Archive for December, 2008

Out with the old, in with the new

For those of you reading who have a green thumb, you may remember that year or so back The Urban Gardner relocated from its home on Boulevard to its new home off the square in EAV, across from Graveyard Tavern.

This move was apparently not for the better, and last week they closed their retail doors for good (if you were in the know you may have picked up bargain planters and pots like I did, HT to Amanda for the heads up). According to co-owner Robin Marcus they’ll still be conducting workshops, performing landscape design and many of the other outreach programs they had running. It’s sad to see them go.

In related news, Farmer D has opened a retail shop in Atlanta which is being run out of (ironically enough) one location of a car wash chain he founded when he was 14. Amazing and true, as is the story of his relationship with Whole Foods Markets and our having an unsung environmental hometown hero in our midst. Read more about him here and visit his little shop, they’ve got most of what you need for your gardening delights, and what they don’t have yet, they will. Be sure to keep an eye on them come spring as well, when they’ll be offering classes and the like.

Now on to food stuffs. Does anyone have the scoop on why last night when I called in a delivery from Johnny’s O4W the phone was answered “Jack’s Pizza and Wings”? A surprise to be sure, and I’m not clear yet on if the change of name involved a change of ownership, if it was just the one store or the whole chain, or who designed their new logo (enh).

Unwrapped review

So, your intrepid blogger here went to the Unwrapped event to check out the local internet scene.  I’ll have to admit I’m not much of the “scene” type – I don’t meetup, I don’t Tweetup (or whatever).  Most of the folks I know who blog I know socially, and then it turns out they blog, too.  I had coffee with Rusty once, and I think that is the fullest extent of people I have met through blogging or reading blogs.  I like Groucho Marx’s line, “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member”.

So the Unwrapped event wasn’t my usual day-after-Christmas thing.  However, I was pleased to run into Thomas Wheatley and Jamsmooth, both friends of mine who happen to blog.  I was supposed to meet up with Will, but that didn’t happen (it has only just occured to me while linking to his profile here that he has a picture of himself on the page that would have aided me in meeting up with him.  I am that smart, people).  

While attempting to find Will, I asked Tessa if she knew him – figuring that the person who put the thing together and who everyone assured me was the social maven of the crowd would be able to point me in the right direction.  Turns out Tessa also went to high school in town, and we had a fun game of “do you know” that actually turned up quite a few names from middle and high school.  Atlanta is quite a small town in that regard, in that it turns out that some of our middle and high school debauchery took place within two degrees of people.

Tessa pointed me in the direction of Will, but it turned out to be the wrong Will, which accounted for considerable social awkwardness on my part and an interesting exchange regarding internet social heirarchies.  Wrong Will, I will call him, commented that apparently the first wave of people at Unwrapped had been the programmers and I guess “industry” types, while the bloggers were supposed to be coming “in force” later on.  Wrong Will, of course, was a tweeter.  I couldn’t help but wonder what the implied heirarchy to his comments were – were the programmers better than the bloggers, and the tweeters better than all of us?  Or was there some different structure?

I would like to think that we all fall into the larger social heirarchy above the random Drivin and Cryin fans that wandered into Vinyl from the show, but I’m not so sure.  Regardless, I had a decent time, met a few people, and paid way too much for parking.

Unwrapped not under wraps

If you’ve ever wanted to come out of your mommas basement and meet some of the folks you’ve been reading in the bloggosphere, now is your chance. Guess what else? It’s for a good cause. I shit you not.

Drive A Faster Car, MailChimp & Atlanta Web Design are hosting something called “Unwrapped” at The CW /

Deets follow:

We know what you’re thinking. It’s the day after Christmas and you are sick of the holidays. Unwrapped is your chance to let loose from the family and drink, mingle, network, dance with others in Atlanta you may have seen around the internet. Bloggers, designers, developers, and Facebook addicts alike are all invited.

Half of all proceeds are going to One Laptop Per Child to help create educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning.

Friday, December 26
8pm – 2am
Vinyl @ CW Music Complex
1374 W Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30309

Official Event Link: here.

Our very own newbie author Ben will be in attendance and writing on it, as will the famous Will Hindmarch. Stop out, give up the green and mingle. The c’mon back here to see how your experience matches up with that of Ben and Will.

The Clock? Really?

James’ last post about the variable multi-county metro Atlanta area reminded me about an exchange I overhead with old co-workers about a year ago:

“Well I’m looking for a new apartment, probably in the twelve-to-three area.”
“Yeah. Like if I-285 is a clock and the other highways are hands on a clock, the twelve-to-three area is like North Druid Hills and stuff.”
“Oh ok…I gotcha. Well, just don’t look anywhere in the three-to-nine area. Twelve-to-three is pretty good, Nine-to-twelve is kind of expensive though.”

Hands on a clock? Really? gives a similar explanation for explaning how to get around the ATL:

The thing you have to understand is that “inside the perimeter” can mean any direction depending on where you are at the time. Another trick is to imagine that the perimeter is the face of a clock and find out if you need to go to “six o’clock” to get to the airport or “eleven o’clock” to get to Smyrna.

Then there is the inner and there is the outer loop. What do I need to say about these? The inner loop is 285 going clockwise if you are looking at the city from the south with the city center as the middle of the clock and GA 400 as twelve o’clock–and the outer loop goes counterclockwise on the same clockface? Both loops go in all directions (but only one direction at a time) depending on whether you are at 6 o’clock or 12 etc.

I mean, I get the concept, however remedial it sounds, but have you heard it before? Where are you? (I’m in the 6:30 area.)

metro area?

atlanta msa

atlanta msa

this weekend i was driving home from picking the kiddo up. she lives in indiana so we approach the metro area from the north on i-75.

i had the same question i always do? when am i back in atlanta? i know the actual atlanta metropolitan statistical area is the 28 counties in that map, so technically i am back in atlanta when i cross the border into bartow county?

but am i really?

i know plenty of itp’ers who would say no. i think most people that live in canton in cherokee would say yes. but what about cartersville? as i mentioned bartow county is in the altanta msa, but is cartersville really part of atlanta?

for me at least, when i am driving i consider myself “in atlanta” when i cross into cobb county on 75 and when i cross into gwinnett on 85. this certainly puts me at odds with the msa but that is how i see it.

what about you. what is the metro area? does it go all the way to south carolina these days? has it made its way all the way up to dalton?

and what about the southside? i don’t go down there much, but i know plenty of atlantans have made their way to newnan and peacthree city.

it seems to me that the metro area is growing, but the sense of identiity that goes with the city is too. i work with plenty of people that live in cherokee or forsyth, work in alpharetta and never venture south of holcomb bridge road.

food for thought anyway.

Wanted: iconic sports figures

Atlanta is a good sports town, but not a great one.  No one would put it up there with the great sports towns like Boston, New York, Chicago, or LA.  I wonder if you have to be a great metropolis to be a great sports town, but that is a different post.  This one is about what is missing that prevents Atlanta from being a great sports town rather than just a good one.

I started thinking about this while watching the Hawks lose a close one to Boston last night with James.  None of the Hawks players really have the kind of star power that you get with someone like Kevin Garnett, and it seems like teams in great sports cities either need or attract players with star power.  Kobe, Jordan, Ewing, Garnett, Magic, Bird.  The fact that guys like Karl Malone and John Stockton were big stars in places like Utah are practically the exception that proved the rule – they were notable as much for being stars in out of the way places.  I think you see this across the board in sports.  Obviously the Yankees, but teams like the Cubs and the Red Sox have a certain cachet because they have a great following.  Ditto for the Bears and the Giants.  You can go ahead and substitute the USC football team and its impressive list of stars for this discussion.  

Atlanta has had its stars, of course.  Smoltz, Herschel, ‘Nique, Aaron.  Vick.  The players and teams don’t really stack up with the other towns, though, in terms of city-making icon status.  I’m talking about the folks that the town embraces, stars that become the face of the city.  Jordan/Chicago, Bird/Boston, Ewing/New York, Kobe and Magic/LA.  The stars themselves seem to effuse big-city glamour and prestige.  

Of course, these stars also come with ginormous egos.  Tabloid stories about gambling, or infidelity, who they are dating, etc.  Isn’t that part of what goes along with being a great sports town?  An unhealthy obsession with stars?  

I’m not saying that Atlanta needs all that, or even aspires to be a great sports town.  I’m more just meditating on what exactly it means to be a great sports town.  I think larger than life sports figures are a requirement.

Late Saturday At Kroger

Some of the people I remember from a recent quick Saturday-night run to the Edgewood Kroger:

why, zoo atlanta, why?

panda cam!!!

panda cam!!!

that my friends is an adorable image of lun lun cradling young pandizzle as caught on camera on the zoo atlanta panda cam. ben reported it in the comments on my last post on this topic and i am not sure how i missed it but apparently zoo atlanta is planning on dropping the panda cam after the first of the year due to “budget cuts.”

i cannot tell you how sad this makes me. the panda cam is my stress reliever. whenever i need to take a quick break for cuteness during the day, i tab to the panda cam and just watch those guys playing for a while.

i also don’t understand why the zoo would cut something popular. it seems to me to be a bad marketing idea. surely the zoo could find something else that people aren’t utilizing to cut to save our beloved panda cam.

i have set up an online petition i am going to forward to the zoo to ask them to reconsider and look for cuts somewhere else. please consider signing it. first though, click over to the panda cam and see what is at stake.

Winter blues

Atlanta isn’t really a winter town.  People don’t particularly get excited about winter here, and for good reason.  There isn’t really much special to do.  The best thing you can say about winter here is that it is fairly mild, and as a former Michigander I do appreciate that.  But without the snow, what makes winter special?  

Some of my ideas are sadistic, like hoping for snow or ice so I can watch everyone freak out and buy a week’s worth of water.  Others are masochistic, like the fact that I’ve been told the notoriously cold Nantahala River in North Carolina is warmer in the fall and winter because of the inversion effect.  I have no idea what this actually means scientifically or if it is true, but the disturbed part of my brain thinks that now might be a great time to go paddling.  

So what is there to actually do in the winter that you can’t in the summer?  Some things I am planning to enjoy:

  • Make my annual trip to Lenox Mall – I manage to avoid Lenox Mall for most of the year.  I have gotten to the point where I only go during the Christmas season, and I have to admit that I enjoy going for the people watching as much as for the shopping.  Lenox is always good for people watching, but not as good as during the holiday season.
  • A cup of tea at San Fransisco Coffee Roasting Company – I spent an hour in a plush leather chair chatting with a friend at my favorite local coffee shop.  Granted, I spend lots of time at SFCRC anyway, but the weather makes it feel more indulgent.  Having just finished finals, I am fine with that. 
  • See A Christmas Carol at the Alliance – this is one of those “I have memories of doing this as a kid” things.  I’m going to try and get over there this year.  The AJC gives it a good review.  
What are your favorite winter activities in Atlanta?

panda cam!!!!

i am becoming oddly obsessed with zoo atlanta’s latest additions, who i have decided to rechristen young pandizzle (panda was born in the atl, he should have an atl name!!).

lucky for me, zoo atlanta provides a pretty steady dose of panda-ige througout the day via the panda cam, which has a camera trained on young p in his enclosure.

hopefully the little guy will be making his appearance in the habitat soon and i can head over and see him live, but for now, i have to be honest, a few minutes watching the panda cam makes a nice respite from a hectic work day.

cuteness overload.

i do keep expecting to hear ryan cameron yelling “PANDA CAM!!!” as i am watching tho’.

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