Debut Dish: Dooley predicts, Diaz dines (again!) and a Drinkshop Live debut

When we first began discussing the idea of returning to Atlanta magazine in the fall of 2009, publisher Sean McGinnis wisely suggested: “Let’s take baby steps.” In a tumultuous time in the publishing industry when layoffs were prevalent and ad dollars were disappearing, this proved to be sage advice. Thanks to faithful Atlanta magazine readers who welcomed me back home and unwavering support from an incredibly talented staff, today we can officially welcome you to our brand-new online column Eldredge ATL. We hope you enjoy taking this latest step with us. On to the scoop!
Legendary University of Georgia coach Vince Dooley was among the honored guests Wednesday at Georgia Public Broadcasting and Georgia Historical Society’s official unveiling of its ambitious three-year “Today in Georgia History” series. The daily dose of history will air 365 days a year and will eventually encompass 1100 segments. Debuting today, the two-minute documentaries offer fascinating (and sometimes surprising) facts about our state’s history. Dooley’s segment will air on September 4, his 79th birthday. “It’s a way for us to make history accessible,” explained GHS president Todd Groce during the preview screening at GPB. Dooley, a history buff, was impressed. He noted: “I knew I was going to like this but this goes far beyond my expectations.” Karla Redding Andrews, the daughter of late Georgia soul singer Otis Redding was also on hand to celebrate the segment marking her father’s birth on September 9, 1941. “This is a refreshing new way to reach our young people,” said Redding Andrews. The doc series website launches today and broadcast materials will serve as an educational resource in schools across the state. Airtimes on GPB TV will be Monday-Friday at 8:57 p.m., Saturdays at 12:57 p.m. and 6:57 p.m. and Sundays at 6:57 p.m. and 8:57 p.m. Naturally, citizens of the Bulldog Nation wouldn’t let Dooley leave without a prediction for Saturday’s opener again Boise State. “Georgia is in a great position to maybe surprise the entire country Saturday,” Dooley previewed. “Boise State is a really good team. But Georgia is poised for a recommitment that may start Saturday night.”
Atlanta-based Turner Classic Movies has another line-up of Hollywood stars slated to pinch hit as hosts this month in primetime as TCM icon Robert Osborne continues his vacation following some recent surgery (we hear, btw, that his undisclosed surgery was a success and that he’s back home watching his friends on the classic film channel). Today through Sept. 10, Illeana Douglas will host each night, starting at 8 p.m.  In a pre-taped evening with Osborne, Oscar winner Cher hand-selects a line up of her fave flicks on Sept. 7. Film critic Michael Phillips will oversee an evening of films chosen by two first responders to commemorate Sept. 11. Winona Ryder guest hosts the week of Sept. 19 and famed film critic Leonard Maltin fills in the week of Sept. 26.
“The traffic lights in downtown lack ‘synchronization.’ Just look out the window!” — Vox Spelling Bee celeb judge City Councilman Kwanza Hall, using “synchronization” in a sentence at Wednesday night’s eighth annual benefit for the VOX Teen Communications program at Ventanas downtown. The evening’s Killer Bee winner was Atlanta author Maryn McKenna who correctly spelled f-e-r-r-i-c to take home the trophy (personally, we almost crawled under the Atlanta magazine table and rocked back and forth in a fetal position when McKenna had to spell “phlogogenic…”).
Actress Cameron Diaz really likes Miller Union in West Midtown. The eatery’s staff reports that the “Something About Mary” thespian has dined there twice recently, including her 39th birthday on Tuesday.  Perhaps Diaz is just getting into character. She’s in town shooting the upcoming comedy “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” with Jennifer Lopez. The film is based in part on the best-selling pregnancy manual of the same name. While we wouldn’t base a feature film on source material offering operating instructions for  breast pumps, hits have been produced from far less. Disney’s billion dollar “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise is based on a five-minute Disney park ride for example. . .
Legoland Discovery Center, the mammoth kiddie attraction slated for the third level at Phipps Plaza, across from the AMC movie theaters and due to open in 2012, will officially “break ground” on September 27. The facility, featuring a “two-to-three hour interactive and educational experience for families,” has chosen some experienced folks to head up their Atlanta PR too. Kristin Cowart‘s Brave Public Relations (the firm that oversees Simon Property Group’s Atlanta-area malls, including Phipps Plaza) scored the account.
Looking for a great way to kick off the long Labor Day weekend? Why not join us tonight at Drinkshop Live at the downtown W hotel where new Atlanta transplant, singer-songwriter Jake Rathburn will be introducing locals to his catalog of material. Rathburn’s quirky cool acoustic original “Couldn’t Be Good” recently caught our attention. Sample lyrics from the hilariously twisted love song? “You cannot get away from me/’Cause you’re tied up in the basement/No one can hear you scream/Go ahead/It’s music to me/’Cause you’re so damn beautiful/The moment that I saw you/I knew I couldn’t be good.”
Rathburn (you can find out more about him via his website) is scheduled to go on at 9 p.m. but we cordially invite you to drop by early to say hi, provide some feedback on the new column and fill us in on everything we need to have on the Eldredge ATL radar screen for this fall. See you tonight. Oh, and feel free to bookmark Eldredge ATL’s new online home and share a link to the new column with your social media- minded friends. Thanks for reading!