November 12, 2012 by cieramilo
As a little (5’3), from-the-country (Darien, GA…don’t look it up), white girl (all-anglo here!), it was an interesting move to go from my sweet little college town to a house in the middle of one of the hardest neighborhoods in Atlanta. But that’s exactly where I wanted to be, and my roommate was too cool to pass up (Hey Berly!) The neighborhood itself was being re-purposed, it seemed.
There were boarded up and condemned buildings right next to these vibrantly-colored and highly-populated mom-n-pop shops. My personal favorite part were these whole walls of graffiti every so many yards. There was a 100 yd mural on Jonesboro Road (pictured left and below). Anyone in Atlanta, I recommend taking a look at it. It’s a wall of cultural identity that divides a decaying residential area and a closed shipping factory…a lot of literary ideas popping up.
I lived in South Atlanta, but I worked in Old Fourth Ward, so I would run there after work. (…if it wasn’t in the middle of the night that is. I don’t recommend running at night…no matter how tough you are.) The art in OFW is more calculated and a little older, but the new Beltline project has added some verve to the graffiti scene. I loved to pass by and watch it change over night as people put their mark on their neighborhood.
I get bored easily when I run, so I made it a game. Sprint the graffiti. Because the distances (size of the murals) varied so much, it was a pretty effective way to do “roadwork.”
Roadwork is intervals and agility exercises to improve your endurance and speed.
I have to admit that I suck at it. I hate running. I get bored/distracted/off track so easily. So having the visual parts added to the work made it interesting. And the character it seemed to add to my run made it fun. I’m going to miss Atlanta.