Candace Bushnell’s perspective on New York in the ’90′s was enough to launch a global phenomenon. Ashley Hesseltine’s take on life in Atlanta is enough to fuel a very funny blog… for now. Before her semi-eponymous blog blows up- Carrie Bradshaw style- it’s time for Ashley to channel all that is Hesseltime in to five questions…
Q. The Streets of Buckhead’s mission to become “The Rodeo Drive of the South” stalled somewhere at “The”. If you could wave a magic wand and remake that part of town, what would it look like?
A: Well, I’d scrap the whole “Rodeo Drive” idea in the first place. Who thought that up anyway? That’s what we have Phipps Plaza for. If my wand was REALLY magic, I would stick a body of water in the middle of Buckhead (a mini-ocean perhaps?) and make that area of town reminiscent of my favorite beach towns: Dewey Beach, Delaware and Folly Beach, Charleston, SC. A chill, laid-back scene with beach bars, crab shacks and surf shops: the kind of place where you walk around in your bathing suit with salty hair and a tan and say “dude” a lot. I can hear the seagulls already…
Q. It’s your last day in Atlanta- where are you going, and what are you eating?
A: I’m getting ALL my friends together, renting a party bus (ok, ok, I’ll give the Fur Bus a shameless plug here), and doing the biggest and best bar/restaurant crawl Atlanta has ever seen, including all my favorite spots: Park Bench and Fado in Buckhead, Ormsby’s on the Westside, Loca Luna (for a quick salsa dance) and Park Tavern in Midtown, Atkins Park and Dark Horse in the Highlands, P’Cheen and Star Bar in Inman Park/Little 5 and WetBar (W hotel) and the new Meehan’s in Downtown.
As for food during the crawl, I’d have to fit in the best salsa and chicken mole tacos in the world from Nuevo Laredo, shrimp and grits from JCT Kitchen, the goat cheese and bread deliciousness they serve at Pricci, and something special whipped up by my fave badass chef, Paul Luna. And hopefully, after all that, I’ll still be able to (just barely) fit out the door of the bus.
Q. Favorite neighborhood(s)?
A: Currently, I live in Brookhaven and have really enjoyed it for the past couple years, but it’s time for me to move out of my perfectly polished neighborhood to be closer to Downtown. I am much more suited to Virginia-Highlands and Inman Park, which I would call my favorite ‘hoods at this point in my life. I want to walk out my front door and see lots of people around, walking their dogs, biking and running, etc., then walk down the street to a restaurant or bar or boutique. Walk-ability is huge for me, and so is the energy that you get in the Highlands and Inman Park. I’m a single girl originally from the North and those two ‘hoods are much more my speed. Wish me luck in the apartment search!
Q. The producers of MTV’s Jersey Shore call and ask you to be the Atlanta location scout for an upcoming season. Where are you suggesting they film?
A: The heart of Buckhead! I want to see the spray-tanned clan of Ed Hardy shirts and barely-there tube tops roll up into 5 Paces or Pool Hall amongst the Polo shirt and Lily Pulitzer wearing UGA grads while a local singer-songwriter plays “Sweet Home Alabama” in the background. Take a moment and picture it. And by “it”, I mean fist-pumping to Lynyrd Skynyrd. I’d also like their house to be one of the lavish mansions on Tuxedo Drive. I think they’d fit RIGHT in with the neighbors.
Q. You’re building your dream house- what does it look like?
A: I picture it like the house my family used to vacation in every summer at the beach: three stories, very open, and with the master suite on the third story with rooftop deck. I will need a large front porch AND a back deck in my dream house (so, is that three decks now?) and a hammock or two. Oh, and a tiki bar, of course – fully stocked and playing Bob Marley at all times.
BONUS QUESTION: What is Hesseltime, and why is it awesome?
A: Hesseltime.com is my blog and it’s awesome because it makes people laugh (or so I’ve heard). I like to think that sometimes when people are feeling down, they can go to my blog and feel better about themselves by knowing that at least, they’re not as much of a hot mess as I am. So, check it out if you haven’t already. If you don’t get a laugh, you can have your money back. And by that, I mean, you can just close the window on your computer.
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