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Best of Atlanta 2013 Cityscape

 

Best Of Atlanta 2013 Cityscape (large)


Cityscape

We live in a great city. Originally built in the middle of nowhere, it was burned to the ground, rebuilt into the epicenter of the Southeast, hit hard by the recent recession, and is now growing once again. Business leaders will say this is because of our massive airport or the many Fortune 500 companies headquartered here, which is partly true. But while it's easy to credit the big names, more often it's the efforts of the little guys that are truly making a difference in building a better city: The oddballs and mysterious characters who make superhero outfits and patrol neighborhood streets. The new parks and greenspaces that are forming around us thanks to committed residents. The communities we're all trying to improve because we can't imagine ever leaving them. And the elected officials fighting the good fight Downtown. (Yes, they exist.)

In the last year we've celebrated a stray cat along the Atlanta Beltline, taken over the streets in the name of a young teen who died hundreds of miles away, invested in a more bike-friendly city, and seen a baseball player who had seemingly given up hope go on to become a living legend. Too often we focus on the ills of our fair city. But there is much more good in Atlanta than there is bad and that deserves recognition.

— Thomas Wheatley

Best act of civil disobedience BOA Award Winner

Trayvon Martin protests
Even though the trial took place in Florida, Trayvon Martin protests occurred across the country in the days following the jury's decision to clear George Zimmerman on all charges of killing the 17-year-old. Atlantans took to the streets and practiced civil disobedience on a massive scale to demand justice.more...
Even though the trial took place in Florida, Trayvon Martin protests occurred across the country in the days following the jury's decision to clear George Zimmerman on all charges of killing the 17-year-old. Atlantans took to the streets and practiced civil disobedience on a massive scale to demand justice. They marched from Woodruff Park to the tombs of Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta, and back. They protested across the street from the CNN Center. They rallied in West End and walked en masse to the heart of Downtown, clogging Peachtree Street. The next day, hundreds - possibly thousands - did it again from the Atlanta University Center to Centennial Olympic Park. Atlanta got loud. Atlanta got angry. Atlanta remained peaceful. All in all, zero arrests were reported. less...

Best addition to an excellent park BOA Award Winner

One of the best parks - arguably the best park - in Atlanta just got better. This summer, Piedmont Park's 13-acre expansion and its collection of new entrances was unveiled. The add-on near the intersection of Piedmont Road and Monroe Drive is crowned by the new Piedmont Commons, a multi-use fieldmore...
One of the best parks - arguably the best park - in Atlanta just got better. This summer, Piedmont Park's 13-acre expansion and its collection of new entrances was unveiled. The add-on near the intersection of Piedmont Road and Monroe Drive is crowned by the new Piedmont Commons, a multi-use field for relaxing and picnicking. New access points to the park, including a trail through the North Woods forest alongside the Atlanta Botanical Garden, offer easy access to Ansley Park and Morningside residents. The effort is a follow-up to a 2011 expansion that included wetlands, an expanded and improved dog park, and an interactive fountain. Even more excellence is on the way: The park's final planned expansion is set to include a skate park, and eventually the Beltline will also be built out along the greenspace. www.piedmontpark.org. less...

Best elected state official BOA Award Winner

State Rep. Stacey Evans
She doesn't have a reserved seat on Sunday morning talk shows like Mayor Kasim Reed. Nor the penchant for protests like state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta. But State Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, deserves every bit as much of the spotlight. CL bestowed her with a 2012 Arnie Award - our annual accolademore...
She doesn't have a reserved seat on Sunday morning talk shows like Mayor Kasim Reed. Nor the penchant for protests like state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta. But State Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, deserves every bit as much of the spotlight. CL bestowed her with a 2012 Arnie Award - our annual accolade for do-gooders under the Gold Dome - for coming back early from maternity leave to protest abortion legislation by wrapping herself in caution tape with other female Democratic lawmakers on the House floor. Evans took home yet another Arnie in 2013, this time for her adamant push to lower the HOPE scholarship's grade point average requirements for tech school students. Her proposal, which was designed to give students better access to vocational training opportunities at technical colleges, gained bipartisan support from her fellow lawmakers - as well as a reluctant Gov. Nathan Deal. www.staceyevans.org. less...
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