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Archive for October, 2009

PHOTOS: Atlanta Critical Mass-querade Halloween bike ride


Hey drivers, watch for that clown, chef, Boy Scout and guy wearing a parrot. AJC photos by Jamie Gumbrecht

And so, Halloween weekend begins.

Or rather, this is how Halloween weekend began at Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta. The last-Friday-of-the-month ride didn’t draw the same crowd that last year’s Halloween ride got, but there were still a couple hundred people in crazy costumes heading up Peachtree Street by 6:45 p.m.

As one rider put it, “This is the only time people actually like us.”

How could you not smile when you see Rainbow Brite pedaling down the road?


The Mighty Beardapus is mighty, but not above accepting help on his bike cam.


Sergio Garzon of Atlanta can, indeed, fly. On a bike.


Pippi Longstocking helped Spider-Man prep for the ride.


And they're off!

Continue reading PHOTOS: Atlanta Critical Mass-querade Halloween bike ride »

Atlanta Art à la Carte offers family performance discounts


Atlanta Ballet's "Nutcracker" is among the performances in the Art à la Carte program. AJC file photo

First spotted on a new partnership among Atlanta arts organizations lets audiences create their own subscription from a mix of family performances. With this program, families can get a lower-cost look at different organization’s offerings without singing up for a membership.

Use Art à la Carte to choose at least three family performances by Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra or the Center for Puppetry Arts. You’ll pay for tickets all at once, but receive a discount of to 20 to 25 percent. You’ll also get admission discount coupons for the Atlanta Botanical Garden, High Museum of Art and Zoo Atlanta. Tickets must be purchased at least two weeks in advance. Here are details on all participating arts and culture organizations and their upcoming performances.

For daily discounts, always check the AJC’s Atlanta Bargain Hunter

Continue reading Atlanta Art à la Carte offers family performance discounts »

Halloween safety tips for this (maybe) rainy holiday


These kids were trick-or-treating in Dunwoody a few years ago. Find a neighborhood without much traffic when going from house to house. AJC file photo

Bad news, fun fans. The National Weather Service forecast for Atlanta now calls for an 80 percent chance of rain, starting today and lasting through Saturday. The good news, though, is that by Saturday night, the likelihood will decrease to 30 percent.

If you’re not willing to go house-to-house in the drizzle, check out the Holiday Guide for other kid-, costume- and candy-friendly activities going on that night. (There are even more parties, haunted houses and events for adults listed, too.)

So pack up the ponchos and roll back the clock if it’s going to be a late night for you. I’m not sure yet what’s in store for my Halloween — depends how quickly we run out of Skittles.

Here are some reminders for how to stay safe with your kids and pets:

  • It sounds like a bad comedy, but really: make sure costumes are flame …

Continue reading Halloween safety tips for this (maybe) rainy holiday »

Final weekend for Botanical Garden’s ‘Moore in America’


"Goslar Warrior 1973-74" by Henry Moore at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. AJC file photo

There is a ton of stuff going on this weekend, most of it involving candy corn, but if you need a break from all the Halloween madness, I highly suggest you check out “Moore in America” at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

The show closes Oct. 31 after months of Moore’s giant sculpture fitting so perfectly into the garden space. Folks at the garden said it always feels a little empty when an exhibition leaves, but it will be especially hard to see this one go.

Of course, while you’re checking out the Moore sculptures, you can’t help but notice the Scarecrows in the Garden — it’s their last weekend, too.

Next up? Holidays in the Garden and the …

Continue reading Final weekend for Botanical Garden’s ‘Moore in America’ »

Meet Jada, one of ‘101 Dalmatians’ starring in Atlanta


If you saw the '101 Dalmations' musical, she's that pretty puppy silhouette you see as the show opens. As if there was any question: yes, she gives kisses. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

I just spent an afternoon among tutus and tiaras at a matinee of “The 101 Dalmatians Musical” at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

As expected, the show was upbeat, cute, clearly a winner among the Disney Princesses in the audience. A coworker who saw it on opening night said her 7-year-old daughter was “glued to the performance, sometimes with mouth wide open.” Field Trips with Sue liked it, too!

As expected, Rachel York was the kind of Cruella De Vil who elicits applause just be stepping on stage. (Because the show was told from the point-of-view of a “dog,” she and the other human characters wear stilts. They earn applause just for staying upright on stage.)

And as expected, nobody is a bigger star than a real dog who pretends to pee on stage in order to make flowers bloom. It doesn’t matter at all …

Continue reading Meet Jada, one of ‘101 Dalmatians’ starring in Atlanta »

Access Points 14: SunTrust model in High’s Portman exhibit

See something familiar in this week’s Access Points photo game?

Readers Steve and Luis were on to something in those first guesses — it’s a model in the High Museum’s John Portman exhibit. But even if you hadn’t seen the model of our city in the “John Portman: Art & Architecture,” some of you might have recognized the distinct tip of SunTrust Plaza in Midtown.

SuntrustBldg (WinCE)

SunTrust Plaza. AJC file photo

It is among Atlanta’s tallest buildings and remains one of its most distinctive, with a busy streetscape at the base and a recognizable crown. The best view of many of Portman’s buildings is on the inside, but the exterior of SunTrust Plaza makes it stand out on the ground and in the skyline.

It’s 1.6 million square feet, 60 stories and has a tenant list including SunTrust Banks, lawyers and dentists. In the past, it held  a Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia gallery.

When the building opened in 1992, it wasn’t SunTrust Plaza, but One Peachtree Center. A December 1992 …

Continue reading Access Points 14: SunTrust model in High’s Portman exhibit »

To do list: October 29

Books: Author Padgett Powell discusses “The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?” 7:15 p.m., Decatur Library, Decatur. FREE.

Comedy: Michele Balan performs, 8 p.m., Laughing Skull Lounge, Atlanta.

Food: Final Fest-of-Ale and celebrity chef pumpkin carving contest, 5-10 p.m., Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta.

For families:The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by Rose of Athens Theater continues, 10 a.m., Seney Stovall Hall, Athens.

Movies:Rush Hour” shows for Downtown TMA movie night, 7:30 p.m., downtown’s Woodruff Park, Atlanta. FREE.

Movies:The Wizard of Oz” shows for the final Movies & The Market, dusk, Atlantic Station’s Central Park, Atlanta. FREE.

Sports: Atlanta Thrashers vs. Washington Capitals, 7 p.m., Philips Arena, Atlanta.

Stage:Die Mommie Die!” continues, 8 p.m, Paris on Ponce, Atlanta.

Stage: Cotton Patch Gospel” continues, 8 p.m., The Cumming Playhouse, Cumming.

Got an event, venue, restaurant or performance in and around Atlanta? Add it to the

Continue reading To do list: October 29 »

Weekend to do list: Oct. 30-Nov. 1

091009 - Stone Mountain - Colton Clay-8 of Lawrenceville carries off the pumpkin of his choice at the Pumpkin Patch Friday October 9, 2009 at Stone Mountain Park’s Crossroads. A friend had promised to take him and his sister, Camryn (not pictured) to Stone Mountain Park and both children chose a pumpkin to take home. In its 7th year, Stone Mountain Park's annual Pumpkin Festival will run every weekend throughout October. This year’s highlights are The Pumpkin Tumbler, Colleen and the Pesky Gnomes , Trick or Treat Scavenger Hunt, The Great Pumpkin Puppet, Children's Costume Contest, Pie Eating Contests, Pumpkin Party Patch, Kroger Pumpkin Patch and Suds 'N' Such Pumpk-o-mat Foam Pit . AJC file photo

Colton Clay carries away a pumpkin at Stone Mountain Park's Pumpkin Festival, which runs through Oct. 31. Find more info about it at, and check out other events this weekend, too! AJC file photo

For a moment, I considered breaking out a separate list of Halloween events for this weekend. Then I realized that when Halloween falls on a Saturday, almost anything fun has some kind of trick-or-treating, pumpkin-carving, costume-wearing element to it. I mentioned a few here, but there are dozens more Halloween parties in the calendar, and even more info in the Holiday Guide.

Almost anything doesn’t equal everything, though. As always, there’s more great art, outdoors and music around Atlanta this weekend. For more music info, including the details on a Georgia Theatre benefit, check out the Atlanta Music Scene blog.  Have fun, and feel free to add more ideas in the comments! – Jamie G.


Art: Final weekend for “Scarecrows in the …

Continue reading Weekend to do list: Oct. 30-Nov. 1 »

Access Points 14: What and where is this?

UPDATE 10/29: Did you make a guess? Here’s the answer.
For this week’s Access Points photo game, tell me what this is and where it’s found.

For this week's Access Points photo game, share in the comments what this is and where it is.

Every week, I post a photo of something fun in the Atlanta area, and ask readers to guess what and where it is. The next day, I’ll post the answer and the story behind it. For examples, check out our earlier Access Points games.

If you know what it is and where to find it, share in the comments, or on Twitter @insideaccess! I’ll reveal the answer at 4 p.m. Thursday!

Continue reading Access Points 14: What and where is this? »

Know before you go: Atlanta Pride Festival, Oct. 31-Nov. 1

Update 11/2: How did it go? See pictures and share your experiences at the festival here!
GAYPRIDE 2 (Small)

Erica Rosalle and other volunteers carried rainbow flag up Peachtree Street during Pride in 2004. AJC file photo

The Atlanta Pride Festival returns to its home in Piedmont Park this year, but in a new season — Oct. 31-Nov. 1 instead of a weekend in June.

Expect a big crowd — the festival has drawn up to 200,000 in the past, although attendance was down during its brief move out of Piedmont Park during the drought. Given the timing around Halloween, they expect even more than usual to be wearing costumes. There are some special events meant only for adults, but the festival itself is family-friendly and open to all, whether gay, heterosexual, lesbian, trans or otherwise.

If festival regulars have advice for how to better enjoy the weekend, suggestions are always welcome in the comments!

To start, here’s what you need to know before you go:

The Pride Festival itself is free, but …

Continue reading Know before you go: Atlanta Pride Festival, Oct. 31-Nov. 1 »