Skate Park of Athens is Breaking Rocks, and We Need Your Help!

Words and Photos: Jeremy Olson and Alexa Rivera

Edited: Nina K. Guzman

Skate Park of Athens has been the stomping grounds for those who prefer to glide over the pavement or show off newly learned stunts along with their newly formed bruises. It has become the bedrock of the close knit skateboarding community open to Athenians and visitors alike. Initially started as a grassroots movement to create a safe and inviting park, has grown into an Athens staple. Over the years,  local business owners, community members along with Tony Hawk grants, SPLOST, and Athens Clarke County Leisure Services, the park has evolved into an iconic design—a world renowned park that is not duplicated anywhere else. These plans always included a street course however, and this is where you step in.

Corwin Weik, Jeff Hannan, and Alex Blankenship are leading this project, and they want the input of the community. Branding ideas, logo ideas, and all other ideas are welcome in this ongoing development so that this project has your voice. The rocks that are being broken right now as you read this are for the development of a street course. This addition is to allow skateboarders of all skill levels to develop and master their talents. The park already has a welcoming environment, but to stress a specific characteristic of the Skate Park of Athens, the healthy competition creatively inspires all to be the best that they can. This park has produced signed skateboarders in the past, some of whom consider this park to be a huge factor in those achievements. This addition for the park is to allow those who are just starting off a flat surface that will be a great jumping off point. The possibilities of this safe environment away from public roads can be the location where someone learns their first Ollie or kick flip. This full circle mentality is what the culture encompasses at the park and we hope this is where the cycle of continued great talent grows. The street course will also add new obstacles through the creation of urban style structures. These additions will push everyone to conquer a new environment and express themselves through their talents. We want to see this community grow and foster more friendships in the pursuit of excellent skateboarding.

To accomplish this, the Skate Park needs  donations to fulfill our promise to grow our welcoming community. The goal is to raise $80,000 dollars for construction and renovations so that the immediate ongoing renovations are fulfilled to their highest ability. This is not a park just for the individuals who are running this program, but for every Athenian, every Georgian, and every person who comes across this park who wants a quality skating experience. Everyone can be themselves here, emotions are let loose and friendships are made.

Donate to help support this park and create a loving environment that we can all say we had a hand in building. By donating, you will help that new eight-year-old skateboarder to have a safe place to begin their passion alongside the avid skateboarder to push others and themselves to new levels of skill. Your donation will help broaden the skating experience at the Skate Park of Athens.

To donate stop by their Go Fund Me page

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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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”

Fire Up the Hydrants

Words by Nina Guzman    Video by John Roche   Feature Photo by Joshua Jones

Last month you might have noticed something different in the Athens downtown area. Small murals popping up in the most unexpected of places; fire hydrants! No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. That is a bear drawn with playful precision on a fire hydrant. To commemorate 80 years of clean drinking water in Athens, fire hydrants all over downtown have been turned into fun (and useful) art pieces. After a blind evaluation process, 20 artists with varying degrees of skill were chosen by a panel of judges representing the Athens Area Arts Council (including yours truly), ACC Fire and Emergency Services, ACC Public Utilities Department and the Athens Downtown Development Authority. What a fun way to bridge water conservation and art.

Inspired by this wonderful mix of water conservation awareness and art, John Roche created a video showing off the newly designed hydrants.

 

Visit the Fire Up the Hydrants to learn more more and to vote for you favorite hydrant!  Voting ends in February 2017 and winners will be announced March 2017.

Athens Eats: Franchises that Make a Difference

Editor’s Note: This rerun from last year is a perfect one for the week after Thanksgiving! We have a lot of fantastic businesses in this town, local and otherwise, that are helping our community. Let’s give them some love. 

Athens thrives as a town known for having strong local roots. While our local business owners are always looking for ways to team up, get involved and benefit others, a number of small franchises are also giving back to the community. Dane Henderson of FIVE and Whit Richardson of Taziki’s Mediterannean Cafe have sought opportunities serving nonprofit organizations in the community with food, funds and even some fun.

five Continue reading “Athens Eats: Franchises that Make a Difference”

Let’s Give Thanks: Part 2

Words by: Nina Guzman

Here in My Athen, we have a lot to be thankful for, which brings us to part 2 of our Thankfulness series. We hope this post finds you safe and surrounded by the people you love.

 

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Cathy Marszalik – Photographer/Contributor

I’m thankful for the The Classic City that I’ve called home for the past 7 years. Between its kind residents, creative vibes, and outstanding food, I’ve truly found a place where I belong, and a place that has helped me become the artistic, adventurous and happy person I always hoped I’d become. Thank you so much for many years of twinkling winters, invaluable lessons, and beautiful friendships… Athens, I love you.

 

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Kelsey Smith – Graphic Design Intern

I am so thankful for my little family in Athens & the little life we share together. They have seen me through so much change over the last year. Doing life wouldn’t be half as meaningful if I didn’t get come home to their love every night.

 

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Sam Stephens – Food Editor

The day before Thanksgiving will be the first anniversary of getting this beautiful girl! Rosa, my 3-ish year old pit bull, is the only reason that I’m as sane as I am. I’m so thankful to have such an incredible animal as a companion. Dogs are the most loving creatures; I’m blessed to have been chosen by the best one.

 

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Austin Steele – Photographer

I’m thankful for the season of fall. Yeah, I know everything is dying and it’s getting colder, but it’s the time of year when we can come together with our friends and families to break some bread and (preferably) drink some beer. Cheers!

 

Let’s Give Thanks

Words: Nina Guzman

It’s that time of year again. Time to visit family, stuff our faces with fattening/delicious food, and watch the parade on TV. As it starts to get chillier outside (and even chillier in our terribly ventilated houses) we keep ourselves warm with thoughts of thanks. Thanks for free wifi in our favorite coffee shops, for cute puppies and gas station ramen. We are thankful for you; our readers, sponsors and friends that support us, read our posts and attend our events.

This week we will be rolling out  thoughts of thanks from our contributors and editors. We hope this post finds you in good health and good company.

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Mobley Brandenburg – Contributor

I’m thankful for the simple scenes that make you stop in you tracks. We can all use more time to reconnect and soak in the moment.

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Courtney Blackwell – Style and Communications Intern

This year I am thankful for the many blessings I have achieved through the year of 2016. An internship I love, clarity in the direction I want to go in career wise, and the opportunity to celebrate another Thanksgiving with those I love.

Kayla Renie – Blog Photo Director

I’m a big believer in loving the little things in life. There’s so much I’m thankful for, but I’m particularly fond of my cat and all my little plants. Having a sweet pet to come home to and inheriting my mom’s green thumb makes life pretty great.

 

Jason Clarke – Contributor

I am thankful, thankful for my five awesome cats and the love of my life, who cleans their litter box when I don’t want to…so a lot of the time.

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Nina Karina – Managing Editor

Here is a package my father sent me a few months ago. Every corner of this box is marked with positive affirmations and loving messages. It wasn’t my birthday and there weren’t any holidays going on. I keep this package in a prominent place in my living room to remind myself that I am not alone, that I am loved. I am thankful to have such wonderful people on my side.

 

 

Athens Style: Brittani Bumb and Untitled Thoughts

Words By Jose Peña. Photos provided by Brittani Bumb.

Brittani Bumb, the woman behind the brand Untitled Thoughts, is a high-spirited, eco-friendly fashion phenomenon. Inspired from having to wear school uniforms back in bayou bountiful Louisiana, Bumb began and expanded a brand that exudes clean looks with a “green thumb” state of mind. Her desire to pursue fashion culminated primarily from two things: her love and preservation for nature and (limitation as a source of creativity) the minimal amount of self-expression bestowed upon her community.

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Brittani Bumb working backstage at La Vie en Rose Fashion Show at the 40 Watt this past October. Photo by Jason Machen.

Bumb began sewing using her great-grandmother’s cast-iron modeled sewing machine and pulled fabrics from her attic, closet, basement—really anywhere she could find them. The idea of keeping a low carbon footprint and not contributing to the negative environmental impact the fashion industry can create with its manufacturing really spoke to her. Bumb also implements her designs with few resources, believing that “more limitation sparks more creativity.” She found it refreshing to come up with ideas for designs without the luxury of having an extraordinary amount of supplies—it allows for the mind to really get creative and think outside of the box.

After working with a mannequin from Joanne’s for five years before it fell apart, Bumb realized she had to amp up her designing experience. She relocated to Georgia for her mother’s company and attended Savannah College of Art and Design after a hurricane tragically destroyed her home. While in college, Bumb visited Athens, Georgia from time to time and attended craft fairs held by local vendors like Indie South and Community. Intrigued, Brittani reached out to some of the vendors and was invited to sell some of her garments in Indie South’s Springtacular and received other invitations to work more craft fairs.

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Brittani Bumb working backstage at La Vie en Rose Fashion Show at the 40 Watt this past October. Photo by Jason Machen.

A friend of Brittani’s told her about an internship posting for Community, a local boutique that advocates sustainability, while working in one of the fairs. The internship was seeking to fill a position for a sewing technician which caught Bumb’s attention, on top of the fact that they sold curated vintage fashion. She sought out to learn more about the business paying no regards to the fact that she wasn’t a local. Sanni Baumgärtner, the owner, ended up contacting Bumb requesting her to present some of her work. Impressed by what was presented to her, Baumgärtner praised her sewing skills and ended up allowing her to work on custom orders for customers. The brand Untitled Thoughts began to bloom as she progressed in her work and people started buying more and more of her collection. The success and positive reaction through her customers ultimately led to Bumb’s official move to Athens.

Today, Bumb continues to sell her brand in local boutiques and works with many organizations to bring an emphasis on sustainable fashion and how easy it can be to obtain. Bumb confesses that she does not necessarily want to become some hot-shot, haute couture designer, but instead wants to share her skills with a goal of bringing a community together through fashion. Maybe aiding the less fortunate to make their own clothes with old fabrics or to teach people how to alter articles of clothing into new, individual pieces. Without a doubt, Bumb’s strong-willed dedication to respect nature (and to look good while doing so), is truly admirable.

Make sure to check out Brittani Bumb on Instagram and at her website then see her collections for yourself in Community and Indie South or on her website!

The following is a photoshoot for Bumb’s most recent party dress collection, A Midnight Clear. All photos taken by Bumb herself.

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Model: Astrid Von Winter
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Model: Christine Byun
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Models: Nikki G and Astrid Von Winter
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Model: Astrid Von Winter
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Model: Christine Byun
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Model: Nikki G
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Model: Astrid Von Winter
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Model: Astrid Von Winter
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Model: Nikki G

 

Athens Eats: Sweet Beijos Treats

Words by Whitney Watkins, photos by Shayon Keating

In our fast-paced, on-demand society, food is often regarded as something that needs to be readily available for consumption. Craig Page eagerly challenges our fast food obsession with his business, Sweet Beijos Treats.

Beijos (pronounced “bay-zhoues) is the Portuguese word for ‘kisses,’” writes Page. Sweet Beijos is a home-based and licensed Cottage Food business. Page’s main products are brigadeiros. According to Page’s fiance, Lucas Vasconcelos (and Brazilian history), the traditional chocolate brigadeiro has a history reflecting the resistance during the dictatorship period in Brazil. In fact, the literal translation of brigadeiro is “brigadier.” These treats are bite-sized and shaped like truffles. Their texture is the perfect mix of creamy and fudge-y, and Page offers them in an ever-growing variety of flavors.

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Continue reading “Athens Eats: Sweet Beijos Treats”

Athens Style: Indigo Child

Words by Maddie Newton. Photos by Savannah Shaw.

Indigo Child is a hip and new, rock-inspired clothing and lifestyle boutique with a vintage flare nestled in downtown Athens that opened in late October. Morgan Miller is the twenty-five-year-old boss lady, Fashion Merchandising graduate from University of Alabama, and owner/operator of Indigo Child. I met with Morgan to learn all of the inside deets about her unique shop.

View More: http://savannahshawphotography.pass.us/indigochild

Morgan centers her shop around what an “Indigo Child” really is: someone who is creative, influential and ahead of their time. She wanted her store to mimic that vibe and be a laidback hangout for people to shop, listen to music and just chill. Music is one of Morgan’s biggest inspirations and the reason why she brought Indigo Child all the way to Athens.

Widespread Panic, who’s southern rock jams originated out of the Classic City, is one of Morgan’s favorite bands. You could call her one of their biggest fans since she followed them around on tour and collected countless posters that now adorn the walls of Indigo Child.

View More: http://savannahshawphotography.pass.us/indigochild

Old School rock, funky jams and Athens’ notable music scene are essential to and immensely influence Indigo Child’s overall aesthetic. In fact, you’ll walk through their door to find a rustic, wooden stage surrounded by leather couches, floor pillows and comfy chairs to watch and listen to tunes from local bands! Adding an authentic feature, guitars signed by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd are mounted and on display beside the stage.

View More: http://savannahshawphotography.pass.us/indigochild

Indigo Child’s clothing reflects their décor to a high degree. Seventies-inspired graphic tees from Electric West and Wildfox, Indigo Child brand’s bell bottoms, leather jackets, bodysuits and far-out rompers from For Love & Lemons can all be spotted hanging on one of their racks. Morgan’s love for rock and its iconic apparel (more specifically, bell bottoms) propelled her to start her own business. One day, she hopes to be at the point where she designs all of Indigo Child’s clothing.

Indigo Child has many unique attributes that contribute to their originality. “Good Karma” is a section of Indigo Child where men and women can shop for hand-picked vintage clothing in almost every size. There’s anywhere from old football jerseys to mom jeans and corduroy cut-offs to Patagonia jackets that await to be discovered in Good Karma.

View More: http://savannahshawphotography.pass.us/indigochild

Indigo Child is even partnering with Georgia brands for the better. Mamie Ruth, a brand based out of Savannah, Georgia and headed by designer and owner, Emily Bargeron, partnered with Indigo Child to benefit Athens’ homeless population. Mamie Ruth donates shirts to Indigo Child who then turns their profits from Mamie’s donated line into food and hygiene goodie bags. Whenever a customer buys a shirt from Mamie’s donated collection, they’ll receive one of these bags to give to the homeless or someone less fortunate. Morgan’s helpful heart doesn’t stop there. Indigo Child will be carrying Happy Feat, a nonprofit organization whose merchandise benefits children and people with special needs.

View More: http://savannahshawphotography.pass.us/indigochild

Indigo Child is also the only brick and mortar store to this date that carries Jimmi wZ leather bags. Morgan worked for Jimmi while she was at the University of Alabama, attending trunk shows and managing his social media accounts. On top of all of this, Indigo Child carries good hYOUman brand and Guat Handmade.

View More: http://savannahshawphotography.pass.us/indigochild

Come by and shop or listen to live performances at Athens newest and grooviest boutique and make sure to follow Indigo Child on Instagram to keep up to date with the store happenings!

View More: http://savannahshawphotography.pass.us/indigochild