Tag Archives: Midtown

Atlanta: Driving Through the Heart.

Almost always being the driver when going through Atlanta on the interstate I don’t have many chances to capture the city from out on the open road. That changed last month when I was a passenger. I had my camera in hand. All the shots are from the Downtown Connector (officially named James Wendell George Parkway), where I-75 and I-85 come together through the heart of the ATL.

Heading south you first come across Atlantic Station. It’s a live-work-play neighborhood, built-in 2005, and has a unique skyline of its own. There are lot’s of shopping and entertainment options. Gotta get some signage in the shots too. 🙂

Atlanta -

Straight ahead now is Midtown and its skyline to the left and the Downtown skyline is further back to the right. You can’t tell from this angle, but there are 20-lanes of traffic that go through here. Thank goodness it’s not rush hour.

Atlanta - Midtown, Downtown

Cruising along in the carpool lane. 🙂

Atlanta - Midtown, carpool lane

The Bank of America Plaza building stands out in Midtown. It’s the tallest building in Atlanta, Georgia and the South and the tallest in the United States outside of New York and Chicago. You’ll also notice the Olympic Games memorial tower. The actual Olympic flame from the 1996 Olympics sits near Turner Field today.

Atlanta - Midtown skyline, Olympic torch

Quickly glancing off to the left, you see The Varsity. A historical and touristy 1950’s style burger joint. Look for the red V!

Atlanta - Midtown, The Varsity

After passing through Midtown, you have the Downtown skyline right in front of you that you’ll about to weave through. The tallest building in Downtown is SunTrust Plaza.

Atlanta - Downtown skyline

Captured a couple of shots coming into the city and Downtown area traveling northbound.

Atlanta - Downtown from the south

Atlanta - Downtown from the south

The aforementioned Turner Field you’ll pass along to your right. It’s home of to the Atlanta Braves baseball team and was originally the Olympic stadium during the 1996 games.

Atlanta - Turner Field

It was great being a passenger on this day going through the ATL, well any skyline for that matter. Hope to do it again soon. I’ll have my camera ready!

Have you ever captured any city skylines as a car passenger or wished you could as you were driving through?

Atlanta: My Peaceful Bridge.

Do you have a peaceful place, to relax and unwind, that also happens to be scenic? I think I’ve found one in the ATL’s 17th Street Bridge.

I recently showcased a photo of the 17th Street Bridge on a sunny day. I didn’t think too much in-depth of the spot at the time, other than a great place to grab skyline shots and see traffic. Then came a return visit earlier this week.

It wasn’t clear on this day. In fact dark clouds were hovering over the two Atlanta skylines within view, Midtown and Downtown. The weatherman wannabe in me was like, “Yes!!! It’s gonna storm!”.

The middle of bridge on the north side was closed for construction which was sad, but I think the random port-a-potty is a nice touch in this shot.

Atlanta, Georgia - 17th Street Bridge

It wasn’t just the skylines, it was the fact that you can see The Varsity, Georgia Tech, the Olympic torch and more all in one view.

Along with the weather and points of interest, you had people driving on the 21-lanes of madness both north and south down below. Thinking about it more I realized that some some of these folks were on road trips and out on the open road. You see through this stretch I-75 and I-85 come together to form the Downtown Connector. I-75 stretches from Michigan to Florida and I-85 carries traffic from Virginia to Alabama. The possibilities of where people are coming from and going to is limitless! 🙂

Atlanta, Georgia - 17th Street Bridge

I could just stand there and watch the traffic go by for hours. Well maybe not at rush hour when everything stands still haha.

The 17th Street Bridge was completed in 2004 and connects Atlantic Station, a recently built live/work/play community, with the heart of Midtown. I just stood on the bridge for a bit, thinking about things and at the same time not having a care in the world. It was peaceful, because unlike down below, the bridge was relatively quiet at this mid-afternoon time.

Atlanta, Georgia - 17th Street Bridge

As if the weather gods were waiting for me to leave, it starting downpouring like crazy about a minute after walking off the bridge into the Atlantic Station shopping complex. This is my peaceful place indeed.

What bridges do you love capturing the scenery off of? Have you come across a peaceful place in your travels that you would like to get back to over and over?

Photo of the Week: Atlanta from the Friendly Skies.

I thought I was high up when I captured the ATL from the 73rd floor of the Westin Peachtree Plaza. On a recent flight into Atlanta, I had a chance to capture this photo from the air!

On the far left you can see the Georgia Dome with the white roof. To the right of that are Downtown and Midtown. The skylines for each are right above the wing. Beautiful.

Atlanta, Georgia from the Friendly Skies.

Atlanta: The Varsity.

Lot’s of people pass through the heart of the ATL daily on the Downtown Connector (I-75/I-85). Some are on I-75 headed to points north- or southward. Others are headed to points east- or westward on I-85. Then there is all the locals and tourists visiting the city. When on the Downtown Connector in Midtown you can not help but see the following sign on the east side of the interstate.

The Varisty - Atlanta - Main logo, signage

The Varsity!

The Varisty - Atlanta

The Varisty - Atlanta

The Varsity opened in 1928 and is the restaurant that immediately comes to mind when people think of Atlanta. It got its name way back when due to the traffic from nearby Georgia Tech students and the desire to set-up restaurants around other college campuses. Today they get 30,000 visitors on Georgia Tech football game days.

The Varisty - Atlanta - historic

It’s known as the world’s largest drive-in restaurant. They are well-known for their fast delivery of orders and for making their world-famous burgers and other items with only the freshest of ingredients. Food and supply trucks stop there several times a day. There also six locations throughout the Atlanta area and one in Athens, Georgia home to The University of Georgia.

The Varisty - Atlanta - world's largest drive-in

Walking inside you’ll immediately encounter a long menu counter with at least a dozen people it seems ready to take your order. You might hear “What’ll ya have?” It’s the companies unofficial slogan, originally used by workers to keep the lines and traffic moving, with as short a phrase as possible.

The Varisty - Atlanta - What'll ya have?

After getting your order you’ll have the choice of several rooms and two floors of seating in which to eat. I decided to eat in classroom, old-school style seating.

The Varisty - Atlanta - school style seating

The choice on this visit, a bacon cheeseburger yum.

The Varisty - Atlanta - bacon cheeseburger

I washed it down with a Coca-Cola, what else?! (Coca-Cola is headquartered in Atlanta.) In fact, more Coca-Cola is sold here then at any other retailer in the world.

The Varisty - Atlanta - Coke

On a previous visit, I went with two cheeseburgers, again yum. You can also get various kinds of hot dogs and burgers many chili based, various chicken sandwiches and salads, fried pies, Frosted Oranges, onion rings and more.

The Varisty - Atlanta - cheeseburgers

After the deliciousness I walked outside onto the second level of the parking deck. Yes it get’s that much traffic! People come here from all over the world.

On the parking deck you can get amazing 360 degree views of the city. First up looking south towards the drive-in you see the downtown skyline.

The Varisty - Atlanta - world's largest drive-in - Downtown skyline

Turning around and facing north you can see northbound interstate traffic as well as the Midtown skyline and the Olympic Flame Sculpture. Atlanta hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics.

The Varisty - Atlanta - Midtown skyline - Olympic Flame

Looking northwest right down the street from The Varsity is more of the Midtown skyline including the tallest building in the western hemisphere outside of Chicago and New York, the Bank of America Plaza.

The Varisty - Atlanta - Midtown skyline

More great eats on this day at The Varsity. For foodie and burger lovers, history buffs and those looking to capture great views of the city, The Varsity is a must stop. Don’t forget to stop for souvenirs at the gift shop on the way out.

When people think of Atlanta, The Varsity immediately comes to mind. What dining places are most identifiable in your neck of the woods? What other dining places do you suggest in the ATL?

The Varisty - Atlanta

Midtown Atlanta: Relaxing in Piedmont Park.

Midtown Atlanta, located between downtown right to the south and the well-known Buckhead neighborhood to the north, is home to a good portion of the cities skyscrapers, the music/artistic scene, great eats, nightlife and people have been moving in in droves.

Atlanta, Midtown Neighborhood, Piedmont Park
Atlanta, Midtown Neighborhood, Piedmont Park
Atlanta, Midtown Neighborhood, Piedmont Park

Right in the heart of the Midtown Neighborhood is the 185-acre Piedmont Park which is open year round. The biggest park in the city opened in 1887 and was designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead, Jr., who also designed Central Park in New York City.

Atlanta, Midtown Neighborhood, Piedmont Park
Atlanta, Midtown Neighborhood, Piedmont Park

You can get countless vantage points of trees, flowers and other greenery and the Midtown and Downtown skylines.

Atlanta, Midtown Neighborhood, Piedmont Park
Atlanta, Midtown Neighborhood, Piedmont Park

Lot’s of open space to lay down and relax, have a picnic, grill, hang out with friends or to start-up a game of flag football or rugby.

Checkout Park Tavern on the southeast edge of the park. It’s home to many special events and weddings and you’ll find sushi, seafood, American cuisine and more on the menu. Adjoining the park on the north and east ends is the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

Atlanta, Midtown Neighborhood, Piedmont Park
Atlanta, Midtown Neighborhood, Piedmont Park
Atlanta, Midtown Neighborhood, Piedmont Park

The Active Oval is a dirt track originally a horse-racing track. Within the oval are soccer and softball fields and sand volleyball courts, all requiring a permit. Friday’s are the exception so get there early to nab a spot. Within the park there are also basketball and tennis courts, fishing and swimming opportunities, playgrounds, a dog park and bocce ball. Check to see if permits or passes are required. Miles of paths for biking, walking and jogging as well. There is even a Beer Gardens.

Checkout the concerts, festivals and other special events that are happening at the Piedmont Park website and also check them out on Twitter. If you’re in Atlanta and looking for a place to relax, get great views and have some fun, Piedmont Park is a place to checkout.