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POINTS NORTH ATLANTA • OCTOBER 2017, ISSUE 209

RACING TO NEW VISTAS OHIO & MONTANA

SAVORY SPOTLIGHTS ANNUAL FOOD & WINE ISSUE OCTOBER 2017

SM AL L T OW N ST RONG HOL D : 20 0 M INUTE S IN MI LTON

Stronghold SMALL TOWN

POINTSNORTHATLANTA.COM

200 MINUTES IN MILTON


In this October 2017

Issue 209

ISSUE

POINTS NORTH Atlanta

Celebrating 200 Reasons We Love The Northside

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As Northsiders, we know we don’t need to travel great distances for an excellent meal, so meeting the men and women behind a few of the neighborhood’s best-kept secrets made for both time and tastes well spent.

Race to Vacation: Cincinnati to Glacier Whether you have a fitness-driven bucket list or an itch to check off travel to-do lists, these stops (and a quick jaunt to Columbus) keep you running to appease either appetite.

Two Hundred Minutes In Milton Founded in 2006, Milton has created a sustainable environment for those with an entrepreneurial spirit as evidenced by the merchants who have set up shop and the residents who support them.

DEPARTMENTS

ON THE COVER

EDITOR’S LETTER COUNTING ON OFF THE PAGE

Mary Mayer, owner of Cheeses & Mary | photo courtesy of Liz Erikson Photography

6 8 66

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTIONS 28 Education 48 Women’s Health

56 facebook.com/pointsnorthatl

Annual Food & Wine Spotlight

twitter.com/pointsnorthatl

instagram.com/pointsnorthatl

pinterest.com/pointsnorthatl

PHOTOS COURTESY OF JEFF MOORE OF GREEN OLIVE MEDIA; SAMANTHA TAYLOR; CHRISTINE KIRK

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Editor’s LETTER

PointsNorth Atlanta Atlanta PRESIDENT / CEO Witt Beckman PUBLISHER Carl Danbury Jr. EDITOR Jennifer Colosimo ASSOCIATE EDITOR Christine Kirk

A

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Robin Harrison SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Shannah J. Smith CONTRIBUTING WRITER Heather KW Brown

First, we eat.

ADVERTISING 770-844-0969 sales@pointsnorthatlanta.com

A WORD OF CAUTION BEFORE FLIPPING THE PAGE … HAVE A SNACK. Or don’t, and run the risk of an impossible-to-control hankering you’ll be encouraged to satiate. Many of the features in this issue are dedicated to restaurant spotlights, where we expose you to some of the Northside’s best kept culinary secrets and new dining spots, or provide a persuasive reminder of the classics that continue providing us tasty reasons to visit again and again. There is no shortage of options to make your mouth water, from big, juicy, prime-cut steaks and hot chicken biscuits to plenty of talk about straight-from-the-farm produce, homemade BBQ sauce and locally grown fruit baked into sweet, succulent pies. We encourage you to take a big bite of these reports, no matter where you live or work in the Northside. It certainly wasn’t the hardest writing job we’ve ever had to do here — we admit that. And in fact, I’m still reaping the benefits of meeting and rediscovering some of my neighborhood’s best mealtime minds (let’s just say I’ve found plenty of excuses to steer my little family toward dining out this month). Luckily, the plans for our waistlines are not completely out the window. Leave it to PN vet and seasoned travel writer Heather KW Brown to provide justification for the healthy helpings you’ll inevitably indulge in — her fresh, finish-line inspired spin on vacations includes setting our sights on scenic races across the map. That means, you can start planning now to stay guilt-free once you put the magazine down and make dinner reservations for tonight. Bon appétit.

SENIOR MEDIA CONSULTANT Karen Poulsen ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES George Colmant Linda Ladd-Roberts CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Tiffany Willard

ALL POINTS INTERACTIVE MEDIA CORP. 568 Peachtree Parkway Cumming, Georgia 30041 770-844-0969 pointsnorthatlanta.com ©2017 Points North Atlanta All Points Interactive Media Corp. All rights reserved. Points North Atlanta is published monthly by All Points Interactive Media Corp. The opinions expressed by contributing writers are not necessarily those of the editor, the publisher or of Points North Atlanta. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without prior consent of the publisher. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: Points North Atlanta offers a 12-month subscription for $15. Visit pointsnorthatlanta.com for details.

JENNIFER COLOSIMO, EDITOR jenni@pointsnorthatlanta.com

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PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WILLETTS | WILLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

6 | POINTS NORTH | October 2017


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Counting ON ...

MY OPINION ON JUICING LEFT MUCH TO BE DESIRED. Until I chatted with Godfrey Lewis, owner of the Avocado Vegan Cafe & Juice Bar, I had little knowledge about the healing power that adding more whole fruits and veggies to my diet can have. He laughed, heartily, at my reasoning for ignoring the craze before gently debunking many of the myths that kept me from, quite literally, drinking the “Kool-Aid.” The best news was learning that I don’t have to give up chewing my food to jump on this beverage bandwagon. In fact, Lewis reiterated that juice is just like any other drink, (albeit a very healthy, nuwritten by JENNIFER COLOSIMO trient dense one) not a meal replacement. Secondly, it’s all about enzymes. They’re the reason you should add juice to your existing (chewable) diet, because they can give your system a boost. According to Lewis, enzymes are “a catalyst for function,” and when we cook vegetables, they lose those enzymes, meaning our body has to source them elsewhere. Therefore, consuming veggies both ways lets us get all of the possible nutrients we can. It’s also easier for our bodies to capitalize on the nutrients in juice because it’s easier for our system to break down. In fact, the high-powered blender does that part for us, so less work happens in the gut, giving our bodies immediate access to the vitamins and minerals in our glass. “Take kale, for example,” Lewis explained. “If you have one gram of kale, you probably would get about a teaspoon of juice out of it. So, if you have a glass of kale juice, that’s a lot of kale. What juicing does is offer a highly concentrated amount of nutrients from the fruit or vegetable, because it has stripped away everything else. It’s extracted only the juice.” When that juice hits our system it can more quickly begin to purify our bloodstream, heal our ailments and support our body the way nature intended. “Our philosophy is not a single-nutrient-sort-of approach to food,” Lewis added. “We don’t say you should eat apples for this vitamin, or that food for this, etc. Instead, we believe that nature perfectly put the nutrients together in each and every food, so that if we’re eating a wide variety of plant-based foods, we’re getting exactly what our body needs.” Of course, he pointed out that certain nutrients are known for their specific healing properties, like ginger for aiding in digestion or certain fruits for their immune boosting power. But he added, “Generally speaking, we tend to be focused on how many proteins, fats and carbs we’re eating … the macronutrients. I believe that these things are not an issue if you’re eating a variety of plant-based foods that contain micronutrients. Our body functions on micronutrients and the majority of them come from plants.” Ready to start sipping? Order Avocado’s The Morning Glow-ry for a fruity wake-up call packed with watermelon, pineapple, apples and lemon or try the warm-hued Caribbean Sunrise made with carrots, apples, pineapple and ginger. Either is a snack worth resting your teeth. avocadovegancafe.com

COLORFUL CATALYST

136

No

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF JENNIFER COLOSIMO; ADOBESTOCK.COM


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137 Number

FRANKIE’S: THE STEAKHOUSE

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written by CHRISTINE KIRK

photography courtesy of ENRIQUE SAMSON

INSPIRED BY THE CLASSY RESTAURANTS like the Brown Derby that once tempted Hollywood stars and dignitaries, Frankie’s The Steakhouse is Duluth’s newest addition to fine dining. Crowning the third floor of the private 1818 Club on Sugarloaf Parkway, Frankie’s boasts upscale steakhouse fare with an old-world Italian twist. Their fedora silhouette emblem gives a nod to the hip and swanky style of the famed Rat Pack; a style they’re seeking to emulate via ambience and classy service. “What we’re trying to do here is really special. Not many places do what we do, and we do it every day. You can’t take a day off,” said Jonathon Cohen, general manager. He’s passionate about his staff and the Frankie’s vision, and it shows. “I’ve got a great staff. I would put them up against anybody in the city, hands down.” Frankie’s is the brainchild of the Norsan Group, known for its notable Luciano’s Ristorante Italiano (across the street from Frankie’s), the revered Pampas Steakhouse (Old Milton

October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 11


FRANKIE’S: THE STEAKHOUSE

Parkway, Johns Creek) and its successful chain of Frontera Tex-Mex restaurants. “I want to be the No. 1 steakhouse in the Southeast,” Cohen stated, not bashful about his personal goals for Frankie’s. Certainly a lofty aspiration, I think, but what stands out about Cohen is his focus on service. There’s no question, in his mind, that the food is excellent and the chef is skilled. But he’s insistent that the dining experience is equally important. To achieve their goals, Frankie’s takes steps to stay innovative and ahead of the competition. “I’ll look at reviews from other restaurants, other cities. I’ll look up Miami, I’ll look up Boston, where I’m from. I’ll look up San Jose, San Francisco, Las Vegas. What are other restaurants doing right, what are they doing wrong?” Cohen explained. What they’re doing at Frankie’s includes a classic white linen dining 12 | POINTS NORTH | October 2017

room accented with unique details which exhibit their top-tier standard of service. Each table is outfitted with Riedel crystal glassware, and there are walls of wine that give you incentive to use them. Near my table, a shelf was lined with various decanters and aerators to suit every style and vintage. Wine lockers in the foyer caught my attention (after a glance at one bearing the name Cam Newton), and Cohen informed me that 1818 Club members store their private selections there. This attention to detail keeps Frankie’s high on the list for exceptional guest experience. Servers are encouraged to remember details about their guests, like if they prefer olive oil or butter with their bread, their favorite wine varietal or whether they prefer port or coffee after dessert. “That’s Frankie’s, the Old-World style; it’s giving the guest what they want, and remem-

bering who they are,” Cohen said. Stellar service aside, the menu is the star. From fresh-shucked oysters and crudos to wet-aged steaks and seafood specialties, I wanted to try everything. Luis Ramirez, executive chef, who helped open Pampas Steakhouse, brings his lifelong expertise to Frankie’s impressive menu. “My culinary experience started when I was a kid,” he remembered. “I’m from Peru and we’ve got a family restaurant. The restaurant has my mom’s name. It’s a small restaurant, but I see the family when they cook, working with the food, with the customers.” After emigrating from Peru, Ramirez found familiarity and solace in the kitchen. Now, he has a support staff of talented sous-chefs and line cooks, some who have been working with him for more than a decade. It’s a sort of culinary dance as they work together. They’ve


learned each other’s rhythms. “We don’t have space for mistakes,” he said. “I know we are human, but it has to be perfect for the customers.” The menu presents a challenge for indecisive diners, as a bevy of prime steak cuts, fresh seafood and Italian-inspired entrees offer compelling options. You can’t go wrong with a steak perfectly seared to your specifications under the 1,800degree broiler, but Ramirez’s Peruvian background is noticeably influential to the seafood dishes at Frankie’s. “I can remember when we went to the sea with the family to have fun. We went to buy fish from the guys who caught it on the boat that day. I mean, the fish is still

alive, it’s still moving, you know? And we clean it, we cut it in pieces and we make ceviche. Cut cilantro, onions, jalapeno and spices. Squeeze fresh lemon juice. Seeing my family enjoy it, open a beer, listen to music. It’s those years that I enjoyed. And ceviche is one of those dishes I remember,” Ramirez said. While glancing at the menu, you’ll find the seafood tower piles on a colossal crab cocktail, jumbo shrimp cocktail, fresh shucked oysters and, of course, Georgia trout ceviche. I decided to save that for next time. To kick things off, I ordered the beef carpaccio. The thinly shaved prime beef came dressed with arugula, fried capers, shaved Parmesan and a garlic aioli.

I noted its perfect temperature, and the beef melted on my tongue, complemented by the peppery arugula. Try pairing this dish with a red Tuscan blend. Moving on to the main event, my servers (yes, two of them) helped me navigate the many mouth-watering choices. I was presented with a display of specialty cuts, the 38-ounce aptly named Tomahawk, which could double as a bludgeoning weapon, and the less intimidating cowgirl cut, a 24-ounce bone-in ribeye. Instead, I opted for the cioppino, which my server, Patrick, described as a guest favorite. Hearty bites of the daily catch accompanied mussels, clams, calamari, shrimp and scallops in a rich tomato and wine broth that finished with a little kick. Did I mention the generous portion of lobster tail in the mix? With a thick slice of garlic bread to sop everything up, I was in heaven. Speaking of lobster, Frankie’s lobster macaroni and cheese, a ridiculously creamy, rich combination of campanelle pasta and copious morsels of lobster tail, is incredible. It arrived in a huge ceramic boat, which left enough to take home to my sister, a self-proclaimed macaroni expert. She practically licked the dish clean. Playing right into the Italian family vibe, sides are served family-style and can easily serve two or three people. I savored the fried Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, perfectly crisped with a sweet balsamic finish. Or you can stick to the classics, such as Lyonnaise potatoes or sautéed wild mushrooms. Whatever you choose, bring an appetite and reinforcements for dishes to share. On my way out, I was presented with a freshly baked muffin to enjoy the next morning. These treats are sent home with guests so that the Frankie’s experience might linger into the next day. This is just another delightful detail that is helping Frankie’s ascend the ranks of Northside steakhouses. PN frankiesthesteakhouse.com October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 13


138 Number

C&S CHOWDER HOUSE

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written by JENNIFER COLOSIMO

WITH THREE MINI BOWLS OF CLAM chowder under my nose, I picked up my spoon but hesitated. Should I satisfy my curiosity to compare the traditional, creamy version to the hundreds I’ve had before it? Or, slurp unbiased from the rich, red Manhattan-style serving or first sample the light, herby Rhode Island concoction? Honestly, I cannot remember which I tried first or savored most, or if I’ll be able to choose between the trio next time. Luckily, there’s the option to order a sampler of all three. As for the rest of the menu, the guys running this place know a thing or two about creating the perfect recipe from nostalgia, family history and an appreciation for locality. Anything you choose whisks you away to feeling like you’re toes-inthe-sand on Cape Cod. Co-owners Jon Schwenk and Rich Clark opened Roswell’s C&S Chowder House last year following other successful ventures, C&S Seafood and Oyster House in 2007 and Hugo’s Oyster Bar in 2013. Friends since

14 | POINTS NORTH | October 2017


the ‘90s and business partners for more than a decade, they’re seasoned veterans when it comes to serving seafood. Schwenk, from Long Island, was quite literally raised in the restaurant business by his French-immigrant grandparents. To say he is no stranger to seafood, cream sauces and vegetables in bounty is an understatement. Conversely, Clark was raised in Clayton County and introduced to the world of produce on his grandfather’s farm, eating the things his family grew or bagged on a hunt. Although he wasn’t raised in the business, he has an intrinsic appreciation for how the business runs. Together, Schwenk and Clark run their businesses well. “If there was ever a good way to tell if you’re going to be good working together, spend every day and all evening with someone,” said Schwenk, who met Clark when they worked together at Brassiere Le Coze. “After a lot of hours together, we both knew we shared the same vision and the way we like to do things. I like things in food that he likes, the kind of service he likes to give.” That vision offers patrons of Chowder House an experience that is lighter and beachier, but heavily influenced by traditional New England-style fish houses. There’s a unique French spin on the way each dish is curated – think rich beurre blanc sauces, fresh herbs, steamed mussels with cream, lemon juice and shallots – and an overall focus on serving something different. “When people come in, I want them to see things that they haven’t experienced before,” said Schwenk. “Soft shelled steamer clams from Maine. They’re very fragile and they’re expensive. You see them all over New England, and they’re expensive there as well, but it is not something you see in the South.” Something else we’re not seeing a lot of is less emphasis on local. “More important than using locally grown items is for us to use the best product from indigenous areas,” Clark explained. “For example, Bluefin from Maine, lobsters from Maine, black grouper from the Gulf of Mexico, domestic shrimp…”   You’ll also see oysters in abundance, monkfish, scallops, swordfish and clams … lots of clams. “I want the guests to leave thinking that this was some of the best seafood they have ever had,” Clark said. PN candschowderhouse.com PHOTOS COURTESY OF JEFF MOORE, GREEN OLIVE MEDIA; ANNA BOOTH

October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 15


139 Number

SOUTHERN BAKED PIE CO.

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written & photographed by JENNIFER COLOSIMO

NO ONE SAYS “PIE” QUITE LIKE Amanda Wilbanks. Her southern drawl and big grin warm up a conversation faster than you can eat a slice of her signature caramel pecan pie – but it’d be close. That’s because she’s put a lot of time and effort into baking top quality pies at all three Southern Baked Pie Co. locations (Gainesville, Buckhead and Alpharetta), as each recipe is derived from love, southern hospitality and family. Wilbanks grew up cooking with her mom, but she didn’t even make her first pie until about five years ago. Her mother-in-law popped in one day and announced the two of them would be making Alex (Wilbank’s husband) his favorite dessert. The option to say no wasn’t on the table, but the ingredients for a classic buttermilk pie were.

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FRESH INGREDIENTS, FRESH FOOD, AUTHENTIC TASTE

“I thought for sure when she said she wanted to make Alex a pie that she meant we’d go get a frozen one from the store and bake it. But she meant from scratch,” Wilbanks said. “I remember she was using my food processor – I had never even taken it out before. We even set the pie on my car’s floorboard with the windows down to cool, in lieu of a proper window sill like they do it in the movies.” Daunting for sure, but it awakened something deep in Wilbanks. “The bond we shared while making that pie and all the work that went into it, I just really fell in love with the whole process,” she said. “It was just so fun!” So fun, in fact, that she found herself baking all the time. A treat for Alex, sure, but he soon offered the gentle ultimatum that she either start selling the pies or stop baking, because he could not keep eating them. She started selling. That first Christmas, she baked 500 pies from her home kitchen. Wilbanks now has three shops with a full menu of flavors and sizes (seasonal fruit pies, savory chicken pot pies, tomato pies, hand pies and my personal favorite, the chocolate chess pie, to name a few.) You can take home a whole pie, ready-to-eat or out of the freezer, or enjoy a slice of the daily display. She’s won several culinary awards, and she’s landed her pies on the artful dessert menus at Café Intermezzo, putting her one-time afternoon kitchen experiment on a literal and figurative pedestal. “For a pie to taste as good as it looks and really be homemade is something you don’t see too often in a restaurant,” Wilbanks said, who was nervous about how her pies would look next to the statuesque layer cakes and desserts usually on display at Café Intermezzo. “But to me, pie means home, and I think that’s why people still appreciate them so much. They bring back memories; they’re nostalgic.” PN southernbakedpie.com

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140 Number

BIG WILLIE’S HOT STUFF

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written & photographed by CARL DANBURY, JR.

SEDGWICK RESTAURANT GROUP (SRG) has always been a bit ahead of the culinary curve in the Northside. They brought us Vinny’s on Windward when few decent Italian options were present. They quizzically shuttered Van Gogh’s only to unveil the Mediterranean vibe-centric Bistro VG. When residents seemed content with the national or regional chain steakhouse options, they opened upper tier steakhouses (Aspens) in both East and West Cobb. Then, SRG gained more notoriety when their first Pure Taqueria location in Alpharetta captured the attention of trendy suburban diners who craved margaritas and guacamole more than a Numero Tres at the one-in-1,000 gringo-friendly Mexican restaurants that dot our landscape. Early in 2017, SRG reinvented the Theo’s Brother’s Bakery space in The Avenue West Cobb (which is adjacent to Aspens West), in part to pay homage to a longtime employee who was born and raised in South Carolina, and a Maryland-born chef who hoped to re-create some of the Lowcountry cuisine that he craved during his culinary school days in Charleston. They also hoped to capture a bit of the burgeoning Nashville hot chicken craze, but apparently birds of one feather don’t flock together in West Cobb, as a competitor blocked the use of the word chicken in the new title. No matter, Big Willie’s is really hot stuff, in both name and execution. William “Big Willie” Page picked vegetables at his grandfather’s peach farm in rural South Carolina. He and his brother

18 | POINTS NORTH | October 2017


CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Jordan Daniels, GM Nick Shelton and William Page; Key lime pie; Peckin’ hot chicken.

would drive an old 1966 Ford Galaxy that was as big as a tank to the farm, and jam the trunk full of produce. They shelled or shucked all the veggies under an old poplar tree, and then passed them along to their mom who often spent the entire night cooking and canning them. He enjoyed those southern staples and some of the menu is reflective of those meals his mother made. Executive chef Jordan Daniels said that, according to his parents, southern food was “the devil” while he was growing up in Baltimore. “I was 19 before I had grits, collared greens or black-eyed peas,” he said. “I was adopted by the South after my journey through southern cooking.” After a few months of research, testing recipes, experimenting with cooking methods and onerous taste testing, the hot stuff was unveiled. The menu is a hodgepodge of well-conceived, borrowed (if not slightly tweaked) interpretative southern recipes. Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack is credited with starting the hot chicken craze in Nashville. Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish has its legion of fans too, while others say that Hattie B’s perfected the craft. At Big Willie’s, Daniels tried so many different methods that he wasn’t sure if he would ever get it right. “We tried wet brine, dry brine, keeping the chicken in the cooler before frying it, letting it come to room temperature. Finally, I thought, ‘Why complicate it and try to make it something that it isn’t?’ Chefs tend to do those kinds of things and get lost or drown in their own techniques,” Daniels admitted. “It’s best when you do things right and keep it simple.” In this case, that meant flour first, seasoned buttermilk mixture second, and flour again before frying. The results are glorious: crispy skin, great flavor and lusciously moist chicken available in four degrees of spiciness (mild, peckin’, red rooster or cock fighting), and extending to tenders or legs, wings, breasts and thighs. Like many of the dishes we sampled, Big

Willie’s chicken has an artisan appeal you won’t find often in suburban Atlanta. The menu screams old school southern, yet whispers softly in your ear about uniqueness. Big Willie’s country fried steak with sawmill gravy uses cube steak from a family farm in Alabama. The slow cooked brisket served with South Carolina mustard or chipotle BBQ sauce comes from two farms in Nebraska known for their prime cuts of Black Angus, “to make sure that the cuts are all coming from the same place, same region,” Daniels offered. The smoked pork chops, served with red eye Tabasco gravy, are provided by Patak Meat Products in Austell, a wholesaler and retailer since 1981. Other quintessential southern items include the chicken biscuit (served all day, every day and even on Sunday), a favorite among Avenue workers and nearby high school students, and the shaved-fried catfish, which is served on a sandwich or plate. It is uncommonly battered, crispy and a touch lighter than most. That it’s dipped in Big Willie’s comeback sauce provides us yet another reason to return. Daniels added a meatloaf sandwich to the menu because it is one of his grandmother Jenny’s favorite recipes, while Page

added his favorites from a typical Thanksgiving meal: roasted turkey, cornbread dressing and homemade cranberry sauce, all from his own family’s recipes. The side dishes may not be revolutionary, but they are nonetheless excellent. Try the Carolina red rice, which is another throwback item that you’ll rarely see on any menu. “Red rice is my favorite side,” Daniels said. “We use cayenne pepper, hot sauce, tomato juice, regular country sausage, Worcestershire and onions.” Collared greens, creamy cole slaw or southern potato salad also are solid. And speaking of salad, there are three salads on the board to appease those tough-to-convert former Theo’s customers who appreciated lighter options. Desserts include banana pudding, key lime pie and the cobbler of the day. “This is the kind of food both William and I love to eat, even though we shouldn’t!” Daniels exclaimed. “All of our parents used to eat like this,” Page interjected. “My dad died at 96 and my mother at 93. My father’s youngest brothers are twins, and they just had their 90th birthday.” Now that’s hot stuff. PN bigwillieshotstuff.com October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 19


141 Number

ON THE MARC AT CHÂTEAU ÉLAN

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written by JENNIFER COLOSIMO photography courtesy of CHÂTEAU ÉLAN

THE DRIVE UP THE MUSCADINE vineyard lined driveway at Château Élan can make you slip into an altered state of being – one that takes you back in time a bit, envisioning that you’re riding topdown in an early-era convertible with a scarf tied over your hair or a cigar in your hand. It’s a serene landscape, beckoning a simpler, wineglass-immersed schedule, but what lies beyond the curtain at the

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resort’s newest renovated dining space isn’t reminiscent of the olden days. In fact, it’s a step toward modern dining that’s both sophisticated and supremely unique, yet still manages to reflect the resort’s healthy dose of nostalgia. It’s also French, and in true romance language form the word märc gives name to a fiery spirit from within the heart of the grape. Frankly, it’s the grape skins and


residue left over in a wine press after the juices have been squeezed, but it’s not just scraps. In fact, the French use it to make brandy. Farmers and cellar hands would drink it to celebrate the end of their day in the field. At Château Élan, the team behind marc expounds this definition through their menu, celebrating all things from the land — be it pasture or crop. Some of that is local, like the hearty Brasstown Beef filet and ribeye. Pair either with the house-made pink peppercorn Béarnaise for a plate I dare you to leave clean. Also from local farms are the garlic Swiss chard and sweet corn succotash, both perfect complements to the Niman Ranch bone-in pork chop, which comes sizzling and impossibly tender, perfect with a fork-swipe through the sweet and savory apple chutney. Another element Winery Chef Cameron Udick’s menu brings to the modern eating experience is a slew of unique picks from the garden you don’t often see plated together on southern menus. Think kumquats and Georgia grown olive oil served with diver scallops, lotus root and benne seed with tuna tartare and succulent honeycomb meant to nibble alongside handcrafted charcuterie. Heading into fall, Udick also treats weekend diners to his personalized menu, presenting a tasty tour through his creative culinary mind including an appetizer, entrée and dessert with suggested wine pairings. And speaking of dessert, Udick’s pastry chef Arnasha Hudda is young, talented and exquisitely personable, so if you can pull her tableside to present your treat, be ready to experience it on an emotional level as well. The way she reveres Chef’s grandmother’s classic buttermilk pie is enough to know that she has a tender touch in the kitchen, baking in as much respect for traditional family recipes as she does creative flair that makes it her own – in the case of the pie, that’s the addition of cactus pear glee and candied citrus peel. I’d be shortchanging your expectations if I didn’t say that one of the best parts about enjoying the fruits of the earth and its farmers at marc is listening to manager Clement Nouzies deliver each

dish’s culinary potential tableside. In fact, it’s almost worth calling after hours just to hear him add romance to the hours of operation on the restaurant’s voicemail. Nouzies grew up in the south of France and speaks inherently to the richness of spirit within both the food and beverages

at marc. So, if you’re in for the full experience — and have a taste for brandy — stay a while longer for an after-dinner sip of the restaurant’s namesake liquor, ending your meal on a particularly high note. PN chateauelan.com

October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 21


142 Number

THE GREATER GOOD BBQ written & photographed by CHRISTINE KIRK

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G

GOOD BARBECUE IS A LABOR OF LOVE and often a matter of perspective. Polarizing opinions on the best sauce, rub or cooking technique are widespread, but when it comes to pit masters, their way is usually the only way. One thing we can all agree on is that the end result had better be tasty. In the noble quest to find my favorite local BBQ, I ended up at The Greater Good — and now I’m a regular. You know you’re in for some lipsmacking BBQ when there’s a roll of paper towels on the table. A friend brought me


to The Greater Good BBQ a few years ago, specifically for the smoked wings, which she described as “slap-yo-momma good.” Now when I come here (which is often), I usually order the Lil Smokey, a platter of mixed meats and sides. I’m crazy for the brisket and hot links, but every time I’ve switched it up, I’m never disappointed. My main dishes are paired with their signature mac-n-cheese, plus some savory baked beans. On a whim, I recently ordered the Brunswick stew and discovered what I’ve been missing out on this whole time. The man behind the scenes and responsible for all this goodness is Don Cobbs. His day begins well before 7 a.m. The brisket and pork butt slow cook over hickory in Southern Pride smokers for more than 13 hours, and prep goes on throughout the day. His talent was apparent to his son-in-law, who approached him 5 years ago with the idea to open a BBQ restaurant. “As a kid, I was always at my mother’s side watching her cook,” said Cobbs. “We grew our own vegetables. It was oldstyle cooking and I learned a lot that way.” Thus, the Greater Good was born in Tucker, where it got its name. “We wanted to have something that people could hang their hat on,” Cobbs remembered. “Families could come and it could be a place where people could enjoy, congregate. So we said, ‘let’s do this for the greater good of Tucker.’” With a focus on southern-style home cooking and hospitality, the venture was a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Now the team has brought The Good to Buckhead in a little place off of Roswell Road, snug between a dry cleaner and its sister ventures, Fellini’s and La Fonda Latina. Their style doesn’t adhere to a particular region or school of thought. Instead, a variety of influences, tried and true, come together with the simple goal of deliciousness. So, what is it that makes The Greater Good stand out among the litany of BBQ joints around Atlanta? It’s the personality and history that go into the food. Their spice rubs and sauces are developed in-house, so that it’s “The Greater Good’s flavor,” Cobbs pointed out. Most of the side dishes come from old family recipes, and in that sense they are uniquely their own. “The mac-n-cheese and the potato salad are my mother and grandmother’s recipes,” said Cobbs. He hails from Carolina roots (which you’ll find represented in the stew), but was born and raised in Atlanta. There’s no elitism here. Next to the paper towels on each table, you’ll find a sauce caddy of hand labeled bottles denoting their flavors — Hot, Sweet, Carolina and House. “We always wanted people to mix and match and whatever they wanted to do with their sauces,” he said. “It makes it unique for their flavor and their tastes.” However you prefer it – chopped or sliced, tangy or sweet – the food is just plain good. PN

L I G H T, F R E S H & D E L I C I O U S

10900 Medlock Bridge Road, Suite 105 • Johns Creek, GA 30097 greatergoodbbq.com

770-662-5000 • www.lemekongcuisine.com

October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 23


143 Number

SUSHI HAYAKAWA written & photographed by CHRISTINE KIRK

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WITH HIS TRADEMARK RED CLOTH tied around his head, I observed Chef Atsushi “Art” Hayakawa slice cuts of fish with surgical precision. I asked him about his knife, a long, thin blade of Japanese steel. He informed me that it cost a mere $1,400. “No one touches,” he elaborated with a smile. You know how chefs can be about their knives. Chef Hayakawa is the mastermind behind Sushi Hayakawa and the real deal concerning the art of sushi. Whether you’re at the six-person sushi bar, or

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you’ve landed a spot at one of the five small tables, you’ll come to understand why Men’s Journal included this little spot on Buford Highway on their list of the “12 Most Authentic Sushi Restaurants in America.” Considering reservations book weeks in advance, it seems it has earned its notoriety. Born in Hokkaido, the second largest island of Japan, Hayakawa began his path toward becoming a renowned sushi chef when he was just 15. Years of hard work and apprenticeships paid off in 1988 when

he received his Sushi Chef qualification certificate. He moved to Atlanta in 1991 and eventually decided to open his own restaurant in 2008 hoping to expand sushi culture in Atlanta, while also providing a traditional experience for other Japanese expatriates. Hayakawa imports fresh fish from the famous Tsukiji seafood market in Tokyo via a trusted vendor who acts as his eyes and ears overseas. He receives updates and photos of the daily catches, which allow him to focus on seasonal and Japanese


specialties. I recommend ordering the Omakase, the chef’s special tasting menu. You’ll get the best of Hayakawa’s creativity and ingredients this way. However, you can order a la carte if you prefer. Just don’t ask for a California roll, as those Americanized versions have been sworn off in favor of more authentic tastes at Sushi Hayakawa. Considering the most important element of great sushi, Hayakawa explained that, “sushi is all about balance.” Using the metaphor of mixing colors, he stressed the importance of balance between the rice and the fish as well as its quality. His Japanese customers are particularly complimentary of his sushi rice. “People that know sushi know that sushi rice is very important,” he said. Sitting dead center at the bar, I watched Hayakawa work as he guided me through a round of sashimi, which included the best tuna I’ve ever tasted and paper-thin slices of tender Hokkaido octopus that tasted fresh from the ocean. Next, his perfectly prepared sushi rice was a conduit for delicate pieces of striped jack and Japanese snapper. Be careful with the fresh wasabi served on the side; a little goes a long way. This is more than dinner; it’s a special event for your palate. Plan to spend between two and three hours here. Hayakawa prepares all the sushi himself. There’s no need to go crazy with the soy sauce either. You’ll be advised on which pieces should be dipped, and which should not. Let him guide you with his expertise and craftsmanship, and you’ll be rewarded with the most ideal flavors and textures. It’s no surprise that Hayakawa has had multiple offers to take his skills to New York, but he remains devoted to his current home. “Why would I do that?” he asked. “For money? For my ego? I don’t want that.” He has developed an allegiance to his customers, as they have to him, and he doesn’t intend to abandon them. For that, we’re grateful. PN atlantasushibar.com October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 25


Off the PAGE

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Richard Stanley waited more than 20 years before taking the plunge into restaurant ownership with his wife Brigette. They’re making praiseworthy Chicago-style pizza and Pittsburgh-style sandwiches in Cumming at Luca Brasi’s Pizzeria.

Rivermill Bakery & Café means cheesecake, cinnamon rolls, chocolate croissants, fresh baked bread and great coffee. You might need a little help finding Alex and Svetlana Gerasimov’s new place off of Post Road on Cumming’s Westside. But find it you shall. We’ve all heard of Belgian waffles, but Aneta Szlek’s Polish roots haven’t deterred her at her unique drem Waffle + Coffee Bar on Old Atlanta Road in Suwanee. Sweet and savory offerings are always delicious. Find out what else she has in store.

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DURING THE PAST 17 YEARS, dining options in the Northside have been perpetually regenerating, and expansion into new culinary horizons and genres is now commonplace. Throughout the past few months, as we prepared for this issue, we found both newcomers and old friends as well as some intriguing businesses. To enable us to devote ample space to each, we invite you to visit pointsnorthatlanta.com/dish where we serve more reviews, news and recipes to you.

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Husband-and-wife team Fatmir and Xhejlane Mertezi opened Qebaptore: A Bite of Europe on PIB in Suwanee where they serve incredible Doner Kebabs and other European specialties you’re unlikely to find elsewhere.

Walter Brooks’ 3 Brothers BBQ is poised for the future. Finishing sauces, marinara sauce and other items are soon to be released, but he knows a grassroots campaign in Johns Creek and other communities must be served first.

Matthews Cafeteria, in Tucker, was founded in 1955 by Louise and Bill Matthews and is still serving the community the best meat-and-three meals around. Grandson Michael Greene is capably managing the business and shares his thoughts about maintaining its legacy.

Kathy Davis broke into the boy’s club of craft beer when she became the first female brewery proprietor in Georgia. Now she brings her award-winning brews and love of goats to the public eye with Abbey of the Holy Goats Brewery in Roswell.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CARL DANBURY, JR.

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S P E C I A L

A D V E R T I S I N G

S E C T I O N

PRIVATE SCHOOLS & HIGHER EDUCATION


PRIVATE SCHOOLS SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

PRIVATE SCHOOLS & HIGHER EDUCATION

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF ADOBESTOCK.COM

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QUALITY EDUCATION, INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION

Atlanta Academy serves 300 preschool-8th grade students in North Atlanta. Our mission to give every student the individual attention they need to succeed is at the core of everything we do. Small class sizes allow our teachers to understand their students’ individual strengths and help them discover their own unique talents. High performing student achievement is nurtured in an inclusive, non-denominational atmosphere, where families are engaged. Together, we are fully invested in helping children grow into well-educated, independent problem solvers who are prepared to excel in high school and beyond. 678-461-6102, atlantaacademy.com

ACADEMIC TRAINING WITH A FOCUS ON SPIRITUAL MENTORSHIP

Established in 1983, Eastside Christian School has a heritage of delivering quality academics from a biblical perspective in a loving environment to grades K through 8th, including half-day kindergarten and pre-first grade. By featuring programs in STEM, world language, athletics, fine arts and community service, Eastside has a trusted reputation for excellent cognitive preparation while equipping students to be pure in character and strong in spirit. Graduates earn placement in leading secondary schools, including Magnet

and IB programs. Eastside Christian School is accredited by ACSI and AdvancED. 770-971-2332, eastsidechristianschool.com

EQUIPPING STUDENTS TO KNOW, GROW AND GO

Bridgeway Christian Academy (BCA) is dedicated to providing excellence in Christ-centered education, equipping students to know, grow and go! Offering preschool through 8th grade, BCA is accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and SACS/Advanc-ED. A proven curriculum challenges students while emphasizing a biblical worldview. Smartboards are utilized in every classroom, and middle school students may bring their own devices for note taking and e-books. Character development and community service are emphasized with opportunities for all grades, including a quarterly requirement of five hours of service time for middle school students. Weekly chapel, Spanish class, physical education and a rich fine arts program (art, drama, band and music) round out the BCA experience. The school yearbook and newspaper class provide additional opportunities for middle school students to explore their interests. Students in grades fifth through eighth participate in a wide range of inter-scholastic sports including basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, track and field, golf, swimming and cross country. As a participant in the North Atlanta Metro League


(NAML), BCA offers a competitive athletics program that challenges their athletes to perform to the best of their physical and athletic abilities while honoring God, both in and out of the sports arena. School tours are offered year round, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 678-942-1126, bridgewayca.org SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

PRIVATE SCHOOLS & HIGHER EDUCATION

A COLLABORATIVE ENVIRONMENT

The Cottage School (TCS) provides a comprehensive program for 4th to 12th grade students with learning differences. TCS offers a program focused on small class sizes, collaborative student/teacher environment and work-based modeling that promotes self-advocacy. TCS provides an accredited college prep curriculum that meets GA standards and HOPE scholarship requirements. 770-641-8688, cottageschool.org

A TRADITION OF SCHOLARLY EXPLORATION

Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School’s college-prep curriculum challenges students, encourages collaboration and inspires creative thinking. On our 43-acre campus located just north of Chastain Park, students ages 3 years old through 12th grade are discovering everything, except their limits. 404-255-4026, www.hies.org

PREPARING STUDENTS FOR MORE THAN JUST ACADEMICS IN FORSYTH COUNTY

Horizon Christian Academy was founded in 2000 as a high school, but has grown into a premier

32 | POINTS NORTH | October 2017

accredited K-12 educational experience in Forsyth County. A beautiful campus situated conveniently between Georgia 400 and Highway 20, it sits just one mile north of downtown Cumming. Full accreditation through ACSI and AdvancED reinforces the robust programs offered — from growing facilities for varsity sports, to engineering, fine arts and literary and academic teams. From the time students begin in kindergarten, there is an emphasis on traditional, success-proven teaching strategies while maintaining a competitive edge. This is done by incorporating necessary skills
for today, such as foreign language and STEAM. To go along with its academic emphasis, Horizon fosters an accepting family community among students, families and teachers. Horizon is expanding its dual-enrollment partnerships, which propel high-school students to challenge themselves academically and get a head start with their college academics. This unique opportunity leads to over 60% of Horizon graduates accumulating between 18-24 college credit hours, meaning that investing in an education at Horizon can directly carry into college. All this works in conjunction to create an accepting environment in which students can develop their character and capitalize on their high-school experience. For a chance to come experience what is happening at Horizon Christian Academy, the Summer Program is the perfect opportunity! Offered the last two weeks of June, the programs range from athletic camps to SAT prep. Call today for more information regarding Summer Program as well as the enrollment availability for the 2017-2018 school year. 678-947-0711, hcaga.org


October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 33


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

PRIVATE SCHOOLS & HIGHER EDUCATION

THINK, EXPLORE, EXPRESS

At Trinity School, everything we do is designed to help students from age three through 6th grade flourish. Established in 1951, Trinity School is known for its challenging academics, amazing arts program, state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor learning spaces and community that cares like no other. We cherish the magic of childhood, encouraging students to try things they never imagined and cheering mightily when they succeed. Students are given an abundance of choice – in music, art, service, world languages, technology and physical education – always with the support of teachers who are experts in early childhood and elementary education. In every class, our students learn to think deeply, explore freely and express themselves with confidence. 404-231-8100, trinityatl.org

ALL ARE INVITED

Blessed Trinity Catholic High School (BT) exists to provide a nurturing educational environment that transforms lives in Christ, integrating spiritual formation, academic excellence, artistic sensibility and athletic achievement. BT is a coeducational college preparatory institution, which provides a Catholic secondary education for students in grades 9th through 12th. Faith and values are integrated into all aspects of learning, living and service to others in order to stimulate students’ spiritual, emotional, intellectual, social and physical growth. By studying both secular and religious matters, the school community applies knowledge toward a deeper acceptance of holiness from God. A multi-level curriculum provides a variety of educational programs that meets the needs of each student. BT is available to students regardless of race, color, disability, gender, national origin or ethnicity. Students of all faiths are invited to attend. 678-277-9083, btcatholic.org

ENGAGING THE WHOLE CHILD

Swift School is an independent school that serves students with dyslexia and language based learning differences in grades 1st through 8th. They specialize in teaching strategies that use a multi-sensory approach to engage the whole child. An individualized program is designed to enhance each student’s unique strengths and provide tools to address their specific challenges. Swift supports every child to become a confident self-advocate for life-long learning, success and personal fulfillment. 678-205-4988, theswiftschool.org

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October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 35


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

PRIVATE SCHOOLS & HIGHER EDUCATION

COMPREHENSIVE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

At Riverside Military Academy (RMA), character development extends beyond building and exercising leadership skills. They are committed to teaching young men time-honored values that promote social responsibility, good citizenship and well-rounded personal growth in all aspects of life. Character development is comprehensive at Riverside and is taught and modeled by all of the faculty, staff and coaches. The Norman P. Blake Family Distinguished Speaker Series at RMA includes bi-weekly distinguished speakers and discussion groups centering on the topics of integrity, leadership, ethical decision-making and sound judgment. Through repeated exposure to these topics, the program’s objective is to cultivate young men who are able to meet the challenges of college, career and beyond. 770-538-2938, riversidemilitary.com

Mount Pisgah Christian School

Mount Pisgah Christian School in Johns Creek is a unique place for learning with an environment centered on the rich relationships between the students and their faculty. With this element, the school is able to garner the highest academic potential from their students, because the staff is able to challenge them on a level that reveals their utmost potential. They push them to excel beyond what they thought they might be capable of doing. An intentionally small Christian school, enrollment at Mount Pisgah is open to students of all faith traditions and backgrounds. Students enjoy going to school here and are able to stay on top of their academics and participate in sports, the arts, extracurricular activities and service leadership positions. 678-336-3400, mountpisgahschool.org

HIGHER EDUCATION BIG BANG FOR YOUR EDUCATION DOLLAR

After opening its doors to the community just 18 months ago, Gwinnett Technical College’s new Alpharetta-North Fulton campus is bustling with a multitude of students from all walks of life. As the second largest technical college in the state, Gwinnett Tech offers a wide range of programs

36 | POINTS NORTH | October 2017


designed to meet the unique workforce needs of the North Fulton community. Courses in business, health sciences and computer sciences, early childhood education and more are offered during daytime, evening and weekend hours. The college also offers great options for high-school students through their Dual Enrollment program and for veterans interested in taking advantage of their Veterans Education Benefits. Recently, WalletHub ranked Gwinnett Tech as the No. 1 two-year college in Georgia for its value, educational outcomes and return on investment to both students and future employers. The college’s 99 percent employment rate and $89 per credit hour are just a couple reasons why Gwinnett Tech definitely offers a big bang for your education dollar. 470-282-5400, gwinnetttech.edu

Equipping students to know, grow & go.

SMALL UNIVERSITY, BIG IDEAS

Life University (LIFE) offers leading edge health science degrees in a dynamic community that empowers and inspires individuals to design lives of success and significance. LIFE provides students with the vision to fulfill their innate potential, the inspiration to engage in a quest for self-discovery and the ability to apply a principled approach to their future roles as leaders in humanitarian service and as citizens in their communities. LIFE instills a set of values, a philosophy, a perspective toward wellness and a deeper meaning of service to humanity, which produces a transformational experience. LIFE has specialized undergraduate degrees, with defined pre-professional tracks in the realm of natural and vital health, including an accelerated pre-chiropractic track; four graduate programs in sport health science, clinical nutrition, positive psychology and athletic training; and the largest single-campus doctor of chiropractic program in the world. The uniqueness of LIFE’s campus atmosphere is more easily experienced than depicted in words, and they encourage all future students to come witness it for themselves. Be their guest on campus for an academic tour, LIFE Leadership Weekend or Eagle Madness Undergraduate Preview Day. 800-543-3202, life.edu n

• • •• • • • •

Excellence in Christcentered Education ACSI and SACS Accredited Affordable Tuition Low Student to Teacher Ratio Multi-Day Preschool options Competitive Athletic Program Rich Fine Arts Program Arrowsmith Cognitive Program Available

PARENT PREVIEW

PRESCHOOL - 8TH GRADE

Oct. 18th, 25th & Nov. 8th and 15th

770.751.1972

www.bridgewayca.org 4755 Kimball Bridge Road, Alpharetta, GA 30005

October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 37


Race-cation, please! written by HEATHER KW BROWN

Anyone doubting the old adage “When pigs fly” need not bother. I can confirm this as truth — at least, as it applies to Cincinnati. The winged character is what sent me, and 37,244 other runners from all 50 states and 20 other countries, to the city’s streets earlier this year. Before I race too far ahead, let me back up. As a travel writer who loves to run, I’ve merged these pastimes by signing up for races in different places. Over the years, I’ve realized many runners across the country are doing the same. From organized groups to families searching for vacations, these “race-cations” have become incredibly popular. Having recently talked both family and friends into joining me on these adventures, I’ve enlisted willing readers to tag along too. Even if running is only of interest in emergencies, this tour of Ohio and Montana might kindle your curiosity and inspire your next change of scenery.

o144

N.

A REASON TO

ROADTRIP Chronicles of Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio

T

HE STAIRS WERE TIGHT and twisted, but our determination did not wane. As we descended through a jackhammered hole into the underground tunnel, my mom and I exchanged a quick look. Equally nervous and excited, we’ve learned how these unexpected detours often become the stories we recount back home. For her, Cincinnati had been home until her teens and she had not been back in more than 50 years. When I realized the heart of downtown Cincinnati is a direct drive up I-75 from Atlanta, the decision was an easy one — she could retrace her youth while I created my own memories in her hometown one stride at a time.

PENGUINS AND PIGS ON THE MOVE Perhaps you wouldn’t expect to see penguins in a place dedicated to winged pigs but the 21c Museum Hotel was our headquarters. The boutique brand has 38 | POINTS NORTH | October 2017

established a reputation for engaging contemporary art and revitalizing American downtowns. In Cincinnati, 21c Museum Hotel now resides in what was formerly the Metropole Hotel, a century-old historic landmark that remains a beloved downtown architectural gem. Once inside, inspiration can be found from rotating exhibits to the penguins, color-specific for its location. Yellow penguins move freely and often in this locale, compliments of playful placement by creative guests. Penguins are just one way the hotel integrates joy and appreciation into a stay. The onsite restaurant, Metropole, magnifies this notion with menu options like the burnt carrot salad served with

avocado, pickled onion, feta, garlic chips and pumpkin seeds. So too, does Cocktail Terrace, the hotel’s rooftop bar, which not only provides fun drinks like poptails and adult slushies, it also comes with a great view of the city at night. Beautiful as it was, I’d come to see the surroundings from another perspective. From the moment flames shot through the torches at the start of the Flying Pig marathon to the Finish Swine in downtown, locals lined the course to cheer. Why is the race called The Flying PIg, you ask? Due to its stockyards and meatpacking industry in the 1800s, Cincinnati was dubbed “Porkopolis.” Word is that farmers and traders even ran pigs through the


streets of downtown. Fast forward to 1989 when an artist by the name of Andrew Leicester proposed to commemorate the city’s bicentennial with a four-winged pig atop a suspension bridge. After much debate whether the symbol would signify a dirty industry the city had outgrown or embrace the city’s spirited side, the snouts came out and pigs officially now fly. The

founders of the marathon aptly chose to stay high on the hog, and named the race accordingly.

THE CITY TOUR Next year marks the 20th anniversary of “The Pig,” which follows mostly a riverside course along the streets of Cincinnati, into Covington, Ky., and back for a city tour you

can’t book otherwise. While it would take many more miles to cover each of the 52 neighborhoods that comprise Cincinnati, the marathon routed us from downtown into highlights like East Walnut Hills, Hyde Park and Over-the-Rhine. The downtown area, where the race starts and finishes, is also home to Sotto, a traditional Italian trattoria tucked inside the basement of another restaurant. Chef and owner of both restaurants, David Falk is a Cincinnati native whose homemade pasta alone warrants an extended dinner, but should you do nothing else, go for Sotto’s out-of-this-world ricotta doughnuts. A few blocks the opposite direction is Mita’s. This restaurant from James Beard-nominated Chef Jose Salazar is named after his Colombian grandmother (his “mita”). The farm-inspired menu focuses on the foods of Spain and Latin America, and the tapas leaving the kitchen easily explain why people wait patiently for a table. In East Walnut Hills, O Pie O crafts pies that satisfy the appetites of runners and spectators alike, while Myrtle’s Punch House pours almost as much personality

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CINCINNATI CVB; FLYING PIG MARATHON

October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 39


into each drink as the venue itself. Days before the race, we sampled punch recipes dating back to the 1700s, as well as innovative newer creations. Through the open windows of The Woodburn Brewery across the street, I caught a glimpse of Hans Solo. Laughing at the thought, I insisted on investigating. Once inside, I realized the life-size cutout of the action hero was indeed propped at the bar and one of the brews on tap was called Hans Solo. The coffee-infused blonde ale, like the “Star Wars” movie itself, resulted in an immediate request for more. Dashing in and out of the Hyde Park neighborhood is easy, as it’s a quick twoblock span of high-end shopping, restaurants and a widely popular ice cream shop called Graeter’s. Of all the neighborhoods we explored, Over-the-Rhine (OTR) has the best comeback story. Nearly 45,000 immigrants, most of German descent, and roughly 38

breweries once inhabited this 2-square mile area. Prohibition and anti-German sentiment during the early part of the 20th century sent people packing and the area became a hub for miscreants. Thanks to a real-estate development organization that spent more than $250 million to revive it, OTR is now one of the largest intact urban historical districts in the country. Breweries are back with an official OTR Brewery District, along with upscale shops and restaurants as well as at nearby Findlay Market. As Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market, Findlay welcomes more than a million visitors a year. Debating between Maverick Chocolate Co. and Bretzel for a late afternoon treat, we opted for gourmet Bavarian-style pretzels, as it was the perfect tie to our American Legacy Tour. Ranked as one of the Top Five Underground Tours in the U.S. by National Geographic, this route takes curious visitors and locals alike

through OTR, explaining its history before descending three stories below the street into former lagering tunnels. Here is where we found ourselves anxiously squirreling down a dimly lit staircase. We listened as guides explained how more tunnels are being discovered and how it continues to transform the city of Cincinnati. Whether you prefer to trek through the city on foot or explore beneath it, Cincinnati has plenty of reasons for a road trip … or, in our case, a return trip.

CRUISING TO COLUMBUS Not quite ready to leave the Buckeye State, we resumed our course. Less than two hours later, we cruised into downtown Columbus. This time of the year is all about Ohio State football games, but during our visit, the buzz in central downtown revolved around the grand opening of Hotel LeVeque. One of the city’s most iconic

PHOTOS COURTESY OF EXPERIENCE COLUMBUS; CAMERON MITCHELL RESTAURANTS; MIKE BEAUMONT

40 | POINTS NORTH | October 2017


OHIO

buildings, its rich and storied past began in 1924 as the American Insurance Company and the historic LeVeque Tower has been lighting up the skyline of downtown Columbus ever since. The Tower now shines as a boutique beacon within the Autograph Collection, a member of Marriott Rewards. Coincidentally, it is also home to The Keep Liquor Bar, a modern French brasserie and bar concept courtesy of Atlanta-based Concentrics Restaurants. Calling Hotel LeVeque home for a couple of nights was a dream and played perfectly into the property’s theme. Replete with fine linens and marble-tiled bathrooms, the design literally reflected luxury with a VIP-turndown service that included bringing stars to light our room each evening.

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SHORT NORTH Besides football, Columbus is perhaps best known for having the third highest concentration of fashion designers in the country, behind New York and Los Angeles. Celebrated designer Celeste Malvar-Stewart frequently enables visitors to unleash their inner fashionista with a farm-to-fashion experience. Short on time, we simply went where we could find fashion. Essentially the stretch of High Street between downtown and The Ohio State University campus, the Short North area is home to indie coffee shops, craft breweries and notable restaurants sprinkled among more than 20 high-end shops like the Chunky Armadillo, Ladybird, Rowe and for retro wear, Smartypants Vintage and Royal Factory Atelier. After validating the shopping scene, we moseyed into Mukha Salon for a complete makeover. Mukha Cosmetics is the creation of internationally recognized make-up artist Tim Maurer whose work has been featured in the U.K. edition of Vogue, on global fashion runways and in feature films. We left with a handful of professional tips and a stylish, new look. Settling in for a stint at Wine on High,

Award-winning Chefs

Art

Where Atlanta Comes to Play!

Shopping

Wineries CLAYTON, GEORGIA IN RABUN COUNTY The Northeast Georgia Mountains CLAYTON MERCHANTS AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

www.downtowncl aytonga.org October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 41


OHIO

where patrons can sit back and sip or purchase and go, we waited for our table at the wildly popular Marcella’s. Atlanta has Ford Fry restaurants, while Columbus has iconic Cameron Mitchell restaurants. Regardless of which you choose, you’re guaranteed an incredible meal, as was the case for us at Marcella’s. We slowly but surely made our way from one side of the menu to the other, ending with arguably the best Tiramisu outside of Italy.

GERMAN VILLAGE

Much like our visit to Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine, the neighborhood known as German Village just south of Columbus, is rooted in history. As German immigrants arrived in the early 1800s, small lots were sold to them, and the community became “die alte sud ende” (the old south end). In 1959, Frank Fetch bought and restored a small cottage and the following year, he and a group of like-minded people established the German Village Society to rehabilitate the “Old South End.” Columbus officially recognized the historic preservation activities shortly thereafter and renamed the area German Village. Since 1960, more than 1,600 buildings have been restored, and today German Village is credited as one of the most premiere restoration districts in the world as well as one of the most desirable areas to live in the city. Walking the brick-paved streets, we admired the beautiful homes and wrought-iron fences surrounding them as we popped in and out of unique shops. We spent a significant amount of time inside Helen Winnemore’s. Founded in 1938, the shop is a haven for anyone with a penchant for custom-made gifts – from jewelry to kitchenware and cards, you’ll find it. For books, head to the Book Loft, one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores housed in pre-Civil War era buildings. Books are easy to find, but it is a challenge to find another bookworm among the 32 rooms. Coffee and food served as easy motivation for us to resume our tour of German Village. Among the many detours, we stopped at Stauf’s coffee for a much-needed caffeine kick, ventured into Vernacular for a wardrobe update and finally sunk into a booth at The Sycamore. The casual neighborhood tavern comes with a cool rustic vibe and an exceptionally high level of food.

Barry Wallis MBA realtor® 404-944-1000 BarryWallis@KW.com BarryWallisRealEstate.com

Packed with memories and memorabilia of Ohio, we headed back to the Atlanta ‘burbs, where conversation soon turned to another race-cation. cincinnatiusa.com flyingpigmarathon.com 21cmuseumhotels.com experiencecolumbus.com hotellevequecolumbus.com PHOTOS COURTESY OF VACATION RACES; SAMANTHA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

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MONTANA MOMENTS Going deep into God’s Country

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IKE AN OVERSIZED ROAD MAP, the state of Montana unfolds one section at a time, and the closer you get, the more beautiful the view. In a place graced with a moniker like “God’s Country,” possibilities among the mountains, meadows and valleys exceed every expectation. Finding a reason to visit is the easy part; narrowing the choices is not.

CROWN OF THE CONTINENT Often called the “Crown of the Continent,” Glacier National Park straddles the Continental Divide and spans a whopping 1,583 square miles. Best of all, it feels like the last of a wild frontier, just waiting to be tamed. Despite an increase in tourists over the years, Glacier enables hikers the peace and quiet of a trail to themselves with plenty of panoramas in every direction. My incessant chatter about this national park finally convinced one of my friends to join me. The catch, of course, was to run a race. Salem Stanley, founder of Vacation Races, had fortunately made that decision an easy one as well. His company encourages everyone to “run somewhere breathtaking” and they host more than 20 races of varying distances in and near national parks to help runners accomplish that goal. “I saw the growth of destination events and after further research, it looked like people were interested in running at the National Parks. I grew up outside of Zion National Park, so I gave it a shot. We see two main types of groups coming to the races: families (including childless or mature couples) and friend groups (girls trips),” Stanley explained. “What is interesting,” he continued, “is that 40 to 60 percent of our participants October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 43


use the races as a reason to visit for the first time. It’s really a stunning statistic.” Though I’d been to Glacier National Park more than 20 years ago, the idea of running a race in its proximity is precisely how my friend and I found ourselves running uphill surrounded by incredible views in Montana. The litany of logistics required to host thousands of runners inside a national park often keeps the race route just outside the lines, but we didn’t mind. The race was well organized and delivered on the promise of running somewhere breathtaking. Of course, we didn’t need much motivation to dedicate more time inside the park. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is an engineering marvel that has been one of the main draws for visitors over the years — the experience of traveling that road is unlike anything else. Even if you decide to drive it, I recommend one of the Red Bus Tours. These historic tours use bright red convertibles that wind their way along the glacially carved Garden Wall to the high-­ alpine regions of the park, past waterfalls, wildflowers and glaciers that experts estimate could be gone within a decade. When staying in East Glacier, the historic Izaak Walton Inn in Essex is the place to be. Originally built as housing for the workers of the Great Northern Railroad, the property offers 33 rooms in the lodge with another 33 rooms found among six family cabins, a locomotive and nine rail cars converted into tiny homes. Though each has a different layout, most sleep four to six. In addition to the onsite restaurant, aptly dubbed The Dining Car, the resort has other amenities like a sauna, hot tub, laundry facilities, a downstairs bar and space for kids as well as roughly 33 kilometers of ski trails, all accessible on property. While East Glacier is more remote, we found plenty to do in West Glacier.

KALISPELL’S KICKSTART Being the gateway to Glacier National Park may have originally been why visitors ventured into Kalispell, but this town is becoming its own frontier to explore. Among many reasons to spend time in the downtown area is the Kalispell Grand Hotel. One step inside is all it takes to yield an undeniable sense of yesteryear. Black44 | POINTS NORTH | October 2017


MONTANA and-white photos highlight the hotel’s history and are a stark contrast to looking outside the hotel’s windows today. When the doors first opened in 1912, downtown Kalispell boasted eight hotels. After changing hands a number of times, the Kalispell Grand remains the lone landmark hotel. The family-owned property is immediately warm and welcoming, in part because of the smell of freshly baked cookies wafting from the kitchen. The floors creak up the original wooden staircase, reminding those of us fortunate to stay that we are now a part of the hotel’s history. Proof that Kalispell is a town on the uptick is The Kalispell Brewing Company. The aging downtown building on Main Street is home to husband-and-wife Cole Schneider and Maggie Doherty’s 10-barrel brewery and tasting room, where locals and visitors alike flock for flights of small batch beer. We worked up an appetite sampling fun, ski-themed brews like Two Skis Brewskis Pils and Snowslip Stout. Small but mighty when it comes to dining options, Kalispell restaurants like Bonelli’s Bistro, Split Rock Cafe, Sykes Diner and 406 Bar & Grill sit atop local lists as fan favorites. We’d come for a true taste of Montana, so we settled into Hop’s Downtown Grill for an appetizer of grilled elk bratwurst. For my entrée, I made the delicious call of ordering the Spring Brook Ranch Yak Burger with Tibetan barbecue sauce, ginger and grilled onions. Don’t pass DeSoto Grill without stopping in for a bite of barbecue or Montana Coffee Traders, which serves healthy breakfast options and copious amounts of caffeine when a kick-start is necessary. Motivation beyond refueling isn’t needed around this town.

The quintessential Southern quail-hunting experience

DISCOVERY IN ALL DIRECTIONS Located in Montana’s Flathead Valley, Kalispell encourages discovery in every direction and for good reason. From museum tours to mountain bike trails, we stayed happily occupied for days. Housed in a Carnegie Library Building listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, the Hockaday Museum of Art embraces the beauty of its century-old building and preserves the artistic legacy of Montana PHOTOS COURTESY OF DONNIE SEXTON, MONTANA OFFICE OF TOURISM AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT; NOAH COUSER

LOCATED IN ALBANY, GEORGIA

229-889-0193

WynfieldPlantation.com October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 45


MONTANA

and Glacier National Park. Inside, guests will find a permanent collection of Glacier National Park art and artifacts as well as rotating exhibits by nationally renowned and emerging artists. For visitors that enjoy perusing beautiful homes, a tour of the Conrad Mansion is an absolute must. Similar to taking a tour of the Biltmore, we learned the history of the mansion, the family and PHOTO COURTESY OF TOM ROBERTSON

46 | POINTS NORTH | October 2017

how both have evolved since 1895 when the family first moved into the three-story, 13,000-square-foot home. Furnished with 26 rooms and eight sandstone fireplaces, the house and the craftsmanship within is a lost art today. Filled with 90 percent of the family’s original furnishings, the home was donated by Alicia Ann Conrad, the youngest daughter, as a museum to her parents’ legacy.

Pedaling its own way onto Kalispell’s list of attractions is Wheaton’s Cycles. From typical tune-ups to trail rides of varying lengths and difficulty, the town’s oldest bike shop continues to establish its own legacy. Bicycle expert Hans Axelsen and his wife Jeni recently took over as proud owners. Essentially a concierge of bike experiences, Wheaton’s makes hopping on a bike fun for all ages and experience levels. A brief 10 minutes from downtown Kalispell, Herron Park is home to approximately 440 acres ready to transport riders into new territory along the Foy’s to Blacktail trails. After a fun trek through the woods, we continued through Flathead Valley over to Lakeside and then to Big Fork, which is a happening little town full of charm right on Flathead Lake. PN discoverkalispell.com nps.gov/glac/index.htm vacationraces.com


October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 47


Women’s Health

S P E C I A L A DV E RTIS ING S E C T ION

Women’s Health: TURNING the TABLES ON CANCER

written by POINTS NORTH ATLANTA STAFF

written by JENNIFER COLOSIMO

LESS THAN 13 PERCENT of women diagnosed with breast cancer achieve recommended levels of physical activity each week. While you may not think that’s a big deal, a subtle change in regimen can make a life-changing impact on their future. That’s the message that TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation sends to women. As the only non-profit of its kind in the area, their mission is to focus on rehabilitation and quality of life for women with breast cancer. TurningPoint offers physical and massage therapy, counseling, nutritional counseling, exercise classes and educational programs at their Sandy Springs clinic to help breast cancer patients and survivors feel better following the treatments they have endured. “More research is emerging on this topic all the time, with evidence showing the real benefits that a healthy lifestyle can

48 | POINTS NORTH | October 2017

have on a patient recovering from breast cancer,” said Rebecca Cowens-Alvarado, the program’s new executive director. “For starters, weight management and an active lifestyle help improve patient outcomes and reduce the risk of recurrence, manage lymphedema, help reduce side effects like neuropathy, pain, fatigue, osteoporosis, and it can reduce mortality.” TurningPoint helps women regain range of motion, strength and functionality — in essence, “what makes women who they are,” said Cowens-Alvarado. That includes getting women back to a place of normalcy, like being able to lift their kids, work in the garden, play tennis and more. Cowens-Alvarado spent 18 years working with American Cancer Society and has a personal connection to the disease as well, having lost several family members to cancer.

“There was a real draw toward working with cancer for me, and I love the work that TurningPoint is doing to impact the Atlanta community,” she said. Making it easy for women to access the recovery resources they need from professionals is one of the benefits TurningPoint offers. It’s also affordable, offering reduced-cost services to women who are uninsured or whose insurance doesn’t cover some of the expenses. The atmosphere is comfortable, serene and personalized. As the organization marks its 14th year, Cowens-Alvarado said that part of the long-term vision of TurningPoint is to expand and offer their unique services in a bigger way or in other places geographically. In either case, it could be a real turning point for many women. PN myturningpoint.org


Women’s Health

DO I NEED TO GET MY VARICOSE VEINS TREATED? The short answer is “it depends.” If your leg has symptoms such as aching, pain, throbbing, heaviness, tiredness, night cramps, swelling or blood clots, then yes, it is recommended that the varicose veins be treated. In this situation, there is a medical indication for treatment and insurance companies usually authorize treatment. If your leg has no symptoms (asymptomatic) then the varicose veins are considered a cosmetic issue and do not need to be treated for health reasons. Insurance companies do not cover cosmetic treatment of varicose veins or spider veins. Of course, asymptomatic varicose veins can still be treated to eliminate the cosmetic concern, but the cost would be out of pocket. Most varicose veins are caused by a condition called venous insufficiency (also called venous reflux). Thorough treatment of varicose veins includes treating the venous insufficiency of the underlying vein that is “feeding” the varicose vein. The good news is that varicose veins and venous insufficiency are not dangerous conditions. They do not cause strokes, heart attacks, heart disease or high blood pressure. They are not a major cause of deep vein thrombosis (a dangerous type of blood clot), although sometimes a superficial vein thrombosis can occur in a varicose vein (usually not dangerous, but quite painful). For more information, consult a vein specialist.

678-214-4299, veinatlanta.com

THE CURE FOR MELANOMA BEGINS WITH ME The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) with local main sponsor, Dermatology Associates of Georgia, LLC, invites you to the Miles for Melanoma Walk and Run in Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Atlantic Station. This event is nationally 50 | POINTS NORTH | October 2017

S P E C I A L A DV E RTIS ING S E C T ION

presented by Bristol-Myers Squibb and locally presented by Dermatology Associates of Georgia. Melanoma is the deadliest and fastest growing form of skin cancer. Miles for Melanoma is the way people come together to take action and help support this fight and the mission of the MRF. Every step matters and every step counts. There is more to be done and a long way to go, but the finish line is in sight. The energy, enthusiasm and encouragement from Miles for Melanoma teams and participants impact many lives and many futures. This year’s Atlanta event goal is to exceed $35,000. At Dermatology Associates of Georgia, LLC (DAG) our mission is to provide our patients with the very best options for skin care treatment and disease prevention. With five metro Atlanta locations, our 11 board certified dermatologists and six board certified physician assistants provide a broad variety of medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatologic services. DAG also has four certified and highly trained aestheticians.

404-321-4600, dermga.com

COLON CANCER SCREENING SAVES LIVES

Having a colonoscopy isn’t something people get excited about, but preventing colon cancer before it starts should be. According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. – but also the most preventable. Screening colonoscopies are recommended beginning at age 50, and younger for those with a family history or other risk factors. During the procedure, a trained gastroenterologist checks for any signs of cancer and removes existing polyps that may turn into cancer over time. If it’s time for your screening and you’re in good health, you may be able to directly schedule your procedure without a pre-procedure visit. When you make your appointment, ask about our Direct Access Program at Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates.

770-622-4412, www.atlantagastro.com


Women’s Health

GET THE BEST POSSIBLE CARE, STAT One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her lifetime, making breast cancer the second most prevalent cancer that affects women. The process from diagnosis and treatment to remission can be arduous, but Wellstar confronts these challenges head on with nurse navigators. Part of a multidisciplinary team of skilled surgeons, medical oncologists, oncology nurses, nutritionists, social workers and counselors, these nurse navigators guide patients through the process from diagnosis to post-treatment follow up. Tracy Drake, a 46-year-old mother of two teenage girls, says her nurse navigator was by her side both physically and emotionally throughout

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S P E C I A L A DV E RTIS ING S E C T ION

her treatment. “My nurse navigator got everything moving very quickly, coordinating all my appointments and treatments,” said Drake. “She has been with me every step of the way. She even went with me for my genetic testing.” Navigators work with patients like Drake who have a variety of cancers. They foster communication among the care team, helping patients establish a support network with family and friends. They also connect patients with community programs, such as arranging transportation to and from appointments when family members and friends are not available. And when patients get that incredible news that no cancer is detected on their latest scans, navigators can help them transition to post-treatment care. “I’m so grateful. Without my nurse navigator, I wouldn’t have known what to do,” said Drake.

770-751-2720, wellstar.org


North Pointe OB/GYN “Our approach to medicine is simply providing exceptional care to women so that there are good outcomes for both mom and baby.” Meet the Physicians

• Robert R. Barrett, M.S., M.D. FACOG, is board certified by the

• •

American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He was former chairman of the Department of Surgery and a member of the Ethics Board at Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Washington. Nancy M. Walsh, M.D., MPH, FACOG, is board certified in OB/ GYN and has been serving the area for five years. Originally from Rochester, N.Y., she moved to this thriving community to raise her family while pursuing her goal of providing healthcare to all women. She enjoys educating her patients on the constantly evolving evidenced-based changes in health. Dr. Angela C.B. Walker, M.D., FACOG, is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She sees women of all ages and offers prenatal care, help with high risk and twin pregnancies, VBACs and minimally invasive options for surgical management. She also provides contraception options, menopausal management and IUDs. Gretchen Mitchell, M.D., FACOG, provides adolescent and adult gynecologic care with a compassionate touch. She spent more than a decade working with world-renowned urogynecologists, broadening her knowledge of women’s health. She specializes in hormone replacement and individualized treatment. Sean J. Lambert, M.D., FACOG, is a Chicago native, and the son of a retired OB/GYN. He received his medical degree from Emory University and now serves on the Northside Hospital Executive Committee. Dr. Lambert is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

770-886-3555

1800 NORTHSIDE FORSYTH DRIVE, SUITE 350 | CUMMING, GA 30041 81 NORTHSIDE DAWSON DRIVE, SUITE 305 | DAWSONVILLE, GA 30534

npobgyn.com

Women’s Health

S P E C I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S E C T ION

DO I NEED TO SEE MY GYNECOLOGIST EVERY YEAR? In the last several years HPV testing has become part of routine screening for pre-cancer/cancer of the cervix, which has made the pap smear more accurate. So the interval between pap smears can be more than a year, but the American College of OB/GYN still recommends an annual pelvic and breast exam. So, the answer is, yes! Premier Care for Women offers focused health services for women, by women. At your annual visit, the team at Premier Care for Women can provide services recommended by The American College of OB/GYN – including the annual pelvic examination, orders for annual mammography, blood pressure, measurements, body mass index calculations and STD/colon cancer/bone density testing as needed. The physicians take the time to listen to your needs and concerns, so you can visit with the confidence that you will be listened to.

404-257-0170, premiercareforwomen.com

COMPREHENSIVE OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY PRACTICE North Pointe OB/GYN serves the residents of Cumming and the surrounding areas. Their team is made up of dedicated physicians, certified nurse-midwives and medical support staff. Together they work hard to make your visits to their office educational and enjoyable. By providing individualized care and open lines of communication, they promote health and wellness for women in all stages of life. Whether you come into their office for a prenatal visit or an annual exam, you will be treated with the utmost care and respect.

770-886-3555, npobgyn.com 54 | POINTS NORTH | October 2017


October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 55


Two-Hundred

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writtenbybyLAUREN CHRISTINE KIRK written VASTINE

Nodding to their ever-changing charm and steady draw, we’re highlighting ways to spend 200 minutes in a different Points North Atlanta community for each of our 2017 issues. Whether you spend all 200 minutes in one place or divvy it up to discover several, enjoying your time in this neighborhood starts now.

SITUATED AT THE NORTHERN TIP of Fulton County is Milton, a young town incorporated 11 years ago by combining the former communities of Birmingham, Fields Cross Roads and Crabapple. As I took in the pastoral expanses in between winding drives that lead to family farms, I got the sense that this picturesque community is incongruous to the bustling neighbors east and south of here. “Downtown” Milton, amidst quiet neighborhoods, schools and churches, is a charming town center near the Crabapple Crossroads with neatly manicured sidewalks and a walkability that encourages exploration. Refurbished country-style cottages and newly painted farmhouses are the faces of its small businesses, shops and boutiques. These are complemented by newer structures like Crabapple Market, a mixed-use development of crimson brick accented with dark wood paneling and wrought iron, which fronts the new City Hall. I set out to do some exploring, a little shopping and to meet the residents and business owners of Milton to find out what they love most about their town.

146 NUMBER

ARTFUL SPREADS

Cheese fanatics rejoice! A pale yellow storefront with white trim sits off Birmingham Highway and is home to Cheeses & Mary, a specialty shop packed with artisanal

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cheeses, jams and handcrafted gifts. You can easily spend a good amount of time perusing the thoughtfully selected inventory, and there’s nothing generic about this shop or its owner.

Anthony Bourdain once said, “You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money and your time in cheese.” After meeting Mary Mayer, I would have to agree. A friendly, petite brunette with purple-rimmed glasses, Mayer gushes about her passions: cheese, small business and supportive communities. From Connecticut, Mayer moved to Georgia eight years ago where the idea for her unique shop came to her. “When I started Cheeses & Mary, the whole purpose was to support the local, small-batch producer,” she explained. After engaging in the rapidly growing farmto-table scene, she became passionate about supporting local producers. “If you sell cheese, you’re supporting these people on an everyday basis,” she remembered thinking. Her shop carries artisan cheeses by local and small producers that you won’t find anywhere else. More than unique, these cheeses are delicious. Top sellers include “Barely Buzzed” by the Beehive Cheese Company. This cheese with an espresso and lavender rind has won awards at both the American Cheese Society competition and the World Cheese Awards. Another favorite is “Greenhill” by Sweet Grass Dairy of Thomasville.

Sweet Grass products bear the mark “Barn Free,” which means the animals are raised in open-pasture year round. Mayer said, “you can taste the soil, you can taste the grass; it is unadulterated.” She pointed out a freshly stocked shipment of “Capra Gia” from Carrollton. This goat cheese comes in a variety pack of flavors and it’s just off the delivery truck. “It’s almost like I’m on the farm, that’s how fresh it is,” she said. No lengthy chain of buyers and sellers to contend with, everything is straight from the source, passing only through Mayer’s hands into yours. In addition to cheese, the shop sells locally made art, gifts and other artisanal edibles. For an easy $20 gift, she suggests pairing Fairywood Thicket strawberry lavender jam with Angel Lane shortbread. Some beautiful pottery nearby caught my eye, which she said is made by her friend and local potter, Teri Truitt. In typical small-town fashion, Truitt dropped by soon after to let Mayer know she’ll fire her kiln soon and bring more pottery for the shop. I also noticed some delicately embroidered linens on display. They’re handmade by Reclaimed Linen, a company run by a North Carolina artisan who repurposes discarded fabrics into fully


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To BIRMINGHAM PARK, SCOTTSDALE FARMS & BARNYARD SPIRITS

HELLO LOVELY

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functional linens. And they’re only available at Cheeses & Mary. I shamelessly dug into the cheese tasting at the front of the shop. Flavored jams are there for pairing, displayed on a marble pedestal. “I got that at Urban Farmhouse,” Mayer revealed. She tells many of her customers about Kim Hirsch’s shop, which is just around the corner. “We want to help the people, who like us, are trying to fulfill their dream,” she said. Speaking generally on that subject, Mayer emphasized that community support is key for small ventures like hers. “If you want all these cool little shops, then you have to shop there. If you want to eat jams that were made yesterday in someone’s jam pot the old-fashioned way, then you have to buy them,” she said. This is what got her started in this business. “I fell in love with food, and I love

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Cheeses & Mary

PHOTO COURTESY OF LIZ ERIKSON

October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 57


Two-Hundred MINUTES IN ... MILT O N

The cycling clientele that come to Whitetail value the personal service. “They like the non-corporate, nonchain,” Huysamen said. “Bike shops are very tough because of online bike sales and Amazon. We don’t appeal to that. The people that come here want to buy from a local store, and they want to have that personal interaction. They call me at night. They have my cell-phone number.”

Whitetail Bicycles

the people who are going back to doing it the right way,” she said. Why is this philosophy so representative of Milton as a whole? “We still have vistas here,” she said of her new home. “There are many people intent on preserving the rural aspects of Milton, and let’s hope they all succeed.”

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GETTING IN GEAR Milton is no Mayberry, but it seems far away from Atlanta. Finding Milton to be “small, kind-of-quaint,” Shaune Huysamen opened Whitetail Bicycles here, part bike shop and part café. It seems an unusual combination, but I gladly sipped a Stumptown espresso while browsing the

selection of bikes by brands like Seven Cycles, Parlee Cycles and Cannondale. “The reason I opened is that I just wanted to do something different,” said Huysamen. Bike shops often double as a hangout in places like South Africa, Colorado and California, according to Huysamen, who moved here from Capetown, South Africa 18 years ago. “After school, South Africans typically go to Europe for a year before college. I came to America and never went back,” he said. As far as Milton goes, he said he likes “the small-town feel. It’s the way of life, perfect for riding.” Whitetail is notable for its American-made bikes, specialty brands and adorable kids’ cycles. Everything is high-end or custom made. “The biggest build we’ve done was a tandem (twoperson) titanium bike made

in Boston,” he said. “It was handmade, exactly to their specifications.” I asked about repairing my bike, a yellow 1976 Schwinn Paramount. He told me that a couple times a month people might bring in a vintage bike. “We like to do different stuff that other people don’t want to do,” he said. In customary beat-ofhis-own-drum fashion, Huysamen surprised local officials when he applied for an alcohol license. Soon he’ll be adding a few craft beers to the mix. People can come hang out, or even have a seat and do some work. “We have some people that don’t cycle at all, they just come for coffee,” he said. Others sometimes wander in to chat with Wayne Nix, mechanic and sales associate often recognized as former cast member on Discovery Channel’s “Moonshiners.”

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SADDLING UP The scenery of Milton beckons you outdoors. With several public parks for hikers, joggers and nature-lovers, Milton also caters to a large equestrian community. The welcome sign greets you with the silhouette of a galloping horse. Their Publix, with a barn-like exterior, is flush with horse-themed décor and is no stranger to locals shopping in riding gear. “Everywhere you drive in Milton you are surrounded by bucolic, verdant pastures filled with some of the most gorgeous horses,” said Melinda McBrayer, an equestrian property specialist that lives and rides in Milton. She PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTINE KIRK

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Scottsdale Farms

also pointed out the strong sense of community between horse-lovers that is evident all over town. As a rider, she finds Milton ideal for its proximity to equestrian venues, facilities and suppliers. Venues nearby, like Foxcroft Farm Equestrian Center, offer lessons and competition training. She loves Milton’s proximity to Wills Park Equestrian Venue, and that Birmingham Park offers riding trails and parking for large horse trailers. Also, she felt right at home attending nearby Birmingham Methodist Church. “I joined because the first time I visited, I found it to be the only church I’ve ever attended where you had equestrians

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dressed in their finest horse show attire on their way to Wills Park to compete,” she remembered. Professionally she helps her clients find the ideal equestrian property, whether they want something smaller for one or two horses, or they’re looking for a working horse farm with rings and riding pasture. And Milton is just right for those interests. But she’s also excited to participate in Mayor Joe Lockwood’s newly formed Equestrian Committee. This committee will focus on ways to keep Milton a flourishing equestrian community. So be on the lookout for new horse trails and more reasons to get in the saddle.

Milton Cuisine & Cocktails

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FARM TO FORK Horse and farm themed décor is rampant at Scottsdale Farms. The 12,000-square foot timber frame barn is massive enough to keep you browsing (and dreaming) for hours. But this landmark is

more than an interior design store. What began as a side gig is now a 65-acre fully functioning farm. In 1982, Luca Gianturco started a small business of Christmas tree lots to help pay for college. Now he and his family run Scottsdale Farms, which has expanded into a hub for all-things-horticulture. You can arrange custom landscaping for your home (or farm), order floral arrangements or consult


Kathleen’s Catch

on-site interior designers. It’s truly a one-stop shop. Scottsdale Farms serves as a gathering place during the holidays. October brings the Pumpkin Patch, and everything else needed for fall decorating. True to its humble beginnings, Scottsdale has a huge selection of Christmas trees throughout the season, including an assortment of evergreens suited to the Georgia climate. I’ll be stopping by this December for a live tree I can plant again after Christmas. But, this time, I came for the produce. Scottsdale runs its own vegetable garden year-round and sells its veggies right inside the barn. The on-site café, Bella Luna, incorporates them into its Italian-inspired menu as well. For a quick bite, grab a smoothie or the Veggie Farm Salad. If you’re making a day of it (which is easy to do), arrive early for the Quiche of the Day, made with the eggs from their resident hens. I chose the Adult Grilled Cheese, which was stuffed with a thick, juicy slice of tomato bursting with sunny flavor.

Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails is another neighborhood staple that takes the “farm to fork” concept quite literally. Chef Derek Dollar’s locally sourced, seasonal menu uses fresh produce every day from their own garden, Milton’s Acre. The menu focuses on freshness with creative touches of Southern flair. ​ Dollar encourages first-time diners to try his grilled pork tenderloin, with creamed corn grits and jalapeno honey, or his signature pickle-brined fried chicken, which is only offered on special occasions. Earlier this year, Dollar and his crew began offering Milton’s Prime Cuts menu. Tasting each purveyors’ steaks side by side, Revere Meats won the battle and Milton’s now serves their six- and nineounce filets, an aged 14-ounce grass-fed Delmonico ribeye, a 16-ounce dry aged bone-in New York strip (which is sliced and pulled from the bone for ease of attack), and Milton’s signature ​Wagyu flank steak. While the Prime Cuts add great allure to the entrée offerings, it’s still Dollar’s attention

to accoutrements that gives Milton’s dining experience added sizzle. Loud Mouth Farm’s mushroom confit with truffle essence is meaty and hearty, and a revelation. His duxelles truffle butter​is an exquisite accompaniment to both filet or strip, and the smoked Gouda creamed spinach with crispy shallots or charred Brussels sprouts and apples with cracked mustard-sherry bacon vinaigrette are welcome additions to any table. Dollar’s unique mac-ncheese also yields wide grins. Personally, I am looking forward to their monthly Garden Series. Milton’s Acre is a serene backdrop for these four-course dinners, paired with wine. This experience offers a chance to see where Milton’s vegetables are grown,

an uncommon intimacy for diners.

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FRESH CATCHES I’ve spent years working in upscale restaurants and dabbling as chef de cuisine in my own kitchen, so I place a great importance on the quality and source of ingredients. Once you’ve tasted the good stuff, your palate won’t let you turn back. So, Kathleen’s Catch was a must-visit for me. Kathleen Hulsey opened this fresh seafood market in 2015, in addition to her already successful location in Johns Creek. She sources

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October 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 61


Two-Hundred MINUTES IN ... MILT O N

her products directly through Inland Seafood, the largest distributor in the Southeast, thereby significantly reducing the time it takes to go from the dock to your plate. Delivered fresh daily (except Sundays), everything comes from strictly controlled fisheries focused on sustainability and being responsible stewards of the environment. You won’t find this quality at the grocery store. You also won’t find Jon Beatty, the Catch’s resident chef. Born and raised just 10 minutes away, Beatty remembers the locally iconic Silos being a lot bigger. “All this,” he said, gesturing beyond the shop, “this was all farmland when I was a kid. Atlanta’s too big, it’s growing too fast.” After training at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, Beatty worked abroad, honing his culinary skills in Italy and France. He’s lived all over: New York, Chicago, California. The irony that he’s come back to his hometown as a fishmonger does not escape him, he mentioned jokingly. But quality food is his obvious passion, and in this industry that makes an impact. “There is a huge trust factor, and we work diligently every day to be sure we are providing the very best products available. We know where it comes from and what it tastes like. And to be sure we can tell you the best ways to prepare it, we have Chef Jon,”

Milton Library

said Hulsey. A chalkboard sign by the entrance lists the schedule for Beatty’s upcoming cooking demonstrations. He teaches seafood preparations that are delicious and easy to recreate at home. His favorite dish so far is a monkfish picatta. Overhearing this, another employee popped his head up from below the counter to enthusiastically confirm its

deliciousness. “Yeah, I made it for him,” laughed Beatty. For people on the run, Beatty prepares “Catch-to-Go” meals, which are fresh, healthy and easy-to-make meals for people that don’t have time to cook (or maybe just don’t feel like it.) “Also, we’re going to start doing ready-to-eat poké bowls soon,” he added. If you’re wondering about

the giant freezer, “it holds a treasure trove of fish,” Hulsey explained. After two days, anything not sold is frozen and offered at a discount. This practice maintains their high standard of quality, reduces waste and keeps their prices reasonable. “You can pick up fresh fish for dinner tonight and get some frozen for dinner tomorrow.” Don’t mind if I do. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTINE KIRK

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TIGHT-KNIT COMMUNITY I’ve found that Milton is a city where you can easily make friends. Mary Mayer readily recommends Urban Farmhouse to her customers. Also, she shares a retail space with trendy boutique Hello Lovely, frequently making owner Kris McCorstin a guinea pig in her cheese and jam tastings. When I mentioned that I was going to visit The Friends Barn, Mayer listed off some volunteers I could speak with, and McCorstin remembered that she has a bag of books she’s been meaning to go donate. The Friends Barn was built across from the Milton Public Library in 2015 by a team of inspired residents and volunteers. The non-profit organization Friends of the Milton Library raises funds to support the library and its community services and

programs. One way of fundraising is through The Barn, which houses a collection of donated, gently read books for sale. Upon arrival, I was delighted to see the sign out front that said “Fill a Bag for $10.” I had no problem with this challenge, filling mine with several historical-fiction novels, a collection of essays on Chaucer and a book on travel writing. Coincidentally, Bourdain was propped up in a corner staring at me from the cover of Kitchen Confidential, so into the bag it went as well. The books are neatly categorized, and the selection is diverse. I saw everything from biographies and non-fiction novels to cookbooks and travel guides on the shelves. The Friends volunteers take turns running the book sale, as well as organizing the shelves, managing donations and maintaining The Barn. Book sales are held every Wednesday and the second Saturday of each month for extended hours. With such a fabulous amount of donations, the stock is ever

changing. I make a note to return, next time with a bag of books to add to the collection.

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NEIGHBORHOOD SPIRIT The world of software is an ever-changing business with many shades of grey. Milton resident David Essary engages in that world every day, so buying a wine and spirits store presents other challenges. But next to the Shell station on Birmingham Highway and the four-way stop with Hickory Flat Road is his store, Barnyard Spirits. “The closest store is 7.5 miles from us. We consider ourselves the village or community store for Milton, at least for the western half, which has more farms and neighborhoods than commercial businesses,” Essary said. “It has been great to connect with neighbors and people that we hadn’t met previously.”

Saving neighbors a trip to national retail chains in high-traffic areas is part of a solid business model. Another aspect is stocking shelves with spirits distilled locally or within the region, and wines that simply aren’t available at the local grocery stores. “The reason my wife and I bought this store is to meet more of our neighbors and to become more involved with community and charitable events. We felt there was a need for a store that would carry unique, esoteric and exclusive wines that aren’t carried in the supermarket,” Essary said. “We have developed a similar philosophy with some of our spirits, asking our suppliers to bring us products from regional or local distilleries. We have had great feedback from the community about that program, particularly with brands like Southern Vodka from Thirteenth Colony Distilleries in Americus.” Barnyard’s customers have taken to the quality and appealing price of that vodka. Later this month, Essary

THE MELDING OF QUAINT AND CASUAL

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David Essary

will unveil a wine club for Milton and Crabapple residents that will offer exclusive brands and no monthly or annual fees. Customers will taste four wines per month and can preorder as few or as many bottles as they wish of each. “This is a way to give all of us that live in Milton and nearby an opportunity to meet our neighbors and get to know each other better in a relaxed, casual setting,” he said.

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WORD OF MOUTH Surely it’s been more than 200 minutes by now. But so

many recommendations have steered me successfully thus far, so there are a few more stops I can’t miss. Urban Farmhouse is a haven for people with unique, rustic style. This restored 19th century farmhouse is the perfect setting for the home décor collection curated by interior designer Kim Hirsch, and every display from wall to wall is eye-catching. She also offers design services if you want to get it straight from the source. Of course, you’ll find plenty of local art and jewelry throughout the brilliant stagings. The aforementioned Hello Lovely is adorably sandwiched between Cheeses & Mary and Blencoe & Co. Photo Studio. They carry

a handpicked selection of stylish ensembles as well as artfully crafted jewelry from local artisans. Owners Kris McCorstin and Barbara Mahoney originally met as expats in Belgium, where they opened a small store together. Meeting up years later back in the States, they joined forces again, much to our luck. You’ll find the perfect outfit here, or two (or three!), and you’ll have such lovely guides along the way. All this shopping is bound to stir up an appetite, so I finished my quest at the local watering hole I’ve heard so much about. The Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub is a popular spot to grab a drink and get your Irish fix. I devoured the bangers and mash, which did

not disappoint, and browsed the large selection of craft beers, landing on an IPA from Wicked Weed Brewing (Asheville, N.C.). The people at the long high-top community table behind me were clearly enjoying themselves, laughing and occasionally making boisterous comments about the high school team, the Milton Eagles. I feel like a local already. PN cheesesandmary.com whitetailcycles.com mcbrayerassociates. bhhsgeorgia.com foxcroftfarm.net willspark.com cityofmiltonga.us scottsdalefarms.com miltonscuisine.com kathleenscatch.com miltonlibraryfriends.org barnyardspirits.com crabapplemarketga.com hellolovelyatl.com oldeblinddog.com PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID ESSARY

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June 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 65


Off the PAGE

@southernbakedpie

GO OCTOBER

21

MARIETTA SQUARE will host the annual arts and crafts celebration HarvestFest Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You’ll want to bring the whole family to enjoy Scarecrows on the Square and Halloween Happenings. Kids will be thrilled with carnival games and activities, costume contests, prizes and more. Plus, dress up your four-legged friend for the pet costume contest. It’s the perfect chance to enjoy the cool fall weather and check out the huge collection of unique items from local artists and craftsmen. marietta.com/harvestfest

POST What an exciting, busy day for us at Southern Baked Pie Company. Our founder, Amanda Wilbanks, was awarded the Business Person of Excellence with the @northfultonchamber & raced over to the pie shop shortly after for an interview with @pointsnorthatl What a wonderful day! We are truly Celebrating Life with Pie #shoplocal #celebratelifewithpie #atlfoodie #atleats

OCTOBER

Jamie Czermak Roney: We voted! Yay Lara! Our family is thankful for the awareness you bring and time you spend advocating for Driving Miss Desi and other kiddos living with cystic fibrosis. Thank you! Thanks Points North Magazine for sharing and inviting us to vote.

Sarina Rowley Roth: Thank you, Points North Magazine, for sharing our story! #downtownbraselton #tourjacksoncounty #happybirthdaybarbara #braseltontowngreen #braseltonga

Search more local happenings at pointsnorthatlanta.com/calendar-of-events Send submissions a full two months in advance to  calendar@pointsnorthatlanta.com

ATLANTA’S LARGEST hot air balloon festival and costume party, Owl-O-Ween, takes place in Kennesaw, Friday from 6-11 p.m. and Saturday from 4-11 p.m. More than 20 spectacular hot air balloons will inflate each day, and you can take advantage of six tethered balloon rides. Live entertainment, a costume contest, roving performers and trick-or-treating will get everyone in the fall spirit. The enormous food court offers plenty of options and adults will enjoy the selection of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, craft and German beers available throughout the grounds. owl-o-ween.com

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SEND We love to hear feedback from readers! Get in touch by email at editorial@pointsnorthatlanta.com.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF KRISTEN MCAFEE; DV PHOTO; ADOBESTOCK.COM

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October 2017 Issue