Atlanta Botanical Garden


It’s raining here in Atlanta. Started yesterday afternoon, and is supposed to continue all day today, including some possible thunderstorms this afternoon. So, I’m taking it easy indoors. But yesterday morning and early afternoon, before the rain began, I ventured out to the nearby Atlanta Botanical Garden. It was a lovely space, and included a small Japanese garden, actually somewhat similar to the one I just saw in New Orleans. My favorite part of the botanical garden was the large wooded area, with tall trees and an elevated pedestrian walkway. There was a beautiful sculpture of a woman nestled into the trees, and I spent some quiet reflective time on a bench in her presence.

One jarring thing struck me, similar to all the signs about not bringing your guns into businesses in Texas: the sign at the entrance to the garden indemnifying local entities from “injury or death” resulting from catching COVID-19 on the premises. (I saw another such sign in the local Whole Foods, along with another don’t-bring-your-guns-in-here sign. It’s a different world in the South, I guess.)

Shortly after passing that sign, though, I entered the garden and was greeted by a friendly frog relaxing on a bench. That set the tone for the rest of my time at the garden.

Afterward, I biked over to an outpost of a local restaurant chain called Envegan, where I enjoyed a kale-quinoa wrap and a slice of Black Forest cake before venturing out into the drizzle that had just begun.

For dinner, my Warmshowers host Esteban and I met up with his friend Neel to carpool to dinner at their friends’ house, Ricardo and Teresa. Teresa works at a bike shop, and we all enjoyed talking about travels, including Esteban’s trip to Mexico, which begins today! It was a very multicultural gathering: Esteban from Ecuador, on the eve of his first trip to Mexico; Ricardo and Teresa from Mexico, lamenting that they could not join him on the trip; and Neel from India (although he seems to have lived in dozens of US cities as well). Plus me, the traveling “local”! It was a wonderful gathering filled with good food and laughter.

Today I am catching up on indoor tasks, and then when the rain lets up tomorrow, I look forward to exploring Atlanta’s very impressive-looking car-free beltline. I also hope to meet up with my Australian friend Brett, whom I met in Melbourne when I visited there in 2013; he lives in Atlanta now! I’m also looking forward to meeting tonight’s Warmshowers host, Nick, who I just found out works at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

What a small world we live in.

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