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Wind down Wednesday

November 24 — Chad, Collin, and Amy here, bracing for the in-laws, the Thanksgiving feast, and all the dirty dishes.

☀️ Sunny with a high of 57° today.

🗳️ Good weather for the last day to vote in the Atlanta runoffs.

⚖️ Yesterday afternoon, jurors began deliberating in the case of the men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery. Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski told the jury that the men had no right to claim self-defense as they instigated the confrontation with Arbery, chasing him for nearly five minutes. The jury reconvenes this morning.

✈️ Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is expecting to see at least 2.2 million travelers between Nov. 20-29.

🍸 AAA's Tow to Go is available today through Monday. The free service provides a tow truck to transport a potentially impaired driver and their vehicle to a safe place within ten miles.

😈 "Montero" rapper Lil Nas X is a nominee in the running for five Grammy Awards, including album, record, and song of the year, as well as best music video and best melodic rap performance.

Lil Baby is in the running for five Grammy’s as well, most of which are collaborations with artists such as Kanye West, H.E.R., and J. Cole. He’s also nominated for best contemporary Christian music performance/song for “We Win” feat. Kirk Franklin.

🇫🇷 Vanessa Ibarra, Director of the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, is a recent recipient of the French National Order of Merit (Ordre National du Mérite) awarded by the President of France. Ibarra now holds the rank of knight for her efforts in advancing the relationship between France and Atlanta.
📸 This week's Instagram shout out goes to @grantparkphotog, aka WSB-TV reporter Richard Elliot, who captured this magnificent "Sun Rocket" image.

🕖 Today's Rough Draft is 
stories ➼

• Black Friday vs. Small Business Saturday
• A Georgia traveler gives thanks
• Weekend music
• Holiday food fights, er, memories

• Coffee spotlight

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! 
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1. Black Friday vs. Small Business Saturday

🛍️ Like everything else in the new (ab)normal, Black Friday looks a little different this year. With supply chain issues still lingering, big box retailers seem to have the upper hand. Discounts will probably be smaller this year.

🔎 Check out the Deal News site to find out where those scores that you're looking for are nearest to you.

Atlantic Station is hosting a Black Friday extravaganza with s’mores, boozy holiday beverages, and more.

🔊 If vinyl is your thing, Record Store Day has a long list of Black Friday releases rolling out. Most local record shops are stocked with these limited-edition titles. Best to check with the individual shops for early hours and sales.

➡ Here are a few tips on where to find sales in Buckhead, Decatur, and Sandy Springs, including stores that are staying open Thanksgiving day.

😎 Little 5 Points is the place to be for Small Business Saturday.

➡ East Atlanta Village has a few specials going on Saturday as well:
🌿 The Victorian plant and coffee shop is hosting a 20% off sale.
📚 Bookish Atlanta is offering 15%-40% off various books.
👕 "You Are an Awesome Human" t-shirts are $25 on Saturday.
2. A Georgia traveler gives thanks

📸 Intrepid photographer and "Travels with Charlie" columnist Charles Seabrook spends most of his time on Georgia's roads, documenting all the beauty that the state's scenic rural and small towns have to offer.

On Thanksgiving, Seabrook takes pause to contemplate a long list of everything for which he is especially thankful, and to offer up a photo gallery.

Here are a few of Seabrook's favorites:

🌲 National parks, state parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, state wildlife management areas, and other wild places where native flora and fauna can flourish — and where people can visit and refresh their weary minds. I’m especially thankful for Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp, a splendid, world-class sanctuary.

🚗 A good road system and highways free of litter. 

➡ Places still left to explore. Even after some 30 years of traveling around Georgia, I still haven’t seen all of it.

🦃 The turkey. What would Thanksgiving be without it?
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3. Rough Draft's weekend music picks

Fri., Nov. 26
🎷 Joe Alterman plays Winter House @ Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
🎸 Glenn Phillips' 21st-annual "Day-after-Thanksgiving" Show @ Red Light Cafe
🎤 6LACK, QUIN, DJ Millie and Chadster @ Masquerade
🍑 Blackberry Smoke: Holiday Homecoming @ The Tabernacle
☾✩☽Dark Star Orchestra @ The Coca-Cola Roxy
🔊 Diamond D, Terminator X, and DJ Assassin @ 529

Sat., Nov 27
🎶 Country Westerns, LaDrones, and Deep State @ The Earl
🔊 Father, Tony Shhnow, Mercury, and Playytime @ 529
🥁 Moon Taxi, Illiterate Light, AFTM, and Sparkle City Disco @ The Eastern
🎸 American Aquarium @ Variety Playhouse
🎤 G Herbo @ The Tabernacle

Sun., Nov. 28
🎤 2Chainz (above) @ The Buckhead Theatre
*Prefer a Thanksgiving movie?* 📽️ Our colleague Sammie Purcell has a rundown of what to see in theaters or via streaming services this Thanksgiving.
4. Holiday food debates

🍗 Pumpkin or pecan? Oyster stuffing cooked inside the bird or cornbread dressing baked in a pan? Collards or sauerkraut? Pick a side. The holidays are coming, so it’s time to prepare for our annual Family Food Fights once again.

The holidays bring families together for sharing simple joys and creating timeless memories. But once Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, or New Year’s Eve actually arrive, what’s on the dinner table can make or break the holiday party. The turkey, ham, turducken, or tofurkey may come roasted, baked, or fried, but getting grandma’s sweet potato casserole (with those crunchy little marshmallows on top) just right, or preparing Aunt Mimi’s greens-with-chow-chow properly can make all the difference in how the meal goes down. 

We asked some local writers for of their own holiday food memories.

Some shared a warm-and-fuzzy tale. Others recalled holiday-defining dietary surprises, confrontations with strange new foods, cooking mishaps, and hard-core kitchen competitions.
5. Coffee spotlight: Kupcakerie

🧁 When it comes to coffee shops, Kupcakerie is one of the best-kept secrets of downtown East Point.

Located just a block away from the entrance to the East Point MARTA station at 2781 Main St., Kupcakerie cranks out dozens of delightful cupcakes every morning, bearing names such as "Scarlet Letter," "Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding," and "24 Carrot Gold." They’re available for pickup or delivery, and they also cater.

If you’re coming up short on ideas for what to bring to the upcoming office party, or that holiday in-law blitz, look no further than their cake pops and cookies. 

The breakfast menu features bagels, muffins, and breakfast sandwiches made from soft and savory biscuits. The in-house coffee beans come from Decatur’s Radio Roasters.

If we had you at “cupcakes,” but East Point isn’t on your normal route, don’t fret. There’s a Grant Park location coming soon.

Be sure to check out Rough Draft's guide to local coffee as we continue to profile the metro area coffee scene. What’s your favorite coffee shop? Drop us a line on Instagram and let us know!
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