Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Well I’ll be darned!

Lucinda here, ex-pat from Los Angeles Metblogs! Who knew that after months of tinkering under the hood of our good ole’ Metblogs jalopy, I woulda popped my head out to find I *finally* had access to the posting tools for my sister blog here in Atlanta–the city to which I have recently relocated–only to find myself back in LA for the holidays at the very time the engine does its first reluctant, full turn-over. And leave it to an LA girl to whip out an overwrought car metaphor like that one there! I suspect you’ll be hearing much more from me in the coming months, but right now I’ll sign off from this late-night (even for the west coast!) post by saying, “Thanks for visiting Atlanta Metblogs, and y’all come back now!” Thanks MUST go to Joz & Jason, who have worked so hard to keep Metblogs a viable reality,that this here site will NOT be going silent (and for doing the high-wire Internet acrobatics required to grant me posting access to this blog). We hope for this to become not only a destination for many with thoughts about the city, but a place for like-minded folk to come together and lend their voices to the multitude of human narratives that have long sought to paint at least a partial picture of Atlanta and the south, its many different realities, its transformations and its sense of place.

Coffeshop Campers

Most of my coffeeshop transactions tend to be made on the run, as I’m usually there on the way to something else I’m already late for. But apparently some people

Photo by Flickr user Brian Vallelunga

who do have time to sit down with their drinks find themselves unable to because of other patrons who virtually move in.

I didn’t realize that seeing someone taking up more than their share of real estate and electricity at a coffeeshop was such a hot-button issue, but the more than 200 comments on a post at the AJC’s News to Me blog suggest that it really gets people going.

Do some of these commenters perhaps need to lay off the caffeine, or are oblivious coffeeshop campers driving you nuts too?

Another home team

GSU - Alabama last week... a 63-7 loss for Atlanta's newest home team. Photo: Todd Drexler/Sideline Sports

Though I refuse to even DISCUSS the upcoming game on Saturday, I’m still going to post on football as if I know what I’m talking about. Georgia State’s football team ended their inaugural season last week after what could not have been a very enjoyable game against Alabama. While they did lose by a significant margin, they also did (a) score a touchdown off a kickoff return against last year’s national champions and (b) make $400k+ in one painful ass-whooping.

This CL article and its comments sum it up pretty succinctly. The team’s first season was immensely successful in many respects – a winning season (6-5), 30,000 fans at the first game, average attendance almost 17,000, and a bunch of optimistic fans looking forward to next season. I didn’t make it to any games this season but would really like to check one out next year. Did any of you go to a game in the Dome? What was the atmosphere like? Ticket prices? Family fun? Worth a look-see?

On Zombies

Love this shot, zombies or no - Freedom Parkway going into the city

For all my enthusiasm about all the movies and tv shows filmed recently in Atlanta, I’ve got to admit I haven’t really been interested in watching most of them.  Drop Dead Diva and Vampire Diaries, I’m sure they’re funny and/or cool, just not anything I’d normally watch. Same goes for that Miley Cyrus movie, most of the horror movies shot around here, and most of the Tyler Perry movies – just not for me.

MAJOR EXCEPTION: This new AMC miniseries the Walking Dead, which has just been renewed for another season. Filmed in – and set in – Atlanta! Love this. In my opinion, a good zombie movie generally gives us a little bit of social commentary, a little bit of survival story, and a little bit of gore, but zombies are just too slow and shambly to be terrifying (unless they’re the 28 Days Later sprinting rage-zombies which scare the living bejeez out of me).  This show fits my definition and is right up my alley – throw in my city and I’m a big fan. Tonight is the third episode. Last week was the big downtown scene, when main character Rick fights his way through throngs of zombie extras (and Abby repeatedly pauses the dvr and strains to identify familiar graffiti and pawn shops).  I got a little kick out of the fact that a lot of the “desolate” shots didn’t have to be altered – the closed-off bridge going to Elliot Street, the vines growing up along some of the buildings near 5 Points , abandoned storefronts – all look as they normally do.

Directed by Shawshank director Frank Darabont, based on a comic book series, I found the show exciting, well-paced, dramatic. Plus two of the main actors are British, and didn’t fuck up the Southern accent (a bad Southern accent makes me turn the tv off in a heartbeat, ATL zombies or no). And the more I talk about it, the more I hear about friends of friends who are working on it in some capacity, which means employment and income for Atlantans.

Have y’all seen this? It’s on tonight at 10 on AMC. Check it out. You missed the first couple episodes but I’m pretty sure you can catch up.  Zombie apocalypse. Pretty self-explanatory.

Goodbye No. 6

Goodbye No. 6.

Almost everything that can be said about Bobby Cox has been, and by folks more articulate than me.

My first date with my wife was a Braves game in 1991 on a sweltering Friday night in July. We were married in December of ’91. Almost 19 years later, the skipper of that first date team is finally retiring.

We’re not huge sports people. We don’t have season tickets to, well, anything. Still, Bobby Cox was an unlikely constant for us. Unlikely, because we’d never consider ourselves baseball fanatics. Even more unlikely because how many managers are successful enough to stay with one team for more than two decades?

Her father might have been the biggest Braves fan I ever knew. He saw every game or listened to it on the radio. He was at the game for Hank Aaron’s 715th homerun. Tie games drove my mother-in-law nuts. Every time the two of them went to a game, there would always be extra innings.

Even when his light began to fade, and he had a hard time following the roster, he still watched and listened. He still knew Chipper and McCann. If I was at his house during baseball season, I watched or listened with him.

When he passed away, I took up the torch of watching and listening. Not quite as religiously, but as much as I could and with just as much passion.

Folks will make what they want of Bobby Cox’s legacy. For me, I’ll choose gratitude. Thank you, No. 6.

Yes, but precisely HOW superdangerous is Atlanta?

A list of the country’s 25 most dangerous neighborhoods includes FOUR in Atlanta??  Oh my god, Marietta Street between Georgia Tech and Philips Arena is going to have 307 violent crimes! In some unspecified time period. My chances of becoming a victim here are one in nine?! Maybe I should think about moving to the suburbs – you know, we can get so much more house for the price… Oooh, but this area is more hip and trendy than 99% of U.S. neighborhoods. I should probably turn to a realtor for help.

What scary stuff is lurking behind this innocuous, 100-year-old condo building and design studio a few blocks down from the aquarium?

This is the vital information that’s been making the rounds from what seems to be some bunk real estate website and its “exclusive crime data.” It says they use algorithms, though, so it’s probably legit.

The Atlanta PD issued a response that I thought was pretty decent – City Councilman Kwanza Hall posted it here). They point out that no one can tell what methodology is used, that their numbers don’t match up with APD stats, that the study doesn’t seem to take into account the fact that the area in question includes major venues that host hundreds of thousands of people every year, and that the author is unresponsive to inquiries.

Do you think APD is hiding crime stats behind their skepticism? Is this report just sensationalism and jerrymandering in the pursuit of wrapping things up into a top-25 list? Is my chance of becoming a victim here in one year really one in nine? Ought I be panicking?

How’s the Weather Down There?

Hamtramck Disneyland

Hamtramck Disneyland

Hello, Metblogs readers! My name is Brad. As a recent Atlanta transplant (a good one, I promise) and new Metblogger, I thought I’d give the customary bit “about me.”

I’ve spent the majority of my still-hanging-on-to-mid-20s life in Detroit. From the rural cornfields of my youth to Anytown suburbia to an ethnic enclave in the heart of the city (see photo — thanks, wellohorld).

Detroit will always be my home. I’m sure I’ll someday return to the ‘burbs, have a few (truly unfortunate) kids, zip around in my Prius and long for the days of yore (i.e. today) when responsibilities were minimal and optimism abundant. My decision to leave, however, wasn’t merely due to underemployment. I’d been everywhere. The nice neighborhoods with mansions few realize exist, the frightening-in-daylight spots frequented by svelte jean urbanites, and every arterial road into the most distant of sprawl. It was time for something new.

Four months ago, I figured “ITP” was a succinct confession from a budding vandal or the typo of a Juggalo. Now, apparently, I live there — and it’s pretty neat. I’m genuinely eager to explore and become a part of what I hear is a large but close-knit community. Along the way, I hope to document some of my findings on this very blog. I’m still trying to figure out what exactly that may entail, but I can promise a surplus of bad jokes and vague references to pop culture that are more depressing than ironic.

Yumbii@Work in Smyrna

Yumbii truck at work

Yumbii truck in the parking lot at my employer

I work with a polarized group of very adventurous eaters and “gravy eaters.” The latter is a term my buddy Sam concocted to describe “meat and starch” types for whom any green stuff is verboten, let alone something with lemongrass, tamarind or saffron.

We’re working with a group of consultants who fall into the first category, and they’d heard me rave about Hankook Taqueria. They wanted to gift us a group lunch to celebrate the latest phase of our project going live, and the only request from the group was “please, no more pizza*.”

They put two and two together, somehow miraculously managed to get the less adventurous to agree to try something new and brought in the Yumbii truck ( Hit, I tell you, hit… and shameful, abject jealousy from the adventurous eaters in our other building across the street (we couldn’t very well invite the whole headquarters contingent of 350 people on the consultant’s dime).

I’d still note that the first folks in line in the picture are in the adventurous group. Still, we had probably 30-ish folks take the plunge, and everyone loved it.

Well done, Yumbii/Hankook folks :)

And is anyone successfully chasing the truck on Twitter? Apparently, another buddy of mine down in the Equitable building in downtown is having some luck catching them.


* Btw, our pizza consumption covered the Symrna-area gamut from pedestrian to awesome:
Pizza Hut–>Johnnys–>Jets–>St. Angelos

21st Century Atlanta Scholars

Though I sometimes question my qualifications for this sort of thing, I volunteer as a mentor for a program that works with Atlanta Public School high schoolers. The program, called 21st Century Atlanta Scholars, requires that students endure a rigorous application process to the program itself, then endure the rigorous college application process itself, and finally, if they are admitted to and decide to attend one of the program’s “partner” universities, they get a full ride to college. Yep. A full ride. Partner universities include about a dozen schools, including Amherst, Bowdoin, Holy Cross, Middlebury and Wellesley.

I got involved with the program a year ago, after I spent some time grumping about how 18-year-old Abby would have liked a full ride to one of the “Little Ivies” and put on my big-girl pants.

21st Century Scholars is a relatively new program—their first class of high school seniors graduated from college this spring.  It came about because a few teachers and administrators got together with Beverly Hall, superintendent for APS, to discuss the fact that their highest-performing and highest-potential students were not going any farther than Atlanta, maybe Athens. The program was created to help these students realize how widely varied their college options could be.

The kids aren’t limited just in terms of coming up with tuition – most of them have a lot more going on. They might have to take care of siblings while single parents work long hours. They might be juggling work and school themselves. They don’t generally have the resources to visit a campus. There are also often psychological issues at hand, both on the part of the parents and the students. College is kind of intimidating, frankly, without throwing in the fact that they could be going from a school full of black kids in the south to a school full of white kids in the north. They have to think of the academic pressures that will be present at Tufts that are just not there at Carver. These kids also may not all have the support of their parents, who picture their child going off to college and leaving them behind.


Park(ing) Day at GT


Sorry for the late, notice, but I just heard about this today.

Georgia Tech College of Architecture’s School of City and Regional Planning is reclaiming a bit of midtown street for pedestrians during Park(ing) Day 2010 on Sept. 17.

Park(ing) Day is an international day of temporary neighborhood improvement in which urban parking spaces are transformed into tiny, temporary parks. GT’s site is on 5th Street near Spring Street. The park opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m.

I think I’ll just barely have time to make it there after work before the park gets packed up.

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