When Blanche Reynolds of Virginia-Highand turned 90-something (she’ll never tell!), more than 120 friends sang to her in three-part harmony with an organ backing them up. It was glorious and she beamed. Their gift to her wasn’t quite complete yet, though, and couldn’t be wrapped anyways. Her friends, the diverse congregation of Virginia-Highland Church dedicated a newly designed, more accessible and neighborhood-friendly front plaza to her, the church’s longest worshipping member. The new plaza was dedicated to her and her sister last month and features new safer steps, friendly benches more landscaping and a ramp from the dedicated driveway. The total cost for the project is just over $100,000. “We are proud to be a part of such a vibrant and historic neighborhood and hope that the newly configured space will be used by neighbors at their leisure,” said Reverend Michael Piazza. The 11 a.m. Sunday worship service is interpreted in American Sign Language. VHChurch.org
We Love Summerfest
As you know, the 34th annual Virginia-Highland Summerfest welcomes visitors to one of Atlanta’s most charming historic neighborhoods June 3-4, 2017. Presented by the Virginia-Highland Civic Association, Summerfest celebrates the arts with a juried Artist Market featuring more than 230 artists from the Southeast and beyond, displaying works representing numerous price ranges to appeal to any level of collector. The participating artists are chosen through a blind panel comprised of art professors, curators and gallery owners. Art lovers and collectors can expect to find works in a wide range of media, such as painting, sculpture, jewelry, textiles/fiber arts, photography, clay, wood, metal, graphics and mixed media. For the second year, Summerfest is hosting a Local Market area where handcrafted products like soaps, honey, baked goods and gourmet food products can be purchased. The inaugural Local Market was a hit with attendees looking for unique items, and this year’s Local Market promises to offer plenty of temptation as well. VaHiSummerfest.com
Duck out of traffic and into Cape Dutch, located just off Cheshire Bridge Road in Atlanta’s Morningside neighborhood. Cape Dutch brings a welcome heat this summer with its South African-style braai-fired plates and an extensive collection of global wine and craft cocktails. Executive Chef Philippe Haddad introduces a refreshed menu with each season, highlighting local ingredients and celebrating produce in its prime, delivering dishes sizzling off the open-faced braai in addition to longtime crowd-favorite plates large and small. We like to spend an evening on the patio for drinks or head inside for dinner in the bar and lounge, where the full menu is available to order. Open Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 5 p.m. Reservations are encouraged but not required. 404.343.0313
A new addition to the Atlanta Botanical Garden will offer the best views of the city but also showcase the Garden to the millions frequenting Midtown’s popular green spaces, including neighboring Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Beltline. Hugging the southeastern corner of the Garden overlooking the park, the new Skyline Garden, opened in May, presents the Garden’s horticultural expertise on a whole new level. The Skyline Garden lends a modern contrast to many of the Midtown attraction’s other display gardens and features plants from opposite ends of the spectrum for an unparalleled experience. The 1.5-acre garden extends from the southeastern side of the Great Lawn south to the rear of the Fuqua Orchid Center on a hillside overlooking the park, where new signage will identify the Garden. More than 4,000 square feet of seasonal color mark a grand entrance to this contemporary garden space. A fun mix of spring- and summer-flowering shrubs provides the “bones” for this primarily rotational garden. Nowhere else in the botanical garden will be as saturated in color as this space, known as the Anne Cox Chambers Flower Walk, immersed in the seasonal blossoms of camellias, hibiscus, dwarf crape myrtles and re-blooming azaleas. AtlantaBG.org
Generous at Landmark
More than 700 people showcasing big hats and derby-style attire came together for a common cause: to raise necessary funds for the Piedmont Park Conservancy to maintain and enhance Piedmont Park. A sold out event, this year’s Landmark Luncheon focused on Piedmont Park as Atlanta’s Canvas and celebrated Piedmont Park’s impact on art and entertainment in Atlanta. The event benefited the Piedmont Park Conservancy, the nonprofit organization that raises over $3 million each year for the Park maintenance, programming and community outreach. The luncheon featured several plein air artists painting gorgeous canvases, a talented harpist and a panel presentation with key influencers in the art and entertainment industry. The panel included Virginia Hepner, the President and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center; Lee Thomas, Deputy Commissioner Film, Music & Digital Entertainment for the State of Georgia; Christopher Hicks, Director of The Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment. Channel 2 News Anchor Justin Farmer moderated the event. Additionally, the Conservancy honored two outstanding individuals. Jim Kennedy, Chairman of Cox Enterprises, Inc., received the Green Giant Award for his commitment to environmental sustainability through the company’s Cox Conserves program and his longtime dedication to Piedmont Park. Virginia Hepner, also a panelist, received the Legacy Award in recognition ofr her tremendous impact on the art community and City of Atlanta.
Atlantans Brian and Keri Fosse are aiming to change the world one thriving family at a time, leading the simple babywearing movement with a focus on stylish, everyday wear that promotes child and parent bonding. The husband and wife team behind Lalabu, which offers the only all-in-one babywearing shirt for both moms and dads, is headquartered on Highland Avenue. The Lalabu Soothe Shirt™ for moms and the recently released Lalabu Dad Shirt™, perfect for Father’s Day, both feature an easy-to-use pouch that calms newborns and grows with the baby, and an inner mesh panel, which provides cool breathability. The Soothe shirt also features a built-in nursing bra that makes breastfeeding convenient at home or on the go. Both shirts retail for $75 and can be ordered online at Lalabu.com. All Lalabu products are made in the USA and two percent of all Lalabu revenue is given to help moms in African countries.
The Swag, a 14-room rustic mountain hideaway in North Carolina, kicks off its 36th season on April 21st with a roster of programs that feature some of America’s foremost experts on Great Smoky Mountains wildlife and nature. Hikes, workshops and presentations are designed to celebrate the area’s stunning features through a variety of programs. This year’s “event leaders” include nationally recognized North Carolina-based storyteller Donald Davis, guest host for NPR’s Good Evening, singer and songwriter Doug Peters, artist Gay Bryant, master naturalist and elk expert Esther Blakely, birding expert Bob Collier, hiking and wildlife experts Joel and Kathy Zachry, and black bear researcher Michael R. Pelton. The season runs through November 2, 2017. For further information, contact The Swag at 800.789.7672 and tell them Sue, our editor, sent you! It’s one of her favorite spots.
Be a part of something big. If you are passionate about parks and urban spaces, volunteer with the nonprofit that preserves and enhances Atlanta’s premier green space, the Piedmont Park Conservancy! Volunteers are important members of the Piedmont Park community and critical to the success of the Park and its programs. With more than 200 acres, the Park offers many ways to lend a hand including landscaping, beautification, group projects, leading tours, helping at Green Market and so much more. Join their dynamic volunteer team who are committed to conservation and keeping Piedmont Park growing! Learn more at PiedmontPark.org.
Ponce City Market Italian market and café, Bellina Alimentari, recently launched a brand new spring cocktail menu. Beverage Manager Cole Younger Just, who joined the team in late March, looked to classic cocktails as an inspiration for the bar’s new libations. “Classic cocktails stand the test of time for a reason, and I want to pay homage to them by using the best products available to us,” says Just. Among the selections are Latte e Miele ($12) made with milk-washed gin, raw honey, lemon and lavender which serves as an ode to the classic Bee’s Knees cocktail. Another favorite on the menu is Pliny’s Tonic ($12) made with gin, Dolin Blanc, lemon, honey and a dash of za’atar spice – a lovely nod to Bellina’s owner Tal Polstelnik Baum and her native Israel. Just also enjoys welcoming guests to the bar with a refreshing sparkling spritz cocktail incorporating ingredients provided by local farm partners.
Rize Artisan Pizza + Salads is quickly becoming a neighborhood favorite and with the recent launch of their Sunday brunch menu, it’s not hard to see why. Stop by the Poncey-Highland location from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday, and you’ll be greeted by the bold, global flavors of house-made frittatas, biscuits baked from scratch, breakfast pizzas topped with the freshest ingredients and savory breakfast sandwiches. You’ll find a beverage menu brimming with drinks to try; from mimosas and hand-crafted sangria to French-pressed coffee. As if the menu doesn’t do enough to convince you, Rize Artisan Pizza + Salads believes that brunch is meant to be shared and is an experience unlike any other. So slow down, sleep in and gather your brunch bunch to discover this local gem and spend the summer “brunching” at Rize Artisan Pizza + Salads Poncey-Highland.
Sweetly Scented Spa
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta has just introduced a new treatment that is sure to be a transcendent experience. Aroma Design Bar by Body Bliss is a completely custom treatment created by the guest with the help of a dedicated “Alchemista.” Through the help of an iPad app, the Alchemista and guest choose the desired feeling, which guides them to an oil recipe to achieve the perfect potion. Each creation is mixed exactly to the guests’ specifications; they can choose to follow the app recipe or incorporate a favorite essential oil—the options are endless. The therapist will hand-mix the oils into either a shea and goats milk body butter or exfoliating scrub. Guests can either bring home the bespoke blend, or use it in one of The Spa’s most popular treatments, the 80-minute Midtown Massage. Yes please! FourSeasons.com/Atlanta