Living & Entertainment

Atlanta spirits

Old Fourth Distillery
Brant Sanderlin / AJC

Distillery business returns to Atlanta

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It’s been more than a century since the work of fermenting, distilling and bottling spirits was legally practiced in Atlanta.

But inside a narrow brick storefront on Edgewood Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward, Old Fourth Distillery claims the mantle of the city’s first distillery since Prohibition.

Brothers Jeff and Craig Moore partnered with friends Gabe Pilato, Justin Gray and Andy DuVall, put up their life savings, and, with the help of a Kickstarter campaign, completed construction on the distillery and tasting room, now open to the public for weekly tours.

Take me away

Relax and unwind with the perfect bath
Christopher Oquendo

Relax and unwind with the perfect bath

Whether you’re trying to combat the ravages of winter or just unwind from holiday stress, a little hydrotherapy may be all you need.

Water therapy is an ancient ritual that can help you relax and support a healthy lifestyle, says Josie Feria, director of Spa Lapis, the spa at the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach. A hot bath can reduce cramps, ease tension headaches, improve muscle elasticity or provide an escape from a hectic day.


Holiday traditions

Christmas cheer runs in this family: Two generations have played Santa
Bob Andres

Santa siblings: Christmas cheer runs in this family

Perhaps there’s a little tinsel in the Mitchell family DNA.

That might explain why over the years, three members of the same family have donned the familiar red suits and grown and fluffed out their white beards to become Santa Claus at malls, churches and other places during the holiday season.

“I think we have a very lucky family,” said Santa Pete, 58, who works out of Atlantic Station and has been Santa for about four decades. With Christmas, “there’s a little bit of magic and we want to keep that magic alive.”

» Holiday fun: Keep the kids occupied during holiday break


Wild Georgia

Old oyster shells help salt marsh stay healthy

Old oyster shells help salt marsh stay healthy

We took a boat ride to Little St. Simons Island on Georgia’s coast the other day to learn how recycled oyster shells — discards from restaurants, seafood packers and oyster roasts — are being used to help keep our superb salt marshes healthy and intact.

It’s a new effort called “living shorelines,” in which oyster reefs and native marsh plants (such as Spartina) replace unsightly “armored structures” (such as seawalls and bulkheads) to prevent erosion along tidal creek and river banks.

Peach buzz

Shaq sings Christmas carols, spreads holiday cheer

Shaq sings Christmas carols, spreads holiday cheer

NBA star turned commentator, product pitchman and actor Shaquille O’Neal spread holiday joy to a group of around 200 children at the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Atlanta-Bellwood Unit on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in Atlanta this week.

Kids also got winter coats, food to take home and other essentials.

Year in review

Deaths and sex allegations rock the comedy world

Deaths and sex allegations rock the comedy world

NEW YORK — For comedians, there was very little to laugh about in 2014.

Three pioneering comic legends died — David Brenner, Joan Rivers and Robin Williams — and Bill Cosby went from America’s dad to an alleged serial sexual predator.

“It’s unfortunate when you lose anybody. To lose three and to have these allegations with Cosby, it’s a tough year,” said Christopher Mazzilli, co-owner of the Gotham Comedy Club.


The real beginning to the Christmas story

The Christmas story usually opens with Mary and Joseph and the sweet babe in the stable. Shepherds are bowing down and a star shimmers in the sky.

But the timeless tale actually started months earlier when an angel appeared to a teenage girl in Nazareth. And make no mistake – this wasn’t a cute, glittery, Hallmark-card angel. Which is why his first words after greeting her were, “Do not be afraid, Mary.

Your health

Beating the holiday blues to light up the season

It’s supposed to be the season to be jolly - but not everyone feels like celebrating this time of year.

“It’s normal (for some people) to be sad around the holidays,” said Susan Forward, a therapist and author of “Mothers Who Can’t Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters” (HarperCollins). “Part of it is the nostalgia for our childhood and another part is we’re mandated by guilt to be with people (who) have injured us, traumatized us or made our lives miserable.


Toymakers finally construct a new model for girls’ toys
Luis Sinco

Toymakers finally construct a new model for girls’ toys

LOS ANGELES - For decades, toy makers believed the industry gospel: Boys want to build things; girls want to play princess.

But now, female CEOs are leading huge corporations, including Yahoo Inc. and General Motors Corp., and more women are becoming engineers and mathematicians. Meanwhile, toy companies are realizing that girls want to build bridges and wire circuits.


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