As a native Southerner, I had high hopes for SNL’s response to the Atlanta Snow Jam. The writing has been exceptionally funny this season, so perhaps Kenan Preston would play Kasim Reed and just yell at Seth Myers and Cecily Strong on Weekend Update, or maybe Melissa McCarthy would play a stranded motorist who was stuck in her car for 19 hours. I think SNL missed the boat with Taran Killam and his ridiculous Buford Calloway.
Good Lord what a preposterous name! Did he borrow his accent and costume from Django Unchained? No one in Atlanta (other than hipsters) has facial hair like that anymore. It was a cheap shot at the South…and it wasn’t all that funny. Now Bill Hader’s reprisal of Stefan, that was funny. But Taran’s over-the-top drawl and gripping his handkerchief like a sorority girl would clutch her pearls, not so much.
Jon Stewart, Al Roker, and a bevy of other commentators made their snarky remarks and America (nay the world) had a good laugh. I took their jokes with a grain of salt, even giggling a bit, and I was going to let it slide… until last night.
Bless your heart, Chris. You’re just so L.A.
I attended Chris D’Elia’s show at the Atlanta Improv Comedy Club. Chris opened his sketch with a few ribs at Atlanta’s collective freakout to the 2.6 inches of snow. He said that being from Los Angeles, people in L.A. wouldn’t have gotten all worked up, they would have just shrugged and said “Whatever.” I’m going to call B.S. on that one, Chris. Southern Californians have probably seen less powder (unless it’s going up their noses) than the majority of Atlantans.
Now granted all walks of life – regardless of race and sexual orientation – were fair game for punchlines in Chris D’Elia’s show. However, since I claim to be a Southern writer, I feel like I need to stand up for my beloved South.
As Margaret Mitchell once said in an interview about Gone With the Wind, “If the novel has a theme it is that of survival. What makes some people come through catastrophes and others, apparently, just as able, strong and brave go under? It happens in every upheaval. Some people survive – others don’t. What qualities are in those who fight their way throughout triumphantly that are lacking in those that go under. I only know that survivors used to call that quality gumption.”
The brave and strong had their moments in Atlanta during Snowpocalypse. The brave were the teachers who stayed the nights with their students, the strong were the people who helped push cars along the icy interstate roads, or who trekked up-and-down giving food and drinks to fellow Georgians who were stranded on the highways.
Over the past few days, the common question I’ve gotten from a lot of folks has been, “How was your snow jam?” This is coming from people here in Atlanta, and as far north as my girlfriends in New York City. “What happened?” my convert-Yankee pals want to know.
Here’s what happened – our government failed us because no one had the gumption to close the schools. After closing schools earlier in January due to extreme cold (though lack of snow) administrators caught a lot of flack. When schools close, we all know its going to be bad, and folks stay home. Since the schools were open, and everyone had to work, we all were glutton for punishment when we scrambled to get home.
Atlanta is now a textbook case for future emergency managers. Our local FEMA leaders have to test their emergency plans to be sure we can take an “all-hazards” approach to preparedness. What if this had been a dirty bomb instead of 2.6 inches? Atlanta would have had thousands of commuters dead on the interstate, with corpses inside those abandoned cars.
Atlanta is my home. I’ve lived in the metro area since March of 1996, that’s almost 18 of my 28 years (minus four glorious years in Athens and a few months in Florida). We’ve seen snowfalls worse than this, but we have never seen such a colossal failure.
Georgia lawmakers have got to get some gumption now. The gentlemen and ladies at the Capitol who have the gonads to enact change better do so. This city cannot have another catastrophe or else citizens, and especially recent transplants, are going to move away to greener pastures. Not to mention the cheap shots from comedians and commentators will keep on coming.
Chris D’Elia is performing tonight and tomorrow (Feb. 7 & 8) at the Atlanta Improv if y’all want to hear more jokes about ignorant Southerners. I suggest we all throw cotton balls at him.
We announced earlier this summer that the toll on 400 is finally coming down and guess what? It looks like the Georgia government is actually on schedule. This toll has caused heartburn for millions of Atlantans over the years, and it is finally coming down. Here’s the announcement we received on Sunday evening.
“Beginning on Friday, October 18, portable message signs will alert motorists to pre-construction activities for the ending of tolls and the demolition of toll booths on GA 400.
The first phase of a four-phase demolition project will begin on Friday, October 25, with restriping to create a third lane in the Peach Pass electronic lanes and modification/removal of redundant signage.
In July 2012, Governor Deal announced that the state would pay off its bond debt and end tolls on GA 400 by December 2013. The ending date for toll collection has been tentatively set for the week before Thanksgiving, weather permitting.
Southeastern Site Development, Inc., of Newnan, has been contracted for the construction component of the project and will be managed through the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).
Phase I of the project will include the restriping in the electronic Peach Pass lanes and the removal or modification of about one third of toll-related signage from areas approaching the GA 400 Toll Plaza within the next two to three weeks. A total of 66 signs will be removed or modified before and after toll collection ends the week before Thanksgiving.
In Phase II and III, preparation for no tolling continues with the completion of restriping and the installation of concrete barriers between the Peach Pass and cash lanes in anticipation of the eventual shifting of traffic into the electronic lanes when toll collection ends. Once traffic is shifted, no heavy demolition work is expected to take place during the winter holidays. In Phase IV, toll booth demolition, which includes removal of plaza toll booths and canopy, as well as reinforcement and filling in of tunnel stairwells, is expected to be completed between January 2014 and Fall 2014.
The public can learn more about the demolition project at the upcoming public information open house meetings on the demolition project is scheduled for Thursday, October 24 from 4:00-7:00 pm at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia, 4355 Ashford Dunwoody Road in Atlanta.
For more details about the GA 400 demolition project, go to the Peach Pass website.”
To recap, if things stay on schedule then no one will have to pay the tolls on 400 by Thanksgiving. Now that’s something to really be thankful for.
Virginia Tech’s motto is “Ut Prosim,” which is Latin for “that I may serve.” Hokie Nation lives up to this every day of every year. My favorite examples of Ut Prosim in action are our annual day of service, The Big Event, and Relay for Life. (more…)
Thank the Lord! We Georgians are finally able to buy beer on Sunday! After years of politicking and deliberation, the State recently approved Sunday alcohol sales thanks to special votes in all the precincts. Some places have not started selling on Sunday just yet; however, we at Pretty Southern know where to send you to buy booze on the second day of the weekend.
The City of Atlanta proper is not authorized to start selling on Sunday until Jan. 1, 2012 but that doesn’t mean the same for the rest of Fulton County. The local municipalities of Sandy Springs, Roswell, Dunwoody and Alpharetta have the cooler lights turned on for Sunday sales. Lawrenceville and East Point are also selling at local grocery stores.
After 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, beer and wine can be purchased at Whole Foods, Kroger, Publix, RaceTrac and your some independent gas stations. Total Wine near Perimeter Mall is open; alas, the store in Kennesaw will not start selling until spring of 2012. The Trader Joe’s locations in Roswell and Sandy Springs are also selling Two Buck Chuck but the Buckhead and Midtown locations have to wait. The ATL-iens are s.o.l. until the first of the year. Yeah, that’s right all you denizens of West Paces Ferry and Peachtree Street, y’all have to actually drive to the suburbs for your Sunday booze. Might as well drive to Alabama for fireworks while you’re at it. Some genius needs to open a liquor store next to a MARTA station.
Down in Decatur, Sherlock’s is selling on Sunday along with the other purveyors of liquor with the exception of the Dekalb Farmers Market as they are only selling Monday through Saturday. Avondale Estates selling alcohol too. Georgians can drive up north on I-75 to Cherokee County where Woodstock is selling but Canton isn’t because they are yet to approve the vote (maybe after the first of the year). Palmetto was the only city in the Metro Atlanta area to reject Sunday alcohol sales. Up north, Fort Oglethorpe voted nay as well.
Here’s a county breakdown for Metro Atlanta
Cherokee: Woodstock and Cartersville are selling after 12:30 p.m. Not yet for Canton
Cobb: Acworth is selling, though Kennesaw and Smyrna will not until at least Jan. 1, 2012. Marietta, Powder Springs, Austell, Mableton and the rest of the county still living in Prohibition times may not start selling alcohol on Sundays until July!
Fulton: no for Atlanta proper but yes for Decatur, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Dunwoody and Alpharetta and Avondale Estates after 12:30 p.m.
Gwinnett: yes for Lawrenceville area supermarkets after 12:30 p.m.
Henry: not if you’re within the McDonough or Locust Grove city limits (but the Publix at Lake Dow is selling!)
We’ll keep you updated as more businesses start to offer booze on Sundays. Please comment below if you know a place we haven’t listed!
Zoo Atlanta welcomed a new addition on July 21: a 6-foot-tall baby giraffe! She’s about the cutest thing to grace the South this summer! When she was born, this baby girl was already between 100 to 150 pounds and will grow to be about 600 pounds like her mama!
Born to proud parents Mona and Abu, this little girl already has a half-sister at Zoo Atlanta (Zuri) who was born in July of 2010. The Zoo held a naming party for baby Zuri last August and we’ll keep you posted to see if plans are in the works for another party for this pretty babe! Mama Mona and her baby girl giraffe are resting before joining the rest of the giraffe herd. Giraffes have one of the longest gestation periods of any mammal in the animal kingdom at 15 months! Guess we humans are pretty lucky to only have 40 weeks.
Check out the South’s newest critter! Say it with me now y’all…Awww!!!