21 July 2006

Special Bonus Augusta Edition

So here I am in Augusta, Georgia (about two hours east of Atlanta), visiting with my parents for a mini-family reunion, when my sister Melanie asks if I want to go for a run. Now, I had previously committed to taking these four days off, a welcome (and probably physiologically advisable) respite from my Brooklyn explorations. But how could I resist the opportunity to run with my little sister? And so Mel and I headed downtown for a quick (30 minute) run through the muggy early morning air.

For many New Yorkers, Augusta probably registers mostly as the home of the Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, but it's also the birthplace of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown (with whom, incidentally, I share a birthday), as well as Met favorite and famed soprano Jessye Norman. As a city, Augusta is kind of a weird place, with a diffuse outer ring of strip malls and suburban development surrounding an inner core of what used to be mostly abandoned storefronts and empty lots. It was kind of a miniature, southern-fried version of Detroit in terms of being a textbook example of white flight during the 1960s and 1970s, but in recent years the downtown seems to be making a modest comeback, with art galleries, coffee shops, and even a sushi place and a tapas bar (surely, a harbinger of gentrification if there ever was one) taking up residence along Broad Street.

Anyway, Mel and I had a fun (if, for me, quite short) run, and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of my relatives this weekend. I'll be back in Brooklyn and running on Monday, so stay tuned for the resumption of that whole thing. In the meantime, here are a few photos from lovely downtown Augusta:

Holy Toledo -- it's Mel!

Broad Street

Reynolds Street

Jessye Norman was here


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