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Best of Atlanta 2011 Index

 

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2011 Index of Winners

Best new gay thing to happen outside of Midtown

Atlanta has a rich tradition of gay bars with delightfully suggestive names: BJ Roosters; Swinging Richards; and the recently shuttered Three Legged Cowboy. But Atlanta's latest gay bar, The Cockpit, takes the cake. Imagine diving headfirst into a pit of ... well, you get the idea. With Atlanta's gaymore...
Atlanta has a rich tradition of gay bars with delightfully suggestive names: BJ Roosters; Swinging Richards; and the recently shuttered Three Legged Cowboy. But Atlanta's latest gay bar, The Cockpit, takes the cake. Imagine diving headfirst into a pit of ... well, you get the idea. With Atlanta's gay scene still largely sequestered in Midtown, the Cockpit is a welcome and necessary addition to those who crave a bar off the beaten path. It's the only gay watering hole in Grant Park, not far from Mary's in East Atlanta, and an encouraging sign of the city's sprawling gay population. The cozy interior with exposed brick and a central bar houses a pool table, and the space includes a small outdoor patio. Also a rarity among gay bars, the Cockpit is smoke-free. But what's most appreciated is the location's down-to-earth attitude. Still, those Boulevard bears know to keep the Gaga blasting. 465 Boulevard. 404-343-2450. thecockpit-atlanta.blogspot.com. less...

Best off-the-radar place to see a local show

Forget a Facebook invite; you couldn't stumble upon this place with a pocket compass. That's because the location of the tunnel shows that take place along the southwestern stretch of the Beltline remain shrouded in secrecy. Imagine the Southern gothic atmosphere of a William Faulkner novel, channeledmore...
Forget a Facebook invite; you couldn't stumble upon this place with a pocket compass. That's because the location of the tunnel shows that take place along the southwestern stretch of the Beltline remain shrouded in secrecy. Imagine the Southern gothic atmosphere of a William Faulkner novel, channeled into a strange but beautiful outsider folk scene. Ramshackle and hobo-esque acts with names such as Pony Bones, Melissa Lonely, the Subliminator, and Shitty Bedford howl at the moon while carving out a sound that's anything but urbane. less...

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 antique store

Kudzu Antique Market

Best asian food market

Super H-Mart

Best cooking classes

The Cook's Warehouse

Best crossfit

Unit 2 Fitness Unit 2 Fitness

Best taxi cab service

Checker Cab

Best gym deal

There are some people in this world (lots of them, actually) who really like to exercise. The rest of us need incentive to get our fat asses off the couch beyond the possibility that we'll no longer have such fat asses. Retro Fitness, a chain that's heavily represented in the Northeast, but only hasmore...
There are some people in this world (lots of them, actually) who really like to exercise. The rest of us need incentive to get our fat asses off the couch beyond the possibility that we'll no longer have such fat asses. Retro Fitness, a chain that's heavily represented in the Northeast, but only has a few locations in the South, opened its 15,000-square-foot Buckhead location less than a year ago, and it's awesome. All of the equipment is brand-spankin' new, there's a cardio room/theater where you can watch a movie on the big screen while you sweat, and the rest of the cardio equipment has individual TVs to take your mind off the agony. Probably the best thing about Retro Fitness: It's cheap. There's no sign-up fee, monthly membership dues are only $19.99, and for $5 extra you can either get unlimited tanning or massages in its nifty, computerized massage bed. 3050 Peachtree Road. 404-549-7126. buckheadga.retrofitness.net. less...

Best hot tchotchkes

Highland Row Antiques isn't your mildewed neighborhood yard sale. The Poncey-Highland shop specializes in mid-century modern pieces like retro ashtrays and deco artwork, as well as other kitschy vintage pieces. The small, curated storefront gives way to a giant Basement Market with bric-a-brac from moremore...
Highland Row Antiques isn't your mildewed neighborhood yard sale. The Poncey-Highland shop specializes in mid-century modern pieces like retro ashtrays and deco artwork, as well as other kitschy vintage pieces. The small, curated storefront gives way to a giant Basement Market with bric-a-brac from more than 20 dealers, ranging from $5 Americana saltshakers to a $500 Danish couch. 628 N. Highland Ave. 404-815-8830. highlandrowantiques.com. less...

Best selection of handmade jewelry

The term crafts, as in arts and crafts, used to evoke images of macaroni necklaces and little cabins constructed of crudely glued together popsicle sticks. Atlanta's craft scene is a hell of a lot more sophisticated than that. The Beehive Co-Op sells clothes, bags, and beauty products by some of themore...
The term crafts, as in arts and crafts, used to evoke images of macaroni necklaces and little cabins constructed of crudely glued together popsicle sticks. Atlanta's craft scene is a hell of a lot more sophisticated than that. The Beehive Co-Op sells clothes, bags, and beauty products by some of the area's best indie crafters, and its selection of jewelry is especially impressive. Established in 2004, Beehive owners Malene Davis and Preeti Ayyangar secured a sunny and spacious retail location in the Edgewood Shopping District in early 2010. About half of the space is dedicated to handmade baubles like A Bardis' colorful drop earrings, delicate fortune cookie necklaces by Christina Kober Designs, and Madeline Burdine's whimsical, nature-inspired metalwork necklaces, earrings and cuffs. 1250 Caroline St., Suite C120. 404-350-3898. thebeehiveatl.com. less...

Best way to skip a trip to the farmers market

We all feel good about ourselves when we shop at the farmers market, don't we? Look at us strutting around with our reusable tote bags, mentally applauding ourselves for waking up early on a weekend in order to consume with conscience. If the scene's too much for you, or if you just like sleeping in,more...
We all feel good about ourselves when we shop at the farmers market, don't we? Look at us strutting around with our reusable tote bags, mentally applauding ourselves for waking up early on a weekend in order to consume with conscience. If the scene's too much for you, or if you just like sleeping in, Vegetable Husband delivers fresh, local produce to its subscribers' doors once a week. Proprietor Margie Thorpe does the dirty work for her clients. She picks up a variety of fresh fruits and veggies from area farms, divvies them out in adorably folksy baskets and arranges for home delivery by friendly volunteers. A basket from Vegetable Husband is something to behold, especially in the summer when it overflows with a bounty of organic edibles such as peppers, okra, green beans, the best tomatoes you'll ever taste, melons and blueberries. 404-617-9302. vegetablehusband.com. less...

Best Caribbean

Stir It Up takes its name from the well-known Bob Marley song that evokes hot stuff, but not cooking. While you won't get that kind of hot stuff at this Jamaican restaurant in Little Five Points, you will get food sensual enough to make you lick your tablemates' fingers. Owners Christopher and Vivianmore...
Stir It Up takes its name from the well-known Bob Marley song that evokes hot stuff, but not cooking. While you won't get that kind of hot stuff at this Jamaican restaurant in Little Five Points, you will get food sensual enough to make you lick your tablemates' fingers. Owners Christopher and Vivian Williams say they also chose the name because Jamaican cuisine is a stirred-up mix of cultural influences. The Williamses won't compromise their food's quality with the steam trays common in most Jamaican restaurants. Everything is cooked to order and nothing is toned down to placate timid palates. Standouts are the salted, diced cod tossed with warm cabbage slaw, and the richest, glossiest oxtail stew on the planet. 1083 Euclid Ave. 404-963-2384. stiritupatl.com. less...

Best coffeehouse

Octane isn't just our favorite coffeehouse in town, it's one of our favorite places in town. The staff is friendly (and hot). The music is awesome. It serves craft beer. The atmosphere is conducive to working or dating or meeting or creating. And most importantly, the baristas still make the best damnmore...
Octane isn't just our favorite coffeehouse in town, it's one of our favorite places in town. The staff is friendly (and hot). The music is awesome. It serves craft beer. The atmosphere is conducive to working or dating or meeting or creating. And most importantly, the baristas still make the best damn coffee and coffee drinks in town. Never change, Octane. Never change. 1009-B Marietta St. 404-815-9886. octanecoffee.com. less...

Best modern cocktails

4th & Swift's bar manager James Ives' drinks employ all manner of house-made tinctures, essences and bitters, often in combinations that sound insane. Ginger-infused rum, basil, lemon grass-black sesame syrup, lemon tincture and pink peppercorns? But Ives' brilliance is in creating perfect balance withmore...
4th & Swift's bar manager James Ives' drinks employ all manner of house-made tinctures, essences and bitters, often in combinations that sound insane. Ginger-infused rum, basil, lemon grass-black sesame syrup, lemon tincture and pink peppercorns? But Ives' brilliance is in creating perfect balance with his medleys, making for the most interesting and delicious drinks in town. 621 North Ave. 678-904-0160. 4thandswift.com. less...

Best new beer

We've always been proud of our local bottled beers, it's just that there's so few of them. Well that's beginning to change, starting with Wild Heaven, a new brewery from Nick Purdy. Along with consulting brewmaster Eric Johnson, Wild Heaven has so far released two beers: Invocation, a Belgian-style goldenmore...
We've always been proud of our local bottled beers, it's just that there's so few of them. Well that's beginning to change, starting with Wild Heaven, a new brewery from Nick Purdy. Along with consulting brewmaster Eric Johnson, Wild Heaven has so far released two beers: Invocation, a Belgian-style golden ale, and Ode to Mercy, an Imperial Brown Ale. Try a glass of the deep, bitter toffee-tinged Ode to Mercy with a stinky cheese, or the slightly fruity and spicy Invocation with roast pork or chicken. wildheavencraftbeers.com. less...

Best breakfast

Flying Biscuit Cafe - Midtown
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best burritos

Willy's Mexicana Grill
And other metro Atlanta locations

Best cajun

Henry's Louisiana Grill Henry's Louisiana Grill

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