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Archive for October, 2007

Restaurants to Love – Ann’s Snack Bar

Many people read this article in the Wall Street Journal on “the best hamburger in the country”. Supposedly it is at Ann’s Snack Bar. Much has been written about the venerable establishment and the “soup nazi” of hamburgers. You can read the article to learn more about Ann. Want more info, email me.

Here is my latest experience. On Saturday after the Dream Home, I decided I had some time to go get one of these burgers. Mind you, I have been going here since I moved to Atlanta, which was in 1996. (My Dad and I were/are obsessed with off the beaten path restaurants.) Even in one of my management classes we had to compare contrast corporate environments. We compared Ann’s to the corporat culture of Johnny Rocket’s. Fun project, got an A. So I consider myself an old-timer, especially considering the neighborhood.

I had heard the wait has been beyond long, but I figured some of that had subsided. Not so much. Whole experience was 2.5 hours just to get a burger. Plus, some gross family tried to cut line. I, unfortunately, almost got kicked out for helping another patron try to stop them. YOU CAN’T CUT LINE.

I got my burger. It was great. But I don’t have the time, nor do I want to make the effort anymore. It’s been great, Ann. But I can walk to Vortex. And I can get a beer.

If you haven’t been give it a shot, but be prepared to wait. AND FOLLOW THE RULES.

Don’t say I didn’t tell you.

Christmas Cards from Years past

I sent these out one year in my less perfect time. I prefer Crane now.

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They say, “Santa doesn’t need you. (Santa doesn’t need anyone…)” on the inside. I found it funny.

It still is.

If you were so inclinded, you can buy them here.

If you love someone far, far away…,

Use Sightspeed. So much better than ichat. Ichat seems to only work at 1 am on a Saturday night.

Events – Atlanta Magazine Dream Home

I was one of the volunteers on Saturday morning over at the Dream Home. And it really is a Dream Home. Click the last link to buy tickets.

The house is right across the street from the East Lake golf course, but don’t let that deter you. I know you only want to go to Buckhead for these showhomes, but it is time to get out of your comfort zone. From the feedback I was hearing, it is so much better than the one down at Reynolds Plantation. The interiors are very cohesive and those are courtesy of Beverly Hall. I termed them “Southern Chic”. That day the designers and the builders were onsite to answer questions which the visitors really liked.

Th house looks small from the road, but it is 8,000 square feet and three stories. The builder pays special attention to being historically accurate and uses materials such as reclaimed wood. I particularly like the tile work, the detailed wood trim and built-ins. And I liked the 1,500 bottle capacity wine cellar.

I totally want a Woodward Rhodes home now. They value history like I do. And if I had $2.7 million I would buy this property.

Remember that this benefits the restoration of Oakland Cemetery. This is the resting place of many of Atlanta’s mayors, Margaret Mitchell and many Confederate soldiers amongst others. (And don’t get up on my case because I mentioned “Confederate”. I am not like that.)

So get your tickets before it’s to late and let me know what you think.

How annoying

I booked myself a ticket into Dulles instead of Reagan by accident.

BEYOND ANNOYING.

And I booked it weeks ago.

**UPDATE**

So instead of a $3.19 metro ride, I get to take a $75 car service to Silver Spring.

Umm, Yeah. There goes one of the many items I want a J.Crew.

Stores to Love – Blue Genes

This is one of my favorite stores.

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Great sale. Click on the picture to read all about it.

Events – Spa Day, benefiting Aid for Aids

This is a fun way to shop for charity. Date is November 8 at all locations.

On Spa Day, participating spas and salons in Northern California, Southern California, Miami/ Fort Lauderdale, New York, Chicago, Arizona, Atlanta, and Michigan will be donating 20% or more of their revenue from services and gift certificate purchases to support Aid For AIDS.

Click here to find out about Spa Day and here to find out about the agency, Aid for Aids.

Books to Love – Forced to be Family

I was in a discussion last night at an event about family and the tribulations that come with it. My immediate family, I would consider to be close. But there are bumps in the road with every family, immediate or extended, and we all have our fair share. And I could share some stories!

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We all need some advice sometimes.

Excuse me, but the severity of the crisis has not been overstated

ajc.com > Metro
Feds weigh drinking water vs. mussels

By MATT KEMPNER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 10/23/07
In what might be hopeful words for a drought-parched metro Atlanta, a regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said there is “much flexibility” to provide drinking water for people and still comply with the Endangered Species Act.

But Alabama’s governor on Monday asked President Bush not to take emergency drought actions requested by Georgia, saying they would be “to the detriment of people who live and work downstream in Alabama.”

Also Monday, federal biologists waded in Florida’s Apalachicola River, assessing what it would take to keep endangered and threatened mussels alive if less water is released upstream at Lake Lanier.

Georgia has demanded the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers keep more water in Lanier to meet the needs of metro Atlanta during the deepening drought.

The corps has turned to the Fish and Wildlife Service to determine whether mussels in Florida could live with less water in the Apalachicola, the name the Chattahoochee River takes as it winds through that state.

Sam Hamilton, the Atlanta-based regional director for the Fish and Wildlife Service, wrote an Oct. 18 letter to the corps saying that “while the Service is concerned about the adverse effects” that lower flows might cause, “much flexibility exists in the Endangered Species Act to solve problems in ways that meet human needs while minimizing harm to highly imperiled species.

“A careful change in the rate of water releases could allow some mussels to move to deeper water and therefore minimize expected losses,” Hamilton wrote.

Already, the corps says, the Fish and Wildlife Service has authorized the corps to allow some of the rainwater feeding Lanier to stay there, a key step toward helping the depleted lake recover.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is prepared to work “quickly” on reviewing how much water the mussels can live with, Hamilton wrote.

Tom MacKenzie, a spokesman for the service, said he couldn’t predict the timing. Carol Couch, the director of Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division, has said federal officials could do it in a week. Maj. Daren Payne, the corps’ deputy district commander, said the Fish and Wildlife Service expects to finish fieldwork by the end of the month and render an opinion by mid-November.

Even if Georgia officials get what they want from the Fish and Wildlife Service and the corps, the water battle may not be over.

Payne predicted that if the corps reduces flows, there’s a good chance that Alabama and Florida would sue to get more water.

In his letter to Bush, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley said Georgia’s push to get the president to allow lessened releases from Lanier would hurt Alabama. “Georgia has repeatedly framed its request as a contest between people in the Atlanta area and endangered mussels in Florida. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Riley wrote. “In reality the action that Georgia seeks will have dire consequences on people and their livelihoods downstream in Alabama.

“Georgia has overstated the severity of the crisis in the Atlanta region,” he added.

Meanwhile, in Florida, federal biologists are trying to figure what it would take to keep mussels alive. The creatures die if they are exposed for too long when the river level drops, but they also can die if they’re in water that is flowing too fast, he said.

The scientists are trying to figure out just where the endangered and threatened species live, MacKenzie said.

“It’s not like looking in an aquarium and counting fish,” he said. “Literally it can be feeling around with your hands. It’s a time-consuming, laborious process.”

Staff writer Stacy Shelton contributed to this article

Restaurants to Love – Citronelle and Butterfield 9

Like I said, I was in DC with my mom this past weekend. Her brother came out with us. We had one of those amazing family times that just don’t come around that often. We went to Citronelle and Butterfield 9. Both were fantastic. Service with Peter at Butterfield was better than Citronelle. At Citronelle, they have 3 sommeliers, but we got the one lacking in presentation.

I want to thank Hemstitch for all the recommendations she always gives me. It is much appreciated.

Outside of Dean & Deluca in Georgetown. Why does Atlanta not have one of these? The BEST STORE EVER!!!! Please come to the new Streets of Buckhead. We don’t even have a good Jewish Deli. … See my Tabblo>

I’ve got more to say, but I am not in the best mood so we will talk later. Hopefully, I will be “sick” tomorrow and at a Chivas event instead of cake decorating. I am a lost cause.