ATL Fashion Scene Seen

In Atlanta, Strivers Row in the Virginia-Highlands neighborhood is the hot spot for high end casual wear for men right now. Will runs the joint in a really friendly way while keeping a sharp eye to new fashion industry labels and trends, and TI is a partner. Come looking for Japanese denim and the smartest outerwear and leave pleased.

Vinnies is direct from Downtown Brooklyn to you in L5P. Across from Variety Playhouse, the funky little building itself and Broadway style sign are what initially attracted me. Don’t be afraid to outshine the hippies and rockers in Little Five with these clean, preppy yet oh so urban looks. I just picked up a yellow, teal, aqua and white striped WESC knit polo shirt, with a two parrots logo. For that The City flavor, Vinnies Styles is not to be missed.

I mainly wear “Nike SBs” as far as kicks, because they have the most padding and look good. So I don’t buy shoes at Standard very often, and Standard – next to Cafe Intermezzo on Peachtree Street, in the Brookwood section of South Buckhead – is mostly known for shoes. The sneaker heads often camp out there waiting for the latest Kanye West Nike, or whatever, but Standard can’t sell Nike SB skate shoes, because those are only sold at skate shops, like Stratosphere in L5P, and Nike stores. I bought my last pair at the Nike Factory Store in Florida. Instead of regular sneaker pimpin’, I buy most of my graphic T-shirts at Standard. The sale rack is my absolute favorite for items from a mix of local labels like StreetLocal and Process, and national labels, like Benny Gold, Staple and FUCT. They also carry “A” hats and high end stuff like G-Star Raw, plus they give out hot free magazines, CD samplers and stickers. Tell Ryan or Corey I sent you by.

I bought a signature anniversary, gold soul monkey on black, T-shirt from local label Sol Munki before they recently closed their shop at North and Peachtree in South Midtown. The label seems to be rolling on along without the hidden little storefront, as they mentioned that they plan to focus on intensified West Coast marketing efforts. Their Naomi Campbell with her fingers in her mouth shirt is a personal favorite of mine.

Bill Hallman’s eye for fancy yet casual clothing is undeniable. He has the clean, local and monied look in lock with three storefronts. I ran into him at his Virginia-Highlands location recently. He was rocking a rustic and rugged, yet trim and sleek tan blazer over a popping blue button down shirt. I like the brightly-colored, fitted, plaid cowboy snap spring shirts he has in stock.

The artsy little Vacation recently closed up their storefront in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood behind Urban Outfitters. I’ll miss her fun mix of local art, kitsch and fashion.

Then again, open retail in prime spaces (like the space next door to Bill Hallman in Va-Hi), is simply an opportunity for fresh and exciting boutiques to move in, as the economy is finally on an awaited uptick in The ATL.

Wisteria – Great Southern Restaurant

Today, I have late dinner reservations at Wisteria in support of Inman Park Restaurant Week. My friend, Chef Jason Hill and I grew up together in Marietta, and he is Proprietor. The place is well-entrenched among the Atlanta acclaimed for his command of Southern food: modern and gourmet while at the same time classic. The fried chicken is bar none the single best in town, somehow lapping in my love the bird at Watershed in Decatur. The pork dish could be from Faulkner or Cold Mountain. And the shrimp and grits is no low, but dern if I did not feel like I was in the low country when they reached my jowl last time I was in, a couple of weeks ago, for my one year anniversary. Jami was so sweet and the mini-desserts are larger than thought and easily, so easily, made multiple. We enjoyed the pairing of Ice Wine and Coconut Pie the most. The bar and staff and building and wine and art are all just right. Right up the street from me, Jason has delivered the perfect blend of Atlanta and America -which is where we live my friends. America.


Tuesday night was a very fun time. I started the evening at home with my wonderful sweetheart and then ventured to JAVA LORDS in Little Five Points of The ATL for an open mic read.

I have had this unusually strong sense of place of late and have been writing of Atlanta and Georgia and America. Before departing the house, I watched a wild Of Montreal video (they are actually of ATHENS, GA and are my current favorite band). Along the way to L5P, I listened to the long-defunct ATL art rock band “BOB” (FYI: not nearly the same as the current local rapper of the same moniker). I was feeling my StreetLocal vibe and dressed to the nines in pink and tan.

Open mic at some places means strictly singer-songwriter, but Andrew hosts this event and also encourages poets and comedians. Also, JAVA LORDS is a coffeehouse with alcohol, which always adds a dimension to the room. I had a quick margarita at the wonderful EL MYR, next door, and then signed up to perform in the tenth spot.

The music was entertaining, especially the angst-fueled stuff by a singer/guitarist named Owen. A young singer/guitarist named Luke played a fun melody of Billy Joel’s Piano Man and an original he had written.

One poet other than I read. Missed his name, but he stands barefoot on a log, propped also by a wooden walking stick. His stuff had heart and seemed to me a call for a return in spirit to the simpler times in the South’s storied past – I saw him as a sort of modern day Walt Whitman.

More music while the “to go” nachos from EL MYR were ingested and washed down with a house drink called Spring Break, and then my time to shine came, and I did, reading 3 poems about Atlanta. The first was of my romance with MARTA trains (“I Have a Romance with the Subway”); the second was of Atlanta’s deserved title as Strip Club Capital of the World (“ATL-Strip”); and the third was “A-Town.”

And here are the last two lines of that final piece:

Frankly My Dears

I Do Give A Damn

…And I really do. May peace be with you! Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I found $11 on the floor.