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Atlanta’s deluge of deluxe apartments

Across Atlanta, large apartment projects are sprouting like residential chanterelles, which builders hope signals a postrecession paradigm shift—even a renaissance—in the city’s core neighborhoods.

The world’s tiniest Walmart opens in Atlanta

Walmart made retail history today by opening its smallest store ever. While a tiny Walmart—the store near Georgia Tech's campus is around 2,500 square feet—seems like an oxymoron, don’t let the size fool you.

The Spence

A strange, witty, occasionally confounding, and often wonderful mix of eccentricities defines the Spence, the year's most anticipated opening. Its name carries an unofficial subtitle: "The restaurant where Richard Blais finally returns to the kitchen."

The first bit of idiosyncrasy is evident before you even enter the place. On the corner of Fifth and Spring streets, in front of the congested valet stand, sits a small wooden planter holding an overflow of herbs and flowers, with a chalkboard at the top that has "The SPENCE" written in neat, steady penmanship. It recalls a sign beckoning guests to a country bed-and-breakfast. But if it puts you in the mind-set of cottages and farmlands for a moment, the techno thumpity-thump vibrating in the restaurant’s door handle brings you right back to Atlanta.

Stopping crime by making it illegal

I was drawn to this 11 Alive online story by the appalling headline "Transvestite prostitutes becoming more violent in Midtown." For Pete's and Patricia's sake, the headline isn't just offensive because it uses a term many consider an epithet. It's also constructed in a way that a) implies transgendered prostitutes are an organized unit perpetrating violence b) assumes the people allegedly involved in a particular alleged attack were, in fact, prostitutes and c) conjures a delicious mental image of a planning meeting where a group of men dressed as women plan a raid on Mary Mac's.

Alma Cocina

I worry over the impressions that Downtown restaurants leave on tourists and conventioneers. Most of these places, particularly along Peachtree Street, are terrible—soulless chains and outdated theme concepts that stay afloat serving food that was totally rad in 1988.

Livingston

When visitors ask a local for restaurant recommendations, they should receive more than strictly gastronomic guidance. They need a sense of place with their meal. In Atlanta, where dining often transpires in flashy but meaningless surroundings, I’m glad I can send people to the Georgian Terrace, across the street from the Fox Theatre. The ten-story hotel, completed in 1911 in an elegant Beaux Arts style, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A renovation completed in 2009 culminated in the opening of the ground-floor restaurant named after Livingston Mims, a Confederate veteran and Democrat who resided on the northeast corner of Peachtree Street and Ponce de Leon Avenue—where the hotel now sits—when he was elected mayor of Atlanta in 1900.

Strip Steak: Cheetah’s Alluvia

I didn’t drag my editor to the Cheetah. He wanted to go. For the food.

Empire State South

How do you describe Southern food? Pursuing that answer is as much the daydreamer's indulgence as the academic's conundrum. It’s a workman’s meal of sugarless, butter-smeared cornbread, swiped through a bowl of potlikker and crumbled into the mouth. It’s an antebellum fever dream: she-crab soup, shad stuffed with roe, and the sherry-soaked dessert called tipsy squire consumed using weighty silverware on snowy linens. And it is, of course, an unconquerable buffet of fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, baked ham, candied yams, black-eyed peas, and small plastic bowls filled with peach cobbler sweet enough to give you the sugar jitters.

Shotgun Chic

Fifteen years ago, when Jeff Jones bought a 1930s Midtown house that had been destroyed by fire, the residential designer vowed to rebuild an even better one. “You always hate to lose an old house, but sometimes it’s an opportunity to redesign and do it right,” he says.

Midtown’s new Piola Pizza hits the spot with World Cup fans

An early evening downpour and a distinct absence of street parking didn't dampen the spirits of the media folks invited to sample menu items from the brand-new Piola Famosi Per La Pizza in Midtown Tuesday night.

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