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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. ... MORE

Best act of civil disobedience

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 »more

Best addition to an excellent park

Piedmont Park's 13-acre expansion

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 »more

Best athletic redemption story

Brian Banks

After Brian Banks had verbally committed to play college football with the University of Southern California, he was falsely accused of raping a 15-year-old girl. »more

Best bizarro news story

Darien Long Kickass Mall Cop

It started with YouTube clips of overzealous onsite manager and security guard Darien Long urging unruly people to move along at Downtown's Metro Mall, a »more

Best blogger

Terry Kearns

If you find an Atlanta building charming, chances are Terry Kearns has blogged about it. If you're wondering what happened to one of your favorite »more

Best crime-fighting superhero

Crimson Fist

It takes more than police officers to fight crime. That's where the Crimson Fist enters the picture. For the last seven years, the crimson-masked crusader »more

Best elected state official

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, »more

Best Instagram hashtag

#WELOVEATL

Every serious Instragrammer (and yes, we mean serious mobile artist) has his or her own favorite hashtags. They offer context, and even a sense of »more

Best neighborhood to live in without a car

Midtown

If you've got to make Atlanta work without a car - which, no joke, is possible - Midtown is the place to do it. This »more

Best new Atlanta sports legend

Evan Gattis

How's this for a story? Dallas native Evan Gattis' improbable road to the majors started with a tumultuous college career filled with overwhelming anxiety, self-medication »more

Best new revitalization project

Emerald Corridor

If there's a part of Atlanta that's seen as little investment as southwest Atlanta, it's northwest Atlanta. Running through that long-overlooked part of town is »more

Best non-commercial radio station

WABE (90.1 FM)

For years, WABE (90.1 FM) has been a news staple. Now it's a force. Over the last few years, the public radio station's board has »more

Best print journalist

Greg Bluestein

In June 2012, Greg Bluestein made the jump to the AJC from the Associated Press' Atlanta bureau, where for seven years he'd covered everything from »more

Best rabble-rouser

Common Cause Georgia

While progressive political group Better Georgia has emerged as a major GOP foe and a force to be reckoned with, Common Cause Georgia truly deserves »more

Best reaction to a bad idea

Smart Growth Atlanta

About a year ago, veteran Atlanta developer Jeff Fuqua announced plans to turn a defunct Glenwood Park cement factory along the Atlanta Beltline into a »more

Best riverwalk

Island Ford

If you want a quiet hike or run in one of the Chattahoochee River's more scenic and less crowded areas (with plenty of nooks where »more

Best sports team you're not watching

Atlanta Silverbacks

Who says Atlanta teams don't win championships? In April, thanks to the turnaround job led by new coach Brian Haynes, the Atlanta Silverbacks edged out »more

Best step to becoming a smarter city

Govathon

In February, City Hall officials brainstormed with programmers, data junkies, and other tech-minded geeks during Govathon, the first-ever citywide hackathon. Held inside City Hall's Old »more

Best step to make Atlanta more bikeable

$2.5 million to bicycle projects

The Atlanta City Council made a wise move back in February when it dedicated $2.5 million to bicycle projects. The cash comes from unspent bond »more

Best step to tackle homelessness

Homeless Registry

It's hard to combat homelessness if you don't know exactly who or how many need help. Atlanta's officials realized this last year. The city's Innovation »more

Best stray animal

Piper the Beltline Cat

Not too many animals, domesticated or not, have their own Facebook page with more than 4,600 likes. But Piper the Beltline Cat, so named for »more

Best urban hike

Atlanta Beltline's Southwest Trail

The Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail is a great place to visit if you want to get lost in a real-life artist's rendering of a smart-growth »more

Best vision for Atlanta's west side

Northside Drive Corridor Study

Walk along Northside Drive and you'll pass auto shops, stores set far back from the street, and traffic congestion. Try to cross the busy north-south »more

Best act of civil disobedience

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 »more

Best addition to an excellent park

Piedmont Park's 13-acre expansion

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 »more

Best athletic redemption story

Brian Banks

After Brian Banks had verbally committed to play college football with the University of Southern California, he was falsely accused of raping a 15-year-old girl. »more

Best bizarro news story

Darien Long Kickass Mall Cop

It started with YouTube clips of overzealous onsite manager and security guard Darien Long urging unruly people to move along at Downtown's Metro Mall, a »more

Best blogger

Terry Kearns

If you find an Atlanta building charming, chances are Terry Kearns has blogged about it. If you're wondering what happened to one of your favorite »more

Best crime-fighting superhero

Crimson Fist

It takes more than police officers to fight crime. That's where the Crimson Fist enters the picture. For the last seven years, the crimson-masked crusader »more

Best elected state official

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, »more

Best Instagram hashtag

#WELOVEATL

Every serious Instragrammer (and yes, we mean serious mobile artist) has his or her own favorite hashtags. They offer context, and even a sense of »more

Best neighborhood to live in without a car

Midtown

If you've got to make Atlanta work without a car - which, no joke, is possible - Midtown is the place to do it. This »more

Best new Atlanta sports legend

Evan Gattis

How's this for a story? Dallas native Evan Gattis' improbable road to the majors started with a tumultuous college career filled with overwhelming anxiety, self-medication »more

Best new revitalization project

Emerald Corridor

If there's a part of Atlanta that's seen as little investment as southwest Atlanta, it's northwest Atlanta. Running through that long-overlooked part of town is »more

Best non-commercial radio station

WABE (90.1 FM)

For years, WABE (90.1 FM) has been a news staple. Now it's a force. Over the last few years, the public radio station's board has »more

Best print journalist

Greg Bluestein

In June 2012, Greg Bluestein made the jump to the AJC from the Associated Press' Atlanta bureau, where for seven years he'd covered everything from »more

Best rabble-rouser

Common Cause Georgia

While progressive political group Better Georgia has emerged as a major GOP foe and a force to be reckoned with, Common Cause Georgia truly deserves »more

Best reaction to a bad idea

Smart Growth Atlanta

About a year ago, veteran Atlanta developer Jeff Fuqua announced plans to turn a defunct Glenwood Park cement factory along the Atlanta Beltline into a »more

Best riverwalk

Island Ford

If you want a quiet hike or run in one of the Chattahoochee River's more scenic and less crowded areas (with plenty of nooks where »more

Best sports team you're not watching

Atlanta Silverbacks

Who says Atlanta teams don't win championships? In April, thanks to the turnaround job led by new coach Brian Haynes, the Atlanta Silverbacks edged out »more

Best step to becoming a smarter city

Govathon

In February, City Hall officials brainstormed with programmers, data junkies, and other tech-minded geeks during Govathon, the first-ever citywide hackathon. Held inside City Hall's Old »more

Best step to make Atlanta more bikeable

$2.5 million to bicycle projects

The Atlanta City Council made a wise move back in February when it dedicated $2.5 million to bicycle projects. The cash comes from unspent bond »more

Best step to tackle homelessness

Homeless Registry

It's hard to combat homelessness if you don't know exactly who or how many need help. Atlanta's officials realized this last year. The city's Innovation »more

Best stray animal

Piper the Beltline Cat

Not too many animals, domesticated or not, have their own Facebook page with more than 4,600 likes. But Piper the Beltline Cat, so named for »more

Best urban hike

Atlanta Beltline's Southwest Trail

The Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail is a great place to visit if you want to get lost in a real-life artist's rendering of a smart-growth »more

Best vision for Atlanta's west side

Northside Drive Corridor Study

Walk along Northside Drive and you'll pass auto shops, stores set far back from the street, and traffic congestion. Try to cross the busy north-south »more

@loisreitzes

Since 1979, WABE (90.1 FM)'s Lois Reitzes has given mental massages to undercaffeinated commuters and dentists' patients with her velvety roller coaster of a voice »more

Bicycle Shorts Man

Long Dong Silver. Ponce de Le-Dong. Compression Shorts Man. Willie Terry is known by many names. For years, the street character has stood at the »more

The Atlanta Beltline

Naysayers who wrote off Ryan Gravel's Georgia Tech graduate student thesis as a pipe dream and a loop to nowhere could not have predicted the »more

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