Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.

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» Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Sparkles on the Road

Our awards ceremony apparently was a topping success, so everyone got 59 minutes of administrative leave. According to the traffic maps, everything was already a fat, hot red mess boiling up to burgundy, so I drove home "overland" through surface streets, stopping for about fifteen minutes at Atlanta Vintage Books. Sadly, they had no Christmas books except for recipe books, and their regional section didn't have any New England books I was interested in. I did get a good look at two of the bookstore cats, two magnificent longhairs, one a calico (I'm partial to calicoes).

This is my usual street route: from I-85 south to Shallowford Road, turn left at Dresden Drive and go until the road ends, cross Peachtree Road and go between the SunTrust Bank (my first bank when I moved to Atlanta) and the Dunkin Donuts, hang a right at the Y-junction at the golf course. This is the Brookhaven neighborhood, which goes back to 1910, with stately brick or white houses, and most of the homes have fir boughs tied with red bows (some with berries, or bells) on their mailboxes, and the decorations are very classic: green wreaths or garlands and red bows, white lights. As you turn right on Mabry, the houses are a mix of older ones from the 1960s and new construction—lots of brick. (And one sore-thumb house replacing an old ranch, a modern monstrosity of concrete and glass which is so hideously ugly that I flinch when I go by it because it looks like a dentist's office.) My favorite house in all of Brookhaven is here, a brick structure that reminds me of an English hunting lodge. I imagine the interior: all dark wood baseboards and molding, hardwood floors, staircases with turned bannisters, a lovely kitchen with an Aga and a Belfast sink...of course, I have no idea what the interior really looks like; it could be white and stainless steel for all I know. But that's what I imagine, and how I would love to decorate it! (And look at that little arched window up on the right—what a perfect place for a writer's aerie.)

Then left on Windsor, over the bridge that crosses GA400, past a row of wonderful Craftsman-style brick homes, left on Roswell Road, and then immediately right on West Wieuca to go through Chastain Park. Three horses were being exercised at the equestrian ring as I turned right at the end of the park on to Powers Ferry Road, then almost immediately left on Jett Ferry. This eventually took me through a tree-crowded neighborhood until it was time for me to turn left on Mount Paran Road.

Mount Paran is mostly a wealthy neighborhood with homes wayyyyyy beyond money I'll ever see, especially the newer ones, which, if for sale, are being sold by Christie's and Sotheby's. One just recently constructed, a sprawling brick job with a fountain and pond in the front yard and a porte cochere, is for sale again.

Further down, around the intersection of West Conway, is a small development of McMansions (including an Italianate house that looks like a wealthy financier's country home) off a dead-end street. The guy on the corner is the one we call "Mr. Inflatable." With this imposing looking house which begged for classic Christmas decorations, he instead covered the sizable lawn completely with inflatable decorations (he also had dozens at Hallowe'en). We always go by to gape. Alas, "Mr. Inflatable" is gone. The house is under contract to a new buyer. (Come to think of it, there were a lot of "For Sale" signs in this whole neighborhood. Perhaps the Atlanta economy isn't as good as they say. But, damn, they're still building apartments, condos, and duplexes with a vengeance.)

The rest of the ride was annoying. Once I got to highway 41, traffic reappeared. I tried to get around Cumberland Mall by going through Windy Hill, but the line at the light was thirty cars long and only four or five cars were getting through per cycle. I finally doubled back to Spring Road, where the traffic was at least normal rush hour instead of "lawd-a-mercy the traffic map's gone burgundy."

I hadn't taken that ride in ages. Would have been a beautiful one a few weeks ago had the trees turned properly, but that ten days of rain did them in. Still, the Christmas decorations made it all brighter.

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