Love, Joleen: Living Walls ATL + Centennial Olympic Park

Monday, August 18, 2014

Living Walls ATL + Centennial Olympic Park

It's no secret that Ben and I love exploring the city of Atlanta. He has an entire Instagram account dedicated to Atlanta street photography (@be_atlanta) and I've posted our adventures visiting several of the Living Walls last year [see here + here], as well as our trip to Zoo Atlanta, The Children's Museum of Atlanta, and the Botanical Gardens. When our son, Benjamin, was a baby, I used to make it a point to visit as many different parks as possible. I had this idea to review and rate parks all over the city (and surrounding) for different age ranges. I'm still considering something of this nature.

Last year I pinned this Atlanta Bucket List and several times since, Ben and I have discussed creating our own [list]. We both love photographing the unique people and places of this city, and creating a bucket list, of sorts, would be a great way for us to challenge ourselves to visit new places. My plan is to share my photos and reviews of our adventures in a new series on Love, Joleen called Atlanta City Guide.

Since making the transition to one family car at the first of this year, we have to be more intentional in the places we go and the things we do. We live on a pretty strict budget, so I think this "project" will be a great way to keep things interesting and fun, for free or at least inexpensively. Then, from time to time, we can also include new/cool shops or restaurants we visit, too!
After a very lazy Saturday, we decided that Sunday would be a day for exploring. We've both been dying to see the Boulevard Tunnel since the recent Living Walls ATL installation was painted this past April by artist, MOMO. In case you're not familiar, Living Walls "is a nonprofit organization that brings together street artists, academics and the public at large to activate and engage communities." [Facebook] Here is an awesome video by the artist about the Boulevard Tunnel Initiative.
My favorite stretch of the wall:
Random graffiti in the stairwell:
Lately, Benjamin has become interested in "pitchers". He has several apps on my phone, but when he's not playing any one of those, he's usually in my "photography apps", taking photos of random things (he doesn't know how to aim yet) or messing around in the editing software. He always wants to look at "pitchers" or if he's doing something at home, he wants me to take his picture. "Pitcher, pitcher, pitcher!" Basically, he's a photographer's kid through and through, and I am loving it! Yesterday was no exception.
Benjamin's photo:
Classic Benjamin, when being ask to take a photo with Mommy:
 The absolute happiest of "accidents" (I shot from my side as we were walking):
When we were walking back to our car we stopped at this random package store (what we Californians actually call "liquor stores") because of the [somewhat creepy] leprechaun painted on the side of it. I've always been a fan of anything with shamrocks on it, being that my birthday is St. Patrick's Day. We took this opportunity for a little photo fun. I was getting a smile outta my kid one way or the other. *wink*
It was past Benjamin's naptime by the time we got back in the car so he was quick to pass out in the backseat. We were just kinda winging the afternoon and ended up near Centennial Olympic Park. We let Benjamin nap some in the car while we edited photos of the tunnel on our phones and posted to Instagram. We parked a few blocks from the park, in meter parking, which is free on Sundays. 

We had a good chuckle when we saw this [below], which had been a Coca Cola ad that Ben had photographed just a couple of weeks ago. I believe it was artist, Ernest Zacharevic, based on his current Facebook cover and recent photos he shared on his Instagram feed. (@ernestzacharevic)
I was SO excited to get to see this Living Walls installation by HENSE, that I've been seeing on Instagram. It's my favorite to date. I thought that I recognized the work and was excited to see that it was the same artist who did the wall under the bridge at Piedmont Park. I had a photography session there last year and shared a peek here. I am adding this artist to the list of my faves. I love this wall he did in Michigan too.
This is Skyview Atlanta. "Towering nearly 20 stories above Centennial Park, the SkyView Ferris wheel features 42 climate-controlled gondolas providing guest with breathtaking panoramic views of downtown Atlanta and the surrounding metropolitan area." You couldn't pay me to go on this thing. I'm afraid of heights and have always been terrified on Ferris wheels. No thanks. I'm sure I'll be holding my breath as the boys ride this thing together one day way to soon.
The last time we were in Centennial Olympic Park, it was soaking wet and nearly freezing temperatures. We walked over after leaving The Children's Museum, to photograph Benjamin in front of the enormous Christmas tree. After a significantly mild Summer, yesterday lived up to it being mid-August. It was hot! Benjamin enjoyed the fountains and I was grateful that I had thought to pack his swim trunks just in case.
On our way back to the car, we visited one more Living Walls installation which was also painted by Ernest Zacharevic and only just completed days before. [Website]

It was such an amazing day, despite the heat. We got to experience true talent in this city. It was so hard deciding which photos to share in this post! I hope you've enjoyed them.

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