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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This Is Really Weird: Al Yankovic Hits No. 1 and Re-Ignites the Ancient Debate over the Oxford Comma

UPDATE: A New Annoying ‘Word’ to Add to the Buzzword Generator!

Weird Al Yankovic, Word Crimes, parody, songs, No. 1 album, comedy, punctuation, Oxford comma, comma, serial comma, Like a Surgeon, Eat It, My Bologna

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic has the No. 1 album in the country. Not only is it a first for the ’80s MTV stalwart, it’s the first time since 1963 that a comedy album has claimed the top spot.

That was good enough for an article yesterday in The New York Times, which makes some interesting points about the changing record industry and Internet/video marketing.

Turns out Queen Beyonce could learn a few things from Weird Al, whose funny parodies of songs and videos include “Like a Surgeon” and “Eat It,” after Madonna and Michael Jackson hits.

But what’s been most interesting to me about Al’s comeback is this: He singlehandedly has reignited a debate that has raged for generations of grammar nerds and former copy editors (like me): To use or not use the Oxford comma.

Weird Al Yankovic, Word Crimes, parody, songs, No. 1 album, comedy, punctuation, Oxford comma, comma, serial comma, Like a Surgeon, Eat It, My Bologna

Screen grab from the “Word Crimes” video

His current song “Word Crimes” is a sendup of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” and it’s clever and fun and full of smart, pointed tips about speaking properly, all to a snappy reproduction of last summer’s ubiquitous hit.

I read your e-mail
It’s quite apparent
Your grammar’s errant
You’re incoherent

The line that’s causing so much discussion (seriously — Google it) is “But I don’t want your drama / If you really wanna / Leave out that Oxford comma…”

I can’t tell if he’s for or against — in this debate that ignites passion in people who care passionately about, well, commas.

What’s the Oxford comma?

It precedes the conjunction in a sentence listing three or more items.

I love parodies of The Knack, Michael Jackson and Madonna.

OR

I love parodies of The Knack, Michael Jackson, and Madonna.

It’s an ancient argument, with some authorities in favor of its use and others, like The Associated Press, against it. I’m an AP baby all the way.

Put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series, however, if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction: I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs for breakfast.

Use a comma also before the concluding conjunction in a complex series of phrases: The main points to consider are whether the athletes are skillful enough to compete, whether they have the stamina to endure the training, and whether they have the proper mental attitude.

If you don’t need it, don’t use it. Seems clear to me.

And anyone who disagrees is obviously crazy, illiterate or just plain wrong.

What do you think?


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Friends Weigh In: How to Choose Which Book to Read Next — PLUS: 3 Quick Recommendations

How do you decide what to read next, books, reading, novels, Believe Me, Michael Margolis, a storytelling manifesto, Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch, ask Facebook friends

So many books, so little time… Sometimes I just go to one of my shelves and find something I haven’t picked up yet.

Tony blames it all on “The Goldfinch.”

For me, Donna Tartt’s divisive novel deserves only half the fault.

But we’re both in the same place, stalled in trying to figure out what to read next.

My friend and I are good, steady readers with broad interests, usually going from one book to the next. But lately we can’t find our groove. We both realized this when we tried to read “The Goldfinch” at the same time, after some positive early buzz but before the Pulitzer. We are fans of literary fiction, and I had enjoyed Tartt’s debut, “The Secret History.”

But each of us sheepishly admitted we weren’t enjoying this one, and we eventually gave up before page 200, or about a quarter of the way through. It was just such a slog, almost unreadable – and then we heard from more friends who had the same response.

How do you decide what to read next, books, reading, novels, Believe Me, Michael Margolis, a storytelling manifesto, Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch, ask Facebook friends, from gutenberg to zuckerberg, John Naughton

Micro-reviews of some of what I have been reading lately….
From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: Disruptive Innovation in the Age of the Internet, by John Naughton. Sort of like a Malcolm Gladwell book, this traces the history of innovation, starting with that famous Bible all the way up to the most famous social network. Naughton draws fascinating parallels and shows how changes in communications lead to profound changes in everything.

How do you decide what to read next, books, reading, novels, Believe Me, Michael Margolis, a storytelling manifesto, Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch, ask Facebook friends, Tweet Naked

Tweet Naked: a bare-all social media strategy for boosting your brand and your business. Levy’s an engaging writer and this is a highly readable primer on getting started. The faux provocative title just means: Be transparent.

 

How do you decide what to read next, books, reading, novels, Believe Me, Michael Margolis, a storytelling manifesto, Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch, ask Facebook friends

Believe Me: a storytelling manifesto for change-makers and innovators. By Michael Margolis. Short, smart, thought-provoking. And free online. Get it, read it over a cup of coffee, talk about it with a friend or colleague over a couple more.

The experience left Tony and me both oddly unable to get back on track with something new. Tony says he’s baffled by reviews now, and I admit my attention span seems shot – challenged, at least – by my focus on digital communications and social media.

(I have been reading books about those topics, though, as they relate to content, storytelling, branded journalism and such – just for different reasons and with different rewards.)

So I asked Facebook friends, How do you decide what to read next? Is it reviews? Cover art? Oprah?

The result has been a lively discussion, an edited version of which I want to share. Please join in, through the link at the top of this post. Let me know what works for you and what you’ve been reading lately, especially if it’s good. Or even “The Goldfinch.”

Stephen Bell Miller: I troll bookstores, take suggestions from reviews or interviews I hear on NPR; I look to biographies and mystery series; and the classics are always on my list.

Priscille Dando: Recommendation from someone I trust is the biggest influencer–friend, librarian, independent bookseller, reviewers at Booklist, publishing reps that know my taste. I do pay attention to Buzz books and awards but a book jumps the line if someone I know loves it.

Scott Pierce: My latest was The Circle by Eggers. I got it at Church Street Coffee & Books (in Birmingham, Ala.) for two reasons: I’d read Eggers before and loved him, and I trust Carrie to stock great reads.

Peter Rubin: I read a lot. They are cotton candy for the brain type books. If there is a CIA black ops, political intrigue, super spy thriller then I read it. If I like the author — then I binge read all his/her books. I know people who like the same types of books and ask them if I have run out of new ones to read. So, in essence, word of mouth from a trusted source.

Kelly Pierce: I mostly pick books up and flip to a random page. If I like that passage, I buy the book. Not very scientific. Sometimes I get heads up from friends or hear or see an author interviewed that sounds interesting.

Connie Ogle: Sometimes it’s something so simple as the cover or the description. … I read Fourth of July Creek recently and ended up reviewing it bc a colleague had suggested it. I do read reviews, too, of course, though I never trust Amazon reviews (what if it’s the author’s sister???) I get ideas from Twitter #fridayreads, too, and just looking at hashtags for books to see what people are talking about.

Michael Van Ausdeln: For me, it’s reviews. NYT Book Review plus Amazon Best of the Month.

Question: What was the problem with Goldfinch? I liked it thru the lens of grief. It was the reaction of seeing your mother die. It worked for me.

Connie again: It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read, The Goldfinch, but I only got about 200 or so pages through and was annoyed throughout. I swear, a book is set in NYC, and all the NYC literati lose their minds. Good grief. When I heard how it ended I was even more glad I bailed out.

Nunzio Michael Lupo: Nyt book review. Sometimes being interested in a subject and hunting around for it. Like right now I’d like to find a good one on the politics of the Second Vatican Council and one on the 1968 Democratic convention

Phil Kloer: Goldfinch seems divisive. I thought it was amazing, Dickensian. Franzen is also divisive but I have loved his last two, I go by reviews (NYT, NPR, even sometimes Amazon), FB word of mouth, but in most cases the author’s track record.

Cara Neth: My neighbors put up a little library across the street so I tend to wander over and grab whatever looks good when I want something new. I just read “Great Expectations” for the first time because it was there. Otherwise, I focus on working my way through the stacks of books that I’ve bought over the years and never got around to reading…I want to get through those before I read the latest hot novel. I thought “Secret History” was overrated, so I haven’t had any interest in “The Goldfinch”…but if it shows up in the little library, I’ll probably pick it up.


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What Does ‘F.E.A.R.’ Mean to You? 3 Little Tricks to Keep It in Perspective

images-8I heard a young woman the other day say, “The word ‘fear’ just stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.'”

And this was someone who should know, having overcome cancer and a stroke to now be starting her promising career as a motivational speaker.

Then this morning, I heard someone unknowingly pick up on the idea by saying, “When I encounter fear, I can F— Everything and Run or I can Face Everything and Recover.'”

Conflict. Decision. Action. The essence of little dramas we all live every day, and big ones that shape history. Some people make the same choices over and over, while hoping somehow for a different result. Sometimes we let fear stop us, sometimes we fight it — and sometimes we persist in doing what we must, even while we’re scared. That’s what adventures are made of — myths, archetypes, even. It drives us as storytellers or grips us as an audience.

I like how these two people came up with a way to diminish fear with simple word games. Try one of these little tricks the next time you find yourself afraid and see if it works for you.

You probably have nothing to fear but, well… you know.


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When Curiosity Leads to Adventure, You Get a Story You Want to Share: Alaska Love in Photos

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My sister Sammye out with the dogs, The Great One behind her

Alaska, map, Wasilla, Denali, McKinley, wildlife, beautiful scenery, hunting, fishing, salmon, bear, moose, cabin, camera, Facebook, video, family, wolf

Vince casts his line

Alaska is one of those places people are curious about. Whenever I mention that I used to live in the Great Land, they usually say, “I’ve always wanted to go there.” Or “Is it really that cold?” Or “Do you know Sarah Palin?” (Answers below.)

Even for some Alaskans, like my brother-in-law Vince, the curiosity doesn’t end. It turns into love. A native of Michigan, Vince has a passion for Alaska that has continued to grow over his 30-plus years there.

He and my sister Sammye love the outdoors — bow hunting, salmon fishing, river boating. Snowshoe softball playing. Racing up mountains and swimming across rivers.

They have a remote recreational cabin near majestic Denali National Park. They get there via riverboat in summer or snowmachine in winter.

Vince’s photos reveal not only a love for a special place, but also his willingness and delight to dive into photography and social media — so he can share his excitement. I’m always telling him how stunning the images are. (See his Facebook page for lots more.)

But what caught my eye most lately are these shots from a camera Vince attached to a tree to record what happens when he and Sammye aren’t around. He equipped it with a motion sensor and the camera takes pictures of various four-legged visitors strolling by the front door. There’s something about these. Intimate isn’t right, is it? Maybe they’re just cool because they’re a different view than what’s usually seen.

Or because it’s another display of Vince’s curiosity — and his need to tell these stories of Alaska.

I also admire the two beautiful shots at the top. They all make me wish I could visit the cabin and catch some more king salmon with my family. It’s been too long.


(Answers: You should visit, absolutely, because it really is a great place. Yes, Alaska can be very cold, of course — often but not always, in some places but not all. And, no, I don’t know Palin.)


 

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7 Times U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the Civil Rights Legend, Has Conquered Social Media

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis is Atlanta’s veteran Congressman and a genuine American hero. He’s also a master communicator, as anyone who has seen him speak or has read his riveting, beautifully rendered memoir, “Walking with the Wind,” can tell you.

Now the civil rights legend has been providing some of my favorite updates, photos, tweets and videos on social media lately. Just Thursday night, I saw this Facebook status update:

During the movement, we didn’t have Facebook or Twitter. We didn’t have the Internet. I am constantly amazed at our capacity to communicate using new technology. I hope you all will take a few moments and follow on a new platform for me, Instagram. But we must remember it is not enough to click like or retweet, we have to use our bodies and let the sound of our marching feet roll across America.

I had to smile when I read that — and it’s not the first time Lewis has been a highlight online. His story is the story of the modern South, a living example of this country’s deepest struggles and triumphs. Now in his 70s, he’s carried his story to Facebook and Twitter … and Instagram. Here are six more of his recent social media highlights.

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On Facebook on July 7, Lewis wrote: “Fifty-three years ago today, I was released from Parchman Penitentiary after being arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for using a so-called white restroom.”

* On Twitter, @repjohnlewis, July 8: “Hate is too heavy a burden to bear. Love is a better way.”

* And July 2: “If the Civil Rights Act was before the Congress today, it would not pass, it would probably never make it to the floor for a vote.”

Rep. John Lewis, congress, congressman, Georgia, Atlanta, Stan Lee, Marvel comics, ALA, American Library Association

With Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee on June 3 at a conference of the American Library Association.

 

* Superheroes Unite! Lewis has published a graphic novel memoir, “March,” and was a childhood admirer of comic books. Here he is with Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four and countless more, at a librarians’ conference. Some 3,000 people liked this pic on Facebook; he also shared it on other sites.

* No Pinterest? I couldn’t find an account for Lewis on Pinterest. But there are countless pins, including this one from NBC News, 7 Things to Know about Rep. John Lewis (R-Ga.)  This is also a nice primer on Lewis and his achievements, for anyone who wonders what all the praise is about.

* The ‘Happy’ Dance: Lewis posted this on YouTube a few weeks ago, and then it was everywhere. Joyous and sublime.


 

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ATLANTA PHOTOS: Tour the new Center for Civil and Human Rights 

 

Where to Catch Great, Old Movies on the Big Screen around Atlanta

denver, atlanta, ogden theater, revival house, movies, old movies, classics, lawrence of arabia, the searchers, bette davis, jay croft, kevin dandy, gateway high school, 1970s

Down on Colfax — Music now, great movies back in the day

I used to love seeing old movies on the big screen of Denver’s Ogden Theatre, downtown on Colfax.

I live in Atlanta now, and The Ogden is a concert venue. But back in the pre-VHS era, you could see a different classic double-feature every night. Maybe two with the same star, theme or director.

Other cities had theaters like The Ogden. And when I went to college, the film society did its part.

It’s just not the same watching something like “Lawrence of Arabia” at home, no matter how big your plasma screen. And there was something social, too, in joining an audience of highly engaged fans that you can’t get with family or friends alone.

The Searchers, John Wayne, John Ford, Atlanta, Landmark Midtown, old movies, classic movies, revivals, where to see old movies on big screen, denver, ogden theatre

No. 12 on ew.com’s list

On Tuesday night, I got to experience a little of the old magic at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema in Atlanta, which screened “The Searchers” as the opening of its Tuesday series of Westerns. (Next week: “Once Upon a Time in the West.”)

We recently had the chance to see “The Godfather” at Phipps and “King Kong” at The Fox. “Annie Hall” is getting a little rollout this year in some cities, but not Atlanta yet. And, hey, Georgia State, what’s happened to Cinefest? I saw “Mean Streets” there a decade ago; the latest “Captain America” will be just fine On Demand, thanks.

Here is a collection of titles, dates and locations for other one-off showings of older movies coming up around metro Atlanta. (Read about my summer catching up on ew.com’s Top 100 Greatest Movies of All Time. And why you must see the Roger Ebert documentary.)

Share memories of your own Ogden-like experiences. And let us know of other classics coming soon. Later, I will try to interview some of the folks behind the effort to bring us these opportunities.

But I wanted to get this out right away because “Blue Velvet” is at The Plaza on Thursday.

LANDMARK MIDTOWN ART CINEMA

Tue, Jul 15: Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), starring Henry Fonda.

Tue, Jul 22: George Roy Hill’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

Tue, Jul 29: Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch (1969), starring William Holden.

Tue, Aug 5: Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven (1992), starring Eastwood, Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman.

Tue, Sep 16: This Is Spinal Tap (1984), directed by Rob Reiner.

Tue, Sep 23: Ran (1985), directed by Akira Kurosawa. 35mm print!

Tue, Sep 30: Jules and Jim (1962), directed by François Truffaut.

Tue, Oct 7: M (1931), directed by Fritz Lang.

Tue, Oct 14: Toyko Story (1953), directed by Yasujirô Ozu.

Tue, Oct 21: Lord of the Flies (1963), directed by Peter Brook.

Tue, Oct 28: Elevator to the Gallows (1958), directed by Louis Malle. 35mm print!

Tue, Nov 4: I Vitelloni (1953), directed by Federico Fellini. 35mm print!

Tue, Nov 11: Contempt (1963), directed by Jean-Luc Godard.

COCA-COLA SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL AT THE FOX THEATER

July:

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (50th Anniversary) Thursday, July 24 at 7:30 PM
 Movie Tours at 5 PM and 5:10PM

Gone With The Wind (75th Anniversary) 
Sunday, July 27 at 2 PM

The Philadelphia Story
 Thursday, July 31 at 7:30 PM 
Movie Tours at 5 PM and 5:10 PM

August: 

Saturday Morning Cartoons
 Saturday, August 2 at 10 AM

Mamma Mia!
 Saturday, August 2 at 7:30 PM
Movie Tours at 5 PM and 5:10 PM

Young Frankenstein (40th Anniversary) Blazing Saddles (40th Anniversary) 
Sunday, August 3 at 2 PM

Double Indemnity (70th Anniversary)
 Thursday, August 14 at 7:30 PM
 Movie Tours at 5 PM and 5:10 PM

Mary Poppins Sing-A-Long (50th Anniversary)
 Sunday, August 17 at 2 PM
 Movie Tours at 11:30 AM and 11:40 AM

The Women (75th Anniversary)
 Thursday, August 21 at 7:30 PM 
Movie Tours at 5 PM and 5:10PM

THE PLAZA THEATER

Thursday, July 10, Blue Velvet (R)
 Thu: 7:30 PM

Alien (1979) (R) 
Fri: 9:30 PM
Sat – Tue: 7:20 PM
Wed: 6:50 PM
Thu: 9:30 PM

Star Wars July 18

2001 July 25

Follow these and other theaters on social media to stay on top of things. Without a central spot like The Ogden down on Ole Colfax, it’s hard to keep track of opportunities that pop up.


 

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Roger Ebert’s Love for Movies, Empathy and ‘Life Itself’ in a Powerful New Documentary

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Roger Ebert, at the movies

We all are born with a certain package. We are who we are. Where we were born. Who we were born as. How we were raised. We’re kind of stuck inside that person. And the purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize a little bit with other people. And for me the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. It lets you understand a little bit more about different hopes, aspirations, dreams, and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us.

This quote comes from the late film critic Roger Ebert at the start of the new documentary about him, “Life Itself.” It’s a powerful quote to set the tone for Ebert’s story, which cancer ended last year. And it applies to storytelling across the board, maybe even all art.

The compelling movie is a must-see for anyone who loves movies or stories of any kind, good writing, newspapers, thoughtful criticism, the evolution of mass media — and love stories. Ebert’s intense love-hate friendship with TV partner Gene Siskel, whom cancer claimed a few years earlier, is rich and complicated and uniquely compelling, as anyone who watched their movie review shows can remember. Ebert’s wife, Chaz, emerges as a powerful, loving force in the happy days of their relationship and also in Ebert’s illness, which robbed him of the ability to speak but never, to the end, the ability to share words via his laptop and voice-activation system.

Humans tell stories for a number of reasons, and movies aren’t the only art form to help us feel for other people, to understand their points of view, struggles and beliefs. But it’s Ebert’s unexpected legacy to leave his own story, even his own movie, as a bittersweet reminder of the transcendent power of empathy.

“Life Itself” is currently in theaters and available On Demand and iTunes.


 

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Life in the #ATL: 7 Terrific Blogs, Twitter, Facebook Accounts and Other Social Media about #Atlanta

I love Atlanta and I love social media. So it makes sense that I love smart, engaging content about our city on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, etc.

Here are a few that consistently impress, inform and entertain. I would love to know about more, so peruse your bookmarks, favorites and lists, and share some recommendations.

These generally aren’t from professional organizations or focused on entertainment events. They’re mostly from people sharing good stuff about topics like development, transportation, interesting people on the scene… business and the arts, traffic, shopping, etc… Salud!

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From ATLUrbanist, on a Marta train

1. ATLUrbanist. Darin’s smart passion for better city living shines through in his readable, savvy blog and tweets. He’s constructive, articulate and shares great photos and links. I follow him on Twitter @atlurbanist. You can find him, and the others, too, of course, on Facebook. Here’s what he says in his Tumblr blog intro:

I’m Darin. I live downtown with my family and these are my locally-grown, organically-produced thoughts on Atlanta + good urbanism. Not an urban planner, I’m an urbanist and an engaged citizen.

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From A Modern Ghost

2. A Modern Ghost on InstagramI like Instagram shots that are graphically striking images of cityscapes. Doesn’t hurt if they’re a little cold and distant and still, somehow, glamorous. Ryan Vizzions does this really well with architecture, transportation — and beautiful women, graffiti and other fresh angles on Atlanta.

3. The Atlanta 100 blogPR vet and former journalist Chris Schroder had a clever idea for a blog/enewsletter: 100-word stories, 100-second videos on topics of interest. It’s fun, breezy and substantial, for folks who just want a little morsel on a  wide range of news and views. Recent posts include a video interview with marketing whiz Ken Bernardt, a history (short, yeah) of the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, and some basic info on Music Midtown.

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From Why I Love ATL

4. Why I Love ATL on Instagram. Short and sweet description says it perfectly well: Capturing the beauty of the city ❤

5. Curbed Atlanta gives lots of short updates and good images on neighborhoods and real estate news. The blog is terrific, but I tend to prefer it on Twitter @CurbedAtlanta. Some good headlines/links include From Dump To Delight: Kirkwood Renovation Asks $309K, and Proof: Pockets of ATL Have Transformed in Recent Years. And I like this Visual Journey that shows The Changing Face of Brookhaven’s Dresden Drive.

6. Bitter Southerner. Well, who doesn’t love it, right? If you’re not familiar, get familiar. The Twitter bio, @SouthernBitter, says “We celebrate — usually with cocktails — the crafts and culture of the modern South.” But don’t let the pithiness deceive you. On the blog, you’ll find the kind of long-form journalistic reporting and opinion we used to find in the best newspapers — but with an Internet-smart feel, too.

We’re here for a reason: to shed light on what it means to be a Southerner. Not what it meant to be a Southerner 20 years ago, and certainly not what it meant 120 years ago. Instead, let’s talk about what it means to be a Southerner today.

Check out the widely lauded take on downtown’s new National Center for Civil & Human Rights.

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From Atlanta Time Machine

7. Atlanta Time Machine. The final entry here is a tough one. Not because I’m unsure of its quality and stature. The blog is fantastic, with

a plethora of  then-and-now photos of Atlanta through the decades, scores of old postcards, and miscellaneous ephemeral stuff like old advertising for nightclubs, bars, and restaurants.  In short, the site features a virtually endless supply of ‘historical’ stuff you probably won’t find elsewhere.

It’s smartly adapted on Facebook, too. There you can find a link to an article in the AJC about the Time Machine’s creator, Greg Germani, remaining in critical condition after a shocking and horrifying attack by a motorist while Germani rode his bicycle. It’s one of those hard-to-believe things. How could someone do this? And what sad, twisted side to the story of Atlanta does it reveal?

There’s a reward to find the driver who, policy say, intentionally ran Germani down.

Along with countless other people, I’m wishing Germani a full and fast recovery.


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A Story in iPhone Photos: From Busy Backstage as Disney Star Lucy Hale Makes Her Grand Ole Opry Debut


wordless wednesday, wordlesswednesday, jordan pokryfki, pool, john green, the fault in our stars, girl reading book in pool, lazy summer day, storycroftThe story behind last week’s Wordless Wednesday (and this one): Higher education is exhausting; even the best students need a nice break now and then. This is my niece blissfully enjoying a few days away from the stress of her studies to become a physician’s assistant. I love the colors, the bonnet, the shades… almost a ’60s vibe in her lounging. I was right there with her at my mom’s house near Nashville — which explains the photos above. As a treat for Jordan and her fiancee on their visit, a family friend took us to the Grand Ole Opry backstage, where we saw Opry stalwarts like Little Jimmy Dickens entertain a packed house. Disney star Lucy Hale made her Opry debut, with Hall of Famer Bill Anderson introducing her and watching her on the monitor, and the four house backup singers providing an interesting vantage point. The whole thing let us see the precision and complexity of the production. Fascinating. It’s always bustling back there.


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