Monday, July 30, 2018

School Daze

School is about to start up for the 2018-2019 school year. Have no fear, trucks will still be barreling thru your schools zones with nary a tsk-tsk from the city.

Take care for your children as the Dunwoody PD is busy with a lip sync contest and cannot be bothered. 

Friday, July 27, 2018

Who Cares

Truck zooming unmolested thru a school and no-truck zone.
No One At City Hall Cares

Monday, July 23, 2018

Guest Post: A Dish Best Served Hot

Cacio e Pepe. Roman spaghetti and cheese, a simple recipe with few ingredients: pasta, grated pecorino romano, ground black pepper, salt and water. Cook the pasta, al dente, toss it in a bowl with the cheese, pepper and enough pasta water to make a sauce and BAM! You're done. 

Sounds pretty easy, right? Watch someone who knows what they're doing and you'll be convinced it is easy. But it turns out you'll screw it up the first time. And the second time. And... When you finally get it right--smooth sauce evenly coating the pasta and not those little grey clumps of cheese and pepper--you'll screw it up the next few times because you don't really know how you did it right. We call that "luck". It is going to take time and practice to develop the skills, adjust to  the nuances of temp, liquid and time to get to the point where you can "just do it".

If you're doing this for fun, for friends and family of the patient variety, you'll probably be OK turning out a few dozen mishaps before you finally get it right and dozens more before you get it consistently right. But if you have a restaurant you better be able to whip this out fast and perfect every time before you even consider putting it on the menu. Otherwise you won't really need to learn how to make Cacio e Pepe because you'll be out of business.

But if you're really interested, here is:

How To Make Cacio e Pepe  (the long version)

  • ​Grated pecorino romano, about a cup, you can always use leftovers.
  • Salt, less than you usually use.
  • Water.
The cheese can be grated the day before and kept in the fridge, uncovered, but it should be up to room temp before you start. The most critical thing to manage in this dish is the temp which is a bit odd since water pretty much boils at the same temp in most places. If the sauce gets too hot the cheese will clump. Too cold and it may never melt enough to even make the sauce. 

​Cook the spaghetti in a large skillet with just enough salted water to cover. ​You will have to stir often to ensure the pasta doesn't stick together, but using much less water than usual increases the starchiness of the pasta water. This helps the sauce coat the pasta. You'll want to cook the pasta 1-2 minutes less than called for in the instructions. 

About halfway thru the pasta cook time put a couple ladles of pasta water into a bowl swirling it around. This heats the bowl and brings down the temp of the water. Add the pepper. Add at least half the grated cheese and blend into the water with a fork. 

When the pasta is done (al dente) turn off the heat and use tongs and put it in the bowl. No need to strain as you'll probably add more water anyway. Here's where things get tricky. You want to toss the pasta about, some say "furiously" but others would probably say "with purpose" and it is often best to use the tongs. As the pasta is getting coated with the sauce add more cheese and more pasta water until you have the level of cheesiness and coverage you're looking for. 

Serve immediately.

What Can Go Wrong -- Will Go Wrong

Then there is cheating and cheating is, well, wrong--which doesn't keep very many folks from doing it and you'll find that most YouTube videos on this dish are cheating. Cheating usually involves adulteration by way of added oil and fat, usually EVOO and/or butter. While this does decrease the likelihood of cheese coagulation what you end up with is not Cacio e Pepe. Because you cheated. The other common cheat is to mix in a pan over heat with this cheat being combined with the oil/fat cheat. This *seems* like it should work, but improper control of heat on the pan exacerbates the cheese coagulation and you will end up with a pan that is a pain to clean. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Paving A Path To Perimeter City

Stockbridge's attempt to deny Eagle Landing a chance at cityhood has failed in the courts. We are at the brink of a precedent-setting de-annexation and incorporation to form a new city providing a template for more to come. The most important of these will be Perimeter City (of course) but the first is likely to be Buckhead, whose biggest challenge will be finding a name. Maybe our Smart City Namers and Branders can help out...Not! Once Buckhead gains independence we can expect the dominos to fall.

Perimeter City will be a slam dunk. By mixing in a healthy dose of "politicking" to Live, Work, Play we will be at the forefront of how aging Millennials and their offspring choose to live. And it is a developer's wet dream--that simply cannot be overstated.

So what of the rest--some say the best--of us? Where does that leave us? First, we're in control of our destiny, unbeholden to powerful developers leaking their greed outside the PCID into our neighborhoods. And we can remain the "City of Dunwoody" or we could dispense with the additional layer of government and return to the liberty of unincorporated DeKalb. Or, we could annex into a neighboring city in DeKalb. Brookhaven offers the growing pains of a new city appealing to the masochists amongst us. Chamblee is an option with nicer restaurants and downtown. But these would span the region's ITP/OTP divide--as painful as slipping off the pedals and crushing jewels on the top bar.

That leaves Doraville which is a good fit--if they'll have us. Joining "A Touch Of Country In The City" would certainly please the Farmhouse-ers and even the Williamsburg-ers would not be fish out of water.

There is a lot of work to do, obstacles to be overcome, but with the right people involved, smart people, we can get this thing done.

Monday, July 16, 2018

A Greener Shade Of Beige

The City is well on the way to gutting the Dunwoody Village Overlay as part of their indefensible but unstoppable kowtowing to business and developers. The brazenness of the developer's open threat to bring in undesirables if they don't get what they want is clear indication that City Hall has their back and that they have your number. That is if you happen to be one of those simultaneously fond of the Williamsburg requirement and appalled by its imminent demise.

But what the shiplap is this Williamsburg thing and what does it mean? Of course it is symbolism but what does it mean?

Leading the list is homogeneity, the only "homo" some will tolerate. It is not limited to the uber-HOA, all houses look the same. When you see a community of ticky-tacky all in a row you kinda know what is inside and Williamsburg, even with the beige, screams lily white. And that screams Dunwoody--Olde School.

Then there is superficiality. It is bricks and beige and slate-look roofs but little substance. It is as if someone played architectural spin-the-bottle and this is what we got. At least it isn't shiplap.

Perhaps it is a flag, or a pennant for what would have been a visiting team. One that seems to have decided to stay but insisted on the literal and figurative reminder of home. White flight may have been the Dunwoody zygote but that grew by attracting that "special demographic" from locales far from ITP. Where "Williamsburg" actually means something.

What was once bucolic farmland was overrun by urban sprawl, development guided only by greed and a population fueled by local white flight and opportunistic northern invaders. If tradition trumps all why was there such a battle over urban henhouses? Should we have farmhouse styling with barn wood, white siding and tin roofs? Or should we recognize that Williamsburg, like the farms beforehand has had its day?

What should be remembered is that which is constant. Politicians are beholden to business, turning blind eyes when expedient, writing custom laws when necessary and taking liberties with the power and prestige of their positions. They will gut this city like a sturgeon to get anything they can serve up to their business buddies as caviar. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Yankee Go Home

And take your faux Williamsburg "style" with you.

Or so say the powers that be in Dunwoody. And in case you have any doubts those powers are called "developers" and the developers at hand are Crim and Associates. And the Brothers Crim have no qualms about making an open threat suggesting that if they don't get what they want, the way they want it then they'll gather tenants that would be "not what you want." The property has been a problem child in the Village Overlay with the DHA getting really pissy when it went from a gas station to a car wash with the kind of backlash that later resurfaced around the Parkway. Now the property is leveled awaiting SLUPs, Waivers and Overlay changes so the Brothers can build what they want which is definitely NOT Williamsburg style.

And guess what is going to happen? It should come as no surprise that City Staff are preparing proposals to gut the Village Overlay and the Council is chomping at the bit to do the Brothers' bidding. Why no surprise? Because outside of one property owner who fell for the "you remodel you must widen the sidewalk" requirement in the Overlay District the City has shown no diligence in enforcing any of the Overlay requirements. Hell, they've not even shown much in the way of interest regarding their own rules but if any Friends and Family business owner, City resident or not, needs custom, just-for-me ordinances, well then "drinks are on the house!"

Monday, July 9, 2018

Signs Of The Times

Sure. Sure. It IS still a crosswalk even without the sign. 

No Sign At Dunwoody Road

But you simply have to pause and ponder: What the hell does this city do with our money?

No Sign At Stroll The Knoll

And the cops might do something but between gratuitous meals and violating Constitutional rights they are kinda busy down at Perimeter City. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

What Constitution?

Rules have never been this City's forte. Not making them. Not enforcing them. And sure as hell not following them. This didn't start well with hiring-in-haste resulting in clearly suboptimal selections one of which we still suffer. And if one believes what is leaking from former members of the pre-city police task force, the city fathers didn't follow task force recommendations. Of course we'll never really know because their report was not made publicly available and isn't subject to open records laws. Perfectly legal, but somehow unnerving, serving as a poignant warning of things to come.

And they have arrived.

Yes we have had the aggressive persecution on DWB non-laws. We've seen the bungled daycare murder investigation and the no-progress-ever Abbott family murders. Quick-draw police involved shootings. Non-enforcement of almost any quality-of-life laws. So it comes as no surprise that a judge has recently observed that the Dunwoody PD ignored the U.S. Constitution violating the Fourth Amendment rights of residents of the City apparently because it was too difficult to enforce the law using legal means.

This is a clear failure of leadership. In the department. In the City. And on Council. Changes need to be made. Forthwith. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

DeKalb Wins!

With the new taxes on the books DeKalb's tax reduction and Dunwoody's most recent in a never-ending series of tax hikes are in unflattering juxtaposition.  The unavoidable conclusion is that our taxes would be lower than they are now had a new city not been thrust upon us. And the natives are increasingly restless with more voices raised in a chorus of "this is not what we were promised when they asked for our vote."