This afternoon, our family attended the National Puppet Slam at the Center for Puppetry Arts in downtown Atlanta. As we were getting ready to leave after the performance, I noticed the reflection of building’s windows in the two cars next to us. Because of the juxtaposition of the cars, what was of interest to me was the collage of windows that emerged in the reflections.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, my husband fulfilled a promise to my daughter to take her to Chicago to see a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. This was strategically planned so my husband could see his team, the SF Giants, play against the Chicago Cubs. Despite being the hottest Memorial Day on record, we ventured out to museums, took an architectural boat tour, visited Oak Park to view Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio, and strolled through Millennium Park. One of my favorite views was from our hotel window in downtown Chicago. I loved seeing the combination of the modern architecture intermixed with the old.
My son’s baseball team practices and plays some of their games at the baseball field at North Atlanta High School. Earlier this week, as we were leaving the field after a game, I turned around and saw the potential for an interesting composition. The top image is what I captured. I proceeded to walk down to the building. Parked along the side was a red cart. What captured my attention was the shadow beneath the cart which appeared to be a continuation of the rectangular shapes above.
I discovered this mural on Peters Street in the historic neighborhood of Castleberry Hills. I was intrigued with the mural because the boy is missing an eye. I don’t know whether the artist painted the boy without an eye or whether the mural was defaced. I am always reticent to photograph another person’s art but when I noticed the reflection of the boy in the window of the building across the street I knew that I could incorporate the mural into an image of my own. As an interesting aside, Castleberry Hills is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Atlanta. It was called Snake Nation in the 1840s and 1850s as a result of the snake oil salesmen that peddled their products on the streets. At that time it was known as the city’s red light district and was not considered a place to be frequented by decent folks. Today the neighborhood is in transition and is home to art galleries, restaurants and lofts.
Our family recently moved into the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur. The Oakhurst Village is a two block walk from our doorstep; it houses an eclectic array of family owned businesses and restaurants. Last week I had the opportunity to meet John Byun, owner of the Oakhurst Laundry and Cleaners. John was born in Korea but came to the United States when he was 16 years old to complete his schooling and to escape the pressures of the Korean school system. School-aged children in Korea attend school from 6:00 am until 9:00 at night and the competition is fierce. After returning to Korea to serve a two-and-one-half year mandatory military stint, John returned to the United States with his bride. In 2004, John graduated from Ohio State with a Master of Information Science degree. Two years ago, John’s wife was transferred to Atlanta to work and the family moved. John knew that he wanted to be self-employed and researched various business options. Last year, Oakhurst Laundry became available for purchase and John jumped at the opportunity. What John likes most about owning the Oakhurst Laundry is that it provides him with free time to pursue his other interests. He is a translator for professors in Korea who need assistance with translating teaching materials from English to Korean.
I pulled into the Pure service station in downtown Decatur this week because they offer full service and my front tire was low for the second time in a week. Perhaps it was fortuitous that I also needed gas because I finally had a great excuse to drop in to ask whether I could photograph the service station. I was greeted enthusiastically by Craig Leonard, the assistant manager (middle) who eagerly filled up my tank, pumped air into my tires and told me, “Sure sweetie, photograph anything you want but I get to be in the picture”. As I was composing the photograph, Craig summoned one of the owners, Joel Ross (on left), and Leo Hernandez (on right), a master technician, to join him for the photograph.
Although Pure has changed hands in the last year, the station has been serving customers in this location for 57 years. They are still using the original gas pumps and lifts in the garage. It is a challenge to keep the gas pumps in working order because the old gears wear out and it is difficult to find replacements. Nevertheless, the crew at Pure is dedicated to preserving the historic structure and its parts as well as providing personalized and friendly service. Craig remarked, “If you make your customers happy you have them for life.” I was happy, I got the photo, four new tires and great service.