We think we’ve found the ultimate (legal) “pick-me-up”.  Of course, we love our coffee and the scintillating refreshment of a cold Whynatte, but this is something a little different that gives us a long-lasting energy boost with health benefits (is this starting to sound like a commercial to you too?).  Arden’s Garden Grand Slam is one ounce each of four juices: wheatgrass, ginger, lemon and cranberry, each with its own special “superpower” for the body, and we have been reaping its benefits.

This handsome foursome of shots is just one of the reasons we’re excited to be responsible for representing the Atlanta History Center in leasing space for the new Arden’s Garden coming to 90 Peachtree Place in Historic Commercial Row, right next to the Margaret Mitchell House.  Arden’s will literally be written into history with this spot!  History, health and a natural high?  We’ll take it.

We got to thinking that Midtown itself is somewhat of a Grand Slam, because A.) it’s just pretty damn awesome all around, and B.) we like to think of it in terms of four major bases:  Piedmont Park (exercise), the High Museum of Art (uh, art), the Fox Theatre (culture) and SCAD (education & community).

Piedmont Park is clutch for all kinds of outdoor activities – running, rollerblading, swimming, volleyball, soccer, and basically any other sport you can think of.  Except polo – we heard they don’t allow that.

Then, of course, there is all that surrounds the Park (Park Tavern, The Nook, Skate Escape for you bikers), and the close-by GK|CRE property, Amsterdam Walk. While at AW, we like grabbing a pitcher of capirinihas at Loca Luna, while our canine friends prefer visiting Piedmont Bark – one of the best dog care facilities in town and home of dog groomer extraordinaire Raymond DeLeon, who (if you close one eye), may just remind you of Cesar Milan. Amsterdam Walk, owned by Halpern Enterprises, is also home to The International Preschool, so if you see young ones running around, you’ll know what that’s all about.

As much as we love running in and around the Park, sometimes we (and by “we”, we mean Gene) can’t help but take a jog through the piazza at the High to enjoy the view of the majestic buildings.  And, when we’re (all of us this time) not running, we like to stroll through the exhibit du moment. Dali was rad, but we also enjoy the more obscure exhibits and artwork found on the first floor, like the photographs of Danish-born American photographer Peter Sekaer, on view ‘til January 9.

When art interpretation has us famished, we pick up sandwiches or salads at Joli Kobe and say hello to our friend, Tawn Chi, the manager.  For the record, we recommend the Chicken Salad (and a chocolate éclair for dessert).  But, when we’re going for something a little heavier (and pricier, for that matter), we like to make new friends, but keep the old – in this case, Empire State South is silver, and Park 75, gold.  We’re feeling everything about Empire State South from the Braised Beef Short Ribs to the expertly mixed Manhattan to the …wait for it…outdoor bocce court.

It’s got the Southern hospitality thing going, but is by no means stuffy and old-fashioned.  Kinda like us.  As for Park 75, this classic still serves one of the best meals in town.  The filet is always perfection and the staff will make you feel right at home.

Onto our third base: The Fabulous Fox Theatre.  We love the history of “Mighty Mo” (the second largest theatre organ in the country) and the recent rumor-proven-true that a “star” on the ceiling of the theatre is, in fact, a piece of a Coca-Cola bottle.  Oh, and the top Broadway shows and concerts by musical icons like Jane’s Addiction aren’t too bad, either.  We usually start or end the night at Livingston (and, of course, utilize their valet for the evening), and Churchill Grounds, our favorite jazz club, is right across Peachtree.  Russell Gunn is “bionic” and we always make a point to see him when he’s playing the Churchill Grounds’ stage.  Fellas, take note if you’re looking for something different than the typical dinner-and-a-movie date.

Last, but not least, and rounding out the “bases” is the renowned SCAD (that’s Savannah College of Art and Design for you out-of-towners).  Some of the best designers in the country have come out of the school, and we’ll admit it:  we know that a recent grad (April Johnston) is currently on Project Runway.  Hey, everyone has their TV vices.  And, while the students are talented as hell, the staff running the show is as good as it gets.  For Gene’s upcoming radio show airing on The Voice of the Arts (ssshhh, more details on that later), he interviewed Robert Brown, chair of printmaking at SCAD. However, it’s what SCAD has contributed to the community, in addition to better looking waiters and waitresses, that has us impressed. From design to art to architecture to digital media to open-to-the public exhibitions, these guys “get it”!

These four landmarks serve as anchors to the community and hold their significance, but we can’t ignore all the coolness happening on the Midtown Mile – Exhale Spa, CB2, 5th Street Cafe, all within walking distance.  We know we are safe when trekking around this part of town with Midtown Blue in full force and Colonel Wayne Mock (read: Atl’s modern-day John Wayne) at the helm.  And, with 44 cameras all over the ‘hood, any of you aspiring hooligans better pick a new part of town (or just stay out of trouble altogether).

There’s a lot to enjoy in Midtown.  With all the endless options of arts and entertainment, exercise, dining, and nightlife, we’re exhausted (in a good way) just talking about it.  Looks like it’s time for another Grand Slam.


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