Archive for the ‘Metro Atlanta Information’ Category


High Museum: Salvador Dali Exhibit

August 26, 2010
Leslie Ransom, Buckhead Office, REALTOR ®

Leslie Ransom, Buckhead Office, REALTOR ®

Recently while driving through Midtown Atlanta on Peachtree Street, I noticed a very large banner hanging from The High Museum announcing an upcoming exhibit of Salvador Dali’s late works. As a teenager I attended a wonderful exhibition of Dalí’s jewelry creations in the Birmingham Museum of Art, and was captivated by his eccentric and remarkable art. My husband’s birthday was coming soon and I had been deliberating about something fun and different to give him for his birthday, Dalí and Dinner with friends! Perfect!!

The High is to be the sole venue for the first exhibition to focus on Dalí’s art after 1940. The exhibition, featuring more than 100 works including 40 paintings and a related group of drawings, prints and other Dalí ephemera, explores the artist’s enduring fascination with science, optical effects and illusionism, and his surprising connections to artists of the 1960s and 1970s such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Willem de Kooning.  Many of Dali’s pieces during this time period were ruminations on his interest in Christianity, and several of the pieces depict events from varying periods in Biblical and Christian history including the crucifixion of Jesus, the assumption of Mary, and the spiritual visions of various saints. However, true to Dali’s eccentric nature and his surrealist roots, even his depictions of these once traditional subjects for the art world are filtered through his surrealist lens and provide a fresh look on the subject. Dali mixed his depictions of Christian themes with ideas and advancements in the realms of science and physics, subjects he was also increasingly fascinated by. As a result, many of the pieces he created during this time period he labeled as “nuclear mysticism” and they are truly as unique as this description suggests. These paintings are magnificent in their scope, beautiful in their compositions, and fantastic to be able to see in person, where one can truly be impressed with the sheer size of some of his canvases and, by extension, the size of his artistic vision.

Salvador Dalí’ (1904-1989) born in Figures, Spain, is one of the most famous and controversial artists of the 20th century. He was prolific for more than 60 years, creating over 1,200 oil paintings, countless drawings, sculptures, jewelry, theatre and fashion designs, book illustrations and numerous writings.

This exhibit is a treat not to be missed. Take a friend and be sure to get the audio tour also. After seeing the Dalí’ exhibit we had a delicious dinner at Parish in Inman Park with our friends and lots of interesting discussion after seeing these very eccentric and thought provoking works!

My friend bought this replica of one of his jewelry pieces and I bought a book about Dalí.

Dalí: The Late Work is currently on display through January 9, 2011. Please visit for ticket prices and additional information.



Sustainable Homes No Longer Seen As Just A Fad

August 25, 2010

Carson Matthews, Buckhead Office, REALTOR®

While Atlanta’s housing market remains stuck in low gear, the trend toward certified green or “sustainable” homes has been growing.

More builders are adopting sustainable practices and more buyers are weighing the economic benefit of paying a little extra up front for a house featuring environmentally sound design, construction standards and materials.

“Even if the economy had not gone sour, people are looking at sustainable practices and materials, not just for housing, but for the entire neighborhood,” said Sibet Freides, president of Idea Associates Inc., a marketing and consulting firm with a real estate development focus. Idea Associates clients include Reynolds Signature Communities, The Settings Development Companies LLC and Urban Land Institute.

“You might have some builders who have been in the industry for a long time who are thinking this is a passing fad, but people have bought into the concept of sustainability,” Freides said. “Younger buyers have now come to expect it and I don’t think the industry, as a whole, thinks it’s a fad anymore.”

According to a report by Carson Matthews, a Realtor with Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, in the first quarter of 2010, green homes comprised 8.4 percent of the new homes on the market, which compares consistently with the 2009 total of 8.5 percent,

Matthews is a certified EcoBroker and the author of a blog,, which delivers news about green residential building in Atlanta.

In April, Matthews launched the Green MLS Toolkit, a resource that can be used by any Multiple Listing Service to track green activity.

In the first three months of 2010, Matthews reported that the median selling price of a certified green home was $494,000, which is 133.5 percent higher than a conventional new construction home; however, the report shows green homes are fetching more at closing.

“In the first quarter, green houses sold at 98 percent of list, whereas standard new construction homes sold at 92.5 percent,” Matthews said. “In the custom home market, that percentage is much higher.”

“Green building is here to stay,” said Les Stumpff, president of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association (GAHBA) and regional manager for Texas-based Standard Renewable Energy, which provides energy audits for homeowners, businesses and government entities.

“There is a growing awareness of how much energy and water and, therefore, money can be saved by owning a home built to some level of green-building standards,” Stumpff said.

Other benefits, such as better indoor air quality and overall comfort, will increasingly propel demand for green homes.

“The housing recession has made it more difficult to adopt building standards that increase new home prices, but builders who were building green in good times will continue to build green as housing starts return,” Stumpff said.

Although they cost a little more, the formula for building green houses is not very complicated, said Matt Hoots, founder and CEO of The Hoots Group Inc., a full-service green contractor, and co-chair of the GAHBA Green Building Council.

Together with the GAHBA, Hoots helped develop the EarthCraft House residential green-building program in partnership with Southface Energy Institute, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting environmentally sustainable homes.

“You start with a good design,” Hoots said. “You can save 30 [percent] to 40 percent in operating costs right there.”

Every aspect of the design is critical, from sighting the house on the lot to putting windows in the best location to ease the load on the HVAC system and limit the cost of blinds.

“If you only build to the standard energy-efficiency code, you’re almost building an EarthCraft-certified house,” Hoots said. “Unfortunately, a lot of builders build around the code or to barely meet code.”

As materials, utility and appliance manufacturers jump on the sustainable bandwagon, the expense gap between building green and building traditional housing is diminishing — resulting in more reasonable pricing for higher- performing homes, experts say.

Currently, Freides’ clients are building two new showcase green homes, one in The Settings of West Point Lake near LaGrange, and one at Achasta, a golf community near Dahlonega. Both houses are being built by Johnna Barrett of SUSTAIN house, the residential division of Atlanta-based architecture and interior design firm Barrett Design Inc.

“We started with a budget and we’re learning that it doesn’t have to cost that much more to build green,” Freides said.

Among other products, the green houses incorporate a radiant barrier sheathing that reportedly reduces monthly air conditioning bills by 17 percent, green bedding products, and tile and wood components made from recycled materials.

“A lot of this stuff is common sense and people need to be educated about the products and building practices that are available,” Freides said.
Read more: Sustainable homes no longer seen as just a fad – Atlanta Business Chronicle


Atlanta Best Bet: What’s going on in Atlanta this weekend

August 19, 2010

Folk Fest 2010

Friday, Aug 20 5:00p to 10:00p
at North Atlanta Trade Center, Norcross, GA

The 17th Annual Folk Fest is The World’s Greatest Folk Art Show and Sale featuring the best in Self-Taught Art, Southern Folk Pottery, Outsider Art and Antique and Anonymous Folk Art. 100 Galleries from all across the country fill the giant 85,000 square foot facility at the North Atlanta Trade Center.

City of Kennesaw’s Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival

Friday, Aug 20 5:00p to 11:00p

The event features a non-sanctioned Backyard BBQ, Anything Butt & Peach Dessert Contest, as well as a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned Professional Contest, which is recognized as a Georgia State Championship Barbeque Cookoff. Over $14,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to contest winners.


BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival

Saturday, Aug 21 4:00p to 10:00p
at Harmony Park, Decatur, GA

Live music, BBQ and special children’s area.

Price: 21 and over $10, 11 to 20: $5, under 10 free
Age Suitability: All Ages

Unbeatable value: Bank-owned Townhomes in Buckhead (Charles Gerrick and Debbie Pille)

August 5, 2010

 Just reduced! You can now own at Brownstones at Honour for 50% the orginal listing price!

 A luxury estate home development of 14 gated townhomes located in a signature Buckhead location

Remaining homes at Brownstones at Honour are now bank owned, offering incredible pricing, reduced $500,000+ from original prices, with the full support of the original builder.

Brownstones at Honour ~ Living Room

Brownstones at Honour ~ Living Room

Beautifully crafted all brick exteriors, built by the award winning team from Brunning & Stang, each home features 3 bedroom and 3 ½ baths in a three level configuration. 

The community has a private HOA and has neighbor participation.  Your dues will cover maintenance of all surrounding grounds and townhome exteriors. Private trash service, termite bonds and all common area taxes are also included. 

Brownstones at Honour Fountain

Brownstones at Honour Fountain

These magnificently appointed homes offer everything you would expect and much, much more.

  • State of the art kitchens with all Viking appliance packages
  • Butler’s pantry with sinks and wine cooler
  • Spacious open floor plans, 3,400-3,900 square feet with 23-26 foot widths
  • Ten foot ceilings on all three levels
  • Coffered ceilings and fireplaces in most living rooms
  • Elevators servicing all floors
  • Master suites with sitting areas
  • Pre-wired for multi-sourced sound system
  • Pre-wired family room for flat screen television
  • Security system with three control panels
  • Spacious porches with both covered and uncovered living space
  • Relaxing landscaped courtyard with cascading water fountain
  • 2 car garages with ample storage and parking


Brownstones at Honour ~ Kitchen

Brownstones at Honour ~ Kitchen

For more information on these Buckhead townhomes for sale that are bank owned, please contact sales associates at Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty:  

Charles Gerrick, REALTOR

Charles Gerrick, Founding Member

Charles Gerrick

Debbie Pille, Founding Partner

Debbie Pille




Sunday Sneak Peek: Best Crab Cakes in Atlanta

July 12, 2010

Each week we survey the Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s agents and staff to find out their favorite picks for restaurants, local hangout’s and such.  This week we wanted to know where to get our hands on some sumptuous crab cakes.  According to the 1930’s Crosby Gaige’s New York World’s Fair Cookbook  they are called “Baltimore crab cakes,” suggesting they have long been known in the South. So, if they are a part of the Southern soul, where is the best place here in the Southern capital to eat them?

The most popular choice: Houston’s according to founder and CEO Jenny Pruitt, Houston’s and  Bacchanalia are neck in neck with their seafood creation of crab cakes. Kevin McBride, Margaret Rodbell and Sydna Worthington all agree Houston’s tops the list.

What about a little lesser known spot?  Our newest agent a self-proclaimed “seafood snob”, Jim Glover, is enthusiastic about Amuse Restaurant and Lounge |   560 Dutch Valley Road, Atlanta GA  |   404-888-1890

Jay Bailey, a native Atlantean, loves Cafe Lily: 308 W. Ponce de Leon Ave.  Decatur, GA   404-371-9119

Rather give the culinary bites of heaven a try yourself?  The Atlanta Fish Market was generous enough to share their recipe:

Atlanta Fish Market Crab Cakes Recipe

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons white pepper
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons dry mustard
4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
1 1/3 cups mayonnaise
2 cups soft, white bread crumbs
4 eggs
4 pounds jumbo lump crabmeat, picked clean of all shells, see *Cook’s Note
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 lemon wedges, for serving
Tartar sauce, for serving, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine cayenne, white pepper, salt, dry mustard, Worcestershire, lemon juice, seafood seasoning, mayonnaise, bread crumbs, and eggs in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Place crabmeat in another large bowl and gently fold egg mixture into crabmeat, being careful not to break up large crab pieces. Shape into 4 crab cakes.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the crab cakes, in batches if necessary, and cook until lightly browned, approximately 1 minute on each side. Transfer crab cakes to a sheet pan (or place skillet in oven if oven-safe) and finish cooking the crab cakes in the oven until heated through. Serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce, if desired.

*Cook’s Note: If removing fresh cooked crabmeat from shells, be careful not to break large crabmeat nuggets


2010 AJC Peachtree Road Race, Sunday July 4th (Carson Matthews)

June 23, 2010
Carson Matthews, Buckhead Office, REALTOR®

Carson Matthews, Buckhead Office, REALTOR®

Submitted by Carson Matthews. Extracted from The Buckhead Blog

Every 4th of July, Peachtree Road goes from being the busiest traffic street in Atlanta to main stage for the AJC Peachtree Road Race.  From Brookhaven to Buckhead to Downtown Atlanta fans will line up to cheer on their favorite racer, mom, dad, sister brother as they tackle the 6.2 mile run.  This is the largest running event in the US with 55,000 participants and will be watched by over 150,000 spectators lining Peachtree Road. 

As the runners are getting started, I usually take the boys to grab a quick breakfast and then head down to our favorite spot at the corner of Peachtree Road and Peachtree Battle Avenue.  It’s a nice shady spot where there is plenty of room to watch the race and let the kids run around. 

The first year we went to watch Mom run, our son was probably 3 years old and I guess we didn’t do a very good job of preparing him for what would happen when Mommy ran by.  Well he got really upset when she didn’t stop for more than a hug and even more so that he couldn’t run with her.  That moment a girl dressed as a fairy stepped in and saved the day.  It was literally a magic moment where she took away his sadness and made him so happy that he had just seen his mom running to win the race.  And that was it; if Mommy was going to try and win the race she couldn’t carry him along with her.  So we jumped in the car and headed to the finish line to see if she got a medal.  Well, not exactly…  This is the other trick to the Peachtree is finding a spot to pick up your runner.  The race ends in Piedmont Park and if you live on the west side of Peachtree Road, it’s a little tricky to get over there with children in tow.  My advice is to jump on Google Maps and find a meeting spot, as long as they don’t mind running or walking a little more after the race is over.  Another idea is taking Marta.  Whether you live north, south, east or west of Peachtree, Marta will get you there.  If you leave your car near the start line, you can take Marta back to either the Brookhaven or Lenox stations which will leave you with only a quick walk back to the start area.

After the race we head home and get ready for the 4th of July Parade and Funfest in Chastain Park.  This is the 3rd annual Parade and something the kids love being a part of.  You can read more about that at the

Here are some important times to know that I picked up in the Peachtree Road Race Magazine:
5:30 am MARTA begins carrying runners to the starting area 6:30 am Runners begin assembling into start groups 6:45 am Start of the Shepherd Center Wheelchair Division 7:04 am First Wheelchair athlete finishes at Piedmont Park 7:30 am Start of the AJC Peachtree Road Race 7:57 am First runner crosses the finish line (The fastest finish time ever was 27:04 in 1996 by Joseph Kimani) 8:30 am Yacht Rock Revue performs on the awards stage 9:05 am Last runner crosses the start line in Buckhead to begin the race 9:30 am Awards ceremony for the race winners begins
You can learn more about the race at


Sunday Sneak Peek: Best neighborhood farmer’s market

June 14, 2010

Welcome to our new weekly blog feature: Sunday Sneak Peek!   Each Sunday we will feature a “Best of Atlanta”-where will explore some well-known and lesser known gems that make our home in Atlanta such a fine city to live in!

When surveying the Atlanta Fine Homes team on the best neighborhood farmer’s market,   Margaret Rodbell, Mike Bugg, Sandra Carey and Jenny Pruitt all raved about the:

Peachtree Road Farmers Market at Cathedral of St. Phillips
2744 Peachtree Road, NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
April 10, 2010- December 18, 2010
April – August: 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Sept. – December: 9 am to 12:30 pm

With a vendor list eight pages long, you are sure to find something sweet, something organic, something fresh and something even for your furry friend here!  Plenty of parking!

Peggy Hibbert , a native Atlantean and agent in the Buckhead office,  had no problem identifying her favorite: “The farmer’s market in Virginia Highland/Morningside is FABULOUS!  It’s been going for a long time, so there are a lot of participants with great quality and diversity of choice.  Of course, the produce is amazing; there is also organic meat, flowers, handmade items, i.e., soap and bath salts, cooking classes, etc.  The restaurant adjacent to the market, Rosebud uses the produce in their menu and when you’re finished browsing the market, you can cross the street to Alon’s, the best French bakery in town and get a cinnamon twist and great coffee.   Just one more reason why people love living in VaHighland/Morningside.”

Adrian Smith loves to shop locally and enjoys the many options that Atlanta offers to buy organically.    She  highly recommends The Piedmont Park Green Market. “They always have live music playing, a wide variety of veggies, cheeses, meats, some dairy products and even doggie treats! There are tons of dogs around (all on leashes of course). They also have handmade jewelry and other custom crafts, all being local! There are even live cooking demonstrations, as well as coffee and delicious morning treats like danishes and such to munch on while you’re shopping. The farmer’s have mostly been the same ones selling there for years. It’s nice to feel like you have a relationship with the people who are growing your food. Then, you can take a walk through Piedmont Park once you’re done shopping. Who doesn’t love that? I don’t think you have to be certified organic to sell food at this market, which is nice because there are so many wonderful farmers that don’t have the money to go through the certification process, but practice growing everything naturally and most of them would be glad for you to come out to the farm and see for yourself.”

For a listing of all Georgia Farmer’s markets check out this site.

Which Farmer’s Market do you love?   Let us know!