Monday, June 30, 2008

Travel Hint: Always map out where you are going.

Money-Saving Travel Tips - Save on Summer Travel

How to Save on Summer Travel - With Rising Gas and Air Prices Find Ways Save!

Summer is quickly approaching so before you load the kids into the car to escape town, there are few money-saving tips you might want to consider.

"Whether you are traveling internationally, by car or just for the weekend, costs are going up and it is important to save on the small things," said ASTA President and CEO Cheryl Hudak, CTC. "An ASTA travel agent is your best resource for finding ways to save while you travel this summer."

full story here.

Kids' books for a summer journey

Couple keeps things rolling at 1939 movie house


Taking some chances, couple keeps things rolling at 1939 movie house

By Drew Jubera
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/26/08
Photo by: D. Whitefield
Another photo here.

They heard the venerably frumpy Plaza Theatre was up for sale two years ago and did what a lot of diehard Atlanta moviegoers did: half-joked about buying it.

But the more they talked, the less Jonathan and Gayle Rej (pronounced Ray) laughed about owning the two-screen, art-deco art house built in a Poncey-Highland strip mall in 1939.

"It hit us: It'd be cool to try to keep that place open," Jonathan said. "So we called and said, 'How much you want for that place?' I don't know why. We just did it."

They met with a broker, looked at the books, stopped by a bank.

Jonathan: "Finally we said: 'Wow. I guess we can actually do this.' "

The joking stopped. Asking price for the business: $100,000.

"I totally remember sitting at the dining room table going: 'You want to do it? Are you sure we can do this? Maybe we shouldn't do this,' " Gayle recalled.

Jonathan's tiebreaker: "It came down to: 'I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Let's just do it.' "

So like a hipster remake of an old MGM musical, the Rejs did it. Almost two years later, they remain unlikely saviors of Atlanta's oldest continuously operating movie house. For how much longer remains an open question.

He's 35, a former skateboarding punk rocker who runs a film production company. She's 39, a former Star Bar band booker (including the Drive-By Truckers, "before they got huge") and high school drama teacher.

The torch-passing from George Lefont, Atlanta's pioneering art house entrepreneur, was greeted with both relief and awe among film buffs.

The Plaza is a financial high-wire act. Its ups and downs largely mirror the uneasy future faced by art and revival houses everywhere in an age of 34-screen multiplexes, Netflix, DVD-watching airplane passengers and Turner Classic Movies.

The Rejs' uneven answer so far: second-run independent films, movies paired with art openings in the lobby gallery and monthly throw-back events like matinee horror flicks (kids free) and '80s-style splatter movies for adults.

They've also held "Grease" singalongs and a "Summer Camp" series —- campy classics like "Barbarella" (starring Jane Fonda, whose daughter, Vanessa Vadim, showed up for the first screening) and "Some Like It Hot."

"The people running the Plaza are doing something heroic," said Linda Dubler, curator of media arts at the High Museum. "They're going out on a limb to keep that experience alive. It's a very risky enterprise."

Told he'd been called heroic, Jonathan —- whose four tattoos include the Creature from the Black Lagoon and a band his brother played in called Dead Elvis —- shook his head.

"That's a good way of saying: 'Thanks for doing that. Glad it's not me that bought this place.' "

Advent of urban blight

The Plaza's original single screen looked out on 1,000 seats, including a balcony. While the theater never achieved the cache of the 4,000-seat Fox or the long-gone Lowe's Grand (where "Gone With the Wind" premiered), the Plaza's fun-house deco marquee signaled decades of moviegoing good times.

That ended in the 1970s, with the advent of urban blight and twin-screen suburban competitors. The Plaza survived as a porn house until it was rescued in 1983 by Lefont, who converted the balcony into a 200-seat second theater.

Yet running a combo art and revival house became increasingly tricky with the steroidlike multiscreening of theaters, even for someone like Lefont. His empire once included movie houses in Ansley Mall, Toco Hill, Garden Hills —- all closed.

"It was a labor of love, owning [the Plaza] as many years as I did," said Lefont, who now runs the eight-screen Lefont Sandy Springs.

The Rejs were Plaza regulars, as much lovers of local color as film enthusiasts, often approaching a night at the movies the way gourmands hunt for locally grown produce. Their first "not-date," as Gayle called it, was the French movie "Amelie" at the Garden Hills Cinema.

Growing up in Columbia, S.C., Jonathan always figured he'd wind up in Atlanta. He floundered in school at everything but art ("If I got a C in math, we were going out to dinner; it was celebration time") and took up film and video at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

He got editing jobs with CNN's documentary unit and then at the Cartoon Network. He hung out with artists and musicians —- he played in a band called the Mouthbreathers —- and his production company made music videos for groups like Man or Astroman? and Mastadon.

He met Gayle while she worked at the Star Bar. She had master's degrees in theater and English education but spent years managing multiplexes and booking bands. She finally tired of "being the only sober person in the bar at 3 a.m." and landed a job running the drama department at Stockbridge High School.

They got together the same way they bought the Plaza.

"People ask, 'When was the moment?' " Gayle said. "It just sort of happened."

A friend called Jonathan in 2003 about an apartment in Malibu. He grabbed his bike, computer and not much else. He worked on a few reality shows, hated it and ended up "just surfing every day."

He and Gayle kept up a long-distance relationship.

That lasted two years. Jonathan moved back to Atlanta and married Gayle.

Then the whole Plaza thing came up.

'Huh, that's my theater'

It hasn't been easy. Indie films no one else in Atlanta will show, and that the Rejs thought would be their sweet spot, have too often bombed. Events —- kiddie matinees, splatter flicks —- have been hits. The result, said Jonathan: "We're making enough to keep going. It's good I have a production job. We wouldn't be living off this."

Yet despite the monthly roller coaster, the daily headaches, the lost vacations, the Rejs say they're glad they saved, as Dubler put it, "one of those rare relics in Atlanta, which is a place that prides itself on obliterating the past."

Gayle talks about driving by the marquee some nights and thinking, "Huh, that's my theater."

"Sometimes during a spook show, there'll be 300 people in there, and we'll get some popcorn and sit with everybody else. And we'll look at each other and go: 'This is so cool. This would not exist if we hadn't bought it —- these people just had an experience that would not exist.' "

The Plaza Theatre is just short drive from Decatur
on Ponce de Leon Ave.

The Campus Grill, Decatur, GA. circa 1956





Photos from The 1956 School book called The INDECATUR.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Maddy's Rib & Blues Joint . Decatur, GA.




Editorial Review for Maddy's Rib & Blues Joint
The Scene
A cut above the side-of-the-road barbecue shack, this Medlock Park restaurant aims to please neighbors and blues enthusiasts alike. Diners are greeted with friendly counter service, varnished wooden tables and sturdy patio chairs. Regulars know nightly music reigns over conversation. Albums from legends Ray Charles and BB King line the red cinderblock walls. A signature wall next to the stage pays homage to 500-plus current performers.

The Food
The menu offers textbook Southern barbecue fare with slices of white bread. Meaty pork ribs in full slab, half slab or a sandwich are lightly seasoned; a side of thick, orange sauce gives it a vinegary twang. Half and quarter portions of chicken are pit-smoked, so tender they nearly fall off the bone. For sides, a hint of bacon adds a smoky flavor to the potato salad and baked beans are sweetened with rum. Coleslaw, Brunswick stew and chips round out the options.
Review by : Patricia-Anne Tom



Maddy's Rib & Blues Joint
1479 Scott Blvd
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: (404) 377-0301

Comment from Monkey Flinging Poo:
We LOVE this place. I don't really consider myself a food snob, but I haven't had better ribs in this city. The sauce they serve is perfect.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Turnaround artist takes chance on Jocks & Jills


A Decatur location might work good. ???



By CHRIS MEGERIAN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/27/08

Photo: Frank Niemeir/AJC

Phil Hickey and Jeff Trent had nothing on their minds besides the basketball game on TV when Craig Sager approached them at the Jocks & Jills restaurant in the Galleria mall three months ago.

Sager, a longtime Turner Broadcasting sportscaster and co-founder of the chain of sports bars, wanted the career restaurant executives to buy and operate the troubled company.
Hickey wasn't interested. Jocks & Jills had gone bankrupt a year before in the midst of a protracted sexual harassment suit. And he was enjoying working part time as a consultant after selling the Atlanta-based restaurant company Rare Hospitality for $1.19 billion last fall.

But Trent offered to do the brunt of the work as chief operator, and Hickey became convinced that the restaurant's brand had potential.

So nine days after having no interest in owning Jocks & Jills, Hickey purchased the company.

It was an unlikely career move for a man who has been called one of the best CEOs in the business. Eight months after he left a job running a company with 330 restaurants and 20,000 employees, he has become the co-owner of a company with four restaurants, 160 employees and allegations of mismanagement at the highest level.

Now Hickey and Trent must restore profitability to the company in a time of $4 gas, consumer insecurity and high food prices.

"If anybody can do it, it would be Phil Hickey," said Mark Newton, program director of the hotel, restaurant, tourism management program at Gwinnett Tech.

Rise and fall

Jocks & Jills was founded in 1987 by Sager and two Atlanta Hawks players. The company enjoyed early success and eventually there were 10 restaurants and a catering company.

The company's downward slide started with a sexual harassment lawsuit filed in 2000 by one of its managers. The manager, Tracey Tomczyk, lost initially, but on appeal she won a $2.25 million award.

In the 2006 ruling, Jocks & Jills was ordered to pay $1.25 million, and the company filed for bankruptcy protection on March 19, 2007.

Former company chairman Joseph Rollins, who was ordered to pay $1 million to Tomczyk, has appealed, and a third trial is pending.

The sexual harassment suit was not the only factor driving the company toward Chapter 11. A document filed on April 28, 2008, alleged that Rollins' actions — including profane interactions with important landlords and payment of more than $1.8 million in unauthorized "management fees" — had imperiled Jocks & Jills. Rollins' attorney, Denise Dotson with Atlanta firm Jones & Walden, declined comment.

The company closed some of its most visible and profitable locations at the CNN Center, in the Brookhaven neighborhood and its original restaurant on 10th Street in Midtown. Two company-owned restaurants, at the Galleria Mall and in Charlotte, N.C.; a franchise in Canton; and a licensed location in Macon continue to operate.

The company had been so devalued, Hickey was able to purchase its assets from bankruptcy court on April 2 for $373,500. (Sager, who is still a co-owner of the company, put up another $41,500.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Decatur's Mellow Mushroom Pizza





Mellow Mushroom Decatur is located two blocks west of the Square in Downtown Decatur, Georgia. We are in the CVS shopping center.

click here

It's time for Fourth decorations



By JON WATERHOUSE
For the Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/28/08

Photos:Jon Waterhouse
The Patriotic Stars Wreath, available at 17 Steps in Decatur, features a bundle of tree branches fashioned in a swirl.

The staff at Taste in Decatur suggests serving Fourth of July guests a tea-infused libation from one of its patriotic Leifheit pitchers.


The snap, crackle and pop of the Fourth of July is just days away, and you've yet to prep for your holiday soiree. Here are several ideas from storefront and online retailers to help you march to that celebratory drum. You'll find similar items at specialty stores in your area, and big-box retailers also carry festive items.

River Street Sweets

3500 Peachtree Road, Suite 2069, Atlanta. 404-364-0810, www.riverstreetsweets.com. Multiple locations.

This flag-waving sweet spot can be found inside Phipps Plaza. A confectionery specialist with roots in Savannah, River Street Sweets makes most of its goodies on site, with the exception of truffles and sugar-free chocolates.

It sells holiday-themed gift boxes, tins and baskets. Offer them as part of a buffet spread or give one away as a host or hostess gift. The boxes include a red, white and blue cardboard sleeve done up with stars. Tins are available in red or blue. Customers purchase a box ($2) or a tin ($5) and can fill them with any of the goodies at the store. The pralines are arguably the most popular, and each container holds about 1 pound. (Pralines sell for $15.95 per pound.)

Red wicker gift baskets with strips of blue paper lining range from $20 to $50. Items including pralines, glazed pecans and bear claws serve as filler.

Taste

416 Church St., Decatur. 404-370-1863.

Fun and festivity rule at this intimate home and kitchenware spot. Husband and wife duo Steve and Leslie Girard carry high-end and quirky items to enhance entertaining.

Try pouring a holiday beverage from a patriotically colored pitcher. Leifheit offers 1-liter pitchers in red, silver or blue ($29.95 each). The casual German design has a plastic exterior with an insulated glass interior to keep things cool. Three plastic nubs on the bottom give support.

Leslie suggests giving Fourth of July guests a taste of lemonade with natural cucumber. This powdered mixture from Urban Accents ($5.95) makes 2 quarts. Simply add water and maybe spike it with a liquor of choice. The back of the package includes recipes for martinis, daiquiris and mojitos.

Younger guests might get a kick out of rocket-shaped frozen treats. Taste sells Tovolo rocket molds ($15.95) in sets of six. The molds, made of dishwasher-safe plastic, can be frozen together or separately, so you don' t have to commit to an entire batch. The cookbook "Pops!: Icy Treats for Everyone" by Krystina Castella (Quirk Books, $15.95) packs its pages with recipes and designs.

Love Street Gift & Garden

1295 Concord Road, Smyrna. 770-434-8578, www.lovestreetonline.com.

Start the celebration before your guests walk through the door with themed yard stakes.

This cozy and colorful home and garden shop in an old house carries a selection of holiday stakes from the Round Top Collection.

Each is made of painted metal and has Round Top's slightly folk art, Americana feel. Bottle rocket and fire cracker stakes ($10-$12) come in two sizes. The smaller ones measure about 3 feet in height and the larger ones are 4 to 5 inches taller.

An American flag stake done in rickrack style runs $24. And an Uncle Sam-esque top hat ($28.50) can be stuck in the ground or inside a flowerpot, or hung on a door or wall.

17 Steps

235 Ponce de Leon Place, Suite M, Decatur. 404-377-7564.

Step into this gift shop, and the first thing you see is an explosion of Fourth of July decor. A table display brims with handheld American flags, Uncle Sam candles, paper plates and more.

17 Steps carries an assortment of products by Tag, a manufacturer specializing in decor and entertaining supplies for independent retailers. Wipe watermelon off the chin with a pack of 20 star-emblazoned buffet napkins ($6). These three-ply paper dabbers are printed with environmentally safe, water-based inks.

The Patriotic Stars Wreath ($28.50) features a bundle of tree branches fashioned in a swirl and decorated with small red, white and blue metal stars.

Tag's patriotic Coir Mat ($24.50) is a 1-inch thick, 18- by-30-inch doormat. The red mat's design boasts four big, colorful stars. According to Tag, 40 coconuts are required to make each biodegradable mat. Piña coladas not included.

The WordSmith's Books building in 1911



In 1911 at Rogers' store, (now WordSmith's Books) corner of Sycamore & McDonough Streets
Decatur, GA. Merry Widow Flour, which was a grocery store special sold for twelve pounds for .50 cents
photo circa 1911 photo from Sybil Rogers Herren (DEK~413~85)

Parade &Fireworks in downtown Decatur




The City Commissioners will lead the parade in the mini-firetruck. Neighborhoods and organizations are encouraged to make floats and join the fun.
www.decaturga.com/

DeKalb candidates attack, defend CEO

By Sierra Brown
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/27/08

The main subject of Thursday night's forum for candidates who want to be the next DeKalb County chief executive officer was a person who didn't show up and isn't even running: current CEO Vernon Jones.

With the exception of Ann Kimbrough, his chief of staff, the contenders criticized Jones' record on everything from the water supply to public safety. And they promised change.

Kimbrough defended the administration's record and said she would build on it.

The other candidates are: Joe Bembry, an automotive towing business owner; county Commissioner Burrell Ellis; former state Sen. Steen Miles (D-Decatur); and state Rep. Stan Watson (D-Decatur). Watson did not attend.

Bembry described a recent encounter with a police officer who told him there were seven officers on his shift when there should have been 18. "I feel like this county is on the course of deterioration," the candidate said.

Ellis criticized the way the county handled the loss of water pressure Sunday after the power went out at the main water treatment plant. He said every phone number he dialed, including the expensive new 311 information line, went unanswered.

"I spent an hour and a half trying to find out what was going on," Ellis said.

Miles slammed the Jones administration's handling of taxpayer dollars as highlighted in recent audits. She said that her administation "won't steal, won't lie. We will be good stewards of your tax dollars."

Kimbrough said Jones had run a "lean, mean government." She said Ellis should have helped resolve Sunday's crisis and added that she called Georgia Power Co. and asked it to restore electric service.

She said she supports a multimillion-dollar proposal by police Chief Terrell Bolton to expand the police force and that "the foundation has been laid for a great county."

All the candidates are Democrats, so the outcome of the election will be decided by the July 15 primary or by a runoff three weeks later.

The forum, at the old courthouse in Decatur, was sponsored by the Champion newspaper and the DeKalb History Center.

—- Staff writer Ty Tagami contributed to this article.

Shop Decatur



Forget about driving out to the mall, hunting for a parking space and trudging through the same old places! Instead, head for the City of Decatur – your "mallternative" for shopping, dining and nightlife. You'll find more than 200 storefront shops, restaurants, galleries, services and performance venues set along tree-lined streets all around downtown and in Oakhurst village, just south of the square.

Choose from our critically acclaimed restaurants and pubs for a romantic dinner or a special night out with friends. From American to Vietnamese, Mexican to French, dessert to after-dinner drinks, you'll find something for every appetite.

Art galleries continue to spring up around Decatur, bringing a mix of fine art, shopping and nightlife, with openings, exhibitions, and collectible works for sale in a variety of media.

Shopping is an adventure in our charming storefront shops where merchants welcome you with one-of-a-kind finds and personalized service.

Discover Decatur for yourself – come for a lunchtime or a lifetime! We're inside I-285, just minutes east of Atlanta and minutes west of Stone Mountain. There's plenty of parking and easy MARTA access. Decatur is home to many fine professional and service businesses.


For additional information, please contact the Decatur Downtown Development Authority at info@decaturga.com for a free copy of our Shopping, Dining & Services Guide or the Decatur Business Association Directory.

"The Wild One" A great movie to watch.

Funtown Friday Entertainment Video No. 5



This is the fifth in a series of video's, each Friday I will post a video for your entertainment. I will call Funtown Friday Video.
Enjoy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Great spots for great bites.

Decatur High students who can't wait for football games.


circa 1965

North McDonough St. in front of Decatur High School



This was a Decatur High School Homecoming Parade 1963.
Photo from the 1964 Indecatur.

The Getaway.

DECATUR: City approves new firehouse


By April Hunt
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/26/08


The current station on West Hill Street in Oakhurst will be demolished and replaced with an energy-saving building.

One of Decatur's single largest improvements to its buildings and services has begun.

The city commission on Monday approved spending $1.6 million for a new fire station in the Oakhurst neighborhood. The project calls for demolishing the current Station No. 2 and rebuilding on the same site on West Hill Street. The expanded station will be the city's first building to meet tougher green-building standards designed to save energy costs.

"We are ready to move forward quickly," said Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon.

Plans call for demolition of the current firehouse in the next month and for the new station to come online by May 2009.

During construction, the one firefighter company will work out of the city's main fire station downtown. The move could affect response times, though some residents shrug off the move.

"It's literally a matter of seconds," said Michael Gaertner, who has lived in Oakhurst for eight years. "To lose a fire station for a small amount of time is a big step toward the advantage of getting a better, larger station for many years."

The city will pay for the project out of a $16 million bond program that voters approved in 2006. Other large projects planned for that money include new sidewalks, greenspace initiatives citywide and an expansion of the Decatur cemetery.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Have your artwork seen by thousands of people design The 2008 Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival logo.

The 2008 Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival

Call for Festival Logo Entries

Have you ever hoped to have your artwork seen by thousands of people? Here is your opportunity. The Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival is looking for a logo for the 2008 festival. The selected logo will be used on the souvenir t-shirt, the tasting glass and the festival poster.

Guidelines:
Artwork must be in a medium adaptable to graphic reproduction.
Include the following in your design: The Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival 2008
The City of Decatur logo should not be included in your design.
Only one submission per person.

Deadline:
Submit artwork, along with the completed entry form by July 15, 2008 to:

Cheryl Burnette
Decatur Development Authority
509 N. McDonough Street
Decatur, GA 30030

Winner receives:
$300
2 admissions to the beer festival, two festival –t-shirts

Notification:
Notification will be made by the end of July.

For more information, please contact Cheryl Burnette 404-371-8386 or cheryl.burnette@decaturga.com
To get logo contest entry form go here.


Get those Decatur License plates at Whit's End also.


Whit's End wants everyone to know that they carry those Decatur license plates along with other City of Decatur items, below is his email to me.
thanks Jeff I will post this info.
I checked out your blog
You are on the right track,
the more you blog the better you get.
Best Wishes from Next Stop...Decatur.


Hi, It’s Jeff from Whit’s End,

I enjoy following your blog, and read it often, and appreciate the support. I too carry City of Decatur items……license plates, tee shirts, mugs, beer bottle openers, and Decatur Dad tees, Decatur dog bandanas, and Decatur Mom,Dad,Boy,Girl Christmas ornaments, and also photos of local Decatur landmarks.

Thanks,

Jeff

Whit's End, LLC
431 W. Ponce DeLeon Ave, #2
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 377-3310

Note: Jeff & Greg have started a blog check it out here.
Welcome to the world of Blogging.

Flashback to the 70's



Remember these ?
This was Decatur's Chris Motors' VW courtesy bus.
photo from thesamba.com

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival Saturday Aug. 16, 2008

Mark your calendar for August 16, 2008, and don’t miss the 8th Annual Decatur Barbeque Blues & Bluegrass Festival, at Harmony Park in Decatur. The gates open at 4:00pm and there will be live music until 10:00pm. Tickets are $5 per person with kids 10 and under admitted free. Please note that no outside coolers will be permitted on the site.
Click here for all the info you need and a short video.
I know this will be a fun day & night.

Celebrate July 4th with Parade, Concert and Fireworks


Join Decatur's July 4th Pied Piper Parade as it winds through downtown Decatur. Decorate your wagon, ride your bike, skate, or walk in this event.

The City Commissioners will lead the parade in the mini-firetruck. Neighborhoods and organizations are encouraged to make floats and join the fun.

Parade line-up is at the First Baptist Church of Decatur at 5:30 p.m. The parade begins at 6 p.m. It ends at the Community Bandstand on the square with a presentation of colors and the Star Spangled Banner.

Anyone may participate in the parade but those with vehicles must register by completing the July 4th Pied Piper Parade Guidelines form.

The concert, featuring the Callanwolde Concert Band, begins at 7 p.m. in the Community Bandstand. Fireworks begin at dark (approximately 9 p.m.) and are shot from the top of the DeKalb County parking deck.

For information call 404-371-8386
Guidelines for parade here.

Family launches major remodel of Decatur home

Six month, 800-square-feet addition requires move to a temporary residence

By LORI JOHNSTON
For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/24/2008

The decisions seemed endless.

Hire a contractor. Arrange financing. Find a temporary home. Choose what stays and what goes. Switch the utilities. On and on.
t took months of preparations for Mike and Kim Pascale to reach the point of beginning the remodel of their 60-year-old Decatur home. The couple and daughters Miller, 7, and Ella, 6, moved out of their 2,000-square-foot house last month. They will live in a townhome in Glenwood Park for a year, while they wait for a renovated kitchen and a new family room, bedroom, laundry room and wet bar.

"Honestly, we do feel a little displaced," Mike said. "But the timing of it with school ending, I think, has helped a little bit. We're not shuttling kids to school. It's a cool place to live — it wasn't depressing moving out."

The couple bought their three-bedroom, two-bath home as newlyweds in 1998, not realizing that it was close to a strong elementary school, Fernbank, and near family-friendly amenities like the Fernbank Museum of Natural History and Venetian Pools. Two kids later, they set out to find a bigger house and were disappointed to find what Kim labeled "re-muddled" houses that had updated, but odd, floor plans, or others that needed hundreds of thousands of dollars of work. They figured, "Why not go ahead and renovate what we have?"
to read full story click here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Decatur Book Festival / A three-day event Aug. 29-31




Decatur Book Festival expanding
Three-day event includes speakers, poetry, parade

By PHIL KLOER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/23/2008

The third annual Decatur Book Festival will expand its schedule again, featuring former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, a Harry Potter quiz for kids, and authors ranging from Eric Jerome Dickey to football coach Bill Curry.

The festival, which runs Aug. 29-31 at venues scattered throughout Decatur, has its author and event list online at http://www.decaturbookfestival.com.
The festival, which is co-sponsored by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, offers more than 150 authors, live music, cooking events, poetry slams and a parade.

Among the highlights for the 2008 festival, announced Monday in Decatur:

• The world premiere of the first "Madeline" children's book in 50 years, read by author John Bemelmans Marciano, grandson of original author Ludwig Bemelmans.

• A wide range of authors reading and signing their books, including former Nixon White House counsel John Dean, Decatur native Roy Blount Jr., novelists Clyde Edgerton, Jill McCorkle and Lee Smith, pop-up book king Robert Sabuda, and underground comix legend Skip Williamson.

• "How Well Do You Know Harry?," a competitive quiz for children hosted by Cheryl Klein, the continuity editor for the last four Potter books.

• The Escape, a space set aside for teens, with open mic participation and popular young adult authors like Sara Shepard, author of the "Pretty Little Liars" series.

• Local authors, including Karen Abbott, Mary Kay Andrews, Mark Bauerlein, Pearl Cleage, Evelyn Coleman, Hollis Gillespie, Emily Griffin, Patti Callahan Henry, Joshilyn Jackson, Ferrol Sams, Karin Slaughter and Natasha Trethewey.

• A workshop on obituary writing by AJC obit writer Kay Powell.

The 2007 DBF attracted about 60,000 attendees, and several events were so popular that people were unable to get in. Most events are free; some evening musical performances are ticketed.

Close up of The New Decatur High School Auditorium & Gymnasium



Someone has asked me about the large DHS concrete letters, if these will be the original ones from the old auditorium.
Well to answer that question, yes they are suppose to be, unless they were damaged when removed , if so I am sure they can be duplicated.
Another item to be used from the old auditorium is the original Decatur High School emblem from the wooden floor that was embeded on the basketball court.

Gymnasium to be completed by May 2009 and auditorium early 2010

Click pictures to enlarge to see better.

Click here to see Decatur High School Master Plan.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Antiquing Guide for Motoring Around Decatur



Click here to see Map of antique stores around Decatur.

Decatur license plates found at Ace Hardware.

Call before you drive over there because they may be out. This story is 6 months old.
But they did have them last Christmas.
this info is from Decatur GA-tor

If you’ve been wondering where you can get one of these snazzy Decatur license plates then look no further than Smith Ace Hardware on College Ave near Commerce/Columbia. The plates are pricier than I thought they would be ($10 each) but apparently you gotta have one if you live in the city ;)

At first I looked online for these babies and couldn’t find them (just happened to see them at Ace). It’s surprising that there isn’t a non-profit of some kind selling city of Decatur license plates, sweatshirts, flags, etc. online (or offline for that matte). If you know where to get the goods, clue me in - it is the Christmas giving season after all!

ART -B- QUE

Photo's from today's ART-B- QUE will be on my flicker site soon.
Click here to see more photos.

Shop WIGGLE, where their focus is on fun designs for fun kids.



This is the place to come for style that's a little different, a little funky, and all around fun – just like your child!
click here for their web site.
I added their blog to my blogroll.

This will be the new Decatur High School Gymnasium & Auditorium


This is what we can expect the new Gymnasium & Auditorium to look like.
As you can see (click on picture to enlarge) they will use the DHS letters in the new design.

I think it will look great.
What do you think?

How will you spend your summer ? Why not "Go Outside."

Update: The Decatur High School Stadium looks like they might be behind schedule


Will it be ready for this years football season ?
I hope so.

GO DECATUR !

Even the McDonough Street Market Uptown Girl was ready for The Beach Party

Friday, June 20, 2008

Decatur throws a Big Beach Party


They had it all, sand & water..well bottled water and food, plenty of food and entertainment.

More pictures will be posted on my flickr site soon.
Click here to see more photos.

Don't forget Decatur's Beach Party 5 till midnight and maybe you can try Slicin' Sand

Why not go to the movies and see GET SMART.

Get Smart starts today at a theatre near you.
Click here for trailer.

Funtown Friday Entertainmant video No. 4



This is the fourth in a series of video's each Friday I will post a video for your entertainment. I will call Funtown Friday Video.
Enjoy.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Vintage Agnes Scott College postcard circa 1956

FESTIVALS: Sandy fun, artful BBQ

Here is more info on The Beach Party and Saturday's Art-B-Que for this weekend.


By April Hunt
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/19/08

On Sunday, you can rest.

But if you're in central DeKalb County on Friday or Saturday, be ready to party.

Decatur is hauling in 60 tons of sand to its town square Friday night for the annual Decatur Beach Party. Sleep in Saturday morning, then head over to Avondale Estates in the afternoon, where more than 50 artists and musicians are holding an "Art-B-Que" picnic to highlight the city's emerging hipster scene.

"We're just right down the road from each other, so everyone can hit both," said Bart Webb, a sculptor who had hoped simply to party with a handful of fellow artists and ended up organizing the Avondale event, a fund-raiser for Jewish Family and Career Services.

A recent informal census by Avondale's Downtown Development Authority revealed that the city of about 2,800 people has 97 artists ranging from painters, sculptors and musicians to writers. Webb's Franklin Street studio alone is in a building that features four other artists, two galleries, a recording and video studio and band rehearsal space.

"It's astonishing the art that has popped up here," said development authority member Allan Kirwan. "It's important, because artists bring something unique to your town."

The barbecue will feature original artwork in a street festival. Ten percent of the day's sales and the $5 cover for bands performing after 8 p.m. will be donated to the Jewish Family and Career Services senior artist program. The rest of the program is free.

The beach party, which shuts down Ponce de Leon Avenue to set up a boardwalk and concert stage across the sandy expanse, serves as a fund-raiser for the Decatur Business Association.

Tickets for those over age 12 are $5 in advance and $10 on the day of the event, and help cover the business association's other events throughout the year, said Decatur spokeswoman Linda Harris.

"It's always a big hit with everyone," Harris said. "You have to see it to believe it."

After the party ends at midnight, residents are allowed to truck away the sand to their own homes. City crews take any leftover sand to city parks Monday morning, when the Decatur square turns back into a retail hub.

IF YOU GO:

Decatur Beach Party, 5 p.m.-midnight on the square Friday. $5 in advance, $10 day of event for adults; children under 12 free (limit two per paying adult). For more information, visit www.decaturga.com.

Art-B-Que free art show and street festival begins at 2846 Franklin St., Avondale Estates, at 2 p.m. Saturday. Evening concerts begin at 8 p.m., $5. For more information, visit http://bartwebbstudios.com.

Welcome to House Hunters Decatur style.














Newlyweds find place to call home in Decatur

Our house hunters:

When newlyweds Juergen Meyer and Anne Johnston Meyer moved into Juergen's Midtown condo, its considerable amenities couldn't disguise its size. "It was a bit tight," Juergen smiles. German-born Juergen works with a management consulting firm, and Dalton native Anne is the interim youth director at an Atlanta church. Although their backgrounds couldn't be more different, the couple definitely agreed on their future, and that included moving to Decatur.
House photos by:Leonard Thibadeau

Choice #1: Charming cottage



Choice #2: Thoughtful renovation



Choice #3: Fantastic kitchen


House hunters Juergen Meyer and Anne Johnston Meyer.


The process:

Anne and Juergen found Leonard Thibadeau of Thibadeau Co. through a friend. They quickly found that Thibadeau had knowledge of Decatur that was both intricate and insightful. "When we were looking at the houses, Leonard also helped us see not just where we are now, but also reminded us to consider where we'll be in the future," Juergen explains, adding, "He and his connections took care of us, and we very quickly felt part of the community."

Choice #1: A 1927 Winnona Park English cottage, this three-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath home listed at $429,000. Juergen and Anne appreciated its character and charm, which included lovely period details, a fireplace, beautiful great room and a big backyard.

Choice #2: This Winnona Park bungalow listed at $489,900 and looked like many similar Decatur houses. But once inside, the couple found that the previous owner had taken the classic 1947 details and incorporated them into a thoughtful renovation. The four-bedroom, two-bath result kept the home's original living spaces, and added an open floor plan that paid homage to the period.

Choice #3: Juergen and Anne love to cook together, so the new gourmet kitchen this four-bedroom, 3 1/2-bath renovated 1947 Westchester Hills traditional was a big plus. "The kitchen was fantastic, very modern with top-of-the-line appliances," Anne says. Listed at $499,900, its second floor addition gave it a spacious, airy feel.

Which home did they choose? Which house did they choose? Hands down: No. 2. Everything worked. Anne especially appreciates the period charm, and the addition that gives them both the open floor plan and a large master suite with two closets. Was Decatur the right choice, too? Absolutely, they say. "Decatur has the small-town character and community mind-set, but the culture and amenities of a large city," Juergen adds. They're home.


MARCIA KILLINGSWORTH
AJC




Showcase Realtor

Decatur Beach Party is tomorrow.


Beach Party
Friday June 20, 2008 from 5 p.m. to midnight
Decatur brings in 60 tons of sand and turns the square into a beach for this annual event. Dance in the streets to the beach music from the live band performing from the stage that stretches across Ponce de Leon Avenue. Activities include children's boardwalk games, a special beach movie on the giant inflatable screen, face painting, wading pools in the sand and more. Adults $5; Children 12 and under, free. Sponsored by Decatur Business Association. Proceeds from this annual fundraiser benefit downtown improvement projects.

to see last year photos click here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wordsmiths Books invites you to celebrate Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn at The Black And Red Prom, August 1 2008

Thanks Russ, I will post it.

For Immediate Release from Russ at wordsmith

Contact: Wordsmiths Books director ofMarketing, Russ Marshalek 404-378-7166 / russ@wordsmithsbooks.com



Wordsmiths Books in Decatur, GA announcescelebration of Midnight Sale of Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn with TheBlack And Red Prom, August 1, 2008, 10 PM





Wordsmiths Books, the largest independent bookstore in theflourishing literary community of Decatur, GA, invites those on both sides ofthe Edward/Jacob split to join in a night of festively awkward high-schoolmerriment and ghoulishly macabre fun in celebration of the release of thefourth book in Stephenie Meyer’s acclaimed and beloved Twilight Series, Breaking Dawn, with The Black And Red Prom. Beginning at10 P.M. on Friday, August 1 and lasting ‘til the Witching Hour, WordsmithsBooks will be transformed into a gothic fantasy wonderland prom setting, deckedout entirely in black and red. Themed food treats and drinks suitable for allages (teens and their equally-awkward parents!) will be readily available(including cookies for fans on both sides of the vampire/werewolf split, andthe in-house invented “crepuscular cookie” oozing red filling),games, activities and giveaways will be plentiful, and awkward high-school promdancing will be encouraged. For the latter, suitably appropriate, danceablegoth music will be spun by the Your Twilight Moms Deejay Collective, and livelocal band The Wayne Fishell Experiment will be re-inventing themselves as FeroshaAkoustika for a special live set of fun-indie-folk-goth-pop leading up to themidnight on-sale of Breaking Dawn,the most hotly anticipated book of the year.

Black and red attire is requested of those attendingWordsmiths Books Black And Red Prom, and entry to the event is free. RSVPs arerequested, though, by emailing number of attendees to prom@wordsmithsbooks.com.

Decatur educators return from China trip


By KRISTINA TORRES
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/18/08

Photo : A group shot at the gate of Sichuan Normal University Attached Experimental School in Chengdu.

Six Decatur educators on a visit to Chengdu, China, returned home last night after more than two weeks abroad.

The trip to Sichuan Normal University Attached Experimental School in Chengdu is the first time Decatur has sent teachers to the school, with which it began a new exchange program last year.
t also came in the wake of a May 12 earthquake that devastated Sichuan province and killed tens of thousands. The elite Sichuan school — located near the city's core — was relatively undamaged. The 3,000 students from the school escaped injury.

The Decatur group arrived back from Shanghai just after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. They are expected to spend the next couple of days re-adjusting from the 12-hour time difference.

You can see and read more on the teachers' trip at their blog, acopp.edublogs.org. Among some of the group's memories, according to separately e-mailed updates:

ON THE EARTHQUAKE

• "There are tents erected everywhere. No one is really using them any more. They were erected and used immediately after the quake hit and everyone has left them up just in case. No one quite knows what to expect because they say they've never had an earthquake in this area before."

• "All of our hosts have told us that the experience of the earthquake has changed their lives. They are more committed now to making the most of each day — to enjoy life, to love their family and concentrate on the things that are most important in their lives — because one doesn't know what tomorrow will bring."
See photos of their trip here.

Decatur rehires deputy city manager

By APRIL HUNT
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/17/08

Decatur has rehired its deputy city manager for another two years - 31 years into his tenure at the city.

The city commission on Monday agreed to renew a two-year contract with Hugh Saxon, beginning July 1. Saxon oversees the city's $16 million of capital improvement projects, such as a new fire station and upgrades to other city buildings.
Saxon will earn $117,000 a year under the new contract. Commissioner Jim Baskett described the salary as a value, noting Saxon's role saves the city from having to hire a construction management firm to keep the various projects on track.

Saxon has worked for the city in varying capacities for three decades. He reports to city manager Peggy Merriss.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Wordsmith had their one year anniversary this past week-end.

To see some video clips visit David's inDECATUR site.

He also has other video clips of things going on in Decatur.

Act like a tourist --- you'll have great time

Things to do this summer.
Here is something everyone should try. Be a Tourist.

By Tony Minella
For the Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/16/08

I am a resident of Midtown, not someone who comments on this city and then drives home to the burbs.

I recently had some visitors in town, one who had never been to Atlanta, celebrating their 40th birthdays. They wanted to do something fun and different.

Our weekend started Friday at the Georgia Aquarium. The team members, as they call them at the aquarium, were topnotch at what they did, whether telling us about the aquarium life or serving us coffee. My friends were thrilled, to say the least.

Following that we decided to go to the New World of Coke. Again, another outstanding display of service, and everyone was extremely polite. After these two events, one of my guests said, "Now I know why they call it Southern hospitality!"

Friday evening we went to the Westin hotel downtown to have some appetizers and drinks at the top. The views were spectacular, and again, the service was outstanding. My guest could not believe how beautiful our city was and how much more it was than what she had heard.

On Saturday we did the ultimate in tourism and took the Segway tour out of Underground Atlanta. We got a tour guide who majored in history and took us for a 2 1/2-hour tour of our city's historic sites many of us probably don't even know about.

Of course, there were homeless people, but we live in tough times and we generally care less about our fellow man these days. But no fear or apologies were conveyed from our tour guide. He was a native Georgian and was proud to be doing what he was doing and was proud of Georgia and Atlanta. It was the best time I have had in Atlanta in 10 years, and I will take my next guests on this tour.

A fine dinner at Taurus restaurant rounded out the evening.

On Sunday it was off to the airport, and as I dropped my guests off, one turned to me and said, "I'm so glad I came; this is a great city and nothing like what you hear. I can't wait to come back!"

We hear so much negativity about out city. Take a weekend and discover what is under your feet.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

50-year-old Buckhead five-and-dime is 'like walking through your own childhood'



F.W. WOOLWORTH CO. lives , well sort of.. In todays AJC they have a story about an 5 & Dime store in Buckhead it's called Richard's Variety Store. If you have not visited that store you are in for a treat, It's like going back in time. It reminds me of the F.W. WOOLWORTH CO. that was in Decatur. the floor, the smell even the The Champion horse ride for kids.

By ROSALIND BENTLEY
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/14/08

Photo: At Richard's, Gracie Dorminy, 4, and other youngsters can ride a 10-cent horse while their parents shop.
Renee' Hannans Henry/AJC

If you want to play stump the clerk, the last place to try it is at Richard's Variety Store in Buckhead.

It seems the perfect place for such a game, considering the first 100 square feet of the store contain: faux blue-and-white porcelain, bandannas from brown to lime green, natural bristle fingernail/vegetable brushes, tote bags, cheeky greeting cards rated G to R; flip-flops, yodeling pickles, thread, Groucho Marx glasses, watering cans, wicker baskets, wrapping paper, Webkinz, ladies' handkerchiefs, Instant Irish Accent Spray and cotton footies.

Should you require a Dick and Jane reader, Yatzhee, Travel Yatzhee, Lincoln Logs, knock-off lava lamp, egg cup, cast-iron skillet, tiki glass, sombrero, Indonesian Barbie, flashing reindeer ears, flashlight, zester, clothespins or croquet set, you'll have to venture deeper into the store.

Hah, you say. I can find footies at a dollar store. And maybe she won't be Indonesian, but I can find Barbie at Target. Could be.

But at those places you probably can't get keys made and let your kids ride a 10-cent pony while they wait, which you can do at Richard's. It's the pride of store associates to know where everything is, which most do. And if they don't, they holler at each other across the aisles, "Where's the tambourines?" "Do we have any chalkboards?"

These days when big-box stores anchor every freeway exit and dirt-cheap discounters dot strip malls, a place such as Richard's is not nearly so familiar. Anything the store doesn't sell?
"A cowbell," said Lolalene Hollis. She's a lanky 24-year-old with a big smile, who has worked this, her first and only job, since age 17, so you figure she knows what she's talking about. "If you want that or an air horn, you gotta go down to Ace Hardware. Otherwise, we probably have it."

The odds of finding an old-fashioned mercantile such as this are about as good as meeting a third-generation Atlantan — a rare and intriguing find indeed.

Robert Klenberg is in varying measures a rare find. He likes to say that he tried to get hired at the store when it opened at the Peachtree Battle Shopping Center in 1958. He was 4. Neither Klenberg's father, Max, the owner, nor his Uncle Richard — for whom the store is named — would hire him. Same for his late grandfather Frank, who was also part of the family business. By age 5, however, Klenberg had talked his way in and had to be the shortest stock boy on the payroll.

"I grew up in this store," Klenberg said. "This is my one, true home."

Now, 50 years later, Klenberg is owner and proprietor of one of the metro area's last standing five-and-dimes. And on the 50th anniversary of this Atlanta mainstay, change is coming, but the question is will longtime customers who appreciate its one-of-a-kindness go for it?

Same as it ever was

There was a time when Richard's had as many as seven Atlanta locations, long before enclosed malls drained away vitality and shoppers.

Initially there was some debate over which Klenberg brother the stores would be named for.

"Richard's, Max's or Frank's — you tell me which has the better ring," Klenberg said to a recent visitor.

It also didn't hurt that Uncle Richard had a deep, dark, storied past as a spy against the Nazis, Klenberg said, which added weight to the argument that the stores should be named for him. "Plus, Richard's sounded a little like Rich's" — the defunct Atlanta department store — "and people are familiar with that."

Robert worked at the store until he hit his rebellious teens, tried to start a couple of businesses of his own during his lean 20s, then came back to the shop at Peachtree Battle Shopping Center before he hit 30.

His dad made him start over again as a stock boy. The climb to the top was steep, but by 1994, Klenberg had bought his father out, and now Richard's is Robert's, though he decided to keep the original name.

Of the original tenants at the shopping center, only Richard's remains. It is a testament to the durability of the store's if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it business model.

All Richard's merchandise screams new, new, NEW! But look past the razzle-dazzle packaging; in fact, look down at the floor. Those beige and brown tiles buffed to an impossible shine are original. The baseboards, too. The yellowed pegboard holding the hammers, original. The glass-front bins that hold seasonal miscellany, original.
And when the original aluminum and cloth shopping baskets got too shabby to hold much of anything, one of the clerks took the baskets home three at a time and hand-stitched new fabric on all 35. She stopped short of giving the worn frames fresh coats of red spray paint.

'Like childhood again'

"In the middle of Buckhead, where everything is so high-maintenance, I love that there's this little stuck-in-the-past store. It's like walking through your own childhood again," said 39-year-old Melissa Adams. Adams had come for a hula hoop for her daughter's sixth birthday and was debating whether to buy a second.

"I don't know, I used to be pretty good at it," Adams said.

Maybe that's part of the store's magic, its draw.

The faint mustiness, the drone of fluorescents overhead, the delightful shock of finding Tiddledy Winks or a Magic 8 Ball, this is why they all come. Decorators, housekeepers, nannies, chauffeurs arrive with shopping lists for clients.

Buckhead moms show up on Saturday mornings searching for presents for afternoon parties. Ex-Atlantans call in with orders, even though cities such as New York and San Francisco surely have stores that sell strainers or rain bonnets.

The other day Natalie Lacey, Buckhead mom of a 10-month-old daughter, came in and let Klenberg know there was big business to be done in hair ribbons, because ribbons were a trend among the high school set now — "Like the preppy trend in the '80s," she said — and he must get yardage in all the neighboring private-school colors and in classic motifs such as stripes and polka dots.

Lacey had come that day for knee socks.

"You have no idea how hard it is to find knee socks now," she confided.

Knee socks? Do people still wear knee socks? And why not just go to a mall to find them?

"Oh," Lacey said, recoiling ever so slightly. "Nobody goes to malls anymore. Too time-consuming and too, just too ..." she said, choosing her words carefully, "just too much of a hassle."

More of a good thing

After 50 years of giving the people what they want, except cowbells, change is afoot. And it's a great big foot, 18,000 square feet to be exact.

In August, Klenberg will open a second location in the Midtown Promenade Center on Monroe Drive. All the favorites will be there, as well as books for adults (though not "adult books"), clothes and candy. Candy. Candy. Candy.

"I took candy out of here a while ago, and it was the biggest mistake I ever made," Klenberg said as he walked through the old store.

But isn't a second store a risk? Won't it dull the charm of the original? Klenberg said he doesn't quite liken it to a mortal sin, but he does say it's a necessary business evil; he needs more space to stay competitive.

"It is sacrilege," said Bill Becker, a 48-year-old Atlanta Realtor and a Richard's devotee since 1984. "But [Klenberg] won't screw it up. He knows what he's doing and he does it well."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Victory Vintage - Decatur, GA.



Victory Vintage Home
303 E. College Ave.
Decatur, GA.
web site here.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans, runs this weekend


O'Connell ready for endurance test
By RICK MINTER
Cox News Service
Friday, June 13, 2008

ATLANTA — The world's most prestigious endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, runs this weekend on France's Circuit de la Sarthe, and Johnny O'Connell of Flowery Branch, Ga., is among the favorites for a class victory.

O'Connell drives for Corvette Racing, and his bright yellow No. 63, which he co-drives with Ron Fellows and Jan Magnussen in the GT1 class, consistently has been atop the speed charts in preliminary runs and in qualifying.

O'Connell is a three-time Le Mans winner, and his Corvette team has won in five of the past seven years. He said this week in a phone interview that his Corvette C6.R has just the right combination of horsepower and handling to be fast on the 8.5-mile road course, which is a combination of race track and adjacent country roads. He said that of the two speed factors, his team focuses most on handling.

"Where the Corvette shines is in braking ability and our ability to go through the fast corners a little quicker," he said. "We place an emphasis on the handling of the car and its durability. The amazing thing is that only once, in all our tries, have both cars not finished."

O'Connell said that while he spends most of the year running the American Le Mans Series at tracks such as Road Atlanta, the race in France matters most.

"This really is the biggest race as far as the attention it receives around the world," he said. "That's the main reason the Chevrolet Corvette racing program exists. The ALMS is an amazing challenge, but really it's to keep us tuned up for this place.

"This is it."

Keselowski wins at Nashville

What a difference a year — and a better team — made for Brad Keselowski as he returned to Nashville Superspeedway last week for the Federated Auto Parts 300. In last year's 300, he drove Keith Coleman's underfunded Chevrolet to a 40th-place finish, dropping out after 23 laps with handling problems. His team folded after that, and Keselowski sat out four races before being picked up by car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr.

This year, he bolted past Clint Bowyer with six laps to go and scored his career-first Nationwide Series victory.

Afterward, he reflected on his improved fortunes with reporters at Nashville, saying his experiences last year were "about as bad as you could get."

"We brought a road-course car," he said. "It broke down about five times. I was afraid I was going to knock the wall down and get myself hurt it was so bad. That was one of those low points where you ask yourself, 'Why am I doing this? I need to get out of here before I get myself hurt.'

"The team folded up right after that, and I was left without a job. The rest was kind of history of how I got with Dale."

Rick Minter writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Goodguys 2nd NAPA Southern Nationals this week-end.



The chrome grill on Richard Kraemer's '52 Buick. Kraemer came up from Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. for the show. Louie Favorite/AJC

2nd Goodguys Napa Southern Nationals
Atlanta Motor Speedway — Atlanta, GA
June 13,14 & 15, 2008
Rods, customs, classics & muscle cars thru ’72.
AJC Photo here.

For more on this click here.

Everyone needs a Summer Place.



Where is your Summer Place ?

Dance all night to this DJ

New H&M at Atlantic Station a treat for fashionistas on budget



Take a look inside H&M Atlantic Station. The Swedish retailer's flagship store in Atlanta opens June 13. Here's the ladies collection. Joey Ivansco/AJC


Want blouses ($25), sailor pants ($30), surfer shorts ($10), more?

By NEDRA RHONE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/13/08

Walking into the new H&M in Atlantic Station was almost like taking a trip back in time.

The place: The corner of 51st and Fifth Avenue in New York. The Year: 2000. The Event: The opening of the first Hennes & Mauritz store in the United States.
I was a penniless student and couldn't wait to get my hands on the inexpensive, trendy duds. But I did wait. Three months. Why? Because it was just too crowded to shop.

It probably won't take three months for the crowds to die down at H&M Atlantic Station, particularly since it is the second location in the metro area (the first at North Point Mall opened in May), but it can't hurt to have a shopping game plan whenever you decide to go.

Fortunately, the layout of this big bi-level store, isn't too complex.

The entire ground level is devoted to women's clothing. Longtime H&M fans will quickly identify modern basics; white linen shorts with a belted waist, polka dot sundresses, and multi-tiered pink tank tops all for $20. A bikini wall spans the middle of the store with rows of mix and match tops and bottoms in color combinations of black and gold or summer brights. Across the aisle, racks of accessories include $6 scarves, enamel bracelets and canvas and faux-leather bags and totes.

Shorts, tanks and dresses by L.O.G.G., H&M's casual sportswear concept, occupy space at the rear of the store while the tailored items from the H&M modern classics collection with career woman appeal such as sand colored sailor pants ($30) and printed button front blouses ($25), are just near the East District Avenue entrance.

For a special treat, dip into the lingerie room, a section devoted to H&M's line of intimates that includes organic cotton sets like a gray and white striped padded bra with matching boy shorts.

Take the escalator (or elevator) to level two and find the children's section arranged by age; 0 - 18 months, 1-8 years and 9-14 years. Boys can choose from drawstring surfer style shorts ($10) and t-shirts, while little girls can try the tiered dresses in pink and brown ($17) and Hello Kitty tanks.

The men's department is also on the top floor where plaid button down shirts, striped polos and other casual sportswear from L.O.G.G. hang near accessories like sunglasses and flip-flops. Tanks with leaf motifs ($5) and cargo shorts ($30) share space with dressier gear such as jackets and pinstriped dress shirts. Don't forget a black and white trilby hat ($8) to complete any stylish outfit.

Divided, H&M's concept for ultra-trendy men and women, is housed upstairs as well. The line includes denim for men and women, along with other hot-off-the-street looks for the fashion-conscious shopper.

Dressing rooms and cash registers on both levels may help quell the crowds in the first few weeks, but consider yourself warned.

click here for more picture

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hapeville could become the southside version of Decatur


By KEVIN DUFFY
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/13/08
photo :www.city-data.com

Two ZIPs in similar area differ in number of new-home sales

In some respects ZIP codes 30354 and 30288 are a lot alike.

Both sit side by side on the Southside, convenient to the interstates and the world's busiest airport. Both have more females than males. And both have similar racial breakdowns: 69 percent black and 20 percent white, according to the market research firm Claritas.
In one way, however, they are vastly different — number of new-home sales in 2007.

The 30354 area in Fulton County enjoyed a banner year primarily because Hapeville's traditional neighborhood development was so popular. Sales in that ZIP jumped 141 percent, the AJC's annual Home Sales Report says.

But in unincorporated Conley, which is 30288 in DeKalb and Clayton counties, new home sales were woeful. In Clayton, they fell 91 percent and in DeKalb they were off 65 percent.
read full story here.


see the before & after of Chapman Drugs
here.

Six arrested after 'Blue Jean Bandits' smash van into store and one was involved in the Decatur robbery.

Well, looks like they did catch at least one of the Blue Jean Bandits that hit Kaleidoscope. They already had him in police custody on unrelated charges of theft and obstructing an officer.



By Jose Pagliery
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/13/08

The Dawson County Sheriff's Office on Thursday identified five of six alleged "Blue Jean Bandits" who were arrested after the foiled burglary of a Dawson County clothing store.

Four men and a woman ranging in age from 17 to 42 were arraigned Thursday morning in Dawson County Magistrate Court.

The charges against them included burglary, conspiracy to commit theft, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and giving false names to police.

The unnamed person was the one police believe drove the stolen 2000 Dodge Caravan used in the botched heist.

Though police initially believed the driver was 16, Dawson sheriff's Sgt. Tony Wooten said Thursday that the suspect may have lied to investigators.

That person remains in custody.

All six people are suspected in a robbery attempt early Tuesday of a Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th store at the North Georgia Premium Outlets.

A private security guard watched as a silver van backed into store's doors, smashing the glass and creating an entry and escape route.

The same store had been hit three weeks earlier in a similar smash-and-grab robbery in which an estimated $20,000 worth of designer blue jeans were stolen, according to Wooten.

The van's occupants noticed the security guard was watching and left, Wooten said.

Two deputies pursued the vehicle into Forsyth County, where officers used a "stop stick" —- a spiked strip to puncture tires —- to force it off the road.

The vehicle's occupants ran away, and deputies and police took part in a seven-hour manhunt before the suspects were apprehended.

On Thursday, bond was denied for three men believed to have committed the burglary: Altavious Demon Jackson, 23; Jermichael Lockett, 18, and Deyancious Lewis, 17.

Bond was set at $20,000 apiece for a man and a woman who allegedly helped the others elude police during the manhunt: James Edward Burson, 42, and Abby Marba, 26.

Police said that while all the suspects in the Saks Fifth Avenue burglary have been apprehended, others involved in similar crimes remain at large.

On Thursday, police obtained warrants for Slyricus Winder, one of several suspects in the violent robbery June 4 of the Kaleidoscope Boutique in Decatur.

When those warrants were issued, Winder already was in Atlanta police custody on unrelated charges of theft and obstructing an officer.

"Somebody gave some pretty good information, and we were able to secure the warrant for the armed robbery," Atlanta police Officer Ron Campbell said.

Decatur police have charged Winder in the Kaleidoscope robbery.

Funtown Friday Entertainment Video No. 3



This is the third in a series of video's each Friday I will post a video for your entertainment. I will call Funtown Friday Video.
Enjoy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

FIVE QUESTIONS ... with Eva Rosewall and Jody McFerren, owners of Our Way Cafe

By Jon Waterhouse
For the Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/12/08

As the stretch between downtown Decatur and Avondale Estates readies for its big, build-out boom, nearby meat-and-three mainstay Our Way Cafe keeps churning out its brand of gullet-warming, home-cooked meals. It's still a cash-only operation, fun and funky antiques decorate the walls, and colorful regulars get a first-name greeting. But a budding catering business and the addition of Sunday lunch hours this fall are a couple of plans Our Way has in the oven.

What do you like most about your job?

Rosewall: I love feeding people more than anything, because they're happy and they like to see me. ... I've been serving some of these people for 20 years, and I've watched their children grow up. And now their children bring in their own children ... I would not want another job. I love my job more than anybody.

With all of the transplants in Atlanta these days, do you have to tweak your Southern recipes to keep everyone happy?

McFerren: Eva's Swedish, but she has a Southern flair to her. And I'm from the North. So we've just incorporated things over the years.

Rosewall: The mothers of my boyfriends when I was growing up were the ones who taught me how to cook because we did not know anything about lima beans, field peas, butter beans or anything.

Your creamed corn is legendary. What's so special about your veggies?

Rosewall: The thing I think we're most famous for is that our vegetables are all vegetarian. There's no meat, lard or fat added.

What about your vegetarian entrees?

Rosewall: Our spinach-artichoke lasagna is a huge hit with our vegetarians and so is our spinach-tofu pie with artichokes. I had a woman call me and say, "Any time you make those two dishes, set aside three little containers for me."

Your clientele is diverse. Describe it.

Rosewall: At 11 a.m., it's all of the contractors. From 12 to 1 p.m., it's the office people. At 2 p.m., it's the artists. At 5 p.m., the more bohemian, industry crowd comes in. And the families come at night.

McFerren: Ruth is our oldest regular. She's 94 and a former burlesque and can-can dancer. She comes in every Thursday and gives out candy and good luck pennies to our customers. She passes out the pennies because she's a cancer survivor.

> Our Way Cafe, 2831 E. College Ave., Decatur. 404-292-9356, www.ourwaycafe.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wordsmiths Books on the Decatur Square celebrates one year anniversary June 13-15 2008 with music, food, chefs, authors!


Wordsmiths Books in Decatur, GA Celebrates One YearAnniversary June 13-15 With Chefs (including Richard Blais), Authors (includingToni McGee Causey), Poets, Music and a Crawfish Boil!

As of June 15, 2008, Wordsmiths Books will have had its doors opento the public for exactly one year. That's one year of author events, one yearof local, national and international touring musicians, one year of striving tobe more than just Decatur's premiere independent bookstore.

To celebratethe past year, and to look towards the future, Wordsmiths is using our one-yearbirthday as an excuse to gather up our old friends, and make some new ones. Theweekend of June 13-15 will be filled with music, authors, poets, food andfestivities-basically, this is just an excuse for us to throw a massivethree-day get-together with our friends (which means YOU!).

Starting at7PM, Friday, June 13 will be a night of some of the best local music tohit the Wordsmiths stage. All free, all ages!

7-8PM The Lady Vanishes: sunny andsmart 60's-influenced café pop

8-9PM Eryn McHugh: Called a"radio-ready chanteuse" by Creative Loafing, Eryn McHugh's lush andlovely confessional tales are subtle and brilliant.

9-10PM: Lou Martyr :formerlyLou of One Hand Loves The Other, the beloved and ground-breakingelectronic/classical/pop hybrid fusion that won fans and massive acclaim.

10-11:RandomRabbit: Pretty, downtempo and deep live electronic jams

At 2PM onSaturday, June 14, we welcome our friends from Poetry Atlanta for anall-star Poetry Atlanta Wordsmiths Birthday Takeover,featuring some of the biggest and best local poets in the city. Curated byPoetry Atlanta head and stunning local verse-layer Collin Kelley, Saturday'sPoetry Atlanta Birthday Takeover features Kodac Harrison, Megan Volpert andKaren Head. All have graced the Wordsmiths stage before, and all are amazing.Collin himself might even bring a surprise or two to the stage.

Then,starting at 7pm onSaturday June 14 and going all evening and into the night, we'rethrilled to present the BabyGotBooks.com-sponsored Bobbie Faye Fais Do-DoCrawfish Boil and Author Shindig, featuring authorsJL Miles, CJ Lyons and Toni McGee Causey, whose first novel, Bobbie Faye's VeryVery Very Bad Day was one of Wordsmiths Books favorite books of 2007. Incelebration of her Louisiana-based new novel, Bobbie Faye's Kinda Sorta, NotExactly Family Jewels, we'll be, along with our co-sponsors from theBabyGotBooks lit blog, throwing down with a good, old-fashioned crawfish boil.Free food, free drinks, free merriment and some of the best authors to evergrace the Wordsmiths Stage. "Fais Do-Do" means Cajun party, andthat's just what we're prepared to have. You do NOT want to miss the crazy funand chaos of the Bobbie Faye Fais Do-Do.

Sunday, June 15at 2 PM, Wordsmiths proudly and excitedly welcomes thehottest Atlanta chef of the moment, Richard Blais.Currently seen on Bravo TV's Top Chef,Blais is known and beloved far beyond Atlanta for his stunning, cutting-edgefusion of classic cuisine and molecular gastronomy. For this specialafternoon, Richard Blais will be discussing his renowned culinary talents aswell as signing the recently-released Top Chef Cookbook, in which his winning"Quickfire Challenge" recipe appears.

Then, at 4pm, we'll be welcoming AtlantaCooks At Home and some of our favorite Atlanta Chefs for a chat andtasting, hosted by Gena Berry, the founder of Culinary Works. Appearing withGena for a fun chat will be Butch Raphael, formerly of Pangaea and now withWhole Foods, and Jay Swift, formerly of Rainwater and now the new 4th and Swiftrestaurant.

In-storesales, special, crazy, spontaneous discounts, and special, crazy, spontaneousdancing are all guaranteed to be a part of Wordsmiths Books 1stBirthday Weekend, and we might even get Wordsmiths owner Zach to make some sortof heartfelt, tearful speech and thank "the academy". All thisand more (and possibly Scrabble!) as Wordsmiths celebrates one year of being apart of the Decatur community, comfortably and conveniently located on theDecatur Square.

Formore info on Wordsmiths Books One Year Anniversary Weekend, or anything elseWordsmiths Books related, don't hesitate to contact me.