When I rolled through the Castleberry Hill neighborhood of Atlanta on Thanksgiving night, it was well after midnight and yet I noticed that the hip-hop clothing store Fly Kix was not only open but crowded, so I found a spot where I could park for free a few blocks away, and walked back to the shop. It turned out that Fly Kix was having a customer appreciation sale, with a lot of merchandise heavily discounted, and I found some T-shirts that I knew would make great Christmas gifts. The store was literally filled with people, and I met the young woman who owned the place, as well as Atlanta rap artist Money Makin Nique. Checking out ended up taking an hour of waiting in line due to the crowds of shoppers and significantly-deep discounts.
Even the best things end eventually, and Monday morning was my last morning in Atlanta before going back to Memphis. A3C was over for the year, but I called my homeboy Fort Knox and invited him to breakfast at a place called ADios Cafe, which I had seen during Flux Night. The cafe is affiliated with the No Mas Hacienda and Cantina, which is a Mexican housewares store and restaurant in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood, so the cafe, which sells coffees, desserts and breakfasts has a pronounced Mexican theme. Nevertheless, they do sell traditional American style breakfast items as well, but the interesting things are the dishes with a slight Mexican twist, such as blue corn pancakes. The coffee is imported from Mexico, very delicious, and available to take home ground or in whole bean pound bags. It was too early to try desserts, but they looked absolutely incredible, and the ADios Cafe also features fine chocolates under the brand Chocolate of the Gods. The cafe is open every day from 8 AM-10 PM.
After the Wolfpack performance, I decided to walk around the Castleberry Hill neighborhood to check out the rest of Flux Night, but as I soon found out, the event was largely coming to an end. What it had been was a series of performance art works and some visual installations, which were scattered all over the neighborhood, as if the whole area was a gigantic outdoor art gallery. It was actually a pretty cool concept. I walked down past the No Mas Cantina, all the way down to Peters Street, where there were some urban clubs. I started to go inside, but they were crowded, and nobody seemed to be performing. There were no bands, and it just seemed to be all DJ-based music. So I walked back to my car, and headed back to the Melia Hotel for the night.
When I got back to the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, I could hear a band playing on the roof of Cafe Circa, which was actually a separate tapas bar known as The Reserve. My attention had been drawn to the place on Wednesday night when I had noticed two tuba players walking down Boulevard toward Edgewood while waiting for the A3C shuttle outside the Sound Table. Later, I could hear a New Orleans-style brass band playing on the rooftop of the Reserve, and was just about to go up there, when the shuttle arrived. So on this Thursday night, I headed up the stairs eagerly and took a seat to enjoy the band, which was known as Elevate The Quest and led by jazz/fusion saxophonist Eric Thomas. The music was great, and it was pleasant and comfortable out on the rooftop. Afterwards, I got to talking to the conga player, who told me that the tuba players I had seen might have been part of a group known as the Wolfpack, and he showed me a YouTube video of what appeared to be a large marching band playing what Atlantans call “crunk music” at a hip-hop show. I did some research online on my phone and discovered that they would be playing Saturday night at midnight in a neighborhood called Castleberry Hill.