Summer Life in Decatur
By Claudia Aguilar, MDIV '11 Associate Director of Recruitment and Student Services
When I think of summer in the Atlanta metropolitan area, I think of two words: “hot” and “humid.” I guess that is why the city’s nickname is Hotlanta (which, by the way, is never used by locals). For those of us who come from less hot and humid places, it may feel slightly tortuous. But the truth is that life in Decatur, especially summer life in Decatur, is great. You can hear it, smell it, taste it, feel it, and see it.
It all starts with the sounds. The song of dozens of birds, crickets, and cicadas mark the rhythm of summer life in Decatur. You can hear miles away the pounding sound of drums during any Braves game. I love hearing dozens of Columbia Students repeating Greek or Hebrew words trying to memorize them. The rhythms of the innumerable music festivals linger in the air everywhere you go. No matter what your favorite genre is, you will find it: the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the BBQ, Blues, and Bluegrass Festival, the Candler Park Music Festival, local clubs and pubs, and every corner and train station are covered with music. From international stars playing at Eddie’s Attic or Twain’s to the newest talents jamming at JavaMonkey for free, music is Decatur’s heartbeat.
But you can also smell summer here: wet grass, veggies and all sorts of meats grilling, the many breakfast and brunch restaurants cooking meals that have given this metro area national fame, flowers, herbs, and watermelon. Summer smells like fun!
And you can definitely taste summer in Decatur: innovative flavors in frozen form at your favorite King of Pops stand, countless versions of shrimp and grits, picnics at Piedmont Park, dishes from every country and ethnicity on Buford Highway, salads made from fresh ingredients purchased at the Decatur Farmer’s Market, berries you can pick up from random bushes on your walk to downtown Decatur, and millions of peaches. Summer tastes are as diverse as the city.
I have always been affected by different textures, so to me, this is an important element of summer, and I have learned that the textures of summer are as varied as the types of doughnuts you can get at Revolution Doughnuts: I love the feel of strolling through recently cut grass, touching strange fruits and veggies at Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market, playing in the sand at the
Decatur Beach Party, feeling the amazing texture of old books at the AJC Decatur Book Festival , weeding our CTS community garden, or enjoying a smooth wine at the Decatur Wine Festival.
If there is a sense that can be overly stimulated in the summertime, that is the sense of sight. There is so much to see here! There are people from all over the world, traditional garments from every culture, skyscrapers, gorgeous churches, distinctive architecture, bright flowers, amazing sculptures, dancing fountains, street art, impromptu chess tournaments in city parks, our beautiful campus, horses and people on rollerblades on the Beltline, and if you are lucky, the occasional hip-hop artist or the Dalai Lama himself.
So...now that I think about it, summer time in Atlanta is much more than just heat and humidity. Come see for yourself!