Greg Alterman is the entrepreneur who made an American classic comfortable. Thank you, Greg. While the super soft, stylish and comfy Alternative Apparel started out of his college dorm room, Alterman’s business acumen goes way back through his family’s ancestral lines. The Altermans have owned grocery stores, restaurants, and even dressed Hollywood starlets. For this Sidewalk Radio EXTRA, Gene sits down with the Atlanta native who has made it big by paying attention to the smallest details. It’s a fun, entertaining, and entrepreneurial chat with a decently funny guy. Enjoy.
Tag Archives: Atlanta
As a holiday teaser for this month’s show, Coca-Cola & Christmas, we left our seats and hit the streets to ask Atlantans what they think Santa looks like and Coke tastes like. The conclusion, a refreshing, informative and fun holiday excursion. Grab a Coca-Cola and Enjoy! Happy holidays, y’all.
COCA-COLA & CHRISTMAS airs on Monday December 24th at 6:30pm. A Christmas Eve Special. Tune in to AM 1690 or listen live online.
Freedom is a very large and very important concept. Our country is build on it. Our civic and personal identity tied to it. Our physical landscape is both scarred and improved by it. People have fought for it, people have died for it. One thing for sure about freedom, it’s not free. But, it is absolutely worth it.
Joining us in the studio this month are four guests each with their own experience and their own story to tell about freedom and the journey our nation and our world has taken from the Civil War to Civil Rights in pursuit of it.
We’ll start with the Civil War and Gordon Jones, Senior Military Historian with the Atlanta History Center. Jones shares historical accounts of the American Civil War, the impact the war had on freedom, and a sincere sensibility about the importance of storytelling in relation to history.
Lain Shakespeare is the great, great, great grandson of Joel Chandler Harris, a great man in the journey of freedom. Shakespeare is Board Chairman of The Wren’s Nest, the now historic house museum in Atlanta’s West End neighborhood, where Harris wrote his world famous Uncle Remus tales. Lain shares stories about the “trickster hero” role (both Brer Rabbit and Harris) in the pursuit of Civil Rights, and a bit about the history of Harris himself.
“If not us, then who?
If not now, then when?”
- John Lewis
Congressman John Lewis has been “Getting into good trouble since 1960″ and the world is a better place for it. It was a true honor to have Civil Rights icon and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Congressman Lewis, on this month’s show. Lewis has been a true leader in the pursuit of freedom since he joined the Civil Rights Movement as a 15-year-old. Lewis was beaten unconscious and nearly to death in Selma, Alabama, spoke at the March on Washington, and joins our host Gene Kansas in the studio this month to speak about being a voice for freedom.
A new leader in the quest for freedom is National Center for Civil and Human Rights CEO Doug Shipman. Charismatic, compassionate and with an eye toward progress, Shipman is poised to help lead us into the future of freedom. Doug shares an insider’s look into the new Center, now under construction in Atlanta, and how the design of the campus plays a large part in connecting and understanding. The Center will focus on education, its physical design helping to create a dialogue for people from all over the world.
This show is dedicated to Winston “Bud” Newell, a man who served our country in WWII, an adoring husband, a fabulous father, a giver of great toasts, a lover of jazz, a friend to all, and a gentle and loving uncle. He will be missed, but his spirit lives on.
Modern Atlanta’s 5th Annual education and exhibition series kicks off on Friday June 1st and promises to be the biggest and best thus far. MA Co-Founder Elayne DeLeo joins Gene in the studio to talk about this years program, entitled “Design is Human”, and give some insight and info about the always popular Modern Atlanta Home Tour.
This episode of ART STROLL airs on Monday June 4th at 8:20 am and 6:20 pm on AM1690 “The Voice of the Arts”, but don’t wait until then to enjoy MA. Program highlights feature the highest echelon in design from architecture to interiors to visual arts…all the things we love over here on Sidewalk Radio and ART STROLL.
MA “Design is Human” runs June 1st – June 10th.
Definitely do not miss the Home Tour on June 9th & June 10th.
Get your tickets to the Modern Atlanta Home Tour now. Enjoy!
One more “do not miss” event in MA…For all of you Michael Habachy fans (count us in on that list), make sure to head on over to Room & Board on the Westside for a design talk on Thursday June 7th, 6:00 – 8:00.
Working to enhance local, sustainable food, Georgia Organics has been a leading advocate in the state for community based agriculture for over three decades. Through education and partnerships, Georgia Organics has raised the profile of sustainable food systems, encouraged CSA’s, and promoted locally grown foods throughout Georgia.
As spring harvest progresses, Georgia Organics will be hosting This Is Market: Lettuce Turnip the Beet, a fundraising dinner featuring Miller Union’s Steven Satterfield, and a host of emerging chefs from the Atlanta area, located at the SweetWater Brewery.
The event will feature locally sourced foods, prepared by aforementioned rock star chef, beer, wine, and tunes. .
So what are you waiting for? The tickets probably cost less than you would usually spend on this fare, and it’s helping out one of GA’s best food oriented non-profits.
This Is Market: Lettuce Turnip the Beet
April 12, 7-10
SweetWater Brewery Co
Here’s a map of Atlanta’s Tallest Building leaders over the last century or so. Each building was at the time the tallest in the city.
Click the icons to see a bit of background on each building. Hear about “The Skyline” now.
(Zoom out to see the latest two)
Growing up as a retail pocket to serve Inman Park and Candler Park in the early 1900′s, L5P as it is affectionally known, developed organically. This type of development meant that the area was not planned, per se, but grew out of need and desire. That original desire was not the alternative lifestyle we see today, but it always had a vibe. In the 1960′s its vibe dwindled into deplorable conditions when white flight and local politics reared their ugly heads. However, local politics was also one of the reasons that the neighborhood bounced back in the mid 1970′s. That, along with lots of blood, sweat, tears and beers, plus a healthy dose of rock music and elbow grease, brought Little Five Points back to life.
Little Five Points got its name from the five streets that intersect at the center of the neighborhood, but got its reputation from a sub culture of urban pioneers who are among Atlanta’s most funky, creative, colorful and cool. In this episode of Sidewalk Radio, our host Gene Kansas explores the art, music, mayhem and culture of this alternative enclave that includes Elvis shrines and disco nights (Star Bar), record stores (Criminal Records, Wax’n'Facts), raucous retail (Junkman’s Daughter), thrift havens (Stefan’s), booze (Euclid Avenue Yacht Club), books (A Cappella), bands (Variety Playhouse), co-op’s (Sevananda), coffee (Aurora), and pimento cheese burgers (The Vortex) to die for, all available within a few block radius, and in Atlanta that makes it one of the truest novelties of it all.
Joining Gene in the studio this month to discuss some of the history and architecture of Little Five Points and how alternative enclaves develop in cities all over the world, plus share his design expertise, and impart personal and professional insights about the cultural aspects of the area is Perkins+Will Principal and their Atlanta Design Director, Manuel Cadrecha.
Also lending an artful conversation to this month’s show is one of Atlanta’s favorite local artists, if not one of our most colorful and visible, Ronnie Land. ”R. Land”, as his signature reads, creates a cast of characters through his art that embody Atlanta and goes hand-in-hand with the counter culture on display in Little Five.
Eric Levin is the founder and owner of Criminal Records, the owner of cult and neighborhood favorite Aurora Coffee, and is one of the early pioneers who has grown up in business and in the neighborhood, but he is more than that. Levin joins Gene in the studio representing scores of local residents and business mainstays in his love for the ‘hood and why it’s an important place to cultivate and sustain.
So, get on your green wigs, grab your PBR, load up your Yacht Dog and get ready for a thrill ride through a place that is culturally unique to our city, Little Five Points. Enjoy.
Freedom Park’s relevance in Atlanta history dates back to the Civil War. On July 22, 1864, Sherman watched the city burn during the Battle of Atlanta from Copenhill (location of the Carter Center) very close to the same spot that the “Homage to King” sculpture stands today as a symbol of our freedom. This sculpture, by Catalan artist Xavier Medina, was erected at the intersection of Boulevard and Freedom Parkway shortly before the 1996 Olympics on a site that just five years prior was embroiled and embattled in a contentious fight that had been brewing since the 1960′s and severely heated up in the early 1980′s when the Department of Transportation reignited the proposed Stone Mountain Tollway that promised fast access through the city and almost certain destruction of Atlanta’s in-town neighborhoods.
At the literal and metaphoric heart of the matter was the Carter Center. Like most big time real estate deals, politics plays a huge part. As Governor in the 1970′s, Jimmy Carter had opposed the road. However, after his presidency, he backed the plan for a “Presidential Parkway” in and effort to find a home for and road to his Presidential Library. The city was up in arms again, and in 1981, Cathy Bradshaw helped lead the fight (along with some serious assistance from friends, neighbors and future Congressman, John Lewis) against the Georgia Department of Transportation’s proposed road which would have literally divided many of the charming neighborhoods we love today.
Bradshaw was President of C.A.U.T.I.O.N (Citizens Against Unnecessary Thoroughfares In Older Neighborhoods) the legal arm of a protest group, who together with the very visible activist arm known as the Roadbusters, ultimately (in 1991) helped put an end to the proposed road. This resolution not only ensured the preservation of treasures like Inman Park, Candler Park, Lake Claire, Poncey-Highland and Druid Hills, but it also resulted in the symbolic connection between the MLK Center and the Carter Center, proving to be a win-win-win for all. Cathy joins Gene in the studio this month to reflect on the “NO ROAD” fight and remind us about how Atlanta came together for a common cause.
Even though all sides were able to reach an agreement in August 1991, the work was far from over. It was by chance that David Blackley, a landscape architect and now President of the Freedom Park Conservancy, was at City Hall and happened upon the plans for the new road. The DOT was not known for designing beautiful, meandering parkways, opting instead for quicker, cheaper, easier straight lines. David teamed up with Cathy and C.A.U.T.I.O.N (which later evolved into the Freedom Park Conservancy) to perfect the plans for beautification and has been involved ever since, helping to give us the prideful park we have today. David and Gene discuss the design of the Freedom Park, the ongoing programming, and art in the park.
And speaking about art in the park, Gene speaks with Patricia Kerlin, responsible for helping to bring significant sculptures to Freedom Park and representing the Atlanta Public Arts Legacy Fund (APAL) which oversaw the maintenance of much of the public art on Freedom Park after the Olympics. Kerlin, an architect, brings her insight and her opinion to some of the park’s greatest pieces, some of its more controversial installments like 54 Columns by Sol LeWitt, and of course the lasting legacy of gateway pieces like “Homage to King” in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and “The Bridge” by Thornton Dial in honor of the contributions of Congressman John Lewis.
We’re also honored to have on our show this month, City of Atlanta Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, George Dusenbury, adding valuable insight and expertise to the discussion about Freedom Park and our city’s park program en masse. Prior to his role with the city, Dusenbury was heavily involved with the Freedom Park Conservancy and Park Pride among others. In addition to overseeing all of Atlanta’s 348 parks, plus the creation of new parks from efforts like the Atlanta BeltLine and others, Dusenbury also takes time to enjoy, riding his bike through Freedom Park to the Capitol several days per week.
So, now that you’ve read a little more about this important effort and amazing park, tune in to hear the full story from our experts. Oh, and get out on the path for a walk, a jog, a bike ride, or just to see some great art in Atlanta’s largest public green space.
Social drinking, instead of drinking to simply survive, has been around for about 8000 years. Atlanta’s place in the beverage business, and in America’s history, is also distinguished, and growing. “Atlanta Drinks” is about the literal drinks that have made our city popular, like Coca-Cola as the prime example, but the show also pours it on with history, people, places and insights about the cocktail culture, coffee, and the communities surrounding these concoctions.
Greg Best, co-founder/owner/celeb bartender at Holeman-Finch Public House, did not start out to be a bartender. In fact, he started with a career in radio before moving to Las Vegas to work at Delmonico and develop a taste and talent for the classic cocktail. Making a comeback to the airwaves in style, Greg joins Gene in the studio this month to talk about his history, the H&F story, the resurgence of the classic cocktail culture, and the huge part Coke plays in it all.
Octane Coffee’s cult-like following not only helped fuel the Westside’s popularity, but also keeps regulars buzzing. For stimulating “coffee talk”, we turn to Tony Riffel, co-founder and owner of Octane and the new Octane PocketBar. Riffel shares his story about leaving corporate America to pursue a dream and how coffee fits into the fabric of Atlanta’s communities.
Literally mixing it up in both business and in the bars is Jesse Altman, co-founder of the Whynatte Latte. This tasty, cold, canned mixer (and more) is a coffee & energy drink that is adding a new look to the beverage industry’s coffee offerings and kickin’ it up the creativity in bars with shots like the “Whippet” and the “Birthday Suit”. We can neither confirm nor deny that Gene and Jesse did shots in the studio…okay, fine, we admit it.
While bartenders and bars are obviously vital ingredients to the beverage community, without the customer they would cease to have importance, and that’s where long-time regulars like Angelo Fuster come into play. Fuster, a spokesperson for three Atlanta Mayors (Jackson, Young, Campbell), has been talking politics, drinking drinks and making friends at Manuel’s Tavern since the mid 70′s. Angelo is not your typical guy, and Manuel’s is certainly not your average bar. Both have a joie de vivre for life, politics, journalism and for being real. Listen in as Angelo shares his stories about this storied and “quintessential” neighborhood bar.
And then there’s Coca-Cola. We all LOVE Coke, and we all know what a large part they’ve played in Atlanta’s business, social and philanthropic prowess. Coca-Cola archivist, Ted Ryan, takes us a little deeper into the vault (no, not the one with the secret recipe) to discuss the brand, the art, and the company’s affect on pop culture. Additionally, since Coke is such a big part of Atlanta, you’ll hear how the refreshing beverage winds it’s way through all of our other guest’s interviews and makes for the perfect mixer on all accounts.