I’ll keep it short, but Grant Park has a decent amount of history. It’s named after Lemuel P. Grant, not Ulysses S. Grant, which wouldn’t make any sense if you think about it. Lemuel was on the other side of the war and was in charge of constructing defensive lines around the city. The high part of the park, near where my house is, was a lookout spot called
There are three major attractions in Grant Park: the zoo, which has some giant pandas, Xi Lan, Mei Lan, Lun Lun, and Yang Yang, the Cyclorama, and the
I’m not into zoos (animals in cages of any sort doesn’t do it for me), so I haven’t been there, but that’s the park’s main draw, along with the usual jogging, strolling with babies and massive family barbecues.
Next door to the zoo is an odd attraction, the Cyclorama, a circular painting (the largest oil painting in the world) that depicts the Battle of Atlanta in the Civil War. There are dioramas in front of the painting that create an optical illusion where you can’t tell where the dioramas (horses, soldiers, etc.) and painting start and end. But is this something that you really need to see? I can’t say that it is, unless you particularly fancy Civil War kitsch.
No photography allowed in the Cyclorama, but this photo of a painting in the adjacent mini-museum gives you the basic idea
Across the street is the popular seafood restaurant Six Feet Under, named with the graveyard in mind, and Ria’s Bluebird, Grant Park’s best breakfast/lunch, ultra-hipster spot. There are about eight restaurants in Grant Park, mostly at the northern end of the neighborhood.
It snows once in a while (not very often)
If there is one criticism I have of Grant Park, it’s that there is a lack of commercial property considering how many people live here. In the whole neighborhood, I believe there are two gas stations, one bedraggled 24-hour pharmacy and just a few corner markets, no supermarket. This is hardly a big deal, though. It’s only 10 minutes to
Spring in the park
There’s also a lot of small, neat-looking historical properties around the neighborhood that used to be small grocery stores, but are now unused. They are almost all on side streets and it would be great if they were actual stores and businesses, but more likely, I can see them being converted into small gallery spaces (there is one new, small gallery space on Boulevard).
Open your business here
Some things I’d like to see in the neighborhood: an authentic taqueria, a store that sells Victorian antiques and some antique stores in general (it’s amazing that there isn’t one in a neighborhood that has so much old stuff), a thrift store, a bank with an ATM, a bookstore (I can keep dreaming), some vintage/junk/whatever stores, and a supermarket on the edge of the neighborhood (preferably a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or a local Farmer’s Market type store). Some ethnic grocery stores would also be swell, but I think there would have to be some Latinos or Asians in the area for that to happen.
This is another mansion in Grant Park owned by a gay couple. They have a spectacular backyard.
This looks like it was formerly a store with a house attached to it
A lot of stained glass in Grant Park
This is a modern Victorian across the street from the Burns Mansion. I believe it was built in the last ten years. Fooled me.
This used to be a Masonic Lodge, now a restaurant and real estate agency.
A lot of babies in Grant Park
This is supposed to be converted into a B&B. But restoration looks like it may have been stalled.
This is my house
This is the porch after it snowed