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Archive for the ‘Outside Atlanta’ Category

Gwinnett groundhog predicts early spring for Georgia

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Gen. Beauregard Lee didn't see his shadow on Tuesday. (He never does.) Hopefully, that means an early spring! AJC/Vino Wong

After floods, snow, ice and frigid stretches that refute my most visceral reasons for moving to Georgia, I’m totally willing to believe a wily groundhog that says we’re in for an early spring.

Gen. Beauregard Lee, the marmot mascot of Lilburn’s Yellow River Game Ranch, did not see his shadow today, and therefore, predicts an early spring for Georgia. (Here are more photos of his Groundhog Day outing. You can see his updates on Twitter, too.)

Of course, Beauregard has never been scared by his shadow, and therefore, has never signaled a longer winter. Alas, he must be fearless to the point of foolishness, because he’s often wrong. (And obviously there’s nothing foolish about humans seeking meteorology advice from a rodent. If snow falls in April, I blame him.)

In fact, Beauregard’s prediction contradicts the news from the more famous member of his species, …

Continue reading Gwinnett groundhog predicts early spring for Georgia »

Atlanta ‘Big Read’ events to explore Hurston’s ‘Their Eyes’

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The Big Read selection by the Margaret Mitchell House Literary Center

Time to pull out those copies of Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” if you ever let them get buried in the bookshelf.

From an article by AJCer Howard Pousner:

The Atlanta History Center’s literary division has selected Hurston’s seminal 1937 novel for its second annual the Big Read event. Atlantans are encouraged to read the Harlem Renaissance writer’s most popular work between Jan. 30-March 16, whether solo or part of a book or discussion group.

The History Center is launching related programs (all of it free) beginning Feb. 17, from a Harlem Renaissance kick-off party to book readings and film showings.

The Big Read is a National Endowment for the Arts initiative taken up every year by communities all over the United States. You might have read last year’s pick by the Margaret Mitchell House Literary Center, “The Great Gatsby.”

A quick search on the NEA’s Big Read community site points …

Continue reading Atlanta ‘Big Read’ events to explore Hurston’s ‘Their Eyes’ »

Surprised by the politics in shows like Shen Yun?

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At Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Chinese performnace troupe Shen Yun featured drummers, dancers and propaganda that surprised some audiences. Some were OK with the message, but some were offended.

In the days since Shen Yun Performing Arts, the Chinese drum and dance troupe, left Atlanta to move onto the next stop on its perpetual tour, conversation continued to rumble about the shows they’d performed at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Some loved the performance, but commenters on Inside Access were upset by the Falun Gong politics of the show, “subtle as a taser shot to the noggin,” the AJC review said. It’s not that commenters necessarily disagree or deny that persecution has taken place in China. They were surprised to see it — especially a few violent scenes,  one involving a taser and another where a mother and child are beaten — in a show promoted as a music-and-acrobatic spectacular

Wrote Marilee Coughlin:

While the dancers are fabulous, and the costumes are …

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Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Atlanta

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Martin Luther King Jr. during his "I Have A Dream" speech on Aug. 28, 1963. File photo

Here are Martin Luther King Jr. Day events around Atlanta, and more activities today.

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

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‘Breaking Upwards’ opens AJFF series for young adults

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Audience members found their seats before an Atlanta Jewish Film Festival screening of "Breaking Upwards" at Atlantic Station. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

When I wandered into Strip last night to pick up my ticket for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival “Breaking Upwards” screening, I might have wandered into a class reunion. The crowd was young, boisterous and everybody there seemed to know each other in that I-haven’t-seen-you-in-years-except-on-Facebook kind of way.

This was the opening night of the festival’s young-adult-oriented ‘Scene & Be Seen‘ selections, and it delivered — good mood, big crowd, lovely film. I went alone, and might’ve felt lonely had I not bumped into some people I haven’t seen in about five years except on Facebook.

Other films in the series are are “Ajami”, “Leaving the Fold”,  “Lost Islands”,  “Mary and Max“, “A Matter of Size”, and “Seven Minutes in Heaven.” As they say, “this is not your bubbe’s film festival.”

I loved “Breaking Upwards,” even if it’s not …

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Tickets on sale for first in Decatur’s new Eddie and Agnes concert series: pianist George Winston performs Feb. 23

Tickets are on sale now for the first show in Decatur’s new Eddie & Agnes concert, a performance by pianist George Winston on Feb. 23.

Concert series director Daren Wang announced the concert yesterday on Twitter, and tickets just went on sale through TicketAlternative.com. In that 140 characters, Wang said Winston will play from his season albums, New Orleans R&B and some of the music of Vince Guaraldi. Winston is touring for a new album, “Love Will Come — The Music of Vince Guaraldi.” The 400 seats closest to the stage will cost $35 in advance. Rear floor and balcony seats will cost $25 in advance.

It’s rare to discover a new music venue, of sorts, especially one that compares in size to Variety Playhouse. Presser Hall has been used for concerts before, notably for the Eudora Welty-inspired concert at last year’s AJC Decatur Book Festival, but this is the first time regular performances have been planned for the auditorium. (You can read more about the idea for the concert …

Continue reading Tickets on sale for first in Decatur’s new Eddie and Agnes concert series: pianist George Winston performs Feb. 23 »

Atlanta Braves to tour towns through Community Caravan

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Braves outfielder Nate McLouth signed a ball for fans last June. Expect a lot of autographs to be going on during the Atlanta Braves Community Caravan tour Jan. 30-Feb.11. AJC file photo

Well before the first pitch of the season, the Atlanta Braves are touring the southeast to sign some autographs and build some buzz for the 2010 season.

The Braves just announced that from Jan. 30-Feb. 11, they’ll have players, coaches, executives and broadcasters signing autographs and talking baseball at Academy Sports + Outdoors stores as far as Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.

In Georgia, they’ll be stopping in Athens, Macon and Evans, near Augusta. A schedule sent to media said Braves will be making community appearance and signing autographs around Atlanta on Feb. 1, Feb. 5 and Feb. 8, but those events and more specific locations haven’t yet shown up on the schedule of Community Caravan stops.

It also doesn’t say yet who will stop at which location, but expect those …

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Monthly Sensory Friendly Films made for kids with autism

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"The Tooth Fairy" is the Feb. 6 Sensory Friendly Film, monthly screenings for families with kids with autism.

I had every intention of heading to a Sensory Friendly Film screening of “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” this morning, but woke up feeling crummy and like hanging out in a movie theater could end badly for me and all the kids there.

The good news is that my colleague, Jill Vejnoska, wrote last year about these screenings. I couldn’t find the story on AJC.com, so it’s republished below.  The screenings were designed for families with children who have autism. The lights stay up a bit, the sound is turned down and the ads are cut out. More importantly, nobody is annoyed or unkind if a kid starts to sing or walk around.

Carin Yavorcik, the Autism Society media specialist, said the idea started with a mother in Maryland whose autistic daughter got really into a movie and began to dance. They were asked to leave. The mother asked if they could have a special …

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Atlanta cold weather weekend cancellations and closings

Cold weather can be incredibly fun, just not in Atlanta. (As I type, my fiance is directing a blow dryer toward a frozen pipe. Not fun.) Here’s a list of closings and cancellations I’ve heard about so far this weekend. If you hear about others, please let me know in the comments!

OPEN

  • Despite reports to the contrary, Snow Mountain is open today.
  • Woodruff Arts Center is re-opened today.
  • The Atlanta History Center is re-opened today.

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

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Elvis Presley turns 75, metro Atlanta celebrates

We are so not over Elvis. He’s been gone more than 30 years, but today would have been the King of Rock and Roll’s 75th birthday, and Atlanta can’t help but celebrate.

We make no promises, but here are some places to look for an Elvis sighting:

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Presley would have turned 75 today.

  • Elvis Tribute with Slim Chance and the Convicts, The Buck Buckley Band, Caroline Herring and more. 8 p.m. Jan. 8. $5. Kavarna, Decatur.

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

Continue reading Elvis Presley turns 75, metro Atlanta celebrates »