The Everybodyfields back together for one night, confirming that after all these years of making me cry they can still make me cry. I had forgotten how that happens, actually. It wasn’t until the house lights dimmed, they walked onto the stage and opened with “By Your Side” and I startled myself by bursting into tears that I considered whether or not it was prudent to apply non-waterproof mascara that morning. Fortunately Maybelline makes some budgeproof eyegoop because I cried and cried and then cried more. Have I ever said, “This band is my favorite band”? It’s weird that I’m not sure if I have or not. But they are.
Some small part of me was actually feeling maybe a little sad not to be at SXSW this year; it’s taken me since 2010, the last time I went when I worked at Paste, to feel this way. Then I found this photo of my feet on the third day of the music part of the festival in 2008 and now I feel a little better. This was a few days after the afternoon when I walked some ungodly number of blocks across downtown in unbroken-in shoes to find some restaurant supply company where I’d been sent to rent or buy some kind of obscurely-sized white tablecloth for some sponsor for our day party. I guess I had some idea of why this particular kind of tablecloth was needed at the time, but I can hardly remember now. Or maybe I didn’t know at all. That’s also possible. Anyway, this was pre-iPhone for me, but I very much had the same half-very-good, half-terrible sense of direction that I do now, and also the same anxiety about calling and riding in cabs. So I just walked and walked and walked, the walking very soon turning into excruciatingly painful limping, and then I reached my destination, acquired the tablecloth, walked some distance to a shuttle I’d figured out the existence of, took the shuttle as far as I could, then walked the remaining however many blocks down closed-off Sixth Street back to the venue. I was within shouting distance of the bar when, in a moment of blistered delirium, I stopped and took off my shoes. They were yellow Calvin Klein boat shoes that I’d bought at Loehmann’s earlier that winter in the midst of some kind of depressive slump for which yellow boat shoes seemed a reasonable fix. They fixed nothing! And now they had small blood stains all inside them. After that I walked for a while without any shoes on at all, carrying my shoes, barefoot on the sidewalk. I guess it was really early in the festival, maybe even the day before the first day, because there were no crowds, and maybe this is why I started walking with my shoes off, not that it would have been the weirdest thing happening at any given moment if there had been crowds. I did pass one guy, though, going the opposite way down the sidewalk. He shot me, or rather my bare feet, this totally withering eyeroll and said, “I hope you already have hepatitis.” I let him get a ways down the sidewalk before I stopped and put my shoes back on, because he was an asshole, but sometimes assholes are right.
The old Kodak lab on Ponce and Argonne is one of my favorite old buildings in Atlanta and for the first time last night I was stopped in just the right spot at the corresponding red light to take a photo. (I suppose there’s a certain amount of irony, or something, in posting the shot to Instagram.) As of last year the whole building, including the neighboring Atlanta Eagle, was for sale, but I don’t know what came of it. I live in fear of coming upon the building one day and seeing the storefront being painted over, the sign being dismantled, the block being readied for one of those parking garages Atlanta developers seem to love so well.
This cat lives on the Beltline, has its own mailbox and is named Piper. (If anyone knows anything else about this beautiful thing, please share! Google doesn’t seem to know much.) (Also it took me too long to realize the cat was probably named after the culvert pipe it [apparently] hangs around the mouth of all day.)
Five minutes in the life of the Atlanta skyline as viewed from my office hallway window just now.