Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Atlanta, Sounthern Living for Few Days

I just got back from the Atlanta, Georgia area. First real time spent in this State, a mini vacation to remember for sure.
 Our hosts (Travis' Parents) gave us the legendary Southern Hospitality. We could not have been taken care of in a better way. The days were filled with interesting visits, delicious food, impeccable company, amazing accommodation and real comfort.
First night dinner had "Crawfish Etouffe" on the menu, the next night "Chicken and Okra Gumbo" two delicious dishes that Margaret has mastered. Third night was the Cocktail party with cold cuts, antipasto, cheese, dessert and such.
Fourth night we ended up eating at Darwin's a blues bar where I had a mean garlic grilled cheese sandwich with fries and two hard apple cider to wash it down. I felt no pain from the earlier tough Yoga we had.... The music was great too, nice blues. Fifth night Emily and Travis made their bow tie pasta with roasted  squash and parmesan with spicy sausages.
We went on walks: one along the Chatahoochee River by an old mill where I could have taken pictures for a week, there was so much to see, we also walked in  Piedmond Park and the Centennial Olympic Park where the World of Coca Cola building is as well as the Aquarium in the heart of Atlanta. I also spent some time on the Wiggins property walking on it's perimeter where a lovely creek resides.

Travis and Emily were the guests of honor for a cocktail party at the Wiggins to introduce them as husband and wife to family and friends that could not have gone to the wedding.

 It was very nice to meet so many people that have been the foundation of Travis upbringing. After living in the same area for so many years the Wiggins have acquired a large family of friends around them. One could be so lucky to live amongst their friends and family for a lifetime.

I got to have a grand tour of Margaret's Mother's home. Aline is the most talented needle artist I know in the USA. Mrs Ludwig being the other one I know but living in Germany she is not in competition with Mrs Riche. I was in haw of her perfect minute stitches, her patience is endless when it comes to attain that level of skill that makes each object created a masterpiece. Most of her artwork is a creation or has been transformed to fit her liking and level of scrutiny.

We visited the Hindu Temple of Atlanta or Mandir. A magical place that would make a believer out of me. A peaceful place of beauty and faith. I was amazed by the amount of deities carved inside the main room, each with it's own symbols and name carved. Incredible what man is capable of when inspired by it's faith and needs to believe in something bigger than itself.
We had to have Indian food for lunch after that visit and we were rewarded by a feast for all 10 of us.

We visited the Sweet Water Brewery Company Travis' brother working there gave us a grand tour. The artist responsible for the fish logo was performing live on his creation of the mural outside the new building expansion.

We went to the High Museum of Art Atlanta.
Their special exhibit was "Picasso to Warrhol". Nicely laid out exhibit with enough space between multiple pieces from each renown modern artists that I could appreciate the artwork. Louise Bourgeois and Romare Beaden were my favorite of course but notable Picasso not so mainstream as well as Matisse. I am a bit cold in front of Warrhol's mass produced Pop Art but the De Cherico, Miro, Calder pieces made me a very happy visitor. The permanent collection is hand picked and very diverse. Very well organised by country and time the artwork glows by the natural light and spotlights and space allocated for each pieces. A nice flow between genres and  mediums.
 I particularly enjoyed the folk art/ art brut area. Rev. Howard Finster, a beautiful untitled Minnie Evans.

I unfortunately missed the basement where the African Art is on display. I will survive this but that will give me a push to go back to it some day.

 On the grounds are few statues one of them by Roy Lichtenstein who makes those giant cartoonish vignettes with polka dots details that I really enjoy but it was an interesting discovery to me to see this 3D piece with a funny optical illusion. A house that moves and morphs as you walk towards it from being a regular house seen at an angle then a flat panel than to be discovering that the house is actually built in reverse way (concave). You just have to go to see what I am saying...
Another interesting fact is that the museum was built after a plane crash in Orly, France killed people from Atlanta that were largely involved with the art scene. A lovely way to remember those people.

What else... Oh we got to visit with a "lost" friend of ours that relocated many moons ago in Atlanta and we met at Ray's in the City. Great place by the way where I ate a Bread Pudding with Rum. Lovely to see that friendship jumps leaps and bounds and finds us back to where we had left off. I like that!

On our last two days the temperature climbed into the 70's and it was a bonus and a time out from winter. A big Thank You for the Wiggins to have opened their home, their hearts to us and made us feel at home in their beautiful State of Georgia.