Sofar Sounds Atlanta

In Between July 11, 2018

On a cool summer night, I walked up the stairs to a storefront office transformed into a pop up concert venue, and experienced deja vu. The anticipation of the musicians. The curious crowd contently squeezed into one room. The carefree feeling of a summer Friday night.   

Instead of entering Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side’s Allen Street that had become a beloved summer New York City tradition for me, I stood on the Westside of Atlanta’s Howell Mill Road about to embark on a new tradition — experiencing a Sofar Sounds show in my hometown.

Making the Most of Made In Atlanta

In Between May 20, 2018

Actresses, musicians and sports teams signify celebrity status to the typical fan. However, my superstar of choice is the podcaster.

When I learned that Switchyards Downtown Club, one of my favorite Atlanta communities, would be hosting two of Atlanta’s most admired podcasters, I registered as fast as I could to save two seats – one for me and one for my dad.

Three months into co-producing Peach and Prosperity, the opportunity to learn from local audio geniuses felt like a podcasting present as we plan for our first live event in June.

Wake-Up Call

The Homestead April 21, 2018

When I returned to Atlanta, I experienced a drastic change to my morning: my wake-up call. Tweets, and not the technology type, rustled me from my state of slumber. These were birds, chilling outside my window and singing like they were auditioning for American Idol.

It felt like a personal welcome back song, bringing back a memory of one of my favorite childhood movies — Cinderella. I must have watched this scene over and over again as a kid because I could picture it so vividly in my mind. It’s a classic moment where the birds dance around Cinderella’s room, whistling to wake her from dreams.

Historical Commutes

In Between April 6, 2018

Two weeks ago, Atlanta quietly took note of the one years anniversary of the I-85 Bridge collapse. This event dramatically impacted transportation in and around this car congested city. For a few months as the bridge was repaired, ridership on MARTA increased, but it did not stick. It reminded me of how I get to work today and how different it is from how I used to travel to work for the past decade.

There’s nothing quite like walking to work. I miss it. It minimizes hassles from traffic. It maximizes extra sleep or gym time, depending on your mood. For many years, I had that luxury. As I turned down Park Avenue, I would nod at all the doorman. Like clockwork, I observed the dog walkers balancing ten leashes with energetic puppies, the nannies rushing children off to school and the fitness addicts sipping hand-pressed juice while wearing snug yoga pants after an intense workout class.

18 Introductions

In Between April 3, 2018

In honor of my birthday, April 18th, coinciding with the year 2018, I’m tapping into the numerical significance of eighteen. This month, will you help me with 18 introductions?

Through serendipitous connections, I’ve discovered meaningful people, places and ideas — podcast pals, Philanthropic Friday dinners, National Muffin Day and more  — might not have happened without introductions.

Furniture Shopping

The Homestead March 27, 2018

Maw and Paw went furniture shopping, and I tagged along. While this might seem like a mundane experience for most people, for me, it felt surreal.

When we walked into the furniture store, I wondered: had I stepped into a museum? The kind where you can sit on the exhibits and interact with them, except no jumping on the beds!

Orbital

In Between March 20, 2018

Since I recently celebrated my one year Atlanta-versary, I’ve been reflecting back on New York City life and the memorable moments that accompanied it. One of those great experiences – Orbital, a community for building networks – introduced me to a different way of thinking and new people who embraced that outlook.

On Fridays in the winter of 2015, when most people would be winding down the work week, I’d pack up and head downtown to Rivington Street for an evening of thought provoking conversations and experiments in community building.

Peach & Prosperity

Peach & Prosperity March 2, 2018

We’re thrilled, humbled, happy, ecstatic, enthusiastic and so many more feelings to introduce our pride and joy – Peach and Prosperity, a podcast that picks the best local homegrown stories around Atlanta. By we, I mean my dad and me!

We’re big podcast fans and have been talking about the idea of hosting our own podcast for some time. Keep reading to hear about how this all came to fruition.  We’ll be publishing our podcasts here because this podcast is really an extension of Southern Fried Chik –  it might not have happened if Julia hadn’t moved home.

National Muffin Day

In Between January 14, 2018
My favorite philanthropic holiday has arrived! What started in San Fransico and New York City has come with me to Atlanta. This year feels extra special as I get to share this passion for making a difference with my hometown and beyond as Jacob and I strive to expand the reach.
Join us to bake and do good. National Muffin Day is January 28. We’ve recruited hundreds of bakers, raised thousands of dollars, fed hundreds of people and given countless smiles. Help us make 2018 the best year yet!

A is for Art

In Between January 2, 2018

I excavated ancient artifacts this weekend. From 1985-1998, my masterpieces were unearthed from the filing cabinets in Paw’s office. Preserved in a scrapbook, many pages show their age with yellowed tints and tattered corners. But, they still tell my art story.

My passion for art began with my discovery of finger painting at age three. Thrilled, I decorated nearly every canvas possible, including faces. Slowly, I moved on to practice my colors and shapes. Once my hand steadied, the creativity expressed itself through acrylic paints, pastels, pencils and watercolors.

Honey Bee

In Between December 31, 2017

Artisanal honey is having its gastronomical moment. I discovered this phenomenon at a local farmer’s market during a conversation with a third-generation beekeeper in a plaid shirt!

With his Southern drawl, he shared his wisdom of the flowers, the trees, the nectars, the birds and the honey bees. Falling fast and furiously for the Sourwood variety, I began my journey towards honey connoisseur taste tester.

Laundry Time

The Homestead December 28, 2017

For the past decade, I’ve survived without a dishwasher. I’m not sure how considering my affection for the machine began from a very young age. However, my affinity for laundry did not receive equal attention. It has always been a chore. Until I returned to Atlanta.

Washing, drying and folding laundry in New York felt like auditioning for a sitcom, but I never quite got the part. Along the way, there were plenty of bumps.

Olde World Bread

The Homestead December 25, 2017

I’ve always been a fan of carbs.  I inherited this trait from Paw.  Our family adores wheat so much that bread has its own course at our dinner table.

When we travel, we seek out local bakeries for the best breads. In France, we sampled baguettes. In Italy, we savored focaccias. In Austria, we devoured soft pretzel rolls. But, when we return home, we’ve never been able to find the same unique European flavors.

Switchyards

In Between December 18, 2017

Don’t tell my thesis advisor, but I always wondered what it would be like to be a Hotelie – the nickname for students from the School of Hotel Administration.

So, when the chance to hear a Hotelie speak about his family’s restaurant business in Atlanta popped up, I signed up fast.

Academic Bowl

The Homestead December 10, 2017

On a Saturday morning this fall, I went back to high school again. This was my second visit this semester after many years away. At the end of summer, I had returned for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the newly renovated school. I wrote about my experience in an op-ed in The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

In the piece, I expressed nostalgia for one of my favorite high school clubs and their awesome shirts – Academic Bowl! Through the positive power of social media, the current Academic Bowl coach’s wife reached out to me with an invitation to be a reader at this fall’s tournament. I accepted immediately!

Snow Day

The Homestead December 10, 2017

When I left New York, I attempted to sell or give away a lot of stuff – cherished kitchen supplies, framed maps, my “grandma cart,” first furniture purchases, vintage gala dresses and sequined shoes. But, for one pair, I hesitated to bring them with me. Would I really need my snow boots in Atlanta?

Because Maw had significantly invested in my warmth with this beautiful pair of tall, fur lined boots that had been the lifeline for my feet’s survival in the slushy winters of New York, I just couldn’t leave them behind. So, I tucked the boots into a box and shipped them home. Even in Georgia’s February weather, I confidently stuck them in the back of my closet until in a strange twist of fall fate, a winter wonderland arrived early to Atlanta on December 8th.

Olive Oil & Vinegar

The Homestead December 3, 2017

Peanuts, Peaches and Olive Oil? While the first two culinary products are ones that you’d typically associate as grown in Georgia, the last one diverges from the list. But, when you step foot in the Oli and Ve store in Roswell, it feels like a taste of Atlanta home cookin’.

It might have something to do with the shop – a quaint storefront house in the historic district of the town square. Formerly, this building served the community as a knitting store. My Grandma would frequently visit it and pick out colorful yarns that she magically combined to create hats and scarves. I think Grandma would have approved of Oli and Ve opening in her knitting spot as it focused on one of her other passions – cooking!

The Moth

The Homestead December 2, 2017

When I walked into The Plaza Theater on Ponce de Leon, I traveled back in time. The elegant entrance with its art deco marquee lettering, blue and yellow checkered carpet and color coordinated walls adorned with classic movie posters shouted 1939 – the year of the theater’s grand opening. Despite my family’s long tenure in Atlanta, none of us had been to this cinematic treasure until November 2017.

Instead of attending a movie premiere, Paw and I were exploring the nationally acclaimed storytelling non-profit podcast show — The Moth. As an audio fanatic, I enjoy listening to The Moth Radio Hour. The deeply personal stories are captivating. There’s something about listening to the storyteller that draws me into the story.

The Magnolia Story

In Between November 30, 2017

Growing up, I consumed biographies. In particular, strong women leaders, from Clara Barton, the Founder of the American Red Cross to Marie Curie, scientist extraordinaire, made it to the top of my list, thanks to the parenting of Maw and Paw. Their goal: to inspire me to dream big and pursue my passions.

As an adult, I’ve continued to gravitate towards biographies. This time, I made an exception by reading about both a dynamic woman and her partner in business and life – Joanna and Chip Gaines. Returning to my roots has also reminded me of one of my favorite school assignments – writing book reports on what I learned!

Spice Girl

The Homestead November 24, 2017

Stacks of pyramids with intense red, orange and yellow “sands” appear as a mirage of desert dunes at the epicenter of a Middle Eastern market. As I approach the densely packed burlap sacks, strong aromas overwhelm the air to reveal their true contents – spices!

Where tangy curry mingles with sweet cardamon, this scene embodies a chef’s version of a kid in a candy shop as  hundreds of flavors spark culinary creations. To bottle up this moment along with spice markets from France, India, Germany, Thailand and around the world – I just walk into Penzeys, where a sea of glass jars filled with foreign flavors greets guests in their hometowns.

Remembering Grandma

In Between November 12, 2017

Today is my Grandma’s Yahrzeit, the name for the anniversary of her death in Jewish tradition. To honor her memory, I looked back at the many memories we shared together. Then, I began to write about them. Grandma was always one of my biggest literary fans, encouraging me to turn my creative talents into writing a “trash” novel that would be my ticket to fame and fortune. It’s currently in draft mode.

But, Grandma shared many real life stories with me over the years and her life could have been a bestseller with its twists and turns. At the core of her stories were the Five Lucky Ones, her brothers and sisters, who were once separated due to hard times, but determined to reunite under one roof many years later.  Grandma would do anything for family, including, scrubbing the bathroom floor on her wedding day – after all, it was her turn to clean!

Chomp & Stomp

The Homestead November 11, 2017

Fall and chili go together like summer and ice cream. On an unseasonably warm autumn Saturday as I longed for a popsicle cart, I ventured into the historically quaint neighborhood of Atlanta named for a vegetable to explore a festival synonymous with eating and dancing.

Cabbagetown hosts the annual “Chomp and Stomp” day-long celebration where home cooks and professional chefs enter cook-off competitions with their chili creations. Bluegrass bands perform the soundtrack for the day while artisan booths add a dash of culture to the festival.

Instant Halloween

The Homestead November 1, 2017

This month, a very sad announcement ended one of my first and fondest memories of the internet. Although I hadn’t used the service in years, the official demise of AOL Instant Messenger brought back a wave of nostalgia: chatting with friends during college to meet up at the dining hall, deciphering the mysterious away messages of my crushes and capitalizing letters in ridiculous and creative ways to make some kind of point.

The always entertaining Twitter handle @yourawaymessage said it best when the news broke.

Perfect Pancake

The Homestead October 30, 2017

On a rainy summer afternoon during a camping vacation, we stumbled into a family restaurant in New Hampshire for a meal that would transform our palate for pancakes forever. We soon learned that Polly’s Pancake Parlor has been having that effect on its guests since 1938.

Besides the restaurant’s name being an awesome case study in alliteration, it was located in a sweet town named Sugar Hill, making the experience a child’s dream come true – Polly’s was my imagination’s adaptation of Candyland, complete with gingerbread pancakes, blueberries and maple syrup. Even oatmeal sounded delicious when mixed with sweet buttermilk in their pancakes.

Howl-a-ween

Fur & Friends October 25, 2017

Tucked away in a garden typically home to the East Atlanta Village Farmer’s Market, the fifth annual Dogtoberfest created quite the ruckus with its doggie parade and “cat-walk” costume contest.

Most weekends, the park hosts fruits and vegetable stands. But, this Sunday, the quiet corner transformed into a Howl-a-ween-ie celebration.  

Porchfest Jubilee

Fur & Friends October 15, 2017

“Help yourself to a drink, a cookie and a seat,” the gracious offer of hospitality welcomed me to Oakhurst Porchfest, a community organized music festival where front porches transform into stages featuring local artists and yards become seating areas with both picnic blankets and lawn chair options.

Even the local dollar store participated in Porchfest, its parking lot became a venue for one of my favorite swing dancing bands – Tracy Dahl and the Jugtime Ragband with their 1920s New Orleans ragtime sounds. 

Bow Wow ATL

Fur & Friends September 23, 2017

On Saturday mornings, I transform into a dog paparazzo while I stand at Big Daddy Biscuits’ booth. My smile’s large as I meet and greet with the many canine companion visitors.

I wanted a way to capture these dog personalities both on Saturdays and throughout the week as I stop to pet the dogs I meet on the trails and sidewalks around Atlanta. In order to chronicle these interactions, I’ve started a dog-stagram – Bow Wow ATL.

The Adventures Club

In Between September 23, 2017

The founding charter of the Atlanta Adventures Club states its purpose: For awesome ATLiens who want to explore adventures in our city. Find, share and meet up at the most interesting and affordable things to see, do and eat in and around Atlanta.

Think Creative Loafing meets Atlanta Magazine before it’s published and with people you know or should definitely meet. I’m starting this with my extended network of friends, ages 28-40. Let’s bring our southern hospitality and creativity together and check out some fun stuff!

Meet the Neighbors

The Homestead September 23, 2017

On one of our neighborhood strolls, Maw rang the doorbell of a neighbor who lived a few blocks down from our house. She had been admiring their new front porch for weeks.

Maw needed to know  the name of the contractor who built it because she wanted to build a similar addition onto our house. Forget any online recommendation service, Maw said when I suggested the idea. Nothing’s like a personal endorsement.

Reading Rainbows

In Between September 23, 2017

The experts predict that you fall in love three times. In the case of Reading Rainbow, I’m close to that number.

I first fell for the butterfly in the sky when I was a kid. Something about the theme song captivated me. Perhaps you know the tune?

Big Daddy Biscuits

Fur & Friends September 22, 2017

Where vegetable stands mix with artisanal breads sits my favorite booth at the Marietta Square Farmer’s Market. I like to stand beside it on Saturday mornings, camera in hand, ready to capture the action shots of guest’s reactions as they jump and squeal in anticipation of a treat!

I’m basically a dog paparazzo for a few hours and nothing could make me smile more. Not intended for human consumption, this is actually a farm to table dog bakery.

Save the Liberry

The Homestead September 21, 2017

Some kids can’t wait to get their license, paint their nails or stay up past curfew, but what I looked forward to tended to always be a tad different. On that high priority list, I couldn’t wait to get my library card!

From a young age, I loved reading. The moment that I signed my name to that magical piece of plastic, I had access to a world of knowledge and the responsibility to return what I borrowed in order to share with others. My passion for libraries continued into college where I studied in the famous Andrew Dickson White Library. 

Meet Maw and Paw

The Homestead September 21, 2017

On a hot summer day, I arrived at the pool with a friend. Greeted by the unofficial President of the Welcoming Committee who also was a regular sun worshiper, I was asked: “Where’s Maw and Paw?”

I smiled because he had inadvertently given me their new nicknames. My mom, dad and I always visited the pool together. He liked chit chatting with them about the breaking news of the neighborhood – the houses for sale, the new neighbors and general world affairs.

What’s with this Name

The Homestead September 21, 2017

I figured that I might get a few questions about this project’s name so I’ve described why in this post. Hear what inspired me to title this blog after a food that I actually never eat, but is rooted in the tradition of where I grew up.

In Southern Fried Chik, I explore my southern roots. I define why I feel fried. I own up to the word chik – starting with how I spell it. Together, they come together for what back in the name would have been a great AOL screen name, but today makes for a just as cheerful social media presence.

Hello Georgia

The Homestead September 21, 2017

With Hello World’s association as the first computer programming post, Hello Georgia seemed like the perfect title of this first blog post for many reasons.

I’ve spent the past several months looking at my “code” – what makes me who I am.  All the while processing a major and most welcome life shift back home. While I was born in Texas, the majority of my formative years were shaped in Georgia.

Sofar Sounds Atlanta

In Between July 11, 2018

On a cool summer night, I walked up the stairs to a storefront office transformed into a pop up concert venue, and experienced deja vu. The anticipation of the musicians. The curious crowd contently squeezed into one room. The carefree feeling of a summer Friday night.   

Instead of entering Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side’s Allen Street that had become a beloved summer New York City tradition for me, I stood on the Westside of Atlanta’s Howell Mill Road about to embark on a new tradition — experiencing a Sofar Sounds show in my hometown.

Making the Most of Made In Atlanta

In Between May 20, 2018

Actresses, musicians and sports teams signify celebrity status to the typical fan. However, my superstar of choice is the podcaster.

When I learned that Switchyards Downtown Club, one of my favorite Atlanta communities, would be hosting two of Atlanta’s most admired podcasters, I registered as fast as I could to save two seats – one for me and one for my dad.

Three months into co-producing Peach and Prosperity, the opportunity to learn from local audio geniuses felt like a podcasting present as we plan for our first live event in June.

Wake-Up Call

The Homestead April 21, 2018

When I returned to Atlanta, I experienced a drastic change to my morning: my wake-up call. Tweets, and not the technology type, rustled me from my state of slumber. These were birds, chilling outside my window and singing like they were auditioning for American Idol.

It felt like a personal welcome back song, bringing back a memory of one of my favorite childhood movies — Cinderella. I must have watched this scene over and over again as a kid because I could picture it so vividly in my mind. It’s a classic moment where the birds dance around Cinderella’s room, whistling to wake her from dreams.

Historical Commutes

In Between April 6, 2018

Two weeks ago, Atlanta quietly took note of the one years anniversary of the I-85 Bridge collapse. This event dramatically impacted transportation in and around this car congested city. For a few months as the bridge was repaired, ridership on MARTA increased, but it did not stick. It reminded me of how I get to work today and how different it is from how I used to travel to work for the past decade.

There’s nothing quite like walking to work. I miss it. It minimizes hassles from traffic. It maximizes extra sleep or gym time, depending on your mood. For many years, I had that luxury. As I turned down Park Avenue, I would nod at all the doorman. Like clockwork, I observed the dog walkers balancing ten leashes with energetic puppies, the nannies rushing children off to school and the fitness addicts sipping hand-pressed juice while wearing snug yoga pants after an intense workout class.

18 Introductions

In Between April 3, 2018

In honor of my birthday, April 18th, coinciding with the year 2018, I’m tapping into the numerical significance of eighteen. This month, will you help me with 18 introductions?

Through serendipitous connections, I’ve discovered meaningful people, places and ideas — podcast pals, Philanthropic Friday dinners, National Muffin Day and more  — might not have happened without introductions.

Furniture Shopping

The Homestead March 27, 2018

Maw and Paw went furniture shopping, and I tagged along. While this might seem like a mundane experience for most people, for me, it felt surreal.

When we walked into the furniture store, I wondered: had I stepped into a museum? The kind where you can sit on the exhibits and interact with them, except no jumping on the beds!

Orbital

In Between March 20, 2018

Since I recently celebrated my one year Atlanta-versary, I’ve been reflecting back on New York City life and the memorable moments that accompanied it. One of those great experiences – Orbital, a community for building networks – introduced me to a different way of thinking and new people who embraced that outlook.

On Fridays in the winter of 2015, when most people would be winding down the work week, I’d pack up and head downtown to Rivington Street for an evening of thought provoking conversations and experiments in community building.

Peach & Prosperity

Peach & Prosperity March 2, 2018

We’re thrilled, humbled, happy, ecstatic, enthusiastic and so many more feelings to introduce our pride and joy – Peach and Prosperity, a podcast that picks the best local homegrown stories around Atlanta. By we, I mean my dad and me!

We’re big podcast fans and have been talking about the idea of hosting our own podcast for some time. Keep reading to hear about how this all came to fruition.  We’ll be publishing our podcasts here because this podcast is really an extension of Southern Fried Chik –  it might not have happened if Julia hadn’t moved home.

Four Lessons Learned

In Between February 28, 2018

This year, we celebrated the fourth National Muffin Day. Each time, the holiday gets sweeter. In 2018, a few secret ingredients made it the most memorable yet. To reflect on these moments, I wrote about my four lessons learned from the festivities.

National Muffin Day

In Between January 14, 2018
My favorite philanthropic holiday has arrived! What started in San Fransico and New York City has come with me to Atlanta. This year feels extra special as I get to share this passion for making a difference with my hometown and beyond as Jacob and I strive to expand the reach.
Join us to bake and do good. National Muffin Day is January 28. We’ve recruited hundreds of bakers, raised thousands of dollars, fed hundreds of people and given countless smiles. Help us make 2018 the best year yet!