An important civic conversation about Keith Parker, MARTA’s new general manager

28 Feb


-2 Continue reading

Roses are red, violets are actually violet

14 Feb

magic-love-candle-mainWe trimmed our list of favorite grown and sexy hits performed live at Tanqueray Lounge to these three, making a short and smooth playlist for your Valentine’s Day.

Saxophonist of Distinction Rod Adwaters, “My Funny Valentine”

Eddie Sawyer, “Open House at My House”

B.O.S.S. Funk, “Baby I Love You”

Light up your luckiest love candle from Rondo, hit “play” above, and pick which House member is going to be your Valentine this year. (Don’t forget to email us at and tell us, or someone else might claim your rep).

MARTA in the movies

12 Feb

MARTA has played a bit part in a few films over the years, whether Atlanta is a cheap location for a film set in some other city or explicitly acknowledged. There’s the very memorable hijacking of a MARTA bus at the beginning of Burt Reynolds’ Sharky’s Machine (1978), memorable mainly in the sense that everything that happens after this point is excruciatingly unmemorable. sharkys machine

Kim Bassinger takes it in The Real McCoy (1993) after she’s just been released from jail where she was doing time for a botched bank robbery, now on MARTA and on her way to new life, a fresh start. We’ve all been there before.
the real mccoy

MARTA is hilariously rebranded as “NARTA” in Livin’ Large! (1991). Livin’ Large was shot all over the city, so if you’re really into that, be our guest.
livin large

The most felicitous use of MARTA, however, is in the truly terrible 1985 movie you’ve never heard of, The Heavenly Kid. Continue reading

Get Into It

28 Nov

I just feel like this campaign preys on every intowner’s unspeakable fear, which is that one day they will open their recycling bin, trash can, or dumpster to find a half-crazed human or animal living there. The Cartlanta Frequently Asked Questions don’t even address this concern.

Good ones

7 Nov

Here are some good photos we found recently.

Nite club owners and employees in an unidentified area of Atlanta, Georgia protesting a decision by Lester Maddox to deter their business, 1967. (Atlanta History Center)

“We are the World” sings the crowd in an impromptu lovefest at the party celebrating John Waters’ visit to Atlanta last spring, 1987. (Atlanta History Center)

Unidentified women at a party given by Charles and Dorothy Ross at their home on Eleanor Terrace in the Collier Heights neighborhood, 1975. (Atlanta History Center)

Women’s Chorale, no year given. (Emory University Archives Photograph Collection)

In 1958, Emory University opened Thomas Hall, Hopkins Hall, and Smith Hall, known collectively as “the complex” as a residence for Emory women. (Emory University Archives Photograph Collection)

Click on any of those to go deeper down the rabbit hole. The Lester Maddox protest and Ross party are especially fun.

Into the crystal

20 Oct

Happy Halloween! Almost! Please spend some time working through the six short episodes of Diligent Witches, written/directed by Dave Bonawits.

We saw episode 4 (“Wicked Dance”) at something at the Plaza Theater earlier this year where a bunch of people who hung out at the Plaza frequently when they were at GSU as art/film students showed their comedic short films and web episodes that they have been making as successful young adults. (Well, the event was much more professional and put-together than we’re making it sound here but you know what we mean.) Diligent Witches was one of our favorites, among many high-quality and funny pieces.

Speaking of being a witch, somehow this very blog “won” a “Best of Atlanta 2012” nod from Creative Loafing in the fake sounding category of “Best recap by a local blogger of a 1990s educational series.” Clearly no one fact checked the date stamp on those recap posts of ours, but if you are here to read about The Making of Modern Atlanta, you should start on this post. If you are here and work for Creative Loafing, we want one of those plaques all the restaurants and businesses have.

Song of the Raft Race

18 Oct

Deal with it; summer is over! It’s totally fall! We know this because of the 400 Facebook invitations to different Halloween things at Mary’s that arrived over the past 24 hours, and because our most recent Georgia Power bill was in the double digits, and because we wistfully tucked away our river swimsuits and crusty river sandals for safekeeping until next year’s tubing trips. The Chattahoochee River is fun and disgusting and and there’s nothing quite as free in the winter. The Chattahoochee River is still (sub)urban and not too far away and definitely not the Chattooga, the real river of Deliverance. The Chattahoochee is no Mississippi River but it has still provoked the writing of terrible songs and beautiful poems, and vice versa.

Most importantly, the Chattahoochee River did not give anyone flesh-eating bacteria this summer, which still seems unbelievable.

If you are already looking for holiday gifts already and want to continue celebrating the Hooch, may we direct you to this Ramblin’ Raft Race t-shirt that is on Ebay right now for $75?

May 21, 1977. Calvin Cruce (AJC) via GSU

What is the Ramblin’ Raft Race? Well, obviously it’s something that doesn’t exist anymore because the hippies had too much fun with it. And so it was also sponsored by WQXI, sponsor of all things cool in the ’70s in Atlanta like Bike Day.

Continue reading

Light summer reading at your fingertips

5 May

Who was auditioning for Curbed or Catherine Ross’ graduate research assistant position and rewrote the entire Atlanta metropolitan area entry on Wikipedia as their writing sample? Someone who really – I mean really – dove into that new Census data. And someone who also wrote the “Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion” and “History of Retail in Metro Atlanta” entries and individual entries of so-called “major edge cities” (???) of Atlanta, that’s for sure.

If you don’t have time to read all 9,000 words of the exhausting Atlanta MSA page, at LEAST look at its nightmare urban apocalypse images, including one of of a demon cloud swirling over the city skyline.

via Wikipedia

Here are the highlights: Continue reading

The gay ’90s

18 Apr

Imagine, if you will, that there are these Atlanta cops, and they find out there are drugs possibly being dealt at this gay bar, so they go to bust up the bar…

…only to fall in love.

Real life? No, we’re talking about In the Flesh, an independent gay film shot in 1997 Atlanta.
It is so gay, it is so ’90s, it is so Atlanta. Eat your heart out, Gregg Araki!

The first thing that tipped us off that In the Flesh was no ordinary movie was the really intensely detailed Wikipedia entry, in which the section summarizing the movie’s plot is longer than the same section for The Godfather‘s Wikipedia page. Then there are the polarized Netflix reviews. Naturally, we needed to see this for ourselves. (Please watch the trailer here to really get a “feel” for the movie before proceeding.) Continue reading

Pecanne Log’s Suburban Explorer: Scottdale

21 Feb

If you go down Ponce past Decatur, past Kudzu, past the galaxy cats mural, past YDFM, you’ll end up pretty quickly in Scottdale. Scottdale ended up on the map because of Col. George Washington Scott, owner the Scottdale Cotton Mill and major donor to the Decatur Female Seminary, renamed Agnes Scott College in memory of his mom. Scottdale Mill closed in 1982, four years after the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills and more than a decade after Whittier Mill (also owned by the Scotts) were shuttered. Now one of the biggest games in town is the creatively named Steel, LLC and the area suffers from the unincorporated malaise so specific to DeKalb County.

Scottdale also pioneered beefing it up.

Continue reading

Gonna put it in the want ads

30 Jan

Good reading: the classified section of the Great Speckled Bird archives.
Accused of “spreading sexist attitudes” through its classifieds section (“requesting young, hip, white, females to move in free of charge and do housewifely chores”), the Bird ditched the money-making sexist ads in 1970 and just offered the space for free.In this section there were a lot of requests for prison pen pals (A LOT), desperate family members seeking their hippie dropout kids, free cats and poetry, waterbeds and VW vans for sale, cheap macrame kits, fundraising pleas for various liberation movements and lesbian fairy tale publications, and really cryptic personal ads. We can only hope the intended recipients got the message. Continue reading

Hey, what’s up in Atlanta?

26 Jan

Atlanta, Indiana by Flickr user J. Stephen Conn

Sometimes when we get too bummed out here in Atlanta, Georgia, we like to check in on what other Atlantas are up to, to see if they’re living up to the hype, or even just making do. Makes us feel like we’re not alone in the world – somewhere out there, there’s another Atlanta, plodding along, learning valuable lessons through its constant mistakes, and just trying to make a name for itself in this crazy game we call life.

Atlanta, Illinois via

Atlanta, Illinois: It’s hard to tell a lot of what’s up in Atlanta, Illinois, as the Atlanta Argus is updated online only monthly. The water leak on North Street will be repaired soon. There is a problem with unnumbered houses in the town that the council has to deal with. Dollar General needs a business license and the grocery wants to start selling liquor on Sunday.

There is so much to see and do in Atlanta, located along Route 66 and proud site of “the Bunyon Statue” of Paul Bunyan holding a hot dog and Illinois’ only eight-sided limestone public library and museum. You can get some great Atlanta souvenirs at the J. H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum and find out where cornflakes come from in their new exhibit. Continue reading

Christmas judgment

21 Dec

It’s nearly the end of another year, which means it’s time to reflect on all the people who rubbed us the wrong way in 2011 and make empty threats about what we’ll do to them if they pull that shit one more time in 2012.

In the interest of Christmas cliches, we have compiled our annual naughty and nice list. Do you want the good news first or the bad news first?

1. Kim Severson
2. Robbie Brown
3. Kim Severson and Robbie Brown on the same byline

Everyone’s still buzzing about Severson’s latest thing, “that pecan article” (come on, Hawkdogg hasn’t updated his MySpace page since March!), and we’re probably still rolling our eyes over Severson-Brown’s “black Hollywood” piece. (Good inventory of subtle offenses here.)

Oh, and let’s not forget Brown’s Waffle House crime story.

These are the issues that Atlanta and the South face. THESE ARE THE THINGS NEW YORK TIMES READERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TO CONTINUE SHAPING THEIR WORLDVIEW which apparently begins and ends with that one scene from Mame where Lucille Ball goes to Savannah to meet Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside’s family.

But these articles to which we’ve already alluded barely scratch the surface of what Severson and Brown are capable of! Sometimes they cover the ho-hum trend pieces for which The New York Times is famous, or they’ll hone in on one person in a human interest profile and won’t try to convince the readership that this one Bogart man or “Windy” (=Gone With the Wind fanatic) represents the whole of the South, all of it, every last person. But then there are the times they get carried away, lost in some grotesque scattershot caricature that they know readers from other geographic regions will read with glee.

Behold some of their most offensive clippings and anecdotes from the past year or so: Continue reading

Street hymns

29 Nov

Enough about Peachtree Street!
“Badstreet U.S.A.”  by Michael Hayes and The Fabulous Freebirds (from the 1987 album Off the Streets)

Shortly after this song debuted, Bad Street was renamed “Atlanta’s Historic Livingston Mims Motorway” to shed itself of negative connotations with the notorious and sloppy wrestler vs. punk blood feud that plagued the thoroughfare for the majority of the ’80s.

If I had to pick a real-life Bad Street Atlanta G-A, maybe I would go with the very south end of Moreland Avenue, past Coco Loco de la Noche. There are just a lot of beige nearly-windowless “sports” bars that seem like weathered men go in there every night and come out with nosebleeds, either from brawls over whether to play trashy honky-tonk or thrash metal in the jukebox, or because of snorting too much hillbilly heroin.

Now a real road – Auburn Avenue.
“Auburn Avenue” by The Spirit of Atlanta (produced by the legendary Tommy Stewart, from the 1973 soundtrack to the never-made film The Burning of Atlanta)

This whoooooole album is sooooooooooo goooooooooooooood. I can only imagine what the movie for which it was recorded would be like. What was the plan for “Buttermilk Bottom“? I am dying to see the heavy nightlife scene for which that was likely intended. There’s also “Hunter Street” (now MLK Drive – thanks jolomo) which is clearly scored for a police chase scene. And if you like funk woodwind and brass riffs, you’ll love the instrumental “Down Underground“!

Here’s one last song with street undertones, while we’re on the subject of Tommy Stewart. Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving

23 Nov

Woman in corn field, surrounded by harvest vegetable crops, holding a live turkey, Georgia, 1930s

Man holds an axe, looking down at turkeys in front of him, November 1940

Continue reading

A wonk down memory lane

23 Nov

There are days and weeks when we literally cannot remember why we live in Atlanta other than because all our stuff is already here. Only a force as powerful as the History Twins can nurse us back from full-on fatigue to just dull listlessness.

Hey, snap out of it, you! This is truly one of the most amusing, ineffable episodes of them all. Especially if you like grand sweeping staircases and the letters “DOT” flying in your face. Oh, and more visuals with FOOD. You’ll see soon enough.

Here’s how the third-to-last episode of The Making of Modern Atlanta starts:

WHOA WHOA WHOA!! What is this? Clearly we are impeding on some sort of fancy dinner and similarly fancy conversation…

Dr. White: “…Maybe when we’re shooting The Making of the Modern Riviera.” [Inhales goblet deeply.]
“Mmm, delicate fragrance. Fine taste. Robust but not ill-mannered. Ah, what’s the vintage?”
Continue reading

History Twins, will you mayor-y me?

25 Oct

We are officially over the hill with The Making of Modern Atlanta. The second installment aired in 1993, two years after the first four episodes. The History Twins were still high off their regional Emmy nomination for “How We Played The Game” and ready to rock the PBA audience demanding more, more, more History Twins! This reinforced confidence in their game led to a few new snazzy enhancements on the series, like wackier introductions to each episode, Dr. White accenting his safari jackets with a little color base, and a new design to the titles and whatever it’s called that tells you the name of the person talking on the screen.
Our fifth episode of TMOMA starts at City Hall, with the words we all dream of hearing spoken to us one day…

“Mr. Mayor, Professors Crimmins and White are here to see you.”“Who?” Continue reading

Autumn architecture

19 Oct

We know it’s fall when we start noticing the argyle church on Briarcliff Road again.

The house next door is totally bricked out in bouclé, too, though you can’t tell here. We call this part of Briarcliff “Sweater Row”.

While you’re cruising the Druid Hills Halloween decorations and wooly Tudor architecture, do stop by Callanwolde for Tom Zarrilli‘s “Faces of the Yards of Clutter” show.

Previously: Atlanta’s pagan roots

The episode with the inevitable Field of Dreams allusions

18 Oct

Wow, it’s been a while! We have not abandoned you, gentle readers, and have in the past month learned a valuable lesson about unplugging one’s DVD player from all those other things. And during football season! Of all the times to not be able to watch this:
That’s a baseball field but later on they get to football.

In our last viewing of The Making of Modern Atlanta, the History Twins explored the mysterious suburbs and exurbs, where all the Pier 1 Tuscan Heritage Collection wine racks and Rubbermaid bids used as children’s furniture in the world cannot keep up with the sprawling tentacles of cul-de-sacs and Colonial Williamsburg strip malls. (I know, I know; that run-on sentence is inconsistent because this show was filmed in the early ’90s and Tuscan decor didn’t hit big time until a decade later.) And if this is the first time you’re joining us on our serial exploration of The Making of Modern Atlanta, please start back here.)

Now we will explore the next means by which Atlanta has expanded beyond its capabilities for quality and long-term sustainability: major league sports. The History Twins LOVE sports.

Literally the first sentence of this episode has a Field of Dreams reference. “Atlantan Billy Payne heard a voice: ‘If you build it, they will come.'” So now we know that this, like many of the episodes of TMOMA, will be framed in the context of Olympics anxiety: “Have we made it? Is Atlanta Losersville or a big-league city?”

Somehow, I feel the answer to that question will be both.
Continue reading

Hot trainny mess

15 Sep

According to the most recent audience reach and customer demographic analysis by the Pecanne Log market research division, the average reader of this blog is a 57-year-old white male who makes 46.2 online purchases a month, is a model train hobbyist, reads rail timetables for pleasure, and eats Jimmy Dean products four meals a week.

These findings are likely due to the fact that Pecanne Log’s only reader is Thomas Wheatley, and that’s just when we pop up in his Google Alerts for himself. We also might be like the 80th result when Thomas Wheatley googles “Sam Massell’s Celebrity Transit Policy Alaskan Cruise 2012.”

Anyway, all this goes to say that the average reader of this blog might also find interest in Burnaway’s annual art party fundraiser, happening this Saturday night:

  1. The theme is “trains”
  2. Tickets can be purchased online
  3. Thomas Wheatley will be performing
  4. There will be food trucks (of course) but it’s cool if you bring your own Jimmy Deans

To make up for there being no Atlanta cookie cakes for sale this year, here’s some TRAIN FASHION.

Southern Railway, Southern Streamline Train; March 1941

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