Archive for January, 2008
As previously reported, the Plaza Theatre is not closing.
Of course, we reported that soon after we reported that the Plaza Theatre was closing.
Pssh, details! Who needs ’em? Well, maybe the folks at Fresh Loaf, but certainly not nosy house museum employees eager to support other historic institutions.
Anyway, our source for all things Plaza Theater has been the noble ladybloggers at Pecanne Log. Fortunately, all that’s about to change.
See, they’ve created a blog, and so far, it looks excellent. When you’ve got videos of very small Elvis impersonators, it’s hard to go wrong.
So, what should you do, dear Wren’s Nest readers? Subscribe to their blog! I prefer a feedreader, but if you want to bookmark it or add it to your de.licio.us account, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind. If you’re feeling limber, you can add our blog too while you’re at it.
And although five out of five Wren’s Nest staff members agree that MySpace pages generally hurt our eyes, by all means check out theirs here.
Finally, the dreams of the Wren’s Nest have been answered.
Power too? Um, no.
Everything we ask for? Well, not quite.
But we DO have a theme song! Thanks to the Duck and Herring Co., you’ll be singing about superfly historical figures all day.
In summary–a group of teenagers got together with about 150 beers, a few bottles of liquor and some recreational drugs. They broke into the home and had a party. That white stuff is the residue from a spent fire extinguisher.
This incident also happens to be titled “Lain Shakespeare’s Worst Nightmare.”
Particularly chilling in the Times article is the kid at the end who shows the opposite of remorse.
(That beer pong table totally isn’t regulation size.)
Near the end of the article, one professor makes the point that vandalism like this gives us pause for reflection and inspiration for further celebration. It sure does. Even working in the field, I often wonder–why do we preserve homes of authors? Is it a worthy endeavor? Who cares about the man’s house, isn’t it his works that are important?
The article’s author, Dan Barry, sort of answers those questions by artfully linking the poetry of Robert Frost to the actions and words of the people involved. They’re a reflection of the landscape themselves, and their words echo the poetry of Frost.
Incidentally, this morning I strolled up to the Wren’s Nest to find that someone or something has tried to take the our screens off the windows.
They were strewn about the porch.
Not that the screens were historically accurate in the first place, but we had planned to take them down when we were good and ready, thankyouverymuch.
Related, especially to the Frost business: An Arsonist’s Guide To Writers Homes in New England.
Sometimes nobody comes to the Wren’s Nest.
(Those days are approximately as tranquil as the beginning of Try a Little Tenderness, though usually with less applause.)
Really, the only thing better than sitting around and talking about the good ole days, is when visitors do come to the Wren’s Nest. And sometimes, just sometimes, we get a whole mess of visitors all at once.
Saturday was one such day.
Instead of just one 30 minute session at 1 pm, Akbar told stories pretty much straight through from noon until 2:15. He was off the chain.
We didn’t have enough chairs in the room, and the crowds spilled into the hall and the foyer.
Meanwhile, Nannie gave a tour to a book club. These ladies loved us, and stayed for approximately ever.
Jeri was in the back with some girl scouts on a Marta scavenger hunt.
And once Akbar had finally finished up, he made time for an interview for WABE, our local public radio station and NPR affiliate.
I’ll let you know when he and Nannie are on Atlanta Sounds.
We know you often think to yourself, “Man, I wish I knew what Amelia and Lain were doing at all times”. Sure, you know where we work, where we eat lunch, even the movies we see. But sometimes, just sometimes, that simply isn’t enough.
So, friends/stalkers, here’s what’s on tonight’s plate:
Yep, our beloved chums from the Duck and Herring Co. are not only hosting a radio hour/live podcast, but have invited Lain and me to read. We are feeling very special today, in case you were wondering.
So please, come on by! When else will you have the opportunity to hear seasoned pro Lain groan when he flubs a word, or novice Amelia Trace giggle when she does the same?
Never, that’s when.
Plus – and I don’t want to spread rumors or anything, but I still will happily – there’s been word of a WREN’S NEST SONG to be debuted tonight. I’m practically tingling with excitement!
Every so often a visitor will ask us if there is anywhere to eat in the West End, post-totally awesome Wren’s Nest tour.
It is important to know that they are asking this question earnestly, bracing themselves to hear that there is a complete dearth of dining establishments in this area of Atlanta. Which would be sad.
(Mercenary Amelia Trace eating up.)
The good news is that yes, there are restaurants! More than a couple, even.
(Bossman Lain wearing a cool shirt and eating up.)
The bad news is, it was becoming more and more difficult to respond to this timid question without laughing a little. Also, it kept us on the phone for a while, and you know how we feel about using the phone.
Solution! Allow me to welcome you to the newest page on the website, Places to Eat Around The Wren’s Nest That Not Only Exist, But Are Also Delicious (working title).
There you’ll find our totally biased recommendations of, essentially, where we go to lunch on Fridays. If you have any suggestions to add, don’t hesitate to do so in the comments.
So, who’s up for a tour and a lunch date?
While they were in town to play the Hawks over the weekend, the Portland Trail Blazers took some time to visit the MLK childhood home, as well as other places in the King district.
Pretty sweet. Who knew there were program directors for basketball players? Neat that since he’s a black history buff, that’s just what they end up doing wherever they go.
Incidentally, the Wren’s Nest has the unique opportunity of being a site folks visit specifically for black history and a site that folks won’t visit because we’re racist toward blacks.
Next: in keeping with Atlanta’s history of renaming, rebuilding, and rebranding, the powers that be have taken the liberty of nixing Bishop St. in favor of the far more numerical 17th Street.
At this point I think they’re just trying to confuse Amelia as much as possible.
Speaking of MLK and street name changes, one of the ladies who ran the Wren’s Nest long ago refused to open her mail once her street name changed. What was once Hunter Street became MLK Blvd. She wrote “return to sender” on all her mail with the MLK address.
Does anyone know if Harris Street was named after Joel Chandler Harris? I’m having a hard time digging that one up.
Finally: Governor Perdue wants to turn the old world of Coke into a new state history museum.
Peach Pundit isn’t so sure it’s a good idea, and I’m not sure if the adjunct proposal to turn the DOT building into a parking lot is (a) sweet, sweet irony, (b) poetic justice, or (c) an unsettling omen.
Let me tell you something, folks: snow is not so crazy. But snow in Georgia? Absolutely nutty.
We’re running a skeleton crew here today, thanks to the Bossman’s trip to sunny Phoenix, and frankly, we may be overstaffed.
Saturdays are usually one of our busiest days, but since the general temperament in Atlanta at the moment seems to be “frenzied panic”, I’m not sure house museum visits are high on people’s to-do lists. Sigh.
(Magnolia trees dusted with snow. Neat.)
Luckily, conditions are perfect for hot chocolate and staring out the window, which I’m particularly good at. Plus, it’s sort of fun to think that the way that Atlantans are going berserk at the moment, filled with a combination of giddiness and mild panic, is probably exactly the reaction they had 100 years ago.
I bet Mrs. Harris made a mean hot toddy.
I’ll be updating every so often with more pictures of our increasingly snowy winter (historic house museum) wonderland.
Our lovely reading garden, though today might not be the day to enjoy it for its intended purpose.
The snowy, snowy magnolia trees in back.
We don’t really know what this is, but educated guesses point towards fountainy-type-thingy.
A comparison shot of the magnolia trees in front. Neater!
Right in front of the porch- pretty contrast, no?
Well folks, looks like we may be calling it a day. With zero visitors and questionable driving conditions… well, you snooze, you lose, I guess. Enjoy the snow! Seeya!
Occasionally, my google alerts point me to neat stuff, like old Uncle Remus Comics.
These ran in the funny papers for nearly three decades, from 1945 to 1972.
A full color comic strip was drawn up for the Cheerios Premium Giveaway. According to my friend the internet, these Premiums are kind of a big deal for collectors, but are really just a one-time marketing gimmick from Cheerios long ago.
Here at the Wren’s Nest, we’ve got some copies of the original comics from 1906. Our scanner is being fickle at the moment, however. In the mean time, enjoy!
If you’re into old comics, that is.
In keeping with the questionable reporting practices the Wren’s Nest blog has exhibited lately, here’s an excerpt of a letter I received today:
“I noticed the “orb” on your great-great-great grandfather’s picture on the way home and thought it strange since it wasn’t something that was there when I took the picture.
Then while I was looking over my vacation pictures and trying to blow up the one of the Wren’s Nest, I guess I saw what looks to be a grayish figure in the upper left window? I thought it a bit odd since the window is the only one that is not reflecting and looks flat.”
Perhaps this is why Amelia is afraid to be in the Wren’s Nest by herself.
Anyway, I can’t really see the figure in the window. Can you?
If I knew how to put audio on this blog, I’d let you listen to the mysterious (and flat!) whistling of “Baby Bumble Bee” that some of the ghost hunters caught on tape. Now that’s a little eerie.
Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want a listen.
EDIT, 1/29/08, 1:13 pm—
So, I finally got around to installing the audio software. Assuming it works, here’s the ghost whistling:
You might have to turn up your speakers, but listen for the whistling in the second half. If the audio isn’t working, I’m currently trying to fix it.