By ELIZABETH LITTLE
Film camp students shoot a scene at Sugar Candy Shop in Crestline. Photo courtesy of Joy Gavel.
Eight students participating in a hands-on film camp this summer debuted a short film, “The Brockwell Incident,” at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival in downtown Birmingham in August.
All of the film was shot in Crestline, including landmarks such as the Clock tower, Church Street Coffee and Books and Sugar. The real-world concept of asking permission at the different locations of their filming taught the students responsibility and patience for scheduling and to expect setbacks. The students filmed for four days during the two-week camp, shooting more than one hour of footage they meticulously shed to a 9-minute short film. Continue reading
By MADOLINE MARKHAM
Ernie Gerontakis, owner of Gus’s Hot Dogs, demonstrates how to properly eat a hot dog. Photo by Madoline Markham.
Gus’s Hot Dogs in Crestline has served its hot dogs—complete with the same recipes for homemade hot dog sauce, slaw, chili and seasoned beef—for the past 42 years. For many, eating there is nostalgic, but for most the comfort food just plain tastes good.
Kids learn from their dads or grandmothers to order a hot dog “regular” (mustard, sauerkraut, onion and sauce) or a “special” (same ingredients with seasoned ground beef on top). “You can tell if someone is not from Birmingham by how they order their hot dog,” said Ernie Gerontakis, who owns the restaurant and has expanded its menu in recent years.
A third generation of customers stops by Gus’s for breakfast on the way to school or after school for an Icee and fries.
Gerontakis took over the business two years ago. “My first job was doing this, and this is what I always wanted to do,” he said. Continue reading
By Gates Porter
Michelle’s in Crestline is ready for Easter.
Forced to flee the Gulf in the wake of the recent BP oil spill, Michelle Lee certainly knows what it is like to abruptly leave a place she loves. “Following the oil spill, the beach was desolate,” she said, “and after years of bracing myself for flight in the face of the periodic threat of hurricanes, this was basically the last straw.”
But she likewise understands the joy of homecoming, as the departure from her retail location in Florida brought her back to her original home and place of business, Mountain Brook, and along with it the citizenry whose patronage she had cherished for many years. Anyone who has lived in Mountain Brook throughout the last few decades will now familiarly glimpse the establishment back from its 13-year absence, situated in its former location in the small shopping center on the corner of Euclid and Church Street.
Michelle has always been heavily involved in the business of retail in Birmingham, working at Village Sportswear in Mountain Brook Village before establishing Michelle’s. However after years of working for someone in retail, she wished to pursue her dream of owning her own store. “I really enjoyed the idea of owning my own store, ordering the particular products with which to stock my shop, and personally creating a unique atmosphere that people would associate with my establishment,” Lee said. Continue reading