The Goat Farm

A Goat @ Goat Farm, Atlantic Station, Atlanta, Georgia

The Goat Farm is an old agricultural facility that has been repurposed into offices and studios for artistic-types.

Its very existence is quite charming; in the shadow of Atlantic Station (overvalued apartments and mid-range shopping) and all the other gentrification going on around it (apartments were just built across the street too), there exists a bombed-out, rusting old farm, currently serving as a stalwart against the spread of shoddy construction and high rent currently slithering its way through Atlanta like a Japanese tentacle beast.

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The Goat Farm no longer serves any agriculture function; it has been repurposed as offices and studios for creative-types, but they do continue to maintain a pen of goats, hence the name. And they do continue to let the grounds fall into disrepair, which just adds to the charm for urban explorers and others who like their cities to actually have some semblance of color and culture.

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I’d had a few business dealings here before (something or another always seems to bring me back here) and since we were planning on catching a movie at Atlantic Station anyway, I insisted on stopping to see the goats.

But before we got there, we were informed that the Goat Farm was hosting a street art festival that night, for something called “Living Walls.”

One of the (only) things I miss about New York was how illicitly colorful it was. Our local convenience store had bars on the windows and a two-inch-thick sheet of glass separating patrons from the cashier, but damned if the murals adorning it and every other business down the street didn’t give the place some character. Biggie Smalls’ visage would gaze upon you during your commute every day. Each one told a story.

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In Atlanta, all we get are uncreative idiots tagging surfaces with unreadable gang-related nonsense.

But we happily paid the $4 to see an exhibit of street art.

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As soon as we got in, we were overwhelmed. Young people surrounded us. Laughing. Drinking. Listening to live music. Smoking their drugs.

We couldn’t handle it (and the smell of cheap cigarettes), so we wandered off in pursuit of more sophisticated adult adventures. The closest we came was accidentally stumbling across two bearded gentlemen hiding in the bushes who were doing things more politely and legally done behind closed doors.

The art.

Largely a disappointment. Photography was not permitted of the exhibits, and while there was no real enforcement of the rule, we respected it anyway.

First of all, we learned after the fact that the “Living Walls” exhibit was scattered all over the city, and that the event at the Goat Farm was just an after-party of sorts. They did have one mural at the Goat Farm, though. It was impressive, but I’m not even sure it was part of the exhibit or if it was a permanent fixture.

Having seen photos of some of the murals that were painted though, I don’t feel like we missed much.

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At one point we got into a line that led inside a shipping container. We trudged along and along, until we entered the container.

There was nothing in the container. Nothing at all. We had just waited in line to see absolutely nothing, simply because other people were lining up to do the same. It could have been an exhibit in and of itself.

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At another point, we followed a line into a warehouse. Inside this lofty room was a pool of stagnant water.

Based on the smell and the color of the water, I was convinced this was effluent from the office toilets upstairs or the result of a burst sewage pipe, but people were actually standing around, taking pictures of this mess and having hushed conversations amongst themselves, probably comparing who had a higher viral load of hepatitis. Whoever was still standing at the end would win a free microbrew.

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I majored in art history for about ten minutes and like to think I have an appreciation for the arts, but nothing I saw here really spoke to me.

We weren’t the only ones who didn’t care much for “Living Walls.”

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We did find our way into one warehouse that had some actual work on proper display. There were a lot of abstract paintings. There was also a shameless copy of the “wall of sound” exhibit on display at the High.

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Realizing that this just wasn’t our crowd, we left the Goat Farm for the corporate comfort of Atlantic Station, where we ate burritos from a chain restaurant before skipping the movie in favor of blitzing Orange is the New Black, hepatitis-free in the safety of the suburbs.

Johnny

Pro-family and anti-drug, when he's not too busy living with four beautiful ladies, he likes long walks on the beach and poking dead things with sticks.

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