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

28 Feb


-2 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.

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

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

Name dropping

4 Feb

We’ve mentioned here before how disappointed we are that AJC‘s beast beat was wrestled away from master animal kingdom journalist Mark Davis. Most of the local animal reporting duties seem to have fallen on Christian Boone, who does a fine job of explaining how a situation transpired (with a smirk), although he truly leaves something to be desired for those of us who want to get inside the mind of the subject animal. Case in point: the recent stories about the woman who tried to mail a puppy to Atlanta. Oh, what Mark Davis could have done with that one!

But just like our kudos for his hoarders coverage, we have to give it up to Boone for slipping in a Suddenly Susan allusion when he had the opportunity:

The network responsible for “Suddenly Susan” proves it hasn’t gained a sense of humor, firing the employee who posted this week’s viral sensation, the “What is the Internet?” clip.

That’s not even really an “opportunity,” but he seized it anyway!

We’re just relieved he didn’t slam Caroline in the City.

Previously: The new “trashy” media

Obligatory streetcar commentary

15 Oct

You will not hear three consecutive cheers from me about any streetcar funding until someone comes up with the millions for my pet project, THE PONCE STREETCAR. I think right now the Connect Atlanta plan gives Ponce de Leon Avenue a second-tier bike lane at some point. USEFUL. Really useful.

And all this hullabaloo about the streetcar has stolen the thunder from Atlanta’s real coup, which was scoring a 311 concert at the Fox Theatre on Halloween night! 

Not just regular Halloween, but 10/31/10! Think about it!

The new “trashy” media

25 Aug

You snooze you lose, Thomas Wheatley…you’re in Central European Time right now. Sorry, Mark Davis…you don’t write about zoo animals anymore. My new favorite match made in heaven of local journalist + beat is Christian Boone covering the grotesque horrors of metro Atlanta’s hoarders. The latest is “Uncle tipped cops off about little girls living in filthy house.”

He first flaunted his hoarder coverage chops with updates on the Sandy Springs hoarder – we all know that didn’t end well, but just recently we had a follow-up story about the business that cleans hoarders’ homes. Mr. Boone gives a whole new meaning to the title “muckraker” – am I right or am I right?

Let Mr. Boone’s stories be a lesson to you, all you who played hooky from your jobs to buy three dozen soiled desk chairs at City Hall East this week. I didn’t have time for such a wasteful pursuit of junky possessions; also, the sign for Lee Haney‘s World Class Fitness Center wasn’t for sale anyway.

photo from I Saw It On Ponce


19 May

Is anyone wealthy enough to be attending the Congress for New Urbanism* gathering this week? If so, is it truly “plannerlicious,” as one friend so vulgarly put it when describing the David Byrne “thing“?

What about this video, possibly financed by the Glenwood Park developers as propaganda, and definitely put together by a sprightly and tech-savvy group of new urbanists?**

a) Can we really call it a “makeover” in this day and age without Nick Arrojo cutting off some guy’s ponytail or giving a mousy gal caramel highlights?

b) Hmmm….sounds an awful lot like…….old urbanism. I mean, aren’t all those appealing traits of new Glenwood Park the same things you’d find in any old intown neighborhood? I love this about my elderly part of town – walking everywhere, running into people – although the downside is being recognized by a fanatical reader while trying to sneak away, unshowered, from a particularly empty-carb-dense brunch. You men can’t just come running up to me in broad daylight wearing tight seersucker trousers! It’s unseemly! I am a married woman and a pillar in this community!

But seriously, someone teach these new urbanists what adaptive reuse means, at least until CNU takes a well-defined stance against EIFS. Also, teach them there isn’t one single solution for every problem.

Anyway, if you really want to get down and dirty with Atlanta, ignore the previous video (and this one, too) and watch watch Steve and Drew’s Better Know a Neighborhood videos, which I guess will be shown at CNU?? I wouldn’t know!

Old Fourth Ward and Inman Park are my faves!! And someone please pay Steve $$$$$$$ so he can keep making these for every single one of Atlanta’s 3,000 neighborhoods!

*If you really want to know what I think of new urbanism, or at least as it pertains to Atlanta and this “healthy places” theme, I will have to tell you privately! Don’t want to bore the others!

**I realize in many circles, “developers” is a slur. Not in this case – I really like the idea of Glenwood Park, and I think the world of their intentions when building that development! Will it be a long-term success in Atlanta, though? Only time will tell!

A good idea we should steal

17 May

You know what? Screw it, I am just going to get wonk-y here when I can’t think of something cute to say.

I read about this neighborhoods website that the child mayor of Pittsburgh just launched.

The site’s purpose is twofold: to guide would-be Pittsburghers to an ideal nesting place, and to highlight some of the incentives the administration has heaped on to the urban experience.

“The big problem we have in the city is to increase our tax base, increase our population — to get more people into the city,” said mayoral spokeswoman Joanna Doven. “We need a one-stop-shop location from which interested people — be it businesses or a future resident — can understand what we have going on.”

WHAT A GREAT IDEA. Imagine, if Atlanta had such a site, how many graduate students could find out about intown neighborhoods instead of moving from Phoenix, Arizona to some boring apartments around Lindbergh when they come here to start school. Imagine how many intowners could finally uncover what the deal is with Just Us (which always shows up on Google Maps at a very specific level of zoom) and all the other great places there are to live and hang out besides the famous ones everyone knows like Inman Park and Vaggie-Hi.

ADA has something sooooort of like this – Atlanta Emerging Markets. a) What a dull real estate-y name for a website. b) It is only focused on wheeling and dealing land with incentives, not so much on the cultural life or character of these areas. (I still like my passport idea.) c) All the info is in PDF. I don’t want to have to download a 25-page document to look at photos of houses on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway!

Pittsburgh has done a really good job of making people aware of how great its neighborhoods are. Even if you don’t know the names of Pittsburgh neighborhoods like you would those in Los Angeles or Chicago or Brooklyn, you know they are supposed to have very active local life. “You” being, of course, me. Atlanta has this in common with Pittsburgh – that its parts are much greater than its whole. I think Atlanta could create that kind of national public relations message, rather than this Brand Atlanta foolishness that every Atlantan is deeply ashamed of.

Later this week: Pecanne Log takes on new urbanists. Watch this space!

Previously: Please forward to Kwanza Hall

City run-off mayhem!

1 Dec

Hey y’all! Time for one of Pecanne Log’s most exciting features, our Run-Off Election Candidate Death Match. These aren’t endorsements per se, because the criteria used to determine a winner in each of the races below isn’t necessarily what we would use when entering the voting booth (which we did ages ago, because we thought it would be faster to vote early but did not take into account that a van full of senior citizens in velour track suits would arrive at the Fulton County government center minutes before us, on our pathetic one-hour lunch break). But if the following helps you decide, then we are so glad we have helped. Don’t forget to vote today, because no one ever remembers – and if enough of you write in Sid Mashburn for city council president, he might actually win!

Let’s start with the most important race – the one the New York Times cares about, solely because a black person AND a white person are running, in the South.


Not only were both candidates pretty humdrum, they both had terrible campaign logos. Mary Norwood’s was completely uninspired. Did she even try to have an interesting, eye-catching logo? Does she have any intellectual curiosity that would lead her to at some point in the past two years to consider a semi-engaging visual design for her omnipresent candidacy? How could a person so ambitious for so long not care to strive for anything better than Times New Roman? No wonder the Mohammed K. Reed campaign stole all her yard signs. They are offensive to any Atlanta citizen who leaves the house in anything more that sweatpants. Mary Norwood’s logo is the elastic waistband of yard signs. Continue reading

Alex Wan and the real issues

5 Nov

So Alex Wan and…one of those white straight people…are in a runoff in which none of you will remember to vote. We’ve discussed Alex Wan’s good looks here before, but let’s get the superficial stuff out of the way for good and talk from now on about what’s really on the mind of us Disty Sixers when we think about the next person to carry our torch in City Hall. This question was posed to me today and it totally caught me off guard in its frankness and urgency: Continue reading

Unfair use

26 Oct

We don’t know if we feel more like Shepard Fairey or AP photographer Mannie Garcia, but we definitely feel like our iconic political design was ripped off! Look at what the Farokhi campaign is up to:Picture 1

We came up with the idea to make a jack-o-lantern-embellished Blingee of Amir Farokhi’s headshot! It was us!

Previously: Bad call, Mr. Wheatley!

Bad call, Mr. Wheatley!

15 Oct

510402709_423891Well, the dust has settled on Creative Loafing‘s endorsements, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still hurt by one in particular, and all the keying in the world of Thomas Wheatley’s previously-owned 2008 Honda Accord hasn’t made that hurt go away. Who does Thomas Wheatley think he is, anyway?! He doesn’t even live in Atlanta; did you know that? Yeah, he’s a suburbanite, yet he’s allowed to go on writing for Creative Loafing Atlanta! And then has the audacity to tell us who to vote for! WHY DON’T YOU GO  WRITE FOR DECATUR METRO INSTEAD SINCE YOU LOVE IT SO MUCH, THOMAS WHEATLEY!!

And why does everyone call him “young Mr. Wheatley”? Thomas Wheatley was born in 1962, people! That’s not young at all!

Previously: Amore for Amir

Amore for Amir

5 Oct

Which men’s hair grooming product do you think Amir Farokhi uses?
170-9326Is that the sheen of Brylcreem or does he perhaps use a hair tonic? Whatever it is, it’s helped him achieve perfect Kennedy hair, something this country needs right now more than ever. Continue reading

A real whodunit!

28 May

What? Are these pictures real? Were this hardboiled detective and streetwise gumshoe watching Chinatown or The Maltese Falcon when they got called by the no-nonsense police chief to investigate the park stabbing? The plot twist is that someone at the top of City Hall is behind the murders. I hope the corrupt district attorney doesn’t get involved!

(Obviously I am making a joke about panama hats, not the actual gruesome crime. Photos via AJC)

This glorious occasion

19 May

Hear, hear! Congratulations to Thomas Wheatley for winning a Pultizer Prize for his coverage of Saxby’s fake victory party in 2008!
Well, almost. He is actually a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies award for his feature story “Sober.” Here’s to hoping the AAN doesn’t fold before Thomas gets to put on his finest L.L.Bean corduroy blazer and accept the honor! We are so proud!

Previously: War and Peace

I want to know how this is affecting Atlanta’s pigs, Mark Davis

7 May

As quickly as swine flu swept the AJC’s headlines, so has it given way to more important stories like “Atlanta says no to adult video store.” Many local residents even forgot that they finally thought they had the excuse they needed to be super racist, festively donning their finest green, white, and red leis and Mardi Gras beads on Tuesday so they could puke congealed queso in the On the Border parking lot.

Sarah the pig

Sarah the pig

Last week, we kept waiting for Mark Davis to diversify AJC’s breathless coverage of the outbreak and craft us a heartwarming tale of the eponymous species told from the perspective of Sarah, the therapy pig at Noah’s Ark. Or we thought he might weave a conceit that relates the terror of riding the Pink Pig to the fear of being stricken with the new strain of virus. He might even use the phrase “present perilous porcine pandemic panic.” But our good friend and loyal reader Mark Davis never fulfilled our simple wishes.

So we raced to the next best online news sources, the blog and website of the Socialist Swine. You might know him better as the pig who gets walked in Piedmont Park. Sometimes he wears a t-shirt. (You didn’t know he is a socialist, did you? That pig loves taxes and universal health care. And polyester blankets. Look it up.) But because he hasn’t updated his blog since 2006 we don’t really have much to report. Has he endured specism and discrimination in this trying time of infection? Has he had to learn to waddle a little faster to escape the frightened scorn of the park’s baton twirlers and roller bladers? Only Mark Davis can answer these questions.

Previously: Double D

We are one degree closer to Chuck Bass

17 Apr

gossip-girl-chuck-shark_lRemember when Michelle Trachtenberg, aka Georgina Sparks, was in town for the W Hotel opening and she also hit up the Drunken Unicorn and it blew everyone‘s mind?

Now we can all be validated again like we always are in Atlanta whenever “we” have some slight brush with celebrity, because our very own Newt Gingrich will be inexplicably sharing a table with Gossip Girl‘s Ed Westwick and the White House Correspondents Dinner. Maybe now that Westwick is growing his own Republican-esque jowls Newt can recruit him to the cause.

Previously: OMG!!!! Gossip Girl and the Gay South!!!!

Thomas Wheatley is famous

13 Mar

2998561532_a6fabb431c_oWe haven’t been too hot on the Wheatdawg trail lately, but that ends TODAY when Thomas made national news just for doing his job, which is 1) playing on Facebook all day and 2) identifying when Georgia politicians are being racist. Read about his triumphs on celebrity news blog Wonkette or directly on the Fresh Loaf post he wrote on the matter, and celebrate by submitting his photo to Access Atlanta, which is collecting photos of redheads right now.

Previously: Coppertop News Network

I will be a corporate whore for MARTA

17 Feb

You know, I don’t take Transit TV lightly. If you don’t use MARTA then you have no idea how irritating it is to see the same ads for and a pyramid scheme run by the sheriff from Murder, She Wrote that involves selling $60 novelty sail boat lamps, over and over in a screen right in front of your face when all you want to do is just get to work without eye contact from the Jesus Greaser.

But I endure Transit TV because I understand MARTA’s got to pay the bills and no one in our sleazy state legislature is going to do that for them, and I also understand that those temper tantrums I was throwing in my car by the time I got to mile two of my three mile commute every morning was no way to live my life. And if the All-American Rejects’ record company is going to keep my trains running every ten minutes by playing the video for their new single on an endless loop with the sound off for a week straight, then whatever.

Then I saw a bit in a NY Times article about rising public transit ridership and declining state and local budgets to meet this need. Emphasis mine:

Beverly A. Scott, general manger of Marta, the Atlanta system, said as the sales tax revenue continued to drop, she was weighing everything from fare increases to service cuts to even selling the naming rights to stations — but she still hopes for more state support.

I hadn’t heard of this possible move yet in any of the other coverage of MARTA’s financial desperation. I had heard that MARTA might totally cut my bus route sometime this summer though, the thought of which immediately fills me with all the anxiety of three months’ worth of sweaty road rage. You know what, I will be happy to take a bus with a wraparound ad for Attorney Ken “One Call, That’s All” Nugent on the “DeVry University at Cobb Galleria” bus route pumping Snuggies commericals in Spanish on Transit TV, and get off at the “Fruitopia Strawberry Passion Awareness Station” every day to not have to rake my car over Midtown’s perpetually corrugated roads. I am not going to be like some outraged 30 Rock fan crying about McFlurry product placement when MARTA totally sells out.

Actually, I hope this naming rights scheme does happen, and I hope Tyler Perry, in a fit of the grandest egomania yet, buys the rights to all the stations so he can be honored at 37 Tyler Perry’s MARTA Stations by Tyler Perry. Each one could be named after a movie he made in 2008.

Previously: I demand MARTA fashion

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