Free-For-All Friday 2/8/13

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

Comments close on Monday.

136 thoughts on “Free-For-All Friday 2/8/13”

  1. Shout out to the Coach Roller and the DHS Swim Dogs! A great banquet last night to end the season. Congrats to the team that qualified to send boys AND girls relay teams AND individuals to the State meet – FIRST TIME IN 10 YEARS TO SEND ALL! Coach Roller told us last night that the Swim Dogs are the second largest sport now after football. Who knew? Also, a great thank to Agnes Scott for use of their pool for training.

  2. Any one have a progress report or update on the Imperial bar going in at the corner of Mead and College. Hasn’t been any activity (building) for a few months at least..

        1. We’re working on it. There’s not much to tell. We’ve got a set of plans out for bid to various contractors. Hoping to sign something soon.

          In the meantime, I encourage everyone to stop by to see Jacques ar Corrine’s and to do some stretchind at the yoga studio.

  3. Anyone have a recommendation for a local business that will take orders for curtains and then install them?

  4. I am officially the cranky old man….
    #1 – Once again, the path at the post office is ONE WAY…twice in the same day on the way in someone sped up on Ponce around the line to turn into the post office to go to water street and then turn into the post office through the exit. When I told her it was one way, she said she made a mistake and I should back off
    #2 – when pulling out through the exit someone pulled in and when she had to stop because others were also pulling out, she said “I didn’t see anything saying one way”. I lamented to her “yeah, the do not enter and one way signs right in front of you should be even bigger”
    #3 – Decatur walkers…pleas dont stand at the walkway across Ponce where drivers have to stop (and drivers these things do exist!) if you do not mean to cross the street!

    Phew…I feel better and am ready for a great weekend!

    1. Good ones.

      May I add…during busy times on South Candler going north, when the right (straight) lane is backed up. People who zoom up in the left turn-only lane and then zip in to the right lane at the last minute. More than once, I’ve had to slam on the brakes when a car does that and suddenly appears right in front of me.

    2. I go to the post office almost every day for work reasons and I cannot agree with you more. Nothing irritates me more than when people enter from Water and I need to just drop something in the blue bins.

      1. I would think Decatur could make a fortune just placing a police officer there and hand out ticket after ticket

    3. I’d love to see the city work with a vendor to produce a line of reflective Decatur gear for walkers, runners, and cyclists. It would improve safety and probably make a little bit of revenue, too.

      To the anonymous person who runs down Sycamore in a lighted hat every morning:
      This driver appreciates you. Kudos!

  5. Does anyone know of a good seamstress/tailor (not simply for alterations, but for clothing creation and reconstruction)?

    1. I’ve had minor stuff done at Stitch n’ Sew on E. College near Maple St. I went there on the Yelp recommendations and was very happy with the results and price. I don’t know about the kind of work you want done, but if no one else replies, at least you have one place to check out.

      1. I use them as well for alterations, but this is a complete reconstruction of a garment, and I would like to find someone that actually makes clothes.

        1. My suggestion is to call the local theatre companies and see who constructs their costumes that may also freelance.

  6. I need a recommendation for a reliable auto body shop. I was going to use Decatur Paint & Body from previous recommendations but I heard that the owner is sick and the business is closed. If the shop is close to a rental car place or they can give me a ride that’ll be awesome too. Thanks!

      1. I have used Prestige with good results, and at a much lower cost than estimated by a competing body shop in a different part of town.

      2. Once in the hands of the people who do the work, Prestige has, in the past, been good for us. However, just recently on two separate occasions we’ve tried to get something scheduled in and their customer service has been terrible telling us the don’t have time, and offering no alternatives or suggestions. We’re now looking for other alternatives so will watch this thread for suggestions.

    1. Been very satisfied with Spivey’s in Avondale when I’ve used them twice. It’s family owned, reasonable prices, quality work and on time.
      447 North Clarendon Avenue, Scottdale, GA 30079 (404) 299-0841

    1. I don’t know of guided tours, but when I stopped off to see the new Rec center the other day I picked up the “Walking Tours” guide and the “Decatur Cemetery, Lives that Made our City, Walking Tour.” Much more info in the cemetery one, but both are impressive. I am sure you can get them at city hall as well. Nice for out of town guest as well as those of us that live here.

        1. Ah, yeah! The Ghost Tour is lots of fun, and actually very informative/interesting (even if, like me, you don’t believe in Things That Go Bump In The Night)! 😀

    2. check out the Decatur Cemetary’s website, I think they do guided tours of the cememtary with history now and then. I’ve always meant to go on one…

    3. The Decatur 101 Program is much more of a commitment, but excellent. You’ll learn a lot more than city history and part of the program includes a walking tour, but that does focus more on development history, than history history. More info at this link but you’ll have to email to find out when the next class is.

      1. Decatur 101…So you mean Decatur wants it’s citizens to learn how the city works? What a bunch of snobs.

    4. Years ago I did a walking tour with Cub Scouts on the Civil War engagement that occured in Decatur in 1864 as part of the Battle of Atlanta. I believe it was led by a retired doctor who had done extensive research. I’ve let the brochure get away from me, but maybe someone else knows about it and can point us to a resource.

  7. As a resident of Katie Kerr….keep avoiding the area. A week long project has become a possible month long one. In the middle of the road, there is a hole big enough to put a school bus. It has remained that size all week.

  8. With all the kvetching about unruly cyclists lately, let me even the scales a bit. This morning, in a school zone no less, the school bus behind me on College chose to cross the double yellows and pass me rather than slow down as I was making a right turn onto a side street.

    I’m no expert, but that’s obnoxious too, right?

    1. The other day I was crossing Scott at Superior in my car. When the light turned green for me I went. I am glad I went slow because another car blew through the light and could easily have killed us. I wish they had the camera on the intersection for that one.

      1. That intersection is notorioulsy dangerous if you’re entering from Superior. When teaching my youngest to drive, it was one of the places that I made her wait to check both ways before proceeding after the light turned green. I remember the “Oh, dad, you’re such a …..” comment that wasn’t out of her mouth before a car barrellig down Scott blew through the red light.

        1. Oh, that one’s even more exciting if you’re a pedestrian! I keep saying I need to call the city and ask for more enforcement at that intersection. I walk with my daughter to school at Clairemont and we always double-check all directions (no one turning left into our path, no one running the red, no one continuing up into the crosswalk in the center lane without consideration for car-height schoolkids who are starting to cross …) I’ve heard of several near-misses by other parents. No crossing guard at that intersection in the mornings or afternoons—probably because of the low number of walkers compared to other intersections, but we are there, in addition to a number of other people who walk through that intersection or along Scott.

  9. Are there any DMers on a no contract cell phone plan who’ll kindly provide some input on carriers/recommended phone models? My contract’s up and the no contract deals are so much better than what my longtime carrier is able to do. I’m primarily concerned about having quality coverage in the metro area to Athens zone. I want a reliable phone that will give me email access, but I don’t need a super deluxe model. Your help sure would be appreciated!

    1. We have had “no contract” phones from Straight Talk for 3 or 4 years now and are very happy. They use the Verizon network. I have never had trouble with coverage. I pay $30.00/month – no other fees tacked on- for voice, text and internet access.

    2. I have been happy with Virgin Mobile. Decent Atlanta coverage. I dont know about Athens. Either $35 a month or $45 a month for unlimited data, talk and text. I got mine at RAdio Shack.

  10. Damn, is it really Friday already? Good, because I’ve got another question related to my ring sizing issue from two weeks ago that could use some local crowdsourcing:

    Do you DMers have any creative or outside-the-box suggestions for a venue, either in or very near Decatur, for a wedding? It needs to be fairly large (250-300+ guests). Cost is not really the main concern but anything ultra fancy or expensive is just not what we are looking for. Cool, creative and cheap is much better than traditional, fancy and expensive.

    I’ve always liked the idea of having a wedding at the old courthouse but it may just not be big enough. Someone, and I won’t say who, doesn’t like the space at the Marriott. We will be checking out the Emory Conference Center (and crossing fingers that they give some kind of Alumni discount!) but what else is out there? Anything? Anyone?

        1. The TOUR Championship at East Lake will suck up rooms and public areas at Emory Conference Center in mid September. A classy venue.

    1. I have no idea how expensive it is, but the most beautiful wedding I’ve been to in the past few years was at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. It was an outdoor wedding with an indoor reception and it was simply elegant without being pretentious or stuffy.

    2. Does the Trolley Barn still do events? Not sure it’s any bigger than the Courthouse. Are you sure the Courthouse isn’t big enough? Not even with that little side room? How many folks go to the DEF Low Country Boil? I know it outgrew all Decatur venues and had to use the Bouncy Place over by the Avondale Marta Station. (Personally, I think a bouncy place would be hilarious as a wedding venue, especially if the inflatables were left up, but not sure your guests would.)

      Solarium is real nice and I’ve seen some pretty weddings going on there but the space is chopped up; that may or may not be ok with you. If it’s warm weather, I’ve seen nice weddings going on at that park below the Frazier Center on Ponce. Agnes Scott would be a pretty place for a wedding too.

      I guess there’s a reason that churches are often used for wedding services, besides the obvious reasons of religious beliefs and that’s where the clergy are. Pews are an efficient way to pack in a bunch of people, especially if there’s balcony seating too. I’m thinking a church wedding on a pretty college campus followed by an outdoor reception would be charming.

      1. My husband and I got married at Cator Woolford Gardens, the garden affiliated with the Frazer Center and I highly recommend it. The gardens are really beautiful and the fees go toward supporting the services at the Frazer Center. We got lots of positive feedback from our guests about the site and also how conveniently located it is. Here is a link to their website with more information:

    3. Old Decatur Court House was great for our wedding, but it was packed with our 165ish guests- and we did use the back room (and badly about putting people back there!). It depends on your reception style though too- if we didn’t have very many sit down tables, we could have had more people. We wanted everyone to be able to have a seat to eat, then as the event went on, the back room eventually disappeared. Still think you are right that you wouldn’t be able to get those numbers in the Courthouse space (and Solarium is even smaller). Agnes Scott might have some space, though I believe you’d have to use their kitchen as caterer.
      The Biltmore in Midtown has a gorgeous ballroom and works really well for large events, there is also space for ceremony, pre-dinner mingle, then dining room if you want to stage that way. Another fun and funky space is Paris on Ponce, though I’m not sure how many they can accomodate.

      1. Fernbank is also an awesome venue– the giant dinasaur will be sure to leave lasting impressions on your guests!

    4. I’ve never been to a wedding at Agnes Scott, but it’s been a good place for a couple of the charity auctions I’ve attended there. I believe the capacity is around 350. The Princeton Review has listed Agnes Scott as one of the ten most beautiful campuses in the country.

    5. 300 people is not a reception, that’s a festival. maybe you should check into getting a permit and use the Square 😉
      Patel Plaza?

      1. A J_T Hitching Festival? Oh my God, that is brilliant! And there’s a good chance that this comment will finally be the one to get Mrs. J_T to respond on DM!

    6. Druid Hills Golf Club has a great ballroom — it’s elegant (not overly fussy) and the catering prices and options there are very reasonable. Parking is also abundant and free.

    7. If you know anyone who’s a member at the Druid Hills Country Club, it’s very nice and very reasonably priced. There’s not enough room to seat 250+ at tables in one room but there’s plenty of room inside and outside in a number of different spaces.

    8. Thanks for all the ideas! It looks like we will be checking out the old courthouse, Emory Conference Center, Fernbank, the Trolley Barn, Piedmont Park and the Marianna (Wrecking Bar!) and then editing the guest list depending upon which we choose. Or possibly just renting a big tent and having it in the backyard.

      The Botanical Gardens would be pretty awesome but it looks like that will get pretty pricey. We might reconsider that if none of the other options work. The Frazer Center would be nice but we’d have to trim the guest list way too much. And I don’t know about Druid Hills Golf Club’s current policies but I just don’t see myself getting married in any sort of “country club” 🙂

      1. Can Trackside accommodate? I would bet they would waive the rental fee for a regular. Oh, and Toddler Nubbs is available if you need a ring bearer. And congrats!

        1. Oh silly Nubbs, did you really think that wasn’t my FIRST idea? Turns out there are people like the bride and her parents who expect something a little “nicer” than Trackside. No worries, though, Trackside will still be part of the weekend festivities, either for the reception afterparty, some kind of welcoming reception or, more likely, both. We don’t have a date set yet but we’ve already talked to Doc Al about that 😉

          We may actually need to take you up on Baby Nubbs as ring bearer. I’ve waited so damn long to get married that all the natural choices familial choices are full grown. Even my friends with kids have teenagers and older! Of course, he wouldn’t be allowed at Trackside. And this will all be moot when I throw in the towel and buy two tickets to Vegas.

  11. Oh yeah, I forgot to thank everyone for the jeweler suggestions. First of all, we had a great experience with the Worthmore folks on the re-sizing of the estate piece that we bought elsewhere. This kind of work is done at their Midtown location, not the Decatur one, so it takes a little longer if you drop it off and pick it up local. However, I recommend taking a trip over to the Midtown shop and doing it earlier in the day to meet their official greeter, Snorkel Sam (

    Decatur City Jewelers was also recommended and the guy there seemed nice. They do not, however, re-size old rings, for the stated reason that they don’t want to be responsible if something goes wrong. I actually appreciate being told that up front rather than being mad later if something does “go wrong” and it can’t be fixed, so I’m not saying this as a negative but simply so others who may need the same service later will know.

    It turns out that something did indeed “go wrong” with the re-sizing at Worthmore, as a small crack in the platinum band opened up during the process. My eyes are crap and I didn’t even notice it when I picked it up. However, when I brought it back I was immediately told “No problem, we can fix this and have it back to you tomorrow.” It was, in fact, fixed and ready to go the next day at no cost to us, except for the two treats I brought for Sam. All in all, we were extremely happy with our experience and would recommend them to everyone.

    A few other folks also recommended Alexia Gallery. Sadly, this was right after Corinne’s death and the day we needed to get sized was the day of her celebration of life, so we did not want to intrude or bother them.

    1. Great info – thanks J_T. now, can anyone amplify on that re: trading or selling old gold for new pieces?

  12. Has anyone out there seen the Horizon Theatre Company’s “The Waffle Palace”?
    Looks like it would be funny, but wanted to hear a recommendation. And also, is it appropriate for kids? Thx.

    1. We saw Waffle Palace a few weeks back during the Saturday matinee. I thought it was very funny, especially if you’ve ever spent a few nights at the namesake trying to sober up, late night munchies, etc. For high school aged kids it would probably be OK……but there’s some sexual innuendo and languge that would not be appropriate for the younger kids.

      1. Evidently a time when everyone jumps in their car and drives around. What was up with traffic yesterday in downtown Decatur? I thought I was in the ‘burbs. (Shoulda’ walked or cycled. I know.)

      2. CSD has a modified school schedule with 6-7 weeks on and a week off. This week is Winter Break. Unfortunately President Obama did not check our schedule before he scheduled a visit to College Heights. The school system is reconvening College Heights for one day of the visit. That cracks me up!

        1. They might have chosen a Decatur school precisely because they are closed this week. It will probably be much easier to secure leading up to the visit with no students and teachers around.

          1. The pre-K is closed, but the 0-3 program is still operating as usual. Plus, they are going to open school on Thursday for Obama’s visit, and I think they are encouraging students to attend school for a “normal” school day (more accurately, encouraging parents to bring their kids on Thursday – how many 4 year olds care about meeting the president?).

            1. I beg to differ. Four year olds would love to see the PRESIDENT and will remember it for life. When one of my children was 3, they burst into tears when they learned that George Washington was dead.

  13. Help! 🙂 Does anyone know what can be done, responsibly, with styrofoam that does NOT have the triangle recycle symbol??? It just kills me that people still use this, and I’ve been slowly accumulating a pile, but the BF is saying it is time to get rid of it, i.e., in the trash.

    I’ve Googled ’til my fingers bleed, but I cannot find anywhere to recycle it, or perhaps shred it for some use I’m not creative enough to imagine . . .


    P.S. On my spellcheck, “styrofoam” was flagged for . . . not being capitalized. You’d think something considered a proper noun would be worthy of proper disposal!

    1. Styrofoam is great for making tombstones for Halloween and other fun crafty stuff. I’d take it, but my friends and neighbors have already donated more than I can use for the next year. If you can’t find a way to dispose of it and you want the BF to get off your back, tell him it’s for an exciting project then go find one at

  14. Does anyone have pet chickens and you sell or give away some eggs? If so, I’d like some. Thanks, nathan.nobis at gmail

  15. I would appreciate any recommendations for a house painter (exterior) and an erosion/retaining wall/yard falling into neighbor’s yard needs to be fixed person. Thanks in advance.

    1. Plants LLC in Decatur for retaining walls. Last year, when ours crumbled, they put in a big one for us. Liked them a lot.

  16. i would like to give a giant shout out to ben, nathan, and jackson who were our decatur rec basketball coaches this year…they were amazing with the kids and led the team to victory in the championship game last night! they came dressed in sportcoats and have been a class act the entire season…these are 3 of DHS’s finest!!

    1. I saw that game. The only thing that looked better than those two teams was the new Rec Center – WOW!

    1. That’s a Robert Green property. Within the last couple of years, one of his homes near Brookhaven was sold as a teardown, but it looks like they’re treating this one with respect.

      I hope it goes to a loving owner.

  17. For a great painter call B&G the contact is Tom Adams phone number 404-427-3902. They have done all of our work and alos a lot of our commercial work. Great team, honest and on the ball

  18. OK, here’s an A/V tech question… Last night plugged laptop into the TV to watch something I missed earlier in the week — streaming at CBS website. This usually works fine, but in this case, the there were green edges on everything and everybody. Commercials were fine; other browser windows were fine; and the show looked fine on the laptop screen. Real-time shows coming over the antenna were fine on the TV screen, and so was anytyhing playing through the Roku box. Double-checked all physical connections. Rebooted the computer, turned TV off and on, started over a couple of times. That streaming episode had green edges on the TV screen.
    Anybody know why that happened and/or how to make it stop when it does? (I finally just watched the show on my laptop, couldn’t stand the green interference on the big picture.)

    1. I have no idea if this has anything to do with the problem you experienced, but I’ve noticed that some tv sites make it impossible to fill the screen with video, presumably so you continue to see ads and social media junk.

    2. I think you have isolated the problem to the laptop signal. Since the laptop picture was fine and the picture did actually work on the TV, albeit imperfect, it sounds to me like a problem with powering the laptop out to the TV. My guess is that whatever pin handling that part of signal just wasn’t getting enough voltage at the HD/video out. One other option might be to try a new cable. If you are using HDCP/HDMI, those do tend to wear out quickly, especially if being plugged in and out a lot.

      What happens with other non-cbs streams? (netflix/hulu, etc.)

      1. Non-CBS streams from laptop to TV were fine. It’s a brand-new HDMI cable (high quality, I might add, so lovely I don’t have the expertise to describe it).

      2. Must have been something funky with that episode. I just hooked up and started the next episode and it seems fine.

  19. Ok… what is the deal with the Family Dollar parking lot in Oakhurst? Can you park there and go to dinner at Mezcalito’s or Steinbecks without the fear of getting towed? The signs make you think you’ll be towed if you’re not running into the market or FD, but there are always tons of cars there around dinner time. Does everyone ignore the signs and trust they won’t get towed?

    1. From your keyboard to God’s — or at least Nathan Deal’s — ears.

      The lack of leadership, the pure spinelessness of those folks, is something to behold. They’ve forced out Atkinson and tried to make her a scapegoat at a cost of over $100k, only to give the interim job to someone who is (reportedly at least) close friends with Gene Walker. I suppose that once upon a time public officials attempted to act with the appearance of impartiality. Now they just don’t care.

    2. I don’t see it online yet, but Maureen Downey’s column in this morning’s AJC calls for the School Board to resign en masse.

  20. What’s up with the random snark about Lakeside HS? I’m guessing the intent is more to criticize Dekalb Schools- I teach in the county and you’ll get no argument from me about the endemic problems with the Board and central office leadership. But Lakeside is a great school – ranked #9 in the state by US News ahead of DHS. And yes I know their rankings were suspect, but Lakeside actually deserves the ranking. Full disclosure – I don’t teach at Lakeside but do teach at a HS not far from there. Just think we ought to be careful about judging all Dekalb schools for political problems and lack of leadership that are simply outside their control.

  21. I just returned home from a meal at the Matador Cantina in Oakhurst. I left a 10% tip, and perhaps that was too much. If I were at a late night bar, I would have laughed, but I was at a family restaurant and our waitress was wearing a t-shirt with Johnny Cash flipping the bird. How she thought that was anywhere near appropriate, I can’t figure out. How her manager allowed it is even more amazing, especially since she told us it was only her 4th day!! I didn’t confront her, but I did leave a note explaining that her poor tip was not because of her service. It was because of her choice of t-shirt. I further explained I didn’t find it cute, funny, or ironic and that choices have consequences. I do resent a bit that I was put in the position of having to look like some kind of prude. I am not, and can be as blue and irreverent as the best of them. Am I wrong? How would others have handled this.

    1. Being the non-confrontational type, I probably would have left a bad tip without the note and let her figure it out herself. I would expect something like that shirt at Vortex but not at a family Mexican restaurant.

    2. Wow. I’m glad you left a note explaining why you stiffed her on the tip, to avoid any confusion about dissatisfaction with the service. Since you ask… If I was all that bothered about it, I would have had a quiet word with the manager, who might (or might not) correct the server in a less punitive way. I do agree with you that choices have consequences, some call it karma.

      1. She received two dollars on a twenty dollar tab instead of five, not exactly a stiff. Not sure how truly punitive that is, and I have had a virtually quiet word with the manager via email.

        1. The tip you left is the same amount my mother-in-law calls “enough.”
          Hope this post automatically disappears before my wife sees it….

      2. I think the “karma” was Johnny flipping him the bird for eating at Matador while he is supposed to be eating veggies and lean protein for Decatur’s Biggest Loser.

        1. Right on J_T, but I’m doing things my own way. I’m taking the Atkins route so it was a Pollo Fundido for me! By the way: 209 at the weigh-in. 202.4 yesterday morning.

          1. Hmmm, maybe I need to start eating more fried cheese. 223 to 219 here. That’s it, extra half hour on the bike today!

    3. I am not a bluenose and I have to watch my mouth sometimes, but I can’t believe it when I see somebody wearing a t-shirt that includes an f-bomb to a street festival or any other event that is all ages. Says a lot about their upbringing and judgement.

  22. Please let the big Early Childhood Learning Center news mean increased political and fiscal support for public education. That would do my heart good.

  23. Sorry if this posts twice…having problems….

    Coyote sighting around 6:45am Monday 2/11 in Oakhurst. He ran across the Matador parking lot, down Oakview, and then into various yards on Ansley. First sighting for me in 5+ years of pre-dawn walking in Decatur, surprisingly. Oakhurstians, hope your pets are inside.

    Then I had an owl fly in front of my path on Avery St. It must be Mutual of Omaha Day in Decatur.

  24. Long live FFAF. At least til Thursday. I can’t speak for all y’all but I am thrilled the POTUS is visiting our tiny town. I am NOT trying to stir up divisiveness, I’ll bet lots of citizens would be thrilled to get a glimpse at our Commander in Chief.
    If, like me, you do not work in one of the buildings he’s touring, our best bet is EYE ON THE STREET, right? I think Twitter is the medium, help me with perfect hashtag. #POTUSonthestreet, #EyeonthePOTUS? #POTUS in theHOUSE. Y’all have to forgive
    my rantings: my last presidential sighting was Nixon’s second inauguration parade.
    @Parker Cross will be posting all day. I think this is kinda thrilling

    1. Totally starstruck myself, and guessing this will be the tipping point for me to finally grope my way forward into twitterworld. Keep those updates coming, Parker, and I’ll figure out how to see them!

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