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June 2014 ISSUE 23 • FREE



Most Intriguing

Mansions Melanie Turner’s “Downton Abbey of Atlanta” and 3 other stately homes you’ve long wondered about BONUS: Haunted homes and picturesque doors

Summer Sippin’


“A Bank That Supports My Passion” “At both Souper Jenny and Café Jonah, my vision is to create a friendly and inviting environment for my customers and staff. I want every customer to feel like they are a personal guest in my home. All of our soups, salads and sandwiches are made fresh every day. I’m glad I get that same level of warm and personal service from my bank. Georgia Commerce Bank has supported me every step of the way helping me to build my business. It’s wonderful to walk into a bank and feel right at home. Georgia Commerce Bank may just be the right ingredient for your business success.” — Jenny Levison, Owner Souper Jenny and Café Jonah

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P.O. Box 429 100 Springfield Dr. Woodstock, GA 30188 (678) 388-5400


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Bone marrow transplants that result in world travel.

Northside Hospital Cancer Institute’s survival rates are among the highest in the country for bone marrow transplants. That’s for both related and unrelated donors. It’s one reason why so many people from across the country trust Northside with their cancer care. Northside has seen thousands of cancer survivors walk out their doors. And then, go just about anywhere. For help finding a cancer specialist, call 404-531-4444.

Where the Extraordinary Happens Every Day



JUNE 2014

Photos: Sara Hanna Photography

PLUS: Haunted homes and picturesque doors

[ C OV E R S T ORY ]



Contents [ F E AT U RE S ]

30 20 22 52

[ DE PA RT M E N T S ]




Designed with green living in mind, this Buckhead home is a healthy haven for the entire family





TRAVEL NEAR: LAND OF LEGENDS Summer fun in Blowing Rock


TRAVEL FAR: UN-FINNISHED ROMANCE Design-rich Helsinki a visually arresting mix of old and new

SNAPSHOTS OF HISTORY Exhibit recaptures moments of Buckhead’s past


Four bridal pieces worth swooning over

WHOLESOME & HEAVENLY Buttermilk Kitchen mixes sweet and savory to delicious effect Photo: Sara Hanna Photography

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 



Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven, and Sandy Springs JUNE 2014 | ISSUE 23 P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355 www.simplybuckhead.com For advertising rates call: 404-538-9895

Publisher and Founder

[ B E H I N D T H E C OV E R ]

Joanne Hayes Chief Financial Officer

Sonny Hayes Editor-In-Chief

Giannina Smith Bedford Creative Director

Alan Platten Associate Photo Editor

Sandra Platten

Rain showers at our first cover shoot forced us to take shelter in the magnificent interior of the storied Calhoun Estate. The weather was a blessing in disguise as Chief Photographer Sara Hanna captured quixotic images of homeowner and interior designer Melanie Turner in the doorway of the library. While waiting out the rain we also had the pleasure of touring the rooms of the exquisite mansion while Turner recounted the home’s colorful history and helped us imagine the residence after its planned renovation. “We want to keep the integrity of the home, but bring it to presentday reality,” she explained. We returned to the “Pink Castle” two days later to shoot Turner lounging in the now-dry backyard with her majestic home as the backdrop. As the camera’s shutter opened and closed, each photo seemed even more beautiful than the ones that came before. Once we said our goodbyes, we made Turner promise to invite us back for the home’s post-renovation unveiling. “Of course!” she replied.

Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Cheryl Isaacs cheryl.isaacs@simplybuckhead.com

Account Executive

Kyle Wilcox Garges kyle.garges@simplybuckhead.com

Director of Audience Development

Betsy Harvey betsy.harvey@simplybuckhead.com

Contributing Writers

Kate Abney Andrew Alexander Marie Bartlett Wendell Brock H.M. Cauley Carly Cooper Jennifer Bradley Franklin Natalie Mae Fressell Judy Garrison Catherine O’Connor Hough Olivia Putnal Kate Parham Kelly Skinner Karina Timmel Chief Photographer

Sara Hanna www.sarahanna.com Photographer

Lynn Crow Graphic Designer

Gvantsa Giorgobiani

Producer: Giannina Smith Bedford Chief Photographer: Sara Hanna

Copy Editor

Hair: New Talents • Makeup: Nikole Morrow Pettus for Van Michael Salon Furniture: Stanton Home Furnishings Earrings: LA Stein

Legal Counsel

Ellen Glass Scott I. Zucker

We welcome all contributions, but we assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. No portion of this publication can be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. Copyright © 2014 by Simply Buckhead®. All rights reserved. Printed by Walton Press, Inc. Distributed by Distributech, Network Communications, Inc., and Distribution Services Group.


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

FIND US ONLINE Read Simply Buckhead online at

www.SimplyBuckhead.com with click-through capability Facebook facebook.com “Like” or “Friend” us at LivingWellATL

Twitter twitter.com Follow us @SimplyBuckhead


Judy Garrison Having grown up in the North Georgia mountains, Judy Garrison pens stories in an authentic Southern voice. As an editor, author, photographer and travel writer, she merges all mediums to narrate tales of people as well as uncover the communities they call home. Her work has appeared in Deep South Magazine, Southern Hospitality Traveler, Georgia Connector Magazine, and her column, Seeing Southern, is a bi-monthly column in Blue Ridge Country Magazine. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and is currently working on her first nonfiction book, which will be released in August 2015. In this issue of Simply Buckhead, she samples some of North Georgia’s best vintages for the Travel Staycation feature.

690 Miami Circle NE, #150 Atlanta, GA 30324 404-467-1200



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June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 



June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

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Letters FROM OUR TWEET HEARTS AND FACEBOOK FANS! Follow us @SimplyBuckhead and on Facebook (LivingWellATL)

Can’t wait to read the new issue! –The Residence Buckhead Atlanta via Facebook

When I opened the May issue of Simply Buckhead and saw my photo I cried! I am grateful for the magazine recognizing and validating me for all of my hard work and efforts. That really makes me feel incredible that I created something to touch others lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you. - Leza Bennett, The Perfect Brows What a great March/April issue y’all had! I’m now dying to check out the Buckhead Library, which I’ve never been to! –Heather Karellas, Associate Director of Development at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) I just wanted to thank you personally for that great article in Simply Buckhead magazine this month. I sincerely appreciate your support and look forward to working with you in the near future. –Julian Reynolds, Julian’s Cosmetics + Skincare The photography and layout for the Simply Charitable page were superb. –Janet Williams, Peachtree Battle Antiques

Digging into my new subscription of @Simply Buckhead tonight! –@allipal Our very talented makeup artist in this month’s issue of Simply Buckhead magazine. #makeupartist #greatbrows #shaping –@JulianCosmetics Thanks @SimplyBuckhead for featuring Over The Edge and @RileyyyyC in your magazine!! –@SOGAOverTheEdge @SimplyBuckhead Thanks SB and H.M. Cauley for the article on page 53 in this issue, titled BUCKHEAD BACKDROP about me and my novel UNDERWATER! –@MakeThatJulie @SimplyBuckhead We want to be a Buckhead Power Couple. Where do we send our demo tape? @lorianngriffin –@reggriffin Hey @nootie looking good in the May issue of @SimplyBuckhead!! (Page 28). –@KSutherlandPR I read your magazine. Pretty great stuff. –@adambombshow

[ L E T T E R B OX ] Tell us what you think! Send your comments, compliments and criticisms to editor@simplybuckhead.com. All letters will be considered for publication and may be edited for length and clarity.

JUNE 2014

[ E DI T OR ’ S L E T T E R ]


ver three decades I’ve lived in more than 10 different homes. While all my residences have been distinct in style and character, each became a heartening haven no matter what was going on outside its doors. I believe the homes we Photo: Sara Hanna Photography live in become part of us and that we leave a piece of our history in them. Under each roof memories are made and secrets revealed. Although it might be a scary thought, I can’t help but imagine what tales could be heard if plaster and drywall could talk—particularly in some of Buckhead’s most historical residences. In this issue we delve into the stories of some of “Buckhead’s Most Mysterious Mansions,” those striking architectural creations that stop us in our tracks when we drive by. Writer Kate Abney dug deep—sorting through more than her fair share of word-of-mouth tales and folklore—to give us a peek into the memoirs of these magnificent estates built in the first half of the 20th century. In the cover story she also introduces us to the distinct personalities who have inhabited these addresses from their construction until today. Although it dates back to 1923, the Italianate “Pink Castle” (our cover mansion) is only on its third family. Its current owners, interior designer Melanie Turner and custom homebuilder Stan Benecki, have plans to throw their heart and soul into its renovation and make it their “forever home.” At 3640 Tuxedo Road, Ginny and Guy Millner share the graceful ambiance of their 1935 five-bedroom Frazier and Bodin abode with as many as 10 dogs at any given time. Part of the past at 281 Blackland Road includes visits by actor Clark Gable and actress Carole Lombard during the premiere of Gone With the Wind. At the corner of Peachtree Battle Avenue and Rivers Road, the LaMastra family hosts Super Bowl and summer pool parties for friends, continuing to add to their home’s colorful history. Our personal domiciles may or may not be as intriguing as the grandiose dwellings we’ve profiled, but keep in mind that decades down the road your address could be considered a piece of history. So be careful what you say when you think the walls aren’t listening.

Giannina Smith Bedford editor@simplybuckhead.com

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 


Elegance by Design

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June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

E V E N T S | L O C A L S A L U T E | T R AV E L | A P P R O V E D | P E T S



Land of Legends  P20

“Blowing Rock is a place of natural beauty and charm

One of North Carolina’s oldest travel attractions, Blowing Rock offers scenic walks and glorious views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Photo: Todd Bush Photography

that attracts visitors from every global direction.” June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 


Award-Winning Cuisine. Memorable Dining.


BI S TRO NI K O Neighborhood French Bistro

BU C K H EAD DI NER New American

C HO PS LO B STER B AR Prime Steaks & Seafood

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June 2014 | Simply Buckhead



An actor portrays the life of a slave at Atlanta History Center’s Smith Family Farm.

[ F E AT U RE D E V E N T ]



n between lounging at the pool and vegging out in front of the television, it wouldn’t hurt the kids, or you, to exercise your brain a little bit. For some kid-friendly educational enrichment that doesn’t feel like school, consider driving your herd to a couple of history-packed afternoons June 21 to 22 at Buckhead’s Atlanta History Center for Juneteenth: The First Day of Freedom. Coinciding with the Civil War’s sesquicentennial and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, this educational event commemorates the end of slavery with a slew of workshops, performances, hands-on

activities and exhibitions. After getting your fill of history, the return to the freedom-filled days of summer will be that much sweeter. A couple of the must-sees include: Farm Life View a re-creation of the average day-to-day lifestyle of a Piedmont, Georgia, Civil War home front at Smith Family Farm. Filled with actors portraying roles of family members and neighbors, you’ll be transported to the Antebellum South as you observe typical activities that may have occurred at the house at the time, like woodwork-

African-American artists and writers represented in the collection. Scripted by playwright Addae Moon, Fowlkes takes on the role of poet Phillis Wheatley and Davis captures the essence of British composer and author Ignatius Sancho.

ing, sweeping, sewing, farm work and playing old-fashioned games. Interested in getting a closer look? Pull up your sleeves and join activities like accompanying the farmer as he checks on his gardens and farm animals, or assisting with planning the dinner menu.

– Kelly Skinner

Art Speaks Watch subjects of The Kinsey Collection (folk art and African-American relics on display at the Atlanta History Center through July 13) come alive. Actors Elisheba Fowlkes and Roderick Davis portray the lives of two of the famed 18th century

Juneteenth: The First Day of Freedom is free and runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 21 and noon to 5 p.m. on June 22. For additional information on these programs and updates on the genealogy workshop and children’s crafts experience also scheduled for the weekend, visit www.atlantahistorycenter.com.

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 



E V E N TS [ F RE E E V E N T ]


Fly fishing, which can be done in both fresh and salt water, is most commonly used for catching trout, grayling and salmon.

The urge to spend a relaxing afternoon fly fishing with friends or family may have crossed your mind more than once, only to be quickly followed by the realization that you don’t actually know how to fly fish. It’s one of those skills—like changing a tire or sailing a boat—that’s usually learned at a young age or never at all. Luckily, our friends at Orvis refuse to let those of us who missed out on fly fishing as children live the rest of our lives in ignorance. During the month of June, the Buckhead Orvis store is offering three Fly Fishing 101 classes for beginners of all ages. The free, two and a half hour lessons focus on fly casting and outfit rigging. Participants will also receive special in-store offers valid toward the purchase of Orvis products and a free Trout Unlimited membership at the end of the class. So grab the family and some friends or come solo and learn a new skill that will get you out of the house and re-enacting your favorite scenes from A River Runs Through It. – Catherine O’Connor Hough

A great family activity, fly fishing is a fun way to get kids outdoors and teach them about nature (and patience!). Photo: The Orvis Company

FLY FISHING 101 CLASSES Saturdays: June 7, 14 & 21 9-11:30 a.m. Recommended for ages 7+; adults must accompany children under 16 Free; RSVP by phone or in-store Orvis Retail Store 3275 Peachtree Road, Suite 210 Atlanta 30305 404.841.0093 www.orvis.com/atlanta


Celebrate Dad BARNES & NOBLE STORY TIME PROVIDES THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS FOR FATHER’S DAY FUN Every year like clockwork, Father’s Day seems to creep up, leaving us scrambling to find the perfect activity that mixes just the right amount of fun and family bonding. This year Buckhead’s Barnes & Noble is making that pursuit a little easier with Father’s Day Storytime. Gather the brood to hear a reading of the book Mighty Dads by Joan Holub, which tells the story of hardworking dads (who also happen to be construction vehicles) in a celebration of fatherhood and paternal love. In addition to the reading, there will be cookies provided and a Father’s Day card-making activity, ensuring that all kids have something handmade to give their No. 1 guy at the end of the day. And for those moms who may have left present-buying to the last minute, the bookstore has an excellent selection of gifts for dads of all interests. – Catherine O’Connor Hough


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

Regular “storytimes” can help youngsters learn to love books. Photos: Barnes & Noble

FATHER’S DAY STORYTIME Saturday, June 14, 11 a.m. (Free) Barnes & Noble Buckhead 2900 Peachtree Road N.E., Suite 310 Atlanta 30305 404.261.7747 www.barnesandnoble.com

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June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 


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June 2014 | Simply Buckhead




Carly Cooper

Lois Blonder celebrated her 80th birthday by co-chairing the 21st season of Jerry’s Habima Theatre, a program she says is “close to my heart.”

In the Spotlight Buckhead resident supports a special needs theater Buckhead resident Lois Blonder is the benefactor of Jerry’s Habima Theatre—a Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) program that puts on shows featuring both professional actors and actors with special needs. Blonder and her late husband, Jerry, endowed the Blonder Family Department for Special Needs— which comprises the theater and other programs such as cooking classes, camps and social events— twelve years ago. Blonder’s granddaughter, who suffers from a brain defect, inspired the program, so the cause is very dear to her. “The charming Habima actors never fail to entertain, but it’s more than that; the joy is witnessing all of the lives that have been deeply touched by this

remarkable theater,” she says. Blonder recently co-chaired the theater’s 21st production, Little Shop of Horrors. This year, she hopes to expand the audiences and encourage new people to participate in the productions, which are performed at the community center’s theater. She’s also working on new programming, such as a course titled “How to Audition.” “I see and experience first-hand the differences our programming makes in the lives of our participants and their families,” she says.

Patrick Robinson and Anna Fraasa star in Little Shop of Horrors. Photo Katie Wilson

Maureen Goldman sells home décor pieces made in America. Four of her artists reside in Georgia. Photo: Mark Goldman

Soulful Dining Maureen Goldman believes the table is the center of the home A former copywriter and editor, Maureen Goldman left her job in July 2012 to pursue her true calling. Goldman started Catherine’s Table, a Buckhead-based online store that carries dinnerware made by American artists, in February 2013. “The dinner table is a really comforting place for our family,” she says. “I’ve always had handmade things at the table—all symbols of a place or a person or an experience we’ve had together.” Named after Goldman’s aunt Catherine Math, who taught her the art of hosting, Catherine’s Table retails everything from bowls and plates to table runners and vases. There are candles, coasters, trays and even pet bowls, too. The artists (including four from Georgia) have biographies on the Catherine’s Table website, where they also share their family

mealtime traditions. New items or artists are added to the site every four to eight weeks. To help others find the comfort around the dinner table, Goldman donates 5 percent of the company’s net profits to Meals on Wheels, an organization that hand-delivers meals to more than one million homebound seniors every day. “I volunteered for Meals on Wheels about five years ago,” she says. “I felt a strong connection between doing something handmade and having that hand delivery—all the warmth around doing that kind of volunteer work.” l Explore the offerings at Catherine’s Table by visiting www.catherinestable.com, or make an appointment to see select items in person at Goldman’s home by calling 404.816.7007 or emailing kay@catherinestable.com.

Buckhead chiropractor gives back Austin Cohen supports the community one adjustment at a time A Brookhaven resident, Austin Cohen runs Corrective Chiropractic in South Buckhead, but the enterprising 32-year-old supports the community in more ways than one. In January, he started a program called $5 Saturdays. One Saturday a month, he donates $5 from every chiropractic adjustment to a local charity. “Every holiday season, everyone gets in the ‘holiday spirit’ and donates to charities and is nice to others. We

want people to live a life of always being ‘in the spirit’ of giving back and helping our community,” he explains. Thus far, the program has raised about $300 a month for charities like the Whale and Dolphin Conservatory. In February, Cohen and his team used the money to buy roses for the women at My Sister’s House shelter. “Our philosophy is to have a very holistic view of health, and part of that means having a sense

of community involvement and giving back,” he says. “Our office sees people all the time doing mission trips all over the world helping other countries. We feel in our own backyard of Atlanta there is so much work that needs to be done to make this community better.” l For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit www.cohenchiropracticcentre.com.

“We began $5 Saturdays to be directly involved with the community and better understand the needs of our neighbors,” Austin Cohen says. Photo: Kathryn Schambach

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Above: Specialty shops on Main Street attract visitors year-round in the charming, century-old village of Blowing Rock.  Left: The Blowing Rock, a 4,000-foot cliff that overhangs Johns River Gorge. Below: From antiques to pottery, shoppers are sure to find special treasures in the small, but distinctive village of Blowing Rock. Photos: Todd Bush Photography

LAND OF LEGENDS Summer fun in Blowing Rock


nce home to the warring Cherokee and Catawba Indians, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, took its name from a tale of two star-crossed lovers. According to Indian lore, a Catawba maiden was pleading for her Cherokee brave not to return to his tribe. Caught between duty and love, he grew desperate and leaped from the edge of the gorge to the rocks below. The maiden’s only recourse was to beg the Great Spirit to return her lover through the upward-blowing winds from the Johns River Gorge—and the legend of Blowing Rock was born. The historic version of how Blowing Rock originated is no doubt the more fact-based account. A team of explorers from Pennsylvania looking to establish a Moravian settlement in the 1700s took a wrong turn in the Blue Ridge Mountains and ended up spending a harsh winter in a rugged land one bishop called “not fit for man.” Blowing Rock has come a long way since then. Today, this “High Country” resort village in the Blue Ridge Mountains, less than five hours from Atlanta, is not only fit for man, but is a place of natural beauty and charm that attracts visitors from every global direction. In fact, tourism is now its main economic engine. Among the area’s many attractions are lush gardens and parks, plus a rich array of wildlife and an equestrian preserve that hosts America’s oldest continuously running horse show.


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead


Marie Bartlett

For those who prefer nostalgia, Valley Boulevard’s classic Green Park Inn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, features live music and entertainment through its “Music on the Veranda” each weekend, year-round. Nearby are coffee shops and the 1861 Farmhouse Restaurant and Winery, plus a wide array of other eateries. Outdoor enthusiasts will also find plenty of variety, from fishing to hiking. Outdoor concerts and festivals reign in summer while winter sports, horse shows and shopping help keep the town buzzing after Labor Day. When it’s time for pampering, there are three luxurious spas in Blowing Rock: the Chetola Resort spa, The Spa at Crestwood and a spa at the Westglow Resort. On Blowing Rock’s Main Street, shoppers can purchase anything from an exquisite Oriental rug at Hanna’s (now in its 94th year) to English, French or American antiques at Carriage Trade Antiques and the Blowing Rock Antique Center. Stop at one of the many art and craft galleries, see a live show at the Ensemble Stage, or dip for gold at Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine. There are gift and craft shops galore including the Barking Rock (pet boutique), Cabin Fever (rustic décor), the Dulcimer Shop (for the stringed instruments’ enthusiasts) and The Gilded Lily by Patra, specializing in French Laundry Home bedding, jewelry and stylish boutique items. For family fun a short drive away, visit Tweetsie Railroad, North Carolina’s original

theme park. Hop a ride on a restored narrow gauge steam locomotive traveling a 3-mile track through a “Wild West” theme, complete with cowboys and Indians. The park, open seven days a week from Memorial Day through late August, is filled with amusement rides and live entertainment. When it’s time for a leisurely drive, coast along the Blue Ridge Parkway, the only federally funded scenic highway in the U.S. For another eye-worthy drive, head to the top of the million-year-old Grandfather Mountain. Step onto its iconic swinging bridge or visit the nature preserve, the animal habitat and a nonprofit international biosphere. So whether you adore a locale with a legendary love story or simply seek a weekend getaway in a quaint little town tucked within the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll find a warm welcome in this High Country village. n

If You Go l About 294 miles from the Atlanta area, Blowing

Rock can be reached via I-85N to U.S. 321N. For more information, including best driving directions and a full list of summer events, contact the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at 828.295.7851 or visit www.BlowingRock.com l For details on Tweetsie Railroad go to

www.tweetsie.com or call 800.526.5740. l For information on Grandfather Mountain visit

www.grandfather.com or call 800.468.7325.

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Fabulous Mountain Property Just a couple of hours hours away! Summertime temperatures 15+/- degrees below Atlanta.

Michaela McKenzie, DDS Buckhead Business Association 2012 Enterpreneur of the Year Award Recipient


NEW LOCATION! In the Heart of Buckhead 2986 Grandview Avenue Atlanta, GA 30305

Phenomenal long-range vistas from this meticulously maintained home in Highlands Country Club. From the Tennessee ranges to Whiteside and Chimney Top, the panorama is spectacular. Four full bedrooms (and bunkrooms too) and five baths. Two levels with great family space. Two-car garage. MLS 79216. $1,895,000.

Classic and convenient mountain living awaits. Grayrocks. Just minutes from downtown Highlands at the top of the world. Superb view. Barnwood interiors. Five bedrooms. Open kitchen, living and dining area. Porch with outdoor fireplace. All the discerning buyer expects. MLS 79216. $1,775,000.

Bert Mobley

828.200.0846 • Highlands, NC 28741 bert.mobley@harrynorman.com • www.highlandsrealestate.com


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Above: The outdoor stalls by the Helsinki harbor sell delicious cheap eats. Right: Kiasma, the city’s contemporary art museum, is an essential stop for architecture aficionados.

Design-rich Helsinki a visually arresting mix of old and new FEATURE & PHOTOS:

Wendell Brock

Un-Finnished romance S

ituated roughly halfway between Stockholm and St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea, Helsinki is a European city that seems to revel in its quirkiness. It is a place of severe, dreary winters with almost no light at all—and long summer nights when the sun almost doesn’t set. It is home to Gothic gargoyles, Art Deco curvature and white marble cubes that are icons of modernism. It is a city where you can snack on fresh fish at makeshift stalls by the seaport, then stroll into world-class boutiques stashed with wavy glassware and whimsical fabrics. Last summer, at the invitation of a friend who is a lover of Scandinavia’s temperate summers and long nights, I spent a few days roaming this great walking city, where vodka is plentiful, fabulous buildings and museums are everywhere, and seemingly everyone speaks English, has blond hair and wears funny shoes. Compared to Stockholm (our first stop) and other European cities, Helsinki was afford-


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

able (though by no means cheap). And compared to London, Paris and Berlin, it felt intimately scaled, open, unintimidating, easily navigable. A bus from the Helsinki airport deposited us beside one of the city’s most recognizable, well-trod buildings: The red-granite central railway station, designed by Eliel Saarinen and inaugurated in 1919, is known for its distinctive clock tower and the monumental figures holding globe-shaped lanterns that grace the entrance. Happily, we were just a short walk from our lodgings at Glo, a modern boutique hotel in the heart of the city. From this Kluuvikatu Street perch, we could wander to nearly everything on our list: churches, museums, the harbor. If we got the munchies, we could slip across the street to Karl Fazer Café, an outpost of the famous chocolatier, for cappuccino and a decadent wedge of cake in the ornately domed 1891 room. Just around the corner and facing the public greensward known as the Esplanade

was Hotel Kämp, a palatial building, heavily decorated inside and out, where the city’s cultural and political luminaries are said to have hobnobbed since 1887. (Over a burger and beer one afternoon, we found the Kämp’s outdoor café to be a prime spot for people-watching.) But the major calling card of Helsinki is its design. While Saarinen and his more famous son, Eero, would go on to flourishing careers in America, homeboy Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) stayed behind, leaving an indelible imprint on the face of architecture, industrial design and furniture. Aalto is omnipresent and almost godlike to the Finns, his presence felt in office buildings and concert halls, in the furniture, in the glassware. One morning, I stumbled into the sprawling Academic Bookshop, a splendid, white-marble space with a soaring, sky-lit central atrium and three levels of book bins. (Don’t be put off by the starchy name: The general-interest store is like a

Barnes & Noble on steroids.) Turned out it was designed by Aalto, and it proved to be an almost-meditative experience, best savored over a cup of tea at the luminous upstairs café. On another day, we took a streetcar to The Aalto House, the live-work space completed by Aalto and his first wife, Aino, in 1936. Behind a plain, white-brick façade, the couple’s elegantly streamlined quarters are now a museum, but it feels like they never left. Books, drawing tables, and Aalto’s signature curvy wooden furniture and metallic light fixtures abound. Aalto’s 1955 studio is within walking distance; though it’s poorly marked and somewhat hard to find, a stroll there allows you to check out a handsome residential neighborhood away from the city center. Between eating lovely fresh salmon with creamy chanterelle sauce at the al fresco stalls by the Baltic (I didn’t try the reindeer soup from Lapland but did enjoy a peek at the cuisine from the north) and a won-

Above: The Helsinki Cathedral dates from the mid-1800s and is a popular gathering spot for tourists and locals. Left: The living room of the Aalto House, built by the iconic Finnish architect Alvar Aalto and his wife Aina, is decorated with his curvy wooden furniture.

If you go... HOTELS Hotel Glo and Hotel Kämp are part of the same hotel group and share a spa. The Glo is new and hip; the Kämp is oldschool and charming. www.Glohotels.fi; www.hotelkamp.com RESTAURANTS AND BARS Juuri. Fresh, traditional Finnish fare is served with panache. Wonderful small plates. www.juuri.fi Grotesk. Don’t let the name stump you; it comes from the building’s groovy exterior gargoyles. The patio is a fine place to enjoy cocktails and a delicious, reasonably priced three-course prix fixe lunch. www.grotesk.fi Boulevard Social. Restaurant features what appears to be excellent Mediterranean food. We just sat outside and enjoyed a handcrafted whisky sour. www.boulevardsocial.fi

derful dinner at the contemporary restaurant Juuri, I managed to drop some major change at the flagship Iittala store on the Esplanade. (Love those Aalto vases!) Though there is certainly no shortage of museums in this town, the one that blew me away was Kiasma. The stunning contemporary art museum, designed by American architect Steven Holl and inaugurated in 1998, houses evocative video and photography installations; a delightful café; and an excellent bookstore. But the main attraction was the building itself. Though the term “Kiasma” is a reference to “the point in the brain where the optic nerves

Strindberg Café. Facing the Esplanade, it’s a wonderful place to people-watch and sip an apricot spritzer. www.strindberg.fi MUSEUMS Alvar Aalto House. Where the master architect lived and worked. www.alvaraalto.fi Kiasma. Building’s the thing at the contemporary art museum. www.kiasma.fi SHOPPING Iittala. Stock up on beautiful housewares designed by titans of modernism. Friendly staff makes shipping home hassle-free. Many stores and locations; flagship is on the central Esplanade. www.iittala.com Marimekko. World-famous for big floral prints, Marimekko sells both fashion and home goods. Locations all over; flagship is on the Esplanade. www.marimekko.fi

cross,” exploring the coiling network of sloping runways and white stucco walls was like wandering around inside a chambered nautilus. Mind-blowingly beautiful. Taking a moment to catch my breath at the museum’s outdoor café, I luxuriated in the city’s blend of old and new, as the image of the Finnish National Parliament across the street danced in the water of the sleek reflecting pool. No wonder Helsinki is consistently ranked among the world’s most livable cities. When the temperatures drop to 30 below, I might change my mind, but for now, I could get used to this. Hopefully, my love affair with Helsinki is un-Finnished. n

The Golden Isles’ Only Premier Retirement Community! Members of Marsh’s Edge don’t travel far distances to experience a peaceful and relaxing vacation, they just open their front door. Situated in beautiful St. Simons Island, Georgia, this luxury retirement community boasts resort-like amenities that make living as if you were on a permanent vacation, a reality. St. Simons Island is home to more than 30 miles of walking and biking trails, which makes getting outside and enjoying the beautiful surroundings easy. Marsh’s Edge members have access to over 99 holes of championship golf on the island and miles of pristine beaches, both of which are just a short stroll or drive away from the front gates. Members live a carefree lifestyle where everything they can imagine is right at their fingertips. The community of Marsh’s Edge features fine-dining, social events and activities, and award-winning wellness programing. Come and explore Marsh’s Edge and St. Simons Island. Find out what it is like to live like you are on vacation each and every day!

Call 912-291-2000 to set up a tour today!

136 Marsh’s Edge Lane • St. Simons Island, GA 31522 912-291-2000 • www.Marshs-Edge.com Independent Living • Assisted Living • Skilled Nursing Alzheimer’s Care • Rehabilitation

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Sip away Take a day or a weekend to savor Georgia’s wine country FEATURE:

Judy Garrison


recently argued with my brother-in-law, “Georgia wines are as good as any you’ll find in Napa or in Italy.” The New Yorker quickly scoffed at my declaration. I offered him a glass of my all-time favorite, Genesis 3, a Bordeaux blend with flavors of blackberry and currant, Yonah Mountain Vineyards’ gold medal winner at the 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. His expression shifted right from skepticism to surprise. As the weather warms, North Georgia vineyards open their tasting room doors to the public to share their artistry. No matter if you’re an amateur like me who simply knows what delights my palate or a seasoned sipper accustomed to the rarest vintages, one sampling validates the quality of Georgia wines. North Georgia’s Wine Country includes 15 vineyards, scattered throughout the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Set aside a summer weekend—or a quick day trip—and savor these four.

Above: Eric Seifarth of Crane Creek leads many tours, explaining the technical as well as the enjoyable aspects of the art of winemaking.  Left: “Our goal is to have every release of Genesis be the best one yet,” says Jonathan Boisjolie of Yonah Mountain Vineyards. The unreleased Genesis 5 is currently available on the weekend Cave Tours.  All Photos: full circle fotography except Left: Yonah Mountain Vineyards

Left: Bob Miller, owner of Yonah Mountain, leads the Cave Tours. Seen here before the renovation, he shares a sample with guests.


YONAH MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS From Atlanta, head north to Cleveland, Georgia, and celebrate the opening of Yonah Mountain Vineyards’ new tasting room. For a tasting fee, visitors sample all available wines, and if you’re there at noon on Saturday, experience the “Tour de la Cave” with owner Bob Miller and venture into Georgia’s only wine cave. “Yonah Mountain Vineyards’ goal is to produce the very best wines,” explains Jonathan Boisjolie, marketing and guest development director. “We take pride in taking the best ingredients and making wine that is world-class.” Cost: Tour de la Cave and Barrel Sampling, $25; Wine Room Tasting, $6-$11 Summer Wine Pick: 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, a wonderful balance of viscosity and acidity with complex citrus layers and hints of Meyer lemon. 706.878.5522 www.yonahmountainvineyards.com


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

Next, travel about 18 miles to Dahlonega and find Three Sisters Vineyards, where Sharon and Doug Paul have created a “sense of place” and family commitment. Proud to call their wines 100 percent Georgia grown, the Pauls’ distinctly Southern blends add depth to the glass and a grin to your face. You can’t go wrong with Fat Boy Red (sporting the famous pig label), and as Doug Paul says, “It’s robust. It’s huge. It’s fat.” The Pauls host the Georgia Wine Country Festival every weekend in June. Not to “hog” the show, local wineries, eateries and musicians fill the vineyard with delicious tastes and sounds. If you’re missing Atlanta, don’t fret, even Sweetwater Brewery will be there. Cost: Wine Room Tasting, $10-$20 Summer Wine Pick: Hula Hala-Kahiki, a pineapple-infused Chardonnay. 706.865.9463 www.threesistersvineyards.com

WOLF MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS AND WINERY Not far into Dahlonega you’ll come across Wolf Mountain Vineyards and Winery. Since its opening in spring of 2003, Linda and Karl Boegner and family have created a refined atmosphere for visitors, complemented by worldclass wine and culinary experiences. With the vines as a backdrop, the winery offers a “Napa Style” ambience including themed Sunday brunches, gourmet winemaker dinners and an ethereal sunset view from the veranda. Wolf Mountain’s guided Winemaker’s Tours begin in the vineyards and end in the cellar with a reserve tasting.

moment in time was preparing him for his second career. Upon retirement, he settled in his native Georgia, purchased land and—adopting a “la dolce vita” Italian attitude—became a winemaker. The simple, laid-back surroundings of Crane Creek invites guests to unwind on the tasting room decks or in the yard adjacent to the old Bryson farmhouse tasting room. Cost: Wine Room Tastings, $5 Summer Wine Pick: Villard Noir Rosé, a savory, expressive light pink that offers a blend of caramel and toasty nut flavors. 706.379.1236 www.cranecreekvineyards.com

Cost: Tasting flights, $10-$20; Guided Winemaker’s Tour with Reserve Tasting, $30 Summer Wine Pick: Private Reserve Cuvée, the summer’s newest sparkling wine. 706.867.9862 www.wolfmountainvineyards.com

CRANE CREEK VINEYARDS Head farther north for about an hour to Young Harris, where Crane Creek Vineyards is a must-see. On a tour of the winery, owner Eric Seifarth reveals how he spent much of his military career in northern Italy, unaware that this

FINISHING NOTE As you explore the wineries of North Georgia, you will discover that in addition to choosing the best grapes and perfecting the exact process, success depends on two additional concepts: first, the fertile mountain region that provides a fruitful foundation; and the second, a family’s passion that can be savored with every sip. Cheers! n

Grand Opening of the Kolo Collection Grill Zone featuring Grill Dome Shop Kolo Collection for rubs, sauces, planks, grilling tools + gadgets ** free drop off delivery inside the perimeter thru June 30, 2014 **


Kolo Collection 1189 Howell Mill Road Atlanta, GA 30318 Westside Provisions District 404.355.1717 www.kolocollection.com

Highlands, NC

The Best in Elegant Mountain Living The best in elegant mountain living and an easy walk to Highlands’ Main Street. An entertainer’s paradise, this custom home features three fireplaces (all wood burning), slate wet bar, soaring ceilings, a grand porch offering expansive outdoor living space, mountain views, gentle topography & easy access, triple attached garage, and privacy. Beautiful estate approach. Subdividing is possible, and there is plenty of room to add a guest house, if desired. Unleash your creative spirit in the artist’s nook/studio! Additional features include: hardwood flooring, cherry sills, skylights, decking that extends the length of the house, under counter ice maker, garden space, and 2nd refrigerator. Bonus room on main level offers great site for adding a second master, if desired. Offered at $1,100,000. MLS #78956.

Contact Susie deVille (828) 371-2079 | WhiteOakRG.com 125 South 4th Street, Highlands, NC

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




4 1

3 5


Fun in the sun Sunscreens with extra perks

Jennifer Bradley Franklin   PHOTO: Sara Hanna

This is the time of year when sun

2. Baby Braithwaite:

worshipers flock to Buckhead’s pools

Baby Pibu Baby Sunscreen SPF 30

Coola SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen Spray

($26, 4 ounces)

($33, 6 fluid ounces)

Little ones have particularly delicate skin, so that’s why we love this specially-for-babies formula developed by a Buckhead-based dermatologist mom. We appreciate what’s not in it, namely potentially harmful parabens, phthalates and sodium lauryl sulfate. Also absent are potential allergens like soy, dairy or peanuts, just in case baby may have an unknown sensitivity. You won’t mind applying every two hours as recommended, since its creamy texture won’t leave your little one feeling greasy.

The Brookhaven location just started carrying this organic sun protection line in the spring, much to our delight. The ultrafine mist (which you can spray in hard-toreach places like the center of your back) packs an SPF 30 punch that is waterproof for up to 40 minutes. The citrus mimosa scent is pleasantly fresh, not at all like the chemical smell of most drugstore aerosol sunscreen. The ’screen goes on smooth and sheer— never sticky—and is infused with antioxidants to give you extra defense against premature aging.

and parks, but it’s important to remember your most vital accessory—a good sunscreen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed annually, many of which could have been prevented. Here are some of our favorite locally sold sunscreens that not only deliver terrific protection from the sun’s rays, but also have an extra “wow” factor—from unique delivery to organic ingredients.

1. Woo Skincare and Cosmetics: Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush ($60, 6 grams) Prepare to apply sunscreen in a completely different way—by brush! The brush, concealed by a tube, is pre-loaded with an SPF 50 lightweight mineral powder sunscreen, which is water resistant up to 80 minutes. It’s self-dispensing (don’t worry, guys: it’s sheer and not tinted, so not like makeup), made in the USA and a great way to add instant UVA and UVB protection for the face and chest while you’re under Atlanta’s intense rays. Just swirl it on your skin and the powder automatically sprinkles out. 2339 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.477.5000 www.wooskincareandcosmetics.com



June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

102 West Paces Ferry Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.869.8665 www.babybraithwaite.com

3. Spa Sydell: Sydell Skincare SPF 25 Moisturizer ($47, 2 fluid ounces) This proprietary moisturizer and sunscreen combo is developed just for Atlanta-based Spa Sydell. It’s designed to help maintain the natural pH of skin and to be all the moisturizer you need, even for naturally dry skin. Men will enjoy the completely neutral scent and women love how it goes on velvety smooth, making it ideal for use under makeup. 72 West Paces Ferry Road Atlanta 30305 404.255.7727 www.spasydell.com

4. Natural Body Spa:

1432 Dresden Drive Atlanta 30319 404.816.8801 www.naturalbody.com

5. Skin IQ MedSpa & Store: Revision Skincare Intellishade Broad Spectrum SPF 45 ($53, 1.7 ounces) This one is probably for our lady readers, since it’s a cross between a softly tinted moisturizer and a liquid foundation (similar to BB creams that are so popular). Choose between matte and original (for a dewy finish) and look forward to even skin tone and reduced appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, with its particularly high SPF, you can feel good about being out in the weather that gives “Hot-lanta” its nickname. 56 East Andrews Drive N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.277.0778 www.skiniqmedspa.com

LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob configuration and LEGOLAND are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2013 The LEGO Group.

10th Annual Taste of Buckhead We invite you to join us for a night of culinary adventure and camaraderie. September 18, 2014 at the Buckhead Theatre Tickets are on sale at: tasteofbuckhead.org

Chef Art Smith Southern Art

Hosted by:

Chef Linton Hopkins Restaurant Eugene

Out with the new...In with the old! www.2QueensVintage.com

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Doggie Because sweet pets deserve sweet treats



Karina Timmel


our furry sidekick brings you so much joy. All those snuggles and head massages you give him in return are great, but what will really speak to your loyal companion’s heart (via his stomach)? You guessed it. A treat. And not just any treat—concoctions from Atlanta’s finest dog bakeries and pet stores. Chock-full of all-natural ingredients, these creative confections range from birthday cakes and cannoli to granola. Bone appétit!

Dogs have birthdays, too

Quality training treats

Holy cannoli!

Dog City Bakery helps celebrate your pooch’s big day with personalized birthday cakes made from scratch and baked fresh with human-grade ingredients. (Meaning, you could eat them, too!)

For the “foodie” dog, CityDog Market creates its all-natural Better Than a Belly Rub Bars and Fur-tatta Breakfast Bars by hand.

Taj Ma-Hound, which sells its goodies at various spots around town, crafts Poochie Pawstry, such as cannoli and peanut butter cups, as well as healthy snacks, like pumpkin Grrranola, which is good for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs.

What’s in it: The cake contains oat flour, oats, applesauce, honey, oil, cinnamon and carrots. The frosting is made from homemade yogurt.

What’s in them: The Belly Rub Bars are made from rye flour, bran flour, peanut butter, apple, oil, honey, egg and baking powder. The Breakfast Bars contain rye flour, bran flour, cheddar cheese, bacon, oil, eggs and baking powder.

What’s not in it: Wheat, corn and soy.

What’s not in them: Wheat and corn.

Cost: $13.99 per pound

Cost: $8.95 (for a 10-ounce package)

Dog City Bakery 6309 1-D Roswell Road Sandy Springs 30329 404.257.0052 www.mydogcity.com

CityDog Market 4244 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30319 404.816.8050 www.citydogmarket.com

Pet Hospitality The next time you staycation at The Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, feel free to bring your dog (up to 25 pounds). The hotel’s new pet program includes several pet-friendly amenities, including organic bone-shaped cookies, prepared by the hotel’s pastry team, upon check-in; a cozy bed complete with play toys; in-room ‘MOpup’ dining with menu items such as dry-aged beef tenderloin with blue cheese mashed potatoes and peanut butter biscuits; and pet-friendly seating and mocktails in the English Garden. Nightly pet turndown service also is available upon request. No joke! 3376 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta 30326 404.995.7500 www.mandarinoriental.com/atlanta


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

What’s in them: The cannoli and peanut butter cups are made from peanut butter, whole wheat flour and honey; iced with carob and yogurt; and filled with all-natural peanut butter. The granola contains pumpkin, oats and molasses. What’s not in them: Corn and soy—and the granola is also wheat-free. Cost: $1.99-$2.99 each The Pet Set 2480 Briarcliff Road N.E., No. 3 Atlanta 30329 404.633.8755 www.thepetset.com

HOM E | FA S H ION | J E W E L RY | B E AU T Y | W E L L N E S S | TA S T E M A K E R



Mother Earth  P30

Jennifer Hankey was thrilled at the idea of outfitting her fixer-upper with earth-friendly touches.

In Brett Hankey’s study, the fireplace was embellished with stacked stone and the window trim painted black to look like metal. The masculine seating area fronting the fireplace features leather chairs and a barrel ottoman from Scott Antique Markets. Photo: Sara Hanna Photography

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Above: Jennifer and Brett Hankey have worked hard to make their Buckhead home as pollutant-free as possible. Right: In the living room, designer Arthur Lujon added coffered ceilings and modernized the built-ins by removing arches from the top shelves.



Once overtaken by unkempt greenery, the Hankey home now showcases a manicured exterior.


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

Designed with green living in mind, an eco-warrior’s Buckhead home is a healthy haven for the entire family STORY:

Giannina Smith Bedford   PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

he first time Jennifer and Brett Hankey stepped into their 7,500-square-foot Buckhead home there were snakes in the cabinets, broken windows and mold from a leak in the basement. The seven-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bathroom property had been vacant for five years and the backyard was an overgrown jungle. Surprisingly, the Hankeys saw through the chaos and pictured their future home— or at least one of them did. “I could see it finished. My husband thought I’d lost my mind,” Jennifer says. “I was like, ‘This is going to be amazing!’ and he was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ So for him to take that leap was a big deal.” A former real estate agent, Jennifer is the founder of Healthy Green Schools—a company that educates schools on how to be healthier, more sustainable and less toxic— so she was thrilled at the idea of outfitting the fixer-upper with earth-friendly touches. Jennifer picked up her penchant for green

living while she and Brett, vice president of strategic business development at HD Supply, were living in California. The couple originally met in Atlanta and married in 2008, right before moving to the West Coast. They returned to the Peach State in 2012 and closed on their home in March 2013. Set on a cul-de-sac on a quiet street, the Hankey home has completely overcome its dark past. Its transformation, which continues today, didn’t entail changing the floor plan, but several aesthetic alterations were done with the family’s health in mind. Today, highefficiency windows stream natural light into rooms outfitted with a plethora of eco-conscious touches. From the nontoxic Mythic paint to the Nature’s Carpet wool rugs free of harmful chemicals and dyes to the nonhazardous, high-efficiency spray foam insulation that helps keep power bills at around $150 a month, the list goes on and on. “We did everything nontoxic. When you buy a new property, typically it comes with

“I looked at this as a diamond-in-the-rough opportunity to really make it nontoxic.”

Above: A bench from Miami Circle’s Acquisitions and French-style boiserie panels create a warm welcome in the home’s foyer.

Above: Furnished in industrial-style iron bar stools from Ballard Designs, the open kitchen faces a pine breakfast table Jennifer purchased in Asheville, North Carolina, which is illuminated by a pendant light fixture, also from Ballard Designs.

Attached to the living room, the enclosed sunroom is a space Jennifer wishes she’d created as more of a screened-in porch environment.

installed as panels on the walls to give the open space a warm rustic touch. The cooking space, now outfitted in high-efficiency Sub-Zero and Dacor appliances, features a basketweave-pattern travertine stone backsplash picked out by designer Arthur Lujon, who helped the Hankeys add many other stylish touches. Lujon’s genius extends to the coffered ceiling in the living room, the boiserie panels in the foyer and the stacked stone fireplace in Brett’s manly study. Up the Green Guard wool-carpeted stairs are the family bedrooms, including those of the Hankeys’ daughters, 4-year-old Holland and 2-year-old Hayden. Done in girly pinks and purples with Pottery Barn furniture and flowered floor cushions, the girls’ rooms— and that of their parents—feature organic bedding and organic mattresses from

Holland and Hayden Hankey relax on the sunroom couch with the family dog, Winnie the whippet.

Lifekind or Holy Lamb Organics. “Odd thing to love, but I love being safe from chemicals for those eight hours a day,” Jennifer says. Adjoining the girls’ rooms is one of the most cheerful spaces in the entire home: a spacious playroom where the once peeling green wallpaper walls now showcase a colorful nature-themed mural by artist Megan


new carpet, paint and stain. You walk in and the indoor air is 10 times more toxic than outdoor air,” says Jennifer, who sourced the majority of the “green” products herself. “My little girl was born with 19 food allergies and has had eczema. She’s sensitive to lots of stuff so I looked at this as a diamond-in-therough opportunity to really make it nontoxic.” Step into the living room and relax on couches from Bungalow Classic, custom made with eco-fabrics—mainly organic cotton, linens and jutes that also feature vegetable dyes—and frames free of flameretardants, which Jennifer says have been linked to conditions like thyroid cancer. Like all floor coverings in the home, the antique vegetable-dyed rug in the living room, from John Overton Oriental Rugs, is free of toxic chemicals. Much of the furniture is antique pieces made of reclaimed wood or wood free of formaldehyde. Plants and Austin Air Purifiers are scattered throughout the home to further improve the quality of each breath. “A lead tester came in recently and tested the whole house for heavy metals. My house is really, really nontoxic,” Jennifer says. In overhauling the kitchen, the Hankeys traded beat-up slate floors for nail-down real hardwoods with no toxic glues or adhesives. They replaced the maple and laminate island with one topped with dark leathered granite, and new white maple cabinets took the place of the old maple cabinets. Whitewashed two-by-fours were

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




The whimsical—and nontoxic—playroom is a favorite of the Hankeys’ young daughters, particularly the secret hideaway at the base of the mushroom, which came about after a plumbing issue created a hole in the wall.

McKeithan done in nontoxic Mythic paint. Complete with an oversized mushroom leading to a secret “no-adults” hideaway, the room also features a built-in bench and cushions covered in organic cotton. “It is the most fun room and such a wonderful space for little ones,” Jennifer says. Although they’ve already put a lot of time and energy into their home, the tweaking continues. The next big project: redoing the basement with a bedroom, bath, den, workout room, another playroom, and arts and crafts space. The project will take a while, but Jennifer says that is often the key to green renovations. Her words of wisdom to homeowners considering an earth-friendly refresh? Take your time. “Realize it is never as fast or as inexpensive as you are told,” she says. “Take a breath and let it run its course—and don’t be in a hurry to move in.” n

Jennifer Hankey’s top 5 tips to help make your home a healthier place

contain toxic chemicals. Find a provider that uses EcoSmart as a truly safe pesticide that really gets rid of bugs. Buy some for your own bug control around the home.”

1. Leave your shoes at the door. “It’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce toxic pesticides and other chemicals in your home.”

4. Clean your air. “Indoor air is two to 10 times more toxic than outdoor air. Open your windows where possible, buy high-quality air purifiers like Austin Air and choose truly nontoxic cleaners.”

2. Use truly nontoxic weed control and lawn care. “Even brands cited as ‘nontoxic’ can contain highly toxic chemicals that can affect your children, pets and groundwater. Check out Rgreen Organic Lawn Care or Simply Organic Turf Care.”

3. Opt for nontoxic, organic bug control. “Pesticides in the home are harmful. Claims of being nontoxic don’t mean they don’t

Hayden’s lavender nursery— outfitted in 100 percent wood furniture and Nature’s Carpet— is about to be converted to a “big girl” room.


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

Holland’s Pottery Barn chandelier-lit quarters offers ample locales for sitting and playing

5. As you get something new, research safer choices. “Is it time to paint, get a new sofa or remodel? Look for options that are truly safe. No-VOC paint still contains chemicals and most couches and other home furnishings contain toxic flame-retardants. Check out www.greenbuildingsupply.com for nontoxic options. Marketing terms can be misleading so it is best to research first!”

c a r p e t

styles to fit your style 404.352.8141 | www.myerscarpetatlanta.com | 1500 northside drive, atlanta, ga 30318

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Sporty style Burn calories while looking good in these colorful summer workout ensembles


Olivia Putnal


e’ve now reached bikini season (after what felt like the longest winter ever), so naturally, it’s time to hit the gym, the pavement or the studio—harder. We think sometimes the best motivation is having a great outfit. It’s sure to make it a little easier to roll out of bed at 5 a.m. for that Pilates class you’ve been dying to try. Luckily, Buckhead’s shops are full of colorful yet breathable options to match your calorie-burning session of choice. Here are some of our favorite picks.

Ashby Ribbed Tank: $45; Venice Cropped Sweat Pant: $86; DEKA.

Flying High: Spinning If cycling is your exercise of choice, a bright yet functional ensemble is just what the doctor—or spin instructor— ordered. These flashy tie-dyed cheetah print pants from Flywheel’s new spring floral collection are funky and right on trend. The LOVE tank will match up with the loud (in a good way) pants, and the Hawaiian print-filled letters are outside-the-box, but subtle enough to match the pants. The oose fitting racer back tee allows the body to breathe while spinning, and the tee is a great reminder to LOVE working out. Flywheel 102 W. Paces Ferry Road N.W. Suite A Atlanta 30305 678.702.5684 www.flywheelsports.com

Long and Lean: Yoga If sculpting the body Namaste-style is for you, this is an outfit you’ll want to wear all day long, not just for that hour-long class. The Ashby Ribbed Tank is soft and cotton-free (made of tencel and spandex), helping it keep its shape wear after wear and dry rapidly during sweaty sessions. The racer-back design with hiplength hem flatters a variety of body types and pairs perfectly with the Venice Cropped Sweat Pant. With a wide waistband and angled-front leg seaming, this legging option will also slim the body while keeping you cozy with French terry fabric. DEKA 3400 Around Lenox Road N.E. Suite 102 Atlanta 30326 404.869.9600 www.DEKAAtlanta.com


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

Neon Nonsense: Running Begin your layering for that outdoor jog with Nike’s Pro Bra— made of sweat-minimizing fabric and nylon, it’s a stretchy, comfortable combination. Next comes the Nike Dri-FIT Touch Breeze Tank, which is ideal for sweating it out in hot conditions thanks to its Dri-FIT technology and bonded shoulders—no chafing possible! For the bottom half, these two-inch Epic Run Boy Shorts are tight enough to prevent riding up, but cozy enough to allow range of motion. The shorts are equipped with a zippered pouch for storing an ID or house key during long runs. Top the outfit off with Nike’s Feather Light Visor to shield the sun, and fun no-show socks that allow your feet to breathe inside the Air Pegasus+ 30 Shield running shoe. The kicks are lightweight and feature Nike Zoom in the heel for foot-conforming cushioning that’s springy and soft. Our favorite part about this outfit? The amazing neon color palette—you won’t be overlooked out on the road! West Stride 3517 Northside Parkway Suite 11 Atlanta 30327 404.467.1010 www.weststride.com

Nike Pro Bra in Volt: $30; Nike Breeze Tank in Laser Crimson: $35; Nike Epic Run Boy Short in Legion: $50; Nike Feather Light Visor in Geranium: $22; Nike Elite Run Cushion No-Show Sock in Volt: $16; Nike Air Pegasus+ 30 in color White/Volt: $100; West Stride.

Flywheel Floral Cotton Tanks: $38; Flywheel Moisture Wicking Leggings: $84; Flywheel Sports.

Spend a day or evening on t h e To w n !

Discover over 50 shops, services and restaurants. Town Brookhaven is truly your one stop shopping and dining destination with a blend of interesting boutiques, delicious restaurants and useful services.


Serving the community for over 83 years!


CinéBistro/Cobb Theatre • Costco • LA Fitness • Marshalls • Publix


Boogaloos • Collage Boutique • Dress Up Boutique Edyn Boutique • Lila Boutique


Big Peach Running Co.


18/8 Fine Men’s Salon • Brookhaven Orthodontics European Wax Center • Fantastic Sams • GNC (General Nutrition Center) Hydration Station - Opening Soon • InShapeMD The Joint - The Chiropractic Place • Julian’s Cosmetics and Skincare Massage Heights • Nail Talk & Tan • Salon Red Kids • Salon Red Town Dentistry • Vein Clinics of America

Find your next home on our

NEW MOBILE APP! Go to your mobile app store to download or scan the QR code below.


Baci by Café at Pharr • Boneheads • Bua Thai and Sushi The Flying Biscuit Café • Lucky’s Burger & Brew • Marble Slab Creamery Moe’s Southwest Grill • Newk’s Express Café • Noche Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub • Olive Bistro • Shucks Oyster & Wine Bar Smash Kitchen & Bar • There Restaurant and Bar • Which Wich?


MODA Floors & Interiors • Sugarboo & Co.


Bell Partners • Brookhaven Alterations • Brookhaven Animal Hospital Community & Southern Bank • Eye Level Learning Center Keller Williams • Reflections Eyecare • Town Cleaners


www.townbrookhaven.net Conveniently located on Peachtree Road adjacent to Oglethorpe University.

W W W. H A R R Y N O R M A N . C O M

AT L A N TA N O RT H 770-622-3081

AT L A N TA P E R I M E T E R 770-394-2131

BUCKHEAD 404-233-4142

B U C K H E A D C H A S TA I N 404-233-1492

B U C K H E A D N O RT H 404-814-9000

BUCKHEAD NW 404-261-2700

C O B B M A R I E T TA 770-422-6005

EAST COBB 770-977-9500


I N TOW N AT L A N TA 404-897-5558

N O RT H F U LTO N 678-461-8700

SANDY SPRINGS 404-250-9900

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




These four salons will pamper your most sensitive feature



Olivia Putnal



ntil I was 27, I’d never had a facial. I was worried that the technician would tell me I have awful skin or that it would be a painful experience. Boy, was I wrong. When I got my first facial I was pleasantly surprised that it was like a relaxing massage treatment—for my face! But it can be difficult to find a spa that makes you feel comfortable, and an esthetician you trust. So we’ve made the search easier by narrowing down some of our favorite places to pamper your face. Head to one of these four Buckhead salons and uncover your radiant, glowing skin.

1. Chris Elise Skincare Elise Steigerwald of Chris Elise Skincare doesn’t work her magic with off-the-shelf facials. She customizes her treatments based on what’s going on in your life, your expectations for the facial and what your skin really needs. Steigerwald has been in the skincare industry for 15 years, and she’s still very passionate about it. She uses a private-label botanical line that is noninvasive (gentle and sensitive skin-approved). A typical facial includes the use of ginger toner, honey almond scrub, a pumpkin papaya mask and more advanced treatments, like the plant- and marine-based anti-aging treatments or the Micro Current Toning/Facial Fitness and LEDTherapy processes.

2. Judith of Budapest Judith Buran has been an esthetician since she graduated from a skincare institute in Hungary in 1974. She’s been practicing skin care in the U.S. for nearly 40 years and in Buckhead since 1979. She begins every consultation with a questionnaire about the client’s face regime and favorite products so she can choose treatments to suit. A typical facial experience at Judith of Budapest includes a steamy facial massage followed by exfoliation and extraction and a face mask—


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

finished off with a foot massage. And for your teen in need of some extra facial attention, Buran offers a teenager facial geared specifically toward deep pore cleansing for younger skin.



3. Sally B’s Skin Yummies In 2005, Sally Larsen began Sally B’s Skin Yummies, a nontoxic skincare product line. In February, Larsen’s Miami Circle salon began offering facials utilizing her planet-friendly products. Esthetician Carrie Johnson performs the organic facials, which range from the B Calmed for sensitive skin to the B Youthful for anti-aging. There is even a B Polished treatment that is like a “facial” for the back. She truly believes that the holistic approach extends the youth of your skin. During your time with Johnson, she will explain the proper way to care for your skin, using products that won’t cause problems like premature aging down the road. She also throws in a relaxing shoulder and hand massage. Before heading out the door in a post-facial glow, make sure to grab a few Sally B’s Skin Yummies products to take home.

4. Sweet Peach While you may have heard that the newest location of Sweet Peach in Buckhead specializes in waxing and sugaring, they


have facials down pat too. Esthetician and sugaring professional Angela Smith makes sure she begins each facial session with a client consultation. It’s important for her to know what her client’s problem areas are, what concerns they have, and what they hope to accomplish with the facial. By the end, you will feel rejuvenated and oh, so relaxed. A typical session usually includes a deep pore cleanse, exfoliation and facial massage, then a treatment mask. If you want a little something more, a light enzyme peel or a gentle radiance chemical peel will do the trick. Smith ends her sessions by explaining what products would best suit your face. One of her favorite picks is skin care brand Dr. Spiller. n

Chris Elise Skincare Philip Wyatt Salon 110 E. Andrews Drive N.W. Suite 303 Atlanta 30305 678.596.1991 www.chriseliseskincare.com Judith of Budapest 455 E. Paces Ferry Road Suite 347 Atlanta 30305 404.841.1111 www.judithofbudapest.com Sally B’s Skin Yummies 800 Miami Circle, Suite 110 Atlanta 30324 877.344.4537 www.sallybskinyummies.com Sweet Peach 3077 E. Shadowlawn Avenue Atlanta 30305 404.842.1788 www.sweetpeachwax.com


Full service b ar live music Festive patio

BuckheaD 404.841.8472 3400 Aroun d L en ox D r, Buc khead, GA 30326

TradiTional indian food in a n o n T r a d i T i o n a l aT m o s p h e r e

D e c at u r 404.633.9233 1363 C l airmon t R d, D ec at ur, GA 30033 Just North of N.Decatur and Clairmont Rd Intersection

Please visit us at our new location, same shopping center

Fine Ladies Attire


w w w. b h o j a n i c . c o m

Shops Around Lenox Next to Crate & Barrel™


Over 150 Designers

(404) 365.0693 56 East Andrews Drive, NW • Buckhead Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 








Accessorize down the aisle These four bridal pieces are worth swooning over


Olivia Putnal   PHOTOS: Sara Hanna


alking down the aisle this summer? Or know someone who is? Rounding up the perfect classy statement earrings or shoes to make the Mrs.-to-be feel like a princess are tasks that take time. Whether you’re a bride looking for bridesmaids’ earrings, or a future groom ready to take the plunge by purchasing an engagement ring, the hunt will be a little bit easier now that we’ve done the legwork. Here, four nuptial-worthy accessories to impress any bride.

1. A Girl’s Best Friend First up, the items everyone has been waiting for—the rings! These Henri Daussi beauties are classic, yet unique. The 14-carat white gold engagement ring has a sparkling 1.01-carat cushion cut diamond in the center surrounded by smaller pavé diamonds, and the 14-carat gold pavé wedding band matches perfectly. The cushion cut style is elegant, yet simple—two diamond characteristics that will last a lifetime. Remember, the rings can be customized by cut, carat and materials used. Henri Daussi Ring: $10,380, Henri


3. Natural Beauty Kendra Scott’s newly opened Buckhead store showcases an enthralling collection of colorful jewels. It was hard to pick just one item from all the bridal options, but these Alex earrings won as striking options for a summer bride (or her bridesmaids). The natural color goes with nearly everything, including a variety of wedding color palettes. The gold features are classic and the hourglass shape adds just a touch of modernization. Kendra Scott Alex Earrings in Slate: $55,

Daussi Band: $1,700, Brown & Co. Jewelers.

Kendra Scott Stores.

2. Stripes that Stun

4. Golden Greatness

Stripes are classic, especially when the colors are beige and ivory. This evening clutch by Franchi is simple, yet elegant enough to be a bride’s sidekick for storing all of her essentials. The crystal closure adds a bit of sparkle, and the size allows for all a girl’s necessary items to fit just right. If wearing as a cross-body purse, the chain shoulder strap makes carrying items a whole lot easier.

Dazzle your guests with these strappy Charlotte Olympia sandals. From the starfish design and the pearl detailing to the D’Orsay style, these opentoed beauties make a statement on the big day. The upper sides contain mesh to help your feet breathe throughout the day. This pair will transport you to a land of sandy beaches and turquoise waters, no matter where you say, “I do.” Charlotte

Franchi Dalila Striped Silk Clutch: $175, Susan Lee.

Olympia Sandrine Sandal: $895, Jeffrey Stores.

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

GOING TO THE CHAPEL? Brown & Co. Jewelers 3225 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.814.9800 www.brownjewelers.com Jeffrey Atlanta 3500 Peachtree Road N.E. Suite A-3 Atlanta 30326 404.237.9000 www.jeffreynewyork.com Kendra Scott 3400 Around Lenox Road N.E. Suite 216 Atlanta 30326 404.900.5362 www.kendrascott.com Susan Lee 56 East Andrews Drive N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.365.0693


For details on group and event dining, visit www.Seasons52.com

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 





Jennifer Bradley Franklin


hese days, a one-size-fits-all approach to fitness fits, well, no one. So, we set out to find workouts tailored for different goals and personalities. Here are three of our favorite calorie torchers. Perhaps best of all: your first class is free, so you can test out what gets you to your workout happy place.

Cardio & Endurance: Orange Theory Fitness

Functional Strength Training Chaos Conditioning What it is: As the name suggests, this interval fitness class is all about muscle confusion, which helps blast through plateaus. During these hour-long “complete chaos” classes, the trainer (often owner Jeff Baird) puts a maximum of 16 students through a series of eight-minute intervals on free weights, heavy ropes, TRX suspension straps, wooden treadmills, punching bags and Bosu balance balls, all designed to build strength and refine coordination. The unlimited package ($200 per month) lets motivated students push themselves with as many classes as it takes to feel and look their best. Why we love it: These classes are super-challenging and fun, a difficult balance to strike. The glowing clock lets you know how long you’ve got on each round, so it helps keep you motivated to do your best. You can do anything for eight minutes, right? Regulars say: “I wanted a workout program that made me feel good through increased energy and endurance, and a more toned and balanced body. [Chaos was] able to meet my needs. In a class of 12 people, there could be 12 different ideas in what people are looking for from the workout, and I would guess that Chaos is meeting the needs of all 12.”


What it is: This hour-long class in Sandy Springs (there’s also a new Buckhead studio) is aimed at increasing cardio, endurance and strength, through interval training with running, rowing and resistance. You can burn up to 1,000 calories per session and the brand claims that those attending three to five sessions per week can lose up to 3 to 5 pounds in the same time frame. You can tailor the workout to your level, whether you’re a power walker, jogger or runner, and the monthly unlimited class pack ($169) lets you do as many workouts as you like. Why we love it: Wearing the provided Polar Cardio GX band and heart monitor lets you track your progress throughout class and the system automatically sends your workout summary via email. It’s motivating to get your heart rate up and score some “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” which means you’re burning calories for up to 24 hours post-workout. Regulars say: “I’ve lost 30 pounds in seven months, which has been amazing. I attend five times a week and it’s changed my whole perspective. There were times when I wanted to quit, but I didn’t because of the encouragement and the trainers pushing me.” – Buckhead resident Wanda Ingram

5975 Roswell Road Atlanta 30328 770.905.2600 www.orangetheoryfitness.com

Sculpting & Toning: FlyBarre What it is: Tucked inside the Buckhead Flywheel studio, the 45-minute or hour-long FlyBarre class is designed to incorporate light resistance, core strengthening and dance moves (easy to master, even for the lessthan-coordinated) to sculpt and lengthen muscles. During the FlyBarre Challenge ($550 for nonmembers) participants receive four weekly classes for six weeks; technique and nutrition seminars; weekly measurements; and a goodie bag packed with stylish workout wear and gift cards to local healthy vendors like dTox. You’ll plié, dance and plank your way to a better, more dancer-like body. Why we love it: This workout is tough, but the time flies by, thanks to a strategically choreographed soundtrack of pop and throwback hit tunes. This writer saw results (sleeker, toned muscles) after just two weeks and eight sessions. Regulars say: “I was an avid workout junkie— including Flywheel—before, but I lost 8.5 inches from my first challenge. It provided a great deal of accountability, which really helped me make workouts happen. Plus, the gift bag at the end is worth every bit of the pain!”

– Buckhead resident Richard Orrell-Jones

– Buckhead resident Susan Stuart

325 East Paces Ferry Road, Unit 1 Atlanta 30305 404.590.5852 www.chaosconditioning.com

102 West Paces Ferry Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 678.702.5684 www.atlanta.flywheelsports.com

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead



my greatest loves is travel. Many of my designs have been inspired from experiences with different cultures, and exposure to unique architecture and even textiles. You started out on Etsy. How did your business come about?  Like many little girls, I loved playing in my mother’s jewelry box—I was mesmerized by all the various textures, metals and stones in her necklaces. What began as a simple hobby quickly grew into something bigger. I started my online shop on Etsy and after a few short months, I created my official website. It has been a whirlwind of a journey since. How do you select your retailers? I am drawn to boutiques that offer a unique collection of different product lines, from clothing designers to home décor. I love stores that have a beautifully decorated design space and many of the store owners I work with are artists themselves—they are constantly changing the storefront, charismatically adding various colors and pieces to their décor.

Hidden gem Get to know the mastermind behind Molly Jane Designs


olly Jane Gravitt—born and raised in the Chastain Park area and now a Sandy Springs resident—is a one-of-a-kind jewelry designer whose handmade accessories grace the walls of Buckhead’s w.port and nine other retailers from Smyrna to Athens, Georgia. The 30-year-old studied communications at Kennesaw State University, and became fascinated with jewelry at a young age. She launched her business, Molly Jane Designs, on Etsy in 2012. Almost all of her jewels incorporate 24-karat gold, sterling silver or 22-karat gold vermeil with a modern twist—the creations are feminine, with an unexpected edginess. We especially love her colorful summer necklaces made with materials like sea glass and African tribal glass beads—they just scream “tropical getaway!” Read on to learn more about this up-and-coming jewelry designer.


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead


Olivia Putnal

What was it like growing up in Buckhead? There is a certain charm and nostalgia about the neighborhoods in this part of the city. My grandparents have lived on Long Island Drive since the early 1950s and my family’s home is right next door. My childhood was spent playing outdoors, playing around our neighborhood. Your jewelry is so fresh and different. How do you choose the colors and the stones, and come up with the designs? Two years ago I started sketching jewelry designs in my free time. Watching the design in my mind take shape in my hands has been a thrilling adventure. I like creating jewelry that can tell a story and evoke emotion. I naturally gravitate toward pieces that are unique, and one of

What is something people may not know about you? I am the youngest of five children and two of my greatest loves are writing and cooking. What are your plans for the future of Molly Jane Designs? My hope is that Molly Jane Designs continues to grow and expand in boutiques throughout the Southeast as well as nationally. I love my job. Being able to create jewelry and have others wear and style those jewelry pieces into their own unique fashion is so thrilling. I am thankful beyond measure.  What’s your favorite item from your collection? I currently love the Capri Blue Agate Slice Necklace for spring and summer. This piece is so versatile and the rich blue color of the agate slice is brilliant; it adds a pop of color to any outfit. n

MOLLY JANE DESIGNS Find her jewelry in Buckhead at: w.port 3232 Roswell Road, Atlanta 30305 404.565.1644 www.wport.com

SJH 6721 Simply Buckhead ads2.indd 2

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© 2014 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

Meet the Bank Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction “Highest Customer Satisfaction in Retail Banking in the Southeast Region" At First Citizens, putting our customers first is at the center of everything we do. That’s why we’re honored that they rated us “Highest in Customer Satisfaction in Retail Banking in the Southeast Region,” according to the most recent J.D. Power & Associates Retail Banking Satisfaction Study.SM First Citizens offers all the convenience and services of a large bank, combined with the personal attention and responsiveness of a community bank. We’ve been focused on helping individuals and businesses succeed for over 100 years. Are you satisfied with your bank? Get to know First Citizens. Call or visit our Buckhead location today.


Kathy Sullivan

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Retail Sales Manager 678-589-9023

Senior Mortgage Loan Originator 404-365-4674

Private Banking Relationship Manager 404-365-4672

Buckhead 79 West Paces Ferry Rd. Atlanta, GA 30305 (404) 365-4661

Equal Housing Lender/Member FDIC. First Citizens Bancorp received the highest numerical score among retail banks in the Southeast region in the proprietary J.D. Power & Associates 2013 Retail Banking Satisfaction StudySM. Study based on 51,563 total responses measuring 13 providers in the Southeast region (GA, NC & SC) and measures opinions of consumers with their primary banking provider. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed January-February 2013. Your experience may vary. Visit jdpower.com.

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Inside the Actor’s Studio  P48

“I’ve been here so long it feels like my second home.”

Nick Conti has run his Professional Actor’s Studio in the heart of Buckhead since 2000. Photo: Sara Hanna Photography

- Nick Conti, on his Piedmont studio-school.

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 


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Inside the

actor’s studio Nick Conti teaches the art of acting at his Buckhead school STORY:

Andrew Alexander   PHOTO: Sara Hanna


ost of us do what we can to avoid too much drama. But Buckhead actor and teacher Nick Conti actually seeks it out. Conti has run his Professional Actor’s Studio in the heart of Buckhead since 2000. “We teach every aspect that I believe will make for a well-rounded actor,” says Conti, who arrived in Atlanta by way of New York and L.A. 17 years ago. From improvisational work and cold reading auditions to script analysis and character development, classes at the Professional Actor’s Studio are designed to give students everything they need to know about their art and the practicalities of show business. “I’ve been here so long it feels like my second home,” says Conti of the former Buckhead cottage on Piedmont Road that now houses his studio-school. “I wanted to have the studio in a good neighborhood. I didn’t want anyone leaving the studio at 10:30 at night to feel fearful.” Although Conti says his studio has been busy since it first opened, in recent years, Hollywood has come to Atlanta. “The city is booming beyond belief,” he says. “We opened up two more classes in February alone.” Classes are three-hour workshops taught by Conti and a team of five other teachers. Conti says he likes to keep class sizes small and intimate, and fees low. Potential students can


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

audit their first class for free to see if the school is a match, and a month of once-a-week classes is $110. “We are truly a region of the country that is a market—a real, viable, ability-to-make-a-living-market in the art of acting. I don’t think we would have ever dreamed of having this even five or six years ago.” Although the majority of Conti’s students are professional actors who aim to make a living through their craft, Conti says he does have students who take classes for other reasons: trial lawyers looking to connect more with juries, business people seeking to improve presentation skills, or even retirees and others just looking to give acting a shot. Students in the acting classes work from a foundation of Stanislavski, Meisner and method acting styles. There are also improv classes and even improv performances the last Saturday of every month. Conti himself grew up and studied acting in New York with legendary teachers such as Uta Hagen, Lee Strasberg, Herbert Berghof, Hal Holden and Bill Hickey. He got his start on the stage acting in Broadway and off-Broadway shows, and eventually ended up on the soap “The Edge of Night.” “It was fun being on a soap,” he says. “It was mostly the fact that I was making a steady living as an actor! That in and of itself: you just feel like you’ve gone to a new place.”

“We are truly a region of the country that is a market—a real, viable, ability-to-make-a-livingmarket in the art of acting.” After a 13-year stint acting and teaching in L.A., Conti decided to dedicate himself primarily to teaching. He considered a few secondary markets—Austin, New Orleans, Wilmington—but eventually decided Atlanta and Buckhead would be the best fit. “When I first got here, the hope was just that I would survive,” he says. “It was just me; now there are five of us teaching here. All of us have a passion for it.” Conti says that one of his favorite things about being a teacher comes at the start of the class when he asks

his students if there are any congrats in order: Every week, it seems more and more have booked a spot on “The Walking Dead” or “Revolution” or in the movies. “All I’m doing is guiding them,” he says. “They do all the work. I have it easy.” n NICK CONTI’S PROFESSIONAL ACTOR’S STUDIO 2849 Piedmont Road N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.943.1873 www.proactorsstudio.com

June 2014 | Simply Buckheadâ&#x20AC;&#x192;


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Out of the past and into print A 27-year-old dissertation is finally a first book


arolyn Curry was into women’s studies and issues long before they were considered a serious academic discipline. Back in the 1980s, when she was a graduate student working on a history doctorate at Georgia State, the Buckhead resident knew her dissertation would be something connected to women. “I remember telling my professor that I wanted to write about a Southern woman who would hold my interest,” she says. “As it turned out, his wife was a librarian and knew about this diary written in the 1800s by Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas that was in the special manuscripts department at Duke University. It had never been published and had more than 450,000 words. It took me years to go through it!” That dissertation turned into Curry’s first book, Suffer and Grow Strong: The Life of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1834-1907. In it, Curry tells Thomas’ story of living on an Augusta plantation with 400 slaves, attending Wesleyan Female College (as it was known in the 1840s) in Macon, losing everything during the Civil War and arriving in Atlanta in 1893, where she took up the then unpopular causes of temperance and votes for women. “It’s so fascinating that she told us so much about the war and what it was like


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

to be a woman in that period,” Curry says. “She did things women did not do back then—she started a school in her home and turned the family mansion into a boarding house. She had 10 children, and four died, so she knew suffering—from childbirth, an invading army and her family’s poverty. But her diaries talk about her life having meaning, and that’s what she accomplished.” Like her heroine, Curry has had a life of twists and turns. After earning her doctorate in 1987, she put her own career on hold to move with her husband, former Georgia Tech and GSU football coach Bill Curry, to various jobs around the country. She raised two children, taught history at the Westminster Schools and the University of Kentucky and didn’t give another thought to her dissertation. Then a chance meeting three years ago with a Wesleyan graduate who moved into Curry’s Buckhead condo building connected her to Thomas’ alma mater, where she gave the 2011 convocation address to kick off its 175th anniversary. “Everyone there had so much interest in my book that I sent it off to Mercer University Press, and they accepted it,” Curry says. “I had put it on the back burner, but little did I know it would stay there for 25 years.” Published in March, the book marks the end of a journey for Curry, 71, who knew


H.M. Cauley

someday she would get around to telling Thomas’ tale. “I have a portrait of her in my foyer; I’ve written other papers about her; I’ve talked about her in my classes,” Curry says. “I know she’s had an influence in my life, mainly to remind me that it’s never too late. If I can write a book after all these years, it shows we can do whatever we want. I believe this story is going to be an inspiration to other women, too.” n

SUFFER AND GROW STRONG: THE LIFE OF ELLA GERTRUDE CLANTON THOMAS, 1834-1907 is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and the Atlanta History Center.

S I M P LY A & E


Left: West Paces Ferry and Roswell roads, circa 1910. Photo: Courtesy Heritage Sandy Springs

Below: The view looking north on Peachtree Road just south of the Peachtree-Roswell split, circa 1949. Photo: Courtesy the Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center

Above: Rolader Spring Water Company, circa 1930. Pictured l-r: Edna Earle Rolader, William Joseph Rolader, Hickey Reeves, Homer Rolader. Photo: Courtesy Dan Vickers

Right: Watercolor of Buckhead, circa 1850, by artist Wilbur G. Kurtz, 1949. Photo: Courtesy the Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center

Snapshots of history Exhibit recaptures moments of Buckhead’s past


hat started as an assortment of photos to celebrate Buckhead’s history has become a permanent fixture in one of the community’s most revered landmarks. The lobby of the Buckhead Theatre on Roswell Road is now graced with an impressive collection of images that depict the area’s early days. Late last year, the idea burst through a conversation the staff of the Buckhead Heritage Society had with Charlie Loudermilk, the theater’s owner and restorer, who himself had pleasant memories of Saturday afternoons spent watching westerns and cartoons in the space when he was a child. “I’d been told he had an idea to do something with historic photographs, and from there, the idea came together very nicely,” says Erica Danylchak, the Society’s executive director. “We had a watercolor depiction of Irby’s general store from the 1850s. That establishment at the crossroads of Paces Ferry and Roswell [Roads] was the beginning of Buckhead.” Danylchak had been busy assembling an assortment of photos from local families


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

for a photo exhibit she wanted to mount. As it turned out, that collection was just what Loudermilk wanted for the theater. In late January, those images became a permanent fixture of the building’s lobby. The 23 black-and-white shots in the exhibit were culled from a variety of sources, including the nearby Atlanta History Center, Heritage Sandy Springs, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution archives and the special collections of Georgia State University. But Danylchak also put out the word to local residents that she wanted family photos, and with permission, several are included in the display. “That’s something many other collections don’t tend to do, but it really enlivens the exhibit,” Danylchak says. One of her favorites depicts members of the Rolader clan standing in front of the truck that hauled giant bottles of spring water to local businesses and households. The Rolader Water Company operated from the corner of Moores Mill Road and Northside Drive in the 1930s, and the photo shows another side of life in the neighborhood.


H.M. Cauley

“I think people really gravitate to the pictures of Buckhead Village because as kids, so many people spent their Saturdays there,” Danylchak says. “We’ve been told that over and over in oral histories, but those vintage images do what we want them to do: They start people’s reminiscences about their early history in the community.” The permanent exhibit has drawn positive reactions, and Danylchak hopes more people will discover a bit of Buckhead history in an unexpected locale. “People who go into the theater aren’t usually looking for our community’s history,” she says. “But even if they’re not history buffs, this permanent exhibit makes it possible.” n

BUCKHEAD THEATRE 3110 Roswell Road Atlanta 30305 404.843.2825 www.thebuckheadtheatre.com (Call ahead to confirm hours)




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June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 


S I M P LY A & E


Casting for talent Film veteran specializes in finding the right faces


he film industry may trade on glamour and glitz, but take it from Buckhead’s Annette Stilwell: It’s wickedly hard work. The North Carolina native left a writing career with the Charlotte Observer to become a movie producer and enjoyed the thrill of working with actors such as Candace Bergen and Patty Duke. But becoming a mom changed all that. Here’s a look into how Stilwell became a leading local casting agent.

When did you decide to give up producing? One day when my babysitter cancelled, I wound up hiring a nurse to look after my daughter. She made more money than I did that day. That was when I learned that having children didn’t mix with sunrise and sunset shoots. That was in the early 1980s, when no one in Atlanta was doing casting. But there were a lot of made-for-television movies and commercials happening here. Even when the movie business slowed, there was plenty of commercial work. You’ve built your reputation around finding the right face to fit the project. Is that easy in Atlanta? Our talent pool is so much better than other southern markets, so even if someone is shooting in Alabama, they cast in Atlanta. There are local people and others


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

who come from Birmingham and Chattanooga just for that reason. It’s grown tremendously; Atlanta is the base for the Southeast now. How does the process work? Usually, I get contacted by an advertising agency or a production company with a list of the talent they need. For instance, MetLife recently did an ad around golfing, so we needed people who could play golf and caddy. I send those specifications to area talent agents who forward clients they think suit the job. We weed through the submissions and may invite some candidates to our studio in Garden Hills to make a video or take photos that I can send back to my clients for the final decision. What’s the best part of the job? It’s never the same; every project is differ-


H.M. Cauley

ent. And I have a great time working with my daughters, Annie Stilwell Burch and Erin Stilwell Buda. Unlike movies, where the job goes on 24/7, I still have time to spend with my six grandchildren and to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and the Shepherd Center. What keeps you going? Honestly, I thought I’d be retired by now and looking for a fourth for bridge! When I lost my husband in 2007, my daughters stepped in, and it’s just been such fun. What advice do you have for anyone who wants to break into the business? Take classes and get an agent. Everyone I see is a professional with an agent. You really can’t do anything without one. n

STILWELL CASTING 2926 Piedmont Road N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.233.2278 www.stilwellcasting.com




Buttermilk Kitchen Chef Suzanne Vizethann pairs her wonderful pimento cheese with roasted pepper jelly, house-made pickles and toast points.

Wholesome & heavenly  P56

Photo: Sara Hanna Photography

Roswell Road’s Buttermilk Kitchen is a snappy little restaurant where Southern classics and creative breakfast confections are handled with panache.

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Above: Buttermilk Kitchen’s outdoor patio is a homey spot for warm-weather dining. Right: Buttermilk pancakes with butter and syrup never, ever go out of style.

Wholesome & heavenly Buttermilk Kitchen mixes sweet and savory to delicious effect


t’s a positive sign when you drive up to a restaurant and see the words “Brunswick stew” stenciled on the plate-glass window. Even better when the place turns out to be a purveyor of luscious pimento cheese; chicken biscuits gussied up with sweet pepper jelly and pickles; and buttermilk pancakes dripping with maple syrup and butter. Welcome to Buttermilk Kitchen. Situated in an inviting, bright-blue building on Roswell Road, the culinary home of chef Suzanne Vizethann is a breakfast-andlunch spot offering thoughtfully handcrafted food in a room as pure and simple as its namesake drink. In a city with no shortage of retro diners crowded with Formica and Fiesta Ware, a town of waffle joints, meatsand-threes and breakfast-all-day diners, Buttermilk Kitchen, which turns 2 in October, is a tasteful and refreshing alternative. Based on my three visits—two late lunches and a Sunday brunch—it seems to possess two distinct personalities. (Let me add: This is not a pejorative statement, just an observation on the pace and the mood of the place.) From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, it’s a nice option for a leisurely meal with a friend or a focused business meeting. (No alcohol is served, and the menu stays on


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead


Wendell Brock   PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

point with just a few salads, sandwiches, breakfast dishes and that occasional quirky bowl of goodness like green-tea oatmeal.) This would be the perfect time to linger over a delicious glass of tea and admire the country-chic details—the milk-bottle water carafes; the sweet little bar with the rustic tin wall; the ceiling of recycled louvered shutters in the sunny front room. On weekends, brunch is served from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the place gets a jittery vibe, as if the building itself is jonesing on those pots of Batdorf & Bronson coffee. The parking lot fills up. A waiting list emerges. And hungry diners mill about outside, waiting for Vizethann’s memorable confections and scrambles. (Trust me, it’s worth the time.) So back to that Brunswick stew: Arriving on a recent weekday, after a morning of yard work that felt like a CrossFit regimen, I was feeling really peckish. The stew, a specialty of my Mama’s, was just the thing to restore me. A concoction of smoky pork with butterbeans, corn and little cheesy croutons, it was heavenly, the perfect setup for my cool entrée: a scoop of delicious, simply dressed chicken salad atop a bowl of lemony-tart salad greens, grape tomatoes and toast points. I washed it down with a

glass of sweet (not sugary) iced tea, and all was right with the world. (The only downside to the experience: No dessert was offered, and I was practically scooted out the door by an eager-to-close staffer, presumably the manager. This after my server told me to take my time settling up. But hey, no problem! I did sneak in about quarter till quittin’ time.) On my second lunch stopover, I just had to try the pimento cheese appetizer, which came in a little jam jar twinned with a matching jar of the killer roasted red pepper jelly; a few tart, house-made pickles and some bread for spreadin’. The cheese spread and the jelly are both seriously addictive—this from an aficionado of both. A “half and half”—half a turkey sandwich and half a “roasted winter salad”—was a good healthy choice but not as flavorful as everything else I tried. The sandwich (turkey on focaccia with honey mustard and sunflower sprouts) was a tad bland, and the salad (roasted butternut squash, pepitas, goat cheese, cherries and greens) was a bit overwhelmed by the acidic honey-balsamic dressing. Once again, nothing sweet was offered at the end of the meal (not that I had a bit of room). So by the time I stopped by for brunch, I was eager to see what Vizethann and com-

Below: Chicken salad defines Buckhead, and the delightful version at Buttermilk Kitchen, served in bowl of tartly dressed greens, is a perfect summer lunch.

Left: Smoky Brunswick stew is a signature dish; we’d be happy eating it every day. Below: Chef Suzanne Vizethann opened her winning breakfast-and-lunch restaurant two years ago in October.

What’s not to love about a fat, fluffy biscuit stuffed with a crispy chicken breast slathered with pepper jelly? pany could do in the pastry and pancake department. As it turns out, I believe this is where the restaurant truly excels. While standards like French toast and a Mexican scramble are always on the menu, it’s the weekly brunch specials that tantalize and captivate. Depending on the season, you might find sweet potato waffles with blackberry curd, red velvet pancakes, peach cobbler pancakes, grilled cornbread, chocolate croissants, and so on. Flipping through the old menus on Facebook, I can’t believe all the good stuff I’ve been missing! On the Sunday my friend and I visited, we started with the toasted blueberry coffeecake—an amazing slab of buttery decadence—and moved on to that signature chicken biscuit. What’s not to love about a fat, fluffy biscuit stuffed with a crispy chicken breast slathered with pepper jelly? The way the bird’s rich buttermilk batter melds with the sweet jelly and tart pickle is pure magic. I’ve noticed that Vizethann likes to toy with Latin flavors at brunch (perhaps a

Left: The chef’s killer fried chicken biscuit with red pepper jelly and pickles hits all the right notes and is worth a special trip. Below: A highlight of Buttermilk Kitchen’s brunch is its rotating lineup of heavenly pastry specials, such as this play on Toaster Strudel.

chilaquiles scramble or a pork tamale bowl), and my dining companion was taken by the Spring Benedict, in which sunchoke mofongos (a play on the Puerto Rican dish made with plantains and pork) are flattened, fried and topped with spring onion-andmint pesto, farm eggs and Hollandaise. It was tasty and intriguing. My poppy-seed pancakes—a stack of three ginormous layers slathered with rhubarb-strawberry compote and Meyer lemon curd—were just as pretty and delectable as they sound. No wonder the joint was jumpin’ at 10:30 a.m. So here’s the scoop: I’m tickled to discover a snappy little restaurant where Southern classics and creative confections are handled with equal aplomb. In less than two years, Vizethann has built an impressive repertoire of original dishes and a clientele of loyal, happy customers. I think the sign on the front window sums up the versatility and charm of Buttermilk Kitchen: “Sandwiches, biscuits, ice cream floats, French pressed coffee, Brunswick stew.” Hot dang! I’m there! n

BUTTERMILK KITCHEN 4225 Roswell Road N.E. Atlanta 30342 678.732.3274 www.buttermilkkitchen.com Salads and sandwiches: $8.25-$11.50 Breakfast dishes: $8-$13 Recommended dishes: Brunswick stew, pimento cheese plate, chicken salad, chicken biscuit, breakfast sweets. Bottom line: Charming breakfast-and-lunch nook.

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Sans-spirits sippin’ The secret to these delish beverages? No alcohol!



Kelly Skinner

ounging poolside need not be a boozy affair. Next time you’re thirsty for a flavorful elixir, consider subbing your standard vodka soda with one of these refreshing mocktails (all available at Buckhead restaurants). They are sweet on your figure and your mood. To your health!

Sparkling Beet Lemonade

Cucumber Refresher

Pineapple Habañero Soda

SIP SPOT: Red Pepper Taquería

SIP SPOT: True Food Kitchen

SIP SPOT: Cook Hall

MIX MASTER: Executive Chef and Owner Mimmo Alboumeh

(opening this month at Lenox Square)

MIX MASTER: Bartender Bo Popovic

MIX MASTER: Chef Michael Stebner

FLAVOR FACTOR: This ruby-hued soda

FLAVOR FACTOR: Replicate a luxurious

infuses rich, rooty beets with citrus for a nutrient-packed pick-me-up.

spa day when you down this cooling blend of lemon, honey and cucumber.

FLAVOR FACTOR: Imagine Hawaiian bliss when you slurp tropical pineapple tossed with piquant habañero.


YIELD: ONE MOCKTAIL 4 fresh mint leaves or basil leaves 1/2 ounce agave nectar 4 ounces chilled Beet Juice (recipe below) 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice 2 orange peels cut 1-inch long 2 ounces Perrier sparkling water lemon slice or wheel to garnish

DIRECTIONS: In a bar mixing cup, muddle the mint leaves and agave nectar, add beet juice, lime juice, and orange peels, and shake well. Double strain over ice in a pint glass. Add sparkling water and garnish with mint leaf and lemon wheel.

BEET JUICE YIELD: JUICE FOR 12 MOCKTAILS 8 cups water 8 ounces beets (about three) peeled, cut into 1/2inch slices 1 cup fresh lime juice 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Red Pepper Taquería 3135 Piedmont Road Atlanta 30305 404.869.2773 www.eatredpepper.com


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

1/4 orange

1 cucumber, plus cucumber slices for garnish

6 mint leaves

3/4 cup Honey Lemonade (recipe below)

2 ounces fresh pineapple juice

DIRECTIONS: Juice the cucumber in an electronic juicer. If you don’t have a juicer, place the cucumber in the blender with just enough water to blend. Blend until puréed, then strain the juice though a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Fill a tall glass with ice. Add the cucumber juice and stir with 3/4 cup honey lemonade. Stir well and garnish with sliced cucumber.

3/4 ounce Pineapple Habañero Shrub (recipe below)




1 medium-size pineapple, sliced or 9 cups chopped pineapple

8 2/3 cups water 1 cup honey 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice from approximately 6 lemons)

DIRECTIONS: Heat 6 cups of the water over medium heat, then stir in the honey until blended. Remove from stove and stir in lemon juice and 2 2/3 cups cold water. Stir well, let cool and refrigerate in a pitcher.

2 cloves

DIRECTIONS: In a saucepan, bring water to boil. Add beets, lime juice, brown sugar, salt, and cloves, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove and chill on ice bath. Reserve liquid not used in cocktail and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks. Instead of discarding the cooked beets, Alboumeh suggests tossing with a fresh bed of greens for a wholesome side dish.


True Food Kitchen Lenox Square 3393 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 www.truefoodkitchen.com

Want more ideas? Visit the Simply Buckhead website for a kid-friendly Strawberry Basil Soda recipe from Cook Hall. www.simplybuckhead.com

soda water to finish

DIRECTIONS: Muddle orange with mint. Shake and strain with remaining ingredients into a Collins glass filled with ice. Finish with soda water.


4 cups cider vinegar 5/8 cup Red Savina habañero peppers, stemmed and seeded 7 1/2 cups sugar (10 tablespoons for every cup of liquid)

DIRECTIONS: Combine pineapple and habañero in a glass bowl. Mash ingredients with a potato masher or cocktail muddler until juices are released and peppers are aromatic. Add vinegar and cover. Let steep in a cool dark place for 24 hours. Strain through a china cap, pushing for total extraction, and then strain through a chinois into a heavy saucepot. Add sugar and combine over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Strain through two layers of cheesecloth set in a chinois. Let cool. TOP TIP: Order the restaurant’s $8 mocktail kit (pictured above) and unveil your booze-free brilliance when you shake up drinks like this one. Cook Hall W Atlanta – Buckhead 3377 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.523.3600 www.cookhallatlanta.com

Taqueria Bar Lounge

Handmade pasta, perfectly cooked steaks & fresh seafood expertly prepared using the nest ingredients.

$5 House Margaritas & Pina Coladas

All Day, Every Day! Karma Wednesdays- Industry Night $5 Karma Tequila Margaritas & Shots Beauty Industry Professionals Get 15% Of

Friday- Live Acoustic Performance by Rod Michael at 8pm

Ol' Skool Saturday w/DJ Thunder 3rd Saturday of the Month @ 10pm

Sunday- Eggs Over EDM 12:30-4:30

For reservations please call 404.844.4810

Bottomless Mimosas, Bloody Marys, Frozen Margaritas, Crab Legs,

The BEST TACOS in ATLANTA and SO MUCH MORE! www.cmcbridephotography.4ormat.com

June 2014 | Simply Buckheadâ&#x20AC;&#x192;




Culinary News & Notes 


Kate Parham

Sizzling Summer

Happy Hours W

hat better way to beat the heat than with cocktails and bites on the terrace? These seven Buckhead hot spots are dishing out summer specials you won’t want to miss!

Chase that case of the Mondays away with half-price bottles of wine at Paul’s—the perfect complement to the restaurant’s half-price sushi on Tuesdays.

Georgia Grown Gifts


or a taste of summertime, head to Buckhead’s Rumson Gifts boutique, where you’ll find the perfect “Georgia Grown” gift basket for the locavore in your life. “I wanted to support the Georgia Grown program, which is a state initiative that promotes our farms and agriculture, as well as the health and wellness of residents here,” explains owner Catherine McGahan, whose shop also retails Southern, Italian and gourmet themed baskets and original art. “There are so many incredible local products that should be household names in Atlanta and beyond—this gift contains several of them.” Here’s McGahan’s sneak peek inside this $55 basket filled with certified Georgia products: Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Georgia Olive Farms (Lakeland, Georgia) “The Chef’s Blend oil is delicious on salads and grilled vegetables, and even just with bread.”

Don’t miss “Tokyo Tuesdays” and “Sake Sundays” on Genki Noodles & Sushi’s patio where you’ll find $1 nigiri and $3 rolls, along with drafts, sake bombs and sake, each for under $5. Every Thursday, the swanky Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta offers weekly changing cocktails alongside 20-percent-off-apps and sweets (think spiked Arnold Palmers and heirloom tomato flatbreads). Where else can you slurp $6-a-dozen Gulf oysters washed down with $2 Tecates and $4 margaritas than Red Pepper Taquería? Even better, these deals are available every day starting at 4 p.m. on their air-conditioned patio.

Head to the sleek Mandarin Oriental for seasonal cocktails like spiked Arnold Palmers.

Make a beeline to Italian mecca Pricci for “Jazzy Thursdays” —half-priced wine, $6 small plates and live jazz beckon. Barbecue lovers rejoice—every Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., Bourbon Bar hosts happy hour on the terrace complete with hot-off-the-grill ’cue, rotating punch specials and live music. The rest of the week, you can head to its neighbor, Cook Hall, for “Punch Out at 5”: $5 cups of booze-infused punch alongside $5 snacks like crispy duck tacos and pulled pork sliders are available 5 to 7 p.m. weekdays.

Peach & Apricot Jam from Braswell’s (Statesboro, Georgia) “This has been a staple in our Southern gift baskets since we opened seven years ago—it tastes incredible and I love that the jars are reusable glasses.”

Left: Cook Cook Hall’s $5 cups of booze-infused punch are the perfect complement to their crispy duck tacos.

Friends Forever Sea Salt from Beautiful Briny Sea (Atlanta) “This natural sea salt combined with granulated honey is delicious on anything from popcorn to spinach salad, or you can use it to rim cocktail glasses.” Pickled Okra from Phickles Pickles (Athens, Georgia) “These were recommended by a close friend—one taste and I fell in love with them. Many people come into our store looking for art and end up leaving with pickled okra.”

Rumson Gifts 458 East Paces Ferry Road Atlanta 30305 770.656.0075 www.rumsongifts.com


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

Bourbon Bar 3315 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.946.9060 www.southernart.com/ bourbon-bar Cook Hall 3377 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.523.3600 www.cookhallatlanta.com Genki Noodles & Sushi 3186 Roswell Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.844.8319 www.genkiatl.com Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta 3376 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.995.7500 www.mandarinoriental.com/ atlanta Paul’s 10 King’s Circle Atlanta 30305 404.231.4113 www.greatfoodinc.com

Below: It’s Tuesday­—half-price sushi rolls at Paul’s are calling.

Pricci 500 Pharr Road N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.237.2941 www.buckheadrestaurants.com/ pricci

Above: $4 margaritas are too good to pass up at Red Pepper Taqueria.

Red Pepper Taquería 3135 Piedmont Road Atlanta 30305 404.869.2773 www.eatredpepper.com





Matteo Taerri, M.D., ABAARM

First Look: Big Sky


tâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been nearly four months since Big Sky Buckhead opened. Here, we look at whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happening now at the mountain-inspired restaurant and bar. THE PLAYERS: UGA Bulldogs may recognize owners Adam Berlin and Juan Calle (the duo behind Athensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; City Bar and Silver Dollar), while Pura Vida mourners celebrate the return of beloved chef Hector Santiago (who also co-stars at Abattoir). Alongside Santiago is Executive Chef Pedro Matos, who hails from Cakes & Ale and shuttered Super Pan.


-*104$6-15*/(t#3";*-*"/#655"6(.&/5"5*0/ 1"*/-&44-"4&3)"*33&.07"-t'"$&3&+67&/"5*0/ -&(7&*/4$-&305)&3"1:(thousands of cases done) #0509ÂŽ'*--&34t-"4&3"$/&"/%304"$&"5)&3"1: 131 1-"5&-&53*$)1-"4." 4,*/)"*33&+67&/"5*0/ 8&*()5$&--6-*5&3&%6$5*0/t453&5$)."3,53&"5.&/54 4,*/5*()5&/*/((BY SKINTYTEÂŽ)t*1-1)050'"$*"-

THE LOOK: Very few restaurants in Buckhead (or the Southeast, for that matter) make you feel like youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re tucked away in a mountain lodge. But the Georgia pine timbers, exposed stonework, Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lone Peak mural and glorious views (only these are of the skyline variety) do just that. The contemporary retreat clocks in at nearly 5,000 square feet split between two stories, each with large glass garage doors for an open-air experience. THE FOOD: In short: elevated bar fare. The long version includes a plethora of made-from-scratch dishes like Santiagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous steamed coconut bunsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;made with a trifecta of coconut: oil, water and milkâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; stuffed with house-cured pork belly, and a freshly ground burger topped with homemade caramelized onion jam sandwiched in Holeman and Finchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legendary bun. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We wanted to create an approachable, casual environment where you can have a drink but also enjoy affordable, chef-driven food,â&#x20AC;? Berlin explains. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner. THE VERDICT: Big Sky has given Buckhead a one-of-a-kind watering hole perfect for happy hour and boozy brunches alike. There are not many Big Sky Buckhead bars serving this level of food until the wee 3201 Cains Hill Place N.W. hours of the night (2:30 a.m. on weekends), Atlanta 30305 but we recommend having bites with your 404.481.5168 beer rather than beer with your bites. www.bigskybuckhead.com

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SWAN SONG The Swan Coach House’s evening and special events director says ‘come fly with me’ STORY:

Kate Abney


he Forward Arts Foundation—a group established in 1965 by an avant-garde group of philanthropic women—has called The Swan Coach House its fundraising hub since 1967. The former carriage house of the Inmans’ famous Philip Trammell Shutze-designed residence evolved from a humble tearoom into a bastion of Buckhead tradition. It is a place where proceeds from every dollar go toward grants that support creative progress in our city. Guests are likely to meet any of the foundation’s 125 active member-volunteers during their visits to the homey restaurant and special events venue, a beloved site for bridal luncheons, baby showers, teenage birthdays and everything in between. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle and bedecked with member-donated décor, it imparts a familiarity that makes our community feel like a small town. After a college career packed with entertaining-oriented extracurriculars, evening and special events coordinator McLean Corrigan found her calling here, citing the superb level of customer service and Southern hospitality as the biggest draws. Nowadays, she hosts two to three events a week in the facility’s seven unabashedly feminine rooms (with names like BelleNita, Katydid and Sally’s Porch) and ancillary outdoor spaces, most of which were named for Forward Arts Foundation members. Read on for Corrigan’s insights into her role.

Old-Fashioned Eats Some signatures have been on the Swan Coach House menu for 50 years, like the famous chicken salad in heartshaped pastry timbales or the afternoon tea served in a hodgepodge of estate-sale teacups, though a few “skinny” options have recently sneaked in. These days, the restaurant also offers catering, plus to-go entrées and sides for “busy swans on the fly.” Still, the culinary team loves to experiment in the kitchen. Stopping in for a seasonal event? You’ll be floored by the venue’s ingenuity. St. Patrick’s Day has seen green mini French silk swans, Valentine’s Day brought heart-shaped treats, autumn welcomed a harvest tea with mini pumpkin pies and candy corn, and the holiday affairs always pull out all the stops. “We get to be so creative with our menus,” says Corrigan, “and it’s so much fun.”


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

You began working at the Swan Coach House two years ago. What brought you here? At UGA, I discovered my passion for customer service and hospitality. I boomeranged back right after college. It felt like coming home. Are you originally from Buckhead? Yes, I grew up right down the street! I used to come here with my grandmother as a little girl. I’d get dressed up, eat the frozen fruit salad and feel like a lady. It’s nice to work at a place with such a legacy. Three generations have had events here. Why do you think everyone adores it so? We offer a boutique experience. We love to customize things and build relationships with our clients. We find that even big corporations are seeking unique venues now, rather than huge hotel spaces. They want something special, and they love that we have such strong ties to the community. So what’s your day-to-day like? I do everything from meeting with clients,

to creating special menu items, to customizing details like flower arrangements and signature cocktails. I tell my clients I can do as much or as little as they like. I see my events through the sale, the coordination and execution, so nothing gets lost in translation. A personal touch is always my priority. What’s new for summer? In June, we host a lot of small, intimate weddings. We also get a ton of rehearsal dinners. When you’re the mother of the groom, you want everything taken care of, and that’s what we deliver. If you’re hosting out-of-town guests, you want something quintessentially Atlanta, and you can’t get more classic than this! n

THE SWAN COACH HOUSE 3130 Slaton Drive N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.261.0636 www.swancoachhouse.com



Interior Design Residential



Buckheadʼs neighborhood bistro


Bellini Night every Wednesday evening 5 - 8 p.m. featuring $6 Bellinis

3630 Peachtree Rd. NE Atlanta 30326

404-254-1797 www.fandbatl.com

Scott Allen Roell

DeSigneR Mobile: 404-387-7443 eMAil: ScottRoell@gMAil.coM

Wears Valley, Tennessee LoT for SaLe! You’ll be looking directly at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from this gorgeous homesite, as well as into Wears Valley! It is the last remaining “big view” property on the east Side in the Homestead Development, so don’t miss out on a great opportunity. When you stand on this homesite, the view of the Smokies will take your breath away!

for More Information Call 678-234-6551 View From The Homesite

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 



FEATURED RESTAURANTS  A sampling of great eats in and around Buckhead WRITTEN: Wendell



n 10 Degrees South After 15 years on the scene, this Roswell Road establishment is a highly original destination where food and wine from the tip of the Southern Hemisphere are celebrated with flair. Before we could pose the server with a query on the peri-peri, we got the hard sell on South African reds—particularly the Rupert & Rothschild 2009 “Classique.” The big, full-bodied R&R was the perfect match for the luscious, spicy food that followed. I may not be an expert on South African cuisine, but I’ll wager that nobody makes bobotie (the national dish) like 10 Degrees South. The dish consists of tantalizingly sweet curried ground beef topped with a custardy crust. It’s time to get your head out of the sand and indulge in the kind of stuff our parents enjoyed when “Continental” cuisine was in vogue. Appetizers: $10-$16 Entrées: $21-$38 www.10degreessouth.com

n Buckhead Diner This indispensible, neon-splashed diner is a jewel in the crown of the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, which includes the Greek temple-like Kyma next door and the Atlanta Fish Market

Seafood—like this gorgeous trout amandine—is a strong suit at Hal’s.

Sara Hanna

down the street. For 27 years, fans have flocked here for the housemade chips with Maytag blue, the “sweet heat” Thai-chili calamari, juicy burgers and the decadent white chocolate banana cream pie—classics all. Simply by virtue of the way it lights up Piedmont Road, this diner has always been, and will always be, a star. Appetizers: $6-$12 Sandwiches and burgers: $13-$16 Entrees: $17-$30 www.buckheadrestaurants.com/ buckhead-diner

n Café Sunflower In a town that’s burger-crazed and churrascaria-packed, chef-owners Lin and Edward Sun’s casual, mid-priced kitchen is an anomaly: a veggie haunt that samples freely from world cuisine with mainstream diners in mind. Here, patrons take delight in consistently delicious salads and soups; soy-based replicas of everyday grub like burgers and ravioli; and a stellar lineup of original dishes. The food is freshly prepared, beautifully presented and accessible to both hardcore vegans and omnivores. Lunch entrées: $9-$12 Dinner entrées: $12-$18 www.cafesunflower.com

Beloved by celebrities and hometown fans the Buckhead Diner has helped define what Atlanta eats for more than a quarter-century.

n Co’m Vietnamese Grill In a Buford Highway strip mall on the edge of Brookhaven, Co’m has for some time now been my favorite place for the vibrant, aromatic flavors of the Southeast Asian nation that ownerbrothers Duc and Henry Tran once called home. While Atlanta has pho shops aplenty, the stars here are the rice and noodle dishes, which can be ordered with heavenly grilled meats, chicken or fish. The pièce de résistance, though, is the grilled grape-leaf rolls, stuffed with bits of beef, lamb, salmon, duck or tofu; doused in a pool of sweet-fishy vinaigrette and sprinkled with crushed peanuts and crispy fried scallions. Heaven! Appetizers: $3-$10 Entrées: $7-$18 www.comgrillrestaurant.com

n Georgia Grille Twenty-two years after its opening, Georgia Grille remains true to Atlanta-


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

born owner Karen Hilliard’s original vision, which means she still splashes the bright flavors of Santa Fe onto the plates of her happy and devoted customers. The French-trained Hilliard dresses her creations in voluptuous cream sauces accented with smoky poblanos or tart tomatillos—and drizzles them with colorful squirt-bottle squiggles of flavor. We dug her smoked-pollo enchiladas, which are stuffed with onion and sour cream, smothered with greenchile sauce and tomato salsa and served with a little salad in a tacoshell cup. The flat-iron steak, rubbed with salt and spices and cooked until its crust is charred, was another solid choice. Atlanta has plenty of regional restaurants, but a good Southwestern place is hard to find. Hilliard, who lives in nearby Peachtree Hills, knows what her neighbors want, and she dares not let them down. Entrées: $15-$31 www.georgiagrille.com

pork sandwich—a delicious pile of pink, smoke-tinged meat between two thick slabs of white bread—I believe him. Graddy has proudly transported his family’s traditions to his casual Southern ’cue counter. Man, is the food good. The fresh-tasting coleslaw (with just a little mayo) and excellent new potato salad are just the things to cut the richness of the succulent pork. Some other tasty go-withs are fried okra, long-cooked collards, mac and cheese and Brunswick stew. I’m sated. I’m sauce-splashed. I need a moist towelette and a nap. Entrées: $8-$24 www.pignchik.net

n Pig-N-Chik Co-owner Jim Graddy tells me he learned the art of the pit on his granddaddy’s pig farm in Manchester, Georgia. Graddy remembers cooking whole hogs all night long over hot coals, and when I tear into his pulled-

Hungry for more? Visit the Simply Buckhead website to read all of our Restaurant Reviews! www.simplybuckhead.com

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n Little Bangkok Little Bangkok is a decidedly humble hole-in-the-wall, yet many Atlanta

n Pasta Vino You can surely find trendier pizza parlors or posher places to eat Italian in Atlanta. But if you are looking for old-fashioned linguini with clam sauce or chicken Florentine in a relaxed and

inviting atmosphere with a loyal following, this Buckhead favorite has got you covered. The restaurant is beloved by many for its home-style cooking, casual ambiance, reasonable prices and a staff of servers who have acquired faithful customers of their own. Owner Nancy Powell treasures her crew, most of whom have been on the job for more than 10 years. Given the refined state of Italian dining in America today, Pasta Vino is not likely to win any awards for innovation or inspiration. But it remains a perfectly fine, frequently delicious, middle-of-the-road trattoria. Starters and salads: $2-$10 Entrées: $10-$22 www.pastavinoatlanta.com


ethnic-foodies insist that it is their favorite go-to joint for casual Thai. Not the fussy business of intricately carved radishes and gilded bowls. Not the throwaway curries and stir-fries of last-chance airport concessions and mall food courts. Little Bangkok is that happy place somewhere in the middle— a spot where the spring rolls are always crispy and the pad thai always a plate of tangy-sweet comfort, and where adventuresome diners can savor the green-peppercorn bite of spicy catfish and the sweet, Rice-Krispie weirdness of mee krob. At its best, Little Bangkok is like a brief, belly-pleasing adventure to the Land of Smiles. Entrées: $8-$18 www.littlebangkokatlanta.com

n Taka Sushi and Passion Chef Taka Moriuchi learned from perhaps the most famously finicky and cultinspiring Japanese chef Atlanta has ever known: Sotohiro Kosugi, owner of Buckhead’s legendary (but now shuttered) Soto Japanese Restaurant. Today, Moriuchi holds court at his own Pharr Road sushi bar, where his impeccably fresh fish and hot and cold appetizers compare to the best Japanese food in town. The only difference: His prices won’t shipwreck your budget. Among our faves, the UPS roll is a delicious nod to the Atlantabased Big Brown fleet, and the black cod and okra tempura are packages you’ll be happy to see arrive at your table. Appetizers: $6-$20 Nigiri: $2.50-$11 Sushi rolls: $4.50-$19.50 www.takasushiatlanta.com


n Joy Café Every Sunday at sunrise, Joy Austin Beber goes to her Buckhead café and makes a whopping pile of her greatgrandmother’s biscuits. After church, she serves a hallelujah chorus of a brunch: fluffy buttermilk pancakes; eggs Benedict; and those famous biscuits topped with gravy, sausage and scrambled eggs. I arrived at the 3 p.m. cutoff for the breakfast-y brunch items, and enjoyed a terrific cobb salad with loads of blue cheese, bacon, avocado, boiled egg and grilled chicken. The Joy’s pièce de résistance, though, is the Crack Pie, with its oatmeal-cookie crust and gooey interior. Joy got a kick out of hearing that I am wack for her crack. This selftaught chef keeps it simple and fresh. Brunch: $7-$14 Lunch: $8-$12 www.joycafeatl.com

Taka’s sushi rolls—including the spider roll with deep-fried softshell crab—are exceptional and sometimes named for Atlanta brands. Also pictured are the UPS roll (cucumber, avocado, egg omelet and barbecued eel) and the ICBM (with tuna, salmon and hamachi).


n Hal’s “The Steakhouse” Looking on the outside like a high-end strip joint topped with a Bourbon Street balcony, Hal’s has built its cachet around its loyal clientele, old-school style, impeccable service and terrific food. Owner Hal Nowak is a New Orleans native, and in his eponymous enterprise—with its shrimp rémoulade, oysters bordelaise and booze-soaked bread pudding—he has created Atlanta’s answer to Galatoire’s. This may be your grandparents’ favorite restaurant, but in an age where everything old is new again, it also boasts a youthful clientele that appreciates its straightforward food, strong drinks and speakeasy atmosphere. Appetizers and salads: $9-$24 Entrées and steaks: $234-$50 www.hals.net

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 








Buckhead is brimming with awe-inspiring residences designed during its most opulent era— mysterious mansions that continue to inspire local architects’ modern-day masterpieces STORY:


Kate Abney   PHOTOS: Sara Hanna of Atlanta society,” a glorious era that lasted until the stock market crash of 1929. As the genteel way of life has gradually fallen out of fashion—in favor of minimalism or site-inappropriate McMansions—a few residential relics remain intact, underscoring the prestige Buckhead dwellers love to celebrate. Though their parcels of land have been divided, sold, and subdivided further in time, any joyride down Habersham or Tuxedo Road is still a sight to behold—historic homes peering proudly from the summits of their lush green lawns. The impact is more visceral than visual; you know innately that you are admiring something special. And that’s precisely why Buckhead’s most dedicated developers, restorationists and preservationists work so tirelessly to safeguard this most precious architecture. The house profiles that follow—compiled by sifting through oral histories, speculation and folklore—are but a small snapshot of our community’s noblest residences, but they do prove that the allure of living well is more than just a passing fancy.


hen we saunter down a stately Buckhead street, why do we ooh and ahh? The answer is synonymous with the setting itself: pure grandeur, dashed with grace. Developed as an upscale suburb of Atlanta in the early 1900s, Buckhead was once a hotbed of country estates where the wellheeled retreated to, well, cool their heels. The greatest architectural talents of the century— Neel Reid, Philip Trammell Shutze, Hal Hentz, Rudolph S. Adler, James Means, Henri Jova, Pringle & Smith, Frazier and Bodin, and more—built homes in traditional and classical styles such as Federalist, Regency, Georgian, Greek Revival, Colonial Revival, Italianate and French Norman. With the help of these acclaimed architects, Atlanta’s elite embraced intricate details, lavish entertaining, sumptuous interiors and sprawling grounds to match. While magnificent mansions have no doubt sprung up in the decades since, Buckhead’s most famed and fabled residences are those built during the “golden age

PLUS: HAUNTED HOMES AND PICTURESQUE DOORS P74 A Drive-by Tour of Buckhead Doors P73 Buckhead’s Most Haunted Addresses with eerie tales

Commemorating the calling cards of our community’s finest residential architecture June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 



IN THE PINK The Calhoun Estate 3418 Pinestream Road

“Since Stan and I are members of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art and Shutze Foundation, we understand the house and we’re not trying to change the house,” Melanie Turner says of her beloved Calhoun Estate. Dress: Tadashi from Tootsies ($375)


nterior designer Melanie Turner and her husband, award-winning custom home builder Stan Benecki, represent only the third family to own one of Buckhead’s most iconic residences. Located today at 3418 Pinestream Road, the spectacular Italianate residence long called the Calhoun Estate is perhaps best known today as the “Pink Castle,” thanks to a nicknaming in Anne Rivers Siddons’ 1989 book Peachtree Road. The 12,000-square-foot house was built in 1923—when Buckhead was still a country landscape designated for summer escapes— by Andrew Calhoun and Mary Guy Trigg, a couple whose legacy is a source of some debate. A few remember Calhoun as a distinguished attorney; others, as a real estate investor and gentleman farmer. Trigg is occasionally recalled as an heiress to a grocery fortune, although others say this is unlikely to be the case. Trigg’s Welsh ancestry, however, is more certain, and explains the unusual name she gave to her estate: Tryggveson. When it was completed, the Calhoun Estate’s sprawling grounds occupied 100


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

acres from West Paces Ferry to Highway 41, explains Turner, and boasted a three-story, seven-bedroom mansion with terrazzo floors, perfect proportions, lush orchards, formal gardens and a clay tennis court. Though unequivocally designed by the legendary firm of Hentz, Reid & Adler, the Calhoun Estate’s principal designer is another subject of heavy dispute. As Atlanta architect William H. Harrison explains, Neel Reid generated the first set of drawings for the Calhoun family, but that commission was never executed. “In 1922, when the Calhoun project was revived, the house that was ultimately built reflected the revised drawings of Philip Trammell Shutze,” he says of the budding architect who helmed the firm following Reid’s untimely death four years later. Harrison notes that Reid’s reputation for traditionalism contrasted noticeably with the more eccentric Shutze, who had just returned from escapades in New York and Italy, bringing lofty inspirations to a palatial residence replete with Italian Baroque influences. Shutze homes erected in succeeding years—such as the Rhodes House in 1926 and the Swan House in 1928—continued along this creative thread. Reid is nevertheless remembered as being intimately involved with the Calhoun Estate, and is said to have traveled abroad frequently to procure authentic furnishings and art objects prior to his death in 1926. The home’s other illustrious accents included three plaster-framed murals by Allyn Cox—the same famous artist who worked on friezes in the Rotunda of our nation’s Capitol—one of which remains in the entryway to this day. In 1952, Roby Robinson, the husband of Mary Trigg’s daughter Louise, purchased the residence from his mother-in-law, and the Robinson family called it home for six years. The couple, who founded the Atlanta Art Association, tragically perished four years later in the infamous Orly crash of 1962. After prominent businessman and civic leader Edward Allison Thornwell Jr. acquired the house in 1958, he and his wife, Gloria, raised their two children and dwelled there for 50 years. Their son, Edward Allison Thornwell

III, went on to become executive vice president of the Atlanta Braves. Gloria, who was considered the consummate hostess, is said to have divided her time between Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and Buckhead, opening the house for approximately six weeks each year to company, coming-out parties and weddings. In 2009 the home also was the site of her wake. This is the reason that Turner, a hostess of weekly dinner parties, purchased Gloria’s original silver candelabras, carrying her spirit of entertaining into a new era. One day she hopes her daughter Cydney will also marry in the grand and cavernous ballroom. “Stan and I tried to get so many of our clients to buy this house, because we were so in love with it,” explains Turner, who describes it as “The Downton Abbey of Atlanta.” “A year ago in March, I created a vision board with photos of the house, rolled it up, and forgot about it. In July 2013, Stan and I were on a trip to New Orleans. When he told me the price of

the house had dropped, so did my stomach. We put a bid on it and they took it.” Though the design-centric couple was planning to build another new home, the pair enthusiastically embarked on one of Buckhead’s most epic restorations instead, bringing the Calhoun Estate back to its former grandeur. Among the improvements were replacement of the 90-year-old Italian tile roof, installation of heating and cooling systems where none previously existed and restoration of the intricate original plasterwork. Turner is also planning to transport her dining room from the 2014 Decorators’ Show House & Gardens—held at a similarly proportioned Shutze residence, the Rhodes House—straight into her new abode. Having participated in Atlanta Symphony Associates Decorators’ Show Houses & Gardens for the past five years, this was the first time Turner was able to make such a move. She also decided to keep the Calhoun Estate’s original

kitchen, “freshening it, but not tearing it out like most people do,” she notes, as we all sigh in relief. Already, the home has served as a site of photo shoots for Bloomingdale’s and Currey & Company. And in the future, Turner plans to lease it out as a film set and meeting site for corporations. All proceeds will go toward future efforts to keep the house’s heritage intact. “It is important to me to open up this house to the arts and to the world,” says the typically itinerant designer, who plans to call the Calhoun Estate her forever home. “To me, it’s all on emotion, and everything should be on emotion when it comes to where you live and what you surround yourself with,” she explains. “Sometimes I am still moved to tears when I walk through the house. I feel so lucky to be able to preserve it. I don’t look at this as my house; I look at myself as a caretaker for the next generation. It feels like I’m saving something.” n

“It’s like walking back in time. The floor plan is as good today as it was then. There is nothing that you need to change about it. Nothing. Not a wall that needs to be taken down.” —Melanie Turner

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 



PET PROJECT 3640 Tuxedo Road


et high upon a grassy hill at 3640 Tuxedo Road, the five-bedroom, Regency-style estate built in 1935 as Windcrofte represents one of the finest works of Frazier and Bodin. Better known as the Woodruff Mansion for the Coca-Cola executive—the one and only Robert Woodruff—who dwelled within its walls, it was bought by businessman and former gubernatorial candidate Guy Millner with his wife, Ginny, in 1990. They’ve served as inimitable stewards of it since.

A former designer, homeowner Ginny Millner now dedicates her time to animal activism.


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

The Woodruff Mansion’s pool house—complete with a cantina bar— was added in the mid ‘90s by famed architect Henri Jova.

Yet even surrounded by gleaming marble, sumptuous canopy beds and a grand piano, Ginny Millner’s most prized possessions are her pets. On any given day, the animal activist can count as many as 10 dogs under one elegant roof. Throughout her fervent years of activism, the New Leash on Life founding member has aided adoptions, spaying and neutering efforts, fundraising, educational initiatives and resource sharing on an enormous scale. Her current effort, Fix Georgia Pets (www.fixgapets. com), raises funds that filter into the Humane Society, LifeLine, the Fulton County Animal Shelter and more. She also works with organizations such as Planned Pethood, Village Vets and the 24-hour Ark Animal Hospital. “I’m so passionate about it, I live it every moment,” Millner says from her perch in Tuxedo Park, which boasts the sort of sweeping lawn that’s the signature for this tony part of Buckhead. “Ginny still lives here in a way that carries on the original intentions of the house,” says her friend Boyd Coons, executive director of the Atlanta Preservation Center, noting her old-fashioned decorating flourishes and devotion to formality. “The drawing room hasn’t been swept away for a casual eat-in kitchen.” Shortly after Millner—a designer who

worked with Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera and Bill Blass—moved to Atlanta from New York and bought the 14,000-squarefoot home, it was christened the site of the 1990 Atlanta Decorators’ Showhouse. Millner tapped decorators Mark Hampton and T. Gordon Little and left her own mark on a few spaces. In more recent years, local designer Susan Lapelle finessed a few rooms. The recently deceased Henri Jova added a pool house in the mid ’90s, complete with a fabulous cantina bar that makes Millner feel like she’s vacationing in Mexico, where she spent her youth. It abuts a putting green—a favorite feature of Guy Millner and their grandchildren—as well as “wonderful” fig trees. In the years since they purchased it, the Millners have kept much of the interior aesthetic intact (just look at Mr. Woodruff’s wood-paneled study), but transformed his downstairs conference room into a meeting space and children’s playroom. Most notably, the house has been a backdrop for countless charitable functions—many of them animaloriented. In future years, the exterior may change a bit (Harrison Design Associates has proposed drawings to improve it), but with the Millners presiding over those efforts, we trust the residence will remain one of Buckhead’s best-preserved. n



here’s a six-bedroom stunner on the corner of Peachtree Battle Avenue and Rivers Road that makes passersby stop in their tracks. Suddenly, you gaze upon what appears to be a pre-Civil War mansion in a city Sherman had burned by 1864. Although your eyes do not deceive you, there is more to this story. The 5,370-square-foot home Stephen LaMastra, managing principal and CEO of Monarch Investments Group, his wife, Anne, their three children and two Vizslas have called home since 2007 was actually built as a simple Federalist structure in the 1920s. During construction, the F.P. & George J. Morris house so piqued the interest of those along Peachtree Battle that it received a prominent feature in Hearst’s Sunday American. Shortly after World War II, the acreage around the house was sold and the lot shrunk considerably, but owners during the midcentury had plans to keep it grand: Namely, when an antebellum house in the heart of Macon was torn down, its six immense Corinthian columns were transported and installed on the home’s facade, a lazy porch added between, making it look like a scene straight from Gone With the Wind. Over the decades, this romantic presentation drew homeowners ranging from a past president of Coca-Cola Enterprises, to an art-enthused couple tragically killed in the Orly crash, to a popular fashion model, LaMastra reveals. The 1960s also saw the addition of a 1,180-square-foot garage-and-guest house

combo, built in the style of a ski lodge with an anchoring fireplace and exposed beams. These days, its full-service kitchen and bathroom make it particularly amenable to hosting parties, which the LaMastras throw at every opportunity. That includes functions for the Horizon Theatre Company

and Pace Academy, where LaMastra serves as chair, plus Super Bowl and summer pool parties for dozens of friends. An impressive interior renovation of the main house was achieved at the hands of Robert H. Miles, a former professor and Dean of Faculty at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, who rehabbed the house extensively with his wife, Jane, in the early 2000s. When the LaMastras purchased it in 2007, it was choked by ivy and magnolias “like some forgotten English manor,” LaMastra recounts. Landscaping was the family’s greatest contribution. “We wanted to open it up and show it to the neighborhood. In the first six months, we had dozens of people come by and thank us for doing that,” he recalls. Designer Linda Rickles left her mark on the interiors. “We get calls about it once a month now,” LaMastra adds of the inquiries from Atlanta’s exploding film industry, most of which he declines. “This house looks 150 years old, so everyone feels a connection to it. It reminds you that here in Atlanta, we’re still part of the Old South.” n The ski lodge-styled garage-and-guest house combo, added in the 1960s, is the ideal locale for hosting parties.

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 



PICTURE PERFECT 281 Blackland Road


esigned and built in 1936 by Frazier and Bodin at the height of the firm’s heyday, the white-brick Adam-style residence at 281 Blackland Road may be one of Buckhead’s most treasured. Built in 1937 for Hugh P. Nunnally, this breathtaking Tuxedo Park mansion’s Corinthian-columned facade is like a postcard in the memory of most Sunday drivers. “It’s set so beautifully on its lot, and has one of those huge sweeping green lawns that Tom Wolfe wrote about at length when describing grand Buckhead properties,” notes Holly Street, the Buckhead blogger behind Things That Inspire. Indeed, its lush green grass tumbles 500 feet to the street, creating an imposing presence high upon the hill. Not surprisingly, its reign over the neighbors has been long and illustrious. Most notably, actor Clark Gable and actress Carole Lombard were photographed


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

on site during the premiere of Gone With the Wind, cementing the Nunnally mansion as a modern icon for the city. When a fire devastated the property in 2000, undoing a year of exacting renovation efforts, the owners dared not throw in the towel. Instead they seized the opportunity to restore the residence to its original glory, doing away with the lackluster renovations that had chipped away at its character throughout the decades. But first, the fire and water damage had to be sorted—the experts at Spitzmiller & Norris took the structure down to a roofless shell. Thanks to detailed documentation efforts, they were able to restore an exact replica of the roof, cornice, portico, windows and trim. Though you cannot see it from the street, the interior restoration was just as immaculate. Precise molds were made from the remnants of plaster details, then the plaster

ornaments were recast for the home’s formal rooms. A family room and solarium were established in place of the home’s tragically destroyed north wing. The new living room boasts a two-story portico with Savannahinspired wrought-iron balconies. Interior doors were reoriented, and the house was bedecked with intricate panels and trims. Additional aesthetic accents were achieved thanks to the expertise of designer Carole Weaks, while bonus features include a new wine cellar, an attic playroom/media room, a pool and pool guesthouse. Still more evidence of this project’s profundity? Spitzmiller & Norris’ renovation earned a Preservation Award from the Georgia Trust in 2003 and an Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Shutze Award in 2008, proving that, with dedication and precision, classicism can prevail even in a contemporary age. n

When Tony Conway’s Estate was Southern restaurant Anthony’s employees reported hearing children singing and lights turning on by themselves. Photo: Denis Reggie

Buckhead’s Most Haunted Addresses with eerie tales Today, it’s an upscale events venue called Tony Conway’s Estate, but for more than 40 years the 1797 antebellum home at 3109 Piedmont Road was Anthony’s, an old-school Southern restaurant where employees reported spooky sounds and refused to work through the night. Some folks claimed to hear children singing or watched lights turn on by themselves, but Conway says the spirits must have been scared away during his recent renovations: “It would have been great to have a resident ghost overseeing it when we are not there!”

Above: Footsteps on floors and rappings on doors earned The Willis-Jones House its “haunted mansions” distinction. Right: Don’t be surprised if you smell notes of Chantilly at Villa Juanita. The scent is said to have been the preferred perfume of a former owner. Photos: Sara Hanna Photography

Currently undergoing massive renovations by John Willis Custom Homes, 306 Peachtree Battle Avenue—also known as the EvansCucich-Hayden house—is a monolithic Art Deco gem previously inhabited by Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard Hiram Evans, who died in 1966. Legend has it that the controversial former homeowner had a penchant for kidnapping, engaged in ritualistic behaviors and built an underground network of tunnels and chambers. Only time will tell what spirits could haunt his home’s halls.

Can a house be haunted by a scent? If you trust the tales about Villa Juanita, the 1923 Pringle & Smith-designed villa at 509 West Paces Ferry Road, then it could be so. Visitors report detecting notes of Chantilly, said to have been the preferred perfume of a former owner. The phenomenon doesn’t seem to be too troubling, though, as Australian businessman Anthony Pratt has occupied the home since 2002. According to local lore, a move from Peachtree Heights to 520 West Paces Ferry Road was purportedly not enough to rid the Willis-Jones House of its restless spirits. Before the Neel Reid-designed residence and previous headquarters of the Atlanta Historical Society was restored to its former glory in the 1980s, it was a popular prank site for fear-mongering teens, who’d frequently dare each other to sneak inside. The story goes that footsteps on floors and rappings on doors came from an eerie unknown source. n

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 



A Drive-by Tour of Buckhead Doors Commemorating the calling cards of our community’s finest residential architecture This Henri Jova-designed house at 274 West Paces Ferry Road was completed in 1960. Its current homeowner, Atlanta PR mogul Amanda Brown-Olmstead, adjusted the front door at a later date with the help of architect John Calhoun, choosing the blue hue because it reminded her of Provence and enhanced the European stylings of the home—an effect boosted by the wisteria vines and metal lantern. Photo: Josh Vick

Photo: Peter Block

This Lutyens-inspired English country house at 5537 Long Island Drive, near Sandy Springs, was completed by Peter Block Architects and builder Woody King in 2006. Found at auction, the Swedish blue door off the motor court is nestled within a semicircular stucco portal and accented by an off-kilter iron pendant installed by designer Meridy King.

Photo: John Umberger

This 2004 restoration to a 1932 Normanstyle home at 675 West Paces Ferry Road features a periwinkle door that delights and allures. Exacting renovation efforts by Harrison Design Associates enhanced the virtues of New York architect Aymar Embury II’s original design. The charming character of the residence, originally called the Richardson-Franklin House, was dialed up thanks to a tall-hipped slate roof, timber details and metal casement windows imported from Europe.

The door to this Craftsman bungalow at 71 Huntington Road—located in the suddenly-booming Brookwood Hills neighborhood of South Buckhead— exhibits the nostalgic stylings of the American Arts & Crafts movement, popular from the 1860s through the 1930s and representing one of the most rampant genres of Atlanta’s architectural heritage. This home received a renovation, expansion and freshening up about eight years ago, complete with a front porch that spans the width of the house. Photo: Lowe Baumann Group at Beacham & Company Realtors


From Jane Fonda to Janet Jackson, the list of celebrities who have called Buckhead home has grown at a blazing pace in the last few decades. First, there was Elton John’s mid-rise residence at Park Place. Then, rapper Jeezy snagged a penthouse at 2881 Peachtree Road. Usher now calls a sprawling estate between Moores Mill and West Paces Ferry his stomping grounds. And Justin


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead

Photo: Sara Hanna Photography

In 2010, former antiques dealer T. Ruben Jones painted his 1922 Neel Reid masterpiece at 125 West Wesley Road a vivid clementine and cobalt (à la Florida Gators), much to his neighbors’ chagrin. The aesthetic choice was so aggravating, it earned a lengthy feature in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, raising questions about responsibility for historic preservation in private properties. The striking doorway was reportedly drawn up by former Jones acquaintance James Means, who once worked as an apprentice at Reid’s firm, Hentz, Reid & Adler. That said, some argue the color shows off the home’s great bones.

Ginny Magher’s former Pak Heydt & Associatesdesigned home at 3850 Tuxedo Road made the March–April 2006 cover of VERANDA and continued to incite delight from passersby long after the revered interiordesigner owner moved. Modeled after a Parisian hôtel particulier, the impressive Tuxedo Park Photo: Erica George Dines “townhouse” displays a striking front door with a diminutive balcony, elegant double doorknobs and semicircular limestone stairwell perfect for descending in a floor-length gown. Nestled in the heart of Buckhead just west of Northside Drive, this Pak Heydt & Associates residence was designed to conjure visions of a magnificent English manor. At the entryway, a Cotswolds-meetsGothic approach was achieved by incorporating an archway of cream-colored limestone, which contrasts beautifully with the richly finished English oak door and 30-paned window above.

Photo: Jeff Herr Photography

Bieber is famously hanging his bucket hats at the futuristic pad of producer Dallas Austin, just off Northside Drive. Actor/director/producer Tyler Perry hunkers down near the banks of the Chattahoochee River and The Lovett School, so you may catch him noshing at nearby Canoe. Nowadays, there’s no telling what famous faces you’ll spy while grabbing the morning paper or walking your pooch.


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June 2014 | Simply Buckhead


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Join the crowd and see spectacular fireworks at Lenox Square.


FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES It may be scorching hot come July 4, but Buckhead patriots don’t let 90-degree temps dampen their party spirits. Whether it’s fireworks, athletics or parades that interest you and yours, bring your patriotism (and hometown pride) to one of the red, white and blue celebrations happening in our neck of the woods.

Legendary Fourth of July at Lenox Square

The AJC Peachtree Road Race


By the time you read this, registration for this nationally renowned race will have long been closed to runners. But don’t fret! Half the fun of this race is being part of the 100,000-strong spectator crowd cheering on the more than 60,000 runners and walkers at the world’s largest 10K—this year the Atlanta Track Club has increased the prize purse to $100,000, more than double the prize from 2013! The race begins in Buckhead on Peachtree Road at Lenox Square Mall and ends at Piedmont Park in Midtown. The wheelchair race begins at 6:45 a.m., followed by the women’s professional division at 7:17 a.m., the men’s professional division and footrace at 7:30 a.m., and various start waves beginning closely thereafter.

For the 55th year, an explosive fireworks display will light up the night sky as hundreds of onlookers gaze skyward at Buckhead’s Lenox Square. Spectators of this Atlanta tradition will enjoy live music and food in addition to the biggest fireworks display in the Southeast—for free. The winner of the Lenox Square talent search, Atlanta’s Next Legend, will kick off the concerts at 6 p.m., with Departure (a Journey tribute band) following at 6:45 p.m. and rockers Party on the Moon headlining at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks will begin at around 9:40 p.m.


7th Annual Chastain Park July 4th Parade and Festival www.chastainpark.org

Returning for its seventh year, Chastain Park’s annual family-friendly event offers outdoor fun for people of all ages. The main event, a free Fourth of July parade, will run from 11 a.m. to noon along West Wieuca Road. After, beat the heat and socialize with neighbors and friends for an afternoon of swimming at the Chastain Park pool. Enjoy the scenic setting as a musician plucks acoustic tunes at the water’s edge. Regular pool admission fees apply. Public swimming is $1 for children 5 and under; $2 for children ages 6 to 16; $4 for adults ages 17 to 64; and $2 for adults ages 65 and up.

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




Events, exhibits, galas and more 

Fill Wednesday evenings with music, drinks and views at Canoe’s Song of the South series.

n Song of the South June 4, 11 Canoe 4199 Paces Ferry Road S.E. Atlanta 30339 770.432.2663 www.canoeatl.com Canoe’s popular alfresco Wednesday concert series, Song of the South, will continue at the Vinings riverside mainstay through this month. Featuring live bands at the restaurant’s River Bar from 7 to 10 p.m., the event invites guests to mingle at the bar during the performances or snag supper at one of the garden tables while watching the show. Enjoy the restaurant’s gorgeous grounds and take a walk along the premises between sets, or eat indoors first before meandering toward the tranquil tunes. This month, check out folk duo Windsor on June 4 and bluegrass-fusion ensemble Smokey’s Farmland Band on June 11.

n Weekend Yoga at Mandarin Oriental June 7, 21 & July 5, 19 Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta 3376 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.995.7500 Local yogis looking to spice up their practice can partake in yoga classes at Buckhead’s Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta through next month. Limited to a handful of participants, the sessions follow yoga guru Elizabeth Rowan’s lead for a vigorous 75-minute vinyasa flow class (think intense,


Listen to writer Peter Heller discuss his latest book, The Painter.

calorie-blasting core and shoulder work) at the hotel’s fourthfloor yoga studio. Following the workout, refresh with a fresh fruit smoothie and enjoy access to the hotel’s state-of-the-art fitness center and 60-foot lap pool for the day, as well as a 10-percent discount on products in the spa boutique. Classes are $30 and designed to fit a wide range of ability levels. View the hotel’s website to learn more about additional yoga classes coming later this summer (like prenatal yoga). Reserve your spot by calling 404.995.7526 or emailing moatl-spa@mohg.com.

n Peter Heller, The Painter June 9 Atlanta History Center 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.814.4000 www.atlantahistorycenter.com Increase your literary prowess and engage in thoughtful book talk as acclaimed author Peter Heller gives a lecture on his latest tome, The Painter. Known for his best-seller The Dog Stars, his new book tells the story of a man looking to reinvent himself and ditch his violent past when he moves to rural Colorado. Heller, a lauded writer of adventure pieces—he is a contributing editor at Outside, and regularly writes for National Geographic Adventure— pens a satisfying read for those looking for a great escape tinged with danger and suspense. Part of the Margaret Mitchell House Lecture Series, the lecture begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead


Kelly Skinner

View a range of artworks, including Caren Canier’s “West Hall,” at Thomas Deans Fine Art’s annual Summer Pleasures exhibit.

can be purchased in advance online at www.tickets.atlanta historycenter.com.

n Summer Pleasures June 13-Aug. 2 Thomas Deans Fine Art 690 Miami Circle N.E., Suite 905 Atlanta 30324 404.814.1811 www.thomasdeansfineart.com Bringing together vibrant paintings from a score of visual masters, Thomas Deans Fine Art’s annual two-month exhibition makes for a leisurely way to soak up culture and pretend you’re on summer vacation (regardless of whether you truly are). The free exhibition showcases works from established artists as well as gallery newcomers. Stop in at least once this summer and pore over the wide-ranging artworks. Among those artists whose names you might recognize are Southern artists Scott Upton, Curt Butler and Helen Durant.

n 4th Annual Brookhaven Beer Fest June 14 Fernwood Circle N.E. and Apple Valley Road Atlanta 30319 www.brookhavenbeerfestival.com Spend the afternoon on Brookhaven’s Apple Valley Road and in Fernwood Park sipping more than 150 beers from around the globe at one of the largest beer fests in the city. Support a slew of homeThe Deadfields town favorites (SweetWater,

Admire more than 100 of artist Wynn Bullock’s stunning photographs, including this one, “Driftwood.”

Red Brick, Three Taverns, Blue Tarp, Monday Night Brewing, Cherry Street Brewing Co-op and Red Hare are just a few of the local standouts pouring on the premises) as you jam to live music from Hero, Jacob & The Good People and DJ Suspense. Food trucks and Brookhaven restaurants will also be slinging tasty eats. Tickets are $35 in advance and can be purchased online at www.brookhavenbeer festival.com. Tickets will also be available at the door for $50. Your wristband gets you unlimited tastes. The event runs from 3 to 8 p.m. and is right behind MARTA—travel smart and take the train!

n The Third Annual Georgia Music Awards Show June 14 The Buckhead Theatre 3110 Roswell Road Atlanta 30305 404.843.2825 www.thebuckheadtheatre.com Georgia has long been notorious for churning out A-list musicians. Celebrate some of the state’s top crooners amid The Buckhead Theatre’s gorgeous environs during this annual awards show put on by AwardShowNation. com. This anticipated event shines the spotlight on droves of the state’s top artists in genres like country, hip-hop, R&B, rock and jazz during an evening of live performances and wellwarranted recognition. This year the honorees include entertainer Millie Jackson and “The Ambassador of Soul” Ellis Hall. Enter

on the red carpet, stock up on cocktails at the bar and get ready to cheer on your favorite local artists. Tickets start at $21 when purchased in advance at www.ticketmaster.com and are also sold at the door starting at $26. Doors open at 7 p.m. The show begins at 8 p.m.

n Wynn Bullock: Revelations June 14-January 2015 High Museum of Art 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Atlanta 30309 404.733.4400 www.high.org Take a break from the brutal summer sun with an afternoon reprieve at the always-cool High Museum of Art. This month kicks off a diverse selection of breathtaking photographs from artist Wynn Bullock (a contemporary of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Harry Callahan). View more than 100 black-andwhite and color photographs spanning the breadth of Bullock’s career, and including everything from landscapes and portraits to color work and abstractions. The exhibit is organized by the High in collaboration with the Center for Creative Photography. The museum is the first to feature a retrospective of the artist’s work in more than 40 years. Entrance to the exhibit is included in regular admission, which is free for members, $19.50 for adults, $16.50 for seniors and students, $12 for children ages 6 to 17 and free for children age 5 and under.

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Honorees Tom and Chris Glavine

Photos: Lynn Crow Photography



URE Childhood Cancer hosted its inaugural Believe Ball on May 3 at the St. Regis Atlanta. Raising an impressive amount— nearly $780,000—the benefit and auction honored Atlanta Braves Hall of Famer Tom Glavine and his wife, Christine, for their exceptional and passionate efforts on behalf of children with cancer. Tickets for the Believe Ball’s live and silent auction sold out quickly, and the event accommodated a whopping 575 guests! Sitting alongside the Glavines was “The Voice” competitor Chris Cauley—who belted out a tune—and his wife Sandra Grimaldi-Cauley, the reigning Mrs. Georgia 2013-2014. Other Atlanta natives in the house included Jeff Foxworthy, Jill Becker and Honorary Chairs Karen and John Schuerholz. The Glavines were honored with an award, a proclamation from the governor, and a letter and signed jersey from Tom Glavine’s longtime hero, Bobby Orr. There was even a surprise video with messages from the likes of Elton John; Dr. Phil; Tom’s high school crush, Kristy McNichol; and many more. – By Natalie Mae Fressell

Sandra and Chris Cauley with Pat and Sylvia Tylka

Kimberley Kennedy, CURE Executive Director Kristin Connor and Kathleen Kennedy John and Kelly Deushane, Jaye Watson, Kenny Hamilton

Honorees Tom and Chris Glavine, Jeff Foxworthy, Rhonda and Pete Smith

John and Monica Pearson

June 2014 | Simply Buckhead 




COME ON IN... What’s beyond the threshold of this periwinkle charmer at 675 West Paces Ferry Road? Knock and maybe you can find out... PHOTO: John


June 2014 | Simply Buckhead





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Profile for Simply Buckhead

Simply Buckhead June 2014  

Simply Buckhead is the definitive resource for Atlanta's most dynamic intown neighborhood. With a commitment to journalistic excellence, the...

Simply Buckhead June 2014  

Simply Buckhead is the definitive resource for Atlanta's most dynamic intown neighborhood. With a commitment to journalistic excellence, the...