Getting ready to cook Paella at Barcelona Wine Bar.

One of my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood is Barcelona Wine Bar. They have a cozy ambiance, great wine list and delicious seasonal tapas. Recently they had a Paella cooking class that I went to with a foodie friend.

Getting ready to cook Paella at Barcelona Wine Bar.

We each had our own Paella pan and burners.

 

Ingredients are all ready for us to make Paella at Barcelona Wine Bar in Inman Park. We each have our own pans and burners!

Fresh ingredients for class to use in our paellas.

 

Isvari's Paella goodness.

Ishvari’s Paella

 

Urban Oasis Breakfast. This could be yours.

Urban Oasis Breakfast. This could be yours. #bedandbreakfast  #atlfood We don’t get too fancy with breakfast at the Urban Oasis. During the week we set out a continental breakfast spread with great coffee, teas, fresh berries, yummy breads, granola, yogurt, juice, hard-boiled eggs.On the weekends we actually cook to your order bacon, eggs, and omelets along with the afore mentioned spread.

Had to make some breakfast for myself after feeding guests. Yum!
    

Urban Oasis Gets New Flor Carpet and Dining Room Chairs!

New Flor Carpet at the Urban Oasis Bed and Breakfast. Very excited to get our new Flor Carpeting at the Urban Oasis Bed and Breakfast. Soothing blues.

Chairs #midcenturymodern #ilovecolor
My new Eames Shell Chairs are now assembled! They look just like the photoshopped pic I did. I love it when what is in my mind is manifested so precisely. With this much color in my place, I have to be careful adding to it.

Old Fourth Ward Our Sister Neighborhood Across the Tracks

Old Fourth WardWyatt Williams wrote a really nice article chronicling the evolution of the the Historic Old Fourth Wards neighborhood from deserted drug land to  becoming revitalized as one of the best neighborhoods in Atlanta and certainly the coolest night spot in town. It is all about the role my friends, City Councilman, Kwanza Hall, Grant Henry, owner of Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living room and Ping Pong Emporium and early on Joe Stewardson, neighborhood pioneer had a vision of what could be and stuck with it.

The corner of Edgewood Avenue and Boulevard in Old Fourth Ward might be one of Atlanta’s most striking neighborhood changes in recent years. Today, residents from Sweet Auburn, Old Fourth Ward, and beyond convene on this corner for nighttime drinking, dancing, and a growing number of restaurants aside the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District. The New York Times has published glowing portraits of the neighborhood. Home prices are booming and a streetcar connecting the area to Downtown attractions and hotels will start operating this summer.  Read more.

I was also part of the revitalization with my effort to save the Historic Wigwam Apartments. I received an Atlanta Urban Design Award as well as the Ga. Trust for Historic Preservation Award in 2004 for keeping the Deco forties look and feel while converting this boarded up, crackhouse into condominiums.

Wigwam Apartments before,

Wigwam Apartments before restoration by Judi Knight.

Wigwam and two other buildings I created.

Wigwam after restoration along with two other buildings built by Judi Knight.

Indian on the Wigwam

Indian on the Wigwam Building, which is how the building got its name.

I also purchased the property next to the wigwam and restored a burned out duplex in the same footprint and style of the previous building. Later, on the empty lot between the Wigwam and the duplex, I designed and built the Wigwam Annex in the same style as the Wigwam, but with a more modern look. I created the three buildings as a condominium with 12 units. They share a parking lot behind the buildings and a courtyard area with a pond and a built in barbecue grill.

 

While I was doing those projects, a little boarded up neighborhood grocery located right across the street came on the market. I ended up buying it and making it into a sandwich shop with an apartment above. For the past seven or eight years it has been a neighborhood favorite called, Lotta Frutta.

Lotta Frutta before renovation

Lotta Frutta before renovation.

 

Lotta Frutta after renovation

Lotta Frutta after renovation.

For a while, that corner was a hub of building activity and since I owned property on both sides of the street, I felt like I was playing Monopoly and people needed to pass go and pay me $200. I was glad to do my part in helping with the revitalization of the Old Fourth Ward. There are plenty of people who buy properties and hold them waiting for the neighborhood to turn and property values to rise. But, if everyone does that then the neighborhood does not improve and no one wins. It takes people like Joe and like me who see a vision of what a place could be and start doing their part. Build it and they will come. And then people like Grant come in and make the place move and shake. Yay us. Yay Old Fourth Ward.