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Kristen Ellingboe


What are you doing this weekend? December 6 – 8

Apparently ’tis the season of organized strolls—and runs. December’s arrival brings hot cocoa, festive light displays, and organized walks through other people’s homes. And given the crazy weather of the past week, it’s good to know that not all these events are outdoors.

Christmas at Callanwolde
Members of the Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers deck the halls of the mansion-turned-arts center (above). Callanwolde will be open for tours, shopping, and entertainment. Opens Friday; runs though December 17. callanwolde.org

First Friday Art Walk in Historic Roswell
The tour of Roswell’s art district stops at nine different galleries. A trolley will be provided in case of inclement weather and a cappella music will be provided in case of doldrums. Friday, 6-9 p.m. roswellartdistrict.com

Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker
Refresh your visions of sugar plum fairies as the audience favorite plays at the Fox Theatre. The first two weeks this year will feature professional illusionist and finalist from America’s Got Talent finalist Drew Thomas as the magician Drosselmeyer. Opening night is Friday; the show runs through December 29. atlantaballet.com

Reindog Parade
At the the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s annual parade, pups can compete in categories like “Best Dog-Owner Dress-Alike” and “Best Botanical.” After the show, you can stick around to enjoy the gardens, take a picture with Saint Nick, or check out the vendors’ market. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. atlantabotanicalgardens.org

Jingle Bell 5k
The run/walk starts at Turner Field and benefits the Arthritis Foundation. Holiday dress is recommended. Saturday, 6 a.m. arthritis.org/georgia

Atlanta BeltLine Eastside 10K
This Peachtree Road Race–qualifying event takes runners through the Eastside Trail and Piedmont Park. And just think, at the finish line, Athens brewer Terrapin will be on hand with a beer truck. Saturday, 8 a.m. beltline.org

Decatur Holiday Tour of Homes
Decatur hosts its thirty-first annual candlelight tour of homes. Friday and Saturday, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. decaturtourofhomes.com

The Stacks Lofts and Artists Tour
Twenty lofts in The Stacks—aka the old Fulton Cotton Bag mill in Cabbagetown—will be open for tours. Work by twenty-five local artists will be showcased, and local restaurants will serve food and drink samples. Tickets are $10, with proceeds benefiting United for Safety, the Peachtree and Pine Shelter, and Drew Charter School. Saturday, 1-8 p.m. thestacksloftstour.com

Virginia-Highland Tour of Homes
The journey includes eight homes and winds up at the newly renovated Briarcliff Summit. Local restaurants like Rosebud, Noche, and El Taco will provide fuel at each house to keep you on your merry way. Sunday, 12 to 4 p.m. vahitourofhomes.org

Musician of the Year: Janelle Monáe

Winning song of the year. Earning a Video Music Award for best art direction. Collaborating with Prince. It has been quite a year for Janelle Monáe, the twenty-seven-year-old who got her musical start at the Atlanta University Center, where she met Nate Wonder and Chuck Lightning, her partners in Wondaland Arts Society. She has redefined what it means to be a female R&B artist ever since.

Monáe’s unique and unapologetic style earned her fans like indie pop group Fun. and local legend Big Boi. P. Diddy’s Bad Boy Records, in partnership with Wondaland, produced her latest album, The Electric Lady, which debuted at number five on the Billboard 200 list. Lady represents the fourth and fifth installments of her seven-part Metropolis concert series featuring protagonist Cindi Mayweather, Monáe’s android alter ego. The album showcases Monáe’s signature funk and powerful lyrics. In addition to Prince, it features crooner Miguel and sister-of-BeyoncĂ© Solange Knowles.

Q.U.E.E.N., the album’s first single, is a duet with former Atlantan Erykah Badu. The title is an acronym for “queer, untouchables, emigrants, excommunicated, and Negroids.” Monáe describes the song as a tribute to the marginalized, but she herself is far from the music industry’s margins now.

This article originally appeared in our December 2013 issue under the title “Space-Age Spitfire”

PARKatlanta is doing something to make parking easier

The City of Atlanta announced last week that its widely loathed parking subcontractor, PARKatlanta, will do what other companies have done for years: accept payment via cell phone. By February 2014 you will be able to download a free app and pay for parking using your phone. The pay-by-phone system is offered via Parkmobile USA, an Atlanta-based company that operates pay-by-cellphone parking programs in more than 500 cities.

The good news: You will be able to add time to your parking while finishing a meal or shopping without having to run out to the curb to stuff a meter with spare change. The bad news: You have to pay to pay; there will be a 35-cent charge every time you use the system. The mobile payment system is meant to complement existing payment methods, so all other options will still be valid.

Just about every metro area resident who has parked a car in the city has a personal horror story about PARKatlanta. There is even a Facebook page, “Fire PARKatlanta,” dedicated to criticism of the company. Mayor Kasim Reed told Creative Loafing last month that PARKatlanta’s contract is likely to not be renewed when it ends in 2016. So the end may be in sight—if you have really good vision. There is no way that this mobile payment option can right every one of PARKatlanta’s wrongs, but at least it isn’t going to make things less convenient for the next three years.

What are you doing this weekend? November 30, December 1

This is it folks. Thanksgivingkuh is passed and the sugar plum fairies are fast upon us. As you enjoy the rest of the long weekend and before full holiday madness descends, here are a few ideas for getting out of the house, or, more importantly, getting those holiday guests off of your couch.

A Christmas Carol
Your inner humbug will evaporate during the Alliance Theatre’s rendition of the Dickens classic, with Chris Kayser taking the stage as Ebenezer Scrooge for the twentieth—and final—time. Saturday, 2:30 or 8 p.m. alliancetheatre.org

The Gift of the Magi
The irony is mellower but the holiday spirit just as magical in Theatrical Outfit’s musical version of O. Henry’s bittersweet The Gift of the Magi. At the Balzer Theater at Herren’s. Sunday 7:30 p.m. theatricaloutfit.org

Cirque de la Symphonie
The high-fling acrobats of Cirque de Solei take the stage at the Symphony. Saturday 8 p.m. atlantasymphony.org

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
So, what was CBS thinking, airing this classic before Thanksgiving? Is nothing sacred? Well, never mind. You can catch a live-action version at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Saturday 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and Sunday, 1 and 3 p.m. puppet.org

Swingin’ with the Santas
Atlanta legend Francine Reed performs swing renditions of holiday classics at Oglethorpe University’s museum. Sunday at 4 p.m. oglethorpe.edu

And, yeah, there’s also the Georgia-Georgia Tech game
The 2013 season has been cruel for the local teams and now that UGA’s star QB Aaron Murray is sidelined with ACL surgery, this year’s rendition of the rivalry better known as “Clean Old-Fashioned Hate” is less exciting than usual. On the other hand, you can probably pick up tickets cheap if you head over to Bobby Dodd stadium Saturday afternoon. The game airs on ABC, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
To arm yourself with non-athletic trivia, consult our archives.
Money Ball: How the teams stack up when it comes to dollars, cents, and endorsement deals.
Tech v. UGA: The definitive breakdown from our November 2011 cover story.

What are you doing this weekend? November 22 – 24

Thanksgiving is less than a week away. So you only have six days to complain about the holiday music on the radio and decorations in all the stores before you start sounding like you’re ninety and talking about walking uphill both ways to school in five feet of snow. Here are some festive (or not) things to do this weekend to ease you into the holiday season.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
The Seattle duo best known for social commentary (Macklemore recently came out with a video urging people to get ACLU cards) perform at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Friday, 7:30 p.m. gwinnettcenter.com

Santaland Diaries
Horizon Theatre Company presents the sardonically sweet David Sedaris’ holiday comedy. Friday, 8 p.m. horizontheatre.com

Third Eye Blind
The House of Blues twentieth anniversary is celebrated with a performance by Third Eye Blind at the Tabernacle. Friday, 8 p.m. tabernacleatl.com

Hawks v. Celtics
Show your civic pride and buy some Hawks tickets. After all, they’re our only pro team that hasn’t threatened to move to the ’burbs recently and we should thank them for that. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. philipsarena.com

Lighting of Atlantic Station
Atlantic Station’s event features live music, art, a parade, fireworks and of course, a really really big Christmas tree. Saturday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. atlanticstation.com

The electro rock band takes the Tabernacle. Sunday, 8 p.m. tabernacleatl.com

Centennial Olympic Park Ice Rink
The city’s only outdoor rink opens this weekend for its fifteenth season. centennialpark.com

Global Winter Wonderland at Turner Field
The ballpark is transformed by huge illuminated lanterns that recreates architectural landmarks. The event runs through January if you still need some time to pout about the Braves before you visit. globalwonderland.com

Best fan suggestions (so far) for a new Braves logo

So, it’s been just over a week since the Atlanta Braves announced their intentions to move to Cobb County. Reporters have been furiously filing open records requests, politicians have been spinning their positions, and the team’s attempting a PR offensive. Meanwhile, some fans are taking to a form of art therapy.

A compilation of the best to date:


What are you doing this weekend? November 15 – 17

It has been a tough week for Atlantans who actually live in the city of Atlanta. The news of the Braves’ relocation hit hard. And then we found out that 404 phone numbers will no longer be created. We won’t say we’re having a full-blown identity crisis, but frankly it’s all been a bit disconcerting. So we’ve got a few suggestions for things to do to remind yourself that the city really is a great place to be, no matter what our home team thinks.

Friday Jazz at the High
The High Museum hosts the Steve Dancz Sextet for an evening of Jazz and art. Friday, 5 to 10 p.m. high.org

Atlanta Print Biennial
The Atlanta Printmakers Studio celebrates print media with works from throughout the world at Erikson Clock (A Goat Farm Arts Center satellite). Opening reception Friday, 7 to 10 p.m. facebook.com/EriksonClock

Elton John
Part-time Atlantan Sir Elton comes back to Philips Arena, bringing a combination of his many classics and selections from his new (yep) album The Diving Board. Saturday, 8 p.m. philipsarena.com

Garden Nights Holiday Lights
It may feel like Halloween just happened and Thanksgiving is still too far away, but the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s holiday lights display opens this weekend. Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m. atlantabotanicalgarden.org

Return To Rich’s
The Breman Museum stages a retrospective look at the beloved hometown store. Sunday, 1 p.m. returntorichs.org

PLUS: Pat Conroy in Conversation
Atlanta native Conroy, famous chronicler of family dysfunction, will talk with Atlanta magazine book columnist Teresa Weaver about his new memoir, Death of Santini. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. atlantajcc.org

Can’t make it to the event?
Read an exclusive excerpt from Conroy’s new book.
Read Weaver’s interview with Conroy from our November issue.

What are you doing this weekend? November 1-3

As you might have observed, we’re a little Walking Dead obsessed of late. Join other TWD obsessives at Walker Stalker, the first convention created in honor of Atlanta’s favorite zombies. Show stars—including Steven Yeun (Glenn), Melissa McBride (Carol), Scott Wilson (Hershel), Andrew Lincoln (Rick), and Norman Reedus (Daryl)—will be on hand. The panel discussions range from cerebral (“Zombie Ethics” with Emory profs) to squishy (“How to Paint and Apply Foam Latex Zombie Prosthetics”). Stop by our booth and say hi. (And while you’re there,enter to win an autographed blow-up of one of our covers.) Friday, Saturday, Sunday. walkerstalkercon.com

John Legend
The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter-pianist stops at the fabulous Fox in support of his new album, Love in the Future. Friday, 8 p.m. foxtheatre.org

Chomp n Stomp
Sample chili by amateur and pro chefs (we’ve tried squirrel, deer, and vegan in years past), then stick around for bluegrass performances during this annual Cabbagetown festival. Feeling brave? Enter the bobbing for Brussels sprouts contest. Pro tip: Parking and driving are impossible. Take MARTA. You can walk over from the King Memorial Station or from Inman Park—via the Krog Street Tunnel. Saturday,11 a.m. to 6 p.m. chompandstomp.com

Oakland Cemetery Scavenger Hunt
If you haven’t gotten enough of Halloween by Saturday afternoon, grab a team and trek through the tombs of Oakland Cemetery while answering questions and solving challenges. There will be prizes! Saturday, 4-7 p.m. scavengerhuntatl.com

Tie One On
Not ready for beer week to be over? Atlanta’s own Monday Night Brewing celebrates its second birthday with live music, food trucks, craft cocktails, and of course lots of beer. Saturday, 5-10 p.m. mondaynightbrewing.com

Chastain Park Arts Festival
The Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces is putting on its fifth annual festival. The event features more than one hundred artists and artisans along Park Drive. Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. chastainparkartsfestival.com

Actor’s Express premieres a full-length play by Steve Yockey (who also wrote Wolves) that traces a single mother’s efforts to connect with her withdrawn son. Runs through November 24. actors-express.com

The History Center takes advantage of its Hunger Games fame

Well, here’s one way to get preteens interested in history. Lure them with visions of Katniss and Peeta. The Atlanta History Center’s Capitol Tour Experience showcases the historic Swan House, one of several Atlanta locations in Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the second movie in the futuristic (ironic, right?) fantasy series.

The tour will take visitors through each room featured in the film and visitors will have access to the gardens and lawn of the 1928 mansion, once the home of the Edward Inman family. Tour-goers will get an exclusive look at props and photos from the production.

The $10 tour can be booked on-site as an add-on with general admission to the History Center’s permanent and temporary exhibitions. (You can’t do the Hunger Games tour only.) Perhaps on the way to check out the gift shop for official Hunger Games merchandise, young visitors can detour via the Urban History Collection or the Civil War and Military Collection, and learn a little something about real-life politics and conflict.

The Capitol Tour Experience runs Monday through Saturday, November 22 through January 6, 2014. For details visit atlantahistorycenter.com

Atlanta: No. 3 city for movie lovers

This just in: evidently Atlanta is a great place to like movies. A recent study by Movoto deems Atlanta the third best place in the country for movie lovers. We’ll accept the award, even though we suspect it’s a consolation prize because this is too depressing a place to be a sports fan. Think about it. What better way to forget your crushed playoff dreams than to hide in the dark for three hours?

The Movoto formula considered: movie theaters per capita; video rental stores per capita (Do those even exist or do they mean Redboxes?); indie theaters per capita; number of annual film festivals; film/cinema museums; film societies per capita. Bonus points were awarded for specialty theaters.

Atlanta ranked second for number of movie theaters per capita and just above average in every other category. But the Movoto scribe was exceptionally impressed with us for having a drive-in; never mind that sixteen other cities do too. “Because apparently, they just have one of everything in Atlanta.” (Except a winning sports team.) No mention was made of our thriving film industry and Hollywood of the South status.

Portland, Oregon topped the list with its five film festivals a year, plethora of indie theaters and film societies, a film museum and the Kennedy School movie theater. Here’s the rest of the list, which is probably not what you’re expecting it to be,

San Francisco
Las Vegas

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