When discussing Nigerian cooking with reporters from Atlanta Goodlife Magazine, Kunmi Oluleye beamed, "it's something that I do blindfolded." After all, Kunmi has been cooking since the age of 8, whipping up meals for her parents and three younger siblings and baking traditional breads, meat pies, and sausage rolls at her father's bakery in Lagos, Nigeria. Today, she brings her time-honored family recipes and lifetime of expertise to her own catering company—Sheba Foods.
Aided by a staff of African chefs, Kunmi folds traditional spices into authentic dishes from the continent. Deep in the Sheba kitchen, the chefs simmer meaty stews and fry plantains while plump sausage rolls rise in the oven. They deliver the fresh, dried, and prepared foods to homes around the world and cater freshly made feasts at local special events and parties. Their products have been in the shelves of mainstream supermarkets for years, and they continue to expand into new markets and grow from the branches of lunchbox trees around the country.
Some people have earned a scholarship to a prestigious art academy, spent time outside a café in France with a canvas and portable easel, and were born with the ability to reflect their inner-torment with freeform splashes of acrylics. Some people just want to have a good time and paint. At Fine Art Parties, instructors cater to this second bunch with parties at their studio or in the client’s home furnished with blank 12"x16" canvases, wine, tea, and cheese for all. Taking inspiration from masters such as Warhol, Matisse, and Van Gogh, instructors lead guests through a simple three-step method that results in a framable work of art. In addition to their group events and private functions, the studio also hosts romantically themed couple painting parties, which take place under the starry night sky, and human body classes with live nude subjects or reanimated wax statues.
Brightly colored bowling balls careen down slick lanes, colliding with upright pins that spill over in a cacophony of satisfying crashes. Despite the help of bumpers and a last-second push from the tooth fairy, the 6-year-old who rolled the ball couldn't be more proud of his first strike. Up to eight guests can share a lane at Suburban Lanes' family-friendly facility, splitting time between cathartic bowling matches and the plethora of games in the arcade, including Ms. Pac-Man, Whack A Duck, and skee ball. On weekends, guests stay late to indulge in the black lights and neon colors of cosmic bowling, sipping on draft glasses of Shock Top, Magic Hat, or Pabst Blue Ribbon and sharing snacks of pizza, chicken tenders, or funnel cakes. Bowlers can get serious about their hatred of gutter balls by joining a league or competing in a tournament, with youngsters starting their bowling careers early in youth leagues or summer camps.
O’Riley’s Food & Spirits’ cooks top tables with homemade burgers and wings as their guests listen to live music from local artists or absorb sports action from the large projection screen stretched across an entire wall. On select nights, the sound system quiets and spotlights focus on the stage to highlight the fast-paced observations of local comedians. A suite of six of felt-lined tables provide an outlet for skill-based contests, whether it need be a round of pool or competitive juggling of said tables.
That Pottery Place Studio?s shelves brim with hundreds of unfinished ceramic pieces, each ready to blossom with a completely unique bouquet of colors and designs. Animal-painted plates sit propped alongside decorative birdbaths, planters, coffee mugs, and owl figurines designed to scare pigeons away from the china hutch. Guests can throw their creativity at these 3D canvases using the studio?s stencils, brushes, sponges, and dozens of glazes. Staff members make the rounds sharing tips on technique and helping sort through idea books with painters during open studio time.
Francisco Antonio Rodrigues da Silva⎯better known to his students as Mestre Fran⎯began his journey with Caopeira at age 10, studying the ancient dancelike martial art under a seasoned teacher in Sao Paolo. After years of learning the hypnotic rhythmic moves of Capoeira and studying the African dance rhythms of Macuele, Mestre Fran took his art to the streets of Londrina, Brazil, giving impoverished youth a positive outlet for their creative energies with public performances and classes. After developing a successful martial arts organization in his home country, Mestre Fran set out for the United States in 2002, introducing Americans to Caoperia through cultural shows throughout the Atlanta area and instructing newcomers through beginner, children's, and adult classes.
Like punching a portrait of your smug fruit bowl, capoeria combines both art and fighting. The practice develops the mind, body, and spirit by instilling self-confidence, building agility and strength, and teaching students about the vibrant culture of Brazil. Capoeiristas twist and bob to the rhythm of drums as they execute gymnastic kicks and turns, or they show off their newfound knowledge at the studio's Friday-night Samba, Macuele, and Portuguese language classes.