Film Diaries: The south-west part of the BeltLine—a surprise

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A few weeks ago I met with Greg to explore the lesser known south-west part of the Belt Line and the surrounding area. The part of the belt line closer to Poncey Highlands and Virginia Highlands is not comparable at all with the south west part: frankly, I have to admit that I was quite surprised—we get later to that.

To give you guys some context there is a map below. The belt line in that map starts at around Adair Park in the east, then continues up between White St SW and Donnely Ave SW until the intersection with 139 and shoots up north towards the Westside BeltLine Park. We covered that area and continued further to Westview Cemetery in the west, cut across the neighborhoods there until Cascade Ave SW and back to the intersection with 139. That was quite some walk in terms of time (a couple of hours).

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Below you can see the BeltLine marker on the path. While it seems that this is the same BeltLine, as of now these are really two different beasts. Frankly, I was quite shocked to see how run down the area is. Very sad… One would wish for a bit more homogeneity…

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A kid working on his throw and enjoying the weekend.

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However, the more we continued towards the west, the worse the atmosphere, houses, neighborhood, and experience got. Many houses had no windows anymore and were abandoned.

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Let’s say it is unclear what’s going on here. The houses are in less than optimal condition and the car is covered with leafs and dirt. What always impresses me, not just here but essentially everywhere in the world where I have seen it, is that while the houses are falling apart, there is still this satellite dish serving as an indicator of active use. It is as if the access to pay tv is a more essential need than a home that is not crumbling away… But maybe it is also what Taleb said: how essential something is, is a bad predictor how much people care for it. Think of access to drinking water… we tend to run after technology…

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Check out the next one. Really falling apart. Just check out the house below. This one was abandoned – you can see the door being closed up with some board.

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Another one – an absolute ruin. Urbex people would travel to hunt for such views. Here you only need to follow the BeltLine. But pay close attention: the Lucy movie poster is brand new (the movie is not yet in the theaters), so that although falling apart, someone actually went there to put up a poster. I guess there was little to no protest from the owner…

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Appliances and installation just torn out of the walls…

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This one still puzzles me: why? The only thing that was gated was the drive way, EVERYTHING else was wide open. Looks more like a symbolic statement to me…

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Guess what’s going on here… Take a close look: The whole wall of this office building had been destroyed and the owner quickly had some people come in to put in bricks as a temporary fix. As you can see inside, everything is still there and intact, computers, paper on the wall, coat stand, etc. So this has to be very recent, otherwise it would have been looted.

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Fake brick peeling of the walls. How is this even possible? I had to say, I was quite shocked by what I saw and frankly, these are the less extreme ones even. We did not feel comfortable taking shots of some of the things we saw…

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A typical view from the belt line into one of the streets – yes I am writing belt line differently here and then – apparently there is no consensus…

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A bit further off the belt line.

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Look at how crooked the structure is. Probably some settling of the foundation kicked in.

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You can get a few more impressions by checking out the gallery below. I have to say that I thought quite some time whether to put those shots online or not but in the end I opted for doing it to raise some awareness for the not-so-fortunate neighborhoods, that must not left behind if Atlanta continuing to grow and develop so fast.

To end of some less dramatic views, the last two shots were taken on the westview cemetery.

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I love the last one. It is good to know that you might not be forgotten…

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Enjoy your weekend – TSJ.

PS: I started to put together a ‘magazine’ on flipboard, focusing on great photography (and not gear). Check it out – comments and contributions are welcome.

 

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3 thoughts on “Film Diaries: The south-west part of the BeltLine—a surprise

  1. our country still has much available for those willing to go after it to whatever level of sustenance and provision they desire. it’s amazing that some would settle for living at this level. it could be that they have no choice…i don’t know…it is heartbreaking. thanks for sharing.

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