Friday, August 30, 2013

Why Dunwoody?

As a child I grew up bicoastal.  With a father who was a Marine pilot, we bounced between coasts often.  I experienced a mix of Southern “charm” and Western “laid-back”.

Fast forward to young adulthood.  My husband and I were living in Northern California, where a 40-mile commute into the city of San Francisco took 90 minutes each way (on a good day.) The community was entirely different also.  Most families had both spouses working, so neighborhoods were incredibly quiet during the day.  HOA’s were more for road repair and landscaping/parking rules than for community building.  Our local cities were full of things to do, but we found two major things to be lacking: time and relationships. 

When our first daughter was exactly one-month old – with my husband’s company, we boarded an airplane and flew from Oakland, CA and landed in Atlanta, GA.  For me it was like coming home, but for my California born and bred husband it was a brand new adventure.  On that “look-see trip”, we mutually fell in love with Atlanta.  One year later we boarded our second flight to come buy our new Southern home. 

How did we decide where to live?  On one criterion only at the time: schools.  We found one of the best elementary schools in the state and that took us to Dunwoody.  In three days we toured about twenty homes – each one in this city.  The more we toured the homes and saw the neighborhoods, the more in love we fell with this area.  A month after putting an offer on our Dunwoody home, we moved in. 

Now, nearly eight years after calling Dunwoody home, people still ask us if we would move back to California.  And our answer is no way, no how.  California is an awesome vacation location – but Dunwoody… Dunwoody is home. 

Why Dunwoody?

Maybe it is the southern charm, or perhaps the neighbors piling on your doorstep to help when you are down and out.  Could it be the impromptu cul-de-sac parties on a cool late summer eve, or the energy filled Lemonade Days on a warm Spring Day?

The luminarias lining Dunwoody Club Forest streets on Christmas Eve? Light Up Dunwoody? Food Truck Thursdays? Perimeter Mall and all and any brand name store you need balanced with the local flare of the Village? 

It could be the incredible parent presence within our schools and community, rooting and working for the best educational opportunities for our young citizens.  Top-notch medical care right in our backyard?  Close freeway access for all the commuters, yet a strong and ever strengthening local business community for people to be able to work, play and stay in Dunwoody?

For myself, my family, and many others that I know – it is all of these things.  I’m so happy to call Dunwoody home, a sentiment shared by 30,000 others too, I’m sure.

Vote early, vote often

The election season has officially begun!  We look forward to hearing from all 8 qualified candidates for city council.

Distritct 1  - Denny Shortal (incumbent), Henly Shelton, David Davis
District 2 - Heyward Wescott, Jim Riticher, William AJ Mercier
District 3 - Doug Thompson (incumbent), Sam Eads

As people who look for the positive, we want to hear each candidate's plans on what they would do to further improve our city. We want to hear ideas, thoughts, plans, not buzzkill, negative complaints.  It is very easy to point out the flaws in past performance (hindsight is 20/20).  It is much harder to lead with new, detailed plans and ideas.  We want to hear what the candidates will do, not what they won't do.

We hope to see all of them at the DHA Candidate Forum on Oct. 17 so we can hear them speak in person without a script.  The election is November 5, please exercise your right to vote.

Monday, August 26, 2013


We don't want to jinx anything but it hasn't rained in 4 days (since Thursday evening)!!!  What a beautiful weekend we enjoyed in Dunwoody.  We hope everyone was able to enjoy the outdoors in some way.

More positive posts are in the works, we just got distracted with the sunshine!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fun in the 'hoods

We made it into The Crier! Check out the Letters to the Editor this week - A Better Dunwoody is mentioned in one and the other letters share our positive sentiment!

Many neighborhoods in Dunwoody are centered around the swim/tennis clubs. There is always fun competition among the clubs during the ALTA season and especially swim season (Dunwoody Talk is the place to read about the summer swim season). But what else is going on during the rest of year?

The Branches has a triathlon training program for kids with 65 participants! Parent volunteers are helping the kids train on Saturdays for the IronKids Triathlon which takes place Sept 15. Mill Glen offered bridge lessons last winter to help the "new" generation catch up with the "old" generation. Village Mill has a strawberry festival every year.  Kingsley has lakeside fireworks on the 4th of July and a campout for kids at the club.  Gourmet dinners, neighborhood socials, moive nights at the pool, Easter egg hunts - so many of our neighborhoods add to the quality of life in our city. What does your neighborhood do?

Update - and we have to include the Briers North Subdivision and their fabulous Halloween celebration!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Back in School

Today is Day 3 of the 2013-2014 school year.  Today's blog is a thank you to all the teachers, administrators, custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, parent volunteers, etc. who make our schools a great place for our children to grow and learn.  They do all of this work despite the curveballs and challenges thrown to them by the county, state and federal  bureacracies. 

I have no doubt Vanderlyn's principal, Mrs. Crenshaw, spent long hours at the school coming up with a Plan B when she learned the trailers would not be in place for the first 2 weeks of school.  I know many teachers spent hours of their summer vacation working on their classrooms.  Parents across Dunwoody put in hours working on schools as well from painting hallways to tending school gardens to summer PTA meetings.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the succeess of a Dunwoody school. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Smooth Roads

A couple of years ago the city developed a 5 year paving plan to begin the process of repairing our city's streets.  I think we are beginning to see results of the plan this summer as more residential streeets have been paved.  A street in my neighborhood was re-paved this summer and I can't believe the difference.  It went from a bone-jarring, off roading bumpy street to oh-so-smooth.  It is just fun to ride a bike, scooter or skateboard on it.  Driving on it is much easier as you can just drive straight instead of navigating through potholes like a slalom course.

If you are wondering if your street or a bad street in your neighborhood is due for re-paving, the list of streets for through 2017 is on the city's website -
The city spends approximately $2 million a year on paving projects.

On another note, school in DeKalb County begins on Monday, August 12.  As fun as it is to drive on newly paved roads, please don't speed!  The streets will be full of bikers, walkers and bus stops as kids return to the classroom. Please help keep them safe.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

We wanted to share this message from a friend's Facebook post shared with A Better Dunwoody.

Kudos to the Dunwoody Police Department for their diligent house watch program! I signed up for them to watch the house while we were gone for nearly 3 weeks. We came home to find Officer Tate's business card ON our kitchen island....yes, IN the house. We sat there wondering how on Earth he got into the home...then noted the remarks he'd written on the back of his card..."basement door unlocked". (!!!) It shows how thorough their checks are - going to each door to check that the house was secure - or not! This is yet another reason this City's such a great place to live...I doubt Dekalb County police would've been as thorough! Thank you, Officer Tate for watching out for us!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Getting Around - Dunwoody Style

Two events occurred in Dunwoody this weekend we felt worth sharing.

The first was the trail opening over in Brook Run.  If you have not been on the trail, grab your dog's leash, child's stroller, scooter or bike and head over to the trail.  Or if you need some quiet time, grab a book and park yourself on one of the benches along the trail.  The trail is a great asset to the park and our community, go explore it and then imagine Phase 2 with a trail going all the way around the park.  I  imagine kids learning to ride bikes on it, joggers running without fear of cars and seniors being able to walk on a nice level surface in a beautiful setting.  Perhaps there will even be a unicorn sighting.

The second event was the Sunday Monthly Cycle.  It is a recreational bike ride beginning at 3pm from Brusters.  The route is approximately 4 1/2 miles long and includes a police escort to help riders across streets.  Before the start of the ride, the rules of the road are reviewed as well as a few pointers on bike maintenance and hand signals.  People of all ages participate - from toddlers in bike trailers to seniors out for a leisurely ride.  The ride occurs the first Sunday of every month and next month will be the one year anniversary!  There is a Facebook page if you would like more information on the ride - BikeWalkDunwoody.  It is a fairly easy ride, even for younger riders and older riders in not-so-great shape.

The best part about the bike ride - it ends at Brusters!  They give a 10% discount and have cold water waiting for the riders.  I had a scoop of the pistachio yesterday, well worth the bike ride to get it! Another added bonus is the opportunity to chat with your fellow riders and relax on a Sunday afternoon .

Lots of different ways to get around - Dunwoody style!