Archive for May, 2009

the best pie in the a?

yeah. i’m going there.

i realize we all have our faves. but here is what got me thinking about this. my 10 year old absolutely loves grant central east so much so that she absolutely insists within a day or twe of rolling into town for spring or summer break that i take her there.

meanwhile i have friends that swear by the grant central that’s actually in grant park.

i used to train with a friend who would drop absolutely everything to eat at a fellini’s.

and my sunday night crew will only order form viliage pizza in cabbagetown.

so it seems there is some disagreement as to what exactly is the best pizza pie in atlanta.

me, i’m voting for villiage pizza, even if it is pricey as hell.


Ready, Aim, Fire! Um… Shoot? Um… Click.

So, you’ve gotten a new camera. Upon looking at the photos you took over the Memorial Day weekend you realize that your shots are blurry, or that those fantastic sunrises just don’t seem to have the same oomph that they did while you were standing on the beach. What to do? Take a photography workshop!

One of the many benefits of living in a major metropolitan area such as Atlanta is that it draws special events to the area. Atlanta will be one of eighteen cities in which Digital Days Photography will offer their two-day photography workshop. The workshop will be held at the downtown Sheraton hotel on Saturday June 6th (from 1pm-5pm) and Sunday June 7th (from 9am-5pm).

Saturday’s session ($69) will be “Learn the Basics — Inspiration, Fun, Cool things you can do with Photography”

  • Digital Fundamentals
  • Learn about all the necessary digital photography techniques and terms, from scene modes, manual modes, ISO and depth of field, and everything in-between
  • Learn how the fundamental settings affect the shot you want to get
  • This session builds a strong foundation of digital photo knowledge
  • Taking Better Pictures
    • Explore composition and subject
    • Different shooting styles from landscape to macro
  • After the shot
    • Get familiar with a basic digital workflow
    • Learn some editing tricks
    • Printing and sharing options!
    • Create calendars and postcards. And so much more!

    And Sunday’s session ($99) will be “Beyond the Basics — Here’s how to make great pictures, and what to do with them”

  • Expanding the Fundamentals
    • Brief review from Day 1
    • Examine light & composition, subject, color & movement
    • Advanced camera functions
    • Exposure modes
    • Analyzing the histogram
  • Live Shooting
    • Live model shoot! Lighting is set up and we have several model stations
    • Our instructors are available throughout the shoot to answer your questions
  • Image Critique
    • Various attendee images from the model shoot are critiqued live by our instructors
  • Digital Workstation/Workflow
    • How to organize your workstation/color calibration
    • Build a foundation of digital organizational techniques
    • Tagging, metadata, etc…
  • Advanced Editing
    • Color Management
    • Skin Tone
    • Digital Darkroom

    Sign up to attend both days and the cost of the workshop is only $139.

    If you have more questions about this workshop feel free to visit Digital Days Photography’s FAQ page.

    Sound too good to be true? Well, Digital Days Photography will sweeten the pot for two Atlanta Metblogs readers. The first two people to correctly email Atlanta Metblogs Contests the names of the two people who will be teaching the Atlanta workshop (pssst, their names and bios can be found on Digital Days Photography’s website) will get free admission to both days! Entries into this contest must include your full name and a valid email address; winners will be notified via the email address supplied. Entries received after 12pm Daylight Saving Time on Tuesday June 2nd will be discarded.

    ps- I’ll be attending both days, so if you see me please say hello.

    Crime Update: Still Pissing Me Off.

    It was one thing when Inman Park started their patrol a few years back – I saw it as people with oodles of loot wanting to subsidize the protection of their Victorians and antiques. They have excess income, why not? I was living on the outskirts of the neighborhood and reaped the benefits of the patrol car drive-bys in the middle of the night. At least, I like to think I did.

    The patrols and the need have evolved – or devolved, as it were. Due to demand, there’s now the West End patrol, EAV patrol, the happily named Trolly Patrol, the Druid Hills patrol and others.

    It’s got me both riled and inspired.

    On the one hand, it makes me happy to see citizens being creative and constructive. While I myself have been the victim of random and tiny disruptive burglaries and have been tempted to go all kinds of vigilante, this peaceful way of dealing with crime soothes the cockles of my hippy drippy side.

    On the other hand (the one I wipe with), it chaps my baby smooth bum to know that we’re having to subsidize our own safety due to the mismanagement of city funds, the furloughing of officers, and the general incompetence of one short haired, short startured city official. Blegh. Disgusting.

    All that navel gazing aside, I offer you the following resources, prices and snippets. They should be used of course in conjunction with the still new (and kicking azz and taking names) citizens organization: ATAC (Atlantans Together Against Crime). If we aren’t making ourselves heard, seen and smelled, then we’re happily lapping up the fate that’s being dished out at us in big stinky piles.

    Inman Park’s patrol has three levels of buy-in ranging from $200-300

    NOTE: The main distinguishing aspect of Bronze, Silver, and Gold level membership is access to the patrol officer.

    The West End Historic District Patrol

    Costs: for residents: $25 monthly or $70 quarterly, for businesses: $40 monthly or $115 quarterly. There is also a $10 – one-time fee for new members.

    Druid Hills Patrol dues “are based on one of three payment schedule choices: Annually $480 due in January; Bi-Annually $250 due in January & July; Quarterly $130 due in January, April, July, & October.”

    The Trolley Patrol is “Atlanta’s newest private neighborhood security patrol. Serving the neighborhoods of Southeast Atlanta, the Trolley Patrol is open to the residents of Benteen Park, Boulevard Heights, McDonough-Guice, North Ormewood Park, Ormewood Park and Woodland Hills. Membership dues are $90/quarter or $330/yr.”

    East Atlanta Security Patrol
    “The geographic membership area of EACA shall have a west border of Moreland Avenue, north to I-20. The northern border shall be I-20 to Flat Shoals Road, where the border will go east of I-20 to include that portion of the City of Atlanta east of I-20. From there, the eastern border will be Fayetteville Road to Eastland Road and its intersection with Moreland Avenue.”

    “Yes, we already pay taxes and expect police protection, but other neighborhoods like Grant Park have seen reductions in residential crimes of over 50% since starting a similar patrol.”

    The options are one year of service for $200, six months for $100 or three months for $50. There is an initial fee of $15 which is added to your first payment to cover operating expenses.

    Only loosely related: this morning I caught a frat boy in a baseball hat, khaki’s and a polo peeing on the abandoned building behind mine. I assume he assumed he assumed no one would see him through the privacy fence. Thanks for that, parents of Gen Y’ers.

    Please to enjoy and please to add any I missed.

    thanks for a great season.

    it’s all over.

    the cavs swept the hawks at phillips last night to end atlanta’s post season run; a post-season run that saw atlanta win it’s first road playoff game and first playoff series in more than decade.

    there will be plenty of time in the off-season to chew over what moves the hawks should make; do they get a big-name coach? do they trade josh smith? resign bibby? all of these questions will be out there.

    but today, this fan just wants to say thank you. thanks to coach woodson, and joe, and josh and mike and al and marvin and zaza and flip and mo, even acie and mario and solo and the others that came off of the bench.

    it was a great ride. i became a hawks fan two seasons ago because i wanted a hometown team to root for and i loved the idea of following some scrappy young underdogs. i became a fan last season, this season i fell in love.

    i watched you guys play so many great games this season. i went to more than 20 and probably watched more than 20 on tv. and you never failed to entertain me and keep me coming back for more. at the beginning of the season no one gave you a chance. they laughed at you because j-chills had decided the greek league was more promising than atlanta. they questioned the off-season pickups of flip and mo.

    but a few of us believed and so did you. and you went farther than anyone would have ever guessed. you brought us the fourth best record in the east, a home playoff series, a series win, and a chance to see the best team in basketball.

    and last night you proved you could still play with heart and determination even with your backs against the wall.

    so thanks. i am sold. most likely a fan for life.

    and NOW YOU KNOW!!!!!!

    A Personal Reaction

    The news is going around. The police have made an arrest in the John Henderson case, and it all turns out to be part of a larger, sprawling story involving gunfights and men in hiding, according to the AJC. It’s a story with a lot of bullets.

    With thanks to the Atlantans Together Against Crime (ATAC) blog, here’s a link to Raw Footage Atlanta Police Department May 8, 2009 Press Conference from Grayson Daughters on Vimeo.

    Since I wrote a bit about the public reaction to the Standard shooting, I figured I should write something about the public reaction to this news, too. I’ve read comments of relief and comments of revenge. I’ve read lamentations about teenage shooters and I’ve read calls for blood.

    Here’s the truth: I don’t know what to say.


    John Henderson Assailant In Custody

    I was on the road this morning, stopped at a light and catching life updates via Tweetie when I saw Andy’s RT that John Henderson’s assailant was in custody, and that the teen had been linked by ballistics to the crime.

    Henderson was shot and fatally injured January 7th while closing up at The Standard in Grant Park.

    There will be a press conference at 2p, and ATAC will be tweeting live, if you want to follow the news as it develops. Additional information is being posted as it comes in on the ATAC blog.

    The arrest was that of Johnathan Redding, a 17 year old.

    Stinkin’ Up the Joint

    With a nod to the EPA, there’s an anti-idling law in Atlanta for buses and trucks. It states that they can’t idle for more than 15 minutes, and that if they do, there’s presumably a minimum $500 fine.

    I’ll give you this: it’s not green, and it’s certainly not good for tiny – and not so tiny -pedestrians wandering around downtown Atlanta with no clue where they’re going who are obliviously huffing the invisible clouds of emissions into their otherwise pink lungs. While I have my own opinions about how this applies to a trucker trying to get a good nights rest in 30 or 90 degree temperatures, that’s not the point of my post.

    My point is this: the dozens of buses that line up along Centennial Olympic Park in various shapes, sizes, colors and with a veritable cornucopia of passive-agressive propaganda and marketing dripping from their sides: sitting there for hours on end, oozing emissions while their inhabitants frolic in the spray of the dancing rings or ambush the CNN Center food court or are pressing their dirty little hands up against the glass of the whale tank at the aquarium.

    There’s an exemption for weather as well as for passenger loading and unloading, and I ask you: at what point does Atlanta not have “weather”?

    With all of the Segway-riffic ambassadors, suck-it-up machine drivers, lawn watering monitors and are we left without funds in the coffers for enforcement officers visit these drivers and enforce the law?

    Once again I’m scratching my wee noggin and asking: what’s the point of establishing a law if you (seemingly) have no means or plans to enforce them?

    I’m tempted to ask if this is just me being old and crotchety, but I’m fairly certain I already know the answer.

    looking to get "posterized" this weekend?

    (ed. note – we’d put some cool promotional video here, but we can’t get vidder to embed, so if you feel like helping the agency that created it earn their payday you can click here)

    okay, so maybe while my beloved atlanta hawks are embroiled in a heated series with the cavs isn’t the best time to be bringing to town a promotion featuring lebron james, but you can’t blame the nba for throwing it’s most marketable player out there.

    anyway, if you are a fan of roundball and looking for something to do in between playoff games this weekend, i suggest you head over to the sweet auburn festival this weekend and check out the sprite nba amateur dunk contest, which is apparently, “lebron james certified,” (which must be an interesting certification program.)

    should be a damn good time, and the folks at the nba assure me this is free to attend, and you can even participate by voting for your favorite amateur dunker via text message.

    the winners are going to head to the all-start game in dallas next year to compete for a pretty big prize package, so your vote could be huge.

    you can also submit your dunk by video if you can’t make it but you think you have a little josh smith in you, by visiting

    i plan on checking it out if i can on saturday and posting some pics.

    should be a blast.

    sprite slam dunk showdown
    friday, may 8: 5PM – 10PM
    saturday, may 9: 11AM – 9PM
    sunday, may 10: 2PM – 8PM
    sweet auburn festival
    auburn ave

    Undiscovered Atlanta: Herbert Taylor Park

    I’m always looking for new stuff to do with the puppeh.  He has a lot of energy, and I can only throw the ball around or take him on long walks so many times.  With the demise of the Piedmont Park dog park, I’ve been frequenting ParkGrounds lately.  The coffee is good, the place never seems to get too muddy, and the girls are cute.  Really, what more can a single guy with a puppeh ask for?

    Perhaps Herbert Taylor Park.  A neighbor showed me the park yesterday, and I’m hooked.  It is a 26 acre park and nature preserve in the middle of the Morningside neighborhood. It is a little forest, with lots of trails and a creek.  My puppeh, who had never really seen anything like a creek before, had a blast running on the beach/sand bar and prancing in the water.  Okay, so there aren’t lots of cute girls, but despite jokes to the contrary, I’m not really the use-my-dog-to-meet-chicks kind of guy.

    For a little while, I couldn’t believe I didn’t know about it – I mean, I had friends who grew up blocks from this place, how did I never discover a secluded forest park as a high schooler?  My friend and I had the following conversation that exemplifies what I’m talking about:

    Me: “What is down that trail?”

    Friend: “That is a dead end.  I think that is where the high schoolers drink and f*ck.”

    Me: “How did I not know about this place?!”

    A little research (i.e. a google search and clicking a few links) indicates that the park wasn’t really fixed up until 2004.  Anyway, it is a great place, all the other dogs and joggers I met were very friendly.  It can definitely get a little muddy, so don’t wear your slacks like I did.  (Good thing I don’t really care about some Target specials!)

    ATL Crimefighting on ABC

    Did you see this? ABC News took notice of the community-driven, social-media-enabled crime prevention going on here in the ATL. This segment looks specifically at Atlantans Together Against Crime, webcam video surveillance in the home, and community vigilance in EAV combining civilian patrols with the likes of Twitter and Facebook to get the word out. Click through the image to watch the video at

    ATL on ABC News

    ATL on ABC News

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