Atlanta Pride Parade 2018 (Catch-up CFFC “Rainbow Colors”)

It’s hard to get more colorful than the Atlanta (LGBTQ) Pride parade, with its giant rainbow flag. In 2015 we watched the parade coming up Peachtree Street from an upstairs window on the front of the building. Here’s the flag approaching — Atlanta Pride Parade 2015

We missed the next 2 years’ parades while traveling, but were in town for the last fall’s parade. This time I went down to street level — here comes the October 2018 parade.Atlanta Pride parade 2018Atlanta Pride Parade - rainbow flag 2018A little recent history (thanks to Wikipedia) In June 2015, The MoMA – the Museum of Modern Art in New York – acquired the rainbow flag symbol as part of its design collection. Later that month, the White House used rainbow flag colors for illumination to commemorate same-sex marriage legalization in all 50 U.S. states.Atlanta Pride Parade - rainbow flag approaching 2Atlanta Pride Parade - rainbow flag passing 2018

 

Pride parade 2018 - waiting to start

Rainbow colors were everywhere…

 I’m not usually a fan of crowds and noise, but energy and solidarity and goodwill were running high, and it was a joy to be there. Of course it didn’t hurt that they were serving rainbow-iced cupcakes downstairs in the lobby. 

Atlanta Pride Parade Dog 2018

… even pets came to show their support.

I have to admit that after years of seeing rainbow flags, it was just a few months ago — at the Rainbow Crosswalk at 10th and Piedmont no less — that I stared at the pavement and suddenly realized, “There are 7 colors in a rainbow but only 6 colors here! Why?” (if you’re curious, Wikipedia can help with that too)

When I was a child there was a song called “I Love a Parade” my grandmother and her friends used to refer to. Now that I live on a parade-street, I’m beginning to see what they were talking about.

Do you love a parade?

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rainbow Colors

Atlanta Pride: History

Rainbow Colors: Symbolism

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Winter Parks and Streets, Vacating Storage, and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Colorful Monotones

Christmas week at Lake Anita, Anita Iowa State Park…

Deer in Lake Anita State Park - Anita Iowa

We didn’t have a white Christmas this year. The deer are hard to see until they move, and the white flags of their tails show up against brown and gold surroundings. 

We’ve had some sepia days in Atlanta too…

Atlanta in sepia - clearing after a storm

The end of a storm, with stop lights like little red eyes on the next street over. 

Segue to a cool palate — here’s my November triumph…

Empty storage bin

It’s my second storage bin and YES it’s empty!

With a lot of help, I’m now down to one storage bin. When I sold my house last year, the plan was to get one bin and keep an apartment’s worth of furniture. Then I found at the last minute I wasn’t quite as downsized as I thought I was. The only thing to do was get an extra (but smaller) bin for the overflow. Then at the very last minute, I needed yet another. Bin number three got consolidated in April, and bin number two by the end of November.

Here it is when it was almost empty…

Almost-empty storage bin with vintage dress form

What -? Doesn’t everyone keep a vintage mannequin around for decoration? Oh yeah, and a mineral specimen? And a 70s reel-to-reel recorder? And archived paper towels?

Now that I’ve sneaked a little color in, I’ll share one more storage view. Here’s the first bin this time last year. Some things are gone now, but it’s still packed pretty tight with boxes from the second bin taking the place of some furniture — there’s plenty more work to be done.

Storage bin number one

Always a dilemma – what should I keep and what can go? 

I have to keep the red wicker rocking chair. My great aunt gave it to her husband for their wedding anniversary in 1929. I adopted it in the 80s when they downsized from their farmhouse and moved to town. It spent most of its life as white wicker, but I went a little crazy and painted it red a couple of years ago.

It’s still an odd feeling to go visit my stuff in storage — sort of like a window into my past life. Soon (I hope) I’ll be down to just what I intended to keep.

Have you ever had a storage bin? I’d love to hear others’ experiences with downsizing.

 

More on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Colorful Monotones

Amsterdam Bicycles (Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Bicycles, Tricycles…)

Bicycle wheels — where are we? Amsterdam of course. Where else can you go where you can’t even take a photo of the iguana-sculpture without getting bicycles in the frame?

Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen in 2014 - Amsterdam square with iguana sculptures

When I looked up the name of the park – Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen – I found out the iguanas are gone now. They’ve been removed and, appropriately for this post, the area is now used for bicycle parking.

When it comes to bicycles, it’s hard to imagine more in any one place than there are in Amsterdam. I just re-discovered these photos from a 2014 trip. Here’s the bicycle parking lot near the central train station —

Amsterdam: bicycle park at the Central Train Station

There’s parking on the bridges too. I liked this one, and wondered how long it had been there. Look closely: an enterprising spider was happy to set up housekeeping…

Amsterdam bicycle with spider web

Bridge-parking: I think it’s been there for a while.

Amsterdam - Wood Bicycle

We were impressed to come upon this handsome wooden bicycle.

It even has a story…

Amsterdam Wooden Bicycle - the story

“I am a wooden bike and my owner is the Banks Mansion Hotel behind me. Because I am made from wood, I am totally recyclable and good for the environment…”

Then, we saw this wooden one, which appears to have seen some good use.

Amsterdam - wooden bicycle 'Cool Endeavour'

It has a name!  — “Cool Endeavour”

I came home from that 2014 trip to more work on downsizing, trying to get to the point where I could sell my house. It took three years after that, but by the fall of 2017, I’d moved. Travel is so much more enjoyable now that I don’t have to worry about my house. Still, as a Hoarder, I haven’t quite come clean. But, a storage bin is more manageable than an entire house… and, hopefully I’ll downsize to smaller storage someday soon. I’m working on it.

And — Happy New Year!  Wishing everyone safe travels in 2019.

Previous posts: Amsterdam: Coming Home, and Amsterdam: Orange

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Bicycles, Tricycles, Motorcycles, Wagons

Iowa Farm Fun, Baby Chicks, and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Farm Animals

Picture a warm summer day in the midwest. I’m on my way through Iowa. The corn is about as high as an elephant’s knee, and I see — a giraffe! Wait, what? That’s what happened to me last summer…

Iowa corn giraffe

Seen grazing just north of Clarinda Iowa. I was hurrying to meet a friend, so found the giraffe again on my way back for its photo op. S/he was still there a few weeks later, on my next midwest trip.

By October’s trip most of the corn was harvested, and I didn’t see the giraffe anywhere. But “just up the road a piece” something else caught my eye…  It’s further from the road than it looks here. I used significant zoom.

Iowa: roadside moose

A moosely cutout. It’s good to know that farmers have a sense of humor. I wonder how many people noticed this Iowa moose. It was still there on Thanksgiving week.

And yes, the title here is “Farm Animals.” I haven’t forgotten. But these are animals (sort of)– and they’re on a farm.

Here’s a little farm-reality from same part of the country. On last year’s trip I saw these squirmy baby chicks at the Mennonite Country Store. They wouldn’t hold still for their close-up …

Chicks at Galaxy Country Store

Chicks at the Galaxy Country Store – I heard them peeping before I saw them. 

All the Easters of my childhood flashed before my eyes at the first peep, each year’s downy chick a little side-kick to follow me around, to be raised in the yard and eventually taken back to the farm by the time Easter came again. Now I suddenly wonder what happened to them after they went home. At the time, I pictured them hanging out in the pasture, garden, and chicken house with the flock, eating bugs, laying eggs, squawking, scratching, all those chicken-activities. But, um… now I know that life is not kind to chickens. Still, I hope they survived.

Are there Easter chicks in your past?

More on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Farm Animals

Snow, Thanksgiving, Aerial Views, and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Cold

Thanksgiving week in the midwest — need I say more?

Thanksgiving snow storm

Snow at the house next door: I love how a blizzard gets creative with drifting snow. Check out the roofline — how does that even happen?

Snow basketball at Kansas City airport

Snowbound basketball goal: a view out the window at MCI, the Kansas City airport. I have to wonder who plays basketball there (and why they aren’t loading our bags or putting more snacks on our plane – isn’t it all about us…?)

Snow on the ground - Aerial view, leaving MCI, Kansas City to Atlanta flight

You’d recognize me on any flight. I’m the one in the window seat, monopolizing the view. Especially if there’s a smokestack with the light behind it.

Aerial view, Missouri river and snow

The Big Muddy (Missouri River) rolls on… aerial view, leaving Kansas City

Sometimes it snows in Atlanta too. Here’s an example from last year, looking down on the parking lot next door…

A little night parking on Peachtree St

A little night parking …

Have you been snowed in lately? (one day was enough for us)

More on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Herons, Swans, Outtakes, and CFFC – Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Funny

I’m a heron-stalker when it comes to photography, always looking for a close up of a stately bird, the more regal the pose, the better. It’s rare that I can get close enough to try.

Wading Heron at Squaw Creek/Loess Bluffs Wildlife Preserve - Mound City MO

At Squaw Creek/Loess Bluffs Wildlife Refuge, Mound City MO

But the funny part is, the birds must sense a camera is nearby. And they’re fast. The joke is almost always on the photographer — they can fly away in an instant, or like this:  turn their backs and shake that booty…

On a recent trip to Piedmont Park in Atlanta, I found the resident heron unusually close to the turtle pond… until I got there with my camera. Then s/he took off. I whipped my camera out to catch the flight. The thumbnail on my viewing screen looked great. Then I downloaded the picture.

Heron in Piedmont Park, Atlanta

Oops, those chicken-legs don’t look so stately after all.

Swans are just as bad. Here’s what happened when I tried for a photos of a graceful three …

Three graceful swans? No - two took a dive

Three graceful swans? Nope — two took a last-minute dive.

What’s a photographer to do but keep trying?

More on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2018, and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (CFFC): Places People Live

One more post on Places People Live:  I couldn’t pass up a chance to blog my favorite Atlanta homes tour — the Castleberry Hill Loft Tour.

It comes in October, and this year I timed two fall trips with a week at home between them just so I’d be here for the tour.

Barbie - Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2018

“Hooray – it’s time for the tour!” (Barbies seemed to be a decorative thread this year. It was near enough to Halloween that there were zombie Barbies too)

 

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour - interior

There’s always lots of art…

 

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour - detail over doorway

… and individual decoration. I loved the sculptural arrangement of these metallic bowls over a doorway.

 

Castleberry Hill Loft tour - home/studio

Another loft home, with signs that it’s also this artist’s studio (brick walls and paint on the table: a little like my fantasy-future, back when I was an art student).

 

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour Dino detail

Dino detail: I covet the T-Rex planter.

 

Castleberry Hill Tour favorite - 2018

This was a favorite – serene, elegant and livable.

 

Stairwell with art - Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2018

It’s on three levels…

stairwell Castleberry Hill Loft tour 2018

I do love the big-dipper light fixture at the bottom of the stairs.

 

Rooftop view - Castleberry Hill Loft tour 2018

It was a beautiful blue October day – perfect for rooftop views…

 

balcony - Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2018

… and balconies

 

Castleberry Hill tour - balcony 2018

… and more balconies.

As we were leaving, we saw this group in the Gulch. We thought it might be a movie-site walking tour, or maybe a Walking Dead location tour. Lots of filming gets done in Atlanta these days.

Could it be a Walking Dead tour?

 

We appreciate the Castleberry Hill tour because it’s different, more ‘personal’ than some of the other local homes tours, which lately have featured places staged for sale, or even newly built homes that have never been occupied and are open for viewing anyway (are you listening, Modern Atlanta Tour?).

Castleberry Hill is a little quirky, and fun; the neighborhood seems welcoming, with residents always willing to talk about the advantages of inclusivity. Plus, all residences are within walking distance, so we get a good feel for the area.

— For me, it encourages that vision of my “fantasy future loft” — what’s your fantasy future home?

 

More on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Cee’s Challenge: Places People Live

Castleberry Hill Neighborhood