Bike Safe Around Intown Atlanta

Whether you use a bike to commute, to exercise, or just for fun, you probably have had a few moments where you felt uncomfortable or worried riding on Atlanta city streets. Ride the City, a cool, new resource, aims to make city cycling a little safer and easier by generating bike routes in Atlanta based on user-input starting and ending locations.

The website was started by NYC grad students who noticed that safe bike route info for New York left was hard to find or unavailable; in the ensuing years, they have launched versions for numerous cities around the world. The developers had some difficulties with Atlanta, as we have relatively few bike friendly streets. With help from the Atlanta Bike Coalition and other Atlanta-area contributors, there has been a significant improvement in the data available on bike routes in the city.

From the story:

The interactive map offers three settings – safe, safer, and direct routes – from which users can choose. The turn-by-turn directions indicate whether the segment of the ride has a bike path, bike lane, or a share the road designation. The map also provides locations of local bike shops and allows users to indicate their destinations as points of interest.

Users have the option to save their routes, share them with friends, or rate them. Ride the City encourages user feedback to keep routes and road information up to date in each city.

Of course, there’s an app for that…Ride the City apps are available for iPhone and Android. As biking becomes more popular in Atlanta with Beltline growth and fixed-gears galore, being able to tap into Ride the City makes sure that we’ll all stay safe and secure while on two wheels.

Pumpkin Spice Crazy? Fruttela’s Got You Covered.

Lattes, cakes, candles, even beer. It’s not fall…it’s pumpkin spice season.

Are you a pumpkin spice fanatic? If so, you’re not alone. Thousands of Americans find themselves eagerly awaiting the changing of the seasons in order to sample that most fantastic of flavors. In fact, pumpkin-based menu items increased 161 percent over last year, according to restaurant intelligence provider Mintel. As it turns out, we all love pumpkin!

Here in Atlanta, though, we might be having chilly autumnal mornings, but it’s still getting rather warm in the afternoons. What to do when it’s too warm for a latte? Inman Park frozen yogurt outpost Fruttela in Highland Walk has the perfect solution: pumpkin spice froyo, their runaway hit of the season. On their Facebook page, fans have been proclaiming Fruttela’s pumpkin spice to be the best taste in town. Try it with cookie bits!

Not into pumpkin spice? How about dulce de leche, cappucino, tamarind, or one of the many other exotic fall flavors they have on tap? Remember, every Monday is 10% off for students with ID, and Fruttela is open late enough to satisfy even the most craven cravings. So go get yourself some, kid. You earned it.

Discover Intown One Mile at a Time at the Atlanta Marathon

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just a cardio dilettante, the Atlanta Marathon this Sunday is the perfect opportunity for you to tour intown Atlanta on foot, getting to know our city better. Starting and finishing at Atlantic Station, the Marathon tours 26.2 miles of Atlanta, including Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium, Turner Field, Grant Park, Inman Park, Virginia-Highland, Oakland Cemetery, Old Fourth Ward, Piedmont Park, Morningside, and Buckhead. (The full course map is available here.)

Not much of a runner? The Atlanta Marathon team has suggested two of our favorite places to hang out and cheer on the runners.

Oakland Cemetery
Spectators can cheer on runners and walkers as they run past Oakland Cemetery on Memorial Drive, making their way to Mile 9. A Halloween DJ will be near located near Oakland Cemetery, so come on out to cheer on the runners and enjoy some spooky tunes!

Inman Park
Cheer on runners and walkers as they run down N Highland Avenue through the Inman Park neighborhood. This is the the halfway point of the race, so participants will appreciate the encouragement. Inman Park is perfect place to grab brunch at one of the many restaurants with outdoor patios and cheer on the runners as they pass by!

So why not grab a seat this weekend between Halloween festivities at P’Cheen, the newly opened Barcelona Wine Bar, or another of the fine Inman Park restaurants in the Highland Walk and N. Highland Steel strips and cheer on the runners? Or grab a hot chocolate at Marlee’s Coffee and Tea House in the Pencil Factory and head down to one of our favorite Atlanta spots, historic Oakland Cemetery, to do the same?

Are any of our readers running this weekend? Leave notes in the comments section!

Mexican Food in Downtown Atlanta Just Got Cheaper

We love Caramba Cafe. We love their delicious Mexican food, their gorgeous space, their family feel, and, of course, the best margaritas in Atlanta. And of course, we love their location, right in the middle of everything, in the Pencil Factory Flats and Shops on Decatur Street.

So we thought we’d let you know about a hot little deal they have going on. Caramba Cafe gift cards are now available! And, if you make one of the first 50 purchases (at $100 a purchase), you’ll receive an extra $20.00 in credit added on for free one time. You can then keep the card and add cash to it again later, and you’ll always receive 5% of the amount you purchased added on, every time!

So that $120 of food, drinks, and serious fun only costs you $100. That’s a heck of a bargain. If you’re interested, come down and Mia to get yourself started. If you don’t know who Mia is, you obviously don’t read this blog enough.

Here’s our beloved Mia, serving the first ever margarita served in the new Caramba Cafe location. Come get some:

Sneak Preview: Barcelona Wine Bar in Inman Park

It’s been under construction for over a year now, but this isn’t one of those never-to-be-built projects. The build-out for the new Atlanta location of Barcelona Wine Bar, a free-standing building associated with the N. Highland Steel complex in Inman Park, just needs to be exactly right. Barcelona is an award-winning Spanish tapas restaurant and bar group with a number of locations through the state of Connecticut, and the Inman Park venture will be their first outside of their region. But this isn’t some weird tapas chain. Each location has a completely different menu, and a different look and feel to suit the neighborhood in which it’s located. And that’s why the build-out has taken longer than expected: they wanted to get it perfect.

Square Feet Studio, the Atlanta-based architecture, planning and design firm that is designed and building out the Barcelona location, this week posted some new progress photos of the project on their Facebook page. The building looks absolutely gorgeous, and, happy for all of us intown, looks to be able to open up any day now (I’m noticed that landscapers have been working in double-time in front of the restaurant, a sure sign that opening is just around the corner).

What a fantastic addition to the neighborhood! We’ll be sure to let you know when it opens. Until then, ¡salud!

It’s Getting Spooky! Halloween in Atlanta

It’s the time of year when ghosts and goblins come out. Here’s a mid-October round-up of spooky stuff in and around Atlanta:

  • The Walking Dead is back for season two and still stars our beloved city. Have you been watching the new season? There were some real surprises this Sunday…stay tuned.
  • The Little 5 Points Halloween Parade is this Saturday! It’s a blast every year, with amusements and amazements for big and small Halloween enthusiasts. Running from noon to midnight, it’s Atlanta’s biggest Halloween party. If you’ve never been, what the heck are you waiting for?
  • Why not check out one of Atlanta’s many haunted houses? With the world-famous Netherworld, the adults-only downtown Atlanta attraction Chambers of Horror, and the undead funhouse Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse, plus many more to choose from, Atlanta has the reputation of being one of the best Halloween cities in the country. Go get yourself scared this October.
  • P’Cheen in the Highland Walk section of the Old Fourth Ward is hosting a pumpkin carving contest this Saturday, as well. There will be food and drink specials, plus a $100 prize to the winner.

What are you doing this October to get spooky?