Living Just Enough for the City

Incorporation. (Noun)
1. The process of transforming a community of human beings into a dead fictional entity so profiteers can exploit their “corpses”.

Oh, I’m sorry…did you mean the other kind of “incorporation”, where cities gobble up adjoining unclaimed areas to add to their tax revenue base? My mistake!

Avondale Estates Annexation Map


What just happened there? I guess it is not worth all the stress and unwanted attention to be Mayor when controversial measures arise in the community, especially since it is a volunteer position!

In that case, I wonder if there is anyone who would even want to volunteer to be Mayor and step into the bed of coals that annexation represents! The new Mayor Terry Giager doesn’t sound thrilled to inherit the mess and even says he doesn’t want the job.

Well never fear for Mayor of Lame is here! I volunteer, I volunteer!

I volunteer to be Mayor but I can only work anonymously. You see, like a corporation, I too am a fictional entity that only exists in the amorphous data cloud known as “the internet”.

I am skilled at the art of “conflict resolution” and “tense negotiations” as well as many other official sounding forms of corporate Jujitsu.

I also have a healthy sense of humor which is going to be important as Avondale takes itself too seriously.

So let’s get started shall we?

First of all let’s get an idea who actually wants to be annexed?

Maybe Forrest Hills residents want to escape the inept and corrupt Dekalb County?

Decatur Mayor Jim Baskett has already stated that they are not interested in Forrest Hills for various reasons, including “They have no commercial property of any real significance and they would add greatly to the burden of our schools”.

That is kinda harsh, huh? You’re worthless and we don’t want your kids to burden our schools?

So does that automatically mean Forrest Hills should join Avondale? And how much say do the current residents of Avondale have in these annexation decisions? Will Forrest Hills then be a “burden” on Avondale Estates as well?

Oy Vey!

What about Your Dekalb Farmers Market (YDFM), a nice big commercial property that would help pay for the new “burdensome” residential areas AE wants to annex?

Heck no, YDFM would rather remain in Dekalb County or be a part of the proposed city of “Briarcliff”.

Decatur Terrace, a small neighborhood between College Avenue and Craigie Avenue, submitted petitions to join the City of Decatur and also to be removed from Avondale’s annexation map. What would make these residents think Decatur wants them when Decatur’s Mayor has made it clear that residential areas will not bring in enough tax revenue and will burden the schools?

The way these annexations have been handled up until now has obviously left Avondale Estates looking less attractive to potential businesses and residents.

What services can Avondale Estates possibly provide to entice potential taxpayers to get on board with annexation?

Well, AE has lots of Police Officers, who will provide you with the service of writing you tickets in the comfort of your own neighborhood! Maybe you can help them climb from number 5 to number 1 in ticket revenue!

Hmmm, what else…we’ll pick up your yard waste and let you drive around in golf carts!

Our new motto – “Join us in Avondale Estates or just continue to rot in unincorporated Dekalb County!”

Transparency is a One Way Mirror

Dear Dan Whisenhunt of,

I just want you to know, since you are a member of the press, that I will offer you complete transparency of my Lame administration. It might not be much to offer, but I assume you are going to have some questions, as any curious mind inevitably does.

Let me just read your mind and answer a few basic questions about the inner workings of the Mayor of Lame administration.

Question #1: Are you responsible for all of the progress in Avondale Estates since you started your Lame website?

First of all, thank you for noticing! When I first started writing my blog, Avondale was still struggling to recover, 5 years after the failed “redevelopment” you have chronicled from your records requests. Less than 2 months after I wrote a revealing article about the sad state of the Tudor Village, the property was sold to Oakhurst Realty Partners. The new owners of the Tudor Village have since made infrastructure improvements and filled up the building with tenants! Yes, you’re welcome Avondale!

Also, after I wrote a blurb about Cleveland Construction evicting the Academy Theatre, Ed Rieker decided to “discreetly” buy the building and make improvements to that property! I must have the Midas touch when it comes to selling Lame properties!

Rieker Refuses to Give Up the Data!

Rieker Refuses to Give Up the Data!

Don’t forget the “erector set” building (as you like to call it) which I have repeatedly mocked on my blog is now sold to a new developer! Kudos to me!!

Avondale Estates famous "Erector Set"

“Erector Set” Building is a Testament to the Failed Redevelopment of 2007

Question #2: If the answer to question #1 is yes, how have you accomplished reviving Avondale simply by writing a blog?

Well Dan, a little well placed cynicism can go a long way towards motivating the right people to react in predictable patterns.

Wink, wink.

Question #3: Why do you choose to publish your blog anonymously?

Good question, Dan! As a member of the Avondale Estates community, I find it more productive to tackle the pressing Lame issues anonymously. It’s like setting up an effigy or a punching bag for those who disagree with my criticisms and also like a ideological figurehead for those that espouse the same views. After all, you don’t expect anyone to take me seriously, do you?

Beneath this Mask is an Idea!

Beneath this Mask is an Idea!

CrossTown Traffic Court Revenues Fall Miserably Short in 2013

I have recently discovered a great source for local news, and I have to say I am impressed. For example, I just read an article that actually informed me about real local news…

CrossTown Traffic: License Plate Gold!

There’s gold in them thar License Plates!

Low traffic – Avondale citation revenues come up short

Apparently, Avondale Estates 2013 revenue was short by $151,000! What is even more shocking is the 2 reasons they came up short:

  1. Deadbeat Traffic Criminals not paying up and instead opting for probation
  2. The officer who operates the License Plate Reader has resigned to pursue an education in a different field

We Need Traffic Revenues to Keep Avondale Estates Lame!

Shame on you deadbeat traffic criminals! Don’t you know Avondale needs your revenue to fill in the budget gaps every year? It’s built right into the frickin’ budget!

And  you are not going to get off the hook either,  Avondale Estates Police department! Why isn’t every officer trained to use the License Plate reader? I don’t care if it’s a soul-less life-sucking job, you need to keep that traffic revenue flowing! We are counting on you! We need to collect every red cent out of those dangerous traffic criminals to maintain our Lame lifestyle here in the Estates!

CrossTown Traffic Cop Fail

And to the officer who decided to leave his important position as the License Plate Reader: What “different field” could be more rewarding than protecting us from traffic violators and providing so much needed revenue to our beloved Lame city?

I have a suggestion: Make all the deadbeat traffic renegades work for the city! They could be used for shoveling the city’s horse manure, digging ditches, collecting garbage and other brutish jobs. Shoot, they might even do a better job of managing the city and they would have to work for free!

Get it together, city officials!
– Mayor of Lame

Y’all Can Kiss My Grits!

Whilst enjoying  “spuds, cheesed, onioned and peppered” as well as a Cheese batter dipped “Corndogula” and a little bit of Vanilla Milkshake at Pallookaville I had an interesting epiphany:

Avondale Estates exists on top of a TIME VORTEX created in the 1950s!

And it is still devouring the city whole, 60 years later!

There’s something odd about this little southern suburb, like it is time-locked in the 50s; vacuum packed and continually recycled!

It’s not just the Waffle House with it’s hashbrown diner lingo, or the down home southern cooking of Our Way Cafe, nor is it merely Skip’s; which is a restaurant whose main focus is Hot Dogs, for Elvis’ sake! Now we have a new restaurant dedicated to gourmet Corndogs, soda pop fountains and carney food?

You Betcha!

Because the vortex has you in it’s insidious grip, Avondale!

Resistance is futile so get ready to be assimilated!

Seriously though, Avondale, don’t fight it. Just roll with it.

Pallookaville Poised to Shake up Avondale’s Lame!

Excitement is building and local Avond-aliens are salivating in anticipation of Avondale’s upcoming restaurant, Pallookaville! Featuring an indulgent menu of handmade gourmet corndogs, deli meat or frankfurter sandwiches, pork burgers, ice cream desserts and other tasty offerings, Pallookaville is going to present a real challenge to keeping Avondale Lame. The restaurant is still under construction but growing closer to completion every day. Reportedly Dekalb county’s bureaucracy was obstructing progress and Avondale’s City Hall stepped in to grease the wheels of our local deli fried carnival food fantasy.

Pallookaville Progress

Avond-aliens are salivating!

I’m not going to lie, I am looking forward to partaking in these new treats but I must caution you: this restaurant is going to attract a more eclectic crowd to Avondale. We need to hire a few more peace officers to have on hand to control the tattooed carney riff-raff and maybe collect more traffic violation revenue. You might want to always have a paddywagon on hand and maybe a couple ambulances in case the high calorie deep-fried foods cause any instant heart attacks!

In other medical news, there have been reports that the colorful lighting on the outside of the building are causing some lame residents to have fits and seizures!

Pallookaville Lights

Pallookaville’s lights are causing seizures, lame residents report

For more info and photos of Pallookaville, check out their facebook page.

Cleveland Construction Evicts Academy Theatre

Here’s some good news for people who like Lame news:

Cleveland Construction has evicted the “longest running professional theatre in Georgia” after acquiring the property through a bankruptcy settlement. The Academy Theatre is now looking for a new home.

Keep Calm and Stay Lame

Good News for People Who Like Lame News!

I tried to contact Cleveland Construction to inquire about their plans for the building as well as many other properties they own in the area. I was referred to Bud Balsam as the primary contact for this “project” but he is out of the office until tomorrow.

In case you are curious like me to find out what their plans are for our Lame little neighborhood, Cleveland Construction can be reached by phone at their home office in Cleveland: 440-255-8000.
Ask for Bud Balsam

You’re so Lame, you probably think this Blog is about you! ;)

Darth Vader of Lame

Many of my readers may wonder how I became such a “Darth Vader of Lame.”

Darth Vader of Lame

Darth Vader of Lame

And thank you for the compliment :D but my story is convoluted and ironic much like young Anakin Skywalker’s tale.

I moved into the area and bought my first house in 2002 after living exclusively in Inman Park. My thoughts on moving into the area were: what a cool little city; it certainly has so much potential to become a thriving commercial area! Just imagine all of the great restaurants, shops, music venues, art galleries, and even a cinema or theater that are likely to pop up in this unexpected Tudor village! Yay!

Avondale’s midi-chlorians were off the charts! You could say the force was strong in Avondale Estates! Do you know what else was strong? My enthusiasm for my newfound stomping grounds!

Progress was slow to arrive in Avondale Estates and I was patiently waiting for the little city to blossom. I figured that Rome was not built in a day, so it may take a few years for progress to develop in my new neighborhood.
Planning the Empire
You can also make the argument that many people were preoccupied with national matters such as wars to “spread democracy”, the price of gasoline, supporting our troops who were bravely fighting for our right to cheap gas, chasing boogeymen hiding in distant caves, getting to the airport early so you could prove you were not a terrorist by willfully submitting to unconstitutional searches, making sure that gay people are never allowed to get married, allowing our leaders to ruin the economy with unsustainable tax cuts and endless wars. The list of distractions goes on and on…

You could say that many of us were hiding under a rock occasionally popping our head out every once in awhile to see if it was safe to come out yet!

Is it safe to come out yet?

So I understand how progress could be so slow.

Just as I was losing hope in the city’s urban renewal, there were plans being enacted to bring in a Publix grocery store and a shopping center to Avondale Estates! Many existing shops and restaurants were even relocated. Avondale Pizza Cafe was one such establishment that moved from it’s historic location to the not so historic Twin Oaks strip mall. The Waffle House alternative known as Thumbs Up diner disappeared from the area all together; not sure what happened there because I heard they were just relocating as well.

Then there is the curious case of the famous Erector Set building on College Avenue. How did it get there? Who built it and why? Are they ever coming back to finish it? Why is this blog post so long……..??

Avondale Estates famous "unfinished building"

Avondale Estates: Famous for it’s unfinished building

After disrupting many of the Avondale businesses, the Publix store and shopping center never materialized. Of course it was the year of economic doom, 2008, when the banks collapsed and had to rob the taxpayers once again to save their unaccountable behinds.

Despite all planning, disrupting, moving and building the commercial area was left fractured and dispersed. This is about when I started to turn to the dark side.

If you could just come to the dark side, that would be great!

Join me, won’t you? Together we can keep Avondale Estates Lame forever!! Muahahahaha!

(Warning, the video embedded below contains profanity!)

A Sad Day in Avondale Estates

Folks, this community has suffered a great loss. Tami and Jess Willadsen were killed by a house fire at 70 Lakeshore Drive. Tami’s husband, Dave and son Jack, who is in critical condition from suffering burns, have survived and need your support.

Tami and Jess Willadsen

They will be sorely missed.

Friends have set up a Go-Fund-Me site to assist the surviving family members.

According to

[Tami] was chairwoman of the board for EarthShare of Georgia, President of the Museum School Foundation and in November was named Director of Philanthropy at The Nature Conservancy in Georgia. She led the charter school’s capital campaign.

I have only had limited contact with Tami but she was always smiling and radiant.  I know this is out of character for my blog but news of this family’s loss has shaken the whole neighborhood and I am in no mood for satire.



Read the Signs, Avondale!

There are mixed signs about our progress in keeping Avondale Estates Lame:
I noticed the sign at the abandoned James Joyce Irish Pub went from “CLOSED” to “LOSE”!!

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

I think someone is trying to send us a message? ;-)
Also note how the “For sale” sign on top says “turnkey restaurant”. I think this is a sign from GOD for Chik-Fil-A to move in and help keep Avondale Lame!!
Speaking of restaurants, Pallookaville posted a copy of their building permit on the door of former Hutchins Print Shoppe. Also, the window AC units have vanished! Please don’t harsh our Lame by building a successful restaurant!?!?
Pallookaville Building Permit Taunts our Lameness!

Pallookaville Building Permit Taunts our Lameness!

In other news, reliable sources have informed me that renovations are underway behind the scenes in the Tudor Village. It looks like Oakhurst Realty Partners might be taking their investment in our Lame town seriously!
– Mayor of Lame

All’s Lame that Ends Lame!

How long must I keep up this fight to keep Avondale Estates lame without any significant opposition?

Making Lists for Comparison

Let’s make a list of reasons that help maintain Avondale’s lameness and then another list of signs of so-called progress:

Maintains Avondale Estates Lameness List

  • Unfinished building still unfinished and eye-sorey as ever…*Check!

    Avondale Estates famous "unfinished building"

    Avondale Estates: Still famous for it’s unfinished building


  • Tudor Village is still mostly untouched, vacant and for lease…*Check!

    Tudor Village Still Mostly Vacant

    Tudor Village Still Mostly Vacant



  • Still plenty of empty lots…*Check!

    Lots of Retail Space Available!

    Lots of Retail Space Available!


  • The city has approved golf carts…ummm, I mean “motorized carts”…*Check!

    Golf carts! (Without the Golf)

    Golf carts! (Without the Golf)



So-Called Progress List

Now let’s look at the so-called progress:

  • Oakhurst Realty Partners purchased the Tudor Village
  1. Still not renovated 7 months later (correct me if I’m wrong?)
  2. Still mostly vacant
  1. This may actually put a dent in Avondale’s Lame.
  1. If they did, they might balance out the dent in Avondale’s Lame caused by the new restaurant.
  1. The city overlooked me? smh.
  2. Oh well, she has her work cut out for her.
  • The city has approved motorized carts
  1. What good are golf carts without a golf course?
  2. Where is the Country Club?


In summary, the opposition to Lame is mounting but i just feel like their heart is not in the game yet.

Step up to the plate Avondale, and let’s play ball!

Avondale Estates Buys License Plate Reader to Spare Police from Tedious Typing of Tag Numbers

Keeping Avondale Estates Lame with Fancy Surveillance Tech

Avondale Estates Police Protecting and Serving Revenue for the City

Fellow Avondale Estates taxpayers,

City commissioners have unanimously approved the $19,560 purchase of a car-mounted license plate reader system.

This technology will relieve our avondale estates police officers of the burden of tag number typing. There have been reports of carpal-tunnel and wrist fatigue. Also, everybody knows it’s not easy typing tag numbers and dispatching doughnuts at the same time.

I know this may sound like a lot of taxpayer money but I believe this purchase will reinforce the Lame buffer zone and also raise more funds for the city!

Please demonstrate you appreciation to your commissioners so we can free up more taxpayer money for other revenue-generating technology to keep Avondale Lame!