City Talk

CITY TALK: Boundless opportunities for new Savannah arts center

Chatham County voters approved funding for Savannah's new cultural arts center in a special purpose local option sales tax referendum way back in 2006.

CITY TALK: Savannah vs. other Southern 'towns'

For the last couple weeks, Savannah has been locked in head-to-head battles with other southern "towns" in an online contest at Garden & Gun magazine.

CITY TALK: Funky Brunch Cafe attracting big crowds to Savannah's East Broughton Street

The Funky Brunch Café has been open at 304 E. Broughton St. for just a couple of weeks, but it has already been attracting big crowds. And it's easy to see why. A friend and I ventured to The Funky Brunch Café for the first time on Sunday.

CITY TALK: Savannah's Truman extension impacting commuters, businesses

The full length of the Truman Parkway has been open for about two weeks now, and a few things are obvious. For starters, the quicker trip through town has transformed the commuting experience for a certain number of drivers.

CITY TALK: Savannah Stopover, music festival take over the city

In the article "SXSW's Little Sister: Savannah Stopover Music Festival" published last week by the online culture magazine "PopMatters," critic Raymond E. Lee waxed poetic about our upstart indie music festival.

CITY TALK: Flurry of new businesses open in Savannah's historic district

Each spring, Savannah sees a flurry of new businesses open downtown. Occasionally, the timing of the openings is a quirk of the permitting process, but for the most part entrepreneurs are hoping to get their doors open before St. Patrick’s Day so they can take advantage of the long spring tourist season.

CITY TALK: More residents, parking controversy on horizon for Broughton Street

We've seen numerous parking studies and surveys over the years, but there are a couple more that I'd like to commission. I'd like to know what percentage of people who complain the most about downtown parking actually ever try parking downtown.

CITY TALK: St. Patrick's Day: Is Savannah doing it right?

On Thursday, many Savannah hotels still had rooms free for the big weekend before St. Patrick's Day. Midtown and Southside hotels had rooms available in the range of $150 per night for a party of two.

CITY TALK: A brighter picture for Savannah in latest employment estimates

The January employment estimates are always delayed for statistical reasons, so some of the key data was just released last week.

CITY TALK: What's next for the old pharmacy on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

One afternoon last week, I spent some time wandering around the outside of the Savannah Pharmacy building on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

CITY TALK: A Weekend getaway for Mardi Gras at Tybee

No one is going to confuse Tybee Island with New Orleans, but a couple of friends and I had a pretty good time during Mardi Gras festivities on the island last weekend.

CITY TALK: Starbucks to open soon in downtown Kroger

Starbucks already has a presence inside several area Kroger stores, so I guess it's not surprising that Starbucks will be opening soon in the downtown Kroger.

CITY TALK: Immigration data show mixed results for Chatham, Bryan, Effingham counties

In Sunday's Savannah Morning News, Marcus Howard reported on recent estimates from the U.S. Census that show net migration to Chatham County was negative from 2007 to 2011. Simply put, more people moved out of Chatham County than moved into it.

CITY TALK: How will completed Truman impact traffic?

So the final phase of the Truman Parkway is poised to open. Insert your cynical comment here. If you’re relatively new to town, you might not know that the project has taken decades. And even if you think you’re well-versed in Truman Parkway history, you should read several rece...

CITY TALK: Local economy faces new headwinds

Like the national and world economies, the Savannah area economy has been facing some stiff headwinds for more than six years now.

CITY TALK: Lecture emphasizes beauty, versatility in street design

Victor Dover found a receptive audience last week for his lecture "The Art of Street Design" at the SCAD Museum of Art. Of course, some folks had to be there. The theater was largely filled with students whose attendance was compulsory.

CITY TALK: Parking concerns shouldn't interfere with Broughton Street redevelopment

If developer Ben Carter is able to attract tenants to a couple of dozen properties in the Broughton Street corridor, we'll be pretty close to full occupancy in downtown's most intense commercial area.

CITY TALK: Persepolis now open on Savannah's Whitaker Street

One quiet night last week, a friend and I checked out Persepolis, the new restaurant at 41 Whitaker St., just north of Broughton. It's worth noting right off the bat that Persepolis isn't entirely new.

CITY TALK: Floyd Adams' legacy includes emphasis on blight, quality of life

It was really touching over the weekend to read so many heartfelt remembrances of Floyd Adams....

CITY TALK: A walk through downtown Savannah in the storm

I took a long walk through the beautiful, deserted streets of the Historic District on Wednesday evening. I left my house in Thomas Square just a little after 6:30 p.m., and the roads were already as quiet as they would typically be after midnight.

CITY TALK: A weak finish for 2013 for Savannah's job market

We have some positive economic trends in the Savannah metropolitan area, but we have yet to see any significant momentum in terms of employment....

CITY TALK: A few hits and misses from House committee studying Georgia's music industry

Last fall, I wrote about the Georgia House Music Industry Study Committee’s forum in downtown Savannah. Five legislators heard from a variety of Savannahians involved with music education, cultural tourism, instrument manufacturing, recording, event promotion and related fields.

City Talk: Bluffton, New Orleans among cities struggling with noise ordinances

Savannah is not the only city having a public debate about its sound ordinance. Just last week, the Bluffton Town Council tabled a proposed noise ordinance with some pretty strict limits that would have hit some Old Town businesses hard.

CITY TALK: Polarizing dispute shows need for better Savannah noise ordinance

It has been interesting to watch the social media response to Julia Ritchey's coverage last week of the ongoing dispute between The Wormhole and some nearby residents.

CITY TALK: Savannah Rocks! tries to bring generations together

The Sentient Bean was pretty much packed for three hours on Friday night for the opening reception of an exhibit celebrating rock and roll history in Savannah.

CITY TALK: What will Savannah look like in 2100?

A significant number of children born in 2014 are still going to be around to see the 22nd century.

CITY TALK: Savannah arts and culture should trive in 2014

In Sunday's City Talk, I discussed some of the general economic trends worth watching in 2014. Despite many uncertainties, I'm generally upbeat about prospects for the local economy in the new year.

CITY TALK: Questions worth asking, trends worth watching in 2014

City Talk turned 13 years old in 2013. Let's hope this column's adolescence is as interesting as its childhood. We've been tracking a number of different stories and trends here at City Talk. Sometimes the most important ones are the least interesting.

CITY TALK: Crystal Beer Parlor turns 80

Prohibition ended on Dec. 5, 1933. Almost immediately thereafter, the Crystal Beer Parlor was born. In January, the famed restaurant and bar will celebrate its 80th birthday with a week of special promotions.

CITY TALK: Should off-street parking be required?

On Sunday afternoon, I watched the most recent Metropolitan Planning Commission meeting on television. Yep, I'm living large.

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