Monosyllabic Pedantry

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Atlanta's Dogwood Festival

Exador's review? It sucked.

We had read in advance that they discouraged people from bringing their dogs to the dogwood festival. That made sense since the crowds are very dense. We've seen people trying to navigate their terrified dogs through that mess. We planned on having the Missus go into the crowds while I stayed a safe distance from them with the girls.
We get to the park's NE entrance, which is a bridge that goes over the dog park. As we enter the park, a guy with a security vest tells us that we can't even bring the dogs into the park, unless we are going to the dog park. We explain to him our plan for keeping the dogs away from the crowds. His response? "You'll get a ticket."
So I take the girls behind some of the display tents, on a shortcut to the dog park. Our new plan is that I stay at the dog park while Mrs Schwartz does a quick checkout of the arts, coming back to us in 20 minutes.
When she gets back to us, I point out to her that there are tons of dogs in the lower portion of the park, away from all the arts and crafts. I have to pee (badly) and there is always a line of port-a-johns at that edge of the park. We walk over there only to discover that the line of restrooms is not there. We put down our blanket a few yards from a woman who also has a dog.
I see a port-a-john in the distance and leave them to hike over to it. When I get there, I see that it is behind the stage, fenced in, with a sign that says "artists only". Great.
From my new vantage point, I quickly begin to realize that someone decided to cut costs this year by not bringing in port-a-johns. My quest has begun to try and find something. At one point, I see a single, permanent facility with a line out to 10th street. It's one of the million dollar boondoggles that have a stainless steel sliding door. I calculate that I will piss myself before I get to the front of that line. I start running scenarios involving how far I'd have to get into the surrounding neighborhood before I'll find a spot to pee.
Considering the police presence, and my fear of being put on a sex offenders registry, I try walking to the other side of the park, where I know there are a couple of permanent restrooms. About halfway there, I find two port-a-johns with a line of only about ten people. I find relief.
While walking back, I get a call from Mrs Schwartz. An Atlanta cop came up to her and told her that she had to leave the park because of the dogs. There was actually a sign between where she was and the arts and crafts, that said "No dogs beyond this point". She pointed the sign out to the cop and mentioned that she was not "beyond that point". He said he didn't care and she had to leave the park. At least he allowed her to remain until I returned.
So we walked back to the dog park. There is a path directly from the dog park to the edge of the bridge that passes over it. We walked up that path only to discover that they had erected a temporary chain link fence across the area. I lifted the Missus over the fence, then handed her the dogs, then squashed down the fence to get over it.
For my out of town readers, I'll point out that Piedmont park is in "The gay part of town". Gays have a lot of pets, including dogs, and a lot of disposable income. Maybe it's not a good revenue enhancer to keep away a demographic that will bring money to the festival.

After doing some research, I discovered that Atlanta has a city ordinance that says that no dogs are allowed at festivals of greater than 10,000 people. So that explains why the security guard has polite to Mrs Schwartz, while the AP officer was kind of a rude dick.

Well, one more reason for me to not go into Atlanta.

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