Tag Archives: downtown

How to Link Your Love for Food and Travel

Atlanta Curb Market, Atlanta Municipal Market, Atlanta, Curb Market, Martin Luther King Historic District, Sweet Auburn, black history, African-American history, produce, meat, pork, Grindhouse Burgers

Love the neon sign in the middle of the Curb Market

Everybody loves food and travel, right? Put them together and you have a dream vacation when you’re traveling, or a great itinerary when guests come.

Millions of Americans consider the availability of food (and drink) activities when making travel plans. That can mean going to Northern California for tours and tastings in wine country, or looking for cheap, local eats wherever you happen to be headed. The “culinary tourism” trend isn’t slowing down, according to foodie experts gathered to discuss it in Atlanta this week with PR and communications folks.

It was a great conversation, with interesting points about Georgia and metro Atlanta’s top spots and trends.

  • We have our own “wine country” in the North Georgia that can make for a fun day.
  • Ethnic “niche” marketing is growing.
  • Buford Highway remains the best location for endless “hole in the wall” ethnic spots.
  • West Midtown is still booming with fun restaurants and shops in a few walkable areas.
  • I’ve gotta get to Gun Show.

But for me, the most interesting aspect was the setting: the Sweet Auburn Curb Market in the original Municipal Market on Edgewood Avenue. I’m ashamed to say I’d never been, and I felt like a tourist in my own town browsing the food and produce of 24 businesses – including produce and meat shops, a bakery, bookstore and about a dozen great little spots to eat.

Here are a few reasons why I’ll be taking my next out-of-town guests. There’s probably something similar in your town. Check it out. Here are just a few reasons why. (Click pics to enlarge.)

1. History

Atlanta Curb Market, Atlanta Municipal Market, Atlanta, Curb Market, Martin Luther King Historic District, Sweet Auburn, black history, African-American history, produce, meat, pork, Grindhouse Burgers

The market, built in 1924, is located within the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District. From the market’s website:

Whereas blacks were permitted to shop inside of the market when its doors opened, they were relegated to vend outside along the curb. Transforming that segregated time in the market’s history, it is today affectionately called the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, a name that was adopted in the 1990s. The name also reflects the market’s proximity to Auburn Avenue, which in 1956 Fortune magazine called “the richest Negro Street in the world” and was dubbed “Sweet Auburn” in a nod to that prosperity.

2. Streetcar

Atlanta Curb Market, Atlanta Municipal Market, Atlanta, Curb Market, Martin Luther King Historic District, Sweet Auburn, black history, African-American history, produce, meat, pork, Grindhouse BurgersThe market has its own stop on the new Atlanta Streetcar, which is free throughout 2015.

3. Miss D

Atlanta Curb Market, Municipal Market, soul food, Miss D's, praline, popcorn, soul food

Come in through the back door (where the parking lot is) and you’ll encounter delightful Miss D and her mouthwatering pralines, peanut brittle and gourmet popcorn.

4. Lunch

Atlanta Curb Market, Atlanta Municipal Market, Atlanta, Curb Market, Martin Luther King Historic District, Sweet Auburn, black history, African-American history, produce, meat, pork, Grindhouse Burgers, soul food

Atlanta Curbside Market, curb market, Grindhouse burgers

Curb-Market-Boy

In Atlanta, ya gotta have your “meat and three.” The food court includes Metro Deli Soul Food, Grindhouse Burgers, Sweet Auburn BBQ, Tilapia Express, Awesome Juicery and more.

4. Produce

Atlanta Curbside Market, Municipal Market, produce, peppers, meat, poultry, MLK, soul food

Curb-Market-Peanuts

Fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms. (Peanuts, too.)

6. Meat

pigs, pork, butcher, Atlanta Curb Market, Municipal Market, 1924, MLK, Atlanta, buy your whole pigs here

Atlanta-Curb-Market-Butcher

prices

Because you never know when you’ll need a whole pig.

The food experts on the panel also gave some other suggestions for where to eat around town. I love how they weren’t focused on the most expensive spots. Good food is about more than white tablecloths.

  • Fred Castellucci, @fwc3, owner of The Iberian Pig, Cooks & Soldiers, and other restaurants:  “The new Victory Sandwich Bar in Inman Park is awesome. It’s a very cool spot and the guys who own it are super-nice. They do a great job.”
  • Kate Parham Kordsmeier, @KPKords, food writer: Depending on her mood, she loves Umi Sushi, Bocca Lupa, and Gun Show.
  • Lindsey Isaacs, @Explore Georgia, from the state Department of Economic Development: “If somebody says Six Feet Under by the Oakland Cemetery some time, I’m there in a heartbeat.”
  • Dale Gordon DeSena, @TasteofAtlanta, suggests people try something new, “a little out of your comfort zone,” at least once a week.

Great advice, Dale — whether you’re traveling or at home.

Thanks to the panelists and the Georgia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for putting the discussion together. 

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10 Pics from the College Football Hall of Fame, Atlanta’s Latest Tourist Addition

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The wall of helmets greets visitors. It’s pretty impressive and lots of fun.

With millions of college football fans glued to the tube this time of year, downtown Atlanta is marking its first season as home of the new College Football Hall of Fame.

It opened in August. It’s a beautiful facility, with more than 90,000 square feet of historical artifacts, displays, interactive features, photos and lots more. The hall is also the latest Really Cool Thing to have downtown, after the Center for Civil and Human Rights across Centennial Olympic Park.

I’m not a college football fan, but I get that many people are. So if you’re watching the game and want something to look at during commercials, check out my pictures here. And plan a trip to the hall. Great stuff.

Click on an image to make it bigger; mouse over to see caption.

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3 Top Reasons Atlanta Loves OutKast and This Weekend’s Concerts (VIDEO, PICS)

OutKast, Atlanta, hip hop, duo, reunion

My friend Madkin Kelly shared a couple of pics and the video below from Saturday night. He loved the “ridiculous” huge crowd. “So many bodies squished together, friends of all colors celebrating the love of music!”

VIDEO AS OUTKAST TAKES THE STAGE SATURDAY NIGHT

“Lend me some sugar — I am your neighbor!”

OutKast, Atlanta, reunion, Andre, Big Boi, downtown Atlanta

Big Boi and Andre

Atlanta loves OutKast, and the superstar hip-hop duo’s three-night stand downtown is proving it.

Crowds packed Centennial Olympic Park on Friday and Saturday nights, and more will for the last show tonight, Sunday, Sept. 28. Hometown rappers André “André 3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton have been on a reunion tour this summer, the first time fans have had the chance to see them play songs from their landmark CD “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.” It came out 11 years ago, sold millions and and won the Grammy for Album of the Year.

OutKast, Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Park, downtown, reunion, Sonia Murray

Early crowd before the show. Madkin says, “Favorite moment was the start of the show, with them coming out with ‘Bombs over Baghdad.’ So much energy and excitement from the crowd,” he said.

Tonight might be the last show for them. The weekend’s appearances, called “ATLast” after “ATLiens,” one of their earlier records, aren’t even listed on the tour T-shirt.

sonia murray, atlanta, outkast, hip hop, duo ,reunion, concert downtown

Sonia Murray

I couldn’t make it, so I asked hip-hop expert and friend Sonia Murray to share some thoughts, which she did after attending Friday and Saturday. She’ll be there again tonight. Sonia was a music writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for many years, where she covered Atlanta’s emerging (now dominant) hip-hop scene. She’s now with V-103 The People’s Station.

Her Top 3 reasons why this was more than just a concert.

1. It’s probably never going to happen again. “I really do believe that this will be the last time we see them together.” The duo formed when Benjamin and Patton were in high school. They were stars as teen-agers and living legends now in their 30s, with Benjamin looking to movie roles, including Jimi Hendrix.

2. “People didn’t get to see them during their highlight period, since they didn’t tour to promote (“Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”),” she said. So it’s the first time audiences saw Andre do “Hey Ya!” or Big Boi on “The Way You Move.”

3. The location. “It’s Atlanta — and it’s not just Atlanta, it’s right in the center of Atlanta. They remarked about how great it was (from the stage). The venue itself is really spectacular, especially to bring a hometown act to. They even had the ferris wheel lit up.”

Sonia says that when Outkast was getting started, rap artists didn’t want to associate themselves with Atlanta. The genre was dominated by the East and West coast factions. OutKast changed that, with songs calling out local streets, neighborhoods and high schools.

“They were immediately and proudly Atlanta,” she said “And I think that’s why people have always been so proud of them.”


 

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Wrapping up the Challenge: 3 (of Many) Positive Things about Life in Atlanta

college football hall of fame, atlanta, attractions

Atlanta’s newest attraction. Y’all come.

It’s been great to share good thoughts with the Positive Challenge, and I’ll keep up my attitude of gratitude. But today I’m wrapping my seven-day Positive Challenge with a look at three great things about my city, Atlanta.

1. Downtown rocks. With the newest addition of the College Football Hall of Fame following the Center for Civil and Human Rights by just weeks, we now have a bunch of great reasons for folks to spend all day, or more, downtown. Unheard of just a few years ago, and a boon for residents, tourists, conventioneers, businesses, etc.

2. The BeltLine Corridor. I enjoy starting a bike ride at the Inman Park end of the Atlanta BeltLine, riding past the soon-to-open Ponce City Market, and circling the loop inside Piedmont Park (the city’s crown jewel). Throw in a popsicle from the King of Pops or some Jake’s Ice Cream, and that’s a great afternoon.

3. Labor Day Weekend. Coming up fast again… Annual favorites DragonCon, the Decatur Book Festival, Black Gay Pride and … what else am I missing? This year, the Braves host the Marlins and the Phillies. And hometown superstar Jennifer Nettles plays Chastain… Who has time to grill? Dang.


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They Found Their Voices: Photos from Atlanta’s Powerful Center for Civil and Human Rights

“My friends, find your voice.”

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His eyes seeing; hers shut in prayer… A child watches a giant-screen presentation about the March on Washington. MORE PHOTOS BELOW

My head was spinning just moments into my tour of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, the newest jewel in downtown Atlanta’s crown of attractions and in its history as a mecca of the struggle for equality.

So much comes at you, right from the start. TV news images of racists like former Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox saying the most hateful, ignorant, awful statements, the noise from several of the broadcasts competing in a cacophony of hate … Bull Connor’s office door… a bus covered in photos of Freedom Riders… a replica of a lunch counter that lets you hear and feel a sample of what it might’ve been like… those infamous film clips of hoses being turned on citizens… On and on…

Then the March on Washington and I Have a Dream, in a big room of white… followed by the Four Little Girls, LBJ, and then Martin Luther King’s assassination…

It’s so much that by the time I reached the end, when images were flashing on giant panels depicting civil rights struggles by women, gays, religious minorities and others, I heard a recorded voice say, “My friends, find your voice,” and something clicked.

The fight for what’s right is much bigger and scarier and out-of-control than that, of course. But learning to stand up for yourself and others like you, to use words to form community and share principles, hope and decency… well, it’s hard to imagine any kind of civil rights movement without the voices. All of them and each of them, from King’s magnificence to Rosa Parks’s quietude, from James Brown singing and dancing after King’s murder to the wails of sadness at the funerals, to LBJ’s White House leadership and the Nobel committee’s recognition of King. At the museum, King’s frighteningly powerful speech foreshadowing his death induces chills and gasps still.

Find your voice, indeed.

Click on a photo to make it bigger. Scroll over to see a caption.

 

The Center for Civil and Human Rights, 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., Atlanta, GA, 30313. (678) 999-8990. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days.


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