Posts tagged “Atlanta

Dine on history and grits

Silver Skillet

Location: Silver Skillet

Date taken: October 28, 2012

You can read about the history of the Silver Skillet on the restaurant’s menu, website or even walls. From the horse prints, good luck charms carried over from the first owner, to the autographed poster from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, the stories and praise for the Silver Skillet are numerous. But, if you really want to know what to expect at this 14th street Southern diner, check out the menu. When the menu categories include “Syrupy Things” and “Biscuit Specialities,” you know the meal will satisfy Southern tastebuds. Don’t be discouraged by the line out the door on weekends. It moves fast. This is not your leisurely brunch place. Eat, enjoy and let the next person have your booth.

Atlantan Jocelyn Connell

Jocelyn Connell

Location: CBS Atlanta News studio

Date taken: October, 27, 2012

Dead air. It’s a broadcast journalist’s worst nightmare. As a 16-year-old volunteer at her local radio station in Anniston, Ala., Jocelyn Connell found herself with dead air. Something had gone wrong with the sound board, so Jocelyn quickly grabbed the nearest news copy she could find and started reading it. A few minutes in, she realized it was the previous week’s news. She never made that mistake again.

Since then, Jocelyn has been filling the radio and TV air waves with news and information that impacts people’s lives. The two-time Emmy winner is currently a reporter and weekend morning anchor for CBS Atlanta News.

“I’ve always been curious about current events,” said Jocelyn. “I’m interested in how events impact people and directly impact the decisions they make tomorrow. I love being the first person to know something, and then being able to break it down for people. You never know what the day will hold, so you have to be adventurous and up for anything. But it can be so much fun.”

Through the course of her career, Jocelyn has covered serious events, such as the capture of Eric Robert Rudolph in 2003. It was her first national news event, and Jocelyn says being in the midst of such a big event was both nerve-wracking and an adrenaline rush. In Atlanta, Jocelyn covers breaking news, but she also gets to introduce Atlantans to fun and interesting happenings. She goes behind the scenes of Atlanta attractions, has stood atop a cheerleader pyramid during a fitness convention and raced a bed on wheels as part of a local non-profit’s fundraiser.

“I feel very content where I am,” Jocelyn said. “It had been a goal of mine for such a long time to be in the Atlanta market, one of the country’s largest markets and near family, and I feel blessed to be here. The launch of our new weekend morning show is a dream come true.”

You can see Jocelyn Connell on CBS Atlanta News every Saturday from 9-10 a.m., Sunday from 8:30-9:00 a.m. and during the week from 5-7 a.m. and again from 9-10 a.m.

Atlantan Scott Dupree

Scott Dupree

Location: Elevate art project by Randy Walker (assisted by Scott Dupree) at Woodruff Park

Date taken: October 28, 2012


      “Racer” by Scott Dupree

Scott Dupree has discovered that if you work hard and are lucky, there’s a point in your life when it all comes together. As a child, Scott knew he would grow up to be an artist. But as an adult, he struggled to figure out what that looked like. He tried anything and everything related to art – sculpture and metal working, abstract and classic styles.

 “It’s like learning how to walk,” said Scott, a graduate of the University of Georgia’s art school. “It’s a difficult part of the journey, but once I discovered what was personal to me, I realized it was what I had been doing my whole life without realizing it.”

Eight years ago, Scott finally hit his stride and found that his artwork was repeating certain elements, that each piece was continuing a larger dialogue. The foundation of Scott’s artwork is his drawings — drawings of himself in costumes. He adds paint, and suddenly they become still life theatre, examining the historical, social and political influences of our time.

Scott credits his unusual childhood for his curious nature and awareness of culture’s impact. His family lived in Marietta, Ga., for the early part of his childhood. But when Scott was 7,  his parents quit their corporate jobs, sold their house, moved their sailboat to Florida and the family spent a year and half sailing up and down the coast. After that, they traveled around the country, living out of their car.

“Being so young and not having preconceived notions about the people I met was important ,” Scott said. “Those travels as a child have played such a big, big part in my work the past eight years. It gave me a solid backbone and avenues to work from.”

Scott’s artwork, which he describes as often “revealing and personal,” hangs in galleries, homes, restaurants and places of business. The new owners of his paintings frequently report back to Scott that his artwork generates conversation and questions.

“To hear that, it affirms what I’m doing,” Scott said.

 Learn more about Scott Dupree and his art at In January, you can view Scott’s work at the Cube Gallery in Cabbagetown.


Run off and join the circus

Hula hoop

Location: Circus Camp tent atPlay Day at Candler Park

Date taken: September 22, 2012

As a kid, I never dreamed of running off and joining the circus (the cliché dream/threat of adolescence), but I’d like to think I could have. My grandfather loved taking us to the circus. He would come visit, and we would head downtown to the Omni Coliseum to see the Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus. The circus had the normal attractions — tight rope walking, tigers, elephants, clown cars, cotton candy and a ringmaster in a top hat — but my favorite part occurred before the circus lights came on. We would park down on the lowest level of the parking deck next to the Omni … right next to the train tracks. And as we found our way into the coliseum, we would pass by the circus train and try to catch a glimpse of an elephant grazing on dinner or a clown out of costume. It was tempting to try and sneak aboard and become a part of the circus.

Stand as close as you can to your favorite band

Candler Park Fall Fest

Location: Candler Park Fall Fest

Date taken: October 13, 2012

Race a bed through the streets

Bed race

Location: Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta‘s annual bed race at Atlantic Station

Date taken: October 13, 2012

If you are working on a “bucket list” or “things to do before I die” list, then I suggest going ahead and adding to it “race a bed.” Each fall, the Furniture Bank’s fundraising event gives Atlantans a chance to do something unique. Jump on a bed. Sure, that’s easy. Make a bed. You probably do that every day. But racing a bed through the streets … that’s one of those things you have to do at least once. So, sign up your team of 5 people (one rider, four racers). Come up with a theme (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Bed Thieves, Breakfast in Bed, Bed Bugs, etc.). Then put on your helmets and start running. Yes, helmets are required — beds on wheels move fast. People fall down. People fall off.

Find a perch to watch a parade

Location: Little 5 Points Halloween Festival and Parade

Date taken: October 20, 2012

The best thing about the Little 5 Points Halloween Parade is not the official parade itself — instead, the best part is the parade of dressed up people who walk up and down Moreland and Euclid Avenues.  Kids and adults of all ages debut their Halloween costumes early at the Little 5 Festival. My favorite part of the day is picking a spot early in the afternoon, bringing a chair or spreading out a blanket and enjoying people watching. The parade, which features neighborhood businesses, can be entertaining as well (depending on the year). But, the residents and visitors who embrace the spirit of Halloween are the highlight of this annual event.

Go out and play


Location: Atlanta Youth Soccer Association’s Howard Field

Date taken: September 22, 2012

What’s your favorite sport to play? What sport do you want to try? I guarantee there’s a group of people in Atlanta already getting together and playing it. Indoor soccer. Outdoor soccer. Co-ed soccer. Football. Dodgeball. Softball. Handball. Basketball. Volleyball. Ice hockey. Roller hockey. There’s a website with a list of tables for air hockey. Want to play in a disc golf tournament? Atlanta has that. What about a Saturday morning playing croquet? You can do that with the Atlanta Malleteers. Want to ride around a velodrome? Just head to East Point.

Take a history tour

Margaret Mitchell typewriter

Location: Party with the Past at the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum

Date taken: September 26, 2012

The name Margaret Mitchell House is sort of misleading for the large brick house that sits at the corner of Peachtree Street and 10th Street. Mitchell, a native of Atlanta and author of Gone With the Wind, never owned the house or occupied all of it. Her space in the home was Apt. 1, a tiny, one-bedroom apartment located on the bottom floor and facing Crescent Ave. Mitchell, who lived there with her husband for many years, referred to the building as the “The Dump”. Despite its negative nickname, this was place where Mitchell wrote her best-selling novel. Take a tour of the house and you’ll see the restored apartment and her typewriter (shown here). But the most interesting part of the tour is learning about the author herself — her career as a reporter, her uneasiness with fame, her work to provide scholarship to Morehouse students and the story of her untimely death.

Light a candle, sing a song

Birthday cake

Location: Leapin’ Lizards

Date taken: October 6, 2012

Growing up in Atlanta, the two most popular locations for kids’ birthday parties were Sparkles and Chuck E. Cheese. Roller skating or pizza with arcade games. My birthday parties were held at the slightly less popular location of our church gym — these parties also featured pizza, along with roller skating around the basketball court, playing basketball on skates and a little air hockey. I’m not sure if Sparkles and Chuck E. Cheese are still top destinations, but I recently discovered a whole new category of places for kids’ parties — warehouses full of inflatable play equipment. Giant inflatable slides. Inflatable bouncing things. Inflatable mazes and tunnels. It’s a pretty simple set-up with only one rule: if you want to play, make sure you bring socks.

Follow the lights

Lantern parade

Location: Flux Night Lantern Parade in Castleberry Hill

Date taken: October 6, 2012

If “flux” can be defined as “the rate of flow of a property per unit area”, then you might say that Flux Night in Atlanta is the amount of art that can be placed in one neighborhood in one night. Venture over to the historic Castleberry Hill warehouse district on this annual night and follow the lights … or the crowd (which seems to get bigger each year).  Wherever you find light and sound, you’ll probably find art. From street performers to photography exhibits to sound installations to the dancers of gloATL, you’ll find yourself wondering what’s around each street corner.

Atlantan Kathleen Jones

Kathleen Jones

Location: Kindezi School auditorium

Date taken: September 28, 2012

As a kid, Kathleen Jones was a teacher’s pet, a nerd, a top student. Like most kids, she enjoyed learning but she also loved school, the grades, the structure, the school year calendar. So, it’s probably not surprising that Kathleen not only became a teacher but one of the founders of a charter school.

The Kindezi School started as the dream of Dean Leeper, who Kathleen met in 2005. She shared his vision of creating a school with small class sizes, differentiated teaching and a focus on learning through creativity and leadership. Kathleen lent her organizational and logistical skills to the vision, and for five years, Dean and Kathleen worked to make the school a reality. In 2010, the Kindezi School opened in Southwest Atlanta as a charter school of the Atlanta Public School System. Now, Kathleen is one of the school’s fifth grade teachers.

“I really value creativity and imagination in my own life,” said Kathleen, who moved to Atlanta from her hometown of Panama City, Fla., to attend Emory University. “It thrills me to no end to see my fifth graders who still have that ability to imagine, who can make soup out of acorns, who can make a boat sail around a playground.”

With a class of six to eight kids, Kathleen is able to tailor teaching lessons to each child – from individual lists of vocabulary words to finding out what subject sparks a kid’s creativity to providing specific opportunities for leadership. And, with such a small classroom, all the kids can be the teacher’s pet.

Learn more about the Kindezi School online.

Grab a cup of coffee with your dog


Location: ParkGrounds

Date taken: August 29, 2012

Atlantan Brooke Schultz

Brooke Schultz

Location: Re-Inspiration Store

Date taken: September 25, 2012

Brooke Schultz tells the story of Re-Inspiration at least three times a week. The people who enter her shop on Highland Avenue often ask her about the store’s recycled gift items – where they came from, who made them, how they came up with the idea. It was in telling these stories over and over again that Brooke first realized the store’s true purpose and niche.

Brooke opened Re-Inspiration in 2009 on Atlanta’s westside as a sort of alternative to “paint your own pottery” shops. She jokingly called it “paint your own old stuff.” But as she found herself repeatedly telling the stories of the items that filled her store and told her own story, she realized her customers were drawn to these repurposed objects. Now, the store is full of unique gifts, all which have been recycled in some way. There is the jewelry made from soda can tabs, pitchers crafted from glass bottles, wallets sewn from airline seat covers, frames cut from vinyl records, various items accented with bullet casings (these Brooke does herself) and lots more.

A native of Bay St. Louis, Miss., repurposing items was something Brooke learned at an early age. Her mother, who ran a wild bird store, recycled household items long before it became the cool thing to do. Brooke remembers the compost pot in the kitchen and the line of homemade recycling bins in the garage. Anything that could be recycled was recycled.

As an adult, the habits of childhood continued. Brooke remodeled the spaces she lived in, repainted furniture for friends and figured out how to breathe new life into old, sentimental items. When she was laid off as a drug rep, Brooke just did what she had always done – she repurposed. This time the object was her career and the end result – doing what she loves as a small business owner.

Re-Inspiration is located in the Poncey Highlands. Stop by the store Oct. 7 during Atlanta Streets Alive as Re-Inspiration spills into the parking lot and street with an artists’ market.

Atlantan Erica Jamison

Erica Jamison

Location: MINT Gallery (wall by Nicholas Benson and PLF)

Date taken: September 24, 2012

Growing up in the small Georgia town of Barnesville, Erica Jamison viewed Atlanta from a distance. A self-proclaimed “weird kid” who was home schooled until seventh grade, Erica saw the big city as a place full of exciting opportunities, events and people. “I remember thinking ‘my people are there,’” she said.

After high school, Erica followed her intuition and moved to Atlanta, enrolling at Georgia State to study film. Slowly, she found her people – artists. Although she often felt out of place at formal art events, she loved being surrounded by this community of creative people. Many of her friends were artists who were trying to make a living at their craft and struggling to find venues to display their art. When a class assignment required Erica to work with a non-profit, she had a vision inspired by these artists and decided to start her own.

MINT Gallery, Erica’s non-profit, opened in 2006 with a postcard pin-up show, where any artist could come display his or her postcard-sized art on the gallery’s wall. The event drew 60 artists and 300 people. Erica’s vision was to create a space and community where artists could share resources with each other and share their art with an Atlanta audience. That first pin-up show provided proof that MINT was meeting an important need.

“We aren’t striving to be the next big thing,” said Erica, who works full-time as a video producer and runs MINT in her free time. “We want to be the springboard. I keep doing this because of those wonderful moments I get to witness – when an artist is so proud to have his or her first piece displayed in a gallery or so excited to sell a piece for the first time.”

MINT Gallery, which is located in the Old Fourth Ward, hosts events every month. In addition to shows open to all artists, such as the annual pin-up show, the gallery supports emerging artists through its Leap Year program, which provides a host of resources and mentoring opportunities to three artists each year.

Try a new hair style

Location: Star Salon

Date taken: July 31, 2012

Strut your stuff

East Atlanta Village Strut

Location: East Atlanta Strut

Date taken: September 15, 2012

Atlantan Leslie Caceda

Location: Wall Crawler Rock Club

Date taken: September 17, 2012

If you are interested in discovering new parts of Atlanta, Leslie Caceda highly recommends biking to work. As she tries out quicker routes, navigates around road construction and works to avoid automobile traffic congestion, Leslie often stumbles upon new places in city.

“I’m a different person when I bike,” said Leslie. “When I drive to work, I feel myself becoming impatient and angry. But, on the bike, I take more time. I see things I didn’t see before. I actually enjoy getting to work.”

A native of Peru, Leslie spent her teenage years in Newnan, Ga., and then graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga. Although she fondly recalls the yellow bike of her childhood, Leslie didn’t start seriously cycling until she attended Georgia Tech for graduate school. With the high price of a parking permit and shortage of spaces, Leslie decided it would be more cost efficient and effective to bike to class. She’s been biking around town ever since.

Now, Leslie works as program manager for the Atlanta Bike Coalition. You might find her managing bike valets at Atlanta events, helping teach bicycle safety, demonstrating how to install a bike rack or working with the city’s transportation officials to improve and increase the number of bike lanes. According to a report by the Alliance for Biking and Walking, the number of cyclists in Atlanta increased by 386 percent between 2000 and 2009. Leslie is not only one of those new cyclists, she’s an advocate for all of them.

Interested in biking around Atlanta? Check out the upcoming Atlanta Streets Alive on Oct. 7. There’s also Mobile Social, Heels on Wheels, Java Lords rides, Atlanta BeltLine Bike Tour and lots of events and workshops offered through the Atlanta Bike Coalition.

Roll along in a vintage car

East Atlanta Village Roll

Location: East Atlanta Village Roll

Date taken: September 14, 2012

Walk and talk about art

Art on the Atlanta BeltLine

Location: Art on the Atlanta BeltLine in Reynoldstown

Date taken: July 29, 2012

Read a storybook

Decatur Book Festival

Location: Decatur Education Foundation tent at the 2012 Decatur Book Festival

Date taken: September 2, 2012

Go jump in a lake

Chickamauga Lake

Location: Chickamauga Lake

Date taken: August 23, 2012

Unfortunately, there is no big, beautiful body of water in Atlanta. For those of us who love the water, Piedmont Park’s Lake Clara Meer isn’t quite enough. So, take a weekend trip or a day trip to one of these larger lakes, all within a few hours of the city:

Chickamauga Lake | Lake Lanier | Lake Allatoona | Lake Oconee Jackson Lake| Lake Hartwell
Lake Keowee Clarks Hill Lake | Lake Burton Lake Nottely

Hang your wish on a tree

Wish tree 

Location: Wish Tree at the 2012 Decatur Book Festival

Date taken: September 2, 2012

I don’t know who sponsored this Wish Tree at the Decatur Book Festival, but it was certainly popular. By the time I stumbled upon it, all the tags had been used. People had started writing their wishes on receipts and sticking them on the tree. Some wishes were playful, such as the one from a 9-year-old who said, “I wish I could have a pony.” Another kid wrote, “I wish I would grow up to be an astronaut.” Other wishes were more serious. “I wish people wouldn’t argue so much” a tag read. People wished for health and happiness. One person wrote, “I wish everyone knew they are beautiful just as they are.”  And, another hung this wish on the tree: “I wish I had the power to grant wishes.”

Atlantan Charles Parrott

Charlie Parrott

Location: Kennesaw State University

Date taken: August 9, 2012

Charles Parrott was never very skilled at or interested in farm chores, such as feeding livestock, driving a tractor or tending to crops. He grew up on a farm located outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, but the world he really enjoyed living in was an imaginary one. From the day dreams of his childhood to high school speech contests to an eventual Ph.D. in performance studies, his career path was obvious.

“I didn’t have any other choice. This is the only thing I was ever good at,” Charles says. “I love living in that heady, ethereal world. I can’t do my taxes, but I love talking about the relationship between you and your coffee mug.”

Today, Charles teaches performance studies at Kennesaw State University and directs the school’s storytelling troupe. He’s training future culture makers in not only performance techniques but in social inquiry, understanding human behavior as performance and its impact on culture. And, Charles will tell you that he lives and breathes his work. “I have no hobbies. No golf. No fantasy football,” he says. “The only thing I’m really interested in is going to see weird things happen on stage and occasionally doing it myself.”

Looking for performance art around Atlanta? Charles recommends the following: Write Club, Naked City, Moth Radio Hour, Java Monkey, Apache Café, Carapace, Flux, GloATL and the Goat Farm.