From the sedulous to the surreal in cultural context

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New South Cocktail: The Terroir of the Jack & Coke

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November 3, 2015

  Some call it a Jack & Coke. I like to think of it as a “Chattanooga.” Chattanooga sits at a gap in the Appalachians on Interstate 24, just southeast of the Cumberland Plateau. Balanced on the Georgia-Tennessee border, Chattanooga was once known as Ross’s Landing, a site where Cherokee Chief John Ross operated a… Read More ›

College Football 2015: A View from the ATL

Suffering “the most interminable offseason in sports,“ one longs for that quintessentially American guilty pleasure, college football.  Perhaps that’s why Duquesne Brewing has sold “close to a million cans” of lager named after the late, legendary coach Joe Paterno.  How else to ride out the dog days of summer in the USA?     With the orgy of bowl games… Read More ›

The BeltLine: A Life Saver?

  Hyperbole about the Atlanta BeltLine is a balloon that keeps rising. The public-private partnership funding the construction of miles of trails and parks while fueling a real-estate boom (at least along the Eastside Trail) has become a cultural juggernaut. Atlanta’s national cachet, self-confidence, and the mystique of the BeltLine are now tightly braided. Despite incisive… Read More ›

Don Draper Lands in the ATL

      Admit it, you always knew it would end with Don Draper meditating in California, his back to the ocean in a yoga pose surrounded by sedulous hippies. Our last glimpse of Don at the conclusion of Mad Men certainly made a lasting impression.  The hard-living ad man pulled out of an epic late-season tailspin… Read More ›

Independent Bookstore Day 2015

  Every collector knows the probably apocryphal story of the nineteenth-century composer and bibliophile Charles-Valentin Alkan, found dead in an avalanche of his own books, crushed when his shelves upended onto him. Like the sex addict who suffers an aortic catastrophe during coitus, Alkan, at least, died smiling. William Giraldi, “Object Lesson: Why We Need… Read More ›

Is Ponce City Market Renewing Atlanta?

  Atlanta landed a big fish.  Nick Cave, a superstar of the art world, was just here. Cave is Chair of the Fashion Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a rich body of work in performance art, dance and sculpture. As a close friend of  mine who is also chair… Read More ›

ATL in the News: What MoS is Reading, April 15

  As always in the ATL, a lot is happening this month, and there are too many stories to keep up.  This roundup of some intriguing recent local stories might help.     1.  Gwinnett County got the national spotlight for a big political problem: it’s “the most diverse county in the Southeast,” but its elected… Read More ›

“Rejoice”: Readers, Books, and an End to Literary Sexism

  For a great writer, Jonathan Franzen has certainly distinguished himself as a scold.  A conservationist, Franzen’s recent essay in The New Yorker stirred controversy for seeming to reproach those who concentrate on climate change.  Hostile to Twitter, Franzen is also no friend of genre writing: Most of what people read, if you go to the… Read More ›

BEST OF 2014

      In its first year, MoS explored everything from the art of espionage to the golden anniversary of Freedom Summer to the memorial for John Denver (yes, that John Denver).         Here is a six-pack of some of the most interesting highlights:     LG, Life and Death at the… Read More ›

Life and Death at the DBF

Not everyone understands the ATL. Recently The NY Times invoked our city as a foil, the anti-Portlandia: “In the wake of the financial crisis, many young college graduates have delayed their lives, put off worries about jobs and houses and families and instead moved to cool cities to wait out the recession, says William Frey,… Read More ›

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