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Senior Life Atlanta

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MARCH 2017 • Vol. 2 No. 3|



Treat yourself to chocolate

Artist keeps Blandtown alive page 16

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A word on walking

Over the last year, several friends have invested

in activity trackers like Fitbit® to help them increase their daily steps. It’s worked wonders; they’ve dropped weight and gained energy.


A simple walk leads to writing success

But walking doesn’t have to be planned and counted to be beneficial. Whether you hike, stride or stroll, it gets you outside and moving. Walking also offers a chance to meditate, visit with friends or enjoy the scenery as you amble along. Happily, we live in an area where there’s a focus on improving walkability.

Kathy Dean

Walking seems like such a simple thing for

Contributing Editor

many of us—just stay upright and balanced as you place one foot in front of the other. Yet for young toddlers, it’s quite an achievement, and for people recuperating from injury or illness, walking can be a hard-won victory. I suggest that all of us who are able get out and enjoy walking. March is the perfect month for it, after all. Contact Kathy with story ideas: Ren and Helen Davis at the Chastain Park PATH Trail

Atlanta Senior Life focuses on the interests, accomplishments and lifestyles of the active senior population in metro Atlanta. It aims to inspire readers to embrace a more rewarding life by informing them of opportunities to expand their horizons, express their talents and engage in their community.


Published By Springs Publishing LLC

Editorial Kathy Dean Contributing Editor

Atlanta Senior Life • Atlanta INtown Reporter Newspapers

Joe Earle Editor-at-Large

6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: (404) 917-2200 Fax: (404) 917-2201

Contributors Kate Awtrey, Sarah Brodd, Ren & Helen Davis, Judi Kanne, Collin Kelley, Lennie Gray Mowris, Isadora Pennington, Clare S. Richie, Gene Rubel Advertising For information call (404) 917-2200 ext 130. Sales Executives Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter Jim Speakman, Jan Tassitano

Steve Levene Founder & Publisher (404) 917-2200, ext. 111

Ren and Helen Davis, authors of “Atlanta Walks” and “Georgia Walks”, have been inviting readers to explore the city, state and beyond since 1988. At that time, Ren was an administrator at Crawford Long Hospital and Helen was an elementary school teacher. “While expecting our son Nelson in 1984, Helen was under doctor’s orders to avoid any high-impact activities,” Ren said. “So we went in search of a walking guide to Atlanta and couldn’t find one.” A native Atlantan and American history major at Emory, Ren decided that they could be the ones to write that guide. It was an effort that took three years. Their small pocket guide, later republished by Peachtree in 1992 as “Atlanta Walks”, is now in its fourth revised and expanded edition. In addition, they were commissioned by Globe Pequot to write two Falcon Guides: “Best Hikes Near Atlanta” and “Best Easy Day Hikes— Atlanta”, both released in 2009. Through the years, their curiosity has led them to research and write several other books, including:

Amy Arno Director of Sales Development (404) 917-2200, ext. 112

Circulation/ Subscriptions For distribution information, call (404) 917-2200, ext. 110.

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Deborah Davis Office Manager (404) 917-2200, ext. 110 © 2016 All rights reserved. Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Atlanta Senior Life or Springs Publishing, LLC.


Each month, 20,000 copies of Atlanta Senior Life are distributed to selected locations where active seniors live, work, volunteer and play in the north metro areas of Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.


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“Our Mark On This Land: A Guide to the Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps in America’s Parks”, McDonald and Woodward Publishing, 2011

Award-winning “Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery: An Illustrated History and Guide”, University of Georgia Press, 2012

“Landscapes for the People: George Alexander Grant, First Chief Photographer of the National Park Service”, University of Georgia Press, 2015, winner of the American Library Association’s INDIEFAB Gold Medal as the most outstanding photography book published in 2015 by an independent or academic press

According to Ren, “Landscapes for the People” was the culmination of three years of research in the National Park Service photographic archives, the national archives, Smithsonian and other collections, and was released in 2015 to complement the 2016 Park Service Centennial. Since the book’s release, the Davises have traveled more than 30,000 miles to share George Grant’s story and photography with audiences across the country. Learn more about Ren and Helen Davis and their work, or inquire about a presentation, by visiting or emailing

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The Step by Step Solution


Eric and Cheryl Mowris walk through the reading garden by the Sandy Springs Public Library.

The ancient Latin expression “solvitur ambulando” means “it is solved by walking.” Eric Mowris has found it to be true, and has seen that many of life’s challenges are indeed solved by walking, especially since moving back to the walkable city of Sandy Springs. When Eric and his wife Cheryl previously lived in Sandy Springs, from 1983 to 1999, their home was located outside I-285 and west of Roswell Road, and all four of their children attended Riverwood High School. “We were a typical two-plus car household and didn’t consider the community to be particularly walkable, although I found some safe and pleasant bicycle routes that I enjoyed,” Mowris explained. They sold that home in 1999 and moved to condo living in Buckhead. It was near enough to Mowris’ marketing communications office that he walked to work until his retirement in 2012. “Cheryl and I discovered we enjoyed walking


a nearby nature path and back streets to shopping destinations on Roswell Road,” he said. “She missed gardening and I missed having a shop, so we decided to find a house in what we started referring to as a ‘walkable community’.” The couple explored Rome, GA and Greenville, SC as possible destinations; both are small cities with thriving historic downtowns, developed trail systems and demonstrated public commitments to pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. In each city, they found neighborhoods close to places of interest, fill-in shopping and pedestrian-friendly amenities. “But we realized there would be a high cost in moving away from friendships and community organizations we’d been involved with for so many years,” said Mowris. “So we were inspired to apply the same evaluation criteria we’d used to assess Rome and Greenville to the two Atlanta neighborhoods we knew best:

MARCH 2017 |

Sandy Springs and Buckhead’s Chastain Park area.” In Sandy Springs, they discovered that a genuine commitment to walkability was driving new infrastructure improvements, many already underway and even more included in an ambitious pedestrian-friendly master plan. They also found affordable houses in Hammond Hills that were walking distance from parks, library, shopping, services, dining and entertainment, and one house in particular that featured an ideal site for Cheryl’s garden and a partial basement suitable for Eric to work on various household projects. There are plenty of places for Eric and Cheryl to walk in their neighborhood. Sometimes they put together a multi-stop walking route for running errands that might include destinations like the post office, grocery store, Trader Joe’s, bank, hardware store and cleaners. They’re frequent users of the library, which is just two blocks away, and when their granddaughters visit, they often stroll with them to the delightful new playground

If more people walked more often, more issues would be solved, just as the ancient Latins have told us at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church. “We walked to Hammond Park Gym to vote in this year’s election, and we’ve enjoyed walking to the free concerts at Heritage Sandy Springs Park and performances at Act3 Productions,” Mowris said. “We’re certainly looking forward to the amenities in store for us as City Springs is completed, and we’re hopeful we’ll be able

to take advantage of the nearby infrastructure improvements forthcoming from recent passage of the T-SPLOST referendum.” It’s not all easy trails, however. The biggest challenge to walking more is infrastructure gaps, Mowris noted, adding that he and Cheryl would be frequent users of sidewalks on Hammond Road east of Roswell Road. “They’re coming, with T-SPLOST, but we’d be using them now if they were there,” he said. “It’s interesting that infrastructure construction actually disrupts walkability.” The couple just joined the new Snap Fitness Gym on Sandy Springs Circle, but they’ll have to drive there for workouts until City Springs construction, including sidewalks, is completed. Hilderbrand Drive, their preferred walking route to Heritage Springs Park, is currently interrupted by construction of a new intersection between the park and City Springs. But back to the bright spots: “Our biggest benefit is being able to walk two and a half blocks to visit my 93-year-old mother, who moved from Smyrna into Mount Vernon Towers a bit over a year ago,” Mowris said. “And I think our second biggest benefit is meeting and greeting our neighbors, many of whom are also walking with their families for pleasure or purpose.” He stressed that there are plenty of other positives to opting for walking, too. He and Cheryl are happier and less stressed, they enjoy each other’s company and they often complete their errands more quickly than if they had driven. “If more people walked more often, more issues would be solved, just as the ancient Latins have told us,” Mowris concluded. “We’d be a healthier nation. Children would grow up expecting to walk places— and expecting places to walk to. Pedestrian infrastructure development would be accelerated and expanded. Motorists would be more aware of pedestrians and might even join the parade!”

Explore Atlanta on Foot for Fun and Fitness By Ren and Helen Davis Whether you choose to tour an oasis-like city park, discover a historic battlefield nestled in the forest or follow a meandering ribbon of asphalt along a long abandoned railroad line, Atlanta and its surrounding communities welcome you to explore on foot. Pick your own path to fun, fitness and adventure. Here are a few destinations to get you going.

decade later, the Olmsted Brothers landscape design firm developed a master plan for transforming the fairgrounds into a public park. Today many of the features from both the exposition and the early park are preserved throughout the grounds. Piedmont Park may best be known today as the home of the Atlanta Botanical Garden,, and the finish line for the annual Peachtree Road Race held each July Fourth. The park has more than five miles of


Guided tour at Oakland Cemetery

Downtown and Midtown

Historic Oakland Cemetery, 248 Oakland Ave. Nestled on 48 rolling acres in the shadow of Atlanta’s skyline, Oakland is the city’s oldest public burial ground, and the final resting place for many notable Atlantans including Margaret Mitchell, Bobby Jones and Mayors Ivan Allen and Maynard Jackson. Three miles of narrow lanes and paths invite walkers to enjoy the pastoral landscape. Pick up a map or guidebook at the Bell Tower visitor center to explore on your own, or join one of the many guided tours offered by volunteers from the Historic Oakland Foundation. More at, or call 404-688-2107. Piedmont Park, 1342 Worcester Dr. (public parking deck). Often called Atlanta’s “common ground”, Piedmont Park has a rich history. In 1895 it hosted the Cotton States and International Exposition. A

paths and lanes that invite walkers to enjoy public sculptures, green spaces and the Midtown skyline reflected in the waters of Lake Clara Meer. Visit piedmontpark. org for details. Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail, Tenth St. at Monroe Dr. (Convenient parking is at the Piedmont Park deck on Worcester Dr.) Developed from a graduate thesis by Georgia Tech student Ryan Gravel, the BeltLine will eventually be a 33-mile multiuse trail circling Atlanta, much of it following the route of long unused railroad lines. The 2-mile Eastside Trail is now completed. Enjoy a


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Explore Atlanta on Foot for Fun and Fitness Continued from page 5

leisurely stroll to view public art projects, check out shops at Ponce City Market and simply people watch. Trees Atlanta, treesatlanta. org, offers free docent-led tours of portions of the Beltline Arboretum. Learn more at


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Chastain Park PATH Trail, parking lot on Powers Ferry Rd. north of Jett Rd. One of Atlanta’s most popular public parks, featuring an 18-hole golf course, tennis center, athletic fields and equestrian center, has been made more inviting with the addition of the paved, 3.7-mile loop trail developed by the non-profit PATH Foundation. The trail is a popular social gathering place, especially on weekends. Keep an eye open for errant golf shots! For more info, go to chastain-park.

MARCH 2017 |

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Cochran Shoals

Chastain Park PATH Trail

Unit, Interstate North Pkwy. off New Northside Dr. and I-285. The most popular of the National Recreation Areas dotting a 48mile stretch of the river from Lake Lanier to Cobb Pkwy., the level 3.1-mile Cochran Shoals Fitness Trail is a wonderful destination for leisurely walking, serious fitness training or enjoying the scenic river. If you wish to extend your trek, side trails lead to Powers Island and further to the Sope Creek and Johnson Ferry Units of the park. Daily parking pass, $3, annual pass, $35; federal national parks and recreation lands passes, including senior passes also accepted. To view maps and learn

Join a Walking Club or Take a Group Outing Atlanta is home to several walking/hiking clubs that offer group outings and adventures for members of all ages and physical abilities. Organizations like Trees Atlanta and the Atlanta Preservation Center,, offer group walks and activities in parks and historic neighborhoods. Outdoor outfitter REI,, also offers hikes and other activities through their Atlanta, Perimeter and Kennesaw stores. ■ Georgia Walkers: Affiliated with the American Volkssport Association,, Georgia Walkers hosts walking events and sponsors more than a dozen non-competitive 6.2-mile walks each year at various locations around Atlanta and the state. Learn more at ■ Atlanta Outdoor Club: Established in 2000, the club hosts a wide variety of outdoor activities for adults of all ages. All events are fee-based. Activities information at ■ Mosaic Jewish Outdoor Club of Georgia: Affiliated with Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America, the local group hosts walks, hikes and other adventures throughout the year. Events are open to adults of all interests, abilities and denominations. Event info at ■ Women’s Outdoor Network (WON): This membership organization (yearly dues $15) sponsors group walks, runs and a myriad of other activities for women age 18 and older. Membership and event information at

about other units of the national recreation area see, or call 678-538-1200.

Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps camp. Begin your hike with a stop at the visitor center to pick up a map and to view exhibits on the significance of this hallowed ground in American history. For info and maps, visit, or call 770-427-4686.

Smyrna and Marietta

Silver Comet Trail, parking at Mavell Rd. off Cooper Lake Rd. and at Silver Comet Cycles at 4342 Floyd Rd., Mableton. Following the long abandoned route of the Silver Comet train from New York to Birmingham, the trail winds 61.5 miles from Smyrna through rural western Georgia where it links to the Chief Ladiga Trail in Alabama. The section of the trail linking Mavell and Floyd Roads is a pleasant 4.2-mile (one-way) introduction to this popular pedestrian and bicyclist trail. Learn more at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, 900 Kennesaw Mountain Dr., Marietta. The wooded slopes and surrounding countryside of this 2,965-acre park, so peaceful today, were filled with the sound and fury of combat during the June 1864 Civil War



Silver Comet Heritage Park

battles for Atlanta. The park is crisscrossed by a 16-mile network of trails ranging from strenuous ascents over the summits of

Kennesaw and Little Kennesaw Mountains, to woodland paths leading to historic Cheatham Hill, Kolb Farm and the site of a New

Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC), 9135 Willeo Rd., Roswell. The CNC features the Chattahoochee River Interpretive Center, classrooms, ponds and gardens and wildlife rehabilitation facilities. A nearly three-mile network of interconnecting trails crosses wooded slopes and winds through meadows and gardens and onto wooden boardwalks along the banks of the river. The Center hosts educational programs and activities throughout the year. Senior daily admission, $7; annual memberships available. Find out more at or by calling 770-992-2055.

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Above: Walking the BeltLine Inset: Eastside Trail

By Clare S. Richie and Collin Kelley More than 1.3 million people walked, jogged, biked or skated along the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail in 2016. The Eastside Trail is part of the historic 22-mile railroad corridor that circles Downtown, which is being reborn as a network of public parks, multi-use trails, transit and affordable housing that connects 45 neighborhoods. Portions of the northside arc

of the BeltLine are complete, while a 3-mile segment of the Westside Trail will be completed later this year. But it’s the Eastside Trail, which extends for two miles from 10th Street and Monroe Drive to Irwin Street, that has become the jewel of the project. Connecting Piedmont Park, shopping/food mecca Ponce City Market, Historic Fourth Ward Park and the Freedom Park Trail, the Eastside Trail was completed in 2012, cleared Physicians/Providers: Gregory J. Cox, MD, Elizabeth M. Burns, MD, Shaanan S. Shetty, MD, and Pamela M. McElearney, PA-C

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Aerobics at Historic Fourth Ward Park

100 acres of kudzu, overgrowth and debris, removed 1,700 tons of contaminated soil and now has more than 600 trees in an arboretum thanks to Trees Atlanta. Art on the BeltLine turns the Eastside Trail into an outdoor art gallery every fall and its kickoff event, The Lantern Parade, draws thousands of participants carrying lights in the city’s answer to Mardi Gras. The Eastside Trail extension,

projected to open in late summer 2017, will add another 1.25 miles from Irwin Street to Kirkwood Avenue in Reynoldstown. The BeltLine offers a series free exercise and fitness classes including aerobics, yoga, bike tours, walking tours, hiking with dogs, group runs, FitWit classes, nuitrition walks and Walk with a Doc, where a Piedmont Hospital physician answers questions during a 1.5 mile stroll.

FitWit class on the Atlanta BeltLine

Moving forward, a November 2016 referendum added a half-penny sales tax, which will support constructing and operating extensions of the Atlanta Streetcar along the BeltLine. An additional fourtenths sales tax increase is

expected to generate $66 million for the BeltLine to purchase the remaining right of way for the 22-mile loop and provide lighting for its multi-use trails. For more information, visit

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No Tears for Vidalia Onions

Georgia’s Official State Vegetable By Judi Kanne

financial reward. The National Onion Once again, there’s much Association’s (NOA’s) director excitement as millions of of public and industry relations Vidalia onions are getting Kim Reddin reminds the world ready for harvest in Vidalia, that onions have layers of Georgia—just over a 3-hour flavor imparting color, texture drive from Atlanta. The date and nutrition to so many for the annual Vidalia onion dishes. That’s her job. crop release is “But it’s easy about a month to understand away. why they are The city of the third most Vidalia’s way consumed fresh of celebrating vegetable in this year’s the U.S.,” she crop includes said proudly, as COURTESY VIDALIA ONION multiple COMMITTEE Reddin discussed activities, their sweet and savory essence. from tethered hot air balloons According to the NOA, it’s to recipe contests, as well as easy to overlook the nutritional concerts and street dancing. facts of vegetables like the It’s going to be a lively time in onion. “For example,” Reddin Vidalia. said, “onions are high in However, a lot more than vitamin C, a good source of flavor and festivities ride on fiber, and with only 45 calories this famous onion’s release per serving, they add abundant date. This 20-county onion flavor to a wide variety of region is likely to add $125 food.” In addition, onions are to $150 million to Georgia’s sodium-, fat- and cholesteroleconomy. For the farmers and free, and they happen to others who reap the benefits, provide a number of other key they can almost taste their nutrients, she added. 09-21-2016_NorthsideOral.qxp _Layout 1 9/14/16 9:48 AM Page 1

Pesto Flatbread with Sweet Onions and Asparagus Courtesy of the National Onion Association Makes 4 to 6 servings Prep time: 1 hour 30 minutes Baking time: 15 minutes Pesto: → 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves → 2 tablespoons raw chopped walnuts (Georgia pecans also work well!) → 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

→ 1 clove garlic, peeled → 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil → 1/4 teaspoon fine ground sea salt Place the basil, walnuts or pecans, Parmesan cheese and garlic in a small food processor or blender. Pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped. Add the olive oil and salt. Blend until a smooth, thick paste forms.

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“I’ve been involved with the community since 1960 and I was on the very first board here at Saint Anne’s Terrace. It’s a beautiful part of town and the best part about living here is the wonderful family atmosphere in which everyone gets along.”

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Downsize or Dream Home? Both. Flatbread: → 1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F.) → 1 teaspoon dry active yeast → 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar → 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour → Extra virgin olive oil → 3 ounces thick asparagus stalks, trimmed (about 3 thick stalks) → 1/2 medium sweet yellow onion, sliced → 2 tablespoons toasted chopped walnuts → 2 to 3 ounces goat cheese In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over the warm water. Add the sugar and stir a few times. Let sit until the yeast blooms, about 5 minutes. Add flour to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Turn the mixer on low; pour in the yeast. Mix on medium until the dough comes together to form a ball, about 2 minutes. It may be slightly dry at this point. Add the pesto to the mixer. With the mixer on medium, mix until the pesto is blended into the dough, about a minute. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 3 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball. Coat a large bowl and the ball of dough lightly with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for about one hour or until it doubles in size. While the dough rises, use a vegetable peeler to peel the asparagus stalks into thin ribbons. Carefully peel as much as possible from each stalk. Protect your hands by laying the stalk flat on a sturdy surface while you work. Next, bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the asparagus ribbons to the boiling water and cook for 60 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate covered in a paper towel to drain.

Spray a baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray. Punch down the dough and place it on the baking sheet. Use your hands or a rolling pin to spread to an 11- to 12-inch circle. Arrange the onion slices on the top of the dough. Start with the larger slices and fill in with the smaller slices, working your way around the surface of the dough. Gently press the onion slices into the dough. Let rise for 15 more minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake the flatbread for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the flatbread from the oven and brush the surface with olive oil. Serve warm topped with asparagus, toasted walnuts (or pecans) and small crumbles of goat cheese. Recipe and image provided by the National Onion Association. Developed and phographed by Lori Rice.

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By Isadora Pennington Oh chocolate, what a wonderful creation! For those among us who share a deep affinity for all things chocolate, one of the best places to visit is a chocolatier. These products make great gifts, and the shops are a sweet and romantic getaway for a day date.

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Jardi Chocolates

Forever Love—chocolate, cherry, with a cordial center— and Bleeding Love—chocolate, blood orange and caramel; $11 for 4, $20 for 8, $28 for 12. This is part of a set called Silly Love Songs which includes also Burning Love, milk chocolate and chili pepper, and Flaming Love, chocolate banana foster. 3400 W. Hospital Ave. #102, Chamblee 30341 470-240-8353

Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate Kissed Mermaids Bar—dark coconut milk chocolate with vanilla-infused sea salt and crunchy cacao nibs—$9.50. 99 Krog St. NE, Atlanta 30307 404-604-9642

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medical arts building on historic Register The Medical Arts Building in Downtown Atlanta has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The dilapidated building at 384 Peachtree Street is one of a few surviving examples of the expansion of Atlanta’s central business district north of Five Points during the first three decades of the 20th century. As one of the first buildings in Atlanta to include a covered parking garage, it also represents the increasing influence of the automobile on the city. The building, developed by local doctors Cliff Sauls, Grady E. Clay, James E. Paulin and Malvern D. Huff, is an excellent example of an early 20th-century mid-rise office building, utilizing Neoclassical elements of pilasters, decorative cornice and clean lines. The building is also the work of noted Georgia architect G. Lloyd Preacher, who designed many buildings in Atlanta, including Atlanta City Hall and the Wynne-Claughton Building. Construction on the Medical Arts Building began in May 1926, and was completed in 1927. Global X, which provides capital to adaptive reuse projects for historic buildings, announced last month that it will refurbish the long-decaying structure.

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pet Pick Meet Little Finn, a Jack Russell/ Beagle mix. This little guy is full of fun! If you’ve never had a Terrier, you should probably know they are full of personality and can be feisty, especially with other dogs, so Little Finn would love to exercise with only his human, at least for now. He has been with the Atlanta Humane Society for a while, so his adoption fee has been reduced, and his perfect home would be with adult humans only. Little Finn is hoping your search for the perfect companion will be FINN-ished once you meet him! You can meet Little Finn at the Atlanta Humane Society (AHS) Mansell Campus, 1565 Mansell Road, Alpharetta, 30009. For hours and more information, call 404-875-5331 or visit Currently, the Howell Mill campus of the AHS, 2.29 acres of land at 10th Street and Howell Mill in Midtown, is being offered for sale; proceeds will fund several new AHS projects.

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Keeping Blandtown Alive By Collin Kelley Artist Gregor Turk is keeping the name of one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods, Blandtown, alive. Turk recently installed a large sign on the small lawn of his studio on English Street that reads “Welcome to the Heart of Blandtown.” It’s part installation, part reminder as new homes are literally springing up all around the tiny white house that is one of only three remaining original structures in the neighborhood. Blandtown has slowly been absorbed into what is now called West Midtown, while Brock Built Homes has named the new development around Turk’s studio West Town. Turk’s studio, a tiny white cottage he guesses was built in the late 1950s or early 60s, is dwarfed by the two-story, single-family half-millon dollar homes that have sprung up on both sides, behind and across the street. “This neighborhood has a history and I think people will embrace the name – like they have with Normaltown in Athens or Boring, Oregon – if they know more about it,” Turk said. The neighborhood was named after Felix Bland, a freed slave who settled in the area after the Civil War. For many

years, it was a thriving AfricanAmerican community, but it has slowly been erased, Turk said. As a matter of fact, looking at an original map of the area, part of the Westside Provision District, which includes restaurants like Bacchanalia and JCT Kitchen, and trendy fashion and interior design shops all lie in what was once Blandtown. Turk moved into his Blandtown studio in 2002 when English Street’s most notable address was a crack house. “They would put a Tweety Bird piñata in a tree when they got a new shipment in,” Turk recalled. A half- dozen other homes in the neighborhood were occupied by residents and vagrants alike. Turk – whose art has appeared Artist Gregor Turk stands outside his studio on English Street with the "Welcome to the heart of Blandown" he erected last year. Turk's studio is one of only three original structures left in the historic community, which has become known as West Midtown. The studio is also surrounded by new singlefamily homes in a community that has been marketed as "West Town." Photos by Collin Kelley

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in multiple Art on the BeltLine installations, at the airport, Metropolitan Library and is in the permanent collections of the High Museum and JP Morgan Chase – said neighbors who have purchased homes have dropped by the studio to bring wine and say hello, and ask more about Blandtown. Curiously, Turk’s Blandtown sign looks like an old television

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Get a jump start on summer vegetables and herbs by starting your seeds indoors. It’s pretty easy and cheaper than buying transplants at garden centers. Some supplies you need to start your seeds are: a grow light, a potting medium and seeds. First, there are two different lights you can use for growing plants. You can get a long fluorescent grow light with a holder or get a portable light holder with a clip. You can find either of these at a hardware store. Make sure Sarah E. Brodd you buy a lightbulb labeled for plants. is an Agriculture and Once you find your light, you’ll need to pick a Natural Resource Agent for seed starting tray or seed starting soil and cups. UGA Extension in DeKalb County. She enjoys educatThe seed starting trays are usually the easiest. ing the community about They have soil pellets in the tray that expand horticulture and working when water is added to them. If you don’t want with her great group of a seed starting tray, you can buy a soil growing DeKalb Master Gardeners. medium and use it in a peat pot or small plastic container. Now comes the fun part: picking which seeds you’d like to start inside. When starting your seeds, you’ll need to plant them in your seed tray or soil medium. Place the light directly over them, only about 4 to 6 inches from the top of the tray or container. Once they start to sprout, you should slowly move the light upwards. The seeds need to start with about 16 hours of light a day. As they start to get bigger and stronger, you can decrease the amount of light and closeness of the lightbulb. Once outside temperatures warm up, you’ll need to “harden” the seedlings off. This means taking them outside for a few hours a day and bringing them in at night. It’s a process that helps the plants become acclimated to the outdoors; they need to get used to wind and sunlight. Slowly increase the plants’ time outside and exposure to sun. This will help them become stronger and bigger. When mid-April rolls around, you should be ready to plant your veggies and herbs outside.

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Safe Travels on the Information Super Highway Identity theft, account hacking and information hijacking—they sound complex, but are really just synonyms for modern-day pickpocketing. However, they can pose a very real threat for unassuming internet users. Scams that particularly target older adults are designed to capitalize on lack of technological familiarity and naivety about the dangers of internet crime. Just as you wouldn’t leave your front Gene Rubel door open and unlocked with your passport, credit cards and checkbook on the front created the Digital Device Doctor to help people navitable, insufficient controls on computers and gate the multitude of devices accounts leave you vulnerable to hackers and products by providing looking for easy access to your personal easy instruction on usage, information. device and product recomOnce your device’s security has been mendations and troubleshooting—eliminating the compromised, a hacker can examine every file need to ask their children or as well as your browsing history. A seemingly grandchildren for help! innocuous email requesting you to validate account information can result in hacking of your email and all your accounts. Gaining access to your email account can provide a hacker with enough information to make purchases from sites like Amazon, or even transfer funds from your bank account. There are several things that you can do to protect yourself from falling victim to cyberattacks on your email and other digital accounts, such as online banking. Always use caution in setting up new accounts and selecting passwords—and keep in mind the following tips: ■ Change your email password periodically, as your email account is the most important and most vulnerable account.

not, the most used password is “password,” followed in popularity by “1-2-3-4-5.”

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■ Never respond directly to an email requesting that you to make changes to account names or passwords. Always go the account website of the company itself to make changes.

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■ Verify that you’re dealing with a reputable organization ■ Use different passwords that can secure the data you for different accounts and provide before you set up an change them regularly. If hackers account—especially if you’re get access to information for one making a purchase with a of your accounts, they will try to credit card, signing a petition or use it on other accounts. supporting a political candidate.

Keeping track of a multitude of user names and passwords can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, there are many password manager programs and apps from which you can choose that secure and protect your account login information on all of your devices. I use and recommend Dashlane, It’s free for use on a single computer and $25 per year for multiple devices. Lastly, if you suspect that you’ve been a target of identity theft, there are organizations that can be of assistance, such as the Identity Theft Resource Center,, a good tool for learning about current scams and frauds.

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Bolder and Brighter Outdoor living space, more color in new design trends

By Kathy Dean

Read Atlanta Senior Life Online & Subcribe to Our e-Newsletter 20

MARCH 2017 |

Atlanta residents have a style all their own and, today, they’re expressing their individuality through bold designs in their homes. The city’s mild climate, greenspace and beautiful views allow them to blur the line between indoors and outdoors. Homeowners are treating the outdoors as part of their living space these days, according to Tiffany Barcik, Architect at Moon Bros. Inc. Architects & Craftsmen. “Screened-in living rooms have become extremely popular. They expand the footprint of the house by incorporating outside space, and they include traditionally interior amenities – stone or brick fireplaces, large screened TVs, comfortable couches, dining tables, kitchenettes and bars.” She added that there also has been an increase in the desire for courtyard spaces that create a private outdoor experience. Considering Atlanta’s weather, screenedin living rooms and courtyards can be used 10 to 12 months of the year. Bathrooms have become a focal point in the blending of exteriors and interiors. “A

specific trend in bathrooms is to establish a connection with the outdoors through features like exterior showers and hot tubs, expansive windows, French doors to outside patios, and transom windows that lighten and open up a usually bound-in space,” Barcik explained. Overall, design trends seem to be shifting toward modern and contemporary lines. Barcik noted that it’s unusual for Atlanta residents to embrace contemporary design, even though there are more and more modern infill houses. “While the architecture design may not be moving toward modern, there is more focus on modern details and materials – less trim and more texture – especially in interior design,” she said. “Textures are rising in

prominence, and architecture is being enhanced by the interplay of textured materials.” As far as trending colors, Barcik pointed out that white is being replaced by subtle, neutral tones with color accents and accessories. Natural wood is also making its way into the material palette, not just on floors, but as accents and design focal points in architectural spaces. “Today’s biggest trend in home décor is the bolder use of materials and color,” said Jessie LaFalce, Design Director and Lead Designer of Nandina Home & Design in Atlanta. “Our clients are looking for furnishings and design elements that are unusual and make their living spaces unique. They want something that can’t be found online by everyone.” One of the ways to make an individual statement is to take more of a risk with color, LaFalce noted. Navy is hot right now, she said, but the tone is brighter, so the color falls between a navy and ultramarine with almost a blueberry look. “We’re still seeing a lot of orange and pink, though the pink is now softer, more of a blush, and it’s often mixed with

gold accents,” she added. Gold remains popular for metals, and many items feature a gold leaf or brass finish. However, the brass is more matted and yellow than the brass of the 1970s. LaFalce said that she’s been noticing interesting applications of wallpaper to add drama to spaces like hallways, stairways and powder rooms. While barnwood and wide planks are still being used in flooring, they tend toward a more refined, less rustic look. “The floors have gotten lighter, too,” she continued. “We’re seeing pale blonde and grey washes, more of a Scandinavian look, as people move away from the deep dark colors like espresso.” Innovative products, like dimmable LED lighting tape are adding depth to rooms, when installed inside bookshelves or under cabinets. “Homeowners are starting to layer their lighting,” LaFalce stated. “A large light feature, like a chandelier, becomes a focal point, a piece of art, and ambient light is added and layered throughout the room.” When investing in furnishings, clients are willing to incorporate pieces that are

a bit more unusual into their homes, she said. “For example, a bench made of Lucite and leather. In fact, there’s a lot of interest in Lucite right now, but it’s always mixed with something – like leather, hide or sheepskin – to make the Lucite more comfortable.” Shagreen, a faux material made to mimic the texture of a skate, or stingray, is gaining interest. The textured, leathery material is often seen mixed with other materials, LaFalce explained. “A reclaimed wood coffee table may have its sides covered with shagreen. Actually, we see a lot of fine textures mixed with

rough stone or reclaimed wood,” she said. “While there’s still some interest in the heavy, reclaimed items that have been popular, more refined and luxurious pieces are being mixed into the farmhouse/industrial interiors to create a unique look.”

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►Out & about


Literary & Performing Arts Smoke on the Mountain

Show runs March 2-19. Presented by Actors Theatre of Georgia and Marietta’s New Theatre in the Square, “Smoke on the Mountain” tells the story of a Saturday Night Gospel Sing at a country church in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains in 1938. The show features two dozen rousing bluegrass songs played and sung by the Sanders Family. Ticket prices range $10 to $45, with discounts for students, seniors and military. Marietta’s New Theatre in the Square, 11 Whitlock Ave. NW, Marietta 30064. Details at

The Wizard of Oz Show runs March 9-19. This classic is ideal for all ages. It’s the 24th production presented by the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s Jerry’s Habima Theatre, Georgia’s only theatrical company featuring actors with special needs, directed and produced by professionals. General admission: $35 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under; MJCCA members: $25 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under. MJCCA’s Morris & Rae Frank Theatre, 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody 30338. To purchase tickets, call 678-812-4002 or go to or

Saturday, March 25, 8 p.m. The cast of VoicePlay has taken the timeless sound of vocal music and re-imagined it as a full stage show. The amazing and humorous harmonies, spanning many eras and styles, are laced with inventive and often hilarious on-stage theatrics. Tickets range $22 to $25. Buford Community Center, 2200 Buford Hwy., Buford 30518. Get tickets and more info at, or call 770-945-6762.

Author Talk + Signing: Bruce Feiler, “The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us” Thursday, March 30, 7:30 p.m. Part of MJCCA’s Page from the Book Festival. From the New York Times bestselling author of “Walking the Bible” and “Abraham,” this book explores how Adam and Eve introduced the idea of love into the world, and how they continue to shape our deepest feelings about relationships. Fee is $15; $10 for MJCCA members. Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody 30338. For information, call the MJCCA Box Office at 678-812-4005 or visit

Special Events St. Patrick’s Luck o’ the Irish Green Party Thursday, March 16, 12-2 p.m. Come dressed in green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and enjoy a delicious meal at this fundraiser to benefit Freeman Poole Senior Center. Kathleen Donohoe, Irish singer and dancer, performs live. Please bring non-perishable food items, such as canned green beans or green peas, to benefit Must Ministries. Cost is $12 for Cobb residents, $14 for non-residents. Freeman Poole Senior Center, 4025 S. Hurt Rd., Smyrna 30082. Find out more by calling 770801-3400 or visiting

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Friday, March 24, 10:30 a.m. The Marietta Museum of History’s newest program is the Remember When Club, which encourages the audience to participate and share memories of what life was like in Cobb County. Coffee is provided. Remember When events are held the fourth Friday of every month. The event is free, but donations are appreciated. Museum tour, before or after the event, is $5, free for members. Marietta Museum of History, 1st Floor Virginia Tumlin Room, 1 Depot St., Marietta 30060. Contact the museum at 770-7945710; more info at

Roswell Beer Festival Saturday, March 25, 2-6 p.m. Over 300 craft beers, food and live music. This is the only beer festival in the Southeast organized and managed


by a non-profit; proceeds support at-risk youth in North Fulton. General admission is $50; VIP tickets are $100; Designated driver tickets are $20. The festival will be held at Roswell Town Square, 610 Atlanta St., Roswell 30075. For more info, contact the Roswell CVB at 770-640-3253 or go to

essential. Presented by the University of Georgia Extension. Cost is $10 per person; preregistration is required since space is limited. Johns Creek Environmental Campus, 8100 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Alpharetta 30022. To register, call 404-613-7670 or email

Tea Time

ShamRockin’ for a Cure Saturday, March 25, 7 p.m. Help cure Cystic Fibrosis with a night filled with music that will rock the stage while you dance the night away. Regular tickets include food, beer, wine, cocktails and giveaways. Exciting live and silent auctions will be packed with trips, dining, adventure, jewelry, gift certificates and a raffle. Verizon Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Pkwy., Alpharetta 30009. Call Molly Taggart at 404-325-6973 or visit for details.

High Tea: A Taste of Ireland Saturday, April 1, 4-6 p.m. Join Chef Judith McLaughlin of Shamrock & Peach at Barrington Hall as she throws a high tea in honor of her native Ireland. Cost is $35 per person and reservations are required. Barrington Hall, 535 Barrington Dr., Roswell, 30075. To register and learn more, call 770-640-3855 or email

Education UGA extension presents: Estate Planning Made Simple Wednesday, March 8, 6-8 p.m. Most people think estate planning is about deciding who should get your belongings, but a good estate plan can do much more. You’ll be walked through the basics of creating a plan and get answers to important questions. Whether you have a plan in place or you’re starting one from scratch, this information is

Wednesday, March 15, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Learn about tea, the most widely consumed beverage in the world, next to water. Terri Carter, from Cobb/UGA Cooperative Extension Services, demonstrates and discusses tea basics in addition to how to make and brew your own tea blends. Free; registration required. Senior Wellness Center, 1150 Powder Springs St., Ste. 100, Marietta, 30064. Call 770-528-5355 to get details and register, or visit

Latin & Salsa Dance 101 Class starts Thursday, March 16 and runs through April 10. Learn the secrets of salsa and Latin ballroom dancing, including mambo, cha cha, rumba and samba. There’ll be an opportunity to learn a routine from “Dancing with the Stars.” Cost is $60 for 6 weeks; $12 for drop-ins. Preregistration is encouraged. Ashford Park Building, 2980 Redding Rd., Brookhaven 30319. For more info or to register, call 404-637-0512 or go to

Scarf Tying and Accessory Workshop Wednesday, March 29, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Scarves are a great way to update an outfit. You’ll learn some of the ways to tie the latest fashion scarves, including tricks with infinity scarves. Presented by Bonita Prigmore with Comforting Arms. Free; registration required. North Cobb Senior Center, 3900 S. Main St., Acworth 30101. To register learn more, call 770-975-7740 or visit

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Atlanta Senior Life - March 2017  
Atlanta Senior Life - March 2017