I live downtown. No kidding. Not Buckhead (aka (770)-in-training, not even Midtown or Virginia Highlands, though I've lived in all those places and enjoyed them each in their way: the enthusiasm, the vibe, the trees, the walking, the shops.
And I lived in those 30305, -09 and -06 zip codes (oh and 30307, too) with my share of smug snobbery because I'd found the neighbhorhood and moved in, and sometimes out, before each had reached its cool zenith.
But in 2001 I invested in downtown, land of million dollar views and serious tax abatements. I bought in winter so didn't realize I would soon live too close to the kleenex-sized parkletts sleeping six to nine a night and to a disorienting spread of mid-1960s optimism where all 3,000 regular residents keep a pair of binocular in every window sill (hotel guests downtown never think to draw their curtains). Downtown is the grit is more than metaphorical, rather, it is tangible with every breeze. Here's where I live now, having outsmarted myself at last in the name of getting in first. Ah well, as her daddy so succinctly said, "It's the land, Katie Scarlett, it's the land."
In my subterranean parking deck I point my little rice rocket at a chain link fence. It's supposed to keep the inevitable parade of 'homeless' guys who patrol the connector and often camp out in the weeds along side the overpasses from breaking our windows and stealing the loose change. This works 364 days a year for me. Less so for others.
One morning, around 8:30 or so, just as the sun was beaming sharply into my front window, I noticed what appeared to be a tennis ball wedge just beyond the chain link fence. For a second, memory contradicted reality and i thought the ball was stuck in the fence. I had seen that before in my life,; somewhere that image was stored and coming up like instant google.
What had to wait for recognition was the sight of one, then two, three, a cluster of peaches hanging just outside our security fence, huddled against it as if to keep from the JWDobbs offramp and its dangerous lazy traffic.
Peaches on Peachtree St. are rare, indeed. Peaches on an I75/85 offramp in down downtown was something I'd never seen. So for a couple of days I took pictures. This portrait is the last one I took, just as they were ripening.
The next time i looked they were gone. All of the peaches were gone.
But I will remember them now.