Food Crush: Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint

I am always looking for the next  restaurant  that threatens to awaken my taste buds.   A few weeks ago a friend invited me  out to Sweet Georgias Juke Joint located in the heart of  downtown Atlanta-a city filled with a deep culture of good food, people and music.  When I think of “Juke Joint”..my mind harkens back to the early 1900s, a time when folks wore well tailored suits  and sat around sipping sweet tea while enjoying the simple things in life.

Upon entering the restaurant, the first thing I noticed was a  center stage filled with artists performing songs from the 1940s-70s, painted murals depicting the  southern culture, the smell of southern food, and the laughter of  patrons as they danced the night away.

MAIN DINING ROOM

OVERLOOKING DINING ROOM

After taking  in the scenery , I reviewed the menu and ordered the Peach Glazed Salmon with Garlic Potatoes. You can choose to either  have it grilled or blackened. I went with grilled!   I like my salmon to be flaky and tender.  I must say, I enjoyed. Another sweet treat that grab my attention was the mason jars: cold, ice beverages served in mason jars. It is just something different about drinking beverages out of a mason jar.

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I look forward to returning very soon to try their Shrimp & Grits dish.

shrimp&grits

The entire experience made me feel at  home. It  reminded me of my childhood growing up in southern Georgia. It took me back to the moments when I stood in  my grandmother’s kitchen watching her  as she hurried to prepare Sunday dinner for  immediate family and closest friends.  She would always have Aretha Franklin or Tina Turner playing in a distance.

My experience at  Sweet Georgias Juke Joint taught me that amongst the hustle and bustle of life, it is important to slow things down and enjoy the simple  things that it has to offer.  I was pretty  impressed by the music, food and the people that I wanted more.  I reached out to the owners to gain insight on what inspired Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint and this is what they had to say.

Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint is the culmination of a deep history of music, food, drink and socializing in the South. Located in the former Macy’s building, in the heart of downtown Atlanta at the iconic 200 Peachtree address, Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint brings the city a place to relax while enjoying live entertainment and exceptional cuisine. Historically, juke joints originated in the rural outskirts of many southern towns to give African American communities a place to kick back and unwind after a long week of work. Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint offers a dining and musical entertainment experience in downtown Atlanta, representing diverse culture, featuring music across all genres and popular hits throughout American history. An imaginative menu makes Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint a staple in Atlanta’s downtown restaurant scene, and the allure of traditional juke joints is showcased in the restaurant’s design.

The design of Juke Joint is the modern day incarnation of the environment that gave birth to the “raucous and raunchy” music known as “boogie-woogie.” The tadpole and lily-pad inspired design pays homage to the often low-lying wetlands where historic juke joints once stood. The décor includes a nostalgic wall of period photos, historic artifacts, and walnut wood accents and cabinetry. Local artist Stacy Brown designed the 18-foot custom mural which hangs in the main dining room.

What is your signature dish and why that particular dish?

There are so many favorite dishes at the Juke Joint. We have people that come in every week and know what they are ordering before they walk in the door. One of our best sellers and favorites is the Juke Joint Fried Chicken, which comes with two of our signature sides (Juke Joint recommendation: tried the Southern Mac + Cheese and the Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey). Another favorite is the Shrimp & Grits, made with our signature jumbo sautéed shrimp and parmesan cheese grits, topped with tomatoes and crispy Vidalia onions.

What role does Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint play in the culture of Atlanta?

The Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint concept celebrates a time when life was slower and sweeter, when music and food was at the heart of social gatherings. Inspiration for the restaurant came from a centuries-old word, yuka, derived from a West African word that means to make noise. African Americans brought this notion with them to the Old South and created juke houses, house-taverns established for fun and music. Juke Joint strives to capture some of the merriment of those old juke houses and has been created especially as a place for you to sit back, relax, and have some fun.

Through strategic community involvement and charitable giving, Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint prioritizes actively getting involved in order to have a positive impact on the community. Annually, they donate tens of thousands of dollars and time to local programs that focus on social, economic, environmental and educational issues. All of the programs they support instill a sense of hope in those they touch while using creative problem solving to instigate change.

Finally, Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint is devoted to celebrating the music culture of Atlanta. It is a gathering place. A place where people can come and enjoy good food and libations while listening to the smooth, relaxing sounds of a jazz band (almost at all times of the day). The music-centric restaurant also features a wood dance floor, stage for live music, and state-of-the-art video screen for guests’ entertainment. Juke Joint’s spacious private dining room offers guests a VIP view of the stage and live musical performances, and is the perfect location for any type of special event.

If you want to learn more or want to travel  back in time, visit Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint.

Share your story…we’ll love to hear .

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Take Off Your Cool-Satorial Sounds

as i was getting ready at 6:30 this morning,  i felt i needed that extra boost of inspiration.

as i made my way into the restroom i was inspired to open  Youtube & listen to Sartorial Sounds by a group of 7 artist coming together to share their love of all things “creative”.  as i listened to it i found  myself wanting  to  harken back to the 60’s wearing a vintage inspired pencil skirt, fedora style hat and mother of pearls earrings while sitting at a  Juke Joint with friends doing absolutely nothing but enjoying time, space and creativity.

“Sartorial Sounds integrates both music and style, two elements embedded in every culture past and present. We think it’s important to remember that everyone is an artist in their own right. And it’s the life experiences we encounter that provoke what we splash on our own blank canvas.”

Satorial Sounds

Artist included

Jesse Boykins III
Joekenneth Museau
Theo Martins
Joshua Bennett
Melo-X
Mara Hruby
Rinaldy Alvarez

-Street Etiquette

what inspires you? how do you express that creativity?

8 Steps to Self Discovery

have you ever felt lost in the wide space of life? i have. i find myself on a constant search of who i am. i often ask myself who am i? since i have been meditating with inspiration from my vision board life seems to become more clearer. it is easy to go throughout life inspired by someone else’s dreams or perspective of you.  i begun to feel unfulfilled once i realize my life was so predictable:breakfast,work, home, family,etc.  i knew i needed a change and a glimpse of inspiration.

its been over a month and a half and when i look back at my vision board, which is filled with words such as “calm”, “inner vision”,”boldness”, “creativity”…i am starting to become those things. i am starting to create a life filled with peace, joy and understanding.

i believe life is a constant change . we are always evolving into the person we are meant to become. after sitting in the library and flipping through Oprah’s “O” magazine I was inspired by Xorin Balbes, author and designer of “Soul Space“. he mentions that “when you start living in an environment that’s more like you, then others can see more of you” . Have you ever wondered how your environment or space has a direct reflect of your mood and who you are as a person….either from your work,home and social space.

Here are a 8 steps to help recreate your space into the person you are.

1. Assess

First, step back and consider your home like a neutral observer. “The idea is to take an inventory to determine what’s in there that you love, and what’s just taking up space,” Balbes says. Questions to ask include: Which rooms make you feel most comfortable? Is there a room you never use? What’s the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning? When you walk through the door? Are there items in your home that no longer reflect who you are? What have you outgrown? Don’t make a to-do list yet; just note your strongest impressions, and keep an eye out for hidden inspiration. Says Balbes, “Often our deepest, truest style is represented by a single object in our homes—say, a piece of clothing or jewelry, or a picture.”

2. Release

Now it’s time to cull. Balbes suggests the following guidelines for separating what to keep from what to sell, donate to charity, give to friends, recycle, or toss:

Let go of anything that…

Is collecting dust
“Garages, basements, and attics are full of items that should be released,” Balbes says. “Get rid of all that weight and set yourself free.”

Dredges up unpleasant emotions
Even if the item in question is valuable, if its provenance makes you feel crummy, it can’t stay. “If you have a chair that’s pretty but was an inheritance from a horrid old aunt who was always criticizing you,” Balbes says, “let it go. It’s an anchor to the past.” Likewise, don’t keep photos around if you don’t adore the people in them.

Doesn’t work anymore
If it’s damaged beyond repair, outdated enough to be useless, or worn out to the point of shabbiness, give it the heave-ho.

Is uncomfortable
Out with scratchy blankets, chairs that are awkward to sit on, too-tight pants—anything that irritates rather than delights.

Keep anything that…

You love
When evaluating what belongs in your home, Balbes sets the bar high: You must actually love it. And while this kind of emotional connection may seem possible only with things like fine art and keepsakes, he believes that even mundane objects (think spatulas and bath towels) should make you happy when you use them: “Everything you surround yourself with either lifts you up or brings you down.”

3. Cleanse

You’ve decided what will stay and what must go. Now break out the vacuum cleaner, the wood polish, the iron—and care for your home. Open your windows and let in the breeze. Replace lightbulbs. Rotate your mattress. Tend to necessary repairs. At the same time you’re literally cleaning your environment, Balbes says, you also want to clear out any emotional cobwebs. In rooms where you’ve experienced loss or pain, he recommends burning sage or sweetgrass, an energy cleansing technique favored by Native Americans. Balbes refers to this phase as “spring cleaning for the soul.”

4. Dream

You’ve released the past; this next phase is all about the future. Who are you now and who do you want to become? “Let yourself experience new things,” says Balbes. “Go to new restaurants, roam around new neighborhoods—it’s about getting inspired.” You might make a vision board, filling it not with standard-issue photos of mega-mansions but with images that make your spirit soar. Maybe you dream of sailing, or English gardens, or Bali. “You want to go into a very meditative mode of just flipping through magazines and tearing out things you feel a connection with,” Balbes says. “Don’t do it from a place of thinking.”

5. Discover

Now bring those dreams to life by finding the objects that express your true self. Look at catalogs. Browse flea markets. Surf websites like eBay, Craigslist, and Etsy. “I think people get stuck in routines and styles,” Balbes says. “It’s important to open up. Let your imagination lead the way.”

6. Create

Your budget will dictate the scope of your improvements, but even minor changes can make a big difference. You might rearrange the furniture in your living room to make it more inviting for friends to drop by, or move your desk next to a window so it gets more natural light. Want to paint your bedroom sky blue? Hang a chandelier in the bathroom? Now’s the time. Expert opinions don’t matter here; this process, Balbes stresses, is about “you really making your home yours.”

7. Elevate

Now for the finishing touches, or what Balbes calls grace notes. Often we don’t make the effort to add a vase of flowers in our favorite colors, turn on some music, and spritz the air with an appealing scent, yet it takes only a moment—and very little cash—to bring in these uplifting elements.

8. Celebrate

“For some people the soul space process might take years to fully express,” Balbes says. “But if you can even start it, you’re beginning to connect to your true essence.” It’s important to invite people over to share your home’s transformation, he notes, “because when you start living in an environment that’s more like you, then others can see more of you. And hopefully you’re inspiring them to become more of who they are, too.”

How the Civil Rights Movement Influenced Style

as my family and I toured The Kings Center Memorial over the weekend I begun to take note of how style was integrated during such a time when African Americans were fighting to be treated fairly.

Despite the turmoil, people still found a way to express their individual style. From marching in the streets of Alabama to Rosa Parks being finger printed in a tailored fitted skirt, their circumstances didn’t deter their style of dress. Have you ever wondered how such an era for African Americans still finds it way to influence style today.

i,myself like Fedoras and a pencil skirt but I also enjoy street style with rugged jeans and boots.

Source:Huffington Post

Source:Huffington Post

Source:Biography

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

after attending a “Financial Fit” seminar hosted by “Young Black Clergy” & Wells Fargo, I  ventured out with my niece; we made a our way to “Little 5 Points” and on around to Ponce De Leon. I like theses areas of Atlanta because the people are such “free spirits” and “creative”. its a place where people go to connect and heighten their senses.

we also stopped by Paris on Ponce, a antiquey shop I adore because it makes me  feel as if I have stepped back into time. as my niece,Alecia & I walked into this little shoppe….”Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”  was blasting overhead.  i was inspired to put on some leggings,leg warmers and a side pony tail held by a scrunchie.  here are some photos of our little excursion.Paris on Ponce

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How to Wear a Fedora

since i have been a fan of Bruno Mars ,i found myself being more adventurous with styling. The styling possibilities are endless.

Fedoras come in many shapes and colors but it seems that Fedoras for men are more stylish than those for women.  the history of Fedoras date all the way back to the 18th century and was inspired by a play.   recently, women have started incorporating Fedoras in their wardrobe.

i own one Fedora but really didn’t know how to wear it ,but with some research here are some tips I have compiled.

    • Make Sure It Fits:ensure the front brim isn’t too tight nor too loose
    • Have Fun:  try on many different styles until you are confident it is the one for you since face/head shapes vary from person to person
    • Express Your Personality:express your personality by changing the different angles of the Fedora.

Street Etiquette: The Art of Raw(Video)

as i searched for some content to publish this week, i decided to do a Google Search for “Street Etiquette“, 2 creative style bloggers based in NY…

by suprise, HuffingtonPost published an article on their latest project “The Art of Raw”:a collaboration with a luxury denim company combined with a street style photographer from L.A.

I often wondered what made style bloggers successful..I concluded “discovering and sharing your passion”

Source: Huffington Post:Black Voices