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North Highland is Closed, Now What Are We Supposed to Do? On the Ground at Streets Alive 2012

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Yesterday, intown Atlanta took to the streets for Atlanta Streets Alive, a 2-mile long festival that had North Highland closed for 4 hours between Virginia Avenue and Corley Street. Inspired by other open-street projects throughout the world, it was a rather eclectic gathering. It got off to a slow start, (by which I mean I could hardly tell the street was closed) but as more people gathered, cars started to get the memo that the APD barriers actually meant they couldn’t turn on to the street.

The main event of the afternoon was The Great Atlanta Bicycle Parade, populated by unicycles, bikes decorated as horses, men in dresses, clowns (with face paint and everything) and the Seed and Feed Marching Abominable. Also observed lining the rest of the street: hula hoopers, four-square players, double-dutch jumpers, belly dancers, and corn hole tossers. The overall vibe was less like a festival and more like a bunch of people out exercising together all at once. Neighborhood residents sat on their porches or on the sidewalk in camp chairs, watching with bemused grins. The food trucks were present, but few and far between. Area businesses were hopping, though, and even when the street reopened at 6 o'clock, many festival-goers stayed in the neighborhood for dinner. Win-win.

- Laura Lindeman