Wednesday, July 25, 2012
For the month of July I tagged along with Daphne to visit her sister in Atlanta. I'll admit that I didn't take a lot of pictures on this trip but not for lack of subjects. This city has so many cute little neighborhoods with quirky houses,hipster hangouts and rooftop after rooftop bar. We picked berries, went dancing, watched and old horror movie, sampled local food, drove around the pretty neighborhoods, and even took a sewing class at Atlanta Institute of Stitches and Crafts courtesy of Sarah.
One of my favorite places we visited was the Oakland Cemetery (a favorite hangout spot of Sarah and Thomas). We had a little nap in the grass next to Jackson Maynard - the first black mayor of Atlanta - who we affectionately referred to as May May. This cemetery really reminded me of the day I spent in Pere Lachaise years ago.
It's possible that we went back to this graveyard after dark and told ghost stories. It's possible.
The other things I LOVED about Atlanta was all the great street art! Just look!
On my first day I had a little bit of time to explore Decatur by myself. This area had a bunch of cute little shops and restaurants. I would recommend Squash Blossom for a cute boutique and Raging Burritos for lunch.
Important dude named Stephen Decatur.
Some nice man took my nerdy picture standing in front of a Gaia/Nanook piece.
Perhaps my favorite part of the weekend was the morning Daphne and I spent touring Dr. Martin Luther King's Birth Home as well as viewing his tomb and the civil rights museum. The house was gorgeous - you can't take pictures of it though - and much bigger than I had anticipated. As usual, the documents and imagery were all extremely moving and I learned some new key figures in the movement through the interviews and images in the museum. It absolutely astounds me how little we really learn about the Civil Rights Movement in school. It's shameful.
By the end of the trip I really loved Atlanta's charm and vibrant art scene and could imagine myself living in one of it's cool neighborhoods. My only real gripe is that it's not a very walkable city - but I could buy that Vespa I've always dreamed of!
Thanks to Daphne, Thomas and Sarah for a great weekend!
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
So I've made myself a To Do list for the summer. Some of it is businessy (build a website - yuck) but most of it is fun. While in Atlanta I got to cross off something from my list - picking fruit.
About a 45 minute drive outside of Atlanta is Foxbrier Farm where you can go to pick some Boe Berries. Giant plywood signs with the word Blueberry followed by a giant blue dot is the only clue you will see once you get back on the winding road to the farm.
We pulled up to the house and knocked on the door. Nothing. Is anyone home? Maybe we should have called first. We scrounge around facebook looking for a phone number while arguing about whether its Boe Berry or Boe's Berries or Boe Berries. A woman answers the phone and assures us we are in the right place. "Do you see any buckets?" she asks over the phone. Sitting on the porch were two green plastic buckets. "Ok, take those buckets and go pick berries" she said. So we did.
We found it rather odd that there was no one there to check us in or direct us to the berries but we had no problem finding our way. Armed with buckets we set out to pick the bushes clean.
It turns out that picking blueberries is hard work. There are beetles that buzz angrily at you, bees that follow you and a nasty patch of fire ants gave us all itchy souvenirs to take home. By the end of it our buckets were pretty close to full - even despite Daphne eating more than half of what she picked.
As we sprinted away from the ants and back to the house a tired looking tye-dye clad dude tumbled out of the house and said we owed him about $12. Twelve bucks! We had so many berries that we ate them throughout the weekend. Then we divided them up and Daphne and I took some home, which I literally just finished yesterday.
I kid you not these berries were the best I've had all season. Plump, firm and just slightly tart. If nothing else, picking fruit made me appreciate the food much more as I ate them and simultaneously scratched my bug bites.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
I recently spent the weekend in the adorable neighborhood of Grant Park in Atlanta. Always on the quest for delicious vegan fare we ended up at Stone Soup Kitchen for brunch one day.
If you bee-line it to the back of the restaurant, past the spacious booths, you can round the corner and come out in a cute little shaded patio with the long farm table set against the back wall.
Stone Soup Kitchen operates by this philosophy: "The better the ingredients the better the food". Whenever possible they use local or organic ingredients. That's all fine and dandy but it had to be put to the test!
While most of the menu is not vegetarian or vegan there are a few options that all sound appetizing. I really love how well designed their menu layout is and how easy it is to find the vegan and gluten free options on the menu (just look for the brightly colored stars!).
I chose the Blueberry Corn Meal Flapjacks and the Vegos Rancheros - both of which are vegan and gluten free. Verdict: Flapjacks - AMAZING .... Rancheros - GOOD but in need of a saucier sauce.
Now I have to say: I am not a pancake girl. I will sling some waffles till the day I die and only eat pancakes when I have no waffles to consume but THESE pancakes were amazing. Fluffy, filling, crispy yet soft and full of plump, slightly tart blueberries.
The Vegos Rancheroes had a lovely array of colors from the black beans to the salsa fresca to the vibrant green sunflower sprouts. What would make this dish delicious would be a vegan chipotle sour cream or a creamy cilantro dressing. Something to liven it up just a little.
This was a really great spot for a satisfying vegan brunch that could be enjoyed in the company of omni friends.
584 Woodward Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30312
Cafe - Monday through Friday 6:30 to 3pm
Breakfast - 6:30 am to 3pm
Lunch - 11am to 3pm
Weekend Brunch - 9am to 3pm
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
While we only got to spend one full day in Nashville we got to spend full two nights there. There is a good bit of nightlife, as you might expect, and much of it revolves around the local country music. We sampled a little bit or everything.
Marty took us to the Shelby Street Bridge which both Marty and my other friend from TN referred to as the Pedestrian Bridge. It's this giant structure you can walk out on over the river and get a cool view of downtown. They also opened a big park there for kids with this space-age looking elevator that takes you from the bridge down to the park.
We walked down onto Broadway to rub shoulders with the sweaty drunkies. I think this is a Honkey Tonk...or is it a Hootenanny?
Locals dancing in what appears to be a Hoedown. Strange customs.
We went to Bar 308 to close out the evening. They had lots of fancy looking shots named after writers that I did not partake in. I did however partake of the Connect Four tournament we staged as well as kicking back and watching Ghostbusters on the big screen above us.
This moment was awesome. Rachel had quietly won the turn before and Marty, unaware of her victory, was setting up to take his turn. This was a very stressful moment for
For our last evening we went to Mercy Lounge to see Of Montreal. We got there super early so we walked around town a bit and played pool until the show.
If you haven't been to an Of Montreal show then I don't want to totally ruin the experience by posting a million pictures. In short - It's a fun experience full of dancing and strange costumes.
Tomorrow I take off for Atlanta - expect some fun-filled and hopefully food-filled posts when I return!
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
On our full day in Nashville we packed in a ton of sightseeing. Marty grew up in Nashville and has spent lots of time exploring the city so he was a great guide.
We also had a little task we wanted to complete while in Nashville. Rachel had the idea to leave a hidden note somewhere in the city for a friend of hers who spends much of the year on the road performing, but who rests his weary boots back home in Nashville.
We chose to hide the note at the Nashville Public Library in a little whisky bottle she bought at an antique store. Within the next few days we should hear from him to see if the note was still where we left it!
My favorite part of the library - aside from all the books, duh - was the Civil Rights Collection. A whole room full of photographs, books and videos about the Civil Rights Movement! In particular the Nashville sit-ins, organized by the Nashville Student Movement, played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement. The NSM created the Ten Rules of Conduct for Civil Rights Movement Sit-ins - which were the behavioral standards written by this group to create an effective sit-in. Those ten rules are etched into the glass tabletops in room.
The library also has an extensive wing dedicated to children's literature and this cool puppet theater room with this semi-creepy giant head.
On the top floor of the library there is a collection of old prints and photographs. I liked this one.
Down on Broadway there is this cool print shop called Hatch Show Print. Hatch Show started in 1879 and is still rolling out new prints - making it one of the country's oldest print shops still producing art. Because much of their work has featured and promoted the country singers of our past like Johnny Cash - they operate within the Country Music Hall of Fame. If you are in Nashville stop in to watch them at work, visit shop kitty, or buy a print or tshirt. Ask about their internships if you want to learn how to press!
Marty also took us to Las Paletas Gourmet Popsicles. Now I have to admit, I'm not really a popsicle gal. They drip down your arm and get all sticky and messy. I'm not even really an ice cream cone girl either. I always liked to have it in a cup. BUT - on a hot summer day such as this day I did enjoy these exotically flavored cooling treats.
We also grabbed some sammies at Fido. I found their vegan spicy chocolate cookies more exciting than the sammie but it WAS my first white eggplant sammy - so that's special right?
We really only scratched the surface of Nashville on this trip but I really enjoyed our whirlwind tour. Marty and Rachel are my favorite people to travel with.
One of my favorite places that we went (but I didn't take any pictures of - ugh) was Local Honey. The group of young, self-taught females who outfit this store with creative and beautiful wardrobe pieces really blew me away with their individual styles. They buy vintage pieces and then stitch and embellish them into completely new garments. I bought a few new skirts and shirts and didn't even have to experience any sticker shock.
Look for the Nashville By Night post next!