Everything feels like art along the Beltline, and the art present does not limit itself to sculptures and murals, even the benches are something special. Pictured above is one of those benches. This bench, titled “Nature’s Way,” is situated in a small clearing, backdropped by trees and an apartment complex. Rather than being completely straight, the structure zig-zags several times, and the surfaces feature different patterns of yellow and black that symbolize scenes like flowers and farming fields. Of course, you can also sit on the bench, not just look at it.
Unfortunately, the rain suppressed most performers, whom I assume usually dot the Beltline. However, I found one musician along my walk: a man playing an acoustic guitar and singing. I did not recognize the song that he played, but the voice reminded me of something like a stripped down Motown song. He took shelter in a quasi-tunnel created by a bridge above which both protected him and his guitar from the rain, and produced a lovely application to his voice. Like at a subway station in New York, he left his guitar case open in front of him, and walkers dropped in change while they passed.
A plethora of stores have fronts or backs along the Beltline, and, like the Beltline itself, they take advantage of art to mix practicality and aesthetic, in this situation for advertisement. The Midtown Butcher Shoppe, pictured above, is one of these. The back of the store, lined along the walking path, features a red hare, representing the brewing company, preparing to cut up meat. On the left side, the store has painted a mini-menu of stand-out words that advertise what the store offers: Prime meats, prepared meals, fine wines, craft beers, growlers, and catering. Also like many stores, they have put a door in the middle of the back for easy Beltline access.
Underneath a bridge, two parallel walls each feature a mural. The above picture features one of them. In the center, an enormous black and dark yellow bee emerges from a similarly sized and colored flower. Several smaller bees, also the same black and yellow, spiral out from the center, surrounding the largest bee and flower. Chinese letters flank the bees on either side. Closest to the bees, the letters are bigger and change along a spectrum vertically: the highest row is a very bright yellow, nearly white, followed by two rows a standard yellow then darker yellow below, and ended with a shade that resembles a dark red. Outside of these letters are smaller and scattered black letters. On the leftward side out of the picture’s range, the artist has signed his or her name.
Quickly after entering the Beltline, I found my first piece of art (and would later be stunned by the quantity present): a sculpture, in the image above. In short, the sculpture shows a skateboarder, standing several feet taller than the people passing by. Both the skateboard and skateboarder are constructed out of typical piping, red for the rider and blue for the board, with skateboard wheels that look like little car tires.