We live in the Virginia Highlands area of Atlanta with a rails to trails path nearby called The Beltline. It is one of the nicest rails to trails paths because there are lots of stores, parks and restaurants along the Beltline. Before the Coronavirus shutdown, I walked to CorePower Yoga (an awesome hot yoga studio – they are all over the US), Lululemon, Anthropologie, Sephora and more. It was SO awesome!
I can walk out my front door and head to the street to walk along the sidewalk to Kroger. Or I can walk over to the Beltline and walk to Kroger. I would rather walk along a nice, wide pedestrian only path!
With Covid-19 happening, there are signs and sights all over the Beltline. I get it that we all need to stay inside and stay away from others. But we also need food and fresh air to stay healthy. So I don’t really love all of the “Go Home” signs that I feel like are yelling at me.
The Beltline (or possibly the City of Atlanta) recently announced rules on what times you were allowed to be on the Beltline. 6am-10 and for seniors and people with health conditions. 10am-2pm is for exercise. And After 2pm is for going to work or going out for groceries. I can see where the person that wrote this thought it made sense. But for me, I walk James every morning and I don’t want to wait until 10am to be able to use the Beltline. I actually don’t think anyone is even reading these signs or following the rules. One afternoon (which should be for going to the grocery store or transit only) I saw a group of four (standing all at a good social distance) off to the side talking. They obviously were two couples out on a walk and recognized each other and stopped to chat. Another woman walking alone made it very clear they needed to KEEP moving. She was aggressive and it scared me.
This guy above doesn’t want bikers, rollerbladers or runners passing him too closely. It is actually a pretty brilliant idea because some of the runners practically hit my shoulder as they pass me huffing and puffing. I find that I am then holding my breath for a while and that defeats the purpose of being outside on a walk for fresh air and sunshine!
During normal times (not a virus shutdown pandemic), there are rental bikes and scooters all over the Beltline. It took a few weeks after the “stay at home” orders but the bikes and scooters were all taken away. I don’t really like them – they tend to nearly run you over and they zig zag all over as they ride. I think the city worried about germs on the handles and had the companies pull all of them from the area. Usually we see signs for where to park the scooters or bikes – that way people don’t just dump them right where people often walk. Someone took one of the “no parking” signs for the scooters/bikes and added two rocking chairs. No parking of people, either haha:
I was in line at Trader Joe’s when I heard horses – it was the Atlanta police on horseback heading to the Beltline to break up any groups:
There are now sinks set up along the Beltline in several places for you to wash your hands. This one is on Kroger’s back patio:
In normal times, this patio is full of tables, chairs, benches, people and dogs. Kroger has a Starbucks inside and they have walk-up windows and a counter area on the patio. Those walk-up windows are closed now. There was a sign early on saying this Starbucks would close but it ended up not closing. There are quite a few other Starbucks in the area that are closed for now. There is also a walk-up window for ordering beer and wine at the other end of the patio. That whole bar is closed for now.
There is a lot of street art in Atlanta. I like most of it. And recently, the artists have taken to writing on the Beltline path, not just walls. Kemp is Georgia’s governor and obviously this artist doesn’t agree with Kemp opening the state back up:
Another artist feels that Covid-19 is “lies big cover-up” haha!
In addition to the anti-Kemp locals that want to keep everything shut down, I also think there are pro-Kemp locals that want things like the Beltline to open back up without rules and signs everywhere. On our walk yesterday, we noticed almost ALL of the signs had been pulled up and tossed into the thick bushes. Everyone is getting a little crazy!
And if you want to join in on some crazy, apparently there is a parade and protest today here in Atlanta:
We are staying healthy and enjoying the commotion as much as we can. We hope you are, too!