Pretty Southern

What does it mean to be a Southerner in the 21st century?

July 2012 archive

Margaret Mitchell Square Gets A Facelift

A lively crowd gathered in downtown Atlanta’s Margaret Mitchell Square on July 17 to celebrate its recent facelift and renovation. The enthusiastic group of neighbors, community leaders, sponsors and media braved the heat and humidity to pay homage to the memory of Margaret Mitchell, and to admire the magnolia trees and fountains in the spruced up square.  The plaza honoring the legacy of Atlanta’s Pulitzer Prize winning author is located in the Fairlie-Poplar district at the three way intersection of Peachtree, Forsyth and Carnegie Way. The crowd whooped and applauded when Mayor Kasim Reed and VIPS dramatically pressed a big red button which turned on the two fountains in the square.

Originally installed in 1986, Margaret Mitchell Square features graceful, stainless steel sculptures by renowned artist Kit-Yin Snyder who drew her inspiration from Southern antebellum architecture.  The square is nestled among some of Atlanta’s most historic buildings like the Rhodes-Haverty and Candler Buildings.

It looks out on the contemporary architecture of the Atlanta Fulton Public Library and Peachtree Center MARTA station.  The sleek Georgia Pacific skyscraper across Peachtree Street is on the site of the Loew’s Grand, where the premiere of Gone With The Wind took place.  An ideal location, the square reflects the essence of Ms. Mitchell, who had a keen respect for the past, but who was also fiercely independent and modern.

The beautiful restoration work at Margaret Mitchell Square was overseen by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program, working in cooperation with Central Atlanta Progress, and with the financial support of Norfolk Southern.  Check it out next next time y’all are downtown.

Editor’s Note: Photos by Robin L. Marshall

[author] [author_image timthumb='on'][/author_image] [author_info]Pretty Southern contributing arts, food and lifestyle reporter, Karen Hatchett is a life-long Southerner and resident of Smyrna, Ga.  She’s a PR professional, arts & music lover, jewelry designer and casual gardener.[/author_info] [/author]

Chic Boutique Tour

Hop on the most posh shopping express this side of Atlanta. Some of the South’s prettiest southern shops are offering 40% discounts and more on Saturday, July 21. Chic Boutique Tour sets off this Saturday at 11 a.m. Strut your stuff across the plush, pink carpet to hop on board a luxury coach, complete with a handsome chauffer, to whisk y’all away to Buckhead’s shopping Mecca.  Atlanta’s sassy, stylin’ ladies will have their tour start at Bouchic Boutqie & Lounge at 11 a.m. then receive brunch (with mimosas!) at Lenox Square grill. The tour curves down Peachtree Street to Maison de Fashion, Plush Boutique, and Sole Shoes & Accessories for some true girly fun.

“Chic Boutique Tour is about offering an incredible experience where shoppers can pamper themselves while meeting new people and exploring the city,” declared Rosalynn Wilson, founder of shopping excursion. “We want to make each Chic Boutique Tour more diverse and special than the last.”

July’s Chic Boutique Tour is perfect for mother’s, daughters, girlfriends, or even an opportunity to connect with other glamorous gals in the A-town.

The tour is for any lady age 21+ as cocktails will be served. Can’t y’all hear Samantha from “Sex & the City crying out “F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!” Plus all the boutiques on the tour will offer special discounts for the savvy shoppers.

While the deals will vary from each boutique, ladies can take advantage of exclusive discounts up to 40% off the listed prices. For more information, please visit Chic Boutique Tour’s website and Like them on Facebook. The cost for the tour is $45. Please e-mail for specialty group pricing.

Editor’s Note: Jessi Ford from Birds of a Feather Creative contributed to this post



Soaking Up the South

What does it mean to be a Southerner? Obviously, I am not qualified to comment. Although I am from the South… South India, that is! However, living in Georgia the last eight years has given me a certain perspective of the South, its culture and traditions, symbols and markers. Actually, I live in Atlanta, and there will be many who say that Atlanta is hardly representative of the South. That may very well be true. However, even a city as diverse and metropolitan as Atlanta can show an outsider (like me) what the South is about. It comes across in the lilting accent of the cashier at the supermarket, the ‘honey’ tossed around casually in conversation, the omnipresent sweet tea dispensers, profusion of peach recipes in summer, the constant references to the civil rights movement, the reverent air that always accompanies the name ‘Dr. Martin Luther King,’ and more. I must admit, I am only starting to scratch the surface of what the South is all about, and my sources are primarily grad school readings, pop culture references, and a good deal of observation and introspection. Maybe the South is a state of mind, after all?

Anyway, even I could see that the South was on proud and resplendent display at the Decorators’ Show House & Gardens in Atlanta this year. This year’s event featured the Knollwood House, a magnificent estate and home designed by renowned architect Phillip Trammell Schutze. Twenty-seven designers styled the rooms and exteriors of the house in traditional Southern style combined with modern stylish elements. I came to know about this event from a dear friend who thought that it might make for an interesting post for the blog. I contacted one of the coordinators who kept aside a ticket for me. And that’s how I landed up at the Knollwood House on a lovely Thursday morning.

The house is truly beautiful! Each room flowing into the other, well-lit and airy spaces opening to the lawns and pool and gazebo, little secret alcoves hidden within each room, cute little touches scattered throughout, warm and homely yet cool and stylish… The kitchen is spectacular with shiny appliances, large windows, expansive counters and shelving. There is a wonderful solarium with stone floors, floor length windows, giant indoor plants and comfortable settees. My favorite room, I think. Then there is the intimate little butler’s pantry, the sprawling family room on the top level with wood floors and baseball paraphernalia, the teenager’s room in lilac bling, the cosy and comfortable library, powder room for the gentleman and the lady, the elegant guest retreat… and more.

I am not one for giant houses. Yet I fell in love with the homeliness, comfort, warmth and elegance that Knollwood conveyed. That, I think, is a tribute to the amazing designers and artists who truly understood the soul of the house and channeled it into their work. I heard that a family had purchased the estate and would move in shortly. Here’s wishing the future residents of Knollwood many happy days in their lovely new home!

[author] [author_image timthumb='on'][/author_image] [author_info]Lakshmi Jagad is a communications consultant, writer and blogger. An ideal day for Lakshmi includes yoga, meditation, a steaming cup of masala chai tea and writing. She has a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from Georgia State University. Find more of her work at The Rich Vegetarian.[/author_info] [/author]

July 4 in Atlanta

Fourth of July is here! If you’re looking for some fun ideas to celebrate America’s Independence, we’ve got you covered. Atlanta’s got a bunch of fun cooking especially over at Marlow’s Tavern. Come in for “Red, White & Brew” on July 4 at any of Marlow’s eight locations. Also wining and dining in good ole ‘Merican fashion, Atkins Park Tavern in Virginia Highland is prepared to “Go Whole Hog or Go Home” over their July 4th lunch and dinner special. A meat-and-three-sides menu is the food of champions for $15 per person (excluding beverage, tax and gratuity). Cheer for beer and a chance to win some of the $500 in prizes at the tavern’s Backyard Beer Olympics beginning at 4 p.m. Baseball-bound Atkins Park Tavern in Smyrna and Ormsby’s are running their hit ballpark bus trip to the Atlanta Braves versus Chicago Cubs game. Get the whole shebang for $55 per person: beer, Jäger, hot dogs, roundtrip bus ride, ticket to the 7:10 p.m. game and plenty of time to watch the post-game fireworks show. Sure to sell out so call Atkins Park Tavern in Smyrna at 770-435-1887 or Ormsby’s at 404-968-2033 to get on the bus.

Pretty Southern has got y’all covered on ideas for the ultimate Fourth of July picnic courtesy of our contributor Kat. Her inspiration board shows the sweetest finds for hosting a perfect party.

1. A striped sailor top gets added flair an oversized red poppy pin by EmersonMade. This brand puts a fresh, modern spin on classic American style.

2. Whether in your backyard, at the pool, or at a local restaurant, any event you are hosting gets an instant face-lift with a printed menu. Create and print yours at home or use a local print shop and then place one at each seat for an elegant touch.

3. Paper lanterns and tons of outdoor string lights are a must for any outdoor summer party.

4. Simple and festive tomato-mozzarella mini sandwiches are easy to make and serve. Add a patriotic ribbon to dress up these simple bites.

5. Another breezy outfit by EmersonMade, the pinstripe jumper will take you from pool to party in no time.

6. Setting the table will be quick and elegant with this red striped cotton tablecloth from Anthropologie.

What are y’all up to this Fourth of July? Feel free to comment below or join our Facebook group .

Is D.C. Southern?

Although I’ve lived in the D.C. area for exactly a month now, I still don’t know where I am. Am I in the North? Or am I still in the South?

Well after a month’s worth of observations, I’ve concluded that I’m still in a Southern city where most people prefer Coke over Pepsi and politely open doors for you. (That being said, most drivers will rudely honk, yell and cut you off on the streets of D.C. If you think you’re a skilled driver because you drove through the heart of Atlanta, you’ll be eaten alive in D.C.)

Even though I am the only intern at USA Today who goes to the University of Georgia, I don’t feel like an outsider. Yes, there are Chick-fil-A restaurants here, and yes, people love that delicious chicken sandwich just as much. And if that doesn’t convince you that D.C. has a strong Southern flair, then just look at how much Southern food you can find in the city.

At a restaurant called Georgia Brown’s located in the heart of D.C. you can find Southern Fried Chicken and Carolina Shrimp & Grits. At Southern Hospitality you can get classic Mac & Cheese and sweet potato fries.

As far as country music goes, I haven’t heard much. Well, unless you count the man in traffic who was blasting Luke Bryan in his car with the windows down. However, American Idol winner and Georgia native Phillip Phillips is scheduled to perform in D.C. for the Fourth of July celebration at the National Mall. Country music star Josh Turner will also be part of the show on Wednesday. So I would say the South is well represented in the nation’s capitol.

But if you still think that D.C. is the North, don’t pack your winter coats just yet. It was 104 degrees on Friday.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on'][/author_image] [author_info]Polina Marinova is a University of Georgia student and fall Red & Black editor-in-chief. Right now, she’s interning at USA Today and spends most of her time sitting in traffic. Follow Polina on Twitter and check back for more of her adventures. [/author_info] [/author]