Planning Your Christmas Shopping To Be Stress Free

Planning Your Christmas Shopping To Be Stress Free

At this time of year, Christmas shopping has gone from being a thought for the future to something that is very much in the here and now. Unfortunately, buying gifts for all of your loved ones, and even ones you don’t, can be a stressful experience. So, let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can save yourself some problems this festive season and get shopping with comfort.

Deals

Everybody loves a bargain and your Christmas shopping should be full of them. Just because you are buying someone a present doesn’t mean you have to pay top dollar. Shopping around online for a little while or even taking a leisurely stroll around the shops will quickly give you an idea of the average price of the products you’re looking to buy this year. Alternatively, if you already know what you want to buy some people then get looking on comparison websites. They’ve done all the research for you, so you can sit at home with your favorite drink in hand knowing full well you’ve saved some cash while putting smiles on the faces of your friends and family.

christmas tree

Difficult People

We all have them in our groups, every year we wonder what on Earth can we get them this year? They are the people who have everything they could possibly want already, or even worse the people who are impossible to read. Sometimes you wonder why you’re bothering, but you persevere regardless. After all, it’s Christmas and you’re in the spirit of giving and bringing cheer.

So some options for you; first of all consider the tried and tested voucher. You don’t know what to buy these people, but they know what they want so give them the tools necessary to go and get their ideal present. If you’re clever about it, you might just be able to earn free gift cards online thus saving yourself the need to pay out. Alternatively, you can try something a little bit more festive and traditional like a candle or a scarf. Both things that they’re likely to use, both say you’ve thought about them, but you’re not expecting much in return. Simple yet satisfying for everyone involved.

Enjoy Yourself

Christmas comes but once a year and everyone is going through the same shopping pains as you. However, you don’t have to. Shopping is just one aspect of the holiday season, and it is one that can be enjoyed by making the most of festive markets and the other experiences that this time of year can bring. Just make sure that you aren’t allowing your anxiety over presents for others build up too much, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’ve worked all year so you deserve to enjoy this wonderful period just as much as anyone else.

Even that person who keeps walking in front of you on the high street.

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5 VERY MERRY DESTINATIONS

  Photo: Courtesy of Callaway Resort & Gardens

Photo: Courtesy of Callaway Resort & Gardens

 Over the rivers and throughout the Southeast,

to Christmastime delights we go.

FROM SIMPLE PLEASURES of the season to time-honored traditions and radiant elegance, we suggest five splendid road trips — in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee — that promise to warm your heart and put some bounce in your holiday step. We start with the spots closest to metro Atlanta and venture farther afoot from there.

***

1. Christmas at Callaway Gardens | 75 minutes south of Atlanta

At CALLAWAY RESORT & GARDENS in Pine Mountain, Ga., you’ll find 2,500 pristine acres that deliver a graceful, tranquil escape with natural beauty.

 You needn’t go thirsty at Callaway. Photo: Callaway Resort & Gardens

You needn’t go thirsty at Callaway. Photo: Callaway Resort & Gardens

Callaway decorates with 8 million lights in scenes and color schemes that conjure a five-mile Christmas fairyland. Buzz down for the day or spend the night. Choose from a standard hotel room, a two-bedroom cottage or a villa (up to four bedrooms). If you do go day-tripping, let it spill into the night or you’ll miss the beauty of Fantasy in Lights, now in its 27th year. Enchantment is the aim of the game.

There are various holiday options and packages, but there’s no fee to enter Christmas Village, a heated 22,000-sq. ft. circus-like tent. Shop at dozens of booths (don’t miss Toy Land). Check out the entertainment and a life-size Nativity, try festival funnel cakes and fudge, or face-painting, ornament-making and Santa visits for the kids. The Village is open 4-9 p.m. (sometimes 10 p.m.) daily, including holidays from Nov. 16 through Jan. 5, 2019.

Just outside the tent, grown-ups can find Jacob Marley’s Christmas Spirits, which serves such alcoholic concoctions as Ebenezer’s Eggnog. No “bah, humbug” there.

To experience Fantasy in Lights directly from Christmas Village, you’ll need to pay for Callaway admission. Visitors are encouraged to bundle up and hop aboard the hour-long musical Jolly Trolley tour. You can drive your own car, but the cost per person is the same. Expect to spend $11-$35 each. Admission and Fantasy in Lights packages differ for overnight guests.

2. Christmas in Helen | 2 hours north of Atlanta

With the “lighting of the village,” the most wonderful time of the year begins Nov. 23 in Helen, Ga., on the southern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Live entertainment begins in the town center at 2 p.m. that day and the Bavarian-themed village lights up at 6 p.m.

 Photo: Alpine Helen/White County Georgia CVB

Photo: Alpine Helen/White County Georgia CVB

The year-round population of this decidedly quirky community is about 550, but Helen is billed as the third-most visited place in Georgia, following only Atlanta and Savannah, and attracting 1.5 million travelers each year.

Many thousands venture to this “small town big on excitement” for its holiday ambience. They’re lured by the appeal of strolling on cobblestone alleys and poking into gingerbread-trimmed shops like HANSEL & GRETEL CANDY KITCHEN, prized for its gourmet confections like the top-selling chocolate-caramel-pecan turtles; TIM’S WOODEN TOYS; and ZUZU’S PETALS ROCK SHOP for gems, crystals and jewelry. WILDEWOOD and LAVENDER COTTAGE & GARDEN (in Sautee Nacoochee outside Helen) offer unexpected gift items. Plenty of places also sell pretty doodads and ornaments from around the world.

 Photo: Alpine Helen/White County Georgia CVB

Photo: Alpine Helen/White County Georgia CVB

The annual Christmas parade (2 p.m. Dec. 8) includes live bands, Tennessee walking horses, Bernese mountain dogs and floats like a “sleigh” carrying Santa and Mrs. Claus. A children’s lantern parade steps off later that day. Kids can decorate paper lanterns starting at 4 p.m. and parade through Helen at 5 p.m. to the Festhalle for a bonfire and s’mores.

To see Helen’s lights, book a ride with Pegasus Horse-Drawn Carriages (arrange via text message at 706.499.1159).

Visit a traditional CHRISTKINDLMARKT the weekends of Dec. 1-2 and 8-9. Vendors try to give Southerners the sense of a European holiday market. You’ll find stalls offering handmade gifts, ornaments and edible treats from savory to sweet.

If you’re in the mood to eat, Wiener schnitzel, Bavarian apple strudel and such are plentiful here. Tried-and-true eateries include MULLER’S FAMOUS FRIED CHEESE CAFÉBODENSEE RESTAURANTHOFBRAUHAUS and HOFER’S OF HELEN (also a bakery). Details: 800.858.8027.

3. Christmas at the Biltmore | almost 4 hours north of Atlanta

For a splurge, we suggest the Biltmore in Asheville, N.C. The 250-room French Renaissance mansion was built as a country home for George Vanderbilt III (grandson of industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt) in the 1890s.

The 175-sq. ft. chateau has 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and took 100 workers six years to complete, a feat accomplished just in time for Christmas 1895. The holiday hoopla here in the Blue Ridge Mountains has become so popular that CHRISTMAS AT BILTMORE begins in Nov. 3 and continues through Jan. 6.

 Photo: The Biltmore Co.

Photo: The Biltmore Co.

This year’s theme is “The Art of Christmas,” so you can bet the estate’s design team has gone all out. At BILTMORE ESTATE WINERY, some 7,000 globe-shaped ornaments drip from the ceiling. The goal is to make visitors feel like they’re inside an enormous bottle of bubbly.

The gothic “house,” showcasing the Vanderbilt family’s original art and furnishings, features more than 100 Christmas trees, including a 35-foot-tall Fraser fir. The front lawn shimmers with a 55-foot Norway spruce and 35 glistening evergreens.

The estate, a National Historic Landmark, includes gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. The INN ON BILTMORE ESTATE offers four-star lodging. The more casual VILLAGE HOTEL in Antler Hill Village is steps from shops, restaurants, the winery (free tastings), a creamery and more. The village glows 5:30 p.m.-midnight daily.

Live entertainment (choral groups, instrumental duos, etc.), perform throughout the house during day and night tours. The biggest draw is the CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS EVENINGS ($85-$90; $42-$45 for kids; age 9 and younger free). Reservations for specific time slots are a must.

ANTLER HILL VILLAGE hosts more entertainment on weekends as well as occasional bonfires. Sleigh bells ring on horse-drawn carriage rides ($65 per person for an hour; group rates available). Call 800.225.6398. Tours of 30 minutes in an eight-passenger “wagonette” are $35 per person. Call 800.411.3812.

Weekday holiday rates at the Biltmore start at $299, weekend nights at $449. Village Hotel stays starting at $249 and $379. Get general Biltmore information at 800.411.3812.

 4. Victorian Christmas in Thomasville | 4 hours south of Atlanta

Again and again, Thomasville residents and shopkeepers hear visitors cry, “Why haven’t I known about this place?”

Thomasville, about 30 minutes north of Tallahassee, Fla., has embraced the yuletide season like no other town its size (population: 19,000) in the state. Southern Living magazine did a 12-page spread on all things holiday in Thomasville last year.

 Photo: Thomasville Visitors Center

Photo: Thomasville Visitors Center

Know that you can bask in the holiday spirit here throughout December even though Thomasville’s 34th annual Victorian Christmas is just 6-9 p.m. Dec. 13-14.

Victorian Christmas is a throwback to Thomasville’s heyday, “when warm cheer was spread to all, and evening strolls to hear carols sung made the holiday complete,” says Bonnie Hays of the Thomasville Visitors Center. “I can’t tell you how many out-of-towners keep coming back because our Christmas town warms their hearts and souls.”

A living Nativity is staged by the First Baptist Church. Horse-drawn carriage rides pass by the town’s storied 337-year-old oak, which glows with luminaries. Musicians, storytellers, stilt walkers and Victorian fire performers travel brick-paved streets. Choral groups perform, chestnuts are roasted and marshmallows toasted. This year, festivalgoers can get a keepsake photo of themselves posing with a Victorian-era hot-air balloon.

Shopping and dining possibilities include the FUZZY GOAT, a yarn and knitting boutique; SOUTHLIFE SUPPLY CO., known nationally for its leather goods, including belts and purses; THE BOOKSHELF for books, toys and cool gifts; LIAM’S for upscale New American food; and the fun, laid-back SWEET GRASS DAIRY RESTAURANT & CHEESE SHOP for first-rate artisan cheeses, platters and craft beer. Details on all at 229.228.7977.

5. Dickens of a Christmas | 4 hours northwest of Atlanta

If you’d like to dust off great-grandpa’s top hat, you’ve got a dandy chance to show it off at the 34th annual Dickens of a Christmas in the postcard-pretty town of Franklin, Tenn., just this side of Nashville. This year’s event runs 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 8 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 9).

 Street performers in Franklin, Tenn. Photo: Heritage Foundation of Williamson County

Street performers in Franklin, Tenn. Photo: Heritage Foundation of Williamson County

The city’s Victorian architecture is an ideal backdrop for the days when local shops were where you found holiday gifts. Wander the Main Street area, and you might bump into Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and other costumed Dickensian players. They’ll interact with you, delight the kids with treats and won’t break character.

Dozens of specialty shops step up their game for what some call the largest outdoor Christmas festival in middle Tennessee. Enticements include live music and dance performances plus pockets of entertainment here and there, artisan demonstrations, 100 vendors selling their wares and plenty of food trucks. Kids can take pony and train rides and play Victorian-era games. At day’s end, everyone is invited to the town square to sing carols.

Festgoers are encouraged to wear Victorian clothes or just accessorize in some way. Along with that top hat, you may want to pull out your ugliest Christmas sweater. There’s a contest at the First Citizens National Bank’s booth.

The Dickens fest is free, but a few attractions ask a small fee. Details at 615.591.8500.

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THE WHISKEY GENTRY ANNOUNCES 10TH ANNUAL MERRY Y’ALLTIDE CELEBRATION

 The Whiskey Gentry - Photo: Jon Whittaker

The Whiskey Gentry - Photo: Jon Whittaker

An Atlanta institution, The Whiskey Gentry has announced it will be returning to the Variety Playhouse on December 8, 2018 for the 10th Annual Merry Y’alltide Celebration.  The announcement comes with the news that this will officially be the final performance by The Whiskey Gentry. Recent months have seen the band take fewer engagements, as lead singer, Lauren Morrow has emerged with a new sound and self-titled solo EP.  Rolling Stone profiled Morrow in its latest issue as one of their “10 New Country Artists You Need To Know”  creating further buzz to already exciting news.

“When Jason and I started The Whiskey Gentry, I don't think we ever imagined how incredible this journey would be. We've toured the world, played music with some amazing people, and most importantly, created a family with a group of guys that we love like brothers,” says The Whiskey Gentry lead singer, Lauren Morrow.  “ Over the years, some of us have gotten married, had kids, moved to different cities, and it makes it harder to be a collective unit like it was.  Jason and I have chosen to keep moving with our careers under my name, but no matter what, we will always have these songs, this family of musicians, and all of the incredible memories we've created together over the last decade.”

The final performance of The Whiskey Gentry will be accompanied by several special guests who will help get the crowd warmed up for this spirited evening. Full details on the special guests along with comparative poster art will be reveled in the coming weeks. 

Advance tickets for the 10th Annual Merry Y’alltide Celebration are on sale now, starting at $20. Based on availability, tickets may be available at the Variety Playhouse box office the day of the show.  Tickets are available online at www.ticketfly.com.  This is an all ages show and doors open at 7:00 p.m.  The 10th Annual Merry Y’alltide Celebration is presented by Zero Mile.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT | November-December 2018

food for thought

Barbecue and Southern comfort food in Alpharetta, Del Frisco’s

steaks in Dunwoody and fresh lobster in Buckhead are among

the new tastes to savor and anticipate.

SMOKED MEATS come to Alpharetta and lobster bellies to Lenox Square, while new life reaches Colony Square and the Atlanta BeltLine. It’s all Food for Thought.

 Go to Alpharetta for King Barbecue’s pulled pork, brisket, ribs, brisket-baked beans, mac-n-cheese and more. All photos by David Danzig.

Go to Alpharetta for King Barbecue’s pulled pork, brisket, ribs, brisket-baked beans, mac-n-cheese and more. All photos by David Danzig.

Well done

Alpharetta’s mini-metropolis of Avalon, KING BARBECUE is winning hearts and taste buds with its regionally influenced ’cue — pulled pork, brisket, sausage, turkey, chicken and pork ribs. Dip into the distinctive homemade pickled bar, where free accouterments include pickled tomatoes, beets, several varieties of pickles and even ghost peppers for the daredevil diner. Sides include a dense and slightly sweet jalapeno cornbread, slaw, Brunswick stew, collards and brisket-baked beans that almost steal the show. …

Naming your restaurant “Secreto,” the Spanish word for “secret,” might not sound like savvy marketing, but word is traveling about SECRETO SOUTHERN KITCHEN & BAR’s two locations (Alpharetta and Brookhaven). Chef Boyd Rose has taken out the Southern-comfort-food playbook and cheffed-up some classics — warm pimento cheese, truffle deviled eggs, fried green tomatoes. The result: bold flavors and hearty plates. Also expect Southern fried chicken, shrimp and grits, andouille-crusted redfish and grilled apple-brined pork chops. …

 You’re going for the steak, right? This is Del Frisco’s bone-in filet mignon.

You’re going for the steak, right? This is Del Frisco’s bone-in filet mignon.

Steak lovers, the Eagle has landed — the Double Eagle. Texas-based DEL FRISCO’S DOUBLE EAGLE STEAK HOUSE has joined the crowded steakhouse arena in Dunwoody’s new Perimeter Park Center, home to State Farm’s headquarters.

The Del Frisco’s space is Lone Star State-sized, an 11,000-sq. ft. stunner by the Johnson Studio that begins with a dramatic ascending entrance and uplighting that illuminates a tunnel of 2,200 bottles of wine. Another 2,500 bottles of wine “float” around the space in a sprawling exposed cellar.

The chain eatery’s menu features USDA Prime wet- and dry-aged cuts, including the namesake “Double Eagle Steak,” a 32-ounce, 45-day dry-aged, double bone-in prime ribeye. Carnivores can also choose a rare marbleized Wagyu steak — Japanese A5, Australian Wagyu or a cut from Rosewood, Texas. Double Eagle also flies in seafood daily, has an ocean of fancy wine and cocktails, and a butter cake that’s one of the best non-chocolate desserts around. …

 The Maine-style lobster roll at Buckhead’s Cousins comes chilled with mayo.

The Maine-style lobster roll at Buckhead’s Cousins comes chilled with mayo.

If you can’t get your claws on enough fresh lobster, head to Lenox Square mall and COUSINS MAINE LOBSTER. Two cousins from the Northeast started the lobster-centric food truck four years ago in Los Angeles. They soon found themselves on national TV, pitching the idea on “Shark Tank,” the ABC competition show for budding entrepreneurs, where they landed enough funding to go nationwide.

Strap on your bib and order lobster rolls — Maine style (chilled with a touch of mayo) or Connecticut style (served warm with butter and lemon), plus lobster tacos, a lobster B.L.T., lobster grilled cheese, lobster tots and lobster bisque. Clams, crab and shrimp also appear on the menu but clearly, the lines out the door are for the lobster rolls, heaping piles of lobster belly meat stacked in perfect hotdog-style buns, steamed just the way they should be.

Simmering 

The redeveloping COLONY SQUARE in Midtown Atlanta has landed its showcase restaurant. Developers of the $160 million renovation say ISELLE KITCHEN + BAR, an Italian spot, will open in fall 2019. The menu will feature ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms, speck-and-blueberry bruschetta, seared Ora king salmon and burrata gnocchi. Iselle will join a 28,000-sq. ft. food hall and several other new restaurants as Colony Square tries to reassert its relevance in a sea of new intown mixed-use properties. …

Le-Colonial-The-Shops-Buckhead-Atlanta.jpg

LE COLONIAL, an upscale French-Vietnamese spot, comes to the SHOPS AT BUCKHEAD in spring 2019 from the owner groups behind Le Bilboquet (also in the Shops) and Umi (on Peachtree Road). Le Colonial is already open in Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco, and features what are described as “romantic, turn-of-the-century, tropical environments.” Atlanta’s version will reportedly be the most modern interpretation of that concept. Look for such specialties as Bo Luc Lac Shaking Beef, crispy wild-caught red snapper and spicy yellowfin tuna tartare with soy caviar and taro chips. …

RYAN GRAVEL, the godfather of the Atlanta BeltLine, will open a restaurant called AFTERCAR on the Eastside trail. Look for it in the still-to-come Telephone Factory Lofts. Details on Aftercar’s theme and menu aren’t clear, but it’s described as a “retro-future BeltLine social house. A late-spring, early-summer 2019 opening is projected. Aftercar will sit adjacent to, and share profits with, Gravel’s Generator, a nonprofit urban development think tank.

Toast

Say so long to CHEEKY, the Mexican taqueria and sports bar that shuttered on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs after about two years of cervezas and soccer. But worry not, a Greek eatery named SANTORINI will take its place. Santorini is a full-service Greek taverna from GEORGE TSELIOS, who owns Gyro City Grill and is a founder/former partner in the Landmark and Marietta diners. …

Midtown’s wild and wacky party bar, FLIP FLOPS, purveyor of frozen daiquiris named Jet Fuel, the Gator Hater and Horne Hurricane, has had its last call. The 1920s Crescent Avenue bungalow was, to some, a shrine to tacky, beachy fun. To others, it was a cheesy eyesore. …

And finally, the 80-year staple S&S CAFETERIA has closed its last Atlanta outpost. The family-owned dining institution known for Southern cooking served its last bit of chicken and dumplings at the end of September. Six other S&S locations still operate outside metro Atlanta, including one in Augusta, two in Macon, and single locations in Greenville, S.C.; Charleston, S.C.; and Knoxville, Tenn.

Food for Thought, Encore Atlanta’s bimonthly dining column, keeps you up to date on openings, closings and what chefs are up to in one of three categories — well done (reasons for praise), simmering (what’s in the works) and toast (what’s closed, etc.). Email kathy@encoreatlanta.com.

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GOOSSENS X HARUMI KLOSSOWSKA DE ROLA

GOOSSENS X HARUMI KLOSSOWSKA DE ROLA

On the one hand, the House of Goossens, established in 1950 and a part of Chanel’s Métiers d’Art since 2005, with its gold and silver creations and artistic objects. On the other hand, Harumi Klossowska de Rola who creates exceptional works between fine jewelry and art objects. When the former decided to invite the latter to celebrate the new season, the result was a release of uniquely free creativity. They both deeply love expert know-how and hand crafting, are fascinated by the beauty of the deceptively irregular, and combined their talents to give birth to an original capsule collection focusing on 6 decorative items and their accompanying 6 jewels. 

What do they have in common? The presence of strong symbolic elements relating to three main themes. 

Case in point, on a box with two lids inlaid with baroque garnet, a decorative branch, a pair of earrings, a bracelet and a sautoir, we find a grenade (in several forms), a fruit that is sacred in all civilizations, synonymous with resurrection, fertility and life. 

The fig leaf, a symbol of generosity, adorns a small tray, a little dish named “three fig leaves” enlivened with a small caterpillar entirely pavé-set with brilliant cut stones, in old bronze metal. 

As for the mistletoe, a sacred plant that evokes immortality as well as prosperity, it covers a branch, a candlestick, earrings, a ring and a bracelet. All of which are in antique gold metal and baroque rock crystal beads. 

The focus is on beloved materials: rock crystal, antique gilded bronze, old gold and fine stones. Rock crystal and garnet give life to these creations. 

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OUT ON FILM Sep. 24, 2018

WhentheBeatDrops

ABOVE: A scene from “When the Beat Drops,” the festival’s opening-night film, screening Sept. 27.

::

Atlanta’s 31st LGBT film festival screens 128 features,

documentaries, shorts and more at 3 venues

over 11 days

 

IN WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILYMolly Shannon delivers a surprisingly upbeat take on 19th-century New England poet Emily Dickinson.

In The Happy Prince, Rupert Everett plays Irish poet-playwright Oscar Wilde in his twilight years, a role for which he’s received early raves.

Out-on-Film

Matt Smith, best known as the BBC’s 11th “Dr. Who” and “The Crown’s” Prince Philip, has the title role in Mapplethorpe, embodying the famous — some would say infamous — New York City photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989 at age 42 of AIDS-related complications.

The biopics are among the highlights of the 31st annual Out on Film, Atlanta’s LGBT film festival, running Sept. 27-Oct. 7.

The event screens 128 films in 11 days at one of three locations — Midtown Art CinemaOut Front Theatre Company in West Midtown and the Plaza Theatre in Poncey-Highland. About 50 films are full-length narrative features or documentaries. The rest are short films and Web series (grouped into 16 programs).

The event expanded from eight to 11 days last year and attracted 10,000 moviegoers, according to fest director Jim Farmer. The year’s films speak to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender experience in 25 countries, including Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea, Tunisia, the U.K. and, of course, the United States.

The lineup includes a starry staged reading of The Laramie Project, about the 1998 gay-bashing death of Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard (7 p.m. Sept. 30 at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company). It features Atlanta-based TV, stage and film actors Amy Acker, Steve Coulter, Randy Havens, Jessica Meisel, Rosemary Newcott and Tara Ochs. All proceeds benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation, in remembrance of the 20th anniversary of his murder. Details, tickets HERE.

The festival’s opening film, When the Beat Drops, has a strong Atlanta connection, Farmer says. The 87-minute documentary details “bucking,” a term for athletic dancing created in the American South by gay African-American men who were banned from cheerleading or being major/majorettes because of homophobia.

Atlanta native Anthony Davis, who’s in the documentary, helped grow the dance into a nationwide program that now includes an annual competition in Atlanta. Davis, actor-choreographer-director Jamal Sims, producer Jordan Finnegan, and other cast and crew members will attend the screening.

 Paul Rudd (left) and Steve Coogan in “Ideal Home.”

Paul Rudd (left) and Steve Coogan in “Ideal Home.”

Also worth checking out:

  • Lez Bomb, with Cloris Leachman, Bruce Dern and Steve Guttenberg, about a closeted young woman played by Jenna Laurenzo, who wrote and directed (Sept. 28, Landmark).

  • 1985, with Cory Michael Smith as a closeted gay man coming home for Christmas.  Virginia Madsen and Michael Chiklis play the parents (Sept. 29, Landmark).

  • Studio 54, a 90-minute documentary about the legendary New York City disco, a hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival (Sept. 29, Landmark).

  • Ideal Home, with Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan as a bickering gay couple shaken by the 10-year-old on their doorstep (Oct. 6, Plaza).

In the festival’s first two decades, Farmer says, the lineup was dominated by coming-out stories. “And while those are still here and always relevant, we’re dealing with so many other things.”

 A scene from the documentary “TransMilitary.”

A scene from the documentary “TransMilitary.”

Several films address transgender issues: The 93-minute documentary TransMilitary (winner of the 2018 audience award at the SXSW film festival) looks at 15,500 transgender individuals in the U.S. military (Oct. 6, Out Front); Man Made follows four men in a bodybuilding competition (Oct. 3, Landmark).

The fest holds its first horror night (Oct. 5, Out Front), with a late-night program of shorts preceded by the feature films What Keeps You Alive, about a lesbian couple’s not-so-cheery anniversary getaway, and Devil’s Path, in which two men meet on a gay-cruising park trail.

Pick up the free 78-page Out on Film guidebook at the screening venues and throughout Midtown. It includes the full schedule and information on every film. Details and festival passes ($175 + $200); three-packs ($30); and single tickets ($11 per screening) available HEREDaily updates also on Out on Film’s Facebook page HERE.

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Atlas Reveals Renovation Plans for New Terrace

atlas atlanta

Atlas, one of the Southeast’s premier dining destinations located within the St. Regis Atlanta, has revealed initial plans for a complete renovation of its already popular terrace.  What will be an oasis in the heart of Buckhead, the terrace will provide guests with an all-season, enchanted garden experience.  Not only will the new terrace be an extension of the comfortable and lively atmosphere the Tavern at Atlas has become known for, but it will also serve as a stand-alone bar and dining destination boasting chef-driven small plates, award-winning cuisine from the dining room, cocktails and live music.  

“When Atlas took over the restaurant space at the St. Regis, a complete renovation of the interior occurred as part of a three-phase plan,” says Atlas General Manager Geno Dew. “With the Tavern at Atlas being the second phase, we’re now thrilled to give the exterior a facelift as we continue our commitment to always provide exceptional experiences as one of the Southeast’s must-go dining and cocktail destinations.  We could not be more thankful of Buckhead community and locals and visitors alike for their support to help us achieve this vision and for our ongoing success.” 

Set to be completed in early 2019 in conjunction with the four-year anniversary, the new 3,070-square foot terrace designed by The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry will offer 100 seats in the dining area along with 24 dedicated bar seats. Playing to Atlanta’s weather and complimenting Atlas’ acclaimed interior, the new terrace will feature a vaulted glass and steel roof, sliding glass windows that open onto One Buckhead Plaza, an up lit tree sculpture featured at the bar, and focal trees throughout the dining space that will create an intimate dining setting.  More details will be released in the coming months. 

Throughout the renovation process, which will take place outside of operating hours, Atlas will continue to provide its unparalleled standards of service. Celebrating the very best in seasonal American cuisine combined with European influences created by Executive Chef Christopher Grossman, guests are invited to revel in a fine dining experience in the dining room or take advantage of The Tavern featuring a chef-driven small plates menu and hand-shaken cocktails. Atlas also boasts an acclaimed art installation that includes more than 30 pieces from esteemed artists including Foujita, Monet, Chagall, Modigliani and Soutine. The impressive gallery of 20th century artwork has been hand-selected from The Lewis Collection, one of the largest private art collections in the world.      

For more information or reservations, visit atlasrestaurant.com

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