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Best Of Atlanta 2007 Cityscape Large


Cityscape

The past year hasn’t been awful. Meteors didn’t pummel the 17th Street bridge to dust. Locusts didn’t swarm the samosa tray at Your DeKalb Farmers Market. Mounted Mongol invaders didn’t sack Grant Park and eat Mei Lan. Yet.

But a spike in crime, a dip in the housing market, careless missteps by police and city leaders, and, well, Michael Vick have turned our civic mood ring from blue to gray.

What better time, then, to seek solace by reflecting on some of the things old and new, trendy and timeless, that we love about our town — whether it’s the diversity of Buford Highway or the charm of our distinctive intown neighborhoods.

Maddening though it can be sometimes (witness the last session of the General Assembly), Atlanta is a profoundly interesting place to live. In a generation, it’s morphed from a provincial podunk to a behemoth of international business and a cultural mecca.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a hipster in an ironic tee, a scenester clubbing in designer duds, a company foot soldier producing stacks of TPS reports or a refugee fleeing an African war zone. Atlanta has a job for you, a place to live and a bar for you to hang out with your friends.

— Andisheh Nouraee

Best Resource for the Carless BOA Award Winner

Flexcar
For those who'd like to give up their cars full-time - with the option of having some wheels to borrow for grocery shopping, picking up furniture or making a quick day trip - FLEXCAR can make that dream a reality. For as little as $6 per hour, you can rent one of 64 fully insured vehicles (includingmore...
For those who'd like to give up their cars full-time - with the option of having some wheels to borrow for grocery shopping, picking up furniture or making a quick day trip - FLEXCAR can make that dream a reality. For as little as $6 per hour, you can rent one of 64 fully insured vehicles (including hybrids, SUVs, pickup trucks and even a Mini convertible) from locations across the city and return it when you're done. There's none of the hassle that comes with the lines and paperwork at a traditional car-rental place. What's more, Flexcar's $35 annual membership fee is waived in subsequent years if you use the service just twice in 12 months. And because Flexcar's fleet averages 30 miles per gallon, and because all of its cars are Ultra Low Emission Vehicles, borrowing from Flexcar is good for Atlanta's crummy air, too. less...

Best Climbing Wall BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Rocks!
“Climbing up the walls” used to be an expression of anxiety and frustration. Two decades into the extreme-sports era, it’s a description of what lots of people do with their free time. The ATLANTA ROCKS! location on Collier Road claims to be the largest indoor gym in the Southeast.more...
“Climbing up the walls” used to be an expression of anxiety and frustration. Two decades into the extreme-sports era, it’s a description of what lots of people do with their free time. The ATLANTA ROCKS! location on Collier Road claims to be the largest indoor gym in the Southeast. With 12,000 square feet of climbing surface and climbing routes for beginners and experts alike, we have no reason to doubt them. It beats the hell out of spin class. less...

Best Golf Course BOA Award Winner

Fox Creek Golf Course & Driving Range
LEGACY LINKS & FOX CREEK is a bustling golf campus that straddles the Marietta-Smyrna border. Two fast, 18-hole courses with no par 5s let golfers cram in a difficult round in a couple hours, but the main draw is the sprawling complex of practice facilities, named the best in the Southeast by Sportsmore...
LEGACY LINKS & FOX CREEK is a bustling golf campus that straddles the Marietta-Smyrna border. Two fast, 18-hole courses with no par 5s let golfers cram in a difficult round in a couple hours, but the main draw is the sprawling complex of practice facilities, named the best in the Southeast by Sports Illustrated. The driving range stays open till 10 every night, as do the two putting greens and seven chipping greens. There are six pro instructors on hand and an indoor practice center with tees that are videotaped from three angles for swing analysis. In August, Fox Creek replanted all its greens with Champion Bermuda grass, a new hybrid “ultra dwarf” species intended to allow faster, smoother putts. Yeah, but can you smoke it? less...

Best Overall Radio Station BOA Award Winner

WREK Atlanta 91.1 FM, Georgia Tech Student Radio
Engineers are strange, in a good way. Though we never quite know how, they help us manage the banality of everyday life. So it sorta makes sense that Georgia Tech’s student-run radio station, WREK-FM (91.1) is the same: strange in a good way. The station’s format is noncommercial andmore...
Engineers are strange, in a good way. Though we never quite know how, they help us manage the banality of everyday life. So it sorta makes sense that Georgia Tech’s student-run radio station, WREK-FM (91.1) is the same: strange in a good way. The station’s format is noncommercial and nonconforming. Few stations in the city can compete with WREK’s eclectic playlist as it moves without missing a beat from the street-conscious rap of Lupe Fiasco’s “Just Might Be OK” to the mind-numbing rock of Japan’s Solar Anus. It’s as if the daily sound blocks are programmed to project moods instead of genres. The station’s website even provides a detailed blueprint of WREK’s mission statement for the next three years. How efficient. less...

Best Quirk About Atlanta BOA Award Winner

Booze and Bottomless Dancers
We don’t have a harbor, casinos or a pleasant climate in the summer. But Atlanta still ranks as a major convention destination, in large part because it’s one of the few cities in the country whose strip clubs feature BOOZE AND BOTTOMLESS DANCERS. Even residents who aren’tmore...
We don’t have a harbor, casinos or a pleasant climate in the summer. But Atlanta still ranks as a major convention destination, in large part because it’s one of the few cities in the country whose strip clubs feature BOOZE AND BOTTOMLESS DANCERS. Even residents who aren’t patrons of the ecdysiastic arts appreciate the importance of the convention trade to the city’s economy. And for those who do partake in the occasional table dance, you already know what a bummer it would be if that G-string never came off. Or if you had to drink wheatgrass milk all night long instead of your customary Courvoisier-and-Red-Bull shooters. less...

Best Radio Oasis from Red-State Insanity BOA Award Winner

WABE-FM (90.1)
Some parts of the country only have to contend with right-wing, know-nothing blowhards dominating their radios. In Georgia, know-nothing blowhards don’t just dominate the radio, they dominate our politics. That’s why WABE-FM (90.1) is such a treasure. In a desert of loudmouths, it’smore...
Some parts of the country only have to contend with right-wing, know-nothing blowhards dominating their radios. In Georgia, know-nothing blowhards don’t just dominate the radio, they dominate our politics. That’s why WABE-FM (90.1) is such a treasure. In a desert of loudmouths, it’s an oasis of thoughtfulness and quiet sanity. NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,” as well as PRI’s “The World,” air locally on WABE, and are far and away the best broadcast news programs available in our city. And such talk shows as “Fresh Air” and “This American Life” are cultural lifelines, reminding us daily that there are parts of America where people don’t turn the bumpers of their cars into shrines for dead NASCAR drivers. less...

Best Sign Atlanta Isn't Turning Into Houston (or L.A., New York, or D.C.) BOA Award Winner

Our Destiny is in Our Hands
L.A. has earthquakes and wildfires. New York and D.C. have terrorism. Houston and Florida have hurricanes. For a large city and commercial hub, Atlanta is remarkably safe from external mortal threats. The biggest threat to Atlanta is itself. It means OUR DESTINY IS IN OUR HANDS. All the things we bitchmore...
L.A. has earthquakes and wildfires. New York and D.C. have terrorism. Houston and Florida have hurricanes. For a large city and commercial hub, Atlanta is remarkably safe from external mortal threats. The biggest threat to Atlanta is itself. It means OUR DESTINY IS IN OUR HANDS. All the things we bitch about (traffic, sprawl, crime, filthy air, etc.) are our own doing — the result of decades of electing state and local politicians who are better at bickering than leading. Believe it or not, that’s good news. L.A. can’t make earthquakes go away. But we can stop doing stupid shit. less...

Best Suburb BOA Award Winner

Decatur
Because it’s closer to intown Atlanta’s coolest neighborhoods than most of the rest of intown Atlanta, people tend not to think of DECATUR as a suburb. But a suburb it is. The DeKalb County seat is home to 18,000 people who enjoy many of the benefits of suburban living (more green space,more...
Because it’s closer to intown Atlanta’s coolest neighborhoods than most of the rest of intown Atlanta, people tend not to think of DECATUR as a suburb. But a suburb it is. The DeKalb County seat is home to 18,000 people who enjoy many of the benefits of suburban living (more green space, a slightly slower pace of life than the city, decent public schools and an accessible local government) with few of the drawbacks. It has public transit, and plenty of places within walking distance of each other, including charming shops, great restaurants, bars and an increasing number of mid-rise condominiums. This fall, it’s even slated to get a free municipal Wi-Fi network that will cover much of the city. Top that, Alpharetta. less...

Best Website for Shopping, Sex and Miscellaneous Weirdness BOA Award Winner

Craigslist
CRAIGSLIST is more than just a shopper’s mecca. Its “anything goes” posting policy has made it a repository for users’ deepest and weirdest thoughts. Though it pains us to say this since Craigslist has taken a huge chunk of newspaper revenues, we still have to givemore...

CRAIGSLIST is more than just a shopper’s mecca. Its “anything goes” posting policy has made it a repository for users’ deepest and weirdest thoughts. Though it pains us to say this since Craigslist has taken a huge chunk of newspaper revenues, we still have to give props. Whether you’re looking for a guitar, a couch, a car or a house, it’s a great place to browse. On a given day, you’ll also find things such as heartfelt letters penned to anonymous grocery-store clerks someone was afraid to talk to, invitations by men who want to “swap body rubs,” and obscene racist rants about problems with Mexican drivers. Craigslist is part shopping mall, part diary, part bathroom wall.


www.atlanta.craigslist.com

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Best CD Shopping for Indie Snobs BOA Award Winner

Criminal Records
The first thing you'll notice when you walk into CRIMINAL RECORDS is that the high-set counters make the staff tower over you like gods of musical knowledge ... either that, or tatted-up pharmacists. Instead of handing out Prozac, however, they'll prescribe you the latest from Peter Bjorn and John ormore...
The first thing you'll notice when you walk into CRIMINAL RECORDS is that the high-set counters make the staff tower over you like gods of musical knowledge ... either that, or tatted-up pharmacists. Instead of handing out Prozac, however, they'll prescribe you the latest from Peter Bjorn and John or the Polyphonic Spree. Tucked between Junkman's Daughter and Aurora Coffee, this L5P staple doubles as a comic-book shop, a magazine stand, a toy store and, sometimes, a concert venue. It's got plenty of vinyl, material from local bands, concert DVDs and rare EPs from the likes of Death Cab and Kings of Leon. Plus, its ridiculously wide selection of graphic novels (it has more than most stores that just sell comics) means you can satisfy penchants for Brian Eno and Brian Michael Bendis simultaneously. less...

Best Workout for Masochists BOA Award Winner

Kettlebell Training At Studio Lotus
Move over, yoga and Pilates. A long-ignored form of Russian strength training is making a comeback, and disciples swear that two months of the exercise does more to lift the derriere (and improve balance and agility) than a year's worth of sun salutations. KETTLEBELL TRAINING AT STUDIO LOTUS offers amore...
Move over, yoga and Pilates. A long-ignored form of Russian strength training is making a comeback, and disciples swear that two months of the exercise does more to lift the derriere (and improve balance and agility) than a year's worth of sun salutations. KETTLEBELL TRAINING AT STUDIO LOTUS offers a departure from the mat classes and private instruction that are typically offered at the Morningside Pilates studio. Attendees of any of the seven weekly Kettlebell classes ($185 for a once-a-week, eight-week series) will be greeted with a cast-iron, bell-shaped weight with a handle on top, which is swung using both arms in various arcs and loops. In less than an hour, the low-impact exercise burns fat, sculpts muscles and offers a rigorous cardio workout. Expect to be sore - to the point of not being able to sit. less...

Best Place to Enjoy a Brew with Your New 'Do BOA Award Winner

Roosters Men's Grooming Center
If Ernest Hemingway's reanimated corpse somehow found itself shambling down Powers Ferry Road in desperate need of a shave and haircut, it would surely stumble into ROOSTER'S, where old-school collides with new-school in an explosion of manly awesomeness. Decked out like some hunting lodge from the 1920s,more...
If Ernest Hemingway's reanimated corpse somehow found itself shambling down Powers Ferry Road in desperate need of a shave and haircut, it would surely stumble into ROOSTER'S, where old-school collides with new-school in an explosion of manly awesomeness. Decked out like some hunting lodge from the 1920s, this boy's club oozes enough machismo to make Papa Hemingway plenty proud. Antique golf clubs, stuffed deer heads and ducks adorn the walls alongside flat-screen TVs, and there's a table full of lad-mag reading material from Maxim to Details - and, fittingly, the forever-quotable screenplay of Caddyshack. If all that isn't enough to get you there for your next trim, here are two important words: Free. Beer. less...

Best Unpretentious Salon for Hipster Mops BOA Award Winner

Adore Hair Studio & Shoppe
It's barely a year old, but Inman Park's ADORE HAIR STUDIO & SHOPPE has attracted a - dare we say it? - adoring clientele, and deservedly so. The handsome, minimalist loft space, decorated in shades of chocolate with leather armchairs serving as the styling seats, has drawn talent from some of the city'smore...
It's barely a year old, but Inman Park's ADORE HAIR STUDIO & SHOPPE has attracted a - dare we say it? - adoring clientele, and deservedly so. The handsome, minimalist loft space, decorated in shades of chocolate with leather armchairs serving as the styling seats, has drawn talent from some of the city's most popular salons, Many former clients of those salons have followed suit. Adore carries the coveted Bumble and bumble product line - a sign of its chops - and several stylists trained at the prestigious Bb University in New York City. Stylist Brenton Anderson has been featured on two episodes of Fox's "Ambush Makeover," less...

Best Way to Impress a New Flame in the Kitchen BOA Award Winner

Star Provisions
So you want to invite your new beau to your place for dinner, but there's just one teensy problem: You don't know the difference between bouillon and bouillabaisse, a skillet and a grill pan, chardonnay and Viognier. Let STAR PROVISIONS come to the rescue. The upscale market flanks Bacchanalia, one ofmore...
So you want to invite your new beau to your place for dinner, but there's just one teensy problem: You don't know the difference between bouillon and bouillabaisse, a skillet and a grill pan, chardonnay and Viognier. Let STAR PROVISIONS come to the rescue. The upscale market flanks Bacchanalia, one of the city's finest restaurants, and offers plenty of options for piecing together the perfect, premade dinner-to-go. A meal of flank steak and arugula, with a side of risotto, a simple starter of French baguette and chevre, a dessert of Valrhona chocolate cake, and a heady cabernet to wash it down won't come cheap, but all you have to do is follow the reheating instructions. You do know how to turn on the oven, right? less...

Best Place for the Sexiest Skivvies BOA Award Winner

O'Clair de Lune
A few years back, French-born-and-raised Lamia Aouassi was in the business of importing vegetables. Though she's still in the import industry, it's taken a bit of a turn - to European lingerie. Her online and appointment-only boutique, O'CLAIR DE LUNE, is stocked with sultry unmentionables from prominentmore...
A few years back, French-born-and-raised Lamia Aouassi was in the business of importing vegetables. Though she's still in the import industry, it's taken a bit of a turn - to European lingerie. Her online and appointment-only boutique, O'CLAIR DE LUNE, is stocked with sultry unmentionables from prominent French and Italian lines. With lacy brassieres, satin undies, classy camis and frilly nighties, the collections are indulgent. Armed with champagne and gourmet chocolates, Aouassi hosts lingerie parties and will gladly assist men in selecting the perfect panties for their special lady, all out of the comfort of her live/work space in Castleberry Hill. less...

Best Store Makeover BOA Award Winner

Wish
Putting a hipster clothing boutique in a stately old library building on Moreland Avenue was a stroke of genius when WISH opened a dozen or so years back. Now, several owners and inventory changes later, the shop has reached its full potential with a spectacular renovation that would feel like a SoHomore...
Putting a hipster clothing boutique in a stately old library building on Moreland Avenue was a stroke of genius when WISH opened a dozen or so years back. Now, several owners and inventory changes later, the shop has reached its full potential with a spectacular renovation that would feel like a SoHo art gallery - if you weren't so consumed with browsing through its racks of Nice Collective, True Religion and Martin Margiela. The clean lines, black-and-white palette and stark furnishings of the main floor are made less imposing by the use of lowly materials such as bare plywood for wall paneling and construction nails for accessory hooks. Downstairs, the dim, book-lined shoe vault, where specialty kicks rest dramatically on glowing white boxes, is an equally captivating space. And the brilliant ad campaign - shots of local musicians wearing Wish's wares - only complements the store's hot new look. less...

Best Reason to Play in the Dirt BOA Award Winner

Urban Gardener
From the extensive line of organic and natural fertilizers and pest control to the earthy, knowledgeable and helpful staff to the sprawling community garden that supplanted an abandoned lot, THE URBAN GARDENER is obviously a labor of love. The grounds of the gardening shop and adjoining garden are asmore...
From the extensive line of organic and natural fertilizers and pest control to the earthy, knowledgeable and helpful staff to the sprawling community garden that supplanted an abandoned lot, THE URBAN GARDENER is obviously a labor of love. The grounds of the gardening shop and adjoining garden are as beautiful as any yard you could hope to create - which makes its location a block off Interstate 20 all the more encouraging. If they grow all that beauty in a smoke-choked city without the intervention of harmful chemicals, it gives us all hope. Just ask the staff about which perennials, shade trees, native plants and ground cover might work best for you (or have their landscaping team design a formal plan) and watch as your own grounds become an urban oasis. less...

Best Excuse to Get Rid of Your Gut BOA Award Winner

Urban Body Fitness
Located right off Ponce in Va-Hi in a two-level loft, URBAN BODY FITNESS is out to give you a more personal fitness experience than you'll find hanging around those muscle-bound meatheads and White Goodman wannabes at your local Gold's. And if you doubt it, just ask any one of the fiercely loyal members.more...
Located right off Ponce in Va-Hi in a two-level loft, URBAN BODY FITNESS is out to give you a more personal fitness experience than you'll find hanging around those muscle-bound meatheads and White Goodman wannabes at your local Gold's. And if you doubt it, just ask any one of the fiercely loyal members. The gym has the newest machines for cardio and strength training; an extensive schedule of yoga, Pilates and spinning classes taught by some of the best and most experienced instructors in the city; fresh-brewed gourmet coffee and tea; and even an in-house chiropractor for all your cracking needs. Its "try before you buy" less...

Best Place to Dress Your Baby 'La Mini Me BOA Award Winner

Cayenne
Pack a lunch; we're taking a road trip. Believe it or not, the most fashionable kids' clothes are found OTP ... in Duluth. CAYENNE carries such hip grown-up labels as Da Nang, Joe's and Antik Denim - as well as haute lines that include Lola et Moi, Petit Bateau and Nutmeg. Co-owner Kevin Payne gets inspirationmore...
Pack a lunch; we're taking a road trip. Believe it or not, the most fashionable kids' clothes are found OTP ... in Duluth. CAYENNE carries such hip grown-up labels as Da Nang, Joe's and Antik Denim - as well as haute lines that include Lola et Moi, Petit Bateau and Nutmeg. Co-owner Kevin Payne gets inspiration from his own 4-year-old daughter, who we're sure will continue to inspire him well into her teens. (The store stocks clothing for babies and children up to age 16.) Cayenne is a tad on the pricey side, with cashmere frocks and "rockstar jeans" less...

Best Shopping Destination for Chloe, Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen BOA Award Winner

Phipps Plaza
It's part of every guidebook to Atlanta. It's heralded as the premiere shopping destination of the South. Gucci, Jimmy Choo and Versace all reside here. Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom are nothing to balk at, either. And let us not forget Jeffrey Kalinsky, who in 1994 introduced Atlanta to high-end fashionmore...
It's part of every guidebook to Atlanta. It's heralded as the premiere shopping destination of the South. Gucci, Jimmy Choo and Versace all reside here. Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom are nothing to balk at, either. And let us not forget Jeffrey Kalinsky, who in 1994 introduced Atlanta to high-end fashion by opening Jeffrey alongside his already successful shoe boutique Bob Ellis (now part of Jeffrey). Walking through PHIPPS PLAZA, one can imagine what life must be like for the rich and fabulous. With the addition of such boutiques as New York staple Barney's Co-op, trendy chain Intermix and classic line Theory, we paupers are still breaking the bank - and perhaps considering a second mortgage. less...

Best Store for Buying Shabby-Chic D BOA Award Winner

Melrose On Ponce
Merchandise spills out into the parking lot from MELROSE ON PONCE's loaded front porch. Weathered benches, plant stands and peculiar lamp bases hint at what awaits inside the quirky bungalow-style home-decor store. The shop is a maze of hallways and rooms littered with new, antique and vintage housewares,more...
Merchandise spills out into the parking lot from MELROSE ON PONCE's loaded front porch. Weathered benches, plant stands and peculiar lamp bases hint at what awaits inside the quirky bungalow-style home-decor store. The shop is a maze of hallways and rooms littered with new, antique and vintage housewares, as well as local arts and crafts. Make grandma proud with a dainty wood bedside table, painted black with mismatched knobs and skinny legs, on sale for $20, or create a patchwork wall with worn wooden picture frames at $7 a pop. less...

Best Place to Drop a Wad on Skinny Jeans BOA Award Winner

Blue Genes
Though we swore we'd never do it, we caved liked everyone else. We had no idea how many wildly expensive skinny choices we'd have: Chip & Pepper, Habitual, Hudson, J Brand, Joe's, Rock and Republic, Seven - the list goes on. Lying on the dressing-room floor at BLUE GENES, trying to get the skinny zippermore...
Though we swore we'd never do it, we caved liked everyone else. We had no idea how many wildly expensive skinny choices we'd have: Chip & Pepper, Habitual, Hudson, J Brand, Joe's, Rock and Republic, Seven - the list goes on. Lying on the dressing-room floor at BLUE GENES, trying to get the skinny zipper up, we got sucked into the long-running trend. And once we were finally able to stand up and get a glimpse of our skinny legs in the mirror, we were sold. Before we knew it, we were forking over $200 and shimmying our skinny self out the door, vowing never to eat again. less...

Best Addition to the Skyline BOA Award Winner

Sovereign
Not much is going down in Buckhead since the neighborhood purged its nightlife, but plenty is going up. Atlanta hasn’t skyscraped this feverishly since the downtown/Midtown boom in the late ’80s and early ’90s. By the end of the year, the title “Buckhead’smore...

Not much is going down in Buckhead since the neighborhood purged its nightlife, but plenty is going up. Atlanta hasn’t skyscraped this feverishly since the downtown/Midtown boom in the late ’80s and early ’90s. By the end of the year, the title “Buckhead’s Tallest Building” will have changed hands twice in 2007. Come ’08, the title will belong to SOVEREIGN. Inside a curving, 635-foot-tall exterior that kind of looks like a giant Ionic Breeze, Sovereign will offer office, retail, restaurants and 93 condos that will cost up to $12 million. Here’s hoping the mixed-use monolith encourages more centralized living, working and playing — and thus less driving, driving and driving.


Tower Place 200, 3348 Peachtree Road, Suite 1095. 404-266-3344. www.sovereignbuckhead.com

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Best Day Trip to a War Zone BOA Award Winner

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
Few hints of the Battle of Atlanta have survived the city’s bulldozers and steamrollers. Just north of the city, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park offers a more complete, and scenic, view of the battle that preceded Atlanta’s fall. But if you really want to feel the scopemore...

Few hints of the Battle of Atlanta have survived the city’s bulldozers and steamrollers. Just north of the city, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park offers a more complete, and scenic, view of the battle that preceded Atlanta’s fall. But if you really want to feel the scope of the last war fought on Southern soil, head about 100 miles north to CHICKAMAUGA AND CHATTANOOGA NATIONAL MILITARY PARK. The Chickamauga part of the park, which is in Georgia, looks and feels like a hallowed old battlefield: rolling fields, idle cannons, somber memorials. It was the site of one of the South’s last big victories. U.S. troops retreated north to Chattanooga, Tenn., regrouped there, broke out of the city, and then, under the leadership of William Tecumseh Sherman, marched on to Atlanta. Parcels of the park commemorate clashes in and around Chattanooga, including Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.


www.nps.gov/chch

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Best Local Sports Blog BOA Award Winner

Braves Journal
Mac Thomason started his BRAVES JOURNAL blog in 1998 before he even knew what a blog was. A librarian by trade, Thomason started out writing about all of Atlanta’s sports teams, but quickly settled on his favorite: the Braves. Thomason’s observations on all things Braves are often funnymore...

Mac Thomason started his BRAVES JOURNAL blog in 1998 before he even knew what a blog was. A librarian by trade, Thomason started out writing about all of Atlanta’s sports teams, but quickly settled on his favorite: the Braves. Thomason’s observations on all things Braves are often funny and usually insightful. And his rants can be provocative, such as his rebuke to Slate.com when the web magazine framed Hank Aaron as a slow-and-steady “good player,” as opposed to a great one. The blog has become a gathering spot for hardcore Braves fans, and it’s not unusual to see Thomason receive 300-plus comments on a single post where fans critique every move Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz make … and didn’t make.


www.bravesjournal.com

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Best Local Sports Radio Host BOA Award Winner

Chris Dimino
The format is simple: Four guys and a chick, and all the sports talk you want to hear. “Mayhem In The A.M.” on WQXI-AM (790 The Zone) is the only radio show that can get John Smoltz out of bed at 5:30 the morning after he’s pitched, and get him to talk about going one-on-onemore...
The format is simple: Four guys and a chick, and all the sports talk you want to hear. “Mayhem In The A.M.” on WQXI-AM (790 The Zone) is the only radio show that can get John Smoltz out of bed at 5:30 the morning after he’s pitched, and get him to talk about going one-on-one with Barry Bonds the night before. The show has five strong personalities, but we spotlight CHRIS DIMINO. Not because he’s the guy they call “Rain Man” for a memory that can pull up every obscure stat you could ever imagine, but because he’s the station’s most skilled interviewer. Aside from morning duties, he hosts a one-hour pregame show before every Braves home game. Dimino is also one of the few radio guys you actually see at games checking out the action in person when he should be home sleeping: Fer chrissakes, he’s on the air at 6 in the morning! less...

Best Person Panda You Hate to Love BOA Award Winner

Mei Lan
We might just prefer to have fresh bamboo shoots driven under our fingernails than be forced to read another story about MEI LAN, the baby panda. After the wall-to-wall press coverage, the billboards, the nightly gushing and cooing by local TV anchors, the ads for panda posters in the AJC and the frickin’more...

We might just prefer to have fresh bamboo shoots driven under our fingernails than be forced to read another story about MEI LAN, the baby panda. After the wall-to-wall press coverage, the billboards, the nightly gushing and cooing by local TV anchors, the ads for panda posters in the AJC and the frickin’ panda cam, for God’s sake, we’re sick of hearing about the little beast. But, um, have you been over to the zoo to check her out? She’s actually pretty adorable in person, lounging on her log or playing with her mother. We don’t need to read any more about Mei Lan. Can we just take her home instead?


800 Cherokee Ave. 404-624-5600. www.zooatlanta.org

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Best Person You Love to Hate BOA Award Winner

Michael Vick
Pro sports stars can get away with a lot without losing the fans’ love: cheat on their wives, drive drunk, consort with hookers, make lousy rap records, etc. But for many people, abusing and torturing animals is on par with child molestation. The things MICHAEL VICK did to dogs are so disgustingmore...
Pro sports stars can get away with a lot without losing the fans’ love: cheat on their wives, drive drunk, consort with hookers, make lousy rap records, etc. But for many people, abusing and torturing animals is on par with child molestation. The things MICHAEL VICK did to dogs are so disgusting and sordid that it’s impossible to look at the guy the same way we used to. Vick has failed his Falcons teammates, effectively wasted our entire football season and deeply embarrassed his adopted city. less...

Best Place to Get in Touch with Your Inner Ty Pennington BOA Award Winner

Ormewood Park
The problem with neighborhoods is, once they become the Place to Be, you can no longer afford to move there. You’ve got to catch them on the upswing, somewhere between semisqualor and universal respectability. That pretty well describes ORMEWOOD PARK, where it’s still possible to findmore...
The problem with neighborhoods is, once they become the Place to Be, you can no longer afford to move there. You’ve got to catch them on the upswing, somewhere between semisqualor and universal respectability. That pretty well describes ORMEWOOD PARK, where it’s still possible to find affordable bungalows and rehab projects for DIYers on shady, tree-lined streets. Ormewood is close to I-20, and benefits from the recent openings of nearby restaurants and bars in the Glenwood Park development and in East Atlanta Village. A final selling point for those who think long-term: when the Beltline is finished, you’ll be able to take your grandkids to Piedmont Park on the trolley. less...

Best Tourist Spot BOA Award Winner

Georgia Aquarium
After a charmed debut year when it welcomed (and collected admission charges from) more than 3 million visitors, the GEORGIA AQUARIUM has experienced a bit of a sophomore slump. This year, two of its largest animals, whale sharks Ralph and Norton, went belly-up. The deaths drew scrutiny to the aquarium’smore...

After a charmed debut year when it welcomed (and collected admission charges from) more than 3 million visitors, the GEORGIA AQUARIUM has experienced a bit of a sophomore slump. This year, two of its largest animals, whale sharks Ralph and Norton, went belly-up. The deaths drew scrutiny to the aquarium’s animal-care practices, as well as prompted questions about the wisdom of bringing enormous ocean creatures to Atlanta just for our viewing pleasure. Despite those setbacks, the Home Depot Memorial Fish Tank is and will likely remain the city’s finest tourist attraction. Its size, breathtaking visual presentation and novelty make it a no-brainer for entertaining out-of-town guests. It’s our Disneyland.


225 Baker St. 404-581-4000. www.georgiaaquarium.org

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Timeless: Best TV News Anchor BOA Award Winner

Monica Pearson
TV news anchors aren’t reporters. They’re readers, tasked by TV stations with the job of lending authority and likability to the copy scrolling up their teleprompters. In Atlanta, no one does it better than MONICA PEARSON. Longtime Atlantans remember when she arrived in 1975 from Louisville,more...

TV news anchors aren’t reporters. They’re readers, tasked by TV stations with the job of lending authority and likability to the copy scrolling up their teleprompters. In Atlanta, no one does it better than MONICA PEARSON. Longtime Atlantans remember when she arrived in 1975 from Louisville, Ky., as Monica Kaufman to anchor the morning local-news breaks during “The Today Show.” Even then, it was obvious there was something about her that made you stop what you were doing to watch. Today, she’s a part of the fabric of the city. Pearson’s ace in the hole is her hard-to-categorize-yet-undeniable charisma. Maybe it’s her vaguely diva-esque bearing. Maybe it’s her adventurous hairstyle choices. We’re not sure what. All we know is that whatever “it” is, she has it.


www.wsbtv.com

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Trendy: Best Blogger BOA Award Winner

Griftdrift
Since starting Drifting Through the Grift in March 2006, GRIFTDRIFT has attracted a loyal following with his easygoing online persona and his trenchant commentary on important local news stories. His finest achievement: his posts this spring and summer that chipped away at the mountain of political,more...

Since starting Drifting Through the Grift in March 2006, GRIFTDRIFT has attracted a loyal following with his easygoing online persona and his trenchant commentary on important local news stories. His finest achievement: his posts this spring and summer that chipped away at the mountain of political, legal and media hypocrisy surrounding the Genarlow Wilson case. When the U.S. attorney in Atlanta ripped the Douglas County prosecutor for having distributed a video of Wilson and an underaged girl having sex, his statement was uncannily similar to the ones GriftDrift had been making for weeks.


www.griftdrift.blogspot.com

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Best 'Hood to Get a House for a Steal BOA Award Winner

East Atlanta Village

Best Radio DJ BOA Award Winner

Mara Davis, Dave FM

Best Suburb BOA Award Winner

Decatur

Best Quirk About Atlanta BOA Award Winner

Traffic

Best Local YouTube Video BOA Award Winner

Willy Terry story

Best Beach Retreat BOA Award Winner

Destin, Fla

Best Climbing Wall BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Rocks!

Best Columnist BOA Award Winner

Hollis Gillespie

Best Jazz Radio Station BOA Award Winner

107.5 WJZZ

Best Local Do-Gooder BOA Award Winner

Clark Howard

Best Radio DJ BOA Award Winner

Mara Davis, Dave FM
WZGC-FM (92.9)

Best Bizarro Local News Story BOA Award Winner

Chris Benoit murdering his wife and child then taking his own life

Best Columnist BOA Award Winner

Hollis Gillespie

Best Local Do-Gooder BOA Award Winner

Clark Howard

Best Local Troublemaker BOA Award Winner

Brandon Bond

Best Morning Drive-Time Radio Show BOA Award Winner

Bert Weiss and the Bert Show on Q100 (100.5)

Best Neighborhood Festival BOA Award Winner

Inman Park Festival

Best Addition to the Skyline BOA Award Winner

1180 Peachtree

Best Non-Commercial Radio Station BOA Award Winner

88.5 The Album

Best Neighborhood BOA Award Winner

East Atlanta Village

Best Place to Spot Celebrities BOA Award Winner

Lenox Square

Best Bizarro Local News Story BOA Award Winner

Chris Benoit murdering his wife and child then taking his own life

Best Local Fighter for the Environment BOA Award Winner

Laura Turner Seydel

Best Local General Interest Website BOA Award Winner

Access Atlanta website

Best Locally Produced Podcast BOA Award Winner

Paste Culture Club

Best Neighborhood Festival BOA Award Winner

Inman Park Festival

Best Suburb BOA Award Winner

Decatur

Best Local TV or Newspaper Reporter BOA Award Winner

Monica Pearson

Best Annual Event BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Pride Festival

Best Local General Interest Website BOA Award Winner

Access Atlanta website

Best Local Political Website BOA Award Winner

Neal Boortz's website

Best Local Sports Website BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Braves website

Best Locally Produced Podcast BOA Award Winner

Paste Culture Club

Best Local Political Figure BOA Award Winner

Shirley Franklin

Best Place to Road Bike BOA Award Winner

Freedom Parkway

Best Tourist Spot BOA Award Winner

Georgia Aquarium

Best Hype About Atlanta That Isn't Actually True BOA Award Winner

The City Too Busy to Hate
Aside from Coca-Cola bottling tap water and then selling it for a buck a bottle, the biggest con job perpetrated in Atlanta in the last 50 years is our reputation as ”THE CITY TOO BUSY TO HATE.” Almost 40 years after the Civil Rights Movement effectively ended with the assassinationmore...
Aside from Coca-Cola bottling tap water and then selling it for a buck a bottle, the biggest con job perpetrated in Atlanta in the last 50 years is our reputation as ”THE CITY TOO BUSY TO HATE.” Almost 40 years after the Civil Rights Movement effectively ended with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Atlanta remains a city divided by race in both politics and culture, echoed most recently when the crisis at Grady Memorial Hospital devolved into racial jockeying for position. While the city has had black mayors and black police chiefs since 1974, the money largely remains in lily-white Buckhead. The racial divide both defines and handicaps Atlanta as we wait for a visionary leader who will teach us to build bridges. less...

Best Intown Park BOA Award Winner

Emory Lullwater Preserve
It's not city or county land, so there's no Little League field or playground. But for those not encumbered with kids, LULLWATER PARK offers an intown oasis. Just beyond the edge of the Emory University campus between Clifton and Clairmont roads, the 185-acre privately owned greenspace has paved joggingmore...
It's not city or county land, so there's no Little League field or playground. But for those not encumbered with kids, LULLWATER PARK offers an intown oasis. Just beyond the edge of the Emory University campus between Clifton and Clairmont roads, the 185-acre privately owned greenspace has paved jogging paths, wooded trails and plenty of shade. There are also opportunities for wildlife watching in the wetlands and meadows and along Peachtree Creek, with its series of charming waterfalls. The park's centerpiece, 12-acre Candler Lake, draws fishermen, picnickers and students looking for a quiet place to read. And steady foot traffic ensures a certain level of safety. less...

Best Local Blogger BOA Award Winner

Preston Craig

Best Local Celebrity BOA Award Winner

Baton Bob

Best Local Fighter for the Environment BOA Award Winner

Sally Bethea

Best Local Sports Radio Show Host BOA Award Winner

Two Live Stews

Best Place to Commune with Nature Without Leaving the City BOA Award Winner

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Atlanta may not be the city in a forest anymore, but there are still forests in the city. Scores of wooded acres endure in scattered patches, but the undeveloped fringes of the Hooch are the most dramatic. The CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER NATIONAL RECREATION AREA is a collection of preserved tracts along themore...
Atlanta may not be the city in a forest anymore, but there are still forests in the city. Scores of wooded acres endure in scattered patches, but the undeveloped fringes of the Hooch are the most dramatic. The CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER NATIONAL RECREATION AREA is a collection of preserved tracts along the banks of Georgia’s aquatic aorta from Buford Dam to Atlanta, with ITP sections near Sandy Springs and Vinings. Year-round hiking, fishing, rafting, canoeing and kayaking are all copacetic during daylight hours, and alcohol without glass is, too. It would be wise to enjoy the river sooner rather than later, as our mushrooming metropolis is chugging it down and polluting it up faster than the Appalachian springs in northeast Georgia can trickle it out. less...

Best Place to Find Girls Gone Wild BOA Award Winner

Gwinnett is Great
On the water tower that hovers over I-85 is the declaration: GWINNETT IS GREAT. What’s Gwinnett great at? For one thing, producing otherwise unremarkable young women whose lapses in judgment — combined with their wholesome suburban-ness and vaguely attractive whiteness — accidentallymore...
On the water tower that hovers over I-85 is the declaration: GWINNETT IS GREAT. What’s Gwinnett great at? For one thing, producing otherwise unremarkable young women whose lapses in judgment — combined with their wholesome suburban-ness and vaguely attractive whiteness — accidentally propel them into the national news spotlight. In ’05, it was Jennifer “Runaway Bride” Wilbanks. This year, it’s Ashley Miller and Heather Johnston, aka the Barbie Bandits, who briefly captured the country’s imagination by looking a lot prettier on Bank of America security-camera footage than they do in real life. After they were arrested and news producers figured out they weren’t actually hot, they largely vanished. Before her guilty plea, Johnston worked as a telemarketer. Miller is, of all things, working as a babysitter as she awaits trial. less...

Best Place to Spot Celebrities BOA Award Winner

Anyplace Except Atlanta
Atlanta’s kinda like the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding who thinks everything is Greek. Celebs with tenuous or long-ago links to the metro area are still referred to in the local press as Atlantans. Julia Roberts, Ryan Seacrest, Holly Hunter and John Mayer haven’t lived here formore...
Atlanta’s kinda like the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding who thinks everything is Greek. Celebs with tenuous or long-ago links to the metro area are still referred to in the local press as Atlantans. Julia Roberts, Ryan Seacrest, Holly Hunter and John Mayer haven’t lived here for years, but we still call them Atlantans. So what if Sir Elton John spends most of his time in one of his four European homes. He owns a condo in Buckhead, so he’s an Atlantan. Forget about the athletes and hip-hop moguls shopping and supping in Phipps and Justin’s. The best place to find A-list Atlanta celebs is ANYPLACE EXCEPT ATLANTA. less...

Best Snitch BOA Award Winner

Alexis White
When an Atlanta police narcotics squad killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston last November after bursting into her home with a bogus search warrant, police tried to excuse the killing by telling reporters a confidential informant had recently purchased drugs from Johnston’s home. That’smore...
When an Atlanta police narcotics squad killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston last November after bursting into her home with a bogus search warrant, police tried to excuse the killing by telling reporters a confidential informant had recently purchased drugs from Johnston’s home. That’s when 24-year-old ALEXIS WHITE stepped up to prove himself a different sort of local hero. Police, he later said, were pressuring him to say he was the drug buyer. Fortunately, White stood his ground — and snitched. White called 911 and told authorities he was being asked to lie. His truth-telling thwarted an attempted cover-up and helped send two dirty cops, Greg Junnier and J.R. Smith, to prison for manslaughter. less...

Best Street Character BOA Award Winner

Baton Bob

Best Thing About Atlanta That We Don't Get Credit for Having BOA Award Winner

There's Culture in Atlanta
Yes, Virginia, THERE’S CULTURE IN ATLANTA. Sure, it’s not a New York City or San Francisco or Chicago, where finding “culture” is a matter of walking a couple blocks or catching a quick train. But Atlanta teems with artistic vision of all varieties if you’remore...
Yes, Virginia, THERE’S CULTURE IN ATLANTA. Sure, it’s not a New York City or San Francisco or Chicago, where finding “culture” is a matter of walking a couple blocks or catching a quick train. But Atlanta teems with artistic vision of all varieties if you’re willing to go find it. It has Lenny’s and Eyedrum, the Fay Gold Gallery and the Decatur Social Club. There are thriving arts, music and literary scenes. There’s theater, opera, art cinema, major-league sports, quirky shops and cutting-edge restaurants. Atlanta is not only a city with culture, it is a city with soul. It is a city of tradition that constantly reinvents itself. less...

Best Yearly-Orama BOA Award Winner

Corndogorama
Whether seen as a defiant indulgence, kitschy novelty or unexpected projectile, it’s hard to deny the mysterious allure of the corn dog. No wonder David Railey has spent so much energy nurturing Atlanta’s CORNDOGORAMA. The indie-fried omnifest rocked through its 11th year in July, despitemore...

Whether seen as a defiant indulgence, kitschy novelty or unexpected projectile, it’s hard to deny the mysterious allure of the corn dog. No wonder David Railey has spent so much energy nurturing Atlanta’s CORNDOGORAMA. The indie-fried omnifest rocked through its 11th year in July, despite a somewhat sour relocation from the Earl to Lenny’s, and seems poised to keep growing in its new home. The 2007 edition was headlined by Atlanta metal rockers Mastodon, and featured local up-and-comers the Coathangers, the Selmanaires and Snowden. As with any festival that really cares about its congregation, there are gimmicks and games aplenty, including motorcycle stunts, a corn-dog-eating contest, the Queen Corndog pageant, a heavy-metal petting zoo and 40-yard flip-flop race.


www.corndogorama.com

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Best Commitment to Bizarro Humor BOA Award Winner

The Movie Version of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force"
You can say a lot of things about the MOVIE VERSION OF "AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE,"

Susan V. Booth: My Favorite Theatre in Atlanta BOA Award Winner

Peachtree Road Race
Nope, it's not what you're thinking. Although it, too, is on Peachtree Street. It involves a cast of about 55,000 people performing on a 6.2-mile-long stage, all wearing very similar costumes. (Except for the totally hot firemen who run in full regalia and make everyone a little jealous.) Nothing makesmore...
Nope, it's not what you're thinking. Although it, too, is on Peachtree Street. It involves a cast of about 55,000 people performing on a 6.2-mile-long stage, all wearing very similar costumes. (Except for the totally hot firemen who run in full regalia and make everyone a little jealous.) Nothing makes me happier about being an Atlantan than running the Peachtree Road Race. It creates a kind of instant community that begins when you pass fellow trainers on the street the weekends before the race, continues as you sit with fellow carb loaders at the pasta place of your choice the night before, and totally explodes on the Fourth of July. From the 65-year-old sweaty guy running Cardiac Crest backwards so he can better advise the twentysomethings behind him about how to pace themselves, to the always fantastic percussion-and-dance ensemble cheering runners in front of MOCA GA, to the overgrown frat boys alternating water stops with beer chugs you can't write characters that good. " As told to Curt Holman" less...

Best Blogger BOA Award Winner

Griftdrift
Since starting Drifting Through the Grift in March 2006, GRIFTDRIFT has attracted a loyal following with his easygoing online persona and his trenchant commentary on important local news stories. His finest achievement: his posts this spring and summer that chipped away at the mountain of political,more...
Since starting Drifting Through the Grift in March 2006, GRIFTDRIFT has attracted a loyal following with his easygoing online persona and his trenchant commentary on important local news stories. His finest achievement: his posts this spring and summer that chipped away at the mountain of political, legal and media hypocrisy surrounding the Genarlow Wilson case. When the U.S. attorney in Atlanta ripped the Douglas County prosecutor for having distributed a video of Wilson and an underaged girl having sex, his statement was uncannily similar to the ones GriftDrift had been making for weeks.www.griftdrift.blogspot.com less...

Ryan Gravel: My Favorite Addition to the Local Skyline BOA Award Winner

Tribute Lofts
I don't live at TRIBUTE LOFTS (241 Boulevard, 404-525-0507), so I can't enjoy the Wi-Fi'd sundeck, rooftop mineral spa or its unbelievable skyline view (unless someone invites me over). But I can enjoy the building's smart, sophisticated exterior: its urban frontage on Boulevard that will soon be homemore...
I don't live at TRIBUTE LOFTS (241 Boulevard, 404-525-0507), so I can't enjoy the Wi-Fi'd sundeck, rooftop mineral spa or its unbelievable skyline view (unless someone invites me over). But I can enjoy the building's smart, sophisticated exterior: its urban frontage on Boulevard that will soon be home to street-level life and retail, its elegantly abstract pattern of glass facing on Freedom Parkway, and the fact that it's scaled correctly for little J.W. Dobbs Avenue at the edge of Atlanta's hip Old Fourth Ward. The building masters its site and context. It maximizes views and density within a fresh and modern aesthetic. It's not overbearing, bulky or cheap (like the loft development across the street. This town could use a lot more of this. " As told to Andisheh Nouraee" less...

Best Local Fighter for the Environment (TIE) BOA Award Winner

Laura Turner Seydel

Best Local Celebrity BOA Award Winner

Baton Bob

Best New Loft/Condo Development BOA Award Winner

Atlantic Station

Best 'Hood to Get a House for a Steal BOA Award Winner

East Atlanta Village

Best Radio DJ BOA Award Winner

Mara Davis, Dave FM

Best Suburb BOA Award Winner

Decatur

Best Quirk About Atlanta BOA Award Winner

Traffic

Best Local YouTube Video BOA Award Winner

Willy Terry story

Best Bizarre Signage BOA Award Winner

1819 Second Ave.
Driving east on Glenwood Avenue away from the city, you take a right on Second Avenue, just shy of the East Lake Golf Club. You notice a warning on your right, painted in 3-foot-tall letters on a cement wall: "Wake Up!"

Best Old-School Bookstore BOA Award Winner

Books Again
Traditional used bookstores - the kind with a mix of recent hardcovers, classic fiction and obscure old tomes with gotta-have titles such as I Was a Soviet Worker - are going the way of the 8-track, thanks to the Internet. That's why BOOKS AGAIN is so refreshing. It carries Southern literature, mysteries,more...
Traditional used bookstores - the kind with a mix of recent hardcovers, classic fiction and obscure old tomes with gotta-have titles such as I Was a Soviet Worker - are going the way of the 8-track, thanks to the Internet. That's why BOOKS AGAIN is so refreshing. It carries Southern literature, mysteries, first editions, signed novels, children's books and so forth, ranging in age from last year to the late 19th century. And its downtown Decatur location is appropriate, given that our most progressive suburb has become a literary center with its own annual book festival, an antiquarian book fair and more than its share of independent bookstores. Books Again reminds us of why we like used bookstores in the first place: You never know what you'll find. less...

Best Place to Get Your Rear End Buffed BOA Award Winner

Do It Right
There are more than 115 car washes in the metro - not including the free-wash-with-fill-up gas stations that do little beyond taking the dust off. When it comes to the best car wash, a sudsy handjob is a given. What's more, no amount of buffing can surpass a thorough inside job. DO IT RIGHT does justmore...
There are more than 115 car washes in the metro - not including the free-wash-with-fill-up gas stations that do little beyond taking the dust off. When it comes to the best car wash, a sudsy handjob is a given. What's more, no amount of buffing can surpass a thorough inside job. DO IT RIGHT does just that. It's a small but hard-working crew that stays busy with regulars out on its checkered lot. There's no fancy waiting room, but the Georgia Aquarium (and the mini one at Luckie Charm Lounge) are nearby. Or Do It Right will pick up your car from anywhere in Fulton. It always rains the day after you wash your car, right? Problem solved. If it rains within 48 hours of your visit, Do It Right will wash your car again for free. less...

Best Excuse to Throw a Dinner Party BOA Award Winner

Your Dekalb Farmer'S Market
Covering 140,000 square feet of well-air-conditioned space, YOUR DEKALB FARMER'S MARKET isn't a farmer's market in the traditional sense. That is, it doesn't carry goods that come solely from Georgia farmers - though it does have a ridiculously massive selection of local and international produce, meats,more...
Covering 140,000 square feet of well-air-conditioned space, YOUR DEKALB FARMER'S MARKET isn't a farmer's market in the traditional sense. That is, it doesn't carry goods that come solely from Georgia farmers - though it does have a ridiculously massive selection of local and international produce, meats, seafood, cheeses, dry goods, wine and beer, and prepared foods, all at ridiculously low prices (even for the impressive selection of organic options). We recently found sushi-grade tuna for $10.99 per pound, 89-cent heads of escarole and hearty bundles of herbs for about a buck each. That's about half the price of most competitors. Putting these values to the test, we've found that it's possible to throw a four-course, 10-person dinner party for around $100. Why would you ever grocery-shop anywhere else? less...

Best Place to Furnish a Jetsons' Pad BOA Award Winner

Context
In addition to providing a new drooling venue for contemporary-furniture enthusiasts, CONTEXT has taken the pioneering step of opening its spacious downtown showroom in a historic 1930s building that originally housed a car dealership serving nearby Sweet Auburn. The store specializes in monochromaticmore...
In addition to providing a new drooling venue for contemporary-furniture enthusiasts, CONTEXT has taken the pioneering step of opening its spacious downtown showroom in a historic 1930s building that originally housed a car dealership serving nearby Sweet Auburn. The store specializes in monochromatic modernist pieces - such as a series of overlapping drawers that looks like a bright-red, free-standing spiral staircase - as well as designs that make innovative use of natural fibers and organic materials, as with floor fans fashioned from chrome and woven rattan. Just in is a line of exquisitely restored vintage chairs from such masters as Marcel Breuer and Eero Saarinen, proving everything old is new again. less...

Best Place to Fill Your Tank BOA Award Winner

Quiktrip
It might only be a penny cheaper by the gallon compared with its closest competitor, but Atlanta's four QUIKTRIP stations offer something more than cheap gas: consistent prices. When we compared gas-by-the-gallon rates at www.atlantagasprices.com, we found that QuikTrip was the only station in the citymore...
It might only be a penny cheaper by the gallon compared with its closest competitor, but Atlanta's four QUIKTRIP stations offer something more than cheap gas: consistent prices. When we compared gas-by-the-gallon rates at www.atlantagasprices.com, we found that QuikTrip was the only station in the city that had the same regular-grade price at all of its locations: $2.79. Prices at five of Atlanta's BP stations, on the other hand, ranged from $2.80 to a whopping $3.19. QuikTrip also has some of the lowest prices in the burbs, where gas prices can be significantly lower than in town. Here's to QuikTrip, for keeping gas prices low no matter where in the city you fill 'er up. less...

Best All-Purpose Path BOA Award Winner

The Path Trail
After work and every weekend, THE PATH TRAIL connecting Freedom Parkway to downtown Decatur fills up. Joggers jog it. Pet owners empty their dogs along it. Parents push their high-performance strollers on it. Cyclists cruise it. The paved trail, maintained by the nonprofit PATH Foundation, goes frommore...

After work and every weekend, THE PATH TRAIL connecting Freedom Parkway to downtown Decatur fills up. Joggers jog it. Pet owners empty their dogs along it. Parents push their high-performance strollers on it. Cyclists cruise it. The paved trail, maintained by the nonprofit PATH Foundation, goes from Freedom Park through Candler Park, Lake Claire, East Lake and into Decatur. The only section of trail where you’ll have to get on the street or the municipal sidewalk is in ped-friendly Candler Park. Readers with especially capacious lungs, take note: The trail continues past Decatur to Stone Mountain.


www.pathfoundation.org

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Best Athlete(s) BOA Award Winner

Marian Hossa, Ilya Kovalchuk
When the Atlanta Thrashers debuted in 1999, General Manager Don Waddell said he had a five-year plan to get the team to the playoffs. So he was off by a couple of years. The Thrashers had their best season yet last season, led by two forwards: MARIAN HOSSA and former No. 1 pick ILYA KOVALCHUK. Both camemore...
When the Atlanta Thrashers debuted in 1999, General Manager Don Waddell said he had a five-year plan to get the team to the playoffs. So he was off by a couple of years. The Thrashers had their best season yet last season, led by two forwards: MARIAN HOSSA and former No. 1 pick ILYA KOVALCHUK. Both came on strong at the end of the season to lead the Thrashers to their first-ever playoff appearance. Hossa, who came to Atlanta in a trade for Dany Heatley, scored a franchise-record 100 points. And Kovalchuk had 42 goals and 34 assists. The Thrashers were 38-10-7 when Hossa notched a point, and 36-12-6 when Kovalchuk hit a goal or had an assist. Next goal for the team: actually win a playoff game. less...

Best Beach Retreat BOA Award Winner

Tybee Island
Snobbish Atlantans turn up their noses at the mention of our metropolis’s closest beach, TYBEE ISLAND. They think it's cheesy, trashy or dull. They're missing out. Sure, some of the development on the way to the water leaves something to be desired, but the beach and water at Tybee are quitemore...
Snobbish Atlantans turn up their noses at the mention of our metropolis’s closest beach, TYBEE ISLAND. They think it's cheesy, trashy or dull. They're missing out. Sure, some of the development on the way to the water leaves something to be desired, but the beach and water at Tybee are quite nice. And the little boardwalk is a gem, a quaint, smaller version of the old famed boardwalks in beach towns between Virginia and New York. Best of all, Tybee is right next to Savannah. If the beach's nonoceanic accommodations aren't to your liking, you can do your eating, drinking and passing out closer to River Street. less...

Best Beach Retreat BOA Award Winner

Destin, Fla

Best Climbing Wall BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Rocks!

Best Columnist BOA Award Winner

Hollis Gillespie

Best Columnist Not Published in Creative Loafing BOA Award Winner

Jay Bookman
Last year, we dubbed AJC Editorial Page Editor Cynthia Tucker “best columnist”; six months later she won the slightly less prestigious Pulitzer Prize. Coincidence? We think not. This year, we’re granting CL’s honor to Tucker’s deputy editorial page editor.more...

Last year, we dubbed AJC Editorial Page Editor Cynthia Tucker “best columnist”; six months later she won the slightly less prestigious Pulitzer Prize. Coincidence? We think not. This year, we’re granting CL’s honor to Tucker’s deputy editorial page editor. JAY BOOKMAN attacks his topics with a strong sense of justice, well-aimed wit and even wisdom, as he did with a July column slyly protesting the hypocrisy of the district attorney who prosecuted teenager Genarlow Wilson for having sex with another teenager. Over the years, Bookman has particularly distinguished himself with fair-minded, powerful columns on the Iraq fiasco and Georgia’s disastrous transportation policies — both of which he saw coming with painful clarity. We can’t say this will lead to a Pulitzer, but there is a precedent.


www.ajc.com

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Best Country Radio Station BOA Award Winner

Eagle 106.7 (WYAY-FM)
Keeping up with the ever-changing faces and sounds in country music is a task unto itself. But add the need to keep one foot firmly planted in the traditions of the genre and you end up doing a precarious balancing act. EAGLE 106.7, WYAY-FM, manages these tasks quite well, mixing the old and the newmore...
Keeping up with the ever-changing faces and sounds in country music is a task unto itself. But add the need to keep one foot firmly planted in the traditions of the genre and you end up doing a precarious balancing act. EAGLE 106.7, WYAY-FM, manages these tasks quite well, mixing the old and the new in a way that satisfies both camps. It plays a lot of the hot new stuff the young’uns want to hear, but also pays sufficient homage to Willie, Merle and Bocephus. In addition, it features “Country Gold” Saturday and Sunday nights, covering all the classics for the stalwarts. Sunday morning and afternoon are filled with live NASCAR shows and race coverage — now that’s country. less...

Best Jazz Radio Station BOA Award Winner

Jazz 91.9 WCLK
From the moment the station first signed on in 1974 with Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage” — beaming out 57 watts of power, about enough to hear it a block away — WCLK-FM (91.9) has been Atlanta’s best jazz station. Of course, there were times whenmore...
From the moment the station first signed on in 1974 with Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage” — beaming out 57 watts of power, about enough to hear it a block away — WCLK-FM (91.9) has been Atlanta’s best jazz station. Of course, there were times when WCLK was Atlanta’s only jazz station. But with competition or not, WCLK clearly stands apart with its smart and eclectic mix of all things jazz, plus programs that celebrate blues and gospel music. Today, the station may still broadcast at a modest 6,000 watts from the campus of Clark Atlanta University, but without WCLK, the jazz scene in Atlanta would be Kenny G. at Chastain Park. less...

Best Jazz Radio Station BOA Award Winner

107.5 WJZZ

Best Local Do-Gooder BOA Award Winner

Clark Howard

Best Local Hero BOA Award Winner

The Cop on the Corner
This hasn’t been a great year for the Atlanta Police Department. Every badge in the department was tarnished by the narcotics detectives who botched the drug raid that left an innocent elderly woman dead. Morale stinks, officers are fleeing and crime rates are up. Which is why we salute THEmore...
This hasn’t been a great year for the Atlanta Police Department. Every badge in the department was tarnished by the narcotics detectives who botched the drug raid that left an innocent elderly woman dead. Morale stinks, officers are fleeing and crime rates are up. Which is why we salute THE COP ON THE CORNER. They risk their lives, get cursed at and get used as pawns in city politics, all to keep us safe. There’s not much a lowly lawman or lawwoman can do about the department’s leadership except show up for work and do his or her job. So, to all the rank-and-file police officers wading through the department’s current mess: You are, indeed, Atlanta’s finest. Thank you. less...


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