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Sunday Living & Arts

PERSONAL JOURNEYS

On the Appalachian Trail
Ben Gray

Back to the woods

It was one of those wilderness moments.

In May, as we hiked up to Weverton Cliffs, east of Harpers Ferry, W.V., the drizzle began to taper off, and the sky grew lighter.

Click here to get the whole story in a vibrant, immersive and easy-to-read format.

Trees parted to reveal a rocky promontory with a dramatic drop-off below and a sweeping view beyond. The jade hills of West Virginia seemed lit from within; the Potomac River, swollen with rain, grumbled and surged toward Washington.

I stood there, slightly out of breath, drinking it in.

Then my phone rang. “Maureen,” said the screen.

Arts briefs

Atlanta Contemporary invests in engagement with free admission

Atlanta Contemporary invests in engagement with free admission

Since starting as the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center’s executive director a year ago, Julie Delliquanti has instituted a series of moves to make the four-decade-old Westside institution more welcoming and to raise it on the radar of metro Atlantans interested in visual art.

The Contemporary took another big step in that direction with the recent announcement that it will eliminate admission fees beginning Sept.

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Onstage

‘Nelle’s Story’ brings Harper Lee’s life to the stage

‘Nelle’s Story’ brings Harper Lee’s life to the stage

Until now, at least, Atlanta playwright Melita Easters has been primarily known for her play “Mrs. John Marsh,” a one-woman show she penned in the early 1990s about the iconic “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell.

Consider Easters’ latest work, “Nelle’s Story,” a belated but entirely appropriate companion piece of sorts. Subtitled “The World of Harper Lee,” this one-woman show delves into another Southern literary icon, whose recently uncovered sequel, “Go Set a Watchman,” to her 1960s masterpiece, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” is due out later this month.

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Food & More

Better dining through menu hacks

Better dining through menu hacks

With my family all out of town, I recently enjoyed a “me” day in Buckhead. I did some shopping, ran some errands and got myself a ticket to go see “Jurassic World” in 3-D, something my ladies would have hated — 3-D gives them headaches.

I also wanted to treat myself to a nice dinner sitting at a bar somewhere, but that proved difficult. I looked at the old-school menu at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, and I just wasn’t feeling it.

Books

‘Death and Mr. Pickwick’ a novel rich enough for Dickens to steal

‘Death and Mr. Pickwick’ a novel rich enough for Dickens to steal

How can I convince you to lose yourself in first-time novelist Stephen Jarvis’ magnificent, 816-page “Death and Mr. Pickwick”?

Perhaps by reminding you that “The Pickwick Papers” — the greatest phenomenon in literary history and, during its first century, the world’s best known book after the Bible — was an equally big book by another rookie novelist named Charles Dickens?

Travel

New Smyrna Beach, Florida: More than sandy shores
Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda

New Smyrna Beach, Florida: More than sandy shores

Situated just 15 miles south of Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach lies just beyond earshot of the rumble of stock cars and Bike Week engines. It’s a good thing, too: Packed with history and a subtly hip edge, this seemingly quiet beach town has plenty to say.

Much of that history is hiding in plain sight in this Volusia County locale about an hour’s drive northeast of Orlando.


Entertainment

Years before court ruling, pop culture shaped same-sex marriage debate

Years before court ruling, pop culture shaped same-sex marriage debate

For decades, gay and lesbians didn’t exist in film and television. It wasn’t a matter of censorship; writers, filmmakers and studio executives knew not to showcase these characters if they wanted to earn a paycheck.

Then things started to change. In 1969, the Stonewall riots triggered by a police raid in New York’s Greenwich Village created the modern gay rights movement, and the next year William Friedkin’s “The Boys in the Band” became the first studio movie to center on gay characters.

Southern Made

Summer ready: eats, art and bugs

Summer ready: eats, art and bugs

Beautiful bugs

A South Carolina jewelry designer turned an insect with an ick factor into gold.

The artist: Charleston native Mini Mariana Hay studied art at Clemson University. After graduation, she worked a summer in New York City before returning to Charleston to work in the family-owned store, Croghan’s Jewel Box. Her mother challenged Hay to come up with a jewelry line that was unique to Charleston.

Homefinder

Basement living room
Christopher Oquendo Photography

Roswell basement redo with ‘wow’ factor

Doug and Rebecca Sandberg had big hopes for finishing their massive basement.

They were using the dusty space as a makeshift fitness area and were ready to remove the “puny” French doors for better outdoor views and natural light. Handcrafted Homes designed and built out the terrace level with a bar and entertainment area, fitness room, playroom, and extra guest room and bath.


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