Atlanta Nightscapes on the Last Night of 2011

January 1, 2012 at 8:50 am (Atlanta, Photography) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

It was a mild evening – and the Big Peach was going to drop at Five Points.  It’s an 800 pound peach.  Times Square drops a Waterford crystal ball.  Atlanta drops a peach.  So I had to see it.  I walked down Auburn Avenue, my new neighborhood.

It only took a few blocks before I left the relative safety of my street of restored historic homes and wondered about the wisdom of continuing these few blocks to downtown. Clusters of idle men on one corner… a man hauling buckets of water to wash a car (his?)… another talking to himself.  You get the picture.  And I wanted mine.  Since I was using a tripod, perhaps they didn’t suspect I was some kind of narc.  A few wished me a Happy New Year.  I wished them back.

The Oldest Black Shop in Atlanta

The Silver Moon Barber Shop calls itself The Oldest Black Shop in Atlanta.  Auburn Avenue was known in its heyday as “Sweet Auburn” – term coined by John Wesley Dobbs because it was the anchor of a very strong and viable black community during the Jim Crow segregation era.

Fortune magazine in 1956 called Auburn Avenue “the richest Negro street in the world.”

1912 Oddfellows Block with Wok N Roll Chinese Take-Out

The Odd Fellows block was the “largest and most costly Negro block in America” when it was built in 1912, according to the black-owned Atlanta Independent. The Atlanta Chapter of the Grand United Order Odd Fellows had six lodge rooms in the building, several stores, and 42 offices. The Yates and Milton Drugstore was a favorite after-church stop for young Martin Luther King, Jr. and his brother and sister in the 1930s.  It also had an auditorium for concerts and theatre productions, seating 1300.

Atlanta Life Insurance – 1905

The above was an accident, but since the “fad” these days is to do portraits and weddings askew (as a substitute for true creativity) I thought it was appropriate for this decrepit building.  I do love urban ruins, from an artistic point of view.  This company was founded by Alonzo F. Herndon, a former slave and barber who became one of the richest black man in America. The new Atlanta Life Insurance building is nearby.

Billiards on Auburn Avenue

The great thing about Nightscapes is that artificial light transforms an otherwise drab landscape.

Wheat Street Baptist Church

There are several black churches within a few blocks of each other in the Sweet Auburn community.  They were not only spiritual havens, but hotbeds of social change.  Ministers, led by the Rev. Adam Daniel Williams of Ebenezer Baptist Church, organized a silent boycott of the racist Atlanta Georgian newspaper, which was writing inflammatory articles about Atlanta’s blacks. Because outright protest had severe repercussions for “uppity” blacks, the congregations were urged to stop patronizing advertisers, and when they finally noticed, the newspaper folded.  Rev. Williams was the maternal grandfather of Martin Luther King, Jr.  So we see he already had examples of social activism within his own family before he was called to lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 – a role that propelled him into national prominence and began the Modern Civil Rights Movement.

Big Bethel African American Episcopal

Big Bethel AME founded Morris Brown College, which operated first in its basement.  Wheat Street Baptist founded the YMCA, which moved and became the Butler Street YMCA.

John Wesley Dobbs statue

Haugabrooks Funeral Home

Supreme Fish Delight – takeout only.  Great catfish.  Not so good tartar sauce, cole slaw, or fried okra.

Thelma’s Rib Shack

Streetcar Named…..?

A new, modern streetcar will begin operation in 2013 along Auburn Ave. from Jackson St. to downtown.  Sidewalks are marked up for “utility relocation.”

So finally I made it to the Peach Drop area of Five Points, at the Underground.  Here are some scenes:

The Giant Peach  (where’s James?)

As in James and the Giant Peach children’s book.  Yeah, so it’s a peach.  I just wanted to see it, that’s all.  I was back home by 10 pm.  Next year I’ll try to make it to the Possum Drop in Tallapoosa, Georgia (formerly known as Possum Snout).  Featuring a stuffed possum.  Don’t believe me?

Some photos of downtown, which is really quite pretty, day or night.

Coca-Cola was invented here.  The Secret Recipe is in a vault here.  Coca-Cola will remove rust from your car engine.  It will also clean your toilet bowl.  Don’t believe me?

Coca-Cola sign reflections

191 Peachtree Tower from Auburn Avenue

An interesting alleyway

The Necessities – Blu-Johns

Ferris Wheel and the Capitol Building (and Herb’s Funnel Cakes)

Some horse-drawn carriages were Cinderella cages with little blue lights

Muse’s and Hookah Lounge (yep, they’re really hookahs)

Police searched bags at the barricades.  I raised my hands to surrender, but all I had was cameras and a little money for a great Reuben sandwich at the Landmark Cafe, open 24 hours across from the Rialto.

Oooh… The Capitol Steps are coming.  Saw them in Portland, Maine.  The best!

Dining themed sculpture

Woodruff Park – home of Occupy Atlanta for awhile

Happy New Year.  Only 355 days until the End of the World.

All photographs taken with Canon G-11, 400 ISO, f8

To see full-sized images:  Atlanta Nightscapes

Home website:

Copyright Cindy McIntyre 2012


  1. Bob Zeller said,

    Great collection of photographs, Cindy.

    Happy New Year.

  2. John Weinrich said,


    Your evening architectural photography is is wonderful and comparable to the landscape and nature photography you have do. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy New Year,

  3. Jim Allen said,

    wow, Great and powerful pictures.

  4. Ronald Silverfox Rudolph said,


    best photos of night in a long time. Love them!

    Happy New year,

    Your friend always

  5. Kathy said,

    As always, Cindy, lovely photos!

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