Tag Archives: explore

not so chic

Augusta’s shabbiness unfolded.

This journey began with a magical journey out of Athens on 78 east. The towns, historic preservation and ruins alike were so picturesque, but mostly in the trees did I feel at home. They arched high up over the road, close enough to create a tunnel sometimes and the light filtered through the forests or patches of woods making everything glow with a lushness I always associate with the Limberlost (who else read that book?). It was lucky there was rarely anyone behind me because i was hardly going the speed limit the whole time. All the same, I did not see the mama and baby deer until I could tell she was about to run. Why oh why do they do that??

report: I lost a headlight but stayed on the road, and both deer made it into the woods after an 18-wheeler passed the opposite way, I only hope that doe is ok. This was the first tradgedy.

I got into Augusta, remembering and yet in awe at what a sad city it is. Such opulence in neglect and decay. wierd.

My b&b was in the historic district, that residential end of town, where Victorian houses–Italianate, Queen Anne–try to outdo themselves avenue after avenue. It reminds me of New Orleans in a way, but i’ve really never seen anything like it. The Queen Anne Inn itself could’ve used an inspection report, but I refrained and settled into my ultra shabby back room with grimey carpet, cheap (but decent) sheets, and linoleum under the out-of-place jacuzzi. The window unit had to be kept full blast all night cause it was hot in that stuffy little space. I got a peek at the rooms in the rest of the house however and think they’d be well worth staying in. At any rate, I expected nothing better or worse and the price was right. I was perfectly content there.

First of course, i had to meet my neighbor, B. He didn’t seem to be rolling his eyes up and down me but his recommendations of places to eat “well, there’s the Riverside Pub, you can get anything you want to drink there, but nothing to eat. …or the _ pub, they’ve got all you care to drink, but no food. or the…” when his recommendations turned complaints about his life (and how he’d once been—wrongly—assumed to be a child molester) and revealed a more inquiring mind regarding ME, i politely excused myself to meet my landlord and resolved not to make an appearance at the Riverside Pub or any such place. Instead, i took my landlord’s recommendation of the Fox’s Lair, a respectable hole in a basement, just through the next block (literally out the back door) that measured about 12 x 15 and where everyone knew one another and had their own roles to play in this revolving door. I was the girl who wrote a lot, “I haven’t written that much since i was in jail” was one comment. I didn’t mind, but after my long introductory chat with P I still stayed for only one drink, and i think Red Stripe was the wrong kind. oh well, with that variety of people I was surely just another character.


the aesthetic of urban decay

A CONTINUUM

I’ve never really thought about it before but i, like so many others, have long been enthralled by urban decay. I’ve sought out ruins for exploration and art. I’ve been in awe of their derelict structures, entranced by the beauty of their abandonment. It’s put me in search of Urban Exploration sects though i never too seriously sought to get involved, i’d totally go exploring one night if you asked me to! My exploring may have begun with Dad teaching us how to scoot under the chain link gate at LeFleur’s Bluff (and getting caught one of those times), and later on his midnight tree-planting on state property (or federal or city, whichever). At any rate, i’ve been an explorer for a long time, after all, it’s the whole reason my blogging ever began.

Bayside Cem smallpox the highline fountains and terraces high bridge park beginning of a very nice long cold walk Hotel La Rence Borden's

So, suddenly the realization that my research paper has evolved into something right up my alley is hitting home! it began as a “guided tour” of the Beltline, relating structures along a segment to the evolution of the American Built Environment. But comments from my teacher that suggested focusing on urban decay, unpoliced spaces and art (I was planning a section on atl graffiti) and then last weekends visit to the kiang gallery (previous post) really got me on this path of urban exploring which brings up unregulated spaces and how we act/react to them (do you tap your marta card when the bus driver is nowhere in sight?), which brings up unsanctioned art—graffiti—and sanctioned art—Art on the Beltline. And what does this obsession with, this aesthetic we’ve promoted out of urban decay say about us? where is development going? once urban renewal meant tear down and built new, now it means (more often than before anyway) preserve and celebrate the old and derelict.