On a windy, Wednesday afternoon in Atlanta’s ever-evolving Old Fourth Ward, The Artmore was invited to have a chat with longtime friends, Johnny Martinez and Brandon Ley, co-owners of the retro hotspot, Joystick Gamebar. Walking past an array of classic arcade machines, including Centipede, Galaga, and the immortal Ms. Pacman, we headed towards a cozy couch in the back room and sat in front of a wooden table, piled high with board games ranging from Monopoly to “My Little Pony” Memory. The excitement of being able to relive childhood pastimes did not overpower the ultra-chill environment that surrounded us. Brandon described the motivation behind the bar’s laid back atmosphere.
“We wanted this to be a place where people could come to relax and feel like they were in a friend’s basement” he explained.
Joystick started off as a simple idea that came to fruition when Brandon and Johnny decided to open an arcade after visiting similar concepts in various states. Johnny also insists that the bar was, in part, an attempt by Brandon to improve his dating life, which he jokingly admits has not yet happened.
Located inside of a historic, brick building that miraculously survived the Great Atlanta Fire of 1917, Joystick is home to classic arcade games from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, a full bar, complete with eclectic spirits, and tantalizing burgers served up by Illegal Food (don’t be fooled by the name, the food is perfectly legal. Check them out on Facebook.)
While providing an entertaining experience for their guests is the duo’s primary objective, Brandon and Johnny also make sure to use the unifying power of video games to give back to the environment and community. Joystick is a LEED Certified green space and has participated in fundraisers for Susan G. Koman, Big Bethel Saturday School, and Living Walls, making them not only a hip spot to grab a brew and drop a few quarters, but a unifying staple in the Old Fourth Ward business community.
“The games are universal, there isn’t just one demographic that plays video games. We are one of the most integrated bars on one of the most integrated streets in Atlanta, and that’s what makes this rewarding.”
Guests staying in The Artmore can visit Joystick via MARTA by catching the southbound train at Arts Center Station to Five Points Station and then riding the eastbound train to King Memorial Station. Joystick is approximately a 10-15 minute walk from King Memorial.
For more information visit- http://www.joystickgamebar.com/
The Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) unveiled its newest gallery exhibit, Paul Rand: Defining Design, in an exclusive member preview on Saturday, October 26th.
The exhibit, which opened to the public on Sunday, October 27th, explores the life and work of renowned graphic designer Paul Rand (1914-1996), who created the logos for UPS, IBM, and ABC, among many others. MODA patrons were given a comprehensive look at the design philosophy that helped to shape some of the most recognizable corporate identities of the 20th century.
“There hasn’t been another exhibit that features this much of his original work” Exhibitions Manager, Katie Simms, shares.
Long time MODA volunteer and painter, Jeffrey Adler, added, “People are going to have to come twice to take in all of this content.”
Curated by Daniel Lewandowski, creator of the official Paul Rand website, “Defining Design” will surely provide a wealth of new information to museum-goers, while simultaneously creating a since of familiarity by allowing them to view the work that has become so ingrained within the global design culture.
MODA Executive Director, Laura Flusche, Ph.D. says, “Paul Rand helped to visually shape the 20th century because the corporate identities that he designed became a part of our daily lives.”
Guests staying at The Artmore are within walking distance of MODA and can enjoy this exhibit from October 27th-January 26th.
While donning extravagant costumes and assuming the form of ghastly creatures is typical during the Halloween season, most people would not necessarily characterize this behavior as “performance art” when enacted by the common man. But the concept of melding the whimsy of the year’s spookiest holiday with giant astronaut puppets, smoke cannons and lively sound art compositions, proved to be a rewarding endeavor for The Goat Farms Art Center.
Scout Mob and The Goat Farm Arts Center presented Halloween 2013 to a crowd of very enthusiastic art lovers and The Artmore was thrilled to be in attendance. Instillations and performances allowed guests to partake in this interactive affair and experience one of the South’s most eclectic and inspirational Halloween celebrations.