Archive for August, 2008

Decatur Book Festival

The Decatur Book Festival is Free

The Decatur Book Festival is Free

That weekend is here again: The Decatur Book Festival is upon us. Last year, my first year, I spent the whole thing hanging out around the tents and craftspeople on the square, where my wife was hawking wares, so I missed out on things like authors and readings and signings. This year we’re skipping the tent and I’m heading out to Decatur just for the authors.

>> Click to read more

Venues from a Birthday

This weekend, I ran out with friends to celebrate my thirtieth birthday at a couple of places where I’d like to spend more time. For whatever reason, my regular rut doesn’t include these venues, but it should. Or, more to the point, it would if I was smart.

>> Click to read about The Glenwood and the Highland Cigar Company

The Grapes of Wrath

A post on the FAIL blog yesterday got me to thinking about whatever happened to Fox 5’s grape lady. Turns out she lives on, even if it’s someone masquerading as her in comments:

The “grape lady” in this video is in fact me. While I do not appreciate the comments of those finding my pain “laughable”, I do, to a degree, enjoy this extra bit of infamy online. While as crude as most of you are, you are also allowing me to live on forever in this online world.

And yes it hurt – alot.

Here’s the carnage.

Help Save Wordsmith’s Books

You know how you don’t really appreciate something until it’s gone? Let’s not let it get that far.

Wordsmith’s Books, just off the square in Decatur, is a rare and wonderful thing: a lively local bookstore. I’ll admit, I don’t take advantage of having a store like it around, because I don’t get to spend as much money on books as I’d like. But seeing that we might lose our only Wordsmith’s Books—the only Wordsmith’s Books—has me wanting to make the place a part of my regular existence. I’m going to start tonight, and so can you. Help us out.

(I would’ve mentioned this earlier, but I just found out about it third-hand through the grapevine of area robot-makers. Seriously.)

Tonight, the store is hosting a reading, a musical performance, and a silent auction in an effort to raise enough money to keep the place in business. What’s being auctioned? Robots. Robots, people! How can you not want to get in on that?! These are handmade, locally crafted robots, each one (to the best of my knowledge) unique. Plus, local darlings, the Sealions, will be playing their music when Jack Pendarvis isn’t reading from his new novel, Awesome. Don’t let this opportunity slip by. Read more about this weekend’s Wordsmith’s-saving events at the Wordsmith’s blog.

More to the point, don’t let Wordsmith’s Books slip away. The place has a reputation in the book business—a rep from one of the country’s major publishers mentioned it to me as a great local bookstore, and he’d never been to Atlanta. Wordsmith’s is alive with signing and reading events, local poetry, and special events. If we let it get away then we will just be one more city that doesn’t cherish its independent and local booksellers. Instead, let’s be a city with a noteworthy one-of-a-kind bookshop. Let’s save Wordsmith’s.

Tennis, budgets, ALTA and the suburbs

One of the greatest shortcomings, so I’m told out here in the suburbs, of Atlanta is that you have to drive everywhere to do anything. Too much of a sprawl. Not a great downtown.

It’s just as true about the truly ex-urb nature of the OTP crowd as well. Folks have to get in a car.

Now the beltline is a good step to start attracting folks in-town and our own james has turned me around about using Marta more regularly (which would rate as “at all” for things not involving the airport of seeing the Braves, Hawks, Falcons or Thrashers) but what people really get moving for is Tennis.

Follow with me.

ALTA is purportedly the world’s largest member tennis organization, the largest recreational community tennis league in the world, says WikiPedia, though a citation is needed.

In any case, folks will drive to play tennis. They will come to tennis facilities in the city to play their matches. My folks, who live in Newnan (charitably an Atlanta suburb), play at least one or two matches at Bitsy Grant each season.

So with all the budgetary problems in the City of Atlanta why not just ask ALTA (or tell them) to pay more to use these public facilities? Why have a dark day when you can charge an incremental fee for those folks who don’t actually live in the city but use the facilities?

I’m not the first person to suggest that suburbanites like myself who work in the city contribute in some way financially (I’m not sure taxation is the right nomenclature here, but it’ll do) to support the infrastructure that benefits their lifestyle. It would make sense that if the city can’t keep up the facilities on their current base then they should either scrap the courts (which is overreaching), close on some days (the current plan) or figure out an alternative source of revenue to keep them open.

The one defining characteristic of Atlantans – at least all the ones I knew in the suburbs as a child and the ones I work with now as an adult – they ALL eventually play tennis for at least a season or two.

I’m no economist or pundit but it seems to me that if there’s an issue that would really get folks who normally don’t think about City of Atlanta problems (other than to complain about crime or congestion), tennis is your ticket (racket?) to think about their impact and role within the city itself and not just as an interloper.

But what do I know? I’m trying to solve a shortfall through tennis. I need my head examined.

Climb on your own soapbox in the comments and rail against suburbanites like me, the Mayor’s office or tennis. We don’t mind; we encourage it.

New: Falcons Drumline

TonyOur very own former Atlanta MetBlogs author atl_tony aka Tony Simon was hand chosen along with two dozen fellow area drummers to form the Falcons newest fan experience effort: the drum line.

I went out and listened to these guys hammer away this afternoon at GA Tech, and, although I have an existing affinity for drum lines, I gotta say they knocked me around. It was only their second time practicing but it was solid.

You may never get a chance to stand beside them as they thunder and clash away on their instruments up close and personal if you attend a game, but if you ask nicely, you might have an opportunity to sneak up on them at a practice and feel the thumping. As an aside for the women reading: practice is performed with a primarily shirts-off squad. I’m just sayin’.

The new drum line is the brain child of Roddy White (Falcons marketing) and Chris Moore (director of bands at GA Tech) who got an initial round of funding from the NFL for this game day improvement idea. Eric Miller coordinated membership, music arrangement, and more; no small task since this years talent was by invitation only.

Drum Line
Tony tells me “other professional football teams have drum lines, but they’re unsanctioned grass roots efforts. The Falcons will have the first fully official NFL ensemble with on field performances, seats in the stands, etc.”

So I’m biased: I love a drum line, and I happen to think Tony is a pretty great guy, so I’m obviously hoping they’ll rock the face of Falcons fans. In reality, I’ve been to exactly one Falcons game (a work function) so I probably won’t get to see them in action again.

It’s okay though, I had my fraction of an August afternoon with them and they were incredible.

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