Free-For-All Friday 1/18/13

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

Comments close on Monday.

133 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 1/18/13”

    1. because this generation of kids has to have something to complain about to their kids – “when I was your age I sometimes had to wait 10 minutes for the bus when it was 32 degrees outside!”

  1. Wondering why so few people have lunch at Sapori di Napoli. I see them busy at dinner, but the place is often empty at lunchtime. Enjoying an afternoon panini / side salad for about $6-7 is like going on vacation. (OK, well, maybe that’s a stretch…)

    1. Not sure what you are referring to, but I’ve heard that a major expansion is in the works, which is kind of hard to believe in light of the size of the existing building and operation.

      1. They did apply for zoning to do a huge expansion of both the building and the parking. Despite the obvious impact on traffic, potentially more than the WalMart, Good Growth DeKalb was silent on the matter.

        1. I don’t see how it could have near the effect on traffic as putting a Walmart at a six-way intersection.

          Wish it wasn’t happening though.

          1. IMO any negative impact on traffic in surrounding streets will be far outweighed by relieving the excruciating gridlock in the aisles of the market. Shopping on SAturdays has become utterly impossible.

    2. Here is the project description from the Department of Community Affairs webpage:

      The proposed expansions of the existing DeKalb Farmers Market include 718,367 SF of new warehouse area and 517,949 SF of new retail area. The proposed project will require 2 new driveways; 1 signalized and 1 unsignalized. The proposed project will provide 2,637 new parking spaces, while 763 existing parking spaces will remain.

        1. Thanks – do you have contact info for Jay? — he shares a name with a TV character and googling him turns up nothing for me… Russ

    1. Organizer. Try Robyn Elliott. She runs Bicycle Tours of Atlanta ( but she’s also a fantastic organizer. 404-273-2558

  2. Anyone know what’s going on with the roadside clearing on Arcadia Ave between College Ave and Craigie Ave? Are they adding a lane?

    1. I think it’s part of the PATH project because they’ve cleared the trees on the other side of Katie Kerr and if you notice, they’re just taking trees and greenery out, they’re not trying to dig anything.

        1. sadly this was true as the pipes showed up on Saturday and the digging began.
          guess it’s too much to hope for both the pipeline AND PATH extension? 🙁

    2. I thought the tree-clearing on Katie Kerr, etc. was mostly to accommodate the equipment needed to tear up the road without having to close both lanes. That being said, if you haven’t experienced it already, AVOID KATIE KERR!

  3. She did it! Local girl Doria Roberts is now one of seven *finalists* competing to play at the Grammies. Voting continues through next Thursday. Show her some love and vote [], will ya? You can vote up to ten times a day. Thanks!

    1. Voting nine times a day! Now how to we get Calavino on one of those cooking competition shows so she doesn’t feel all left out?

  4. Does anyone know who accepts household batteries for recycling? Tried the Ace Hardware a few months back but they dont.

    Thanks in advance

          1. Moved closer to Decatur–in the Publix shopping center corner of Druid Hills and Lawrenceville Hwy

    1. I know the YMCA on Moores Mill collects household batteries, that’s where I take ours.
      I don’t know if East Lake Y or D/D Y does, maybe you can call them.

      I think the Publix on N. Decatur does also. They collect a lot of recyclables, so they probably do.

      We have much less than we used to, as we’ve switched to rechargeables almost exclusively.

  5. I need to get lost in a good mystery this weekend. State of Wonder has 70, one star reviews, Gone Girl has 600 one star reviews. (They both have many more 5 star reviews) Torn which one to download, or if I should do something different.

    I have been reading Louise Penny in order from the library, so I love anything along her lines. Cold, snow, witty, murder cases.

    New or old, don’t really care, just want to get sucked into something. I haven’t gotten around to Googling the best of 2012 list from here yet.


    1. Charles todd’s post WWI mysteries are great. Also, I just fell in love with Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher series. Cocaine Blues is the first one, and Decatur library has them all.

      1. Also a fan of Charles Todd. You might enjoy a series by James R. Benn set during WW II, featuring Billy Boyle, a Boston police detective assigned to Eisenhower’s staff in Europe as sort of an under-the-radar fixer. (Read them in order, there are some fairly dramatic continuing plot twists you don’t want to spoil.)

    2. I detested Girl Gone (although I read the whole thing because I hate not finishing a book). Haven’t read or heard anything about State of Wonder.

    3. Both State of Wonder and Gone Girl are completely engaging and kept me up until the wee hours. Caution: do not begin either one if you have any tasks that need completing or kids that need attention, because both will be neglected. Perhaps slightly more so with Gone Girl, but State of Wonder was, to me, the “better” book on whole. They can’t really be compared, though, as they are so vastly different.

    4. State of Wonder isn’t really a mystery, is it? I liked it but didn’t read it as a mystery. I liked Bel Canto by the same author even better. I also wouldn’t classify that as a mystery although it has a terrorist theme.

    5. For getting sucked in, you can’t beat any of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books, but they’re more thrillers than mystery. Karen Slaughter’s books are quite good, also.

    6. Didn’t love State of Wonder. Loved Gone Girl. You might consider some of these titles which kept me up way past my bedtime and can all be found at the library:

      -The Reliable Wife (Robert Goolrick)
      -The Keep (Jennifer Egan)
      -The Gods of Gotham (Lyndsay Faye)
      -The Devil’s Star (Jo Nesbø)
      -The Alienist (Caleb Carr)

    7. Along the same vein, can anyone suggest a good fantasy or sci-fi book? New would be preferable, but I’m not picky. I’m finishing up my Game of Thrones marathon (finally!) and I’m looking for something new. Thanks!

      1. Have you tried/read Neal Stephensons Baroque Cycle?

        Pretty frickin awesome if you like that type of stuff…

        1. I’ll second that. I finished the Baroque Cycle last year and now I’m neck deep in Cryptonomicon, which is even better.

      2. Not new, but The Sparrow and its sequel, Children of God by Mary Doria Russell are both great reads.

      3. Not new, but one of my all-time favorite fantasy books is Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell by Susannah Clarke.

        1. +1.

          Just read At the Mouth of the River of Bees and also Shipbreaker. Bees is a collection of short stories that I actually really enjoyed.

          Dang, now I’m trying to remember the name of a dystopian book about an isolated town of people who built their whole society around some Dickens books…

          1. Don’t know about a Dickensonian world, but I enjoyed the Jasper Fforde novels; a detective series with a literary bent centered around Thursday Next and her life in an alternative England.

            1. Those are delightful! I actually love another series he started even more, about a society structured around color as a commodity. The first book is called Shades of Grey. When he came to Decatur a couple of months ago he signed my copy, and wrote in “the original” above the title. 🙂

    8. Check out this site that I love, which organizes mysteries by lots of categories, including genre (Vampire, Romantic, Thriller), location, historical period, job of main character, etc. I have really been needing something like this, and was tickled when I found it. Just going off Amazon’s recommendations was limiting my choices somewhat.

      1. oh, my goodness, that may be the most useful website ever. well-written series deserve to be read in sequence but it can be a real challenge to keep track of the order. amazon’s “in order” listings are almost never correct.
        thank you, Anna Hall!

      1. Love Maisie Dobbs, can’t wait for the next one. And as a matter of fact, discovered her right here in FFAF last year (although embarrassed to admit I can’t remember, at the moment, who made the recommendation — but I’m grateful!). The Bess Crawford books by Charles Todd are OK while waiting, but not as wonderful. Todd’s series featuring Ian Rutledge is better, IMO.

      2. Would you believe I have been in the digital line at the library for her book since the beginning of last October!? It’s the longest I’ve ever waited for a book and I can’t give in and by it now for some reason I can’t really explain. At least I’m down to being number 20, but ill miss the little “when will I get it” guessing game I’ve been playing for the past few months.

        And thank you guys for the awesome list I was able to create with all the suggestions (with a pen on actual paper). Anna- I’ve told every reader I know about that site- fantastic is an understatement!

    9. The Kate Atkinson Jackson Brodie books are great too. The first, Case Histories, is my least fave, but the next books are fantastic (and the slower Case Histories worth the read to get a good base for the rest of the series). They were also made into BBC movies, which I have yet to watch.

  6. Darn you other Subaru owners for keeping Six Star so busy that I have to have an appointment for next week!
    (No, really, I’m glad they are busy, just hating to wait bc impatience is the American Way.)

    1. Stiver Subaru has same day service. I’ve found their service department to be efficient and easy to deal with.

  7. If it’s murder you’re into, go with Gone Girl. Patchett has a bit more literary heft. You probably can’t go wrong with either.

  8. Can anyone recommend a dentist? I used to go to Dr. Patel at Nanston, but now it’s Great Expressions and I’m not happy at all with the way that company does business. Dentist is still the same and I like her, but I’m not thrilled with all the new dental hygienists. Thanks!

    1. We’ve been happy with Joseph Looper–just north of Emory near the intersection of Briarcliff and Clifton. See this page for address, phone number, and some positive reviews.

      1. +100 – I started going to him based on all the rave reviews I saw in various FFAFs and found him and his staff to be EXCELLENT.

    2. I still have the same hygienist as I’ve always had since they were Nanston (if you go back, ask for Pansy). But I don’t enjoy going there anymore, because they are always pushing electric toothbrushes, fluoride treatments, teeth whitening, etc. I just want my teeth cleaned, not to be hit up to buy every new product or treatment on the market.

    3. Mr. Cat and I both go to Tiffany Bolen, office in the Commerce Plaza building. She is very professional and thorough and her hygienist is wonderful. Very caring, no-pressure environment.

    1. Speaking of, I was a bit surprised BS did not get an Anthony Bourdain visit while taping his recent “Layover” in Atlanta. BS and Iberian Pig got very brief mentions in the show, but that was about it.

        1. Fat Matt’s must have a great publicist. Rachel Ray did a segment there when she did Atlanta on 40 bucks a day a ways back.

          1. I’ll give Fat Matt’s one thing – their sauce is awesome. I understand that good barbecue doesn’t need to be slathered in sauce, and that some Texans will shoot you if they see you putting ANY sauce on ribs, but you’d think the Fox boys could come up with something other than the blah stuff they serve, especially since they sell it at Whole Foods and some other local places now. Fat Matt’s sauce is just flat out good, with that little kick of pepper and anchovies and Goddamn I’m getting hungry now! I’m not going to admit that I’ve done it but let’s just say that I wouldn’t deny under oath that I’ve ordered take-out ribs and chicken from Fox Bros just so I could take them home and slather them in Fat Matt’s sauce. And, of course, I’m not allowed inside my parents’ house when I go visit them unless I have a brown bag full of the stuff!

            1. Best BBQ sauce in the WORLD is Johnny Harris BBQ sauce from the Johnny Harris BBQ restaurant in Savannah. some of the local publix and krogers will have it sometimes or one of the other 2 flavors they have, but all 3 are LIFE CHANGING!

        2. He did go to Fatt Matt’s, but he also represented it pretty much as it is. More of a place to go to satisfy an urge that any sort of bar-b-cue pinnacle.

    1. +100 — I think I know where every pothole is on that road. It desperately needs paving but I guess it’s probably far down the list on the city of Atlanta’s infrastructure projects.

      1. I think of the potholes on DeKalb Ave. as reverse speed bumps. People slow down to go over them. They’re sort of traffic calming – except of course for the folks who swerve into your lane to avoid the pothole in theirs.

        1. yeah. and have you ever noticed, it seems like people driving the biggest, most rugged vehicles are the most prissy about trying to avoid every little wrinkle in the road?

          1. Yes, though “biggest” and “most rugged” are not the same. A lot of those massive SUVs are cushy luxury cars never meant to be driven off-road. Hates ’em, I do.

            1. “Hates ‘em, I do.” — You and me both. Anybody who wonders why should read “High and Mighty: The Dangerous Rise of the SUV.”

        2. Wish folks would not swerve around those. It is unsettling to be behind a vehicle that suddenly executes a crazy ivan.

    2. Dekalb Ave. really needs a bike lane. There are a few dedicated souls that brave it regularly and I always fear for them. Plus, most folks will slow down and wait for an opportune moment to go around them which holds up traffic. A bike lane would solve that problem. I’ve biked a few times myself and I find it way too hazardous.

      1. Agree. I have yet to dare try it, but during rush hour it would seem like bicycling on the Autobahn. Scary.

      2. I used to ride my bike on DeKalb to go from Decatur to downtown Atlanta. It actually wasn’t as scary as you’d think since there are so few intersections. I always worried more about oncoming cars turning left in front of me or cutting me off by passing me then making a right turn.

      3. Agree only if it would not eliminate the reversible lane. Would be a nightmare of traffic if only two lanes.

        1. Agree! I once read about DeKalb wanting to eliminate the third lane to provide a better looking entrance into DeKalb Co. (for some reason I remember Jeff Rader being quoted on the topic). SO glad that hasn’t happened, and hoping that idea has been way back-burnered.

        2. I find the reversible lane very, very scary. Those not familiar do not understand what’s going on and many others just get careless. I don’t know the solution but I I’m surprised we don’t hear about head on collisions in that lane.

            1. It used to be a lot more ‘interesting’ back in the day when the middle lane was free for all except during morning and evening rush hours. You have NO idea! The center lane was for serious drivers only . . . or left turns and suicides.

        1. They usually set up in front of the building where Ga Power is, and in front of Town Square and Renaissance condos.

  9. There was a very disappointed child in my house this morning when no snow was on the ground this morning!

    1. I loved how all the newscasts this morning were devoted to stories about NOT having snow or ice.

      Anchor: “We’re going live to Suzy Reporter at Spaghetti Junction.”
      Suzy: “Yep, no snow or black ice here Anchor Man, but let me show you how cars are moving along like any other morning.”

  10. If anybody needs a great, reliable, reasonable and utterly honest handyman, Ben Brackner is the guy to hire. He has fixed my washing machine, done carpentry, hung cabinets, fixed a hole in the roof…I’m not sure there’s anything he can’t fix. His January is slow, so call him at 678-920-8204.

    1. Diane, would he be interested in a drywall job?? I need my garage walls and ceiling finished, and wasn’t sure who in Decatur does that kind of work.

      If anyone else has used a local drywall guy and liked their work, I’d appreciate some recommendations.

  11. Have you signed up for Decatur lacrosse yet? Decatur Active Living runs a solid youth lacrosse program in the spring for both boys and girls for age groups elementary to middle school. Information is on the Decatur Active Living Site and sign ups are on-line or at the new Decatur Rec front desk.

    If you’re an experienced player or maybe looking to try something new and different, then lacrosse is for you. Not only is this truly American sport the nation’s fastest growing – it’s also the fastest game on two feet!

    If you are new to the sport and thinking about it, the U.S. Lacrosse site has a wealth of information. You can also find plenty of gameplay videos on Youtube that apply to specific ages.

  12. Shameless Plug:
    Tickets are still available to attend a dance party with Tommy Dean and other musicians, to benefit the Seed & Feed Marching Abominable Endowment, Inc.

    Friday January 25, 2013 Inc.
    First Existentialist Congregation in Candler Park
    from 7:00-11:00 p.m.
    $20, tax deductible, all proceeds benefiting Abominable Endowment

    Tickets are available through by sending your payment to:
    Last year’s endowment party featuring Francine Reed was a sell out, and the crowd danced for hours.
    For more info:
    thanks y’all!

    1. The Seed & Feed Marching Abominables have provided fun entertainment for years. Like the annual IP festival parade! What is the Foundation?

      1. It’s actually an Endowment, a 501(c) to support the marching band (which is a non-profit, but not a 501(c) and its community services

  13. Planning a new rose bed. I need a big tiller and a big strong tiller operator to make this bed in what is currently lawn. They also will be tilling in amendments till the soil is like buttah…Any recommendations?

  14. Observation and question re: Little Free Libraries, at least in the northwestern quadrant of town. Took a nice walk with Stella this morning and checked out the ones on Lamont, Wilton and Ponce. Noticed a lot of, now how do I put this, “girlie” stuff. There were two copies of Eat, Pray, Love between the three boxes and about 80% of the books would seem to fall into the same general category.

    So, is this library system only being used by the ladies of the neighborhood? Or did the men take all the good books and dump their wives dreck after cleaning the bookshelves to make room?

    1. Hey, not all women read stuff like that! My favorite author is Cormac McCarthy, and, last time I checked, I had lady parts.

    2. I’ve had another observation at some of the libraries–an overabundance, IMHO, of gory mysteries with covers to match. Since some of these also have a collection of children’s books, I wonder about the appropriateness. But I’m trusting the natural experiment for now.

      Nothing wrong with mixing up the books, IMHO. If one little library has too many bodice rippers and another has too many gory stories and another has too many classics, we can play librarian and distribute the categories more evenly across the libraries.

  15. Free to a good home: Perfectly healthy 12- to 15-foot Chestnut oak. She’s already out of the ground and awaiting pickup and transplant.

    Bonus help loading it onto your vehicle if you come by before 4pm Monday.

    243 Cambridge Ave.

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