Atlanta, Georgia: Art and Americana in Sweet Auburn

In October 2016, a Nashville friend mentioned she was house-sitting for a few weeks for her brother in Atlanta, Georgia. Since I’d never been to Atlanta, I promptly invited myself to stay with her for the weekend, and we spent two days exploring this amazing city. I didn’t really have any idea of what Atlanta looked like, and I didn’t do much trip prep, so I was blown away by how cool and beautiful the city was.

These photos are from the Sweet Auburn neighborhood, mostly from Edgewood Ave SE, which was covered in gorgeous street art and murals. My favorite was the detailed statement piece, “Education is Not a Crime,” pictured in the first photo on this post. Take a sec to open the image in a new tab and zoom in. It’s a powerful visual essay on the way African American history is sanitized into a single paragraph in textbooks. You can learn more about the mural and the artists here and here.

This is a very important part of Atlanta’s political and cultural history: “The Sweet Auburn Historic District is a historic African-American neighborhood along and surrounding Auburn Avenue, east of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The name Sweet Auburn was coined by John Wesley Dobbs, referring to the ‘richest Negro street in the world,’ one of the largest concentrations of African-American businesses in the United States. A National Historic Landmark District was designated in 1976, covering 19 acres (7.7 ha) of the neighborhood, significant for its history and development as a segregated area under the state’s Jim Crow laws” (via Wikipedia). It’s in this neighborhood that Martin Luther King Jr was born and grew up. It’s also in this neighborhood that Coretta Scott King built The King Center, where both she and her husband are now buried.

[35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

RVK: Prikið

Prikið in Reykjavik, Iceland Prikið is my favorite breakfast spot-nay, my favorite food spot- in Reykjavik. It’s a old, divey cafe with two floors booths overlooking Bankastræti, one of the busy old streets in city center. I always get the first thing on the menu, a plate piled high with eggs, home fries, bacon, toast, and pancakes. It’s my ultimate “treat yo-self” meal. Besides the colorful customers it attracts, there is a cool courtyard out back with some great street art. 

Prikið in Reykjavik, Iceland A beacon of hope in a city with many bakeries, but no real breakfast places.

Getting breakfast as Prikið as the sun rises on a snowy Reykjavik, Iceland morning

[Film shots taken with a disposable camera and my Canon Rebel 2000]

Faces on Places: Guido van Helten’s Reykjavik Murals

Guido van Helten,

These murals are by Australian artist, Guido van Helten. He was commissioned to work his magic on this building after the owner saw his painting a nearby house (image below). The house mural is based on a photo of the grandfather of the woman who owns the house. The commissioned murals are based on a 1961 photo from a play that van Helten found in the Museum of Photography here in Reykjavik. I posted about the first painting (last photo in the post) back in November, soon after it was finished. Over the winter, van Helten finished two more enormous black and white scenes. This area at the edge of the city is rather plain- a few grocery stores and the harbor- and the murals are wonderful additions to the view. 

Guido van Helten

Guido van Helten,

Guido van Helton [These photos are scanned 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000.]

Gallerí Graffiti

Graffiti in Reykjavik, Iceland I took a detour on my way to church last week  and came across a veritable gallery of graffiti. All but two of the pieces in the above composite are from the same run down lot. You’ll find it tucked here, tucked behind the Listaháskóli (Art University) with the mountains as a backdrop. Graffiti in Reykjavik, Iceland

Graffiti in Reykjavik, Iceland  And here’s a stray film shot from a nearby street art hotspot. Graffiti in Reykjavik, Iceland