MIDTOWN WESTSIDE VIRGINIA-HIGHLAND INMAN PARK GRANT PARK ANSLEY PARK REYNOLDSTOWN CABBAGETOWN OLD FOURTH WARD PONCEY-HIGHLAND MORNINGSIDE n
SEPTEMBER 2017 ISSUE 11 | FREE
Authentic Living in the Heart of Atlanta
TAKEOVER! MIDTOWN RESIDENT WILL JOHNSTON OF TINY HOUSE ATLANTA MAKES A CASE FOR HOUSING'S HOTTEST TREND
Your Best Beauty Bets for Fall
The Cultured Podcast makes its debut What We're Drinking Now: Kosher Cocktails
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CONTENTS SEPTEMBER 2017 5 Editor’s Letter 7 LATEST
The newest restaurants, shops and other spots to arrive on the scene
Three staff-tested local services
16 In-Town Escape
Bucolic bliss at Barnsley Resort
18 Out of Town
Peek inside a Victorian B&B
13 Style to Go
Timeless appeal on the BeltLine
Dixon Rye's Bradley Odom
An eye-opening French river cruise
Michelle Khouri debuts The Cultured Podcast
MODA's Laura Flusche
24 Restaurant Review
A taste of the past at Atkins Park
Kosher cocktails for fall
28 Fresh Bites
What to see and do when you’re off the clock
38 CAPTURED Broken Beauty
Alon's celebrates 25 years in business
Cover Story 30 Tiny House Takeover! Housing's hottest trend makes its way to Atlanta
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SEPTEMBER 2017 | ISSUE 11 Serving Midtown, Ansley Park, Morningside, Virginia-Highland, Westside, Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park, Poncey-Highland, Cabbagetown, Reynoldstown and Grant Park
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s part of a sixth-grade art class project, I carefully cut out a picture of a giant, three-story, pale-gray house with a wide, wraparound porch from one of my mom’s magazines (likely Good Housekeeping or Country Living, which were always on our coffee table).
Now, 25 years later, I can no longer remember what the purpose of the project was. But what I do remember is how smitten I was with that big, gray house—so much so that, when I got my project back from my teacher, I peeled the photo off the page I’d glued it to and tucked it into a shoebox, where I, like so many other 12-year-old girls, kept a few of my favorite possessions. For years after that, I’d occasionally pull out that shoe box, gaze at the picture and dream about rocking in a chair on the house’s spacious porch and planting my favorite flowers in the garden out front. Of course now, as a real-life homeowner, I know that the more square footage a house has, the more work and expense it requires (and our singlestory house here in Atlanta is by no means a big one). Sometimes, when my back aches from mopping our hardwood floors, or when I think of that much-needed extended vacation we could take if not for our monthly mortgage, I stop and fantasize about selling it all and going small. But for some Atlantans, and plenty of people around the world, tiny house living is more than just a dream. The phenomenon has been documented aplenty on HGTV, and hashtags across various social media platforms give users a peek inside the tiny house life. Curious to know— and share—more about the tiny house movement, we dedicated this issue’s cover story to the topic and to Midtown resident Will Johnston, the founder of Tiny House Atlanta and a key figure in the effort to bring tiny houses here to our city. With the added mobility and financial flexibility that come with owning a tiny house, one thing’s for sure: My big dreams of a beautiful house have certainly grown a lot smaller.
Lindsay Lambert Day EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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THINK OUTSIDE THE ROLL Poké Perfect brings rolls, bowls and sushirritos to WSPD
oké bowls, the newest trend in the sushi world, can now be found at Westside Provisions District. Poké Perfect opened this August with sushi bowls that put sushi rolls to shame. Poké bowls are a hit with createyour-own flexibility and the use of fresh ingredients such as salmon, surimi crab, avocado, mango and many, many toppings. Think sushi, but in a bowl with a Hawaiian twist.
Poké Perfect also has sushirritos, or big sushi wraps for big appetites. If raw fish isn’t your thing, Poké Perfect serves smoked chicken and tofu. Owner and operator Hunter Satterwhite was recently a partner at Treylor Park, a southern comfort restaurant in Savannah, and was previously a chef at the Playboy mansion. He then hopped on the poké trend and opened a Poké Perfect in Amsterdam along with a second European restaurant
in the city of Utrecht. The restaurants were brought to the states in April with the first Atlanta Poké Perfect established in Decatur. Poké Perfect in Westside Provisions District can be spotted by its simple, fresh décor in the previous Yoforia space near West Egg Café and Pure Barre. Look out for more Poké Perfect— Satterwhite plans to open a third Atlanta location in Inman Park later this year. n pokeperfect.com
Latest OPENINGS & ARRIVALS
Get Your Glow On! Julian's Cosmetics + Skincare opens in Midtown
ow that it’s time to hang up our swimsuits, it’s also time to refresh summer-weary skin. Julian’s Cosmetics + Skincare opened a retail outpost in Midtown at Blue Med Center this summer that features a full range of products designed to pamper from head to toe. The medicine-based spa offers procedures such as liposuction and ThermiTight (skin tightening), and now includes Julian’s products to support facials, massages and skin consultations. Some of Julian’s best items are designed to take home, such a SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum to calm your skin after laser treatment or extend the benefits of facials and fillers. Julian’s Cosmetics + Skincare products fall in step with Blue Med’s
philosophy. The spa promotes the idea that each body has a unique blueprint and every customer should receive treatment based on his or her foundation. “The blueprint concept is like doing a renovation on your house. You wouldn’t do everything at once, but rather build upon concerns first and then recommend products based on age, skin texture and skin type to get to your ultimate goal,” says Julian Reynolds. The 20-year industry veteran fell into cosmetics by accident. He was a pre-med student with a part-time job in cosmetics at J.C. Penney in New York City when he fell for the beauty world. “I realized the skin is a canvas, and cosmetics paint a picture to bring features to the forefront,” says Reynolds, who has worked with
different brands that have taught him the importance of ingredients, application and beauty concepts. The latest procedure at Blue Med is microneedling, a kind of collagen-induction therapy that uses fine needles to stimulate collagen production and to aid the skin’s absorption of products. The series of hundreds of tiny, invisible puncture wounds can solve many skin woes, according to Reynolds. “It’s great because you can do it all year long. It helps with pigmentation, all skin tones and types, and is phenomenal for scars and stretch marks.” n
A new 27-unit townhome community, Views at O4W, is breaking ground this fall. The townhomes will feature open floor plans, flexible space, rooftop decks and floor-to-ceiling windows for natural lighting. Plus, each townhome will have a two-car garage and its own backyard for the best of urban living with a touch of nature.
Studioplex’s cyclist-centric outfitter now fuels riders with caffeine
Owner Sharif Hassan has long wanted to see the Spindle become a place where cyclists can refuel before taking off on new adventures. He’s partnered with Tennessee company Bella Caffe to offer coffee, he’ll serve a selection of beers and has enlisted friend Kyle Torok to provide vegan pies through his bakery, Tinkertown Pies.
The urban commuter shop has long been known for its unique apparel that caters specifically to bikers (think stink-resistant Merino wool shirts and casual shoes. The 400-square-foot space had plenty of room in the back for relaxing and unplugging. “Since we came up with the idea of the shop, we wanted to develop a space where people could hang out and talk about trips,” Hassan says. “It’s a space for the community to come together, and
More modern architecture, private backyards and community spaces are coming to Old Fourth Ward
Sip at The Spindle
ocated in Old Fourth Ward’s Studioplex development, The Spindle will soon feed and clothe Atlanta cyclists, thanks to the opening of its new café inside the store this month. The cyclists’ threads destination can now be seen as an outfitter and fuel station.
New Views at O4W
that’s actually why we will not be offering public WiFi.” The Spindle organizes outof-town races and rides to nearby breweries and cafes, venturing as far as Terrapin Beer Co. in Athens. “It will definitely become a cool event space as well,” says Hassan, who is already planning future events and pop-ups from local makers such as bike frame builders, bag designers and jewelry makers. n thespindleatl.com
The development at 626 Parkway Drive is nestled conveniently between North and Ponce De Leon avenues. On foot, Views at O4W is three blocks from Ponce City Market, the Atlanta BeltLine and Historic Fourth Ward Park. By bike, residents can access Piedmont Park, fewer than 10 blocks away. Dave Odom, President of Foyer Urban, said the trend of people moving back to the city has sparked some of the best shopping and eating in the city. Old Fourth Ward specifically is a vibrant part of town with culture and built-in amenities. The townhomes by Foyer Urban will range in size from 1,790 to 1,862 square feet and will have two to three bedrooms (or two bedrooms and flex space), with three-and-a-half baths. Prices will start in the low $600s.
SHELTER n STYLE n PEOPLE n BEAUTY IN-TOWN ESCAPES n OUT OF TOWN
QUEEN FOR A STAY
Photos: Sara Hanna
This Queen Anne Victorian reigns in style
QUEEN FOR A
| STORY: Karon Warren | | PHOTOS: Sara Hanna |
The owners outfitted the living room with comfortable furnishings where guests can relax.
See how one Inman Park couple turned a Queen Anne Victorian into a bed-and-breakfast Husband-and-wife duo Jim Emshoff and Debi Starnes, along with innkeeper Kathryn Kain, welcome guests year-round.
iving in Grant Park at the time, husband-andwife duo Jim Emshoff and Debi Starnes knew exactly what they wanted to do with the Queen Anne Victorian they saw listed for sale in Inman Park in 1993: turn it into a bed-andbreakfast. “For many years, we had traveled and stayed in B&Bs, and we had thought about doing it,” Starnes says. “We were attracted to Inman Park, and when we found this house, it was laid out so perfectly for a B&B. We had our first guest a month after we moved in.” Why were they able to open Sugar Magnolia Bed and Breakfast so quickly? The 1892 house didn’t need much work to convert it into an inn. Originally built as a single-family residence, it served as a boarding house in the 1950s. Starting in 1970,
one of the previous owners started renovations, undoing the boarding rooms and turning the structure back into a single-family home. Since 1970, the property has had four owners, including Emshoff and Starnes, each of whom continued renovations. “Fortunately, which is rarely the case, each one had done
high-quality work, so each person just picked up where the last one left off,” Starnes says. “When we bought it, all the big-system renovations were done. We slowly, over the years, redecorated it.” However, Emshoff and Starnes did add on a third floor and bedroom for their daughter, Emily. Also, the owner prior to Emshoff
and Starnes had painted the entire interior white, so the couple had a blank canvas for decorating. “As time went on, we just added our colors and our touches,” Starnes says. “So that’s how we were able to start the B&B so quickly.” Today, the couple operates the bed and breakfast with their innkeeper,
Above: On occasion, Emshoff entertains guests at the grand piano. Below: Appropriately named, The Royal Suite contains a brass bed, a private balcony and an oversized bathroom.
Right: The kitchen remains a popular gathering spot for the inn’s guests.
“I like the variety of the rooms. It’s a good house for entertaining.” DEBI STARNES
Below: The dining room includes a pie safe from Starnes’s grandmother.
Kathryn Kain. The house features three guest rooms on the second floor and one cottage suite in separate quarters behind the main house. For the most part, the original floor plan remains intact. Upon entering through the front door, visitors find themselves in a circular foyer that leads in three directions: to the living room, the dining room and the office. Another noteworthy feature is the three-story turret with a gorgeous chandelier that reigns over the staircase rising to the second floor. Throughout the interior, many original features remain, including the heart of pine hardwood floors, the watered glass windows and the oval bevel windows by the staircase. It’s pure luck those last items are still in the house: As Starnes tells
the story, during the conversion into a boarding house, the owner at that time removed them. But a preservation-minded neighbor purchased them at a yard sale and stored them in a basement. When the buyer saw one of the 1970s owners renovating the home, the neighbor returned the windows that were then restored to their original location. Upstairs, each of the three guest rooms has its own private bathroom, and none share a wall, providing an additional layer of privacy. The Garden Room and The Aviary feature fireplaces, while The Royal Suite lives up to its name with a king-sized brass bed in a curtained alcove, a sitting area and a private balcony with rocking chairs. It also shares a rooftop deck on the back of the
Above: Baker designed the base to hold the custom-made, live-edge dining table.
house with The Garden Room. Emshoff and Starnes furnished the bed-and-breakfast with items they had in their Grant Park home and many pieces passed on from their grandparents. For instance, the pie safe in the dining room belonged to Starnes’s grandmother, while the bookshelves in the living room came from Emshoff’s grandfather. The cobalt blue glass bottles adorning the dining room mantel were part of his grandmother’s collection. Starnes did purchase the table in the living room at Scott Antique Markets on the city’s southside many years ago, and the couple bought the grand piano from a private seller. Emshoff is the musician in the family and routinely entertains guests with his talent. His love of music also is reflected in the various art pieces lining the living room walls. Starnes made the quilt on the couch using her late father’s shirts. The previous owner completed some modern upgrades, renovating the kitchen and turning an adjacent porch into a den. Along the way, a two-car detached garage also was added.
Above: The Garden Room includes a fireplace and shares a back deck with The Royal Suite. Right: This decadent soaking tub is located in the private bathroom off The Royal Suite.
However, these additions don’t detract from the home’s natural beauty and unique features. On the exterior, the house includes rows of scalloped shingles, pierced wood on the fretwork of the porch and large, turned columns. The unusual spindles featuring two rings near the top above an elongated base that widens near the bottom had to be custom-made to replace, Starnes says. Although the design is typically Victorian, it’s not dark, says Starnes. “This house has a lot of natural light,” Starnes says. “We have space all around, so the light can get in.” The grounds include a manicured front yard and two small yards on each side. A side porch opens into one of those side yards, which is a favorite retreat for guests. Emshoff also likes the circular foyer because it’s good for entertaining. “People can move around easily,” he says. When it comes to narrowing down
their favorite aspects of the home, the couple have a hard time just choosing one or two. “I like all of the outdoor spaces,” Starnes says. “I like the variety of the rooms. It’s a good house for entertaining.” Emshoff seconds that, saying, “We can hold a lot of people in [the living room] and the den. And there are always people in the kitchen, of course. And it’s nice outside [on the porches and in the side yard], so there are a lot of different gathering spaces.”
Overall, the couple likes how welcoming their home is for their bed-and-breakfast guests. “My favorite compliment is that it’s beautiful but also comfortable because a lot of Victorians can be sort of museum-like, not comfortable to hang out in. So I like it when guests feel like they’re in a pretty place, but they don’t have to worry about breaking things,” Starnes says. “They can lie down here and read a book. I like that.” n
Living STYLE TO GO
e n i L t l e B
c i h C
Anthony Topps’s color pop caught our eye on the BeltLine as he walked to work | STORY: Sarah Blackman | | PHOTO: Sandra Platten |
Where did you get the pieces you’re wearing now? The shirt is from Banana Republic. I love a classic, crisp, white shirt with a twist. The scarf, cross-body bag and shoes are from Frye (we get a great employee discount), and my jeans are Levi’s. The bracelet is a brass, screw-cuff Miansai piece—definitely one of my favorite accessories right now. When it comes to dressing, are you a planner, or do you dress by how you feel? I go by how I feel. I’m not one of those people who tries on a ton of ensembles. I like to “shop” my closet, meaning I come up with new ways to wear things that I own by putting them with different items that I wouldn’t normally wear them with. I have the ability to visualize an outfit, and it usually works out for me. How would you describe your personal style? Preppy with a twist. I like to go for a high-low juxtaposition with my looks. For example, a classic suit with a sharp shoe in a funky color. I like to incorporate something unexpected that captures people’s attention. Where is your favorite place to shop intown? Bill Hallman. I like to support local stores. I also really enjoy Sid Mashburn. J.Crew and Banana Republic
Anthony Topps AGE: 48 OCCUPATION: Real estate agent for Coldwell Banker/ part-time sales associate at The Frye Company NEIGHBORHOOD: Midtown
are staple stores for me. Banana has a great line of work-style clothes that hold up really well, and there’s always a great bargain to be had. Where do you find fashion inspiration in Atlanta? Atlanta nightlife is a great place to find fashionistas out and about. I recently went to the bar/lounge Little Trouble on the Westside, and it made for really good people watching. I always get ideas for new outfits by seeing what other people do with their clothes. Whom do you follow for fashion inspiration on Instagram?
Nickelson Wooster (@NickWooster). He is absolutely killing it! He gets the high-low style so right with every look. He’ll rock a killer suit but crop the pants and add a bold shoe. He mixes tee shirts and jeans with fancy wingtip shoes. I love his unexpected adornments. What was the most outlandish style you ever experimented with? The man skirt. It was the late ‘90s, and I worked at Jeffrey in New York City. Dries Van Noten made a wraparound skirt for men, but you still wore pants underneath. It had this huge safety pin detail that held it in place and looked really cool.
My boss bought the black one, and I had the white one. I only wore it a couple of times because I realized that the white version made me look like I was a server wearing an apron. It was a big fashion risk that didn’t end up working out. What item of clothing can you not get rid of? Cargo shorts. I know they aren’t fashionable, but I really do need more pocket space sometimes, like when I go to the park or to a concert, and I just feel like I need those pockets. n
d n o ec SChances
radley Odom achieved by age 40 what many would consider peak career success. He held the coveted position of director of design education for West Elm and had previously served as director of sales and service for J.Crew.
But he had an itch to own his own niche design service and boutique that began in his 20s and wouldn’t quite go away. So between the demands of his West Elm job, which included lots of travel, he attended four years of graduate school at Savannah College of Art and Design, where he earned a degree in interior design. “I would finish a class then go straight to the airport and fly to New
York, where West Elm is based. It was a crazy four years. I didn’t watch TV or see any friends during that time,” says Odom, who is originally from Mississippi. He adds, “It was important to me to be legitimate and have an actual design degree, not just a good eye [before opening Dixon Rye].” In 2015, just a year after graduating, the Toco Hills resident’s vision became a tangible reality. Dixon Rye is a 4,700-square-foot furniture store and full-service interior design firm within Atlanta’s Westside Ironworks development, where an industrial foundry used to operate. The name Dixon Rye is a reflection of the store’s atmosphere in that it is seeped in Southern sensibility—Dixon is derived from the Mason-Dixon Line and Rye from one of Odom’s all-time favorite
Photo: Sarah Dorio
Dixon Rye Founder Bradley Odom reinvented himself and his career at 40 | STORY: Karina Antenucci |
books, Catcher in the Rye. The design destination exudes a raw yet refined aesthetic and a distinct masculinity that is relaxed with feminine softness and textures. It carries more than 100 brands, including Cisco Brothers, Astier De Villatte and Mad et Len, as well as Odom’s private-label collection that includes luxurious sofas, chairs and a bed, all named after streets or characters in To Kill a Mockingbird. “I love most that I get to curate an environment of not just products and things, but an experience for the customers walking through the door,” Odom explains. Upon entering, guests are offered something to drink. Typically, new age jazz or Southern rock ’n’ roll is playing, setting the mood for perusing the wares. A staff member offers to sit down on a sofa and discuss design
needs. It’s a thoughtful experience. This year, Odom introduced an online shop, dixonrye.com, showcasing a curated collection of decorative accessories, candles, French ceramics, upholstery, antiques and more. He’s also working on an expanded holiday gift assortment that will focus mostly on accessories and may debut some jewelry. “I like to approach gift assortments from the point of view of ‘one for you, one for me,’” Odom quips. Odom has certainly learned many lessons since opening Dixon Rye’s doors. One biggie: “I don’t have all the answers. I Dixon Rye learn so much 1085 Howell Mill Road from the N.W., 30318 people I work 404.883.3939 dixonrye.com with and my customers.” n
We Tried It!
Three 17th South staffers set out to try beauty treatments designed to target their trouble areas
WHERE I WENT: Elite Beauty Bar WHAT I TRIED: Full Classic Set
WHERE I WENT: Blue Med Center WHAT I TRIED: ThermiSmooth Face
Over the years, I’ve tried mascaras and potions promising lush lashes—and have more often than not been less than impressed. So I was a bit skeptical when I heard similar promises about lash extensions. To see what all of the fuss was about, I headed to Old Fourth Ward’s Elite Beauty Bar. First, Lane Reid, the owner and my “lashtetician,” escorted me to the treatment room, where I laid down on a table with a pillow under my neck and a blanket over my feet to keep me warm. Reid cleansed my lashes and then applied an individual lash to each one of my existing lashes with tweezers and a tiny bit of glue. (FYI, over time, you shed the extensions as your natural eyelashes shed.) Getting a full set applied can take anywhere from two to three hours. To maintain them, plan on returning every two to three weeks for 60 to 90 minutes. I have to admit, it was a challenge for me to lie still with eyes shut for such a long period of time, but, wow, was it worth it! Now, there’s nothing better than rolling out of bed to find that, thanks to these lashes, my eyes look like a million bucks even a few weeks later. Elite Beauty Bar And I haven’t 626 DeKalb Avenue S.E., had to reach for Suite 1104, 30312 my mascara at all. 404.909.9695 elitebeautybar.com $275; $75 for two-week fill in.
Photo: Sara Hanna Photography
of Lash Extensions
Since my teenage years, I’ve been meticulous with my skin, so I’m open to trying things that stimulate collagen remodeling to stay youthful. I ventured to Blue Med Center in Midtown to try ThermiSmooth Face, performed with a thermistor-regulated hand piece at 48 degrees Celsius (that’s roughly 118 degrees Fahrenheit) for gentle dermal heating of problem areas around the eyes, neck, mouth and cheeks. As with an ultrasound, gel is spread over the area, and the technician performs continuous gentle wave movements with the hand piece for three to 12 minutes, depending on the area of the face. The treatment requires no downtime It’s non-invasive with minimal discomfort. My skin was rosy for 20 minutes, then I put on makeup and went out for dinner. Six weeks later, after three treatments, I was pleased to notice a big difference in the quality of the skin on my neck. Best results are seen in about 90 days, with three to six treatments recommended. The technology used on the face is available as ThermiTight for the abdomen, arms and thighs. If my first Blue Med Center experience is indicative 190 Tenth Street N.E., of results, this may 30309 be in my future. 404.815.8880 Treatments are bluemedcenter.com $500 per area.
Photo: Sara Hanna Photography
| STORIES: Karina Antenucci | Joanne Hayes | Amelia Pavlik |
Karina Antenucci WHERE I WENT: Aviary Beauty & Wellness Collective I TRIED: Intraceuticals Oxygen Infusion
with Atoxelene facial
I headed to Aviary, a boutique, eco-chic salon and spa in Old Fourth Ward’s Studioplex for a hydrating, anti-aging Intraceuticals Oxygen Infusion with Atoxelene facial. Upon entering I was ushered into a cozy treatment room. After lying back on a plush massage table with soft blankets, my knowledgeable esthetician, Kelly Painter, first cleared makeup and grime from my face with a cream cleanser and a skin-pH-balancing cucumberand-witch hazel toner. She then used an airbrush wand attached to an oxygen machine to infuse a cocktail of pure oxygen and serum with vitamins A, C, D, green tea, aloe vera and hyaluronic acid into my face and neck. Next, the cool air pumped an Atoxelene, a natural amino peptide serum to target fine lines around my eyes, forehead and cheeks. I saw an immediate difference: My cheeks looked lifted, my brow lines seemed softer and my skin was hydrated and glowing. Over the next two days, a few pesky Aviary Beauty & Wellness Collective small pimples vanished, and my skin 659 Auburn Avenue, continued to feel smooth. Verdict: Studio 125, 30312 A must for monthly maintenance or 404.577.2460 to do a few days before a big event. aviarybeauty.com $195 for a 75-minute service.
Above: Barnsley’s gardens make for a picturesque place to stroll. Left: The resort’s tree-lined lanes were designed for foot traffic—not cars. Below: The author tries her hand at clay shooting.
From gardens to gourmet fare, Barnsley Resort is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway | STORY: Amelia Pavlik |
ull!” I yelled the word, squinted into the sun and took aim at the neon clay that flew into the air in front of me. I curled my index finger around the trigger and blew my target to pieces. And it felt fabulous. It was a Saturday morning in May and the day before, I’d made the lessthan-two-hour drive from Midtown to Barnsley Resort in Adairsville for a little weekend revelry. After checking in, I drove over to my personal cottage that was equipped with a porch, rocking chairs, a minifridge and an exquisite deep-soaking tub. First thing first, I enjoyed a little wine on the porch before wandering around the gardens and the ruins of the old Barnsley home for a bit. Although it’s known locally as an ideal weekend escape, Barnsley’s history is fascinating. The original manor that stood on the property and the gardens around it were built by British shipping magnate and cotton
trader Godfrey Barnsley for his wife, Julia, in the mid-1800s. (Barnsley came to America in the 1820s, and married Julia Scarborough of Savannah a few years later.) Over the years, the home was damaged by the Civil War, a tornado and neglect. In 1942, with the property in ruins, the Barnsley family sold off what was left of the house and grounds. In the late 1980s, an ambitious restoration revived the gardens and the house ruins, and eventually the property was opened to the public. The resort debuted in 1999 and has been growing ever since, offering guests golf, fishing, horseback riding, paintball, and more. And a 55-room Inn at Barnsley Resort and a new event space are slated to open in early 2018. Before I knew it, it was time to stroll over to the The Woodlands Grill for a cozy dinner of roasted heirloom tomato soup and a Reuben sandwich. That’s one of the beautiful things about a visit to Barnsley—you can walk almost anywhere on property. But if you’d prefer to rent a bike or a
golf cart, that’s always an option, too. The next morning, I woke up bright and early to return to The Woodlands for the breakfast buffet that included everything from made-to-order omelets to biscuits and gravy. Then came the moment I’d been waiting for. It was time to head over to the SpringBank Sporting Club on the grounds to meet up with my shooting instructor. When we got out to the course, it took me a little while to get into the shooting groove. But once I started hitting the clays, it felt so rewarding. After an hour or so, my arms tired, so I headed back to The Woodlands for a celebratory Bloody Mary. Rain started to fall not long after, so I enjoyed a few hours of down time on the porch until it was time for my spa appointment—a 60-minute Swedish massage that was much-needed after hoisting that gun earlier in the day. With hunger burning in my belly, I made my way to the Rice House, Barnsley’s white-table-cloth dining option. There, I paired a glass of Sancerre with striped bass. The best part? I didn’t
have to walk home—after a quick phone call placed by my server, an escort arrived at the restaurant in a golf cart and whisked me back to my cottage across the property. Sunday morning kicked off with a workout in the property’s wellequipped fitness room, and then it was time to grab one last breakfast out on the patio of The Woodlands. Here’s a tip: Although you won’t find them on the buffet, you can also ask your server for an order of hot waffles and pancakes. After taking one last walk around the gardens and ruins, it was time to gather my things and head back to the city. But that’s the beauty of Barnsley. Before I knew it, I was home and totally charmed by this property and its beautiful gardens. n
BARNSLEY RESORT 597 Barnsley Gardens Road Adairsville, 30103 877.773.2447 barnsleyresort.com
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OUT OF TOWN
Above: Storybook scenery in Tournon. Left: The Emerald Liberté in Chalon-sur-Saône. Right: Galettes Pérougiennes for sale at a Pérouge patisserie. Below: Picture-perfect architecture in Arles.
A New View
A river cruise through Southern France offers priceless discoveries—on land and on ship | STORY AND PHOTOS: Lindsay Lambert Day |
our grandfather is amazing!” Remi Douin shouts into my ear, straining to make himself heard over the two-man band that’s belting out a ’60s pop song a few feet away from the dance floor where we’ve been twisting and twirling for the last half hour or so. Douin is a captain on the Emerald Liberté, the cruise ship that has, for a week, been carrying me and 80-some other passengers north along France’s Rhône river from Arles to Lyon. And he’s referring to John Peters, who isn’t, in fact, my grandpa, but rather an 87-year-old, British fellow passenger and, on this occasion, my unlikely dance partner. But I’m having too much fun to offer up a correction. Instead, I breathlessly thank Douin and then beeline to the ship’s bar for a fresh glass of French chardonnay. As I wait for my order, I contemplate which event surprises me more—that, despite my lifelong aversion to dance floors,
I find myself here on this one, shaking everything from my hips to my hair with abandon, or that I’m having so much fun shimmying alongside a new octogenarian friend with a fragile knee. But then again, everything about this trip has been a surprise. Much like dancing, I’ve long avoided cruises. Blame it on claustrophobia or my dislike of crowds, or the reputation cruises sometimes have for being slow-paced snoozefests (river cruises like this one) or, worse, floating frat parties (mega-ships island-hopping in the Caribbean). But when I got wind that the Australian cruise company Emerald Waterways was offering a week of sailing along the Rhône, passing through some of Southern France’s most storied and stunning medieval towns and villages, I decided to give cruising a go. It was a part of Europe I’d never seen, and a river cruise would offer just enough structure, plus plenty of planning tools. And with space for just 138 guests aboard the new ship, I knew I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed. I boarded the boat on a warm, clear
evening in Arles and immediately noticed that one river cruise stereotype my friends had teased me about was most definitely true: At 36, I was easily among the youngest travelers. “Oh well. I’m not here to make friends,” I thought, eyeballing my fellow passengers, who seemed to range in age from 40-something to 90-plus. But over the course of the week that followed, making friends was exactly what happened. We spent the next seven days sailing north from Arles, with its imposing Roman amphitheater and maze of narrow streets, to Avignon, regal and buzzing under a blanket of gray skies, to Tournon, with its lively riverfront park and charming streets watched over by a 16th-century castle. On an afternoon in Tournon, I signed up for an optional wine tasting inside the castle. All of the chairs around the U-shaped table filled up, except for a lone empty seat to my right. Minutes passed before the castle’s huge wooden door opened, and Peters shuffled in, only slightly delayed by Tournon’s hilly streets that are wicked even for those of us who don’t move with the aid of a cane. With the class roster complete, we spent the next hour tasting red and white wines, scribbling notes as we sipped. As the wine kicked in, Peters playfully lamented the small size of the pours, and we giggled under our breath. In a more candid moment, he shared
with me that this was his 33rd cruise, a rather extravagant hobby he picked up after his beloved wife’s passing some 10 years before. “She never liked boats,” said Peters. Form Tournon, we sailed farther north still, to Macon, Chalon and Beaune, greedily gobbling up every morsel of history, scenery, food, wine and even perfect weather that the country sent our way. Back on the Emerald Liberté, I started to look for my friend John, checking in before meals to ask about his day’s adventures and whether he’d tried the dry rosé that had already become my beverage of choice on board. (“I haven’t,” he told me on one occasion, “because I quite like the beer.”) And so that pattern—exploring during the daytime; dining, drinking and playing games in the evening; and sailing upriver overnight—persisted, with passengers sharing adventures and discoveries from each stop. On our final evening, in Lyon, I stood at the ship’s bar, breathless from a mixture of laughing and dancing, waiting for that French chardonnay. I realized that what surprised me most about my week on the Rhône was that the best discoveries to be made were not necessarily on land, but perhaps right there on board. n For information about Emerald Waterways itineraries, visit emeraldwaterways.com
Culture HEADLINERS n CREATORS
Photo: Amy Atwell
MIC CHECK Michelle Khouri launches The Cultured Podcast
Mic Check Local media expert and culture aficionado Michelle Khouri takes her expertise from page to podcast
| STORY: Caroline Cox |
ou could call Michelle Khouri an Atlanta-based speaker, writer, consultant and strategist—but she’s really an all-around creative powerhouse who says things like “words are my jam” and “when it has to do with creativity, I do it.” Even if you’ve never met her before, it’s possible—even likely—that you’ve read her words. After spending the bulk of her adolescence training as a singer and performing in musical theater productions with dreams of being a professional actor, the first-generation American (born to a Colombian mom and an
Argentinian dad) switched gears and, post-college, swapped the stage for a career in public relations. However, “I realized that it wasn’t enough writing,” she says. “So, after eight years of PR and communications, I skipped over to the editorial side.” Khouri became the editor of travel pubs Where Atlanta and Where Nashville in the fall of 2014. Nearly three years later, she’s now striking out on her own. One of Khouri’s latest ventures comes in audio form via The Cultured Podcast, which launched in August. She hosts the weekly show, using personal narratives and interviews to highlight culture in all its forms, from immersive theater and visual art to music, herbalism, international travel and everything in between. Khouri says the idea came as an epiphany
moment, borne out of still wanting to tell stories despite the fact that people no longer just get their information and entertainment from traditional places like books and newspapers. From there, she amassed about 10 pages worth of research on how to create a podcast, brainstormed on a slew of topics she’d like the podcast to cover, and began putting the wheels in motion. “I reached that point where I was like, ‘All right, enough is enough, it’s happening, here I go,’” she says. “I couldn’t not do it anymore.” Khouri’s aim for The Cultured Podcast (which won’t have seasons but will simply continue to release new episodes weekly) is to use it as a medium to tell stories and “dig at the roots” of various topics. “I get to completely geek out about things that I love the most in this world,” she says. In episode 1, “Chutzpah & Iceland,” Khouri talks about traveling to Iceland, including descriptive details, attraction recommendations and food tips. Future episodes will feature guests like a well-known
Photo: Amy Atwell
country recording artist talking about the history of the music genre, and an interior designer discussing the challenges of how to make a space feel like home to other people. But while the podcast may be a passion project, Khouri has always approached it as a business—with a marketing strategy, business plan and all. Along with her business partner, 25-year media vet Carol Campbell, she plans to bring on corporate sponsors, advertisers and media partners to keep the venture afloat and evolving. “My ultimate goal is just to have people appreciate culture and appreciate how little it takes to see beauty,” Khouri explains. “Possibly even more important than that, I want to break barriers. So many times I’ve talked to people about art, theater or dance, and they say, ‘I just don’t know [anything] about those things.’ That’s the beauty, that you can now learn about them because you don’t know about them.” She also encourages anyone who has a topic they’d like explored on the podcast to reach out to her with their ideas. “We’re unearthing stories that haven’t been told,” she adds, “and perspectives that are often left unexplored.” n
For more info, visit culturedpodcast.com
N G FLI N G G A LA 2017
Benefitting the educational and creative programming of the largest puppetry center in the US!
Saturday, September 16, 2017 Loews Atlanta Hotel 1065 Peachtree St NE Atlanta, GA 30309
Featuring an open bar, delicious seated dinner, spectacular silent and live auctions, fun puppetry surprises, and more! Purchase tickets, preview auction items, and place your bids online before String Fling! Visit bidpal.net/stringfling For more information, call 404.881.5118. Exclusive String Fling Media Sponsor: Individual Individual Tickets Tickets
Tables begin at
Above: A smart phoneinspired sketch by Adam J. Kurtz for MODA’s upcoming “Text Me” exhibition. Left: MODA’s brightly colored entryway and retail shop.
g n i n g i s e D ard and Forward Backw
exting, 3-D printers and hydroponic foods don’t sound like themes for a museum exhibit, but at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA), that word “museum” is a bit misleading. The visual space on the edge of Ansley Park is more about the future of design and less about what’s already been done. “We think of ourselves as a forwardthinking institution that inspires people to create and make change now and going forward,” explains Laura Flusche, MODA’s executive director since 2013. “Our goal is to showcase design that transforms lives and makes the world a better place.”
“Text Me: How We Live in Language” September 17 – February 4, 2018 MODA 1315 Peachtree Street, 30309 404.979.6544 museumofdesign.org
An expertise in archeology helps MODA’s Laura Flusche find the designs of tomorrow | STORY: H.M. Cauley | The roots of that transformation, however, do lie in the past, Flusche contends. “I like to argue that design is archeology backwards. The process is very similar: When you’re excavating, say, a house, your job is to put yourself in the minds of those who built and occupied it to make sense of what you find. You ask, ‘Why were they keeping their olive oil in this part of the house? Why was this wall here?’ You need a questioning mind with contemporary skills and techniques to decipher what’s going on. “It’s the same with design,” Flusche explains. “You have to put yourself in the mind of the user. I think of design as a process that can be applied to anything. A product or object is the end result, but the process itself can be applied to almost any challenge.” Flusche’s theory of the relativity of design and archeology comes from extensive experience. After receiving a B.A. in art history from Trinity University in Texas and a Master’s in Italian Renaissance art from the University of Illinois, she “shifted about 1,500 years backward” and earned a Ph.D. in Roman archeology from the University of Illinois. For 15 years, the Texas native taught history and archeology in Rome. After mov-
ing from Italy to Atlanta for her partner’s job, a chance visit to a MODA exhibit inspired her to volunteer with the museum, a move that put her on the path to becoming the associate director and, ultimately, its chief. “I got very interested in design while living in Italy, which is a design-centric culture,” she says. “And both design and archeology are very human-centered sciences; it’s just that one is looking forward, and the other is looking backward.” Design at MODA doesn’t always mean creating new objects; sometimes, it’s about changing the way we think, as a recent exhibit of posters with social justice messages by Bulgarian artist Luba Lukova worked to do. Other programs have looked at how food is grown, a display that involved hydroponic stations that produced so many veggies that the staff was obliged to take the harvest home each night and eat it. Visitors have found earthworms composting (“we’re not afraid of living things here!”) and 3-D printers cranking out a variety of objects. This month, “Text Me: How We Live in Language” explores how typography and text have become ubiquitous, from billboards to throw pillows.
“How we pick our exhibits is a very inexact science,” Flusche says. “We talk to the people who come in the door, and through those conversations we learn what they’re most interested in. That was the reason for our 3-D show. We had one printer in the lobby and found that every person who came in wanted to have a 30-minute conversation about it, so we did an exhibit.” No matter what the theme, Flusche’s goal is to have visitors understand how design can work to change the world. “Design is not about people sitting in white rooms and coming out with magical things,” she says. “There’s a process and mindset that anyone can try on. Whether it’s people who make iPhones or who figure out where to put our couches or how to get water to people who need it, the goal is to create an object or system that meets a need.” No matter how engaging an exhibit might be, Flusche admits that word “museum” does throw people off. “There will always be a place for a traditional museum like the Met, the High or the Louvre, but not all museums are those things,” she says. “And there’s no rule that says a museum has to look backwards.” n
Handmade pasta, perfectly cooked steaks & fresh seafood expertly prepared using the �nest ingredients.
REVIEW n LIQUIDS n FRESH BITES
A HELPING OF HISTORY Updated favorites are on Atkins Park's menu
Photos: Erik Meadows
For reservations please call 404.844.4810
g n i p l e H A
y or t s i H of
hen you select the right spot, going out for a meal and a drink can be a cultural experience, offering a chance to drink in history. Atkins Park Restaurant and Bar may appear an unassuming watering hole, but it has been a cornerstone of Virginia-Highland for nearly 100 years. Whether you enter through the front door or via the parking lot’s back entrance, the space has a rathskeller vibe. It’s a little beer-scented and dimly lit, with weathered, wooden booths, tables and trim. The space is broken into two parts: the pub side, surrounding a long bar, and a more classic dining room, well-lit with golden wood tones. It’s a place where familyfriendly dining and late-night eating co-exist. Overhead, copper ceiling tiles are original, and below your feet in the pub, the tile floor dates back 95 years to the first business occupants, Atkins Park Delicatessen. It's been 95 years since cousins Morris Franco and Reuben Piha raised
Above: Atkins Park's roasted beet salad is served with arugula, goat cheese and a balsamic reduction. Left: The salmon BLT puts a twist on an old favorite.
Atkins Park serves dishes people know and love, peppered with extra care
and added a floor underneath a home to create a deli. This was one of the first Victorian homes built in the planned community established for its convenience to the Nine-Mile Circle streetcar line. The simple deli is touted as possessing Atlanta’s first liquor license issued after Prohibition, something that probably kept it going until the early '80s, when the surrounding neighborhood was in a state of decline. “Deli” dropped from the name, as Atkins Park became a pub. Neighborhood pubs where pedigree is checked at the door are a dying breed, but continual operation for almost 100 years is evidence of Atkins Park’s place in the community. Patrons from all backgrounds have found solace here for decades, ordering “the usual,” maybe a griddled, grass-fed burger with crusty edges, melted provolone, caramelized onion, and Sherry-sautéed mushrooms on a buttery, grilled bun. This burger set-up, the only listed burger aside from the build-your-own section, is called the Bruno Burger, named for Warren Bruno, who kept the license going, purchased the building in 1983. Bruno, who died in 2012, was part of the social fabric that made Va-Hi
| STORY: Angela Hansberger | | PHOTOS: Erik Meadows |
what it is today, revitalizing the neighborhood, creating civic and business associations, and envisioning festivals such as Summerfest. Much like he cleaned up the community, Bruno transformed a derelict alleyway into a comfy patio, a tranquil space where regulars of 30 years now enjoy brunch. General Manager Nate Strahan, who began as a server, talks of couples who started their dating careers on the bar side, then moved to the restaurant side after marrying and having kids, and now meet their grown children in the cozy former alley. The menu by chef Alvaro Bibiano is similarly comfortable and familiar, built on American classics with a Southern bent. In fact, there are two menus: an always-available pub-style list and one with more standard entrees. The lunch menu offers smaller portions at lower prices. Here, it’s not all burgers and fries. Steak salad features sliced, grilled flank resting on romaine leaves with wild mushrooms, tomatoes, crumbles of rich bleu cheese and fried onion bits drizzled with bleu cheese dressing. You can easily lighten it up. Take a cue from the dressing served with salmon salad on arugula
Left: Cornbreadcrusted Georgia trout is served over mashed potatoes and green beans and topped with bourbon brown butter peaches. Below: Shrimp and grits comprise a blend of roasted pepper, cream sherry and caramelized onions. Below: Salty, soft Guinness-dipped pretzels are served with stout mustard and pimento cheese sauces for dipping.
Above: The popular Bruno burger, served on a griddled bun, is topped with melted provolone and sherried onions and mushrooms. Below: The smoked prime rib French dip.
Seventeen taps offer a wide variety of local and international brews. and switch to zingy lemon vinaigrette. Those hefty slices of grilled salmon are also great in the salmon BLT with toasted wheat bread interspersed with arugula, tomato, and thick and crisp bacon. The combination in the roasted beet salad is dazzling visually and texturally, with peppery arugula, tart goat cheese, tender smoky beets and bright balsamic. The dome of a Big Green Egg emitting smoke near the rear entrance hints at new smoked wings tossed in BBQ sauce. The smoke flavors the juicy meat, but I much prefer the confit wings, shatteringly crisp and indulgently savory due to frying in duck fat. Chef Bibiano also uses the Egg to smoke a prime rib loin that’s served thinly sliced on a hoagie roll with earthy Gruyère, caramelized onions and a slightly biting horseradish cream. He saves the au jus for dipping. The long cocktail counter, lingering aroma of smoke and music make this hangout feel more like a bar, but the entrees are more sophisticated than you might expect. Sourcing of local ingredients really shows in a tangy dish of plump, wild Georgia shrimp over creamy North Georgia
grits. Shrimp are pan finished with garlic, red peppers and onions in sherry. North Georgia trout is lightly crusted in cornmeal, browned but flaky with homey mashed potatoes and crunchy, garlicky green beans. (I could've done without the bourbon brown-butter apples, but then again, they are like free dessert.) The biggest seller is Southern fried chicken, a Sunday dinner approach served with creamed peppery gravy, mac and cheese and green beans. It’s difficult not to fill up on appetizers of stout-dipped soft pretzels, chewy and dusted with Chiclet-size flecks of salt. Pan-fired crab cakes—loosely packed and generously meaty— are brilliant with a whole-grain mustard cream. Guacamole is heavily and pleasantly spiced with fresh jalapeños, and the chips arrive almost too hot to handle. Wash down the hot chips, cool guac and spicy flavors with the beer of your choice. Seventeen taps offer a wide variety of local and international brews. There isn’t a dedicated cocktail list, but bartenders, such as the adorable Maxine, weren't stumped by any classics I threw at them. Take a second
to look up when you're near the bar—above it is a stained-glass phoenix rising, an emblem for Atlanta as well as Virginia -Highland. Atkins Park is open 365 days a year, a testament to its place in the community. It’s a place of refuge Friday after work, Christmas day or during one of Atlanta’s freak snowstorms when everything else is closed. “Authentic” is a word that is thrown around way too much, but here, it's an apt description. When you order a burger, it comes with a dill pickle wedge, just the way a cold sandwich came 95 years ago in the same space. What’s more authentic than that? n
ATKINS PARK 794 N. Highland Ave., 30306 404.876.7249 atkinspark.com Recommendations: Bruno Burger ($10), Salmon BLT ($12), Steak Salad ($12), Southern Fried Chicken ($13 lunch; $15 dinner), Atkins Park Confit Wings ($11), Roasted Beet Salad ($6) Bottom Line: Atkins Park serves up a versatile menu of tavern favorites with a dash of history.
PLUM MEZCAL SPARKLER
Cocktails get a kosher twist courtesy of a local connoisseur
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is September 20, a day when Jews gather together for a fresh start as the lunar year rolls over. Beyond prayer-filled services, it’s a holiday that’s rich in symbolism and traditions, many of which are food-related, calling for dinners and, consequently, adult beverages. To get into the spirit of these festivities, we chatted with Robbie Medwed, a local Jewish gay rights activist who developed an interest in kosher cocktails. “The more I started getting creative, the more I realized how many liquors and spirits weren’t kosher," he says. "Some had animal derivatives that wouldn’t be okay, or some
ou may have heard about kosher hot dogs and know some of the more common practices (for example, no eating meat with milk at the same time), but have you hear of kosher cocktails?
| STORY: Lia Picard | PHOTOS: Erik Meadows |
flavorings or additives that weren’t kosher. I wanted to make sure everyone could enjoy the cocktails at holiday meals no matter their observance level, so I started to do some research and began writing recipes that relied on kosher spirits.” Medwed's hobby turned into something more serious, and now he’s working on a kosher cocktail recipe book to bring Jewish holiday-centric cocktails to home bartenders everywhere. For the uninitiated, kosher means “fit” or “proper” food that is up to the standards set forth by Jewish dietary law. What makes a cocktail kosher? Medwed says, “Typically, for distilled spirits to be kosher, they have to either be certified by an agency that oversees its production to make sure nothing with prohibited ingredients (such as carmine, which comes from beetles) is added to the spirits. Or, they're a distilled grain or legume (wheat, barley, corn, etc.), and no additives or flavorings are added after distillation.” One spirit he’s pretty high on is Richland
To make the plum syrup, combine chopped black plums with equal parts sugar and water. Boil it down until the fruit starts to fall apart and the syrup turns a bright purple. Cool and strain. Combine mezcal, plum syrup and grapefruit juice in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Double strain into a coupe or other stemmed glass and top with soda water.
FALLING LEAVES Makes 1 cocktail “This drink is fall in a glass. Any decent dark rum will do, but you’ll want to go with a nicer amaro. I’m partial to Bruto Americano, Ramazzotti or High Wire Distilling’s Southern Amaro, which is made in Charleston, S.C.”
Rum, based just two hours south of Midtown. Not only is Richland local, but it's the only single-estate rum to be certified kosher. You don’t have to be an observant Jew to enjoy a kosher cocktail. Seasonal ingredients Medwed recommends using in the fall include apples and honey, playing off the Rosh Hashanah symbolism. To get a taste of holidaythemed tipples, mix one of Medwed's recipes up at home. Medwed says, “Stone fruit comes into its own at the end of summer and the beginning of fall, and the smoky mezcal gives warmth that's ideal for the season. n
¾ oz. toasted pecan syrup 2 oz. dark rum (not spiced) 1 oz. amaro 10 drops orange bitters Orange peel
PLUM MEZCAL SPARKLER Makes 1 cocktail
1 ½ oz. whiskey 1 oz. watermelon liqueur ¾ oz. maple syrup ¾ oz. fresh lime juice 10 drops hibiscus bitters
2 oz. mezcal ½ oz. plum syrup ½ oz. fresh grapefruit juice Soda water PLUM SYRUP:
1 c. chopped plums (skin on) 1 c. sugar 1 c. water
Combine the first four ingredients in a pint glass with ice and stir gently until the sides of the glass frost. Strain and pour into a stemmed glass. Finish with a squeeze of orange peel over the top.
SUMMER’S EDGE Makes 1 cocktail “I love the edge of seasons, when you get to mix the last produce of one season and the first of the next. That’s how this cocktail was born. I take overripe watermelon and soak it in overproof rum (or vodka) for a few days to draw out the flavor. That liquid, once strained, is a great liqueur that’s perfect for mixing with other ingredients and tastes like summer while the maple syrup opens the door to fall.”
In a cocktail shaker combine the whiskey, watermelon liqueur, maple syrup, lime juice and hibiscus bitters with ice and shake well. Double strain and pour over ice into a rocks glass.
save childhood dreams. cure childhood cancer. Children in Georgia facing a cancer diagnosis are in the fight of their lives. Help us to provide essential family support services that can make an immediate difference and to fund the research that will, one day, lead to a cure.
Visit GoGold4CURE.com to learn how you can help.
FRESH BITES What’s New & Noteworthy in Food | STORY: Lia Picard |
Better with age Alon’s celebrates 25 years in Morningside
op the Champagne! Alon’s of Morningside is 25 years old. In Atlanta’s ever-changing hospitality industry, that is quite an accomplishment. What started as a simple market selling only a few varieties of bread has since grown into something more robust with another location in Dunwoody, cafe offerings and luxury provisions. Located in the same modest building it’s been in since the start, Alon’s is a source of comfort and good eats in the community. The business was founded by Alon Balshan, an Israeli immigrant who moved to Atlanta in 1986 to work at Engleman’s Bakery, a wholesale operation in Norcross. A few years later, he fell in love with the Morningside neighborhood and decided to open his own storefront there. Balshan is a trained pastry chef, but opening a bigger operation seemed obvious. “I always loved markets. I grew up with markets in my hometown of Ashdod, where food and vegetables were brought in each morning straight from
the fields, live chickens were offered and the bread was delivered daily from the local bakery,” he says. When he first set up shop, Alon’s only sold three breads, a couple pastries and a few desserts. Now it’s an epicurean’s paradise with prepared meals, international cheeses, meats and desserts. How did Morningside get so lucky? When Balshan worked at Murphy’s restaurant just down the street, he became smitten with the people he interacted with on a daily basis.
“Such down-to-earth and friendly customers that appreciate good food," he says of the restaurant's clientele. "That convinced me it was the best place to open my business.” Don’t ask Balshan to pick just one favorite item on the Alon’s menu, because he simply can’t. But he will say that it’s probably best to start with a few of the classic dishes, such as the lamb sandwich and midnight cake—three sinful layers of chocolate buttermilk cake and white chocolate
mousse. Not only have those been on the menu since the beginning, but they remain among the most popular items, too. On a sentimental note, his falafel sandwich (only available on Thursdays), baba ghanoush and hummus pay homage to his Israeli upbringing and incorporate his mother’s recipes. Since opening, Balshan has perfected many recipes, and the one for success is clearly among them. Besides superb customer service and high-quality food, he says one of the keys to success is consistency. “It’s not something you achieve. It's something you strive for daily, and you hope to get as close as you can to perfect.” When asked what the future holds, he hesitates. “The way I see it, it’s not about doing more. It’s about doing it correctly and successfully,” he says, finally. One thing is guaranteed to stay the same—those Alon’s same delicious 1394 N. Highland Ave. eats that AtlanN.E., 30306 tans have ap404.872.6000 alons.com preciated for the past 25 years. n
Food News n Savannah Bee Company opened its first Atlanta location at Westside Provisions District in late July. Patrons can step up to the Honey Bar for tastings, purchase snacks and local cheeses to-go, stock up on everything from honeycombs to bath and body
products or sip honeybased mead infused with fruit flavors.
curated menu of pastas and simply prepared meat dishes.
n Cozy up at Atlanta’s newest neighborhood spot, A Mano, nestled in Old Fourth Ward. The Italian restaurant opened its doors in July and offers a tightly
n Southeast Asian delights can be found at the new PonceyHighland restaurant Co, which opened in June. After delighting residents in Charlotte,
Charleston and Savannah, Chef Masanori Shiraishi brought his popular concept to our neck of the woods. Menu standouts include the curry laksa with shrimp and the bahn mi.
Curry laksa with shrimp from Co
THE MOST DELICIOUS WAY TO GIVE BACK: JOIN THE NO KID HUNGRY ATLANTA SOCIETY
No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society membership provides an enriching experience through fundraising projects and exclusive invitations to society events. We are now accepting nominations for the 2018 No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society and would love to make you an official member.
Visit www.NKHSociety.com for more information.
Applications due October 1, 2017
“We, as Americans, have gotten used to space, even though, back in the day, we didn’t always live big.” WILL JOHNSTON
Large in Small
Tiny houses—those portable residences with fewer than 1,000 square feet—gain traction as a new residential housing option throughout Atlanta, but zoning presents stumbling blocks for citizens ready to call them home. We take a look at what lies ahead here for housing’s biggest— make that tiniest—trend | STORY: Karon Warren | MAIN PHOTO: Sara Hanna
A house by Tiny Home Builders nestles nicely into the surrounding woods. Inside, the cozy kitchen is complete with a dining counter, a prep area and extra seating.
cross the nation, tiny houses have captured the attention of people of every age, income and social status. Television shows such as “Tiny House Nation” and “Tiny House, Big Living” have fueled that interest, and Atlanta has not escaped the spell. Contrary to its recent rise to the forefront, the concept of living in small homes is by no means a new one. Simply look back at housing from the earliest of civilization for proof: one-room shacks, teepees, log cabins and so on. The difference, though, is those homes were small by necessity; today’s tiny house residents are choosing to downsize. Just how small they go is up for debate. Some tiny house aficionados define these structures as having no more than 400 square feet, while others say they contain no more than 1,000 square feet. Regardless of which definition you prefer, there’s no doubt tiny houses are much
smaller than the average single-family home—2,661 square feet of space, according to the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and National Association of Home Builders analysis. Likewise, no one specific touchstone sparked the recent tiny house movement. Many credit builder Jay Shafer, who built his “Tumbleweed” tiny house in 1999 and put it on wheels, launching his first company, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, in Colorado Springs, Colo., before starting Four Lights Tiny House Company in Sebostopol, Calif. Others credit author Sarah Susanka and her 2009 book, The Not So Big House, that focuses on quality over quantity.
Moving to Atlanta Closer to home, the tiny house movement received a huge boost from 37-year-old Will Johnston, executive director of Tiny House Atlanta, a nonprofit that seeks to educate individu-
als, groups and government bodies on micro-living, walkable and sustainable communities with a small environmental footprint. Based in Midtown, the organization evolved from a Meetup group Johnston started three years ago and that continues to hold monthly educational and advocacy meetings regarding the movement in Atlanta. Johnston learned about minimalist living during a trip to New Zealand three years ago, and, upon returning to Atlanta, sought to bring awareness and advocacy of micro-living to the city. “The tiny house movement looks at the utilization of space and also at lifestyle,” Johnston says. “We, as Americans, have gotten used to space, even though, back in the day, we didn’t always live big. We just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And we kept defining success as having more space.” Johnston says tiny houses are important to Atlanta intown living
because the city population continues to increase while the cost of living is going up, but wages are not. “We need innovative ways to live larger with less space,” Johnston says. “Tiny houses show that we can embrace innovative ways of housing to create that walkable, community, intentional living that a lot of people are looking for.” Johnston isn’t the only Atlantan to hold that view. Earlier this year, interior designer and architect Jeffrey Bruce Baker displayed a model tiny house that he designed—called the Neolith Modern Tiny House—in collaboration with the Spanish materials company Neolith outside his studio and business on Zonolite Road, near North Decatur. Its purpose: to showcase living big in small spaces. “Good design sells, and it’s all about proportions—when math and art dance together,” Baker says. “Jeffrey Bruce Baker Designs feels
A house by Atlanta-based Mustard Seed TIny Homes is well-styled, from its tiled floors to its paneled walls.
that tiny house living is about living responsibly, but without compromising. Small places can have big design and advanced organization and functionality.” He adds, “You don’t need to have a large home to have it all. The home [we designed] is equipped with all the amenities of a custom home, including a full-size kitchen with Miele appliances, two bathrooms, one loft bedroom, a home theater and roof deck, and it has 425 square feet of indoor living space.” At the same time, though, some people think tiny homes could be a detriment to intown living. “We think if it’s smaller or cheaper, then it creates blight,” Johnston says. “People are put off by it because it’s different. People are afraid this might affect their own property values.” There’s also the misconception that those wanting to live in tiny homes are college students or millennials, or people who see micro-housing as a solution for the homeless.
Model units at Ponce City Market’s The Big Huge Tiny House Event.
On the contrary, approximately two out of five tiny home owners are 50 years old and up, per TheTinyLife. com. The same site also points out that tiny house people are on par with the average college graduation rates, and, in fact, are twice as likely to have a master’s degree. “There’s not one demographic interested in tiny houses,” says Kim Bucciero, a board member for Tiny House Atlanta and a Virginia-Highland resident. “It’s evenly distributed.” In an effort to introduce and educate Atlanta residents on micro-housing, Tiny House Atlanta started hosting the Decatur Tiny House Festival where visitors can tour a variety of tiny designs and learn more about the movement. This year’s festival takes place September 29 through October 1 and features keynote speaker Steven Nygren, founder of back-to-nature development Serenbe in Chattahoochee Hills, Ga. Additionally, Tiny House Atlanta will host its second annual Big Huge Tiny House Event at Ponce City Market August 26 and 27 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. The free, public
event gives guests who are curious about tiny house living an opportunity to enjoy educational, hands-on experiences through Tiny House tours, a speaker series, a Sustainable Village and more (registration is required for speaker series presentations via generalassemb.ly).
Overcoming Roadblocks Despite the interest in tiny house living in Atlanta, the movement is not without its obstacles. Zoning restrictions exist at the city, county and state levels, creating a tangled web of regulations that are not easy to navigate. “It’s a huge task, and it’s expensive,” Johnston says. Revising zoning and building codes to accommodate tiny houses will take a lot of time at every level of government, which will incur costs for feasibility studies to examine the issue. Part of the problem stems from the fact that tiny homes are made with wheels, and even though many owners install them on a foundation, homes on wheels don’t fit into any particular code very
well, Bucciero says. “They’ve been lumped in with RVs.” To combat that, micro-housing proponents are working to educate government officials and communities, as well as planning and building commissions, on exactly what is meant by “micro-housing” or “tiny homes.” “There are language barriers, so we have to be very clear in what we mean,” Bucciero says. “I think there’s a lot of interest, but there are so many ways to incorporate [micro-housing].” To illustrate the many layers of incorporating tiny homes into local communities, Decatur has approved a tiny house ordinance, but those structures also have to meet the city’s building codes. Clarkston has a similar ordinance. “It’s really about educating people about the existence of these ordinances and these rules so that people can work within the existing guidelines and create new opportunities,” Bucciero says. In an effort to streamline zoning ordinances, building codes and other regulations involving tiny homes,
Johnston and Tiny House Atlanta have partnered with entities such as Southface, an organization in Old Fourth Ward that promotes sustainable development and green building. The two organizations have worked with the Atlanta officials on a feasibility study on tiny homes and ways to implement micro-housing in the city limits. They also worked with Ryan Taylor Architects LLC of Vinings to submit an appendix of zoning rules and regulations for tiny homes on foundations to be defined by the state’s building code, and that document has moved through preliminary reviews and is now set for a final vote by the state Department of Community Affairs zoning and code committee in November. “Once the state approves the tiny house appendix, then we go to the counties,” Johnston says. “Once the counties adopt it, we’ve got to go to the cities. And once the cities adopt it, we’ve got to go to the local jurisdictions.” Despite the challenges presented by zoning and code restrictions, Johnston welcomes the opportunity to educate both government officials and residents on the benefits of tiny house living. “I don’t see these as obstacles,” he says. “It’s taking the fear out of [tiny house living].”
In the Zone In May, another step in combating the zoning confusion recently passed in Atlanta. Following a policy recommendation from the department of Planning’s Tiny House Feasibility Study, the City Council passed an ordinance allowing for an accessory dwelling unit in areas already zoned for duplexes. Per the study, incorporating this type of development could preserve Atlanta’s neighborhoods, especially considering the city population is expected to double over the next three decades. A leading proponent of the ordinance was Councilman Kwanza Hall, whose district includes Inman Park, Midtown, Downtown, PonceyHighland, Candler Park and Old Fourth Ward. “In Atlanta, there have been lots of big, single-family homes and lots of luxury apartment complexes built since the 2009 recession, but not much of anything else,” Hall says. “I believe we need to diversify our housing options, and tiny house is an important part of that. By allowing smaller, high-quality units as ‘accessory dwelling units,’ long-term homeowners can gain a stream of income [through tiny house rentals] and provide a place to live for less in our great neighborhoods. In some cases, I think allowing
Jeffrey Bruce Baker and NeoLith collaborated on the clean-lined, sun-lit and stylish NeoLith Modern Tiny House that was displayed at Baker’s studio earlier this year.
them will help long-time homeowners stay in the neighborhood even while real estate prices and taxes rise.” Although there are no hard and fast rules on how tiny houses will affect the appearance of Atlanta’s neighborhoods, Hall doesn’t think they will have a negative impact, even in the historic areas of his district. “The zoning rules for the Inman Park Historic District have allowed for carriage houses for years, and my constituents have noted how much flexibility it has allowed their families,” Hall says. “Grandparents can come and have longer visits before they overstay their welcome, and recent college graduates don’t have to move back in with mom and dad if there is an extra space on the property. Inman Park residents feel that allowing accessory dwelling units has been an important part of the character of their neighborhood, and neighbors in Candler Park, Poncey-Highland and Old Fourth Ward are glad to have the opportunity.”
Going Forward Bringing tiny homes to Atlanta continues to take time, but Johnston is thrilled with the progress that has been made thus far. “This past year has been phenomenal,” he says. “We’re making the state look at its [building code] appendix. I think that’s huge. We had the feasibility study with the city. The tiny house movement in Atlanta is making a direct, positive impact and challenging the city to look at housing in different ways than just ‘normal’ housing options. It is helping people, helping cities, helping groups understand that space can be utilized in many different ways.”
The work done thus far to ease the way for widespread micro-housing in Atlanta is just the first of many steps. “If we get the appendix passed with the state, that’s a huge win,” Johnston says. “Then we regroup and work on our dogand-pony show and show cities and counties how to embrace this. [Tiny houses] are not one-offs by themselves, but they are added to a bigger development [possibly as one component of existing communities or as stand-alone communities].”
Regardless of what lies ahead, Johnston says he is encouraged by the response Tiny House Atlanta is receiving. “It’s exciting to hear people say, ‘You know what? I have a good life, but I just need to downsize,’” Johnston says. “We want to be able to give them those options.” n
For more information about tiny home living in Atlanta, visit tinyhouseatlanta.com
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SAY CHEESE! THE CHEESE FEST ATLANTA RETURNS SEPTEMBER 23
oey-gooey queso, salty feta, Wisconsin cheddar and veiny gorgonzola will be among the cheeses invading Historic Fourth Ward Park in September. For an advance $35 ticket, you can dive into unlimited samples of more than 500 artisan cheeses and products. (You’ll want to cash in your complimentary drink ticket for a glass or wine or beer to help wash down all of the samples.) VIP tickets for $55 give cheese lovers extra
perks, such as wine and cheese pairing classes. This year’s pairing classes will be led by The Cheese Twins, who are best known for their success on the Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race. Remember to pace yourself when judging the Macdown and Meltdown contests for the best macaroni and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. Contestants from the most prominent restaurants in Atlanta, such as Bread and Butterfly and Cast Iron, will make cheese combinations—
think bacon and avocado—that will make you crave more. The fest also features the Cheese Maker Unplugged series, 15-minute educational seminars with cheese experts who will teach novices the art of tasting. Some Cheese Fest favorites include Allison Hooper of Vermont Creamery, known for her cow and goat milk blended cheeses, and Cowgirl Creamery’s Peggy Smith, with her California-made Mt. Tam, an organic triple-cream. n thecheesefest.com/events/atlanta
PIANOS FOR PEACE
Classical composer and pianist Malek Jandali not only shares music, but his pianos as well. His nonprofit, Pianos for Peace, will host a second Atlanta festival this September to display colorfully painted pianos placed strategically throughout the city. “Each one is a unique art masterpiece,” Jandali says about the pianos that are hand-decorated by Atlanta artists as a way to give voice to local creators. Part-time Atlanta resident Jandali has acquired 29 pianos that were on display last year. This year, the event will feature nearly 50 pianos scattered around town at various venues, including Piedmont Park, Midtown, 10 MARTA stations and the Fox Theatre. With so many instruments to coordinate, Jandali is thankful for a partnership with the Fulton County Arts Council, which stores them before they go on display.
PURE HEAT COMMUNITY FESTIVAL September 3 Piedmont Park On September 3, Pure Heat Community Festival will transform part of Piedmont Park into a kaleidoscope of music, dance, food, drink and plenty more fun in a unifying event supporting Atlanta’s LGBT and HIV/AIDS community. Environment protection, youth mentorship, education and career advancement, women’s health and wellness, and homelessness transition are among additional hot topics of the day.
Jandali’s favorite piano is “Coexist” by local artist Allen London that was displayed last year in Atlantic Station. Another fan favorite, “Peace,” designed by Jandali’s wife, Yasmine, was displayed on the BeltLine at Ponce City Market. After the pianos have been enjoyed for two weeks, each
Midtown’s Center for Puppetry Arts will host its annual String Fling Gala on September 16, and for the first time in recent years, the event will take place at the Loews Atlanta Hotel in the Center’s own neighborhood. “We consider ourselves a pillar in the community, and this year the location is physically close to [the Center for Puppetry Arts]
will be donated to local schools, nursing homes and other community centers, where professional and amateur artists and volunteers from the organization will host concerts and continue music education. Download the Pianos for Peace app to find one near you. n pianosforpeace.org
to even further engage the Midtown community,” says Heather Karellas, development director. The annual fundraiser, co-chaired by board members Anne L. Cross and Mandy Mobley Li, supports the Center’s artsinfused educational programming, but the event is not your typical gala. “This year will be a little more engaging,” says Karellas. For instance, in keeping with
REYNOLDSTOWN WHEELBARROW FESTIVAL September 9 Manigault Street Playlot For 20 years, Reynoldstown has hosted a community fundraiser. This year’s festival on September 9 at Manigault Street Playlot will have yard games, music, cornhole, a 5K and food trucks. Attendees can enjoy a lantern-making station in preparation for the BeltLine Lantern Parade that evening. The festival benefits Friends of Lang Carson Park, area upkeep and other beautification projects.
the “Puppet Nouveau” theme, the Loews will be outfitted with ornamental art nouveau touches, and gala attendees are encouraged to dress in “creative black tie” to keep with the theme. During the night, guests will be invited to make their own puppets, similar to those that guests of the Center create during their visits. (When visitors head to the Center this fall to see Mother Goose and Charlotte’s Web, they can participate in an educational, hands-on workshop to make their own goose or cow puppet to take home.) Puppeteers will mingle with gala guests during a cocktail hour, and a small puppet performance will honor Mrs. William B. (Barbara) Wylly, a board member who has served as a community volunteer at the Center since its founding more than 39 years ago. Individual Tickets are $300 and tables begin at $3,000. n puppet.org
MIDTOWN RESTAURANT WEEK September 10-18 Midtown Ever have a hard time deciding what to order off the menu? Midtown Restaurant Week is your chance to sample cuisine from the best spots in the neighborhood. Thirty restaurants will offer three-course lunch and dinner menus for $15, $25 or $35 per guest. Atmosphere French Restaurant, Eclectic Bistro and Bar and Einstein’s are offering up brunch menus, as well.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S LUZIA September 14 - November 19 Atlantic Station Circque du Soleil’s famously fearless acrobats are taking over Atlantic Station this fall in their signature, colorful style to share a dream-like ode to Mexico. Heavily inspired by nature, the show features a vibrant, electro-pop soundtrack by Canadian composer Simon Carpentier.
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Published on Aug 24, 2017
17th South is an upscale lifestyle magazine serving Midtown, Westside, Virginia Highland, Inman Park, Grant Park, Ansley Park, Reynoldstown,...