Saturday, 22 November 2014

Downtown Atlanta

As David's meeting finished early yesterday we took the underground to 'Downtown' Atlanta and had a walk around.  This photo was taken in Pemberton Park adjacent to the World of Coca-Cola Museum which I visited in our last trip to the city.  

The oversize baubles were very decorative and colourful but the large expanses of grass looked very dead - almost like a dry brown AstroTurf.  I think the very hot summer and then below freezing Autumn temperatures had taken their toll.

We walked on to an area known as Underground Atlanta - the original Victorian era street level where the railway and tramlines passed through but which has now become underground because flyovers were created to carry motor traffic over the top.  The railway engine above was rather crudely painted but appeared to be the real thing..

There were a number of shops and market stalls and a very authentic 1950's style diner with lots of chrome and red leatherette bench seating..

There was also a series of vintage vehicles..

Friday, 21 November 2014

Atlanta Botanical Garden

I had probably chosen the wrong season to visit Atlanta's very extensive 30 acres of botanical garden.  In the Spring (and probably Summer if you could stand the up to 99F temperatures and extreme humidity) the garden must have been full of flowers.  Now only the hardiest remain and even a few late flowering roses had been cut down by the recent very cold nights.  So the beds were full of informative plant labels and not much else..  Fabulous colour though in this wonderful Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in the fountain garden and another one, depicting Southern plants .. such as the rather unusual pitcher plants .. suspended from the roof of the Visitor Centre.

At this time of year the garden is illuminated in the evening for visitors and so many of the trees and garden sculptures are wound around with fairy lights.

By the restaurant there was a cute but huge seasonally dressed grass sculpture of a dog (I think)..

He was around 10 feet tall and completely made of growing grass.

The garden has a substantial orchid collection - said to number some 10,000 species in all, divided over two orchid houses, one of which imitates the climate of the high altitude areas where the orchids growing there originate from.

There was a huge variety of orchids in flower - from huge blooms to tiny almost moss or grass like flowers.  I didn't photograph them all but here are some - together with other tropical plants growing alongside them - which caught my eye..

And just a few from the high altitude house..

And an extraordinary shrub from the same house..

An interesting postscript to the lack of outdoor colour in the Botanical Garden was this Camellia flowering happily - but surely unseasonally - in a small roadside garden in the centre of Atlanta..

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Fox Theatre and Piedmont Park

My first stop this morning was at the Fox Theatre for a guided tour.  

The theatre, built in 1929, bears a strong resemblance to a mosque..

This is because it was originally built by the Shriners, a sub-group of the Masons as a temple and meeting place.  It was then taken over by Fox and operated as a theatre and cinema until the 1970's when it was threatened with demolition.  

Funds were raised to preserve it and it is now celebrating 40 years since its renovation and renaissance as a 3,500 seat 'atmospheric' theatre venue.

It is very highly decorated in Moorish style in the auditorium and also Egyptian revival style.

The auditorium has a wonderful blue roof simulating a clear sky - complete with twinkling stars and passing clouds..

Adjoining the Fox Theatre is the Egyptian Ballroom..

From the Fox Theatre I walked to Piedmont Park, with a great view of Atlanta's Midtown..