Friday, March 30, 2012

Stone Mountain Park's new water-spouting Geyser Towers Opens Sat. March 31

By Howard Pousner

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Phoebe Feibus had come prepared for a preview of Stone Mountain Park's new water-spouting Geyser Towers attraction this week, donning yellow rain boots fashionably decorated with sock monkeys. The only problem was, she was getting so soaked that her galoshes kept filling up like tanks at an aquarium.
But when you're 7, it's hot outside and there is water erupting, misting, spritzing and spraying seemingly in every direction, a few quarts sloshing around in your shoes hardly puts a damper on the fun.

"Awesome!" was the home-schooled Atlanta girl's two-thumbs-way-up review.

A $1 million addition to the park's Crossroads Village fun town, Geyser Towers officially opens Saturday, not coincidentally just in time for spring break. The two-story, wet-and-wild climbing playscape promises regular dousings to kids of all ages from 10 sources of water as relief during Atlanta's typical summer armageddons of heat and humidity.

A few days earlier, project manager Paul Creasy had gone to great pains to explain that those who would prefer not to get drenched while climbing around on the Geyser Tower's polypropylene-rope bridges and tunnels -- translation: parents -- could avoid that fate. All people had to do to stay relatively dry, he pledged, was pay attention to the timing and location of eruptions and sprays as they moved under and around the playscape.

Even water-loving kids, he added, probably wouldn't require a change of clothes.

But clearly that was an adult talking and adults, even ones with five young children like Creasy, can sound so so silly when they try to sound expert on the behavior of kids around water.

At Thursday's preview, sodden youngsters raced from the Show Geyser, rising from an 8-foot stonework pedestal just inside the entrance and unleashing torrents of agua 30 feet high, to the often-erupting Bubble Geyser under the middle of the playscape, trying to soak up every drop.

One story above, other soaked young civilians lolled on the triangular-shaped netting stretched between the three towers, getting misted by a half-dozen elevated spritzers as they anxiously anticipating the thar-she-blows! moment when the frothing bubble geyser below shot up more liquid refreshment.

Stone Mountain Park marketing manager Laura Ramos said Geyser Towers is a response to regular requests from visitors for liquid fun. "We definitely wanted to address that need that we heard," she said. "I mean, Atlanta's got some scorcher summers."

Geyser Towers additionally fits in with Stone Mountain Park's growing portfolio of physically challenging attractions, along with its neighbor Sky Hike and the winter favorite Snow Mountain. Geyser Towers skews a little younger than the more adventurous, three-story Sky Hike, an elevated family adventure course where the only moisture involved is sweat. Its highest level is a daredevil-baiting 40 feet off the ground.

Targeting (but by no means limited to) ages 7 through 12, Geyser Towers features levels that are 14 and 24 feet high, with its tunnels and walkways fully enclosed by netting, like a fast-food playscape on steroids.

Once inside it, the climbing is varied. For instance, the "V"-shaped truss rope bridge between levels one and two is more supported and easier to navigate than the looser "V"-shaped suspended rope bridge between the first and second towers on level two.

To enter the structure, one must be at least 32 inches tall and young ones between 32 and 40 inches require an adult chaperone. Those under 32 inches, however, can get their wet on by simply hanging out on the ground level and there's even a trickling "creek" of moving water in a corner for toddler enthusiasts.

The structure has a capacity of 157, so there may be short waits to access it on the hottest days. Park officials believe an average visit will last 30 to 40 minutes, since most guests want to get their money's worth out of multi-attraction Adventure Passes, but there's no time limit.

Like Snow Mountain, Geyser Towers draws water from Stone Mountain Lake that it treats to make it potable, similar to swimming pool water. The roughly 50 gallons a minute used by the attraction recycles back into the lake via a closed loop system.

Geyser Towers would seem to close the loop on what young kids want when the forecast is set to sizzle. Trying to dry by the sun after his immersion, 11-year-old Atlantan Noah Vrazel proclaimed, "It was really cool. I liked running through the [bubble geyser] and going through the tunnels."

Did he want to come back?

"Yes," he said with the absoluteness of youth. "But next time with a towel."

From :
Erupting March 31st! Welcome to the first and only adventure of its kind. Geyser Towers bring an all-new, must-do experience to Stone Mountain Park. Multiple levels of suspended rope bridges and net tunnels connect you to towering platforms that overlook the gushing geyser. With its sporadic eruptions and multiple offshoots, you can play in the spray or stay high and dry. The options, and the fun, are all yours.

Ideal for the whole family, Geyser Towers offers plenty of room for adults and the perfect amount of excitement for the kids. As an option for our littlest guests, toddlers can splash in a trickling creek while mom and dad relax in the shade. Geyser Towers at Stone Mountain Park. One cool adventure.

Get your Mountain Membership today to enjoy this all-new attraction plus many more all year long!

Please note that for your safety, closed-toe shoes are required. Guests between 32 inches and 40 inches tall must be accompanied by a chaperone age 16 or older. Before experiencing the attraction please read the guest safety information posted at the entrance.
Location: Crossroads
Cost: Included in One-Day Adventure Pass and the Mountain Membership.
Minimum Height Requirement: 32 inches
Companion Information: Guests between 32 inches and 40 inches tall must be accompanied by a chaperone age 16 or older.
This is an Outdoor attraction.
This ride is Wheelchair Accessible.

SunTrust Ga. HQ to move to Campanile Building

Workers were removing scaffolding in front of the building Thursday at 1155 Peachtree St
after putting up the SunTrust sign

photo credit: NEXT STOP...DECATUR

Reprint from ajc article dated Aug. 2011

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Rachel Tobin

Just weeks after losing one prized lease deal, John Dewberry’s Campanile building in Midtown signed another: SunTrust Banks Inc.
Starting in April or May, the Georgia division of the Atlanta-based bank will relocate 350 employees to the former BellSouth headquarters building in Midtown from 25 Park Place downtown.

The bank will take five of the lower floors of the 21-story Campanile, bringing the building to 50 percent leased. The deal includes signage on the lower portion of the building at 1155 Peachtree St.

Dewberry bought it last year out of distress with a loan from Georgia’s Own Credit Union, also a building tenant. They paid $36 million for what then was a mostly vacant but ritzy building BellSouth had built with all the trimmings of a headquarters.

For Dewberry, the SunTrust deal is great news after law firm Morris, Manning & Martin cancelled its decision to move there, deciding to stay in Buckhead.

For SunTrust, the move is part of a major real estate realignment that will affect 1,250 employees here. About five years ago, the bank sold its 25 Park Place tower to Georgia State University. The bank plans to move 500 employees to the Portman-designed SunTrust Plaza complex at 303 Peachtree St. and 400 employees in the SunTrust Robinson Humphrey investment banking unit out of SunTrust Plaza and into Atlanta Financial Center in Buckhead. After all the moves, SunTrust will employ about 5,000 in downtown and Midtown and another 950 in Buckhead.
full story at ajc

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Things to do Saturday March 31, 2012


Saturday, March 31:

Stone Mountain BluegrassRoots Music and Arts Festival Saturday Mar 31

Stone Mountain BluegrassRoots Music and Arts Festival

From :

Saturday, Mar 31 10:00a to 7:00p
at 922 Main Street, Stone Mountain, GA
Price: FREE
Phone: (404) 846-8186
Age Suitability: All Ages

This is the best recipe for a New Southern Tradition. Mixing bluegrass musicians and self taught southern artists and artisans is a combination worth savoring! Up to 150 artists and artisans will brighten the historic charm of Stone Mountain Village. A small stage will showcase group Contra dances and bluegrass music, plus bluegrass “street jams” will be featured throughout the festival. This event will bring much needed attention to the restoration of this historic village.

Spring 2012 class schedule for The Cook's Warehouse

The Spring 2012 class schedule has been released by The Cook’s Warehouse ( with a wide variety of classes and several visiting and local chefs.

From “Knife Skills 101 Hands On” to advanced, hands-on classes with local chefs, there are close to 200 classes to pick from and one for every age level and interest in this quarter’s classes.

The Simple Abundance classes with our partner the Atlanta Community Food Bank will serve up well-known local chefs – Hugh Acheson (Empire State South), Linton Hopkins (Restaurant Eugene), David Bradley (Ecco), Steven Satterfield (Miller Union), Don Hackett (Sherlock’s Wine Merchant), David Sweeney (The Bakery at Cakes and Ale) and Piero Premilo (Pricci) – at the head of a class.

And the Spring classes bring several out-of-town chef-instructors including Suvir Saran, Jodi Rhoden, Holly Herrick, Maria Speck, John Besh, Robin Asbell, Hugh Carpenter, Sheri Castle and Martha Hall Foose.

And our local Celebrity Chef Virginia Willis will teach “Healthy Southern Cooking” among her other classes at Cook’s.

As far as cuisines, students may choose from Indian, Italian, Greek, Thai, French, Mexican, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Cajun, Mediterranean, Tuscan and Spanish flavors, and several seafood/shellfish offerings including our acclaimed “Seafood Savvy” series with our partner, the Georgia Aquarium.

Also available are lessons in a variety of subject-oriented courses from Big Green Egg (grilling) and summer barbeque, the Paleo Diet, vegan/plant-based/botanical abundance, pasta, canning, gluten-free, cooking for allergies, dinner parties, Vidalia onions!, bacon lovers, bridal planning, cake decorating, cast-iron cooking, couples nights out, spring/seasonal ingredients, desserts, pizza, Southern and Healthy Southern, spa day, paella, tapas and teen cake decorating, among others.

Holiday classes include Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day Baking with kids age 10+, Father’s Day Cooking with Kids and a Proper Mother-Daughter Afternoon Tea for kids age 8+.

There are technique classes such as desserts, knife skills, pressure cooking, pasta making, and “The Bread Basket Hands On” to puff up one’s bread-making skills.

Although most classes include wine after cooking demonstrations, there are strictly “Wine,” “Wine and Food Pairings” and “Wine and Cheese Pairings” classes as well.

For an intense immersion geared to first-time cooks, our East Cobb store will offer a three-day series “Kitchen Basics and Beyond” on a Friday-Saturday-Sunday. Stand-alone classes for the novice include the popular “Knife Skills 101 Hands On” and even “A Poultry Primer: Chicken and Duck Hands On.”

And the ever-popular kids’ class offerings for ages 6-9 or 10-17 include International Favorites, Touring the U.S. and Cooking with Colors weeklong day camp series; teen cake decorating, Asian small plates, Spring cupcakes, tasty snacks, family pizza fun, teacher gifts, Springtime snacks, breakfast, Mother’s Day classes, Father’s Day Cooking with Dad and even Daddy and Me Hands On for ages 3-5.

The Cook’s Warehouse ( is greater Atlanta’s premier gourmet cookware store and cooking school with four stores in the Midtown, Decatur and Brookhaven areas in the city and the East Cobb County area of the suburbs. It offers more than 15,000 products for the kitchen and operates the largest avocational cooking school in the Southeast conducting more than 800 classes yearly, often taught by local chefs, and has a large web-based delivery-by-post site.

Owned and operated by founder Mary S. Moore, The Cook’s Warehouse also retails high-end appliances; conducts private cooking classes for unique celebrations and corporate events, and is a pro bono partner with virtually every major cooking event and gourmet association in Atlanta.

The Cook’s Warehouse is truly “Every Excuse to Cook.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Decatur Easter Egg Hunt will be held at Decatur First Baptist Church. March 31

From the decatur minute

Please join us this Saturday, March 31st for the annual Decatur Easter Egg Hunt presented by the Decatur Business Association. This year the hunt will be held on the beautiful lawn of Decatur First Baptist Church.
The bunny will arrive around 10:30 am and the hunt will begin at 11:00am.
Plan to stay afterwards for the DFB Spring Fling with games, food, and fun for the entire family!
Also, the Decatur Fire Department will be collecting non-perishable food and household items to stock the shelves at Decatur Cooperative Ministry and DEAM- so bring a basket of food and leave with a basket of candy!

Mad Men Releasing 'Zou Bisou Bisou'

Sexy earworm single a sign of their times
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff

(Newser) – It's a product campaign worthy of Madison Avenue brains: Introduce a catchy "earworm" song during a popular TV series, then release it as a single. That's what Mad Men is doing with the addictive sexy French ditty everyone is humming: "Zou Bisou Bisou," sung to suave Don Draper by his saucy new wife, Megan, in the series' season premiere. Mad Men production company Lionsgate is releasing actress Jessica ParĂ©'s version of the song as a single on iTunes, and as a limited edition vinyl sold through the program's web site, reports the Washington Post.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DeKalb not ready for city of Brookhaven

From :The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By April Hunt

The threat of a new city being carved out of a swath of north-central DeKalb County later this year could mean higher taxes for county residents come 2013.
If voters in the area between Buckhead and Chamblee vote to become Brookhaven this summer, DeKalb stands to lose between $25 and $27 million in revenue, some of it as early as December. Tuesday, the county administration said it had yet to plan exactly how it would deal with that blow.

“Our only options are to raise revenues, reduce expenses or draw down our reserves,” said chief operating officer Richard Stogner, adding a mix of those options will be the most likely outcome.

Six new cities have taken shape in metro Atlanta since 2005, most recently last year’s incorporation of Peachtree Corners in Gwinnett County.

In nearly every case, supporters argue the new cities mean better services and more responsive government. But since each new city must include plenty of commercial land so taxes will cover those services, critics argue the incorporation movement leaves behind poorer or mostly residential areas.

DeKalb has made those same criticisms. But Stogner said the county still cannot begin planning until it sees if Brookhaven residents agree to become a city. The bill allowing that vote is being finalized in the state Legislature and is expected to be signed soon by Gov. Nathan Deal.
Full story ajc

The Atlanta Film Festival Takes over operations for The Plaza Theatre

Gayle and Johnny Rej still own the theatre, the Atlanta Film Festival will be managing it for them.

Posted by Debbie Michaud

Last November, the Plaza Theatre sent out a cry for help: The vintage repertory cinema was seeking new ownership in the face of the prohibitively expensive cost of converting the theater to digital screening formats, a necessary move as studios are not only ceasing the production of film prints, but also going so far as to destroy film archives. A full digital upgrade would cost an estimated $30,000-$40,000 - money the nonprofit moviehouse doesn't have owners Gayle and Johnny Rej told CL after the November announcement.

The Atlanta Film Festival announced last night after a screening of AKA Blondie that it will be taking over programming and marketing for the Plaza Theatre, effective immediately. This does not mean that ATLFF 365 owns the Plaza: "It's essentially a management partnership. [The Rejs] own it and we're going to be managing it for them," says Christopher Escoboar, ATLFF365 executive director.

"What Johnny and Gayle started six years ago, which was to save the Plaza, was always a step one. This is the next step in ensuring that the Plaza stays a sustainable and permanent place in [Atlanta's] arts and film landscape. This is not the job is done; we're a step closer and [the festival] is trying to be a mechanism in ensuring the plaza's survival," says Escoboar.

The new partnership is part of a five-year plan Escoboar calls "mutually beneficial with a lot of trust and flexibility built into it" that will assist in raising funds to help the Plaza make the digital conversion, as well as provide support for things like grant writing and building maintenance for which the Rejs previously haven't had the resources.

"We have a phase plan," Escoboar explains. "The Plaza has not only not had full digital capabilities, they haven't had the proper HD digital projection." Theaters are being forced into a two-part DCP system, a digital process that grabs films from the Internet and plays them through special (ie, expensive) projectors that boast a resolution higher than HD. According to Escoboar, "Theaters are being shoved into doing this so that the distributors can save on printing and shipping costs of film that can cost $5,000 a piece to make and more to ship around the country. They're forcing the conversion for their own benefit and not helping anyone do it."

Escoboar worked out a deal with Optoma Technology to purchase two high-end projector units for the festival for the price of renting them. Landmark Midtown will house the projectors after the fest, but the Plaza will have free reign to use them, opening up all kinds of new event, and therefore revenue, possibilities to help raise money for the full-fledged digital transition. That means early releases and access to a much broader library of films thanks to ATLFF 365's international reputation and programming savvy.

"We don't have money but we do have means to use the resources the Plaza has to make money. We're putting up what we each have available to meet what we each need to be greater than the sum of the parts," says Escoboar.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Victory Sandwich Bar Coming to Decatur

photo courtesy of

Looks like the old Karma Boutique and Rocket 88 space at 340 Church St. will have a sandwich bar or should I say
Prehaps it will look something like the Inman Park location seen above.

h/t decatur metro

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Should Apple offer larger iPhone screen?

From ajc
Days after a report that the next new iPhone will have a bigger and sharper screen comes another one that says the screen will remain the same size but there will be other changes.

In a posting, says the screen of the “iPhone 5,1” will be the same size but the dock connector will be more “mirco”, reducing the size of the 30-pin dock to allow for more auxiliary connections. The website also says that if the screen size grows it won’t be as large as the 4.6 inches speculated earlier this week.

South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper reported a high-definition 4.6-inch Retina display is on the way, with several times as many pixels as the existing iPhone 4S display. Maeil, without disclosing its source, said Apple has already started placing orders for the bigger screens.

LG Display and Samsung Electronics Co., Apple’s major display suppliers, declined to comment. And Apple, which began selling the 4S last October, isn’t talking, either.

And according to PC magazine’s website, an unnamed Samsung official reportedly told The Korea Times recently that Apple is planning to launch a smaller iPad with a 7.85-inch screen by the end of the year. Current iPads have 9.7-inch screens.

Should Apple increase the size of its next iPhone screen to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Movie Filming at NO. 246


From all day on Sunday, March 25 through lunch service on Friday, March 30, No. 246 in Decatur will be closed to the public due to film production. A movie called A.C.O.D. will be filming at the restaurant during this time. No. 246 Owners Ford Fry and Drew Belline apologize for any inconvenience to guests and will open the restaurant again for dinner service on March 30 at 6 p.m.

Directed by Stu Zicherman, A.C.O.D. (Adult Children of Divorce) focuses on a young man who discovers he was enlisted many years ago in a study about divorced children and when he’s ushered into a present day follow-up study, it creates new havoc for his family. The comedy stars Amy Poehler, Adam Scott, Jessica Alba, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jane Lynch.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Update photos of The Decatur Rec Center Construction.


According to Decatur Patch:
The City of Decatur hopes the new Decatur Rec Center will be finished by this Christmas.

The new basketball court will have a running track that will circle the top of the gym, at window level.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Jobs Bus To Visit Decatur Wednesday

From Decatur patch
It will be at the DFCS office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Jobs Bus' To Visit Decatur Wednesday

Decatur and Avondale Estates residents looking for work can check out DeKalb County's Mobile Career Center, also called the “jobs bus,” on Wednesday, March 21.

The jobs bus comes to the Department of Family and Children Services at 178 Sams St. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is the last scheduled visit to Decatur for the month.

Major features of the resource center include 13 computer stations; a private interview area; high-speed satellite Internet connection; printer, scanner and copy services; and a fully accessible ADA workstation with movable table and auxiliary.

The mobile unit will also provide residents with essential services including job search assistance, adult workshops and training, resume writing and interviewing tips.

For more information, please visit the Workforce website.

Welcome to Agnes Scott

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Oakhurst Castle - Open House

OPEN HOUSE | A home fit for a king

In a neighborhood full of ranches and craftsman homes, Tom McCloskey says he knows his Oakhurst home is "out of context."

From 11 Alive News

Update on New Refurbished Decatur Fire Station No. 1 Coming Soon

Here is a updated photo of Decatur Fire Station NO. 1

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Trinity Mercantile & Design Co. - OPENING SOON

Trinity Mercantile & Design Co. will be opening soon.
A home furnishings & design service store.
Lighting-Upholstery-Window Treatments-Rugs--Design-Case Goods-Gifts.

131 Trinity Place
Decatur, GA
Hours : Tuesday-Saturday 10-6 & By Appointment.

Matador Mexican Cantina Health Inspection Report

DECATUR-Matador Mexican Cantina in Decatur has a popular taco bar and patio so it's recent score of 51 was a bit of a surprise.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Andy Warhol's 1963 "Double Elvis" painting is poised to fetch $50 million

Newser) – Andy Warhol's 1963 "Double Elvis" painting is poised to fetch a whopping $25 million per Elvis at auction this spring. Sotheby's has set an estimate of up to $50 million for the work, which shows Elvis dressed as a cowboy and shooting from the hip, AP reports. Warhol produced a series of 22 Elvis images. One of them—"Eight Elvises"—set the record for a Warhol work when it was sold to an Italian collector for $100 million in 2009.

Barriers to buffer I-20 noise

Photo credit:

From :

Barriers to buffer I-20 noise
The construction of the collector/distributor lanes will not only ease traffic congestion at the I-20/I-285 interchange in Decatur – it also will bring traffic closer to scores of homes and apartments along the 4.7-mile project.

To buffer residents from increased traffic noise, more than 3.78 miles of sound barriers will be erected as part of the $30.9 million project.

Georgia Department of Transportation spokesman Mark McKinnon said sound barriers will account for $8.05 million, or 26 percent, of the project’s total cost.

The 8- to 20-foot barriers will be erected along GDOT’s existing rights of way boundaries and no additional rights of way were acquired.

Just over three miles of the sound barriers will be constructed along I-20 eastbound between the I-285 ramp and the I-20 Wesley Chapel Road exit to muffle traffic noise for residents in the Rainbow Creek subdivision and on the other side of the Wesley Chapel I-20 entrance ramp to shield residents of Village at Wesley Chapel apartments and an unfinished subdivision on Minola Road that backs onto the interstate.

The construction of the additional lane on the 1-20 and I-285 entrance ramp will bring traffic closer to the homes along Raindrop Court, Rainbow Creek Drive, Treasure Court, Rainover Trail, Star Lane, Bright Court, Shadowbrook Drive, and Rainwater Court.

Read more: CrossRoadsNews - Barriers to buffer I 20 noise

Fernbank Needs Your Feedback !

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Big Tex Cantina Spring Block Party March 17


Big Tex Decatur is kicking off the spring season right with a St. Patrick's Day Spring Block Party! You'll be tapping your toes all night long to a music line-up including: Bloodkin, Moontower, Turtle Folk, Lowdown, The Booze Mountaineers, Deja Blue and Julie Gribble. It all starts at 1 p.m. on March 17 and if you stick around, Big Tex is treating you to a late night set featuring Turtle Folk and friends. For more information call 404 377-3939 or visit Big Tex Decatur is located at 308 W Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur, GA 30030.

info from CL

Some residents say a Walmart Supercenter proposed near Decatur would clog streets

from Creative Loafing

Some residents say a Walmart Supercenter proposed near Decatur would clog streets and kill existing businesses.

Carter Joseph saw firsthand what Walmart did to his hometown of Georgetown, S.C. The shuttered businesses, the bones of local stores that died when the big-box retailer opened a Supercenter just down the street.

"Walmart to me represents capitalism at its very worst," he said on Feb. 23 to a crowd of more than 250 people in the commons room of a church just half a mile north of Decatur. "Capitalism on steroids. Architecture at its worst."

Joseph lives less than one mile from Suburban Plaza, the mammoth shopping center which Selig Enterprises, the Atlanta-based developer, plans to redevelop with a 149,000-square-foot Supercenter as an anchor. Since news about the plan broke late last year, neighborhood residents have hammered out nonbinding agreements with the big-box retailer and developer over everything from bicycle racks to the location of wall signs. Others in this walkable, progressive burg (such as those in attendance tonight) have contributed more than $1,000 to hire a lawyer and spent Friday afternoons holding signs at the nearby intersection protesting Walmart.

Eyes wide with anger and fingers pointing to the ground in defiance, Joseph warned of doom should the big-box retailer join the neighborhood.

"They treat their employees like dirt," he said. "They treat their suppliers like dirt. And they'll treat this neighborhood like dirt, as they've treated countless towns and communities across this country."

Suburban Plaza isn't the only place where Walmart, which operates only five stores inside the Perimeter, has cast its gaze. Nearly 60 miles away in Athens, the college town — and even some of its progressive factions — has become divided over Selig's plans to transform several parcels on the edge of downtown into a 10-acre, mixed-use development that would most likely include a Walmart. Meanwhile, in Vine City, the historic and impoverished Atlanta neighborhood less than two miles from downtown's skyscrapers, the big-box retailer finally broke ground on an abandoned Publix it plans to expand into a store offering groceries, a pharmacy, and financial services.

After nearly 50 years of conquering rural and suburban America, Walmart has focused on its final frontier: U.S. cities. Since the early 2000s, the company has invested considerable political will (and cash) trying to elbow its way into urban areas such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. The moves, which usually feature nasty drag-out fights with unions and agreements with neighborhood groups, ride on the promises of lower prices and more jobs. But after years of anti-Walmart websites, documentaries, and studies questioning whether the retailer's cutthroat business tactics and treatment of its employees are worth the cost savings, opponents are better prepared to push back against the mega-retailer that, according to one estimate, controls 33 percent of the grocery market. And for many — but not all — of the proposed stores, the battle to defend one's turf from terrible design, questionable labor policies, and low-cost goods that don't come from Target, has begun.

"This is a war," Donald Stack, a land-use attorney hired by the resident opposition group which wrangled the residents at the church on North Decatur Road. "It is a war for your community. It is a war for your property values. It is a war for your safety."

full story

GM plant focus of DeKalb meeting

From ajc
By April Hunt

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Representatives from General Motors met Wednesday with local officials and an Obama administration executive to discuss redevelopment of the vacant Doraville plant.
Turning the 165-acre site into a multi-use development – basically creating a new downtown for Doraville – has been the focus of all sides since the factory shut down in 2008.

Jay Williams, the executive director of the federal Office of Recovery for Auto Communities, said his office will work to identify resources and handle federal requirements for any project.

The last proposal for the plant, floated by a Florida developer, failed in 2010 after the County Commission voted against giving the firm money to help buy the site. GM is asking $60 million for the property.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Go Ahead, Make My Day

From :
by Jennifer Brett
Star sightings: Clint Eastwood,Justin Timberlake, Robert De Niro, John Travolta,Adam Scott

It’s the first Monday after the Daylight Saving Time spring ahead, so we will ease you into the week with a few star sightings.

“Parks and Recreation” actor Adam Scott made an unannounced visit to the AMC Phipps movie theater for a visit with fans after Saturday night’s screening of his new movie “Friends With Kids.”

We’re told he had a great time answering questions, posing for photos and signing autographs. He’s in Atlanta filming a new movie called A.C.O.D. (Adult Children of Divorce), also starring Amy Poehler, Jane Lynch and Jessica Alba.

Also at Phipps Plaza over the weekend: John Travolta. He was spotted dining at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse.

Travolta has been spotted all over metro Atlanta since arriving to work on a movie: the Brookhaven Starbucks, Flip Burger Boutique, Taka, Aja and the shoe department at the Lenox Square Bloomingdale’s, for example. His “Killing Season” co-star Robert De Niro has kept a lower profile until recently. We hear he’s been spotted dining at Astor Court in Buckhead, and TMZ posted these photos of him partying with rapper T.I.

And Clint Eastwood and Justin Timberlake both visited South City Kitchen in Midtown over the weekend. Eastwood sat by himself at bar and had a cocktail. Timberlake came in with a group of friends and had fried chicken and fried green tomatoes.


Decatur's Mellow Mushroom is Top Kid Friendly Resturant

From The Decatur Patch
Mellow Mushroom Voted Top Kid-Friendly Resturant in Decatur, Avondale

Pizza place got the most votes in Patch Readers' Choice poll.
The votes have been counted (OK, not by Price Waterhouse) and the envelope has been opened.

Mellow Mushroom is the top kid-friendly restaurant in the Readers' Choice poll for Decatur and Avondale Estates.
The pizza restaurant got eight of 25 votes, for 32 percent.

Raging Burrito got three votes and Burnt Fork BBQ, Farm Burger, No. 246 and Mezcalito's Cantina each got two votes. A few other places got one vote each.

You can review all these restaurants on the Patch Places page.

We'll have more polls where you get to choose the best spots in Decatur and Avondale Estates. Thanks for voting.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Agnes Scott College Sidewalk Entrance

Model Train Show @ Cobb Galleria Center March 17 and 18

2012 Model Train Show
March 17th and 18th, 2012
Saturday:10 - 5 & Sunday: 10 - 4
Cobb Galleria Centre

2 Galleria Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30339

At I-285 and I-75
Get Directions

Admission: $8 Adults - Kids 12 and under are FREE!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Community Budget Gathering @ The Brick Store 3-14-12

From The Decatur Minute:

The City of Decatur is hosting a Community Budget Gathering on Wednesday, March 14 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Brick Store Pub, 125 E. Court Square. Join Assistant City Manager Andrea Arnold and others interested in learning about the city’s budget process.

This is your chance to find out how the budget process works and give your input. This is the first of three meetings using this new format. The next meeting will be held in April in Oakhurst and the third one will be at City Hall in May. Click here to find the current 2011-2012 budget.

Space is limited so sign up today with Andrea Arnold, or call 404-370-4102.


While we are talking about The Brick Store

Saturday, March 17th 2012
The first great event of the year... And certainly one of the biggest. Live Celtic music (4-7pm and 8-11pm) and traditional Irish Fare featuring Irish Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage, and Shepherd's Pie. Guinness,Victory Donnybrook, and Jameson will be flowing. SEE YOU AT THE PUB!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Children's Bookstore/ Giftshop in the area

Dear Next Stop,

My name is R. Gregory Christie, I am an award winning children's book illustrator. I have won the Coretta Scott King Award Honor three times,New York Times 'Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year award two times, worked on projects with Karyn Parsons, Queen Latifah, had my work shown in numerous libraries, at the Kennedy Center, in the home of Jamie Foxx, on HBO Kids, even currently have my art on every NYC subway until 2013. These days I am in GA and I'm opening up a live painting gift-shop studio and bookstore, that will host everything from bookbinding to dj courses within a Decatur, GA mall. I want to help solve esteem issue by helping anyone interested to find their inner artist and to promote history, cultural tolerance and education! I need sponsorship and to get the word out for this idea. Because it will make the difference between a store with an electric cash register, showcasing books on lit shelves or a white walled space with a few gym tables and a rec! eipt pad. Please see the link below and if you'd like to know further about me then please feel free to contact me


About this project

My children's and young teens' book store, needs a new look. I want to make children's literacy as valued as the newest pair of sneakers. We desire a trendy looking store that puts literature along with tangible- handmade art on sleek pedestals and modern shelves.

I am an award winning children's book artist, who is also a NY city to Decatur, GA. transplant. I'd like to bring my Brooklyn sensibility as well as my passion for history and culture to teens and parents who may have never thought about these things.

The store will feature my published children's books and sell handmade products at a reasonable price. Additionally the mall's management is fine with me bringing in creative friends to do weekend long intensive workshops. It would be a fulfillment of a dream to teach the community to stop buying back their own culture from corporations. Most of the expensive items they wait in a line for, can easily be made or personalized with their own creativity. I miss the days when kids would buy a brand, then paint it, tear it, sew it and redesign it in to their own expression.

Workshops teaching book-binding,painting,t-shirt production,silk screening, even computer and cell phone cover design painting will be offered. I will have something to teach any aspiring art student or curious craft enthusiast.

This will be the first store of many, I hope to make a franchise out of this but for now it's a Decatur, Georgia aspiration in a site that needs a serious makeover.

Decatur Street Scene 3 Years Ago

This recently found picture was taken 3 years ago this month, it shows the old Decatur Depot when it was The Depeaux Restaurant.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Name the Movie Still

From time to time I post movie stills for people to guess the movie.
See if you can name what movie this is from.

"Name the Movie Still"

2 Comments - Show Original Post Collapse comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wedding crashers

March 7, 2012 4:07 PM

Blogger Next Stop...Decatur said...

You are correct the actor is Keir O'Donnell and he played Todd Cleary in Wedding Crashers
more on Keir O'Dennell at this link:

March 7, 2012 7:51 PM

What would you like to see moving into that spot?

Photo courtesy of flickr member All Things Mimi
from :

What Should Go Here?

The old Watershed space has been empty since summer. What would you like to see moving into that spot?
There's a void on West Ponce.

The former gas station was occupied by Watershed, a groundbreaking restaurant where chef Scott Peacock served updated Southern classics.

Watershed helped put Decatur on the map for foodies, but last August the owners closed and relocated to a space in Buckhead, which is supposed to open in the spring.

The old spot in Decatur remains empty, though the Watershed sign still stands in the parking lot as a reminder of past days.

What kind of business would you like to see moving into the Watershed space? And do you think any business will have a hard time shaking off the Watershed reputation?

About this column: Every week or so, we'll post a picture of a vacant store or lot in Decatur and Avondale Estates. You can tell us what you think should replace the empty space. Know of an empty building we should highlight? E-mail

Monday, March 5, 2012

Atlanta streetcar moving foward

Photo credit:
From ajc

MARTA directors found themselves handing out more than $62 million in contracts Monday while warning that the transit agency faces potential cuts in service if the state Legislature doesn't lift controls on its spending.
Board member Jim Durrett warned that if the Legislature doesn't permanently lift its requirement that MARTA spend half of the local sales tax money it receives -- its primary funding source -- on capital improvements instead of operations, then MARTA could be forced to "substantially reduce" service after 2013.

Because of the economic downturn, the Legislature had suspended the regulation from 2010 through 2013. Durrett said if restored, the rule will continue to "seriously restrict the authority's necessary flexibility to effectively manage its finances."

State Sen. Doug Stoner, D-Smyrna, said at a meeting last month of the Legislature's MARTA oversight committee, that the nearly four-decade-old regulation on MARTA spending should be lifted. "No other transit system in the country has this requirement dictating how it uses its money -- we don't require it of Gwinnett or of Cobb," Stoner said. "I've never heard any good justification why we have this rule. It is local money. It is not state dollars. Why shouldn't the local folks be able to make those decisions?"

full story at ajc

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lindsay Lohan on SNL

How did Lohan fare as host?

A lot was riding on the night for the actress, who last hosted Saturday Night Live in 2006. (And we all know what has happened in those filler years.)

So it made sense when Lindsay opened the show on a self-deprecating note. "I feel lucky and grateful to be here tonight," began Lohan. "And that's why I really want to thank all of my friends at SNL who trusted me enough to have me back."

Or did they? An alarm went off when Lohan took one step off the stage. "Can I see your eyes please?" asked Kenan Thompson, interrupting her monologue, before confirming: "She's good." Next up was Kristen Wiig. "Everyone here believes in you," said Wiig from the stage. "We wouldn't have you back otherwise." (The two hugged, and Wiig began to surreptitiously pat her down.)

full story

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Thailand arrives in Decatur! @ Mingei World Arts

click to enlarge.
Mingei World Arts
427 Church Street Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 371-0101

Treasure hunter says he found $3B WWII wreck

A treasure hunter said Wednesday he has located the wreck of a British merchant ship that was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Cape Cod during World War II while carrying what he claims was a load of platinum bars now worth more than $3 billion.

If the claim proves true, it could be one of the richest sunken treasures ever discovered.

But an attorney for the British government expressed doubt the vessel was carrying platinum. And if it was, in fact, laden with precious metals, who owns the hoard could become a matter of international dispute.

Treasure hunter Greg Brooks of Sub Sea Research in Gorham, Maine, announced that a wreck found sitting in 700 feet of water 50 miles offshore is that of the S.S. Port Nicholson, sunk in 1942. He said he and his crew identified it via the hull number using an underwater camera, and he hopes to begin raising the treasure later this month or in early March with the help of a remotely operated underwater vessel.

"I'm going to get it, one way or another, even if I have to lift the ship out of the water," Brooks said.

The claim should be viewed with skepticism, said Robert F. Marx, an underwater archaeologist, maritime historian and owner of Seven Seas Search and Salvage LLC in Florida. Both an American company and an English company previously went after the contents of the ship years ago and surely retrieved at least a portion, Marx said. The question is how much, if any, platinum is left, he said.

"Every wreck that is lost is the richest wreck lost. Every wreck ever found is the biggest ever found. Every recovery is the biggest ever recovery," Marx said.

Brooks said the Port Nicholson was headed for New York with 71 tons of platinum valued at the time at about $53 million when it was sunk in an attack that left six people dead. The platinum was a payment from the Soviet Union to the U.S. for war supplies, Brooks said. The vessel was also carrying gold bullion and diamonds, he said.

Brooks said he located the wreck in 2008 using shipboard sonar but held off announcing the find while he and his business partners obtained salvage rights from a federal judge. Salvage rights are not the same as ownership rights, which are still unsettled.

Britain will wait until salvage operations begin before deciding whether to file a claim on the cargo, said Anthony Shusta, an attorney in Tampa, Fla., who represents the British government. He said it is unclear if the ship was even carrying any platinum.

"We're still researching what was on the vessel," he said. "Our initial research indicated it was mostly machinery and military stores."

The U.S. government has not weighed in on the court case yet, and Brooks said he doubts that will happen, since the Soviets eventually reimbursed Washington for the lost payment.

A U.S. Treasury Department ledger shows that the platinum bars were on board, Brooks said, and his underwater video footage shows a platinum bar surrounded by 30 boxes that he believes hold four to five platinum ingots each. But he has yet to bring up any platinum, saying his underwater vessel needs to retrofitted to attach lines to the boxes, which would then be hoisted to the surface by winch.

"Of course, there are skeptics," he said. "There's skeptics on everything you do."

Maritime law is complicated, and there could be multiple claims on the ship's contents.

After the sinking of the HMS Edinburgh, an English warship carrying Russian gold bullion as a payment to the allies during World War II, England, the U.S. and Russia made claims on the sunken treasure, Marx said. The salvage company was given 10 percent of the prize, while the three countries split the rest, he said.
see video

From: http://us.foxnews.

Friday, March 2, 2012

'Mad Men' Billboard Evokes Memories of 9/11

New Yorkers say Mad Men creators should not have used the 'falling man' image in their latest campaign for the hit US TV show.

The Mad Men billboard in New York depicting a falling Don Draper Photo: AMC

'Mad Men' Billboard Evokes Memories of 9/11

Dog and Deer are best Friends

Click on image to see video.
Jerry Andrews sends this in>

Touch-a Truck Event rescheduled for Saturday April 21

Due to the bad weather Touch-a-Truck Event has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 21

Join Decatur Active Living on Saturday, March 3rd from 10am until 1pm for the annual Touch-a-Truck Event. This fun community event gives children of all ages an opportunity to touch, explore and see their favorites trucks or equipment on wheels. The City of Decatur and DeKalb County dump trucks, fire trucks, tractors, police cars and motorcycles and many other types of vehicles will be on display.

New this year: Ride your bicycle to the event. Decatur Police will be on hand to register your bicycle. In the event that it is lost or stolen, registration will aid in its safe return.

Touch-a-Truck takes place in the Callaway Building Parking lot located at 120 West Trinity Place, Decatur. In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for Saturday, April 21. For more information, contact Cheryl Burnette 678-553-6541 or Be sure to visit for up to date information on all Active Living programs throughout the year.