gita® IRLL: Ed Lee

In–Real–Local–Life

A Q&A with gita owner Ed Lee, a Communication Consultant living the local life in Atlanta, Georgia.

Neighborhood: Decatur, GA

Longest gita trip: To the Avondale Farmers’ Market on Sundays—about 30 minutes round trip

Times per week using gita: 2-3 times

Favorite place to bring gita: Kelly’s Market

Biggest item carried: Watermelon from the farmers’ market

Nickname for gita: Blu Jeeves

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What do you love most about your neighborhood?

Wow… That is tough. I love all the little quirky art installations. I love that Decatur encourages artists to take the common everyday sidewalk and lamp post and use them as a canvas for artistic expression. Decatur is also a home of many festivals and honors the diverse ways people live and hang out in the city. [I also love that Decatur] is a walkable community. It is one of the few neighborhoods I could live in and have easy carless access to my job at Emory and still have ample time to be neighborly. 

What are some things you think everyone should know about your city?

  • City Commission has an active advisory board, Better Together Advisory Board, that works to make it welcoming, equitable and inclusive.  

  • We are a city of festivals. Touch-A-Truck Day, Book Festival, and Art Festivals are great opportunities to revel in Decatur’s quirkiness and commitment to community.  

  • Decatur Square is a great place for playing Pokemon GO :-).

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What’s your favorite feature about gita?

I really like the speaker system. 

What do you like most about gita’s design?

I love how it comes to attention when you turn it on.

Where are your favorite places to walk with gita?

Kelly’s Market

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What kinds of reactions do you hear from others when out-and-about with gita?

gita has turned me into a mini-celebrity around town. Folks ask me about it when I am walking without gita. I once had a very young child call me “robot” on the Decatur Square. The parent explained that the child was enamored with gita and remembered me walking with Blu Jeeves. gita’s presence and lack thereof are great conversation starters. I have a few outstanding promises to have gita the next time someone sees me. gita has clearly made me hipper. 

If more people lived the gita lifestyle (walking rather than driving), how do you see that benefiting communities? 

I think it is tough to get to know your neighbors and be an active part of your community with so much of our lives lived in our cars. Unfortunately, our neighborhoods are more like transit stops on our way to and from work. I understand that many of us are limited in what we can do because of the cost of housing and other structural inequities. However, I do think more walkable communities where people have serendipitous encounters with strangers is a much better life than riding around town with so little time that our cars have to double as lunch counters. The gita lifestyle is slower. The upside is that you will get there with a few more friends and a more hospitable community.  

Ed’s Favorite Local Atlanta Finds –