January 11, 2022
🎶 Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday! 🎵 Dance away those blues-day.
🥶 Today's weather: Sunny with a high of 47. Temps drop to 28 tonight.
Situational awareness: President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Atlanta today. The trip is scheduled to include a speech at Atlanta University Center about the need to pass stalled federal voting legislation as pressure from activists mounts.
Today's newsletter is 833 words — a 3-minute read
1 big thing: Arts and minds
In the coming weeks, expect jackhammers and dulcet tones of construction machinery as crews begin work on an important phase of the proposed Midtown Art Walk.
- The five-block, half-mile pedestrian promenade and linear park will link the Midtown and Arts Center MARTA stations and will feature public art, colorful crosswalks, and new lighting, says the Midtown Alliance, the nonprofit leading the project.
Why it matters: Midtown is one of Atlanta’s fastest-changing and most dynamic neighborhoods, and residents, workers, visitors and businesses are eager for better streetscapes, bike lanes and transit connections.
- More than 95% of the 5,000 people who responded to the alliance's survey in 2019 "indicated that small parks strategically located throughout the district are a top priority," the alliance says.
Details: The upcoming $4.5 million phase stretches one block along Peachtree Walk between 10th and 11th streets, just north of the Midtown MARTA station, and will set the tone for the rest of the project, the nonprofit says. Work is scheduled to be finished next year.
The promenade will incorporate public and private property — in some cases, by being incorporated into an overall development. And, yes, the alliance says, the art installations will provide “Instagramable moments.”
What’s next: The next phase one block north will begin design development this year, the alliance says, and be ready to start construction in 2023.
- Some streetscape improvements and connections included in the Art Walk’s overall vision have already been completed at the recently opened 1105 West Peachtree and 13th and 14th streets, where the AC/Moxy Hotel features a mural by Daniel Monteavaro.
The timing of the project’s final phase between 14th and 15th streets hinges on whatever happens to the land where developers years ago pitched building No. 2 Opus Place, which was billed as Midtown's tallest residential skyscraper.
2. Mayor Dickens names executive cabinet members
Mayor Andre Dickens has made five key appointments to his executive team.
Lisa Y. Gordon, CEO of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, will become Dickens’ chief operating officer, the city said Monday. Before joining Habitat for Humanity, Gordon was the chief operating officer for Atlanta BeltLine Inc.
- Her government experience includes serving as assistant city manager for Austin, Texas, and East Point’s city manager.
Dickens also named former Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education chair Courtney English as his senior adviser, the city announced Monday. English is the former director of community development for Star-C, a housing nonprofit organization.
Other new faces at City Hall include:
- Austin Wagner will join the team as deputy chief of staff. He has served as a city council member in Smyrna and communications director for Dickens’ mayoral campaign.
- Theo Pace, the director of council staff, will also serve as deputy chief of staff. He is a previous legislative research and policy analyst for the city.
- Kenyatta Mitchell is Dickens’ new director of intergovernmental affairs. Mitchell is the former associate vice president of government affairs for HNTB.
3. 🏈 Pic du jour: How 'bout them Dawgs?!
The four-decade drought is no more.
Fans endured hours of nail biting, nausea and heart palpitations Monday night to watch the Georgia Bulldogs defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide 33-18 to win the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship.
The last time UGA won a national championship was in 1980, when Herschel Walker was a freshman running back on the team. The last time UGA beat Alabama was 2007.
4. Screen Time with Karen Comer Lowe
We asked the longtime and well-connected curator and Atlanta native how she finds inspiration and information throughout the day.
👇 First tap of the day: I check the weather app first, so that I know what to wear for the day, and then I’m on to Instagram. I find entertainment and inspiration through Tabitha Brown, Art 21, and Chimananda Adichie. Plus, I can connect with friends on occasion.
👀 Throughout the day: I read mostly for information of some kind. I turn to NPR during the day for news updates and listen to WABE for local news. WSB-TV is also one of my sources for local news stories. I also tap into Saint Heron for access to the digital community library. There are some amazing out-of-print books that are accessible for free!
📺 Currently streaming: On Apple TV+, I’m watching “The Shrink Next Door.” It’s a must watch! On HBO, I’m watching “And Just Like That,” the “Sex and the City” reboot. I love that these women are fashionable, well-rounded, complex characters who are making new friendships as middle-aged women.
🎙 Podcasts: Katy Hessel’s "The Great Women Artists," Phyllis Hollis’ "Cerebral Women," and Russell Tovey and Robert Diament’s "Talk Art." In many cases you don't have access to public conversations with visual artists. There is nothing that can replace the insight of the artist. I also enjoy "Jemele Hill is Unbothered."
📚 Bedside table: I am currently reading Amanda Gorman’s “Call Us What We Carry.” I read the Saturday New York Times for arts coverage. I’m also reading “Alma W. Thomas: Everything is Beautiful.” I am looking forward to seeing that exhibit when it comes to the Columbus Museum this summer.
5. Five points: Georgia's rooftop solar program is maxed out
🌱 Artist plans to open "greenhouse eatery" in South Atlanta. (Atlanta magazine)
🏙️ Lee + White development in West End gains three new tenants. (Urbanize Atlanta)
☀️ Georgia's rooftop solar power program has reached its cap of 5,000 participants. (AJC)
💰 Buckhead City's creation could exacerbate Atlanta's housing affordability crisis. (Atlanta Civic Circle)
👩🏿💼 Atlanta woman launches Black-owned feminine health brand. (The Atlanta Voice)
Kristal is recovering after watching the Dawgs take down the Alabama Crimson Tide. 😴
Thomas is powering up the PrizeDecider 2000 to see if Sanaa, Carrie, or Saša gets swag for answering yesterday's riddle. (The answer was "the letter 'r.'")
Emma is thinking about all the Ugas who have served faithfully since 1980 without a national title.