Chess & Community: The Coolest Athens Change-Makers You’ve Never Heard Of

Chess & Community

**DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER CONDITIONS, THE CHESS AND COMMUNITY CONFERENCE HAS BEEN POSTPONED. THE NEW DATE WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON**

Story by Rachel Bailey.

Athens Clarke County Police Chief Scott Freeman hit the deck, face down on the floor of the stage in front of hundreds of kids and their parents. Step by step, the kids in the crowd, mostly young black men, hollered instructions: “Put your hands palm-down on the ground!” “Legs straight!” “Feet flexed!” “Now PUSH!” “Push again!” “One…Two…Three!” Following the children’s instructions step by step, the Chief began doing push-ups for the crowd.

Was this a scene from some youth’s benign payback-for-the-police dream in a Black vs. Blue Lives Matter world? Quite the opposite. It was a highlight of 2016’s Chess & Community Conference, with Four Athens director Jim Flannery leading the crowd in coaching Chief Freeman — one painstaking movement at a time — to do push-ups, all part of a demonstration of how easy it is to write computer code. After all, if you can teach a police chief to work those arms, you can teach a computer to run the program you’ve dreamed up.

Chess & Community

With Chess & Community’s 2017 Conference fast approaching (January 7 on the 5th floor of UGA’s Tate Center, with doors at 10 a.m.), My Athens caught up with Executive Director Lemuel LaRoche (better known to some as Life the Griot) for a chat about how the Athens nonprofit is working “to bring this divided community together.”

“Chess & Community is a youth development organization that develops leaders in Athens,” LaRoche says. “This is a youth-led conference.”

Continue reading “Chess & Community: The Coolest Athens Change-Makers You’ve Never Heard Of”

Help Wanted! Seeking Spring Interns

My Athens is growing fast, and we need our team to grow with us! We’re seeking some new contributors for the spring, from video to commercial photography to writers. Check out the descriptions below!

Want to get involved but don’t quite fit within any of the descriptions below? Reach out to us anyway! Who knows — you could be the piece we didn’t even know we were missing. Contact Executive Director Rachel Bailey at Rachel@myathensis.com and tell us about yourself!

Video Intern
Commercial Photography Intern
Graphic Design
Continue reading “Help Wanted! Seeking Spring Interns”

Athens Eats: The Empty Bowls Project Event!

Words by Sam Stephens. Photos by Paige French.

empty-bowls

A friend of mine has always had these beautiful handmade bowls, mugs, and plates. They were simple, but you could feel their weight. They felt like someone put their heart into the grooves and divots. None were perfect, but they made every meal feel warmer, more filling. They made dinner more of an experience.

The Empty Bowls Project, a movement created by potters with the intention of eliminating hunger, aims to share that feeling by hosting events that marry the skill of potters with local Athens chefs and farmers to provide attendees a beautiful handmade bowl with a fantastic meal inside. More importantly, they aim to raise as much money as possible for organizations fighting to end hunger and support the rights of women, minority groups, refugees, undocumented immigrants, protestors and the environment. 

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On January 16th, Martin Luther King Day and the week of Inauguration, there’s going to be a regional Empty Bowls event at The Old Pal. All proceeds will benefit the Athens Immigrant Rights Coalition and the American Civil Liberties Union. They’re still accepting bowl donations from potters, provided that they are shipped to Athens by January 10th.

If you’re interested in more information, or you’d like to donate a bowl, please contact Erin at erin@theseedandplate.com! More information and links to purchase tickets are coming soon.

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Athens Ate 2016

This is exactly what it looks like: awesome pictures of food we’ve written about this year. If something tickles your fancy, check out the wonderful photographers who took these stellar pictures through the articles they’re sourced from… and maybe grab some dinner after you’ve been lured into our delicious food trap!

How could you not love this table full of delicious from our article "No-Wait Breakfast Spots" in March, 2016.
How could you not love this table full of delicious from our article “No-Wait Breakfast Spots” in March, 2016.
Southern Brewing Company Wild Azalea
Southern Brewing Company has been joining the ranks of the incredible local breweries in Athens and we can’t get enough of them.  (Southern Brewing Company Redefines “Local” Beer)
The folks over at Panadería Tacuari have a beautiful selection!
The folks over at Panadería Tacuari have a beautiful selection! (From: Panderia Tacuari)
Panadería Tacuari's alfajores cannot be missed.
Panadería Tacuari’s alfajores cannot be missed. (From: Panderia Tacuari)
home.made expanded this year and continues to make us wish our stomaches were at least three times bigger.
home.made expanded this year and continues to make us wish our stomaches were at least three times bigger. (From: home.made from Scratch is Growing)
home.made... Brownies... Need I say more? It doesn't get much more perfect than these.
home.made… Brownies… Need I say more? It doesn’t get much more perfect than these. (From: home.made from Scratch is Growing)
From March's blog, "A Tale of Two Roasters," the coffee beans pictured have already been ground up, sipped down, and done their job or brightening many Athenian mornings.
From March’s blog, “A Tale of Two Roasters,” the coffee beans pictured have already been ground up, sipped down, and done their job of brightening many Athenian mornings.
Will we ever recover from the carrots of Collective Harvest? Root vegetables rock, y'all.
Will we ever recover from the carrots of Collective Harvest? Root vegetables rock, y’all. (From: Collective Harvest)
This year Zombie Donuts made their mark on Athens! We have tighter belts and bigger smiles thanks to their plentiful and diverse selection of donuts.
This year Zombie Donuts made their mark on Athens! We have tighter belts and bigger smiles thanks to their plentiful and diverse selection of donuts. (From: Zombie Coffee and Donuts)
The most beautiful little kisses we've ever seen, Sweet Beijos is a new favorite for us at My Athens.
The most beautiful little kisses we’ve ever seen, Sweet Beijos is a new favorite for us at My Athens. (From: Sweet Beijos Treats)
Vibrant and vegetarian, our article on "Vegetarian Meals and Beer Combos" took a fresh look at some killer Athens restaurants and their best veggie offerings.
Vibrant and vegetarian, our article on “Vegetarian Meals and Beer Combos” took a fresh look at some killer Athens restaurants and their best veggie offerings.
Seriously, "Vegetarian Meals and Beer Combos" also reminded us that Creature Comforts' Athena is not only vegetarian, but probiotic. It's practically a health drink!
Seriously, “Vegetarian Meals and Beer Combos” also reminded us that Creature Comforts’ Athena is not only vegetarian, but probiotic. It’s practically a health drink!
Oh, Athens Farmers Market... you're the weekly apple of our eye. You may be over, but you'll come back in spring. We can't wait!
Oh, Athens Farmers Market… you’re the weekly apple of our eye. You may be over, but you’ll come back in spring. We can’t wait! (From: A Farmers Market Friend Date)
Last but not least, Donna Chang's opened up in Five Points this fall, and we were not disappointed! Great people, great atmosphere, and amazing food! Honestly, what more could you ask for?
Last but not least, Donna Chang’s opened up in Five Points this fall, and we were not disappointed! Great people, great atmosphere, and amazing food! Honestly, what more could you ask for? (From: Donna Chang’s)

 

Athens Style: Grinning Mule

Editor’s Note: As the holidays are fast approaching, the crew over here at My Athens would like to remind you of some of the awesome boutiques around town where you can #shoplocal for everyone on your Christmas list! One of our favorite picks is men’s clothing store, Grinning Mule located at 1738 S. Lumpkin St. Check out our story on the shop from this past spring and get to shopping!

Words & Photos by Steven Patterson.

One of the most charming and magnetic characteristics of Athens is the presence of locally owned, one of a kind clothing stores. Recently, Grinning Mule Clothing Company has jumped into the mix of clothing stores in Athens. Located at 1738 South Lumpkin Street near Five Points, Grinning Mule offers high quality men’s clothing with a exceptional twist. Owned and created by Wade Moore, Grinning Mule brings its own brand of clothing designed by Moore to Athens as well as a variety of other brands such as Zenfari, Cooper Jones, True Grit, Age of Wisdom, and other high quality clothing lines. Continue reading “Athens Style: Grinning Mule”

Moonflower Designs

Editor’s Note: Remember a time when it wasn’t gloomy and rainy and horrid outside? This terrible weather is making us dream of spring flowers and warm afternoons. What a better way to brighten up your day than reading this great archive piece about Moonflower Designs, and bask in the beauty of their wonderful floral arrangements.

Words by Eva Claire Schwartz & Catherine Dolaher. Photos courtesy of Moonflower Designs.

We had the chance to sit down and speak with Mandy O’Shea of Moonflower Designs about her passion for the art of floral arrangements and why she has chosen to make her art right here in Athens.

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Continue reading “Moonflower Designs”

Athens Eats: Specialty Cakes

Cake Art

Editor’s Note: It’s finally time to take a crack at making your holiday desserts, or sneak off to the store for one. As we all know, cakes are fundamental in all celebrations, and we at My Athens love remembering how much talent is behind Athens’ locally made treats. This story from this past spring is a great place to start taking notes before family starts knocking on your door!

Words and Photos by Christy Rogers.

Before you bite into a giant slab of cake, take a minute to stop salivating and pay to its presentation. From pies topped with latticework to artful swirls of frosting, pastry perhaps has the strongest tradition of combining visual art with sugar crash-inducing deliciousness. And with the use of natural ingredients, seasonal garnishes and an eye for beauty, Athens bakers are redefining what it means to make a specialty cake. 

Cake Art
(Photo/ Austin Steele)

One of the major players in Athens’ specialty cake game is 5 & 10’s Mike Sutton. Starting as a busboy for the restaurant in college, Sutton moved his way into the kitchen, wholeheartedly embracing the chaotic world of pastries in relation with the restaurant’s seasonal menu. Continue reading “Athens Eats: Specialty Cakes”

Community Spotlight: Pageman Barbershop

PAGEMAN

Editor’s Note: With a slew of holiday parties coming your way (and the subsequent stress the holidays bring along) there’s not a better time to treat your self to a new cut in a relaxing atmosphere. If that peaks your interest, this archive piece by Casey Sykes explores the one of a kind experience that is Pageman and its resident barber, Jamie Wester.

Words and Photos by Casey Sykes.

It’s common knowledge that most women enjoy going to a salon. They love being put at ease, getting pampered, and leaving refreshed. But why are these things stereotyped as exclusively feminine qualities? Don’t men also enjoy getting cleaned up and given a fresh cut by a person who pays attention to detail? Shouldn’t there be a place for a man to be taken care of while at the same time be taken seriously? This is precisely the idea behind PAGEMAN, an Athens barber shop exclusively for men.
PAGEMAN

Continue reading “Community Spotlight: Pageman Barbershop”