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Monday, September 16th, 2013

Touring the Old Fourth Ward

Becky

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Loft, bungalows, modern houses, the Beltline, new parks, Martin Luther King’s birthplace, fabulous restaurants, funky shops … they all come together in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, a historic area that’s becoming one of the city’s favorites. This Sunday a handful of residents opened their doors and let us into their homes for a Fall in the 4th Ward home tour and it was fantastic.

Our tour began at a former cotton warehouse in Studioplex. In the courtyard, you can see the old metal doors and structure of the second story, which has been opened up (it’s also open to the sky, so balconies that look out here are great bonus areas). Here we saw three very different ways people are living in these true lofts. One was a one-room full of amazing artwork and custom furniture, another had added a second story loft bedroom and rents the space out for events, the third was a wide-open artist’s live-work studio with 15 foot ceilings. Here’s a look at that one.

One of my favorite things about this space was that the owner had separated her bedroom with a clear glass wall and installed this stained glass window. On the other side is the media area complete with built-in shelves around the window.

The owner is also an architect, which explained how she designed this beautiful kitchen:

The cabinets were rough wood with stainless steel cabinets; the kitchen island has a beautiful patina. The open shelves were artfully arranged, and the pantry, complete with antique pie safe, was stunning:

A few blocks away we toured through this beautiful modern home by TaC Studios:

This home is Earthcraft certified and sustainable elements include a 500 gallon rain cistern. It’s located near the new Beltline East Side Trail and it’s scale respects the other homes in the neighborhood. While compact, the interiors are open and airy, and make it feel like a much larger house inside. Connections to the yard through doors to the dipping pool courtyard and the master bedroom balcony open the living space to the outdoors.

Finally, we came upon a once-derelict bungalow that had been rehabbed and sold by an architect neighbor. You know, when you see that a lot of architects are flocking to a particular neighborhood, it’s an early sign of transition. It’s amazing to see this neighborhood now compared to what it was like when I first toured the area about six years ago.

The lovely blue door was an indicator of what to expect inside. The architect made the most of the small 2-bedroom, 1-bath home, and the owner has an amazing eye for mixing eclectic pieces.

The living room opens into the kitchen, which also incorporates the dining table. Sorry my shots do not do the beautiful home justice.

Did you attend the tour? If so, which house was your favorite?

For more, check us out on Instagram!

Photos of the modern house courtesy of TaC Studios Architecture. All other photos by Becky Harris.

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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Exhibits: Bill Traylor at the High Museum

Becky

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This week I had the pleasure of heading to one of my favorite museums, The High Museum of Art here in Atlanta.* While the biggest current draw is the exhibition Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters, I was headed over to see Bill Traylor: Drawings from the Collections of The High Museum of Art and The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Traylor was a self-taught African-American folk artist. Born a slave in 1854, he finally left the plantation to move to Montgomery Alabama around 1928, sleeping in the store room of a funeral home at night while drawing on the sidewalks by day.  He would sit outside and draw the world walking by, usually on the back of old cardboard ads he found on the street and in the trash. His media of choice (and availablilty) were pencil, watercolor, poster paint, charcoal and crayons. He was able to capture so much movement, emotion and personality with such simple drawings. While they are distinctly folk art, there are a lot of qualities that are at once primitive and modern, from the way he abstracts silhouettes of people to his use of color.

The cardboard is the back of an old sign advertisement for Sensation cigarettes, thus its odd size.

If you have chance to catch this show, you really should not miss it. It combines collections of the two museums. What’s so wonderful about standing 12 inches from one of these works, separated only by a pane of glass, is that you can see the dirt, wrinkles and tears on the cardboard. You can see the rhythm of the pencil strokes up close. You can see where the artist’s finger smeared the charcoal. I hadn’t been this moved by a show since I went to see the quilts made by the women from Gee’s Bend.

Learn more about Traylor and about Charles Shannon, a fellow artist who collected and preserved Traylor’s drawings ever since meeting him in 1939 at highmuseum.org.

All images via highmuseum.org.

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Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Guerrilla Knitting in The Old Fourth War

Becky

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I met a friend for lunch today in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, and as I was cutting through a parking lot I noticed a bit of guerrilla knitting over on Edgewood Avenue. I had just been reading about this phenomenon a few days ago (can’t remember where) but I do remember a blogging about a clever tree or two a few years ago, before I knew about the “guerilla.” It was fun to see this street tree (I think it’s a Japanese Zelkova) wearing a red legwarmer right in my own city:

Inspired by the beautiful sunshine and the vibrancy of the neighborhood, I took a few more camera phone shots of the cutest darn store in the world, Lottafrutta and thought I’d share:

They even have lime green construction cones!

The fun of the fruit continues to the side door:

In fact, there’s even a bit of fun out by the trash:

There’s also a rare (in Atlanta) Art Deco building across the street from Lottafrutta, complete with tropical palm trees – now that’s location:

There’s a growing Flickr pool full of guerrilla knitting, check it out here. By the way, they spell it with one “r.” I could never figure out why I could not remember how to spell this word, but it looks like it can be spelled both ways (?). My spellcheck seems to prefer “rr”:

P.S. A shameless request for advice: As you may have guessed from my cruddy camera phone pictures, my digital camera bit the dust. Does anyone have any advice on one they love that’s pretty easy for a non-photographer?

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Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Thanks Domestic Ease!

Becky

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Thanks so much to Beth at Domestic Ease for letting me share my Top Twelve Must-Haves for Spring in Atlanta! Here’s a teaser, for those of you who happen to be around A-Town; most of these are good through fall.

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Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Southern Culture at The Inman Park Festival

Becky

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On Sunday the sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and the corndogs were deep-frying. The Inman Park Festival was in full swing, with plenty of live music, artisans, and quirky characters in attendance. I thought I’d share a few fun shots of the festivities, even though they are a little blurry and taken from a phone..

Missionary Mary Procter is one of my all-time favorites. Here are a few more shots of her work:

The day would not have been complete without another favorite, no, his name is not Miss Pinky, it’s Chris Cross Dresser:

Say what you want about the South, but Atlanta is awesome!

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