Tag Archives: neighborhood

Walking Atlanta’s Historic Oakland Cemetery

When researching places to go in a big city, the cemetery is not a place that readily comes to mind. After making a couple of visits to Oakland Cemetery in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta, I’ve completely changed my tune.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery represents the Old South. It takes you back into history when within. It’s the oldest cemetery in Atlanta founded in 1850. It sits on six acres and has roughly 70,000 graves. Past mayors, governors of Georgia and famous Atlantans rest here, along with many soldiers dating back to the Civil War era. The famous golfer Bobby Jones and Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With The Mind, also reside here.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Marvel at all the various architecture featured throughout. Oakland Cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places which helps with the upkeep and preserving.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Along with being a cemetery it’s also a vast botanical garden and park with beautiful colors all year long. I was lucky to make a trip here in Autumn and being able to experience the Fall colors throughout.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

This Grant Park neighborhood cemetery is also a beautiful spot to capture the downtown Atlanta skyline from. Always keep the camera out when walking the grounds!

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Grab a coffee from Octane Coffee across the street and head in in the early morning hours. The park has many entrances, I recommend going in from Oakland Avenue. Your feet will take you onto the red bricked paths of many named narrow streets throughout. I walked around on my own, but guided tours are also available.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Some additional info:

  • Being a public park, Oakland cemetery is open dawn to dusk every day of the year.
  • No fees to enter.
  • Go on an official self-guided tour. Download the Android or iPhone app.
  • Guided tours are available every weekend during the warmer months and for tour groups and schools.

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Tip: When on the Northeast end of the cemetery checkout the Fulton Bag & Cotton Mills plant off in the distance.

What other historic cemeteries would you recommend checking out?

Experiencing Chicago’s Wicker Park Food and Evening Scene

On a recent trip to Chicago, I was going to meet up with a friend who lives in the Wicker Park neighborhood. Wicker Park is known as being the hipster part of town and a great place to hang out at night. Its gained steam as a food destination with restaurants and independent coffee shops springing up like hot cakes. I decided to make a longer foodie evening of it and soak some of that atmosphere in.

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood

I hopped on the Blue Line “L” train in The Loop along with the masses getting off work and headed towards the northwest. A little bit later it seemed like half the train got off with me at the Damen station in the heart of neighborhood. What a happening place.

Since I don’t usually follow eating conventions, I’ll eat pizza for breakfast, I decided to begin with dessert. Just outside the train station entrance my feet took me into Stan’s Donuts on Damen. Starting in Los Angeles more than fifty years ago, Stan’s is a gourmet donut institution that has spread to several locations in the Windy City. Having spent only mornings in Wicker Park in the past, I’ve seen one endless line after another, with everyone grabbing pastries and coffee before hopping on the “L” to get to work. Being it was the evening this time there was no line score!

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood - Stan's Donuts

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood - Stan's Donuts

Upon entering I saw the donuts in the display case. The gourmet one with the longest name immediately caught the eye. Hey, the more words in its name, the more goodness it must have in it right?! I enjoyed a Maple Caramel Bacon Pecan Bar amongst the retro decor. Wait nothing to wash it down with? I was saving that for my next stop.

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood - Stan's Donuts

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood - Stan's Donuts,  maple caramel bacon pecan bar

A short walk down W. Milwaukee Avenue, the main street of Wicker Park, brought me to my favorite coffee shop in the city and arguably anywhere, The Wormhole Coffee. I entered the sci-fi themed coffee shop already knowing what I was craving, a Peanut Butter Koopa Troopa latte. I sat next to an Apple II computer bringing back memories of childhood, while listening to one Depeche Mode song after another. That brought back memories of road trips pasts. I was in heaven. Of course I had to say hi again to the Back to the Future style DeLorean that sits in back.

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood, The Wormhole Coffee

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood, The Wormhole Coffee

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood, The Wormhole Coffee, Peanut Butter Koopa Troopa

chicago-wicker-park-food-008

It was time to meet up with my friend, who recently moved here from Michigan. He gave me some choices on places where we could grab some dinner. Dessert first, then a specialty coffee, with the main course last, that is indeed how I like to roll! Burgers, pizza and ramen noodles were the choices. I thought to myself I eat the first two things a lot, so let’s go with ramen.

We hit up Furious Spoon and both ordered the Shoyu Ramen. Fresh ramen noodles made in-house mixed in with Chashu pork belly, bamboo, bean sprouts and more foodie goodness. The outside seating along Milwaukee was full, so we hung out and caught up at a long, wooden communal table alongside the open kitchen. I thought to myself, what a great place to hang out after a long day. That was my first time dining in an authentic ramen restaurant. What took so long?

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood, Furious Spoon ramen noodle shop

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood, Furious Spoon, pork belly ramen noodles

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood, Furious Spoon ramen noodle shop

I continued to get my first taste of Wicker Park at night as we walked some of the neighborhood afterwards before calling it a night. It was a quick, but memorable evening of treats and food in one of Chicago’s more popular neighborhoods. All the other establishments and outside seating we walked by makes me want to experience more of it on another trip soon.

Wicker Park Chicago neighborhood

What other food and coffee spots would you recommend checking out in the Wicker Park part of Chicago?

Image

Columbus Ohio Neighborhood Coffee.

I’m enjoying my Guatemala Pour Over in Luck Bros’ Coffee House in Columbus, Ohio. It’s a sunny, wintry day in the Grandview Heights neighborhood.

This is my first Live post, in the moment. 🙂 I’m typing away on my smart phone. To hanging in neighborhood coffee shops!

image

#ElCafeDe2013: The Coffee Of Gypsy Beans in Cleveland.

When I am looking to take an early morning road trip, read the morning paper, have a great coffee and haven fun being in a city, a lot of the time I wind up at Gypsy Beans and Baking Company in the heart of the Gordon Square Arts District in Cleveland.

Cleveland, Gypsy Beans Coffee

I could sit at one of their wooden tables but…

Cleveland, Gypsy Beans Coffee

…I always wind up on a stool…

Cleveland, Gypsy Beans Coffee

…alongside the window checking out Detroit Avenue and the neighborhood.

Cleveland, Gypsy Beans Coffee

You’ll find desserts and pastries to go along with locally roasted coffee at this cozy bakery cafe.

Cleveland, Gypsy Beans Coffee

The coffee of choice on this wintry morning was a Latte which did the trick! I had the The Plain Dealer (Cleveland’s leading newspaper) alongside for the ride. If you’re looking to crank out some work on the laptop get there early as the outlets are limited, but they do offer free wi-fi.

Cleveland, Gypsy Beans Coffee

Gypsy Beans and Baking Company is a recommended coffee shop to checkout whenever you’re in Cleveland. 🙂

Checkout the time I have also spent at another favorite spot Koffie Cafe in the Ohio City neighborhood.

What other coffee shops in Cleveland would you recommend checking out?

#ElCafeDe2013: The Coffee Of Toronto.

Toronto has a thriving coffee scene. Independent coffee shops are popping up all over town. During my time there this year I had the chance to explore and consume lot’s of coffee in Canada’s biggest city.

While on a run through the Kensington Market neighborhood one morning I randomly came across Jimmy’s Coffee on Baldwin Street. The arrow on the welcome sign pointing inside was no factor in me going in. The world coffee was all I needed to see. 🙂

Upon entering I immediately noticed Jimmy this and Jimmy that. They have artwork, pictures and more throughout the coffee shop of Jimmy Hendrix, Carrey, Dean, Morrison, Carter, Hoffa and more. Even the coffee beans they sell are named after famous Jimmy’s.

Jimmy's Coffee, Toronto, coffee shop

They serve locally roasted coffee along with cupcakes, croissants, macaroons and other pastries all coming from local bakeries. My coffee of choice was a basic latte. I enjoyed it amongst bookcases filled with old-school books and encyclopedias. The place had an industrial, homey feel to it.

Jimmy's Coffee, Toronto, coffee shop

Kensington Market is their second location to the original in Downtown which opened in 2009. I went outside to the patio to get a closer look at the Jimmy mural.

Jimmy's Coffee, Toronto, coffee shop

I met up with Pola of Jetting Around, another coffee lover, to hit up La Gourmand Café. The upscale bakery sits on the outskirts of the Downtown Core in the Entertainment District on Spadina Avenue. They serve gourmet, in-house made pastries, lunch and brunch and have a good coffee selection.

It was the heat of the day when we were there so I went with an iced latte. 🙂 We hung out and chatted for a bit amongst the French cafe décor and atmosphere.

Le Gourmand Cafe, Toronto, bakery, coffee shop

The stack of newspapers at the entrance made me think of Sunday morning. This would be a great place to come with my Dad or solo and read the paper to breakfast and some hot coffee. 🙂

Le Gourmand Cafe, Toronto, bakery, coffee shop

Pola and I also randomly found and went into Fahrenheit Coffee on Lombard Street in Corktown and the Downtown Core.

Fahrenheit Coffee, Toronto, coffee shop

We walked into the coffee shop and espresso bar and engaged with the friendly and passionate baristas. They knew their coffee and we started talking about the popular places and brands in the states. We sat on some bar stools at this small coffee shop off the beaten path. They have wi-fi but can’t see it as a place to work all day but to grab a coffee to-go, check e-mail quickly or to hangout with a friend as Pola and I did enjoying our coffees and pastries.

Fahrenheit Coffee, Toronto, coffee shop

I ordered an iced latte from here too. They use locally roasted coffee beans from Te Aro, customized specifically for them.

Fahrenheit Coffee, Toronto, coffee shop

Checkout the time I have also spent at Moonbean Coffee Company and Dark Horse Coffee in Toronto.

Follow Pola as she is always Jetting Around, having coffee every step along the way.

This year was a great introduction to the Toronto coffee scene. What other coffee shops in Toronto would you recommend checking out?