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November 19 — Chad, Collin, and Amy here. Let's get to it before the fam shows up at the front door.

☀️  Sunny and 61° today. It will be chilly this weekend.

🌘 In a twisted nod to the Falcons hosting the Patriots last night (more below in Sports), there was 3-hour, 28-minute partial lunar eclipse overnight. The event was the longest of its kind in 580 years. ⬇️

⚖️ The Brunswick, GA trial of three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery is heading to closing arguments.

➡️ An Alpharetta state senator prefiled a bill that is another step in the process of Buckhead splitting from Atlanta. Senate Bill 324 will come up in the in 2022 legislative session which begins in January.  

💰The Atlanta BeltLine has secured $16.4 million from the USDOT for further development of the two-mile stretch between Pittsburgh Yards and Boulevard Crossing Park.

🏛️ Ansley Park and the Chattahoochee Brick Co. are on the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s “10 Places in Peril.”  The list is designed to raise awareness about Georgia’s significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources that are threatened by demolition, neglect, etc...

🕖 Today's Rough Draft is ⑤ stories ➼

• Dining out on Thanksgiving  
• Top 5 holiday films
• Our Friday Sports
• Dunwoody Fencing Club thrives

• Some exciting collab news from the RD team

Have a great weekend!
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1. Make your Thanksgiving reservations now!

🦃 If standing over a hot stove cooking Thanksgiving dinner sounds like a holiday bummer, consider dining out this year. Lots of local restaurants are offering dine-in and take-out meals for the holiday.

And while turkey and dressing are on many menus, the bird ain't the final word. Why not try Japanese, Turkish, or French food this year?

Also, check in with or with your favorite restaurant to see what their plans are for Thanksgiving. Collin has assembled an extensive list of neighborhood staples if you want to go out this year. Reservations are being gobbled up quickly, so don’t delay.

Here are a few spots to consider.

🍽️ The Chastain: The hot, New American Bistro on Chastain Park opens at 2 p.m. Reservations suggested via Resy

🦃 Atkins Park: The restaurant opens at 4 p.m. serving a Thanksgiving dinner boasting Big Green Egg-smoked turkey and all the fixins. Reservations at

🇫🇷 Tiny Lou’s: Head to the Clermont Hotel for a taste of France on turkey day. Reservations are going fast at

🇯🇵 Nakato: This Buckhead favorite will be firing up the hibachi for Thanksgiving. Visit

🍑 The Sun Dial (Above): Zoom to the top of the Westin Peachtree Plaza  for a Thanksgiving dinner with a view. Reservations are required at

🍜 Food Terminal: Head to Buford Hwy where this popular Asian food smorgasbord is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (West Midtown location is closed.). 
2. Sammie Purcell's Thanksgiving movie list

📽️ Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers, covering Brookhaven and Dunwoody.  She's also an avid movie lover. Keep an eye out for more of her movie reviews and local Hollywood news in Rough Draft. She gave us the five movies she's looking forward to this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is here, and with it comes the requisite time spent hanging out with your extended family for hours on end. While we’ll all be happy to see each other this holiday season – especially after last year – if you feel yourself getting a little overwhelmed from the constant family time, why not grab your loved ones, head to the movie theater, and sit in a dark room not speaking for a couple of hours? 

If you’re having trouble deciding which movie to choose, here are five upcoming films I’m personally looking forward to this Thanksgiving.

1. “King Richard” — Starring Will Smith in a come-back role, “King Richard” tells the origin story of tennis phenoms Venus and Serena Williams through the lens of their father and coach Richard Williams. It’ll be interesting to see how the film tackles Richard’s legacy — he hasn’t always been such a sympathetic public figure — but the movie’s getting real buzz as a holiday crowd-pleaser, so this might be a great choice for the whole family. King Richard opens in theaters and on HBO Max today. 

2. “House of Gucci” — Ridley Scott has had quite the year, pushing out the gritty Medieval drama “The Last Duel” in October, and now the decidedly more campy “House of Gucci” in November. While I can’t yet say if “House of Gucci” will be GOOD, I do think it looks like a fun, melodramatic romp with all the fashion, murder, and questionable Italian accents you could wish for. "House of Gucci" will be playing exclusively in theaters on Nov. 24

3. “Encanto” — If you’ve got small children to entertain this Thanksgiving, look no further than this Disney musical. With songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda (that guy seems to be everywhere, doesn’t he?), “Encanto” follows the Madrigal family, who are all blessed with a magical ability of some sort — all except Mirabel. I’m especially excited about this one, not just because I’m a sucker for a musical, but because a lot of the same team that worked on Disney’s “Moana” is also present here. It should be a fun time for all! Encanto will be playing exclusively in theaters on Nov. 24

4. "C’mon C’mon" — Following up 2016’s beloved "20th Century Women," director Mike Mills is back with "C’mon C’mon," a black-and-white drama starring Joaquin Phoenix as a radio journalist who bonds with his young nephew on a cross-country road trip. This may not be the flashiest movie of the bunch, but Mills always brings a really grounded, intimate feel to his work, and hopefully this is no different. "C’mon C’mon" will be playing exclusively in theaters today.

5. "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" — Speaking of flashy, your favorite ghostbusters are back – well, at least their offspring are. "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" (above) is set 30 years after the original film, and will feature some returning cast members in reprising roles. The movie has received middling to poor reviews so far, but it’s sure to dredge up some of that good old '80s nostalgia, and have you singing “who ya gonna call?” all holiday season long. "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" will be playing exclusively in theaters beginning today.
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3. The Sports Section

Today is the last Friday before the very American tradition of turkey trots in the morning and turkey & pigskin in the afternoon. To prepare for that, we've got you covered with just enough sports info to help you sound interesting before your favorite uncle falls asleep on the sofa watching football.

🏈 The Falcons were shut out 25-0 at home by the Patriots last night. Matt Ryan is 0-5 against New England in his career. As Fox announcer Joe Buck said, "really nothing has gone right for the Falcons in this game."  

➡ Top-ranked Georgia hosts Charleston Southern tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. (TV: SEC Network, ESPN+).

🏀 The Hawks are on streak. Trae Young (above via his Instagram) is averaging 25 points per game this season and Atlanta has won the last three games by an average of 16 points each. 

The Hawks host the Hornets tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. (TV: BSS).

⚽ In MLS Playoffs, fifth seeded Atlanta United faces No. 4 seed NYCFC at the dreaded Yankee Stadium. Sunday 3 p.m. (TV: ABC, ESPN Deportes).

🏃Surely you've been training for the Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon? The Atlanta tradition begins and finishes at Georgia State Stadium. The course takes you from Downtown through the O4W, Inman Park, Midtown, and the Westside.

Or, check out the 
Gobble Jog, benefiting MUST Ministries. Proceeds of the 5k and 10k support their food bank efforts which is experiencing the largest shortage in 50-years.
4. The Dunwoody Fencing Club thrives

🤺 Coach Kathy Vail started the Dunwoody Fencing Club in 2004. Today, the club boasts around 35 members — mostly high school and college students. Tuesday nights at the Rivercliff Community Center on Roswell Rd. are reserved for students looking to prepare for regional or national tournaments, but recreational fencers are welcome as well.

Fencing is often compared to chess, and while that analogy may be overused, it’s true that the smartest fencer wins more often than the strongest fencer.

David Scharf says his teenage son Ryan picked the sport up about three years ago. They live in Decatur, making for about an hour-and-a-half round trip every time they drive out to the community center, but David says it’s worth it: “When you go places and people see you’re with Dunwoody, that means something.” 

The recognition and respect for Dunwoody Fencing comes from a respect for Vail herself. This week, Sammie caught up with Vail to talk about the role her fencing classes play in the community.
5. Local media collabs

📻 Finding creative partnerships is one of the ways local media is thriving today.

We are excited that our parent company, Springs Publishing, is 
entering a new partnership with WABE to launch How Do You Atlanta?, an online events calendar offering easy access to concert listings, art openings, festivals, farmers markets, and more.

The calendar is free and open to event planners and organizations who want to submit happenings for inclusion. 

“Partnering with Springs Publishing to launch our How Do You Atlanta? community calendar is in keeping with WABE’s mission of informing, inspiring, reflecting, and empowering our Atlanta neighbors,” said Jennifer Dorian, president and CEO of Public Broadcasting Atlanta, parent company of WABE.

Our publisher, Keith Pepper, said, With so many events coming back, it’s been a struggle to keep track of everything and I believe that a collaboration like this one will benefit artists, event organizers, and the public.”  
This week, we're also rolling out a new weekly column in partnership with Punk Foodie, the love letter, fanzine and directory newsletter, and Instagram account for the Atlanta pop-up dining scene.

Check out their list of all the pop-ups and food truck events happening this week.
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