Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Inman Park Festival

After spending a few hours at the Morningside Farmers Market this morning, we went to the annual Inman Park Festival, held in the neighborhood where, 15 years ago, Nicolas and I slung hash (as my Grandmother Simone would derisively call our work as waiters), and fell in love. We looked today for the first house I lived in there and it had burned to the ground. But there was no time to be nostalgic. There was a gourmet lunch to be had at Shaun's, an amazing Inman Park restaurant where Nicolas sells his vegetables, and we had an indescribable (though I'll try) parade to watch.

This is an equal opportunity festival - as exhibited by the range of characters we saw on our way to Shaun's. There was a fundamentalist calmly, but unrelentingly, extolling us to read our bibles:And a witch made her way towards our path, where she silently fell in synch. with two red-headed Weasley types in matching sweaters.

Looking at the special festival menu at Shaun's:
We get so excited when the farm is mentioned on a menu! It's in the appetizers - the arugula on flatbread with shaved cheese (it says ricotta but it is usually parmesan) So good:

Full of good food and drink, we ran to find our usual spot to watch the parade (except for years when soccer games have taken precedence -I'm unashamedly happy to be on soccer hiatus) in front of our friend Terry's house. Terry has a security bull horn with which he announces upcoming parade sights. These floats, marching bands and acts beg for some explanation. Though there were some regular old talented high school marching bands, a Chinese dragon, a local Brownie troop and floats about local schools pushing for peace, or going green - these were the only usual parade sights.

The "Marching Abominable" band led the parade. I kept looking at some of these people and imagining what they normally look like, say on their way to work. Don't you love observing a regular guy on the bus and wondering if this(or maybe lounge singing, Civil War reenactment, horror movie directing, or stripping) could be his other life?

At one point, a horn player in front of me, looking anxious about her instrument's weight, slowly let her arm fall, and then, let her body fall, following her horn, face down, to the ground:
Actually, all of the "Abominables" fell into a deep sleep, for several minutes, before they were revived by a few musicians with wands. It was something!

Yes, Jesse, there is, after all, a tooth fairy:

Here is that sweet brownie troop, to bring you back to earth. I was that red-headed Brownie pictured here towards the right, many moons ago in Boston. I remember being at Brownies the day we pulled out the troops from Vietnam. Will these girls be at Brownies on the day we leave Iraq? Lets hope they aren't already Girl-scouts (I walked over the "girl-scout bridge" in some ceremony but never did follow up).

A few peace floats later, we had the Mayor of Atlanta, Shirley Franklin.

And then it was back to colorful, creative, crazy Inman Park Festival business as usual. If you have time, you really should click on these below and take a closer look:
As I said, equal opportunity prevailed. The kids got frisbees from a Presbyterian church, "go-green" disks, candy from the politicians (lots of those), and the pieces of wooden boards that the Karate school split with their hands in front of them.

Thankfully, they didn't notice the condoms that were thrown to we grown folks from the Planned Parenthood car (or they might have thought they were gum or a lollypop and tried eating them ;).

There was so much more - roller derby girls, Trees Atlanta, who conserve and plant trees), sequined, high-heeled show girls, and the young "in-training abominable marching band", Harry Potter fans... But it is time to sleep now, as tomorrow is another day of play away from our simple surroundings - this time at a Slow Food Event at a farm.


mindy said...

I was in the process of reading your post when you commented on mine!!! I loved the links. We all watched Nicolas' organic farming video. He's very charming!!! What a great weekend of fun. Oh, and I absolutely LOVE your new header picture!

Kimba said...

I believe Chuck and the kids headed that way (Inman Park Festival) yesterday. Me? I was working...Le Sigh

I <3 Parades!

Vicki said...

Oh.. my... gawd!...That is EXACTLY what our tooth fairy looks like! (minus the hair, of course!)

kelli said...

What an awesome parade! So colorful, in more ways than one ;) love it!

Bhu said...

Ahhh... the Inman Park Festival. My favorite! How could I miss it by one day?? I can't wait to see you guys!!!

Madeline said...

LOL! Vicki, you so crack me up!

Yes, Kelli, it is oh so colorful, in every way. It feels like culture shoc at first when I've been in the boondocks for a spell. I love this parade.

We can't wait to see you Bhu (and Mindy)!

Kimba, when are you coming out here to our play group? maybe we can all meet up at Arabia Mountain?

Madeline said...

I hate my typos so I have to add that my keyboard is dying and the "k"s don't show up with out a lot of conscious attention - showing I am not so conscious this morning.

Kimba said...


We are hoping to join you all soon! My work load is heavier and spans more days (I'm working -- ha ha -- on that) and I swear Taran and Lucy have the busiest schedules I have ever seen! The two of them are even more social than I!

Would love to do Arabia Mountian, also, are you planning on homeschool day at the Botanical Gardens?

Alecto said...

Wow, that's really impressive! I have to tell you, when I looked at the first photo of the button car what I thought of was the near end scene from Becket's Happy Days when the woman is just about to suffocate in the sand pile - and then I opened the second picture and had to refocus the whole thing!

(whispered: what is ATL?)

Madeline said...

ATL is the local abbreviation for Atlanta. I had no idea for years when I first heard it. I think it happened with hip-pop? Anybody really know?

Do you mean Samuel Becket? The playwright? (also whispered)

Madeline said...

Did I really write "hip-pop"? Man. OK. Can't blame that one on the age of my keyboard. ;) I am not a complete nerd, just mostly one. I meant "hip-hop" of course.

Tamar Orvell said...

Inman Park Festival... the best for joy, beauty, and pure nuttiness. I don't think Vivi was playing this year with the kiddie abominables because they were from Morningside elementary, and Ms. Vivi, well, has grown up and moved on;-)

The exquisite details of your text and images are all keepers.