Tag Archives: atlanta

5 Fast Facts: Atlanta BeltLine by the Numbers Infographic

I love the Atlanta BeltLine and I’ve been writing about it a lot lately, here and for Coca-Cola. I thought I’d share in a different way a few of the fun facts given by the project’s communications staff, so I put together this little infographic.

I included many more numbers in the two articles I wrote about the BeltLine for Coca-Cola’s Journey website. The second part is up now, examining the challenges ahead and highlighting the enthusiasm Atlantans have for the “emerald necklace.” I hope you’ll go there to read it, share it and comment on it.

Atlanta-BeltLine

EARLIER: Part One of Coca-Cola’s Look at the BeltLine

EARLIER: Building the ‘BeltLine Culture’ VIDEO

EARLIER:  Journalists offer advice for the BeltLine

Gattis Loss the Latest in a ‘Really Difficult’ Time for the Braves

Atlanta Braves, Evan Gattis, trade, traded, trades, losing popular players, Jason Hayward, Upton, MLB, Major League Baseball

Say goodbye to Evan Gattis, Braves fans.

The day after the Braves traded popular slugger Evan Gattis to Houston, the team’s director of public relations acknowledged the challenges of the last few months.

“It’s been a really difficult off-season,” said Beth Marshall, in response to a question today at the Public Relations Society of America’s Georgia chapter luncheon in Buckhead.

The Gattis trade followed earlier swaps of other “fan favorites,” as she called them — including outfielder Jason Heyward and Justin Upton. Plus, plenty of fans (including this one) are still miffed about the move to Cobb County.

(The Gattis trade might be the last straw for me. Big hitter, nice guy, remarkable story… Come on, y’all. This is what we’re losing?)

Marshall, on a panel with three other sports PR pros, called the trades “a necessary process for a lot of different reasons.” She said they bring not only P.R. challenges, but marketing issues, as well, since fans can’t come to see some of their favorites anymore.

With so many new names on the roster, everyone within the Braves organization will have a lot to learn at Spring Training — so they can help educate the fans, in turn.

Other morsels from the panel, shared on the PRSA Twitter feed:

  • A British couple touring the College Football Hall of Fame were flummoxed. “Do people actually GO to these games?” they asked a tour guide. – from Traci Messier of the Jackson Spalding agency, which works with the Hall.
  • The Hall activated Kia sponsorship with tailgate exhibit featuring their vehicles. That’s a good example of how corporate sponsorships have to be directly relevant for the sponsor and the event.
  • Comparing launch successes, speakers pointed out that the Hall’s events and grand opening were spread out; the Braves held everything about their move secret until One Big Announcement.
  • Athletes’ social media posts can help build brand — or destroy it. Marshall tells players to not tweet anything they wouldn’t say on TV.

RELATED: Say goodbye to Jason Heyward

RELATED: John Rocker on ‘Survivor’

RELATED: Pics inside the College Football Hall of Fame

Coca-Cola Spreads the Inside Story of Atlanta’s BeltLine

Atlanta, BeltLine, Coca-Cola, Coke, Journey, brand journalism, content marketing, Ryan Gravel, Cathy Woolard, Lisa Borders, transportation solutions in big cities around the world, making the most of existing infrastructure

One of Jeff Roffman’s photos on Coca-Cola’s Journey site shows a family enjoying Atlanta’s BeltLine.

Coca-Cola‘s online magazine Journey just posted the first part of a two-part feature I wrote on the Atlanta BeltLine, and I hope you’ll click over and read it.

The good folks at Journey gave me plenty of space and the talents of free-lance photographer Jeff Roffman. I wrote it for readers beyond Atlanta who might not know about the BeltLine but will be interested to see how it is progressing and what they can learn from it.

The story also is a good opportunity to check out Journey, which is full of great copy, photos and information about all kinds of things all over the world. It’s a leader in brand journalism/content marketing. And you’ll notice that it’s not all about marketing Coca-Cola. It really is a bright, engaging general-interest magazine — which also includes resources traditionally found on corporate websites.

Here’s the article. Please share and let us know what you think.


EARLIER: Building the ‘BeltLine Culture’ VIDEO

EARLIER:  Journalists offer advice for the BeltLine

RELATED: The College Football Hall of Fame lights up downtown

A Former Civil Rights Reporter Shares His Thoughts on ‘Selma’

My former newspaper colleague Walter Cumming shared his interview with his father, a former Newsweek reporter who covered the Civil Rights Movement. Walter spoke with his father about that era and then they went to see “Selma.” This is great stuff and I want to share it. Enjoy.

LIVE ART, Oeuvres nouveau, NEUE KUNST

Joe Cumming leaving theatre
Last Friday, I interviewed my Father about his experience in 1965 as a Newsweek reporter in Selma Alabama.
The next day, at my urging, we watched the Ava Duvarnay’s film “Selma”. Here is my follow up interview with him immediately after the viewing:
Me- “So Daddy, as a work of art, how was the movie to you?”
Joe- “Well see, I’m of a different generation. In truth, having been there, as you say, it was very dramatic. But this over did the drama from my point of view. But that doesn’t speak for a generation that would get a lot out of it.
There was no falsehood but that LBJ thing did give him a bad rap.”
Me- “You interviewed George Wallace right?”
Joe – “Oh yeah, I knew him real well…”
Me- “What did you think of his portrayal in the movie (by UK actor Tim Roth)?”
Joe-“I didn’t…

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Santa Speedo Run is Playful Fun for a Good Cause

Atlanta, Santa Speedo Run, Midtown, Peachtree, Baton Bob, Everybody Wins, Children's literacy, literacy, charity event, gay, gay men,

Go, Santa.

Apologies to friends in Boston and other cold cities that have similar annual events, but today was beautiful and balmy for the Atlanta Santa Speedo Run.

The event is a fund-raiser for a different organization each year. This time, the money will go to Everybody Wins, a children’s literacy group. The goal was $70,000. I’m guessing the runners raised more, given the rockin’ turnout and the gorgeous weather. (Donate and check for updates here.)

It followed Sunday’s Toy Party, another charity event for kids supported primarily by Atlanta’s gay community.

I was expecting hunks in trunks, and there were plenty. But women and straight guys joined the group of mostly gay men. And there were non-running supporters, a brass band in goofy hats, and Atlanta police helping with traffic on the fun run’s 1.5 mile route on sunny Peachtree Street in Midtown.

When I checked the temp on my iPhone, it was 61.

Sorry, Boston.

(Click on a pic to make it bigger. Rollover to see the caption.)

Celebrating a Beloved Bookstore’s 25 Years

“We don’t want bookstores to die. Authors need them, and so do neighborhoods.” — Roy Blount, Jr.

A Capella Books, Atlanta, bookstore, independent, Little Five Points, Inman Park, bookshop, books, out of print books, hard to find books, 25th anniversary, 25 years,

From Kurt Cobain to Flaubert… and lots more.

Like newspapers and the music business, bookstores everywhere have taken an evolutionary hit in the digital age. Many have folded up, including all the Borders chain and Atlanta’s Outwrite.

But A Cappella Books continues to give bibliophiles reason to hope — and to spend money. On Friday, the independent shop celebrated 25 years in business with a reception at The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and a party afterward at Manuel’s Tavern.

It was also a launch of a new book about the shop, featuring some of the city’s top writers, called “A Cozy Infinity.”

‘I Like Seeing the Good Guys Win’

A Capella Books, Atlanta, bookstore, independent, Jimmy Carter, Manuel's Tavern, Inman Park, Little Five Points

Owner Frank Reiss

Throughout the years and changing marketplace, owner Frank Reiss has moved the store to a few locations in the Little Five Points/Inman Park area. He’s adapted nimbly from his original focus on hard-to-find and out-of-print books. Now he has added more online sales, more events with authors, and selling more signed copies.

The first two locations were in the heart of Little Five Points, with heavy foot traffic and lots of stores and restaurants around. Now, he’s in a more isolated spot nearby that’s right up against busy DeKalb Avenue.

“This isn’t the story that everybody thinks of, this romantic haven for reading,” he says. “It is in a way. But it’s been a hustle, a lot of strategic business decisions to survive and do OK. So that’s what the story really is.”

Reiss has built the kind of goodwill that local merchants dream of.

A Capella Books, Atlanta, bookstore, independent, Little Five Points, Inman Park, bookshop, books, out of print books, hard to find books, 25th anniversary, 25 years,

A clean, well-lighted place for books…

“It was a great pleasure to pay tribute to one of the world’s nicest people who, as a bookseller, also happens to be raising the knowledge/intelligence/enlightenment quotient of the greater Atlanta region,” said Hank Klibanoff, a former Atlanta Journal-Constitution managing editor and contributor to the book. “From some great authors, you could feel the enormous rush of love for Frank and his support for their work. It was one of those start-to-finish feel good evenings.”

And from a fan on Facebook, Noel Mayeske: “I like seeing the good guys win.  Great job Frank on building a book store Atlanta loves, and enduring through some very changing times over 25 years. Here’s to many more!”

And it’s not just anybody who can score a presidential library and Manuel’s on the same night.

Let Him Tell His Own Story

I could write a recap of the store’s history. But this is really good, from the store’s website:

When A Cappella Books first opened its doors in Little Five Points in 1989, there was no Amazon. For all intents and purposes there was no internet. Barnes & Noble had not even arrived in Atlanta. Oxford Books dominated the local retail book landscape, with another newcomer, Chapter 11, nipping at its heels. Only a few years later, Oxford had succumbed to its newfangled competition. In several more years, Chapter 11 was bankrupt.

A Capella Books, A Cozy Infinit, Atlanta, Inman Park, Little Five Points, Independents bookstore, books, Frank Reiss, Jimmy Carter, Manuel's Tavern

25 Years, 25 Writers

A quarter century–and three re-locations–later, A Cappella is still going strong, and, while still hardly bigger physically than its original incarnation, the little store plays a big role in the local literary scene, presenting important authors and selling books at venues all over town.

To celebrate its longevity, A Cappella is publishing a book: A Cozy Infinity: 25 (Mostly) Atlanta Writers on the Never-Ending Allure of Books and Bookstores. Contributors to the volume include Pulitzer Prize-winner Hank Klibanoff, former Atlanta Magazine editor Rebecca Burns, James Beard award-winning food writer John T. Edge, popular columnist Hollis Gillespie and celebrated local novelists Thomas MullenSusan Rebecca WhiteAnthony Grooms, and Joseph Skibell. The book’s title comes from one of the 25 essays contained in it, penned by Esquire staff writer and Atlanta resident Tom Junod

Reiss ended up writing more of “A Cozy Infinity” than he had planned.

“It’s where I tell the story of how I got into the book business and started the bookstore here in Atlanta and figured out a way to keep doing it for 25 years,” he said.

Smaller Stores Are Doing Better

The American Booksellers Association, which represents independent bookstores, says its membership grew 6.4 percent in 2013, to 2,022. Sales were up 8 percent in 2012, and those gains held last year, The Washington Post reported in an article citing a resurgence of independents.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement, but not everything is doom and gloom for America’s bookstores,” reported The Open Education Database.

In 2013, Publisher’s Weekly ranked Georgia as 18th among states for book sales. The state had 252 independent bookstores.

Others that have made the most of their niche include Charis Books & More in Little Five Points, with a focus on women, and Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, which sells children’s books.

Let me know about others, and share your stories and support for A Cappella and other independent bookstores. At this time of year, when we’re all out there shopping, it’s good to keep local independent merchants of all kinds in mind.

(Click on a photo to see it bigger. Mouse over for captions.)

A Cappella Books, 208 Haralson Ave. N.E., 404-681-5128, Sunday noon to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. acapellabooks.com

 

3 Easy Tips from the Pros for Taking Better Photos with Your Phone

If everyone’s a writer in the Internet age, then it’s doubly true that everyone’s a photographer.

We all take a lot of pictures, mostly on our phones. It’s fun, it’s easy and — unlike in the prehistoric days when we had to develop film — it’s a source of cheap and instant gratification.

But are you doing it right?

If you’re like me, you might not even notice that sometimes you’re taking pictures that will show telephone poles growing out of someone’s head … or you might look at the photo later and say, It really wasn’t that dark in there.

I’m no expert. But I’ve had the privilege of working with great professional photographers and designers over the years. And they’ve been kind enough to share pointers that are so basic and simple, even I have benefitted from using them.

So try these out next time you’re taking selfies or shots of the family, the dogs or even landscapes.

And shoot a LOT. It’s digital!

1. The Rule of Thirds. You know how Instagram puts a tic-tac-toe board over your screen? It’s to help you compose the image so that the subject is where it should be. And most of the time, it’s at one of the four intersection points. Use this with any camera, any time. Just divide the screen into thirds horizontally and thirds vertically, and put the main subject at one of the points where the lines cross.

2. Look at the entire screen. What is behind the subject and what’s filling the rest of the image area? If you’re taking a photo of mom in the living room, is there a giant floral arrangement behind her that will make her look like an alien peacock? Is the wallpaper so loud it competes with her Christmas sweater?

3. It’s all about the lighting. Be sure to touch the screen on the main subject — mom’s face, for instance — so your phone or camera adjusts to light her. Be careful of putting people in front of windows or other bright light — it can make them appear so dark that you can’t see them in the photo.

THE BAD (mine)

photography tips, iPhone, how to take better photos, Georgia Tech, GA Tech, undergraduates, North Avenue, Atlanta

What’s wrong with this picture? A lot! (I can say that because I took it.) My friend Pete Cross, who is a sensational photographer, pointed out that I have a telephone pole growing out of one of the guy’s heads AND a ‘Do Not Enter’ sign on his ear. Also, the shadows are unfortunate. I could’ve just moved around them a bit to get a better shot.

THE GOOD (a pro’s)

Ben Gray, photos, photography, iphone photos, how to take better pictures, Atlanta, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ben Gray liked the image of nature overcoming the sign, and he added to it by following the Rule of Thirds down the right side. He also waited for a little action in the background. Ben says adding a little activity, or something different in another plane, adds to the shot.

MORE BEN GRAY:  His #runography project

RELATED: ‘Everybody Writes,’ indeed

RELATED: Photos from Krog Street Market

When the Photographer Started Running, What Did He Get? #Runography, of Course

We all long for a career doing something we love.

Ben Gray, Atlanta, Journal-Constitution, AJC, running, runner, ultra distance, ultra-marathon, marathon, people who run crazy distances, instagram, runography, belt line

He carries a little tripod for the occasional selfie.

Some of us find passion in a hobby.

Ben Gray has both – and a way to combine them in a new creative project on social media.

Five days a week, Ben, 43, wraps his iPhone in a plastic baggie and tucks it into the inside-waistband pocket of his running shorts. Then Ben – an award-winning photojournalist and an ultra-marathon runner — hits the streets, trails and backroads of Atlanta for runs that can last several hours.

Along the way, when he spots something that would make a good photo, he stops, takes out the iPhone, gets a quick shot – and uploads it to his Instagram account with the #runography hashtag.

Ben Gray, Atlanta, Journal-Constitution, AJC, running, runner, ultra distance, ultra-marathon, marathon, people who run crazy distances, instagram, runographyThen he keeps on running.

Ben estimates he’ll log 2,000 miles this year. He’s burned 163,000 calories so far in 2014. This year, he ran his first 100-mile race. And he only started four years ago (not counting high school track).

At age 39, Ben had covered the Peachtree Road Race for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for many years. He always thought it looked like fun, so he decided to start training for the 10K.

“I hated it when I started,” he says now. “The turning point was when I could go a distance and actually get somewhere. I could find different routes and check out different neighborhoods.”

Soon he was running from the AJC’s Dunwoody office to the Lindbergh MARTA station. His wife and two kids would drive from their Southwest Atlanta home to their Decatur church 11 miles away, and he’d meet them there on foot.

The Peachtree led to his first marathon, then first 50K, 50-miler, 100K and onward.

That takes a lot of training, but a photographer’s eyes are never blind to what he’s passing. The iPhone is easy to carry and Ben likes the constraints of it and posting the shots immediately. No fuss, no filters, no slowing the heart rate — and no treating it like an assignment for work.

He’s growing a following on Instagram and considering ways to take #runography to another level.

“It’s really about what I like and what I’m seeing,” he says. “And hopefully, other people like it, too.”

Follow Ben on Instagram 

Click here for 3 easy tips for better pics


RELATED: The Run Commuter gets to work on foot

RELATED: Ex-photojournalist starts ‘Plan B’

Braves Fans Respond to Heyward Trade on Twitter: Say-Hey It Ain’t So

Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, traded, outfielder, baseball, major league baseball

Say goodbye, J-Hey…

Why is it that nothing breaks your heart like baseball?

I’m so disappointed by today’s news that the Braves traded Jason Heyward. I’m a longtime fan of the game and the team, and I was hoping to watch this kid grow up before our eyes and spend his career at Turner Field —

Oops! … Make that, somewhere in metro Atlanta.

Is that too much to ask? To see a talented, likable young player spend his career with the same team? Or at least much of it?

Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves, trade, baseball , T-shirt, fan, 22, St. Louis Cardinals,

I’m keeping it.

Am I being romantic? Thinking the game is more important than the business? Of course. It’s baseball!

But I’m no expert, and I don’t enjoy following the ins-and-outs of trades and negotiations and free agency, and why the BJ Upton deal ruined everything that Dan Uggla didn’t destroy.

I just know that I’m one step closer to bailing on the Braves completely. After the terrible season. After Uggla. After COBB COUNTY… And you can’t tell me that of all the crappy things about this team, that Jason Heyward was the one that needed to go. You just can’t.

La Stella was an exciting anti-Uggla — so, of course, he’s gone, too.  At least we still have Freeman, Gattis, Chris Johnson, for now… But still, J-Hey was special. And he said he didn’t want to go.

On Twitter, fans who are more informed, funnier and angrier are offering better commentary. Here are some samples.

And Braves, seriously: I might be done with you.

The Braves just traded Jason Heyward to the Cardinals. So uh, that’s it for me and baseball

Atlanta Braves, after milking Cobb County taxpayers for hundreds of millions, trade Jason Heyward before his payday:

Jason Heyward: I want to thank the fans in Braves nation. I gave it 100% for them.

As if  fans weren’t already excited about , here are five more reasons to be stoked: 

“This deal is definitely focused on the short term.” –  GM John Mozeliak:  

Thanks  for 5 years of giving your all to 

Jason Heyward‘s 1st MLB AB remains one of the coolest baseball moments of the decade. http://m.mlb.com/video/v7282459/chcatl-heyward-hits-threerun-homer-in-first-atbat

 trade Jason Heyward and John Hart just took a monumental risk. Blog: http://jeffschultz.blog.ajc.com/2014/11/17/braves-hart-takes-huge-risk-by-dealing-heyward/

 Hart’s approval rating just took a nosedive. Braves fans are 

 Better to move JHey than Jup. “Potential” never hit 25+ homers in back to back seasons.

Jason Heyward is an impact defender but has really slipped offensively. Last 2 years: 25 HR, .400 SLG. Nate Schierholtz: 28 HR, .400 SLG

. to STL.  to ATL. We have our first blockbuster.  

The Braves traded Jason Heyward to the freakin’ Cardinals? C’mon now John Hart.

why would you trade Jason Heyward PERIOD??? RT : Why would you trade Jason Hayward for pitching.

If Jason Heyward is traded because of the ridiculous  contracts given to Uggla & BJ there is no justice in this world.

RIP Jason Heyward dreams

RELATED >> Read blogger Sean Breslin’s take on this. 


MORE SPORTS: Photo tour of Atlanta’s new College Football Hall of Fame

MORE SPORTS: John Rocker on ‘Survivor’

MORE SPORTS: Fun night at the Braves game

Krog Street Market Continues Atlanta’s Intown Redevelopment Buzz — PHOTOS

Krog Street Market, one of the many intown projects to turn old industrial space into fabulous retail/restaurant developments, is coming along smashingly.

Friends had a great dinner Friday at The Luminary, where the bar staff says they’ve been packing in diners for a couple of months. John Tarrant told me Saturday that he and his wife, Cindy, hope to open French Market Flowers next week. Folks at Little Tart coffee and bakeshop said the same thing.

Krog Street Market is next to the BeltLine and not far from Ponce City Market. From the engaging and informative website:

Krog Street market is a destination for Atlanta’s intown culture – those who are always searching for unique, specialty creations. It’s designed to be as authentic as the 1920’s warehouse it’s built into. With market stalls to sell produce, goods, and prepared food, along with a few southern-grown restaurants and retailers, the market will offer Atlantans a gathering place of sorts – a locale for taking in an extraordinary meal or picking up a few inspiring ingredients – a west coast-style market, right in the heart of Inman Park.

I enjoyed a quick walk-through Saturday, where renovations are concluding, and I look forward to Krog Street Market’s success. It’s another exciting addition to the neighborhood. And now I won’t have to drive so far for my Jeni’s Ice Cream fix.


 

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