Saturday, June 27, 2009

Socking it away

Just when the country needs more spending, Americans are on a savings binge over worries the next paycheck may be the last paycheck. The savings rate in May was the highest it's been in 15 years. Now's the time for spendthrifts to unite. Get us out of this mess.

The old things zoo

In my neck of the woods, old structures are often caged like animals, on view behind chain-link fences.

It's a Southern thing

MJ was lauded for breaking down barriers. Here, three young women of color blissfully ignore a potential barrier -- the Stars and Bars. In another setting, the vendor might have invited criticism. But at the Putnam County Dairy Festival in Georgia, celebrating the Confederacy is a given.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another Republican falls to Satan

Mod-ern art

I took this photo but I did not place the glove. Honest. What kind of bothers me about this picture, which was taken several weeks ago before the days became searing, is that it looks a bit contrived. Perhaps someone before me positioned the glove on the sidewalk, then walked away, knowing another passerby would find it cool -- or mod. Or maybe the glove just fell there. That's possible, isn't it?

A man and his putter

I like this photo because the man is defiantly unconventional on a gentrifying street. Note the new townhomes in the back. This Atlanta neighborhood used to be rough but is less so today because of reverse migration back into the city.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One bottle endures, another doesn't

Coca-Cola's decision to replace its 42-foot bottle at Turner Field, where the Atlanta Braves play, reminded me of this bottle, much smaller, older and stranger. It's really a half bottle impression -- the back is flat -- made of rough, nearly-black glass. I guess it's one of those end-of-day pieces created just for fun. The giant Coke bottle also is eye-catching in a marketing sort of way, dressed up with 6,680 baseballs, 290 bats and 86 gloves. But at 12 years old, it is too aged for the world of major league advertising, and a new bottle waits to take the field.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Roosevelt to the rescue

Where did those 65 years go? On June 22, 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill, which provided college money for servicemen. My father, who retired as the CEO of a fairly large bank, was a beneficiary of that bill, and I am eternally grateful. So in this time of big help, here's a nod to FDR.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Oh, it hot, mama

Sunday, June 21, marked the official start of summer, and here in Georgia we're all fired up about it. The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for much of the state. Some communities might reach 100. Atlanta is under a code orange smog alert; residents are urged to go easy on the breathing.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Women unite

Iran's government is under seige over the outcome of the presidential vote, and women who've been silent are speaking out. "This regime is against all humanity, more specifically against all women," one protester tells CNN's Moni Basu. Her report can be found at

Manicure and pedicure

In case you missed it, Emily Jones of Rutherford, N.J., celebrated her 109th birthday June 4. Why do I care? Because, according to The Leader, the "Pulse of the Meadowlands," Jones "maintains her coiffure and manicure like a woman 60 years younger." Which is my excuse for sharing this box, once used by a nail specialist

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Heavenly gate

It's rare when a gate says come closer, but this one does. Anyone who knows Atlanta's hip, intown neighborhoods has probably seen this immaculately-kept home. The owner is a widower and retiree who has lived in the neighborhood for many years. His embellishments are all painted white. Plastic white swans run toward an ornate white fountain. The burglar bars depict a rising white sun. Inside, the house is bulging with ceramic and stuffed lions and tigers, and inexpensive African art, all arranged with great thought. An animal-print runner leads from the living room to the bedroom, where the bed sheets are the same animal print. The small, round kitchen table is set with red cotton napkins as if a formal dinner party were about to begin.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hope, not despair

This textile dates to the 1930s but its message is right now. Especially for somebody like me, who is jobless for the first time since a Georgian was president.

Super cut

Hair and honor have long been linked. Warriors took scalps. Beatles fans wore mop tops. Now fans of music stars like DJ Polo are getting carved. Langford's in Atlanta challenges the chain salons to match that.

When Target leaves

Parking is a snap. The big box retailer abandoned this south Atlanta location to pave over a new site. It's for sale. Any takers?


Spray-paint artist comes along, leaves his mark, neighbor objects, paints over graffiti -- voila, new art. Alas, this image on a rail pillar in Atlanta was short-lived, the victim of another cover-up. The brown waterfall is a rust stain.