Tag Archives: midtown

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

“Atlanta by car, 1991”

3 Feb

How does this video ONLY have 67 views on YouTube? And how did it take until now, in 2011, for us to discover the perfect freestyle keyboard music for cruising around Downtown and Midtown?

Oh, wait’ll you see this drive-by of the Margaret Mitchell house – the music is even better in this one than the last!

We really mean it!

Like a virgin

It’s Christmas time in the city (…sort of)

29 Nov

What gives, Atlanta? I went cruising around this evening hoping to see some dazzling lit-up bungalows reflecting on the shiny wet streets (I mean, Thanksgiving is over, people!), but came home pretty empty-handed on Christmas inspiration. People get way more enthusiastic about Halloween decor in Atlanta than they do for Christmas, it sometimes seems, which could be a disappointment at the end of the year for those of us who love any excuse for staring at colored lights against the city night sky. (See also: crying at the BeltLine lantern parade; crying at Ten Thousand Points of Light.)

There’s one Midtown house, however, that I can always count on. (See also: Valentine’s Day; St. Patrick’s Day; Halloween.) Well, except for during Thanksgiving, which they ignored – I was in a sour mood all month because they took down the two-story spiderweb from Halloween and I had no idea WHAT season it was or WHICH holiday we were supposed to be anxiously anticipating until the gentlemen of the manor finally put out a dozen glowing red topiaries.

What I respect most about this house is they always have a good balance of night and day decor. They don’t want the people who are visiting Piedmont Park during daylight hours to be alienated from the festivities, so there are giant stockings and snowflakes to excite and bewilder passers-by. Then after dusk – the house is ablaze in holiday colors!

My other two annual favorites are Edgewood Animal Clinic in the Old Fourth Ward:
Continue reading

5th Street secrets

20 Aug

The broad north-south avenues like Juniper and Piedmont have the showcase homes with the giant yards and consistent landscaping, things that belong on stately southern boulevards. But the narrower east-west streets have cobblestone alleys, idiosyncratic architectural embellishments, and sweet little carriage houses pushed right up on the sidewalk.

I have been obsessed with these first three houses for a long while now. This one below, right behind St. Mark UMC, is a duplex that was fairly recently fixed up. It still looks so strange – the facade has nothing to do with the rest; the windows on the side and back are all 1920s-ish.

This one I call Grey Gardens because…

Continue reading

The rebirth of southeastern manufacturing

8 Jul

I can’t wait to see how they redevelop this in the year 2050!

“Where are you living these days?”
“Oh, I just moved into the old Daiquiri Factory lofts in Midtown. They’re really cool.”
“Yeah, I heard those are really cool.”

Previously: BREAKING NEWS: Jobs for everyone

Housing boom

6 Mar

From The Atlanta Constitution, August 9, 1925. Full story here (PDF).

(Peachtree and 15th Street today.)

Baubles, bangles, and beads

17 Jan

My! My! My! opened this past fall in a Peachtree Street storefront that has never seen a successful business as long as I’ve been walking by there. Nothing’s ever made for long there because they never sold anything interesting. But when I first saw the dramatically sequined mannequins in the window dressed to attend the 1992 Daytime Emmys I was so pleasantly surprised – most Midtown clothing stores opening these days seem to just sell $300 men’s Oxford shirts with French words screenprinted on the sleeves. I was intimidated to enter for a couple of months but finally made it in to dig up something flashy to wear for New Year’s Eve.

Daily Candy has the full My! My! My! story here, but basically all you need to know is that John, the owner, is friends with someone who does costumes for soap operas in L.A. and gets some unbelievable pieces. There’s also a TON of jewelry and other accessories that are a little more acceptable for the days you have to go sensible business casual instead of Suzanne Sugarbaker at the Governor’s ball.
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Atlanta’s garden of Eden

8 Jul

Are we heartbroken about the demise of DeKalb’s plans for a tacky theme park? No? Well, you know, Atlanta did have its own amusement park, and I’m not talking about the place in Austell where you can buy Taz satin baseball jackets. It was Ponce de Leon Park, and it was the most beautiful place on earth, known as “the Coney Island of Atlanta.” That area is now known as “where the Whole Foods is in Midtown.”

Well, we all know the Atlanta Crackers used to play at that site, but before Ponce de Leon Park came along in the very early 20th century, that area had a spring and some little man-made lakes with summer houses.
lake-c1895(via Southern Spaces)

A summer house along Ponce; can you imagine? Everything you see covered in water in that photo is now covered in asphalt, for parking.
Continue reading

Aaaah, Midtown

15 Mar

This is the most hilarious patch of sidewalk on 9th Street.

This is is most hilarious utility box in Five Points. (maybe NSFW) Continue reading

Everything’s waiting for you

8 Dec

I was reading Terminal Station’s post on his experience downtown after a Thrashers game and how Atlanta felt finally like a “real city” in that context. Oh yes, I’ve felt the thrilling rush of city life with all the tall historic buildings and shining lights and plazas whatnot. But still downtown is completely baffling to me. I have complained here what feels like many times about how developers have built up new residential and commercial districts in Atlanta outside of the city center but disregarded downtown. There are finally people moving into lofts and condos downtown now – even in its heyday, downtown was never residential – but what do they do once they live there? Nothing’s really open after 7 or 8 p.m. on weeknights (the photo above was taken around 7:30 on a Thursday night), and I don’t have a clue what’s open on the weekends in terms of basic amenities – drug stores, cafes, neighborhood bars, etc.

Georgia State University continues to expand downtown, but there’s less to do in the downtown of the region’s largest metropolis for college kids – or for anyone, unless you are a homeless guy looking for a place to sleep – than there was in the six blocks of downtown Athens. Georgia State has been downtown for decades and really helped it develop back from the days of white flight, but there’s still so far to come. I recently read something praising ASU for recently moving part of its campus to downtown Phoenix. Well, I really think GSU is the model for this kind of thing, thanks to former president Carl Patton. I just wish they would hurry up their plans to get rid of all those bridges that connect campus buildings above the street and build street-level entrances instead of charging me an extra $100 per semester for a football team. Continue reading

Nickel and diming

14 Oct

When I saw the sign for Richards Variety Store go up next to the Midtown Trader Joe’s, I thought, “Really? There’s a market for a variety store here?” I imagined the last variety store in Georgia shut its doors in Fort Gaines sometime around 1989, but I was wrong! That Midtown Promenade shopping center is turning into one peculiar little strip mall, with the exception of the standalone Starbucks currently under construction.

I read the online reviews for Richards (no possessive apostrophe; it’s weird) and many of them were along the lines of, “YOU WILL NEVER SHOP FOR GREETING CARDS ANYWHERE ELSE!” At this point in my life, finding the perfect greeting card is not a priority so I was unimpressed. But still, today I wandered into the newly opened Richards and was kind of charmed by the uselessness of it all. There are some weird things going on in that store, like the giant portrait of what can only be described as Vengeful Japanese Santa Claus hanging over the entrance and abrasive yellow linoleum on the floor.

They stock lots of old-fashioned candies, like candy cigarettes and cowtails and these flying saucer wafers “made” by the Pennsylvania Dutch (in Belgium), a great road trip snack while you’re on your way to Alabama to check out the Federation of Light. Then aisles and aisles are devoted to toys – life-size stuffed basset hounds, wind-up tin robots, and battery-powered scottish terriers. There’s also an extensive collection of Halloween wigs (planning on being a saloon girl or a viscount this year?) and a back room with Persian rugs.

I’m leaving out a lot of inventory but it’s a variety store so they don’t stick to just a few key items, no matter what you’ve heard about their greeting card selection. Now I see that Richards strategically chose that location because it is right next door to Tuesday Morning and the two stores share, I imagine, the exact same customer base. Richards is kind of like a somewhat more upscale Dollar General. The only thing I purchased was this 79 cent fan, featuring Chinese actress Kristy Yeung, as a gift for one lucky out-of-towner.

Please – someone, anyone – hire this man

8 Oct

This is too depressing. On my way to work yesterday I noticed several key locations along Peachtree Street flyered with some guy’s resume. His objective is “to obtain a position with a company where I can contribute my exceptional professionalism,” so if you’re looking for such an employee then I suggest you check out the Wachovia ATM at Peachtree and 4th Street for this gentleman’s full name, home address, personal phone number, and email address.

Continue reading

Everything you and me could want ever in life

10 Sep

You guys know I love me some RuPaul. Here he proves he was ready for QVC prime time decades ago as he gives us a tour of his Midtown yard sale, presumably right before he moved to New York. Where is the Yard Sale Addict when you need him?

Just like any other underground drag queen in 1988, RuPaul’s earthly belongings seem to basically amount to some disco records, nail polish, and a cat poster, which he enthusiastically strokes while clutching a PBR tallboy.

His passion for making the sale and confusing circular hippie love are so endearing that I am willing to look past the major disregard for hygiene in selling his used makeup.

Previously: “Welcome to Forsyth County – they don’t mean it.”


16 Jul


Lunch endorsement: Babs

30 Jun

Changing jobs means not only do I not get to “work” mostly from home anymore, but I also have to find a whole new set of restaurants in Midtown for lunch when I can’t bear to eat chicken salad for one more meal. It was so easy in downtown Decatur, especially with a copy of the latest Savvy Shopper! But everything in Midtown is so silver and swanky or Georgia Tech-y! I just want to eat something inexpensive but interesting in a relaxing crawl space!

Babs (no apostrophe) is, I think, my favorite lunch spot thus far, and it’s not even dirty! Named after Divine‘s character in Pink Flamingos, they have a little altar dedicated to her, as well as a framed and rare Odorama card from Polyester. The last time I was there, our waiter told us Divine’s manager (former manager?) had been in there just last week.

When the heat isn’t so aggressive, there’s also a pleasant little fountain outside by the patio.

The sweet potato fries with curry sauce are maybe the best in Atlanta, but if you want a healthier option the side salad is pretty big and not your run-of-the-mill greens with shredded carrots – it’s almost more veggies (and fruits) than lettuce. The specials differ from day to day so you could eat there all the time and never have the same thing twice (but there’s always one salad that is topped with their star “cusabi” dressing, which is cucumber + wasabi). You can also go with their classic chicken and brie sandwich off the menu.

They especially like it when you order from the specials, though, and if you get the pushy waiter who tells you what you’ll be having today, comply with his wishes and give him a reason to like you (e.g. admiration for John Waters), and you might be rewarded with a dessert on the house or some other sort of goody, as well as a few minutes of scintillating conversation.

I still haven’t made it out for Sunday brunch, but every week they have different theme (the vestiges of which you might notice in the specials selectiongs the following week) and I imagine it’s even better than lunch because in the case of brunch, carb intake is only an afterthought when you don’t have to return to a cubicle for four more hours.

814 Juniper Street


13 Jun


That 70s Wall

3 Apr


Pink Tuesday

18 Mar

Continue reading

Drew Lewis is official

21 Feb

Around Midtown has photos of Drew Lewis’s pre-opening party. The store looks beautiful and cleverly decorated, and opens officially today! Now we can be as wondrously fashionable and deeply in debt as the cities we always feel inferior to.

To celebrate, here is a cute picture of Jason Schwartzman for Band of Outsiders (available at Drew Lewis! Let’s hope the girls’ stuff too!). I am feeling especially boy crazy today after swooning over Devon Sawa in Casper on ABC Family last night.

845 Spring St NW

Previously: Career change of clothes

Career change of clothes

19 Feb

Drew Lewis Boutique will open soon at MidCity Lofts on Spring Street and will be stocked with garments from the likes of Band of Outsiders, Vena Cava, Rag & Bone, Charlotte Ronson, A.P.C., and Lauren Conrad‘s horrendously boring line. Which means I need to go make some REAL MONEY. And spend it right here in Midtown Atlanta on designer jodhpurs and things with lots of buttoned plackets. (Seriously, this is probably what I would blow my money on if I made lots of it.)

After gazing at these lovely clothes for so long, I finally see why these developers and such want to get rid of the only buildings and landmarks and trees that make Atlanta semi-interesting. You see, it’s not good enough that I just can’t afford a Bottega Veneta handbag in general – I need to be able to not afford a Bottega Veneta handbag in my own city. I shouldn’t have to go all the way to Manhattan or Dallas to do that! Thanks, Streets of Buckhead and everyone else, for quadrupling the number of things my GRA paycheck can’t cover.

(via Around Midtown and Gridskipper)

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