Cabbagetown Firsts

1st time pet sitting Margaux. We have lived with Margaux and her owner Ros before, but this was the 1st time we had her all on her own. It was such a pleasure to hang out with this beautiful, happy, girl.

May 27 – October 1, 2017.

It is time for the Cabbagetown wrap-up blog. In case you have just started following along or have just been skipping the yearly blog or two about Cabbagetown, here is the deal –

Cabbagetown is a small neighborhood in Atlanta. We used to own a house in Cabbagetown. Then we went sailing and rented it out (and eventually sold it). We still go back to Cabbagetown every summer/hurricane season where we house sit. We are lucky, Cabbagetown is a tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone else and most of those people have pets and love to travel. We spend a solid 4 to 5 months moving almost every week from home to home and pet to pet, house sitting around the neighborhood.

We also do odd jobs and painting while we are in Cabbagetown so we can afford our unconventional lifestyle.

We have written posts about all this before – and although every summer is different, the overall experience is kind of the same. But still every year, despite 10 years of living off and on in Cabbagetown, there are still firsts. So here’s to firsts and new experiences!

Some of our Firsts:

The Blog

• This is the 1st time we are going to take the blog out of chronological order. I know this isn’t a Cabbagetown first, but I thought it was a good place to explain what I am going to do with the blog after this post. I really like the linear flow of the blog, but we have gotten way behind and because I don’t want to hold everything up, I have decided to start here anew with our wrap-up of Cabbagetown and then jump right into what is going on now (getting ready for a season of sailing). This doesn’t mean that I am going to abandon writing about our adventures in Ballena Blanca last winter, but that from time to time I am going to hop back to them with one of these:

  • Throwback Thursday
  • Flashback Friday
  • So, so, so long ago Saturday
  • Space time continuum Sunday
  • My fading memory Monday
  • Time tripping Tuesday
  • When was that? Wednesday

Pet Sitting

1st time pet sitting Jasmine and her sister Lucy. We really didn’t know what we were getting into with Jasmine. A sweetheart, but she is as mischievous and energetic as she looks. Still, we loved our time with her.
And Lucy, Jasmine’s older and usually more dignified, sister.
This was the 1st time we pet sat for more than two weeks in one place. We spent 2 months in the orange house on the right side of the picture across from Ballena Blanca. The oddest part about this pet sitting gig was that it was in our old house. And the weird part about that wasn’t the house so much as everything outside the house – the same neighbors and the same crazy Cabbagetown drama. It was nice being home again.
And while we were living in our old house for two months we were spending our 1st time pet sitting Princess Zara Raj. She is a shy sweetie who took to me right away and finally started warming to (not running away from) Greg about the time we were leaving.
Talking about warming up to Greg… For the four years that we have been house sitting Daisy she has had a knee-jerk fear/hatred of Greg. Usually we have an orientation with her a few weeks before our house sitting gig and Greg brings hot dogs to cozy up to her, but by the time we actually come to stay she has forgotten all about those hotdog bites and is ready to take him apart. Generally after we settle in, Daisy is fine with Greg as long as I’m around. This year was no different until after our house sitting gig with her was over for weeks and Daisy saw Greg in the park. She came running right up to him like they were best pals. That was definitely a 1st!
This summer was the 1st time that we have spent 11 nights in a row in separate houses sitting different pets. I think I mentioned that most people in C-town love to travel and have pets. The problem for us has become that they have started traveling together. It might be time to start some research on temporary cloning. But really, we usually only separate if house sitting gigs overlap and it is only for a few nights. But Charlie (pictured) is special – and I mean that in the best, sweetest way. Charlie is a bonder and although he is especially bonded to his owner Lyn, I have been able to develop a pretty good relationship with him too.
And while I was with Charlie, Greg spent the 11 days taking care of Mr. Chien. Mr. Chien is pretty chill.
Gus has become pretty chill too. This is the 1st time we sat him on his own with out his sister, Zola, who passed last year. I know he misses her, but he has also been able to let down his guard without having his big sister to protect all the time.

1st time living on Short Street. We have now lived on 9 of the 17 streets in Cabbagetown. A few of these streets, ironically, unlike Short St., are actually very short – 6 or less houses, which reduces our chances of connecting with the traveling pet owners that live there, meaning we may never reach our goal of living on every street in the neighborhood, but living the life we do probably defies lots of odds anyways – so who knows.

1st time subcontracting house sitting. My niece was looking for a get away to do some writing and we had a friend who we had to turn down for house sitting because we were already booked somewhere else – so since we haven’t figured out the cloning thing yet, we got the two together.

1st time we have slept in our van in Cabbagetown. Friends usually take us in when we have house sitting gaps – and we did go stay with a friend for a week during one of these gaps this summer, but during the smaller gaps – one or two days, we stayed in the van.


1st time Greg and his painting partner Paul worked in these Atlanta neighborhoods: Virginia Highland, Reynoldstown, and West Midtown. Most of Greg and Paul’s jobs are in Cabbagetown and they do work from time to time outside the neighborhood, but it seemed like this year their reputation had really grown and they got lots of recommendations outside the ‘hood. Quoting one of their clients who called Greg and Paul after receiving numerous recommendations about them on social media – “Apparently I’d be a fool not to hire you guys.”

2nd time I spent spent the summer scanning, 3rd time I spent the summer waiting tables. Yes, I know these aren’t firsts, but I didn’t want you all to think I was a slacker all summer while Greg was traversing all of Atlanta painting houses.

I have (used to have) boxes and boxes of old letters, slides, negatives, and photographs. For the past two summers I have been digitizing it all and throwing the originals away. I probably have another summers worth of scanning before my load is truly lightened.

Greg and Paul have now painted 7 whole houses in Cabbagetown – most of them bright and colorful like this one they painted this summer.

Friends and Fun

1st time Greg played the Reunion Festival. Every June Cabbagetown throws a street party for all the people who have ever lived in the neighborhood. This year Greg was asked to play. He in turn ask other neighbors to join him. Left to right: Tad, Greg, Ronnie, Paul, Slim, and Patrick.
Cake Walk at the Reunion Festival. This was the 1st time that many people I talked to had heard of a Cake Walk. If you are one of those people, here’s the scoop. A circle or oval is drawn on the ground/floor with numbered spots. Music is played while participants walk around the circle/oval until the music stops. Everyone lands on a number. Then a number is drawn from a bowl, hat, etc. The winning number wins a cake!
Panorama of Carroll St. and The Reunion in between Cake Walk rounds.
This years Reunion Festival featured 3 stages, all on porches on Carroll St. Here is a view of Carroll St., one of the stages and the stacks of the textile mill turned condos on the right.
Last year a new Kroger grocery store with a beer and wine bar opened up near Cabbagetown. This pic is not the 1st time we have partied at the “Krobar”, but I bet it is the 1st time you have seen people dancing in a grocery store. From left to right – Karen, Karin, and JoAnn.
And the band at the Krobar.
David, Gayden, Paul (Greg’s painting partner), and Karen at the Historic Oakland Cemetary. This is not the 1st time we have partied at the Cemetery. Every June Oakland presents Tunes from the Tombs with three musical stages, tours, food, and drink. A fun day we always look forward to.
The wonderful and creative Dian. Dian is one of those individuals that people are instantly attracted to. She and her huspand David know everyone on their street and are always hosting someone for dinner or drinks. She is responsible for getting me hired on to wait table where she works part time. We car pooled together and helped keep each other sane in the drama of working in food service.
1st time a Paint for Peace event was held in the Krog Tunnel. The Krog Tunnel, which connects Cabbagetown to the outside world, is sort of a free space for graffiti in Atlanta. This event was in response to the Charlottesville ugliness.
Things like this are part of the reason I love Atlanta and Cabbagetown – sponteneous creativity, community, and passion.
This one was painted by my friend and partner in waitressing, Dian.
I used to live across the street from Donna in Cabbagetown. She is a folkart painter turned graffiti artist. Her signature, 70Dot, comes from the name her grandchildren call her, Dot, and the 70 is for the age she started actively painting again and becoming involved in the Atlanta art scene.
1st time experiencing the Candler Park Water Ballet.
The pictures don’t do this event justice. These women have too much fun.
And, of course, Cabbagetown adds to the fun too. Dian made up these number 10 score cards to hold up for the performers. The balleters loved them. Cabbagetown women from left to right: Dian, Susan, Lyn, Lynne, and Barb.
Friend, Cabbagehead, and way cool woman, Ro, is a member of the Ballet.
1st time boating friends have come to visit us in Cabbagetown. Remember Hurricane Irma that menanced Florida in September? It was threating to go right over our marina, so when our friends Scott and Ellen needed to evacuate, we said “come on.” They are pictured here praying to storm gods to spare our floating homes.
Scott and Ellen came to Cabbagetown on one of those perfect Cabbagetown weeks, complete with festivals, beer, aimless wandering around, more beer, a natural disaster, which naturally goes with more beer, lots of Atlanta culture (high and low), and to top it all off – beer.
And to kick the week off we partied at the annual Lantern Parade. Hosted by the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons, tens of thousands of come out with their homemade lanterns and parade down a couple miles of the Atlanta Beltline.
And here is an odd coincidence while we were hanging out with our sailing friends I snapped a pic Niel, disquised as a burning phoenix, who we first met sailing in the Bahamas.
And then disaster reached us. Hurrican Irma veered to the left and missed our boats, but then headed straight up to Atlanta. She wasn’t a hurricane by then, but she was a big enough storm to knock out the electricity all over the city. Thankfully we still had cell service. When I saw on Facebook that Cabbagetown’s own Little’s Food Store on Carroll St. was grilling up hamburgers that were going to go bad in the power outage and giving them away, we headed on down to the party.
Cabbagetown is at it’s best during times of disaster. The neighborhood has survived a fire and a tornado and each time has come to the aid of those effected the worst, building strong bonds in the community. It didn’t take long for Scott and Ellen to pick up on all of this. Scott purchased a couple 12s of beer and handed them out to people to go with their free hamburgers.
During the days Scott and Ellen walked around, soaking up the culture of Atlanta. They visited the MLK memorial and walked by The (Jimmy) Carter Center. We thought we’d show them different side of the city’s culture, but still quintessential part of the Atlanta experience – The Cermont Lounge. I am sure I can’t accurately explain the Lounge, the experience or why we love to go, but if you are currious click on this Wikipedia link: Clermont Lounge – Wikipedia
Atlanta loves to dress up! And Atlanta love drag queens. But honestly, this is the 1st time I have ever experienced a drag queen reading storys to children. It was cute.
So this is the 1st time I started experimenting with the fisheye setting on my phone camera. Here is the gang, Greg, Scott, Vic, Ellen, and Jo at the newly remodeled Manuel’s Tavern.
Our last evening with Scott and Ellen was spent grabbing a slice at Cameli’s. One of the best parts of Ellen and Scott’s visit was seeing Cabbagetown and Atlanta through fresh eyes. I think they fell in love with it and we were reminded about how special our life in Cabbagetown is. They write a blog too. It is very, cute, clever, funny, and well worth taking the time to check out. If you are interested in their take on being evacuated to Atlanta, click this link: Going For A Crazy Cabbagetown Walk In Atlanta, Georgia, Pt 1
Atlanta loves festivals. Just about every neighborhood has their own with their own unique events. The East Atlanta Strut has a parade. Although we have attended lots of Struts, this is the 1st time we have caught the parade.
Did I mention that Atlanta love to dress up? It is a colorful parade with everything from high school marching bands to colorful adults,
to street dancers,
to a perfect Patsy and Edina,
to past Strut Queens.
and to, of course, the current Strut Queen. See, I told you Atlanta loves drag queens.
Every Spring and Fall their is a new neighbor party in Cabbagetown welcoming all the budding Cabbageheads. This was the 1st time it was hosted at Seth and Elenas. Greg jams with some neighbors in the back yard.
And here is me, the 1st time riding a Ferris Wheel at the Candler Park Festival with good friend Martha.
And Cabbage Women, a couple of our best Cabbage friends, Debbie and Karen.
And the terrified Dian with her best friend Heike.


Ok – this is not Cabbagetown. But it was such an important first that I thought I’d tack on the end here – ’cause if you have made it this far, what’s a few more pics. Anyways – this is probably the 1st time (at least in a long while) you have seen us look so nice. “Why?” you may ask. We were attending the wedding of Greg’s son, James, this past May.
Here James with his sweetheart, Taylor. Their 1st dance in Hopefully a long married life together.

Did you have any firsts or new experiences this summer? Did you host any evacuees from any of the hurricanes? Have you ever partied in a grocery store? Are you ready to go sailing, yet?

8 thoughts on “Cabbagetown Firsts

    1. Yeah – us Baby Boomers know how to have fun. The voyage prep is on. Sometimes it feels like two steps back for each forward – but generally I think we are getting there.

  1. What a pleasure this was reading your blog this morning! You remind me why I love my hood(with great pics and edits!). I miss your faces and hope your sailing trip is fabulous! Dian

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