It was a wild and stormy night so I settled in to re-watch the last half of Peter Jackson’s 800 minute extended version of ‘The Return of the King’. At the point when Frodo finally reaches the entrance to the Crack of Doom I was struck by the design of the stonework around the entrance, all hard planes and jutting fins. Bereft of humanity, soulless and sullen, it looked ever so familiar and tugged at my memory but I wasn’t sure why. And suddenly, in the ruddy light of Mount Doom’s coursing lava, I knew. I knew where I’d seen that alien style before. I’d seen it in Atlanta…. it’s the in-house design style of the large Atlanta architecture firm Thompson, Ventulett & Stainback! Seriously. I kid thee not. Are you familiar with the AT&T Promenade building in mid-town? Sauron’s evil eye winters there. You know that stingy little building they squeezed in where Gorin’s diner used to be? I have it on good authority that it was designed by a very cross orc who was having a very bad day. No lie. Check it out. But that’s not all. These guys are so bent on filling the world with their inhuman designs that they are beginning by switching the meanings of words to confuse people and possibly to kill innocent fish. Read on…
Continue reading Thompson Ventulett & Sauron
I took my Mom to see an extended performance of the Cirque du Soleil show ‘Delirium‘ earlier tonight, making good on my promise to take her to see Cirque shows whenever they’re in town. We also got to see (and smell) a man having a section-clearing barf and ran into the TV show ‘Vanished’, which happened to be shooting down near Philips and the Georgia Dome overnight. The Cirque show?
Continue reading Cirque Lite
Hey, I just learned this weekend that the nuts over at PiratePalooza.com have announced their first “PIRATIKI” for March 11th. From what I can gather from Cap’n Drew’s posts PIRATIKI is an excuse to get together with some of the pirate horde from last year’s wildly successful 1st annual PiratePalooza. I suspect that this will be a very busy year for pirates…
This past Sunday I watched my cousin Julie walk around the bedroom in her slip while her alcoholic husband Andy hopped around on a crutch between the porch and a pile of whiskey bottles on his dresser. Far too early in the year for our family reunion, it turned out that they were playing the leads in the Tennessee Williams play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at the Rose Theatre in Forsyth, south of Atlanta, toward Macon (yes, they’re the same people who introduced me to Chef Tony). As there are no time machines, space ships or half-naked, chainmail-bikini-wearing temptresses in this play it had entirely escaped my attention until now.
Continue reading Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
You need to know that I’m Shakespignorant. There are enough things that I don’t know about William Shakespeare to fill a book 2 leagues tall and 6 Banquos wide. I mean, sure, I’m familiar enough with his characters, his plotlines and his quotes that I can bluff my way through a crowd of snobby actors ranged viciously around a free bar just before it switches to a cash bar, but that’s just because they’re all usually drunk or under the misapprehension that I’m a producer or a gold medallion contributor to the theater (because that is in fact what I tell them). But, if truth be told, I possess a far richer knowledge of television legends like the Clampett Family, Batman, Sigmund the Sea Monster and Alf than I could ever hope to have for the works of the legendary English Bard. So went I unto the Shakespeare Tavern in downtown Atlanta last night, with great hopes of lessening my Shakespignorance upon the viewing of “The Merchant of Venice” featuring Doug Kaye in the role of the villainous victim Shylock.
Continue reading Shakespignorance
This rumor (and until I hear more this is strictly a rumor) comes straight from the decks of an unnamed Chick Fil-A restaurant: the inheritors of entrepreneur Truett Cathy’s fast food empire are prepared to close his small cadre of “Dwarf House” restaurant locations upon his passing (which is hopefully long and away in the future). Located primarily on the southern end of Atlanta, the Dwarf House restaurants are based upon the original Chick Fil-A restaurant (called the Dwarf House) located in Hapeville, Georgia, in the shadow of Hartsfield/Jackson International Airport. Denizens of Atlanta’s southside know that the Dwarf House restaurants are split down the middle: one side is dedicated to fast food style ordering and seating while the other side of the restaurant is staffed by waiters and waitresses. Dwarf Houses serve up full breakfasts, offer an artery clogging dish known as a “hot brown” and perhaps most shockingly, the Dwarf House restaurants actually do cook and serve those award-winning cows who have put the phrase “Eat mor Chikin” on the tips of American tongues. That’s right, they serve hamburgers, steakburgers and steak. They even serve grilled ham and cheese sandwiches! So why would they want to close these restaurants?
Continue reading Dwarf Houses To Be Shut Down?
At the end of chores last Saturday I headed over to Decatur and sat down to interview artist Elliott Boswell about his latest endeavor, an art gallery fittingly named The Boswell Gallery’. The Boswell is currently featuring works by six different painters, one photographer and a wire sculptor.
Continue reading The Boswell Gallery Opens in Decatur
Tucked away inside of the historic Grant Park neighborhood less than a mile from the Georgia State Capital, Dakota Blue is a restaurant that would seem forever destined to remain below the radar of mainstream Atlanta diners. From the quiet, tree-lined streets to the recurring hopscotch etchings left on the sidewalk by neighborhood children, the word ‘charm’ isn’t far from mind when you start looking for descriptions for this small burrito bar. July marks the beginning of something new for Dakota Blue: Second Tuesday Wine Tastings.
Continue reading Dakota Blue : Wine Tuesdays
I dropped by a standalone ice cream shop called Bruster’s over in Morrow this afternoon, ostensibly to grab myself a chocolate shake. While I was waiting for them to make it I spotted a lizard-like orange foot around the corner from the ordering window. Peering around that corner I saw a pigeon standing patiently on the curb like he was waiting on a bus. He looked over at me nonchalantly like a Disney character might do. Then I spotted the tag on his ankle….
Continue reading Little Lost Traveler
Recognizing the need for a physical presence to support their existing clientele and to further foster relationships with professional resources in the city, designer Mark Williams and his business partner Scott Laslie have opened a New York branch to their architectural design and interiors firm ‘Laslie & Williams’. Their work has recently been featured in three publications: The Atlanta Business Chronicle’s ‘Living in Atlanta’ quarterly magazine, ‘Instinct’ Magazine and ‘Remodeling Ideas for Your Home’ (a Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publication). An alum of the elite Georgia Tech School of Architecture’s ‘Hot Rats on a Stick’, Mark Williams was a founding partner in the interior furnishings store called ‘Space’ and can be seen hosting a bass fishing show on local Atlanta cable access. Or not.