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Best of Atlanta 2011 Cityscape

 

Best Of Atlanta 2011 Cityscape Large


Cityscape

Atlanta has always been about making the best of a crappy situation. So some Yankees burned the city to the ground — at least the site-clearing work is done for the rebuilding. Am I right? So, how have we fashioned sows' ears into silk purses over the last year? After an Auburn Avenue church razed some run-down apartments, a local farmer turned the unsightly vacant lot into a model organic urban garden. Or how about the cavernous and abandoned City Hall East that, despite the lousy economy, is slated to be redeveloped into a regional retail and restaurant showplace?

The school cheating scandal has hit the city hard, but the AJC's aggressive coverage proves that the daily newspaper can still have plenty of bite. And when some guy decides he has nothing to live for and gets on top of a roof, a rap star takes time out of his busy day to talk the jumper down. That's the sort of crazy, unpredictable, exciting town we live in. Frustrations and setbacks abound, but someone's usually trying to make things a little better. Consider this Best Of issue a measure of encouragement.

— Scott Henry

Best bizarro local news story

T.I. talked the jumper off the building
Late one afternoon last October, radio and TV news reported that a man was threatening to jump 22 stories from the top of Colony Square in Midtown. Photos of the desperate 24-year-old peering over the ledge, taken by people in neighboring skyscrapers, appeared on Twitter. Police closed nearby streetsmore...
Late one afternoon last October, radio and TV news reported that a man was threatening to jump 22 stories from the top of Colony Square in Midtown. Photos of the desperate 24-year-old peering over the ledge, taken by people in neighboring skyscrapers, appeared on Twitter. Police closed nearby streets as a hostage negotiator tried to coax the man off the roof. And then the day was saved as T.I. talked the jumper off the building! Yes, T.I., the rapper and actor, heard the news on V-103 (WVEE-FM) while en route to a video shoot and decided to swing by the scene. Once there, he videotaped a message telling the jumper, "No matter what's going on in life, it gets better," which was quickly taken to the roof. The man came down, spoke with the rapper for a few minutes and was then taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for psychiatric evaluation. T.I. told reporters that the random act of disaster avoidance was in no way linked to his appearance days later before a federal judge for probation violations. It seems he was right: He got 11 months. less...

Best chance to watch gold medal Olympians

Atlanta Beat
It's an expansion team in a league many people don't even know exists, but the Atlanta Beat pro soccer club fielded three members of the U.S. squad that made it to the finals of the Women's World Cup in July and helped bring home the gold at the 2008 Olympics. Defender Heather Mitts, with two gold medals,more...
It's an expansion team in a league many people don't even know exists, but the Atlanta Beat pro soccer club fielded three members of the U.S. squad that made it to the finals of the Women's World Cup in July and helped bring home the gold at the 2008 Olympics. Defender Heather Mitts, with two gold medals, is best known for her appearances in Maxim, Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue and other lad mags, and for being named "Hottest Female Athlete" by ESPN.com. It's never too late to become a fan, guys. womensprosoccer.com/atlanta. less...



Best local blogger rivalry

What Now, Atlanta? and Tomorrow's News Today
Online flame wars typically fizzle out after a day. Twitter debates are limited to 140 characters. And arguing in public sucks because you actually have to look at your opponent. But the rivalry between What Now, Atlanta? and Tomorrow's News Today has provided months of catty fun for onlookers. A fewmore...
Online flame wars typically fizzle out after a day. Twitter debates are limited to 140 characters. And arguing in public sucks because you actually have to look at your opponent. But the rivalry between What Now, Atlanta? and Tomorrow's News Today has provided months of catty fun for onlookers. A few years back, WNA's Caleb Spivak and ToNeTo's Eli Zandman, who both provide updates on the city's retail, restaurant and development scene, were partners. Hell, they even camped out together to be first in line when H&M opened. But since splitting acrimoniously in late 2009, there have been battles for scoops, occasional jabs via social media and blog comments by fans needling the rivals' posts. Spivak and Zandman's new-media feud proves that Atlanta's sleepy blogosphere has a pulse. tonetoatl.com. whatnowatlanta.com. less...

Best neighborhood listserv (for outsiders)

Inman Park LISTSERV
Itching to learn more about your fellow Atlantans but can't get away from your desk? Heard of a nifty invention called the Internet? It comes with message boards, and there are none more entertaining and oddly addictive than the Inman Park LISTSERV. In addition to the expected missives about unfamiliarmore...
Itching to learn more about your fellow Atlantans but can't get away from your desk? Heard of a nifty invention called the Internet? It comes with message boards, and there are none more entertaining and oddly addictive than the Inman Park LISTSERV. In addition to the expected missives about unfamiliar cars and prowlers, the message board's nearly 800 members have devoted vast amounts of bandwidth to discussing the activities of a narcissistic goose and debating the artistic merits of a neighborhood mural. When Congressman David Scott bellyached about a proposed community garden near his Inman Park home, its members chose sides in what became a contentious battle. Throw in the occasional posts by a brew-loving real estate agent, hacked email accounts and passionate calls to action for local causes, and you've got a great real-time portrait of one of the city's most dynamic neighborhoods. inmanpark.org. less...

Best opportunity for national retail and food hall glory

Ponce City Market
After more than a year of touch-and-go negotiations, City Hall East was finally sold to a developer this summer and its new owner wasted no time in renaming the 2-million-square-foot building Ponce City Market. In the middle of a ruptured economy, Cobb County-based Jamestown Properties plans to spendmore...
After more than a year of touch-and-go negotiations, City Hall East was finally sold to a developer this summer and its new owner wasted no time in renaming the 2-million-square-foot building Ponce City Market. In the middle of a ruptured economy, Cobb County-based Jamestown Properties plans to spend $180 million over the next three years in hopes of creating a world-class food hall, a regional shopping destination, and sought-after office and loft space. Why are we so optimistic? Because it's done it before, with Chelsea Market, a 99-year-old former Nabisco factory in Manhattan's Meatpacking District that now houses dozens of restaurants, boutiques and top-tier food shops, as well as the Food Network studios where "Iron Chef" is filmed. The company has since floated a few similarly ambitious ideas for PCM, including an organic garden on the roof, an indoor farmers market and even amusement park rides that would enable riders to look 200 feet down onto Ponce de Leon Avenue at night. Sounds good to us. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. poncecitymarket.com. less...

Best sign of political common sense

Sunday alcohol sales
It wasn't the most important legislation to pass this year, and we wouldn't attempt to argue that future generations of Georgians will enjoy more fruitful and satisfying lives as a result, but in the annals of no-brainers, legalizing Sunday alcohol sales tops the list. After decades of kowtowing to themore...
It wasn't the most important legislation to pass this year, and we wouldn't attempt to argue that future generations of Georgians will enjoy more fruitful and satisfying lives as a result, but in the annals of no-brainers, legalizing Sunday alcohol sales tops the list. After decades of kowtowing to the Christian right, state lawmakers finally managed to nut up and pass a law allowing grown adult people to vote on whether they should be able to buy a cold one on the Sabbath. less...

Best place for a beach getaway/history lesson

Sapelo Island
Who wouldn't want to visit a village called Hog Hammock? Sapelo Island ranks as one of the state's most historically significant and downright interesting places for two reasons: It's home to a thriving community of descendants of the Gullah-Geechee culture of coastal Georgia and South Carolina; andmore...
Who wouldn't want to visit a village called Hog Hammock? Sapelo Island ranks as one of the state's most historically significant and downright interesting places for two reasons: It's home to a thriving community of descendants of the Gullah-Geechee culture of coastal Georgia and South Carolina; and it's the site of the Reynolds Mansion, a Gilded Age estate last owned by tobacco mogul R.J. Reynolds. The island itself, accessible only by ferry or small plane, comes with the beaches, marshes, trails, wildlife and Spanish moss-draped trees you'd expect, as well as old ruins and a charmingly picturesque candy-striped lighthouse. But it also boasts Hog Hammock, one of Georgia's last remaining Gullah communities, where the culture of coastal African-Americans has been preserved for generations. Finally, there's the antebellum plantation, which dates back nearly 200 years and is now maintained by the state, after having been donated by the Reynolds family. The 13-room mansion itself can be rented out for about $17,000 a week. Got 15 rich friends? 912-485-2299. gastateparks.org/SapeloReynolds. less...



Best bike lanes for aiding traffic flow

Decatur's new bike lanes

Best sign of old-school media relevance

AJC's coverage of APS cheating
After years of staff buyouts, reorganizations and a relocation to Dunwoody, the AJC seemed ready for the insertion of the proverbial fork. But there are some stories that only a large daily newspaper has the resources, news space and clout to tackle. The AJC's coverage of APS cheating is the penultimatemore...
After years of staff buyouts, reorganizations and a relocation to Dunwoody, the AJC seemed ready for the insertion of the proverbial fork. But there are some stories that only a large daily newspaper has the resources, news space and clout to tackle. The AJC's coverage of APS cheating is the penultimate example of the kind of dogged, day-in-day-out investigative reporting that no blogger, TV news crew or online journalist is equipped to do. The paper overcame school system stone-walling, public skepticism and pressure from powerful business interests in uncovering what has been revealed to be the largest school cheating scandal in U.S. history. And, to its credit, the AJC managed to bring this widespread fraud to light without sensationalizing the story or overreaching in its conclusions. Rather, it methodically backed up each new discovery with enough evidence to trigger a state investigation of unprecedented scope. Daily newspapers may be dinosaurs, but there's nothing on the new-media landscape that can duplicate their T-Rex bite when it comes to complex stories like this. ajc.com. less...

Best urban wilderness refuge

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve
You don't need to go to the North Georgia mountains to get into the wild. Just take a trip down Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta. Located deep in the heart of this affluent African-American community sits the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, a dense, 120-acre woodland with steep inclines, a babblingmore...
You don't need to go to the North Georgia mountains to get into the wild. Just take a trip down Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta. Located deep in the heart of this affluent African-American community sits the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, a dense, 120-acre woodland with steep inclines, a babbling creek and waterfall, deer and more than 150 native plant species. Moss-covered pathways lead to an outdoor education center. Established in 1979 with city, state and federal funds, the former Creek Indian settlement includes an old spring house where tourists once bathed and the remains of a quarry that produced materials to build nearby homes. The preserve could use some TLC, i.e., trail markers, historical plaques and some replacement boards on a bridge near the waterfall. But you have to admire the rugged, semi-forgotten feel of the site, which was also once the scene of the Battle of Utoy Creek, in which Gen. Sherman's Union forces suffered heavy casualties. 2852 Cascade Road. 404-546-6744. atlantaga.gov. less...

Best new thing in Atlanta

Historic Fourth Ward Park and Skate Park
Nearly 10 years ago, community activists suggested that the city get creative when replacing its antiquated sewers. Rather than simply digging tunnels and burying pipes, city officials partnered with the Atlanta Beltine to create the Historic Fourth Ward Park and Skate Park between City Hall East andmore...
Nearly 10 years ago, community activists suggested that the city get creative when replacing its antiquated sewers. Rather than simply digging tunnels and burying pipes, city officials partnered with the Atlanta Beltine to create the Historic Fourth Ward Park and Skate Park between City Hall East and Freedom Parkway. Totaling more than 17 acres, the greenspace opened in February and combines ponds, paths, waterfalls, a rock-filled streambed, a mini-amphitheatre and snazzy playgrounds, giving an up-and-coming neighborhood another reason to be proud. A block south, visitors will find a multi-use field and the city's first-ever public skate park. The 15,000-square-foot facility, equipped with deep bowls, sharp curbs and smooth ramps, has been jam-packed with skateboarders of all ages since its opening in mid-June. 680 Dallas St. 404-590-7275. h4wpc.com. less...

Best off-the-beaten path tourist attraction

Lake Claire Community Land Trust

Best political theater

State Senate

Best public bus route

MARTA's No. 2 bus

Best reason to get over loss of NHL franchise

All the other sporting events
Atlanta has lost its second NHL franchise, but we still have reason to hold our heads high: all the other sporting events. The Falcons were the No. 1 seed in this past year's playoffs and look to contend for another NFC South Division title. The Braves currently have the second-best record in the Nationalmore...
Atlanta has lost its second NHL franchise, but we still have reason to hold our heads high: all the other sporting events. The Falcons were the No. 1 seed in this past year's playoffs and look to contend for another NFC South Division title. The Braves currently have the second-best record in the National League. And the Hawks even have a new owner, singular. We've also got UGA, Georgia Tech and even Georgia State, plus SEC Championships, All-Star games, NCAA tournaments and the occasional Super Bowl. less...

Best sports bargain

Turner Field
With $7 hot dogs, Turner Field may seem an odd choice. But you can see the Braves cheaply. Two-and-a-half hours before every home game, $1 tickets go on sale next to the Braves Hall of Fame. Once inside, you can buy $3 beers in the Top of the Chop section in right field. And the Ted is almost uniquemore...
With $7 hot dogs, Turner Field may seem an odd choice. But you can see the Braves cheaply. Two-and-a-half hours before every home game, $1 tickets go on sale next to the Braves Hall of Fame. Once inside, you can buy $3 beers in the Top of the Chop section in right field. And the Ted is almost unique among major arenas in allowing fans to bring food to the games. Enjoy three cold ones and a tuna sandwich and you've had a picnic at the ball game for 10 bucks. braves.com. less...

Local blogger

Lindsay Roberts and Lauren Kraselsky of the Quick and Dirty Dirty



Local Twitter feed

Brandon Bond
twitter.com/brandonbond

Radio DJ/personality

Bert Weiss, Q-100 (WWWQ-FM)

Best high school

Grady High School
929 Charles Allen Drive, 404-802-3001, www.gradyhighschool.org

Free annual event

Dogwood Festival Piedmont Park
Piedmont Park, 1071 Piedmont Ave NE, 404-817-6642, www.dogwood.org

Georgia mountain escape

Blue Ridge Mountains



Morning drive-time radio show

The Bert Show, Q-100 (WWWQ-FM)

Non-commercial radio show

"All Things Considered" on 90.1 (WABE-FM)

Off-the-beaten-path tourist destination

Oakland Cemetery Oakland Cemetery
248 Oakland Ave., 404-688-2107, www.oaklandcemetery.com

Best middle school

Inman Middle School
774 Virginia Ave., 404-802-3200, www.inmanmiddleschool.org

Charity

Atlanta Community Food Bank Atlanta Community Food Bank
732 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd., 404-892-9822, www.acfb.org

Best elementary school

Mary Lin Elementary School
586 Candler Park Drive, 404-802-3200, www.marylinelementary.com

College

Georgia Institute of Technology

Landmark

Stone Mountain Stone Mountain Park
1000 Robert E. Lee Drive, 404-498-5690, www.stonemountainpark.com

Local sports radio show

Chuck and Chernoff, 680 (WCNN-AM)

Local TV anchor

Monica Kauffman/Pearson

Party school

University of Georgia
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Best bizarro local news story

T.I. talked the jumper off the building
Late one afternoon last October, radio and TV news reported that a man was threatening to jump 22 stories from the top of Colony Square in Midtown. Photos of the desperate 24-year-old peering over the ledge, taken by people in neighboring skyscrapers, appeared on Twitter. Police closed nearby streetsmore...
Late one afternoon last October, radio and TV news reported that a man was threatening to jump 22 stories from the top of Colony Square in Midtown. Photos of the desperate 24-year-old peering over the ledge, taken by people in neighboring skyscrapers, appeared on Twitter. Police closed nearby streets as a hostage negotiator tried to coax the man off the roof. And then the day was saved as T.I. talked the jumper off the building! Yes, T.I., the rapper and actor, heard the news on V-103 (WVEE-FM) while en route to a video shoot and decided to swing by the scene. Once there, he videotaped a message telling the jumper, "No matter what's going on in life, it gets better," which was quickly taken to the roof. The man came down, spoke with the rapper for a few minutes and was then taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for psychiatric evaluation. T.I. told reporters that the random act of disaster avoidance was in no way linked to his appearance days later before a federal judge for probation violations. It seems he was right: He got 11 months. less...

Best chance to watch gold medal Olympians

Atlanta Beat
It's an expansion team in a league many people don't even know exists, but the Atlanta Beat pro soccer club fielded three members of the U.S. squad that made it to the finals of the Women's World Cup in July and helped bring home the gold at the 2008 Olympics. Defender Heather Mitts, with two gold medals,more...
It's an expansion team in a league many people don't even know exists, but the Atlanta Beat pro soccer club fielded three members of the U.S. squad that made it to the finals of the Women's World Cup in July and helped bring home the gold at the 2008 Olympics. Defender Heather Mitts, with two gold medals, is best known for her appearances in Maxim, Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue and other lad mags, and for being named "Hottest Female Athlete" by ESPN.com. It's never too late to become a fan, guys. womensprosoccer.com/atlanta. less...



Best local blogger rivalry

What Now, Atlanta? and Tomorrow's News Today
Online flame wars typically fizzle out after a day. Twitter debates are limited to 140 characters. And arguing in public sucks because you actually have to look at your opponent. But the rivalry between What Now, Atlanta? and Tomorrow's News Today has provided months of catty fun for onlookers. A fewmore...
Online flame wars typically fizzle out after a day. Twitter debates are limited to 140 characters. And arguing in public sucks because you actually have to look at your opponent. But the rivalry between What Now, Atlanta? and Tomorrow's News Today has provided months of catty fun for onlookers. A few years back, WNA's Caleb Spivak and ToNeTo's Eli Zandman, who both provide updates on the city's retail, restaurant and development scene, were partners. Hell, they even camped out together to be first in line when H&M opened. But since splitting acrimoniously in late 2009, there have been battles for scoops, occasional jabs via social media and blog comments by fans needling the rivals' posts. Spivak and Zandman's new-media feud proves that Atlanta's sleepy blogosphere has a pulse. tonetoatl.com. whatnowatlanta.com. less...

Best neighborhood listserv (for outsiders)

Inman Park LISTSERV
Itching to learn more about your fellow Atlantans but can't get away from your desk? Heard of a nifty invention called the Internet? It comes with message boards, and there are none more entertaining and oddly addictive than the Inman Park LISTSERV. In addition to the expected missives about unfamiliarmore...
Itching to learn more about your fellow Atlantans but can't get away from your desk? Heard of a nifty invention called the Internet? It comes with message boards, and there are none more entertaining and oddly addictive than the Inman Park LISTSERV. In addition to the expected missives about unfamiliar cars and prowlers, the message board's nearly 800 members have devoted vast amounts of bandwidth to discussing the activities of a narcissistic goose and debating the artistic merits of a neighborhood mural. When Congressman David Scott bellyached about a proposed community garden near his Inman Park home, its members chose sides in what became a contentious battle. Throw in the occasional posts by a brew-loving real estate agent, hacked email accounts and passionate calls to action for local causes, and you've got a great real-time portrait of one of the city's most dynamic neighborhoods. inmanpark.org. less...

Best opportunity for national retail and food hall glory

Ponce City Market
After more than a year of touch-and-go negotiations, City Hall East was finally sold to a developer this summer and its new owner wasted no time in renaming the 2-million-square-foot building Ponce City Market. In the middle of a ruptured economy, Cobb County-based Jamestown Properties plans to spendmore...
After more than a year of touch-and-go negotiations, City Hall East was finally sold to a developer this summer and its new owner wasted no time in renaming the 2-million-square-foot building Ponce City Market. In the middle of a ruptured economy, Cobb County-based Jamestown Properties plans to spend $180 million over the next three years in hopes of creating a world-class food hall, a regional shopping destination, and sought-after office and loft space. Why are we so optimistic? Because it's done it before, with Chelsea Market, a 99-year-old former Nabisco factory in Manhattan's Meatpacking District that now houses dozens of restaurants, boutiques and top-tier food shops, as well as the Food Network studios where "Iron Chef" is filmed. The company has since floated a few similarly ambitious ideas for PCM, including an organic garden on the roof, an indoor farmers market and even amusement park rides that would enable riders to look 200 feet down onto Ponce de Leon Avenue at night. Sounds good to us. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. poncecitymarket.com. less...

Best sign of political common sense

Sunday alcohol sales
It wasn't the most important legislation to pass this year, and we wouldn't attempt to argue that future generations of Georgians will enjoy more fruitful and satisfying lives as a result, but in the annals of no-brainers, legalizing Sunday alcohol sales tops the list. After decades of kowtowing to themore...
It wasn't the most important legislation to pass this year, and we wouldn't attempt to argue that future generations of Georgians will enjoy more fruitful and satisfying lives as a result, but in the annals of no-brainers, legalizing Sunday alcohol sales tops the list. After decades of kowtowing to the Christian right, state lawmakers finally managed to nut up and pass a law allowing grown adult people to vote on whether they should be able to buy a cold one on the Sabbath. less...

Local blogger

Lindsay Roberts and Lauren Kraselsky of the Quick and Dirty Dirty

Local Twitter feed

Brandon Bond
twitter.com/brandonbond

Radio DJ/personality

Bert Weiss, Q-100 (WWWQ-FM)

Best high school

Grady High School
929 Charles Allen Drive, 404-802-3001, www.gradyhighschool.org

Best place for a beach getaway/history lesson

Sapelo Island
Who wouldn't want to visit a village called Hog Hammock? Sapelo Island ranks as one of the state's most historically significant and downright interesting places for two reasons: It's home to a thriving community of descendants of the Gullah-Geechee culture of coastal Georgia and South Carolina; andmore...
Who wouldn't want to visit a village called Hog Hammock? Sapelo Island ranks as one of the state's most historically significant and downright interesting places for two reasons: It's home to a thriving community of descendants of the Gullah-Geechee culture of coastal Georgia and South Carolina; and it's the site of the Reynolds Mansion, a Gilded Age estate last owned by tobacco mogul R.J. Reynolds. The island itself, accessible only by ferry or small plane, comes with the beaches, marshes, trails, wildlife and Spanish moss-draped trees you'd expect, as well as old ruins and a charmingly picturesque candy-striped lighthouse. But it also boasts Hog Hammock, one of Georgia's last remaining Gullah communities, where the culture of coastal African-Americans has been preserved for generations. Finally, there's the antebellum plantation, which dates back nearly 200 years and is now maintained by the state, after having been donated by the Reynolds family. The 13-room mansion itself can be rented out for about $17,000 a week. Got 15 rich friends? 912-485-2299. gastateparks.org/SapeloReynolds. less...

Free annual event

Dogwood Festival Piedmont Park
Piedmont Park, 1071 Piedmont Ave NE, 404-817-6642, www.dogwood.org

Georgia mountain escape

Blue Ridge Mountains

Morning drive-time radio show

The Bert Show, Q-100 (WWWQ-FM)

Non-commercial radio show

"All Things Considered" on 90.1 (WABE-FM)

Off-the-beaten-path tourist destination

Oakland Cemetery Oakland Cemetery
248 Oakland Ave., 404-688-2107, www.oaklandcemetery.com

Best bike lanes for aiding traffic flow

Decatur's new bike lanes

Best middle school

Inman Middle School
774 Virginia Ave., 404-802-3200, www.inmanmiddleschool.org

Best sign of old-school media relevance

AJC's coverage of APS cheating
After years of staff buyouts, reorganizations and a relocation to Dunwoody, the AJC seemed ready for the insertion of the proverbial fork. But there are some stories that only a large daily newspaper has the resources, news space and clout to tackle. The AJC's coverage of APS cheating is the penultimatemore...
After years of staff buyouts, reorganizations and a relocation to Dunwoody, the AJC seemed ready for the insertion of the proverbial fork. But there are some stories that only a large daily newspaper has the resources, news space and clout to tackle. The AJC's coverage of APS cheating is the penultimate example of the kind of dogged, day-in-day-out investigative reporting that no blogger, TV news crew or online journalist is equipped to do. The paper overcame school system stone-walling, public skepticism and pressure from powerful business interests in uncovering what has been revealed to be the largest school cheating scandal in U.S. history. And, to its credit, the AJC managed to bring this widespread fraud to light without sensationalizing the story or overreaching in its conclusions. Rather, it methodically backed up each new discovery with enough evidence to trigger a state investigation of unprecedented scope. Daily newspapers may be dinosaurs, but there's nothing on the new-media landscape that can duplicate their T-Rex bite when it comes to complex stories like this. ajc.com. less...

Best urban wilderness refuge

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve
You don't need to go to the North Georgia mountains to get into the wild. Just take a trip down Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta. Located deep in the heart of this affluent African-American community sits the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, a dense, 120-acre woodland with steep inclines, a babblingmore...
You don't need to go to the North Georgia mountains to get into the wild. Just take a trip down Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta. Located deep in the heart of this affluent African-American community sits the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, a dense, 120-acre woodland with steep inclines, a babbling creek and waterfall, deer and more than 150 native plant species. Moss-covered pathways lead to an outdoor education center. Established in 1979 with city, state and federal funds, the former Creek Indian settlement includes an old spring house where tourists once bathed and the remains of a quarry that produced materials to build nearby homes. The preserve could use some TLC, i.e., trail markers, historical plaques and some replacement boards on a bridge near the waterfall. But you have to admire the rugged, semi-forgotten feel of the site, which was also once the scene of the Battle of Utoy Creek, in which Gen. Sherman's Union forces suffered heavy casualties. 2852 Cascade Road. 404-546-6744. atlantaga.gov. less...

Charity

Atlanta Community Food Bank Atlanta Community Food Bank
732 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd., 404-892-9822, www.acfb.org
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