Posts Tagged ‘things to do’

A Critical Mass

Yep, a table. Made for a little bit of a blind spot, not the safest of biking practices.

Me, I have trouble deciding what stance to take on Critical Mass. I like the spirit and the message (a fun, entertaining way to promote bicycles as viable vehicles with which to share our streets), but not the means of conveying it (blocking traffic and running lights). I’ve also been one to pretty much always do what a policeman tells me to do, especially if he is looking me in the eye and telling me to stop at a red light (yes, sir!).

All that caveat business aside, the Halloween Critical Mass is tonight. If you do just one Critical Mass, this is the one to do. It’s the biggest – I’d expect well over 300 people. The weather will be sunny, clear and cool. And I’d say 2/3 of the bikers dress up, often in preposterous costumes. Even the AJC kinda likes it.

You probably oughta check this one out. If you’re in town, you’ll probably get caught in the traffic anyway. Critical Mass is a pretty unofficial organization, but meets in Woodruff Park for a “slow and scenic” ride downtown the last Friday of every month around 6pm. If you don’t have a bike, borrow one. If you don’t want to ride a bike, go check out the costumes. Happy Friday!

Jammin’ and Blockin’ in 2010

Among the growing list of awesome things to do this weekend (Freaknic/Freaknik/Dogwood/420Fest, depending on your scene) is the Atlanta Rollergirls 2010 debut.  I hate to admit that I haven’t been to a bout since their first season in Stone Mountain, but they have been at the Shriner’s Center for a few years now, and man, are these girls FIERCE!

It’s good family fun, seriously – it’s a spectacle, pretty grand entertainment, and not too brutal or anything for the youngsters (not that I’m a good judge of this, but I think it’s pretty clean).  The showmanship, occasional feats of athleticism, and creativity adds up to great entertainment.

Plus, it’s BYOB, as long as you are happy to share with ladies sporting names like Demi Gore, Smack and Cheese, Tequila Slamher, and PBRawr (and that’s just on the Apocalystix team!).

Worth a check out, despite the steep ticket price (seriously? $15 for one bout, $25 for two?).

Edit: just ate my words, apparently people don’t mind the steep ticket price.  Sold out for this weekend!  Buy your tickets early for the next home bout, May 22!!

things still to do.

i have a list of things in atlanta that I have never done. it is always amazing to me how much stuff there is to do and how little of it i seem to have done. for example, it took me more than three years of living here to finally make it over to the martin luther king historical site. pretty silly, i have to say. on this particular five year stretch here in atlanta (i lived here once before for three years from 1998-2001) I still have yet to make it over to the high museum.

anyway, my list includes:

the wren’s nest
the margaret mitchell house
stone mountain laser show
the cyclorama
georgia state captiol
noah’s ark animal rehabilitation center (and home of evidence the zebra)
kangaroo conservation center
center for puppetry arts
the ben king heritage trail

okay that last one isn’t real. But it SHOULD be.

i’m sure there is more i haven’t done yet, but those are the things that cross my mind. i probably need to write it down to make sure i keep them all together.

how about you? what’s on your list of things to do in this town that you haven’t made it to yet?

Getting to know Jack

Being unemployed, I’m always searching for a way to get out of town that doesn’t involve spending too much money. Funny enough, despite being so close to Tennessee, I never really go there on purpose. I’m always passing through on my way to other states. But I always swore, before I die or move out of the South (whichever happens first) I had to visit the Jack Daniel’s distillery. Kind of like a pilgrimage to Mecca… Except I worship at the altar of booze.

Because I hate being stuck in the car alone, I managed to convince my bartender friend to accompany me, citing the infinite educational value to be attained in learning about the whiskey distillation process. Early one Friday morning, we jumped in my car to make our journey to Lynchburg, TN. Now that I was actually paying attention to where I was driving, I realized: Tennessee is beautiful! Especially once you turn off the interstate for the final leg of the journey, traveling along winding country roads through dense forests and rolling hills. A blanket of fog lent the appearance of an impressionist painting with its hazy, muted colors.

Before making our way to the distillery, we made a pit stop at a liquor store. Know before you go: In a cruel twist of irony, the distillery is located in a dry county. You can buy commemorative bottles of Jack on site at the distillery, but there is nowhere in town to actually go get your drank on. However, on the bright side– the tour is 100% free. What surprised me was how far some of the other folks had come for this tour; California, Florida, even Canada… My friend and I had driven the shortest distance, and that was 3 hours!

The whole tour took about 90 minutes; it was extremely entertaining, despite the fact that we were not allowed to take photos of the most interesting parts (to keep some things a mystery, I reckon). By the end my brain was flooded with facts and trivia: For example, did you know Jack Daniel was only 5’2″? That’s my size!

Jack Daniel's distillery
(This statue was clearly modified to make Jack taller…)

At the end of the tour, we were given lemonade, which quickly became Lynchburg Lemonade after my friend busted out his flask full of JD Single Barrel. Hey– dry county or not– Jack would approve, and you know it.

Afterwards we drove into “downtown” Lynchburg… This is clearly an area that would dry up and blow away if not for the blessing of tourism. Every store in the town square was packed to the gills with Jack Daniels merchandise. If you can think of an item, it probably had the JD logo emblazoned on it: clothing, pool tables, dart boards, golf clubs, patio furniture, bar stools, barbecue grills, light switch covers…

And, of course:

Belt buckles! (In true redneck fashion, I have a collection.)

Next time you want to leave Atlanta, but don’t feel like venturing too far, get thee to Lynchburg!

getting out of the city: the little white house

the presidential throne by our own paulie

"the presidential throne' by our own paulie

one of the items i am trying to do a better job of these days is to try to get out of the city and see some of the area’s sights that are within a day’s drive of atlanta.

to that end, recently my family and i got in the car and headed south to see franklin delano roosevelt’s little white house down in warm springs georgia. the little white house is sort of like w’s crawford ranch only about a million times smaller and occupied by a president that most people revere not revile. it’s a place roosevelt came as his retreat because the warm springs nearby and their positive effect on his polio.

it was a neat tour. it’s a pretty tiny facility; i was shocked by just how small the house was and it reminded of just how different life was back then. it is wonderfully preserved right down to the chair fdr was sitting in when he had his final attack that ended his life. you can even see the scratch marks the roosevelts’ scottish terrier made on the door frame.

afterward we headed into warm springs, which is a cute little southern town and ate at mac’s barbeque and steakhouse, which wasn’t the best food in the world, but made up for it all in ambiance, being in an old southern house with iced tea poured by the proprietor.

i say check it out. it’s a little bit of georgia history that has nothing to do with the ciivil war amazingly.

roosevelt’s little white house historic site
401 little white house rd
warm springs , GA 31830

parakeets everywhere. zoo atlanta scores.

boundless budgies exhibit at zoo atlanta

boundless budgies exhibit at zoo atlanta

zoo atlanta is like so many other things in atlanta when compared to it’s bigger city bretheren; underfunded, undermanned, maligned, but ultimately a whole lot of fun when you drop the new york/l.a. envy and just appreciate it for what it is.

i love zoo atlanta. i think they do a great job with the space they have, showing a diverse set of animals in well maintained environments. the staff and volunteers are great and the keeper talks and other programming is top notch. my daughter loves it too, and since we are zoo members we go for an hour here or there whenever we want.

like this weekend, where we went specifically to check out the new parakeet adventure at zoo atlanta. it’s an open enclosure with hundreds of parakeets flying free. for $1 you can buy a seed stick and feed the ‘keets to your heart’s content.

it’s a blast. hundreds of beautiful birds all over the place. you are in close contact with them too, which is always a blast. it takes a few minutes to get oriented though, since the birds will come flying a high-speed right past your head.

they are also still being trained to be cool with the people so they are a bit shy, but patience is rewarded with the opportunity to feed several birds.

the thing i love about the exhibit, is that zoo atlanta has done something cool and fun, that both kids and adults will enjoy in very little space. which is critical when you have as little of that to go around as zoo atlanta does.

i put some more pix up in the atlanta metblog flickr group if you want to check them out.


your phone’s ringing, dude.

kudos to the plaza theater for staying relevant in the days of megaplexes, netflix and corporate run art-house theaters. the main thing the plaza has done to stay profitable is to create a whole host of “experience” events that combine a movie with other elements to create a night people will pay for. generally these include older movies that people love to see and may never have seen on a big screen.

last night i checked out the plaza’a flicks and giggles which takes place on the last tuesday of the month. the gig is they have a live comedy performance, usually a stand-up, show some trailers for classic comedy movies and then show a classic comedy flick.

thanks to tessa i found out they would be playing joel and ethan coen’s classic the big lebowski which is probably my favorite movie of all time.

what a blast. the comedian was decent, they showed trailers for fletch and raising arizona both of which would be great movies to have for flicks and giggles in the future, and then i got to see one of my favorite movies on the big screen. what is it about seeing a movie you love on the big screen after years that is just great? i dunno, but for $10 it was a bargain. i’ll totally check it out again.

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