It’s a running joke at this point. We walk somewhere in our neighborhood and I proclaim with a grand sweeping arm motion, “can you believe we can walk to all of this?” When my husband and I began house hunting almost five years ago, I tried to mentally prepare myself for a new lifestyle of being stuck down in a neighborhood unable to walk to anything. It was going to be a major departure for me. After six years in Poncey-Highland and eight in Downtown Decatur, I wasn’t looking forward to living somewhere with no walkable destination. Even as a kid living in a more suburban neighborhood, I could walk to a hot dog joint, Waffle House and a MARTA station. It was a long walk, but totally manageable.
When we landed in East Atlanta Village I was so happy that we ended up in a walkable neighborhood. Many, many, many bars. Restaurants, an independently owned book store (!), a neighborhood coffee shop, a post office, the bank, a library (full disclosure: I’ve never stepped foot in this library, but I knew someday we’d have a child and a library in walking distance would be AMAZING), a park with a playground (also not useful yet but will be once the tyke is older), a furniture store, a nail salon and an ice cream parlor. One of the most amazing destinations is the East Atlanta Farmers Market, open Thursday evenings April-December. We are truly lucky to be able to buy veggies directly from farmers and other various local food treats just a few blocks from our house.
Can you believe we can walk to all of this?
Alas, there isn’t a grocery store or a mini-grocery store or a bakery. There are two big box grocery stores less than two miles away so we aren’t exactly hurting, but I’m accustomed to living less than half a mile from one and being able to walk. Last night we decided to have some kosher beef franks for dinner. This is a rare occurrence so we wanted to do it right, but we didn’t have any buns. So we put the baby in his wrap and ventured out on foot into the village first stopping at Urban Cannibals Bodega + Bites. We discovered that they are closed for a few weeks due to health issues, but wouldn’t have been open anyways because their regular hours are 11-5 pm. Next we tried a little convenience store on Glenwood Ave, where five or six people were hanging out doing scratch offs. The owner was friendly and we discovered that this place stocks milk and eggs and a few other essentials, which is good to know for future reference. But no hot dog buns and only white bread. We walked to Buddy’s at the corner of Moreland Ave and McPherson next, which also only had loaves of white bread.
My final idea was donuts. Doesn’t a glazed donut sliced in half and a little bit toasted sound so good with a hot dog? It didn’t agree with Davis’ sensibilities (or maybe it sounded too good and he didn’t want to give in to its unhealthiness?), but he is willing to humor me so we crossed the street to Happy Donuts. The donuts at Happy Donuts are not super fancy or amazing, but they are good. The people who work there are very nice and they are open 24-hours a day (late night post-bar snack!). As our eyes darted across all the shelves for the best faux-hot-dog-bun candidate, we simultaneously spotted the winner: CROISSANTS! Perfect. We got two croissants and two donuts.
Walking home we ate our donuts, lemon-filled for me and double chocolate for him. Birds were chirping, the sun was setting, the air was cool, and it would soon be dinner time. I couldn’t believe our success.