Free-For-All Friday 12/17/10

Feel free to use this post to make comments and ask questions about local issues not discussed here over the past week.

Comments close Monday.

114 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 12/17/10”


  1. With the season of giving and receiving coming upon us, does anyone know where one can properly dispose of obsolete and/or replaced small kitchen appliances like coffee makers, griddles, toasters, etc., particularly non-working ones?

    1. The thrift stores do a brisk business in selling usable small appliances (& other electrics- stereo components, blow dryers, lamps, etc.) I’d really like to know the answer for the non-working ones too!

      (..er… Steve… You know better than to buy your wife a kitchen appliance as a gift, right?!)

    2. Just a thought on the non-working items – my boys love to take them apart. So, if you have any little ones (not too little) you might give it to them with a screw driver to keep them busy for an entire afternoon. Then tell them they can use all the parts and build a robot. We’ve even been known to go to the thrift store and buy small electronics for just this purpose.

      1. What a clever idea, QueenB. I have a toaster oven in the attic that would be the perfect take-apart project for my five year old. Whenever I work on the house, he always follows me around with his tools, so he’ll love this.

      2. The way my almost 4-year-old has been acting I might plug in the appliance before he dismantles it. (kidding, well maybe.)

      3. There’s nothing like a little hands-on destruction to encourage young minds in the art of ‘How Things Work’.

        But being young minds, their neocortex isn’t quite as robust as it will be as adults; consequences are a bit vague…so do yourselves, your child and the fire dept. a favor and cut the electrical cords.

    1. I believe Home Depot sells an additive that you can pour into the paint to harden it, and you can then dispose of it as you would any other garbage. I’ve never used it, so I may be wrong. But might be worth checking out.

    2. You can add kitty litter to the paint can and if it’s totally dry, put it on the curb and the city will take it on trash day.

        1. A nice idea, but they list painting supplies as a donation they take, not paint. Doubt they would want the decade old stuff I have anyway.

          1. It might be worth a phone call. Unless they’ve changed their policy, I’m sure I’ve seen paint for sale there. I checked them out when I was purchasing building supplies for my chicken coop.

    3. DeKalb County has a once (twice?) a year recycling event where they take old paint, cleaning solutions, and other hazardous materials. It’s off Memorial Drive behind the jail somewhere. Went there a couple of months ago, and it worked VERY smoothly. Impressive organizational effort. If only….. Oh, never mind.

    4. If you can wait awhile, Home Depot has a free paint recycling event every so often. They accept it as is – no kitty litter or hardening agents required.

  2. 6:15 this morning – heard coyotes outside! I wouldn’t have known what it was except for the DM poster (can’t remember who) who provided the helpful link to the NPR story.

  3. Christmas gift idea for your husband: I just picked up a gift certificate from Ale Yeah, just opened over on College Ave. A beer drinker’s delight! And as a brand new business, they loved the support.

      1. After three trips already to Ale Yeah, I would encourage any lover of a beer-lover to add a gift card from them to the list.

        J-T,
        I, too, am all set on socks and ties. A larger belt may be in order soon, though.

    1. GW, you’re a lifesaver– I was casting about for a stocking stuffer that my spousal unit would actually like, and there it is! Thanks for the idea!

    2. The hubs and I hit up Ale Yeah! today. Great selection, really really nice guys running the place. Good luck and welcome to the neighborhood!

  4. You know, all this talk of electric cars, recycling, building green, yada yada is meaningless as long as there are these massive sewage spills all over the county. When will someone do something about all these problems? Seriously, whatever it takes, let’s do it. This is horrible stuff we’re doing to our environment. Did you all hear about yesterday’s spill at Emory? 12,600 gallons of raw sewage spilled into Peachtree Creek behind the campus. Special tax, whatever…we need to do better than this.

  5. I have a vegan friend coming to visit next week. Anyone know of a good restaurant in the area that would please a vegan and a meat eater?

    1. A good mexican restaurant is always a tasty option– they don’t tend to use lard in their beans & dairy can be easily omitted. Supplying menu links to your favorite places is another good way to go.

      (Not ordering a big ol’ honkin’ slab o’ meat would also be sweet of you! Not saying not to enjoy your dinner– just that a lowkey entree would be appreciated by your friend. Very distracting to focus on conversation when your dinner mate’s sawing away or waving around animal parts!)

      1. No can do. Free room and board means having meat wagged in your face.

        Isabella’s might be a good option. I’m hoping to find something that has a local feel. Indian, Chinese, Mexican, etc. I like all of those, but you can get that stuff anywhere, and they’re usually pretty forgettable meals.

        1. The farro and vegetable bowl at Cakes and Ale. And you can have the tri tip steak. Exactly what my wife and I are planning on ordering tonight

        2. “Oh My!” she exclaimed!

          Back to the food: Garlic Thai and Taqueria del sol might be exceptions to the rule.

        1. Cafe Sunflower in Buckhead has the best vegan food. The menu is entirely vegetarian and enjoyed by many non-vegetarians. Open Mondays.

          Saba is good Italian, with good vegan. Oakhurst location is good, and open on Mondays.

          1. My wife heartily agrees with the Cafe Sunflower recommendation. I think they have coupons on Restaurant.com

    2. Harmony on Buford Highway is an amazing all-vegan fake-meaty restaurant. There’s also Veggieland in Buckhead (looks like a dive, but is delicious) and Green Sprout in…um…Atlanta somewhere. I think Mellow Mushroom does a vegan pizza as well. Noodle also may do vegan dishes – I’m vegetarian, not vegan, so I’m not sure, but I do know I’ve been with meat eaters at all of these restaurants and all were well received.

      1. If you don’t know where Green Sprout is, how can you recommend it? Last time I ate there it was unacceptably blah.

    3. Could you take them to the cafeteria at the DeKalb Farmer’s Market? I really enjoy that and people from out of town just LOVE seeing the DFM. (No bashing them right now, folks. They’re a local treasure, even if they don’t do everything perfectly.)

    4. How about the Viet Namese place in the plaza at North Decatur and Clairmont? You can get pho noodle soup without meat.

      Oh wait, I think the broth might be beef-based.

      But I’m sure they will have several non-meat dishes to choose from.

      Mmmmm…pho. I love pho.

      1. Just ate at Saigon Cafe for the first time a couple of weeks ago. There were two vegetarian options, with one being in some doubt. That being said, I had a vegan noodle dish that was very good.

        1. If you sensitive to MSG – be careful at Saigon. Food is MSG loaded. (I am sensitive and found out the hard way, then confirmed with staff)

    5. Leon’s has a earth, seared “veggieloaf”, roasted cauliflower-shitake-sundried tomato salad, pecan romesco $15.5 I believe it is vegan. You could call 404.687.0500 to ask.

    6. – Rainbow Natural Foods has a nice hot bar and a cozy, simple little seating area. The choices aren’t fancy, but the food is savory and home-cooked.
      – Flying Biscuit has some neat choices, including a great burrito filled with BBQ tofu and collards.
      – Green Sprout (Ansley Park) has intriguing dishes like mock squid, but what I love are their vegetarian soups.
      – The Vortex (L5P location) is always a reliable hangout, and every burger is available vegetarian-style.

  6. Just a word of caution: my kind husband picked up what he thought was a stranded motorist yesterday, only to realize it was some sort of scam. I hope I don’t deter anyone from helping anyone in genuine need, but just try to use your good judgment!

      1. A man flagged him down at the corner of Artwood and Ponce. He said he was trying to get to Emory Hospital to visit his daughter. Kind husband, who was on his way to Emory anyway, agreed to give him a ride. While en route, the guy started changing his story, wanting to go somewhere else to meet someone who could loan him some money etc etc. Kind husband says the story just kept getting more and more implausible and self-contradictory. He ended up dropping him off near The Byway without incident.

        1. I had a similar experience at Whole Foods shopping plaza on Ponce.

          Very nicely dressed, black man in his late 50s? said his daughter was just in a car accident near Emory and needed a ride. He was SO believeable. I would have been tempted, except my daughter was with me, so definitely would not have. I know – I should not anyway!

          A friend’s high-school age son was targeted in same way and ended up having to give the guy $50 to get him out of his car.

    1. This sounds like a well-orchestrated scam I’ve seen downtown and in midtown. Man approaches jingling keys, points way down the street to a car with hazrads on, and says he is a [insert responsible job title here like teacher] who needs $20 or a ride someplace.

    2. Many years ago, a man was pulling this scam in Oakhurst. He would say his car was broken down by a neighbor’s house up the street (maybe even mention the specific name of the neighbor – probably by looking at their mail) and ask for a lift to an auto parts store. Once there, he would need to borrow cash to make his purchase. After he suckered you, I’m pretty sure he would just disappear. My husband was approached with his story once. Luckily, he didn’t fall for it, which really pissed off the man.

      1. Do any of you ever get approached by the woman in Decatur who asks for money to pick up breakfast at the mini-Kroger for her kids? She says she doesn’t get paid until the following day? She’s incredibly believable. I fell for her scam a few years ago — and was disappointed (but impressed at how good she is — with the exception of her memory) when she approached me the following night with the same story. She didn’t argue when busted — shrugged it off and pretended to walk away but I saw her circle back as I was leaving the parking lot.

        I hadn’t seen her in years until she approached me leaving the Halloween carnival at Glennwood a couple of months ago. I wish I had taken a moment to hear if she’s sticking with the same story.

        1. I was scammed on the square several years ago by a woman with two young kids. I thought I recognized her from school and, by the time I realized she was someone else, I had given her money and was embarrassed to say anything in front of my own children. I have also been scammed by male teens at the CVS saying that they were raising money for a field trip (my tip off was when a police car drove up and they scattered). Since then, I pretty much ignore all panhandlers and soliciters in Decatur and downtown Atlanta. I feel bad and I got some concerned looks when I mentioned this in a church group. But being scammed works against my generally philanthropic attitude.

  7. To revisit a much-discussed subject, met someone on the street last night who had gone into the Opening Soon Diner thinking they were open and was told they would be open “in a week”. In a related note, the Empire Diner on Roswell Rd, which is purported to be part of the same operation, has closed within the past two weeks.

    1. Can someone confirm the ownership situation behind the Coming Soon Diner? When it was announced in 2009 (Ha!), I thought the owners were the Marietta Diner folks, who are apparently responsible and well liked. Lately on DM we’ve been seeing comments that this is backed by the alleged mafiosas who ran Crescent Moon into the ground, among other failed restaurant/money laundering operations.

      1. Spoke to someone at Marietta Diner and they said the Decatur Diner owner is the brother of the Marietta Diner owner. No idea on opening date.

  8. Does anyone go to Snap Fitness in Oakhurst? Pros? Cons?

    Wanting a gym membership an trying to decide between YMCA and Snap Fitness. When I dropped by YMCA to get information regarding membership last weekend all I got was attitude from the person working the membership desk. Left two messages regarding the incidence with the Y’s Manager and Memberhip Manager without a call back which makes me wonder just how well run the Decatur Y is.

    1. I’ve worked out at the YMCA and now am a member at Core Body. I LOVED the YMCA, but it is very busy and crowded. It has the most classes during various parts of the day of any gym in town, plus a pool, and a hot tub.

      Core Body is smaller, not as many classes (not many in middle of day), but also very well run. Would be worth considering. Lots of weights. They do want you to sign a contract, though.
      It has those cool cardiomachines with TV’s built in. So does the Y, but you almost always have to wait to get on your favorite one.

      I don’t know about Snap. Never heard of it.

    2. I just recently joined the Y and so far, so good. I started going to the East Lake location, but it is really crowded (even right at 5:30 when they open), but then I figured out the Clair(e?)mont location opens earlier and is not quite as crowded (morning or late evenings). I checked out Snap but was a little bothered by the fact that there is only staff there during normal business hours (when I am at work and not able to get to the gym). Members come and go using a pass key and since it is open 24 hours, which is definitely a bonus, you can work out anytime. But what made me nervous is that at 5 in the morning or 9-ish at night, I could be the only person in there. The parking lot is also sort of behind the building, not visible from the street. Didn’t feel safe to me.

    3. Also love CORE–The owner if very hands-on. It is very clean. There’s no attitude whatsoever and all body types like the Y. If you don’t want to commit for a year to save money I believe there is a more expensive monthly no-contract option. I’ve had great experiences there.

    4. Thanks so much for the input everyone! Had not thought of Core Fitness or DeKalb Medical! Had been concerned about how busy the Y might be early in the morning along with the parking & being alone at SNAP Fitness. Will check into the other gyms and make a decision.

    5. Snap Fitness is awesome and is definitely the most affordable option in town. I was a member at the Y but left because of cost and the crowds. LA Fitness is another option up on N. Druid Hills but of course it’s a drive.

    6. I left the Y 2 years ago after 10 or so. Why? Repeat maintenance issues, continual crime problems and, yes, attitude from the staff. Now at Core. The staff knows their customers by name, it’s low key and stuff actually works. Not alot of classes but those they do have are good. It’s less $$ then the Y and, for me, a HUGE bonus is that there’s no kids!

      If kid care and activities are impt. to you, Core won’t be an option, but otherwise you might want to give them a look.

  9. Can’t comment on the Y or Snap but I go to Core Body Decatur and love it. Very clean, well maintained and well run. A little pricey for neighborhood gym but a good value if you plan to take advantage of the classes.

  10. There is a vegan restaurant on Highland just south of Ponce, about 1/2 block behind
    the outdoor/camping goods store. It is VERY DELICIOUS FOOD! Sorry I can’t remember
    the name of it, but have eaten there more than once and was never disappointed. Italian
    restaurants are OK for vegans, generally, because they can just order pasta and
    a red sauce with no dairy/animal protein products in it. They can order margarine
    instead of butter for their bread, etc. etc. Good luck!

    1. Soul Vegetarian. Totally vegan, complete with lots of faux meat (which normally disgusts me) that is really tasty. The soft serve ice cream is fantastic if we’re not having Fairbanks temperatures.

      1. Ah! I KNEW that I had left something off my list for Jeff…. (Thanks, MelissaM.) Soul Vegetarian has fantastic country fried kalebone with gravy, which is a gluten-derived vegan take on country-friend steak. Also try the surprisingly delicious vegan macaroni and soy cheese, and the sprout salad, which is served with something very similar to Annie’s Goddess Dressing. There are two locations in Atlanta — one in Poncey-Highland and one in West End.

  11. DH and I really want to try Isabella’s Cafe and have rare date nights. We have one coming up on Wednesday–what’s good to eat there? We want a meal to remember for those long nights when we are eating leftovers 🙂 Thanks for any tips. PS. The buffalo chicken balls look delicious and sinful–just what we are looking for! 🙂

  12. Can anyone recommend a mechanic who works on older BMWs,’97? Summit doesn’t. Has anyone had experience with Auto Fitness on E. Ponce behind Anthony’s Pizza?

    1. Automotive Professionals on Zonolite. I’d let Sandy and the guys perform surgery on me; I trust them that much. They do everything, but German Performance has long been their specialty. I think half my office uses them, and I’ve been taking our vehicles to them for a decade at least.

  13. If you need zombie stocking stuffers, criminal records is carrying “walking dead” graphic novel t-shirts. perfect for all you zombie lovers in the 30030. I mean you, maggie.

    1. I am not a child and I am not poor, and Christmas is very meaningful to me for many reasons beyond religion. What on earth are you talking about?

      1. Move along. Naaman had too much nog last night. Oh and gibby, add retailers, charities and mistletoe to your list.

    2. All right, Gibbetties– shake it off, and don’t be scarin’ the sweet folks off. Aren’t you bears supposed to be hibernatin’ right now anyways? 😛

  14. My husband claims he saw several tables worth of people eating at the Decatur Diner last night. I tried to give him all the info I’ve picked up on this blog about how the Diner only LOOKS open. But he doesn’t believe me.

  15. Intriguing and attractive gift baskets at Ale Yeah! if you are looking for gift inspiration. Also, very helpful staff if you want advice.

  16. I may have missed this elsewhere- are the westbound Ponce lanes from the post office to Trinity going to be repainted to deal with the new one lane only Ponce after Trinity? Very dangerous right now as is- have had several “squeeze plays” at and after that light, as sometimes the car in the left lane doesn’t know it is left turn only now…

    1. I’ve also had people not noticing, not caring that there is now a left turn only lane. I hope they are able to repaint to make it more clear. Also, cars passing in the bike lane to get by the people turning left onto Adair also scare me. I do think they did a good job restriping on the eastbound end.

      1. Am I the only one who thinks the stencil for the bike-riding figure looks as if it was made in China?

    2. Hasn’t the left/center lane always been left-turn-only and people just ignored it? Of course, it didn’t matter as much when one lane fed into two. Now with one lane continuing just as one lane it’ll be a little more exciting. Perhaps the guy on Adair can put some bicycles out just before the intersection to make it more noticeable.

  17. I also see that the “stop for pedestrians” marker at the corner of Adair and Howard is down for the count– was that removed for the icy roads earlier, or did it just take too much of a beating to keep standing? (the latter was my prediction when it went up) I’d be curious to know which of the other pedestrian stop markers have also taken too much of a beating/came down (if any), or if it is just that intersection…

    1. I saw that the sign was missing last week as I was headed west early one morning. About 100 yards later, I saw the sign in the road. Someone must have hit hard to carry that far.

  18. Someone has a really neat gold electric 4 seat cart/car that just zipped by us on our dog walk- really cool!

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