Destination: Graceland

by Brittany Grace

This is the story of getting to my version of Graceland.

I have recently made the precarious transition from being a slave to what I thought everyone else would respect to starting to do what I truly respect. The goal is to make a living by working for myself and doing what I faithfully, absolutely love, no matter how big of a pain in the ass it may get. I am shifting the eggs in my baskets! There is no longer one behemoth basket with the words “GRAD SCHOOL/YOUR ONLY CAREER” scrawled in black Sharpie looming at me from a corner of my shotgun shack. Instead, there are a multitude of baskets, all different shapes and sizes, and I feel like putting a few fresh eggs (which my new pet chickens will hopefully be popping out this summer) in each one.

Because I am passionate about living in the great capitol of the South that is Atlanta, and what we consume, and starting my first real backyard garden, I am going to work on renovating, then operating, a produce and snack truck. Hopefully this will help pave the way for the urban-renewal/localize-everything movement that the city is starting to experience.

Serendipitously, my very rad, multi-talented landlord, Doug, has an old Taco Bell trailer that someone gave him when they couldn’t pay him money they owed. The trailer is squatting in a thicket of green in the back corner of Doug’s yard, and you can still see outlines where the stickers for the $.99 burrito used to be. It is screaming, “PLEASE DO SOMETHING COOL WITH ME.” So, I’m going to do my damnedest. So far people seem genuinely supportive of my borderline obsession with getting the thing up and running. It may need a lot of work. Doug isn’t quite sure what it needs, and I don’t know who will be up for renovating it, but I’m happy to paint it myself. I am sure there are people who will help me love it.

My vision is to carry manageable portions of produce from local farms, local honey, local herbs (shoot, I grow herbs myself), maybe even homemade laundry detergent, cut flowers, and simple, homemade snacks. The whole “you are what you eat” idea is something I want the truck to resonate. I joined the Atlanta Street Food Coalition, and will begin attending its meetings this month. I want to be able to start parking the trailer in front of the Irwin Street Market in one year. There is a lot of red tape, and a ton to do. But I’m ready for the challenge.

A very important part of this endeavor will be comments and ideas from readers. Anything at all that you can think of that may be a good or interesting idea for the project…please let me know. This is my main reason for starting the blog – so people can be involved; so it can be a community affair.

In the mean time, I am going back to waiting tables, trying to finish grad school without melting under self-imposed pressure, and attempting to keep my day job.

There is a girl in New York City,

Who calls herself the human trampoline,

And sometimes when I’m falling flying

Or tumbling in turmoil I say

Whoa so this is what she means,

I’m going to Graceland,

For reasons I cannot explain

There’s some part of me wants to see Graceland,

And I may be obliged to defend

Every love every ending

Or maybe there’s no obligations now

From Paul Simon’s Graceland