Thursday, August 27, 2015

Call for Artists: Create Three Benches and Three Bicycle racks for Harmony Park

The Decatur Arts Alliance announces a call to create three benches and three bicycle racks for

Submission deadline: 10/31/2015
Artist notification: 12/1/2015
Installation date: 2/29/2016

All submissions must be entered through

Bicycle Rack Project Requirements:
Bike racks should be functional, fun, big, and visible. The bike racks should be weather resistant to the Georgia climate and be able to accommodate three to eight bicycles. The specific City of Decatur bicycle guidelines are here.

Bench Project Requirements:
The bench should be six ft. long, 20 in. deep and 30 in. high. Variations in depth are acceptable but the height and the length need to be consistent. The proposed project must be made of durable materials that are easy to maintain in the southeastern climate.

Artists of benches and/or bike racks should submit a proposed budget for the design, fabrication, finishing and transportation of the bench and/or bike rack to the installation site. The budget will be considered as part of the selection process.

A review committee comprising art professionals, representatives from the City of Decatur, Oakhurst business district, and the bicycle community will be responsible for the selection of the winning designs. Proposals will be viewed on the basis of creativity, artistic merit, functionality for intended purpose, long-term maintenance, durability, budget and public safety.

Work deemed unsuitable for public use will not be accepted. Only completed, ready to install work will be accepted. Project concepts, maquettes and artists’ renderings will be considered. The City of Decatur is responsible for all cost for materials during installation, including but not limited to final site preparation, plinth, clean up and repair of any damage caused during installation.

Please include three images per submission that clearly shows a front and back and one detail shot. Artists may submit more than one submission for bench and/or bike rack for consideration but each sculpture submission must have the three images specified.

Please describe installation method of the bench or bike rack. Selected artists will be responsible for transportation to the installation site. Benches and bike racks must be delivered ready, stable, well-fabricated and installation-ready.
Harmony Park in the the historic Oakhurst neighborhood business district in Decatur, Georgia. Artists and design professionals are invited to design and create functional benches and bike racks for installation. This project is funded by a grant from the Decatur Craft Beer Festival and in collaboration with the Decatur Downtown Development Authority.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Varsity Jr. Building comes down for a mixed use Storage Facility

    File photo.  Varsity Jr. Drive-In on Lindbergh Dr.

It's been a few years since the last "What'll ya have?!" was shouted at patrons of the Varsity Jr. on Lindbergh Drive. The former eatery that doled out FOs, chili dogs and artery-clogging onion rings for 45 years was torn down this week in preparation for another "mixed use storage facility" concept. Plans indicate that 10,000 square feet of the four-story building will be devoted to retail space, which could help lessen the inherent yawn factor of any storage place.
Located at the corner of Lindbergh Drive and Cheshire Bridge Road, the lot is just one of many slated for redevelopment in the area. Cheshire Bridge is undergoing a major transformation as strip clubs and old homes occupy land that's increasingly coveted by developers. While some are sad to see the once-seedy street transform, others are elated to watch the connection between Buckhead and Midtown strengthen. But there's no denying that a bit of uniquely Atlanta history was wiped clean with the razing of this place. 
Bottom photo credit:

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Decatur Book Festival is Labor Day Week-end

 More info @

CEO Lee May on DeKalb's New Soccer Facility

 A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get out the front door, and that is what’s happening right now in DeKalb County. There has been a lot of misinformation, at best, and outright lies and deception, at worst, as it pertains to the new soccer development coming to DeKalb.

The Atlanta United Football Club is investing upwards of $51 million into this area, and it is the single largest investment central and south DeKalb County has seen in more than two decades. It comes at a cost of  $12 million to the county, which is a 325 percent return on investment. However, the significance of the deal spans far beyond the numbers.

This project will be a catalyst for the revitalization of the Memorial Drive corridor, and will bring new people and expanded awareness of the area as a destination for business growth and development. DeKalb’s vast diversity in its population of more than 700,000 is concurrent to the diversity of Major League Soccer’s fan base. My hope is that this development can unite north and south DeKalb, as it presents a new venue for entertainment, events and tournaments, outdoor graduations and large community gatherings.

I have made no commitments on job numbers, taxes generated, or of specific financial benefits for a reason. This is more than just a soccer facility, and it is more than just about Arthur Blank; although we are excited to welcome both. It is an investment in our future.

DeKalb County Government is a billion dollar organization, and our investment is only a fraction of our budgets over the multi-year commitment in which we will pay out the $12 million.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Grindhouse Killer Burgers at Sweet Auburn Curb Market has been Sold

Original Grindhouse Killer Burger sold...again

The original Grindhouse Killer Burgers at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market has again been sold, this time to a local resident.

The 1,500 square foot counter service restaurant has been purchased by Tony Accurso, who reportedly lives "a short bike ride away." Contrasted to the two most recent owners, Accurso, who according to his LinkedIn profile has a background in marketing and advertising, plans to be a "hands on" owner with "incredible plans to grow the business."  Accurso will operate the restaurant though a franchise agreement with Alex Brounstein. 

Both Brounstein and Steve Josovitz, Vice President of  The Shumacher Group, who brokered the sale,  indicate that the Grindhouse at the Curb Market has always been profitable.   

According to a recent press release, as of September 13th, the Market, along with Grindhouse and other vendors, will open on Sunday afternoons, a day on which all had been closed in the past.  

Restauranteur Alex Brounstein first opened Grindhouse Killer Burgers at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market in 2009. At that time, I was a student at Georgia State and would often carve time out of my day to make the trek to the restaurant from the university's main campus. 

In the time since the original opening, Brounstein has added new locations to Piedmont Avenue in midtown, South Lumpkin Street in Athens and Concourse D of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

A fifth location is currently under construction on North McDonough Street in downtown Decatur, behind Chick-fil-A and across from Decatur High School. After a number of delays, Brounstein tells me he is on track to have the Decatur outpost open by "late 2015."

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Audubon Society to host Wildlife Sanctuary tour in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — An environmental organization will host its annual Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary tour next month in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Audubon Society will hold the tour, featuring four properties along a 7-mile route through Decatur, a suburban area of Atlanta. There is an optional fifth stop at the Georgia Native Plant Society Fall Plant sale at Stone Mountain Park.

All proceeds will support the education and conservation efforts of Atlanta Audubon Society. Its mission is to protect birds and their habitats statewide through education, conservation and advocacy.

The tour will be held Sept. 19.

Tour sites include Woodlands Gardens; the homes of Deb and Douglas Wilson; Carolyn and Max Brown; and Mary Kimberly and Gavin MacDonald. Each location is located in Decatur.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Georgia News Roundup

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Could Donald Trump give this up for Air Force One?

Either way, which ever plane he would be on would be AIR FORCE ONE...That is if he becomes President.

Vanishing Georgia

Old filling station in Hoschton  GA

Monday, August 17, 2015

2015 East Lake Tour of Homes Aug 22-23

East Lake Tour of Homes 2015 East Lake Tour of Homes. Tour 7 Historic and One of a Kind Homes. Aug 22 10a-5p Aug 23 1p-5p. $20 adv/$25 at door. Tickets and More Information:

Friday, August 14, 2015

Slide the City Make-up Date set for Sept 12- This time on McDonough St.


 We have also decided to move the location of the slide from W. Ponce de Leon Ave over to McDonough Street to reduce the impact on businesses and on traffic. Also, as it turns out, the hill is slightly steeper which will make for a really fun slide.

Slide the City has announced that they will bring the slide back on Saturday, September 12th. We understand that dates falls during the CSD fall break, but that was the only weekend open for both the City of Decatur and Slide the City. If you have tickets that you were not able to use last time, they are valid and you do not have to register again. If you have tickets that you cannot use, please email to either transfer the tickets to someone else or to get a full refund.
We have also decided to move the location of the slide from W. Ponce de Leon Ave over to McDonough Street to reduce the impact on businesses and on traffic. Also, as it turns out, the hill is slightly steeper which will make for a really fun slide.
If you did not get a chance to buy tickets for the slide last time, Slide the City will put more tickets up for sale on Monday.  Check their website for more details. Also, don’t forget to use the promo code DBA15 to get a discount on your tickets and to help support the Decatur Business Association!

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Decatur BBQ Blues & Bluegrass Festival is Tomorrow Sat. Aug 15

Learn more at

Video Friday - Smokey and the Bandit - Eastbound and Down

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Smith's Owner Insists Bar is Here to Stay. For Now.

Smith's Owner Insists Bar is Here to Stay. For Now.

 With litigation surrounding the sale of the Morningside strip center still pending, we'll all have to wait and see how things work out. Until then, party on.

Last month it came to light that Smith's Olde Bar on Piedmont Avenue could soon be getting the boot, with an auction of the building it occupies on the horizon. But owner Dan Nolen has set the record straight to the AJC, saying, "Smith's is not closing any time soon," and adding: "Our take on it is that we are going to honor our commitments to the bands that we've booked, and fight to save the jobs of our employees, and fight to save a small Atlanta music venue that's been around a long time." Nolen contends that the family of the property's original owner, who died earlier this year, offered Smith's only a short-term lease that wasn't exactly acceptable. With litigation surrounding the sale of the Morningside strip center still pending, we'll all have to wait and see how things work out. Until then, party on.

Country Icon Marty Stuart Coming to Eddie's Attic Aug 21

If you were to give country music an address, you might say it's at the corner of sacred and profane, two doors up from the blues and folk, and just across the street from gospel, R&B and rock 'n' roll. And on a deeper emotional and spiritual level, it resides where Saturday night meets Sunday morning.

No one understands these coordinates better than Marty Stuart. For over forty years, the five-time Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, photographer and historian has been building a rich legacy at this very crossroads. On his latest release with his band The Fabulous Superlatives, the double-disc Saturday Night & Sunday Morning, Stuart captures all the authentic neon and stained-glass hues of country music – from love and sex to heartache and hardship to family and God – in twenty-three tracks.

“I've always thought that country music had a really unique relationship with gospel music,” Stuart says. “It is interesting to me that country stars can sing drinking and cheating songs authentically, then at some point during the evening or the broadcast, take their hats off and say, 'Friends, here's our gospel song.' If it’s the right messenger it seamlessly flows. That's a time-honored tradition, from Jimmie Rodgers to Hank Williams to Johnny Cash. Rogue prophets and rogue preachers. That is my world.

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Pollo Tropical - Next Stop Tucker


 The Northlake area has welcomed a number of new casual and fast casual eateries over the past few years including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Chick-fil-A, Panda Express, Bojangles', Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint and Hudson Grille. 

 Pollo Tropical planning Tucker location

Miami, Florida-based Pollo Tropical is proposing to open a new freestanding location in Tucker.  The restaurant would be built in an outparcel of the existing Target store, at the corner of Northlake Parkway and LaVista Road, just off I-285.  As it stands now, the restaurant would be part of the City of Tucker. 

The restaurant and accompanying drive-thru must still receive council approval for the proposed SLUP (Special Land Use Permit). 

The Northlake area has welcomed a number of new casual and fast casual eateries over the past few years including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Chick-fil-A, Panda Express, Bojangles', Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint and Hudson Grille. 

Pollo Tropical has been expanding its presence since re-entering the Atlanta market in 2011. There are currently seven locations open in metro Atlanta.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Chelsea Clinton Book Signing at Little Shop of Stories Sept. 17

 Chelsea Clinton Book Signing at Little Shop of Stories Sept. 17

Ms. Clinton will sign and personalize each purchased copy, but will not sign any other memorabilia. 


Little Shop of Stories is pleased to announce that it will host a book signing with Chelsea Clinton on Thursday, September 17th starting at 6 p.m.

Ms. Clinton is the author of It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going, a book for young readers offering information on a variety of community and world issues including homelessness, gender equality, and climate change, along with suggestions for action.

Additional information about Ms. Clinton's book can be found here.

This signing will be a ticketed event.  Tickets can be purchased at Little Shop of Stories in person or over the telephone at (404) 373-6300 starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 13th.
The price of a ticket is $20.32 which is the cost of her new book plus sales tax. A ticket will permit one family (up to two adults and their children) into the signing line.

Ms. Clinton will sign and personalize each purchased copy, but will not sign any other memorabilia. Due to the projected interest and the need to run a smooth signing line, there will be no opportunities for posed photographs. (We will have a designated area for taking photos if you wish.)

If you are unable to attend this event but would like to purchase a signed copy of Chelsea’s book, we will have a limited number of signed copies available for sale.
Katherine Applegate Author Event!!!

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Eye on Decatur - Suburban Plaza

Paper Plane is taking its last flight.

PAPER PLANE Facebook  page
Aloha, Gang. We have an announcement to make over this airplane intercom thing. As many of you know, Paper Plane has stopped food service this month. And at the end of August, after two-and-a-half years, we will stop all service. Paper Plane is taking its last flight, soaring off into the Decatur sunset. Which is to say, you should come by and enjoy our award-winning drinks and lovely staff while you can. You only have until the end of the month! Many of you have asked what's going to replace Paper Plane. We're happy to report that Wal-Mart will set up a small store in that space. Perfect for the Decatur-ite looking for guns, bullets, lawn chairs, half-off Christmas gear—really, anything. Of course, we are kidding. Put down your protest signs. We've got something even more (coco)nuts than that. See you soon, and until then, Mahalo, Y'all!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Go See Pee-Wee's Big Adventure at The Plaza Aug 12. Be sure and tell 'em Large Marge sent ya!

In partnership with the Atlanta Film Festival, the Plaza Theatre Foundation proudly presents its Summer Film Series! Continuing on August 12th with a 30th anniversary screening of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (91 min).

Pay what you can in support of Georgia's longest-running independent cinema!


Location: Plaza Theatre
Time: Doors & Pre-Show @ 7PM ; Showtime @ 7:30PM
Price: $10 Suggested Donation (pay-what-you-can)

Directed by Tim Burton
USA, 1985, English, 91 minutes 
Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens), an eccentric child-like man, loves his red bicycle and will not sell it to his envious neighbor, Francis (Mark Holton). While Pee-wee visits his friend Dottie (Elizabeth Daily), the bike is stolen. Thinking his bike is at the Alamo, Pee-wee sets off on a trip, where he meets many remarkable people, including waitress Simone (Diane Salinger) and a motorcycle gang. Eventually, Pee-wee discovers that his bike is being used in a movie and tries to recover it.
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is part of the Plaza Theatre Foundation's Summer Film Series. For a full series line-up, and other series information, click here.

Video Friday- Glen Campbell Galveston

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Registration for the 5th annual Madison Avenue Soapbox Derby is now open.


Raul sends this in.

Registration for the 5th annual Madison Avenue Soapbox Derby is now open.

To register go to
The beneficiary for the 2015 Madison Ave Soapbox Derby will be Hagar's House. 100% of all proceeds raised by the derby will benefit Hagar House.
Hagar’s House is an emergency night shelter and assessment center with support services for women with children. While participating in the program, families receive thorough assessment and crisis intervention. Hagar’s House is operated by Decatur Cooperative Ministry
To learn more about Hagar's House go to

Twisted Soul Chef puts her twist on Southern Food

     Decatur GA

by Gale Horton Gay
It took a strike for Deborah Vantrece to realize there was something bigger and better out there for her.
A flight attendant at the time of the strike at her airline, Vantrece decided it was time to “wake up” and take “control of my life.’

The native Kansas City, Mo., woman decided to go to culinary school in 1994, and after working as a caterer and being the owner of Edible Art in East Atlanta and Underground Atlanta, she’s now brought her culinary style to Decatur.

Located on East Howard Avenue, Twisted Soul is one of Decatur’s newest restaurants. It opened last December, bringing a soul infusion menu to the city’s popular dining scene. The menu is replete with such offers as Sweet Tea Ribs with pork belly beans ($22), Pan Roasted Grouper with citrus white lightning butter ($24) and NOLA Barbecue Gulf Shrimp with country-fried biscuits ($23). There’s also Southern Marinated Fried Chicken with three cheese orecchiette, collard green roll with sweet potato apple chutney ($18) and a Summer Soul Salad with strawberries, arugula, black pepper, goat cheese and candied pecans ($13).
On its website, the restaurant is described as “Southern based, with a soulful twist,” but Vantrece said it’s much more than that.
more at:

Deborah Vantrece  photo credit

Donald Trump holds a double-digit lead over his nearest rival in the GOP presidential primary.

Billionaire Donald Trump holds a double-digit lead over his nearest rival in the GOP presidential primary, according to a FOX 5/Morris News Poll.

The real estate mogul and reality TV star received 30 percent, the largest support of 16 Republican candidates, in a survey conducted by OpinionSavvy/InsiderAdvantage this month of 569 likely Republican presidential primary voters.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush came in second with 17 percent.

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson trailed him with 10 percent, followed by former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee with 7 percent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 6 percent, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 5 percent.
more at

photo credit

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Halt and Catch Fire Review

Halt and Catch Fire” didn’t stoke many embers ratings-wise, but its second and potentially final season went out, on the show’s understated terms, in a blaze of glory. AMC’s attempt to craft another “Mad Men”-esque period piece from producers behind “Breaking Bad” remained as chilly and emotionally distant as its high-tech setting, but the second-season gambit of dramatically altering the relationships and narrative largely worked, creatively speaking, if not in terms of earning a reboot from the audience. The finale, moreover, deftly left the story open enough to continue while providing appropriate closure if this serves as a full halt.
Blessed with the benefit of hindsight about how computers and digital technology have impacted our world since where this season began 30 years ago, the show remained at its best when exploring those business machinations, and less compelling in its web of relationships. Simply put, watching Gordon (Scoot McNairy) fall apart emotionally while his wife Donna (Kerry Bishe) flourished running the game startup Mutiny had its moments, but never popped as much as this well-informed look into the roots of the tech boom.
For that reason, the finale (and SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t watched) came around to a reasonable and logical end point, which felt both true to the characters (mostly) and savvy about allowing viewers to mentally plug in the gaps about what the future likely holds for these fictional pioneers. That culminated with the “California, here we come” finish, and the promise of moving this whole act to the fertile fields of Silicon Valley.
Still, the show’s dramatic heart remained the slick-talking visionary/salesman Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace), whose adventure trying to settle down personally and professionally – work for an imperious tycoon of a father-in-law (James Cromwell, who tends to class up whatever joint he visits) – seemed doomed from the get-go. Yet the fact that Joe would take what appeared to be his downfall and turn that back into a Phoenix-like rebirth – using Gordon’s genius to embrace the burgeoning possibilities of launching an anti-virus business – reinforced the sense of a guy with nine lives, someone who would always manage to land on his feet, usually at the expense of others.
“Real security is trusting no one,” Joe said, not only tapping into the paranoia that digital technology has unleashed long before the current era of hacking, but also anticipating the slogan for “The X-Files.” The sequence in which he sells the new product by demonstrating what it can do was an example of the show at its very best, displaying Joe’s daredevil streak while exploiting everything we know about computing circa 2015.
As noted, series creators Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers left the door open to proceeding with this story, but that final image of Joe staring out at the glittering landscape spread out before him felt if not like the end, at least an end. And after giving the series a second chance, one could hardly fault AMC — which has renewed Sunday-night companion “Humans” and the ratings-challenged “Turn” — for not beating its head against a wall on another enterprise with passionate but narrow appeal. (AMC has said an official decision on “Halt” will come after the season ends.)
Granted, “Breaking Bad” gradually broke out into an unqualified hit, but despite talk about seeking to broaden “Halt’s” base, even in today’s binge-oriented age that’s a rare exception. On the plus side, the network did provide “Halt” fans a chance to see the series play out long enough to reach a more satisfying finish – on the eve of that digital dawn when the geeks began to inherit the Earth.

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Juice Bar Is Adding a Virginia-Highland Location

It will be the third Atlanta-area location.

Juice Bar is taking it's health-conscious snacks and beverages to Virginia-Highland. The juicery, with locations in Suwanee and Druid Hills and another planned for Johns Creek, will open at 1402 North Highland Avenue in September. It's the same development that houses Ron Eyester's The Family Dog.

Juice Bar offers typical healthy fare: smoothies, juices, a variety of shots, and cleanses. The shop will also cary "wellness products" from local purveyors such as wellness products from local purveyors such as Georgia Grinders, Golda Kombucha, Mountain Organics, Popstar Popsicles, Queen of Kale, and Vonnie's Wheatgrass. Juice Bar's parent company, I Love Juice Bar, operates 25 shops in 10 states.
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