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Best Reason To Live In Atlanta: Gentrification

Staff Pick

Flash back 15 years ago. The words “East Atlanta” described little more than the swath of land on the far side of Moreland Avenue. Freedom Parkway was nothing but a concept. Decent grocery stores were sequestered OTP — or at least way north of Ponce. Is the G-word really such a bad thing? GENTRIFICATION has brought Atlanta better nightlife, better shopping, better housing and a better approximation to a living, breathing city. With more planning — particularly regarding public transportation and pedestrian-friendly streets — and a little loosening up (we’re talking about the city’s un-city-like crackdown on nightlife), the next 15 years could bring an even more vibrant Atlanta.

Best Beach Retreat

Tybee Island

It may catch a lot of flack for its campy boardwalk and dated motels, but TYBEE ISLAND is a nostalgic alternative to the more highbrow »more

Best Big Company To Work For

United Parcel Service

When United Parcel Service went public in 1999, its generous employee stock option made millionaires out of longtime employees, from managers to delivery truck drivers. »more

Best Bizarro Local News Story

"Runaway Bride"

Last spring, the world’s media focused itself like a laser beam on the saga of Jennifer Wilbanks, the ditzy, bug-eyed, Gwinnett County “RUNAWAY BRIDE” who »more

Best Campsite You Can Drive To

Black Rock Mountain State Park

Named for its sheer, dark-hued cliffs, BLACK ROCK MOUNTAIN STATE PARK sits in the far northeast corner of the state, where Georgia meets the Carolinas. »more

Best Compromise With a Big Box

Underwood Hills Neighborhood Association

It takes a tenacious neighborhood group to get Wal-Mart to listen. But UNDERWOOD HILLS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION did just that, making sure the store’s developers heard »more

Best Convention

Bronner Bros. International Hair Show

This year, Atlanta lost several trade shows, some of whose organizers blamed an economic slump for diminished interest in the events. Despite the losses, the »more

Best Historic Downtown

Buford

As small-town main streets go, one of the most charming in these parts belongs to the city of BUFORD, nestled in the northern tip of »more

Best impression of Marc el Duchamp on a piece of public art

The Vandalizing of "54 Columns"

In 1919, French artist Marcel Duchamp decorated a postcard of the Mona Lisa with a moustache and goatee. For some reason, it became a famous »more

Best Intown Festival

Inman Park Festival

Held the last weekend in April, the INMAN PARK FESTIVAL has all the offerings you’d expect from a such an event: a goofy parade, a »more

Best Intown Jogging Path

Lullwater Park

Emory University’s 185-acre LULLWATER PARK, nestled between Clifton Road and Emory’s Clairmont Campus, is home to a scenic lake, mature trees, and well-developed paths. Venture »more

Best Intown Neighborhood

Whittier Mill Village

After the textile boom hit Atlanta in the 1870s, villages started cropping up around the city’s cotton mills. When the mills closed, many of the »more

Best Lesson in Rock History

Stonehenge

You’re not going to hear the hits of the ’60s and ’70s on WREK’s classic rock show STONEHENGE, thank God, but you will learn about »more

Best Local Blog

www.extremecraft.com

There were, at press time, about 14.9 jillion gazillion blogs on the Internet, most of them indulgences in mental masturbation. One that is not is »more

Best Local Celebrity

Vernon Jones

He’s known for his police-escort posse, designer-label suits and a jet-setting lifestyle that included a secret junket to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. It’s »more

Best Local Columnist

Bill Shipp

Seventy-two-year-old BILL SHIPP has been kicking ass for more than five decades. His column is syndicated in 85 Georgia newspapers and regularly beats the AJC »more

Best Local Do-Gooders

Riverwood High School

Senior proms are awkward, expensive, pretentious affairs. Isn’t there anything better to do with your time and money? That’s what RIVERWOOD HIGH SCHOOL students asked »more

Best Local Hero

Rosalynn Carter

It’s hard to stand in the shadow of a Nobel Peace Prize-winning former president. But ROSALYNN CARTER has been a leader in her own right »more

Best Local Intellectual

Deborah Lipstadt

DEBORAH LIPSTADT, a professor of modern Jewish and Holocaust studies, is one of the most popular faculty members at Emory. But what really sets her »more

Best Local Magazine

Atlanta Jewish Life

You don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate ATLANTA JEWISH LIFE. The magazine, which first published in the spring of 2001, comes out every other »more

Best Local Podcast

Skepicality

Of the growing number of local podcasts — an MP3 file that can be downloaded into an iPod — we’re particularly fond of SKEPTICALITY, the »more

Best Local Politico

Bobby Baker

Few politicians have stood up for the little guy better than Public Service Commissioner BOBBY BAKER. The Public Service Commission sets rates for utility companies »more

Best Local Professional Athlete

Andruw Jones

The man who defies a traditional spelling of his first name finally is having the kind of year that shows off his natural talents. ANDRUW »more

Best Local Troublemaker

Carl Roland

Forty-one-year-old CARL ROLAND performed a Flying Wallenda act last May, when he sat atop a 25-story crane in Buckhead for 57 hours to avoid an »more

Best Loft Project

Troy-Peerless Lofts

With so many lofts and loft-style developments going up these days, it’s possible to get picky. For those who are holding out for a reclaimed »more

Best New Building

1180 Peachtree

The 41-story glass tower rising on the corner of Peachtree and 14th streets marks the tallest construction in Atlanta in more than a dozen years. »more

Best New Radio Station Format

Dave FM

People laughed when Infinity Broadcasting dumped its tired classic rock formula on Z-93 and created something called “DAVE FM” at 92.9, promising “rock without rules.” »more

Best OTP Festival

Georgia Apple Festival

Make sure you show up hungry to the GEORGIA APPLE FESTIVAL just outside Ellijay, the state’s apple capital. The annual event, now in its 34th »more

Best OTP Neighborhood

Mountain Park

Sitting on the border of Cobb and Cherokee counties, many of MOUNTAIN PARK’s 250 cottages were built in the early 20th century as summer retreats »more

Best Park for a Romantic Picnic

Springvale Park

SPRINGVALE PARK is small, and therein lies its charm. The peaceful atmosphere is unlikely to be disturbed by a pickup game of any sort, because »more

Best Person You Hate to Love

Ty Pennington

Ooh, look at TY PENNINGTON take off his shirt and swing a hammer for the cameras on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Isn’t he dreamy? Well, »more

Best Person You Love to Hate

Ralph Reed

Baby-faced super-Christian RALPH REED is running for lieutenant governor, and while the campaign is Reed’s first bid for public office, he’s said to have his »more

Best Place to Bike

Arabia Mountain Trail

A few years back it was the poor man’s Stone Mountain, but thanks to DeKalb’s much-touted greenspace program, ARABIA MOUNTAIN TRAIL has come into its »more

Best Place to Commune With Nature

Ignatius House

Standing on the grounds of IGNATIUS HOUSE, one can’t help but evoke the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” »more

Best Place to Get Over the Fact that Your Landlord Doesn’t Allow Dogs

Piedmont Park Dog Park

Located just north of where Park Drive crosses from Monroe Drive into Piedmont Park, the PIEDMONT PARK DOG PARK is where the city’s pooches, from »more

Best PR Fiasco

Choicepoint

We have to hand it to CHOICEPOINT. The company spent years buying information on virtually every American while assuring privacy advocates that the information was »more

Best Pseudonym

Ron Mexico

His friends call him Mike; his driver calls him Mr. Vick; and his doctor calls him RON MEXICO. At least that’s the name that Falcons »more

Best Quick Thinking by a Newspaper Reporter in Peril

Don O'Briant

People often wonder how well they’ll perform in a life-and-death situation. On March 11, DON O’BRIANT, a reporter at the AJC, found out firsthand. With »more

Best Radio Station For Boomin’ Bass and 26-inch Spinners

WHTA-FM

For all your crunk desires, you can’t beat Hot 107.9. Riding in your old-school Olds, listening to everything from the Ying Yang Twins to T.I., »more

Best Radio Station that Keeps on Getting Better

Album 88

It might be well into its 30s, but ALBUM 88 hasn’t lost a shred of edge. In what can be a somewhat despairing sea of »more

Best Reason To Leave Atlanta

Gentrification

No, this isn’t a misprint. In the midst of intown’s renaissance, GENTRIFICATION has wreaked severe side effects. Rampant development has burdened Atlanta’s already strained sewage »more

Best Reason To Live In Atlanta

Gentrification

Flash back 15 years ago. The words “East Atlanta” described little more than the swath of land on the far side of Moreland Avenue. Freedom »more

Best Sign of the New South

IKEA

As if people making pilgrimages here from hundreds of miles away wasn’t enough evidence that Atlanta has reached a new milestone, how about $19.99 for »more

Best Silly Class To Change Your Life

Jeff Justice’s Comedy Workshop

During the past 15 years, nearly 1,400 Atlantans have learned the rudiments of stand-up comedy in Jeff Justice’s Comedy Workshop. Justice teaches students how to »more

Best Street Character

Baton Bob

That’s street “character,” not street person. Bob Jamerson, 53, may work as a florist, but he spends his free time trying to cheer up his »more

Best Tourist Spot

Georgia Aquarium

Although it doesn’t open until Nov. 23, we’re pretty sure the GEORGIA AQUARIUM deserves this honor — not least of all because the facility will »more

Best Trashy Festival

Corndogorama

Screw the face-painting and arts and crafts booths. Each summer, the Earl’s CORNDOGORAMA mixes hot bands and white trash for the perfect indie-rocker brouhaha. During »more

Best Untrue Rumor

A Local Restaurant Was Serving Rats, Mice, Kittens, Puppies, and a Large Frozen Hawk

In January, an e-mail began popping up in inboxes claiming A LOCAL RESTAURANT WAS SERVING RATS, MICE, KITTENS, PUPPIES AND A LARGE FROZEN HAWK. While »more

Best Vestige of the Old South

Cabbagetown

In the 1880s, CABBAGETOWN was built to accommodate Fulton Bag & Cotton Mill workers. In the ensuing century, the neighborhood developed into an enclave of »more

Best Beach Retreat

Tybee Island

It may catch a lot of flack for its campy boardwalk and dated motels, but TYBEE ISLAND is a nostalgic alternative to the more highbrow »more

Best Big Company To Work For

United Parcel Service

When United Parcel Service went public in 1999, its generous employee stock option made millionaires out of longtime employees, from managers to delivery truck drivers. »more

Best Bizarro Local News Story

"Runaway Bride"

Last spring, the world’s media focused itself like a laser beam on the saga of Jennifer Wilbanks, the ditzy, bug-eyed, Gwinnett County “RUNAWAY BRIDE” who »more

Best Campsite You Can Drive To

Black Rock Mountain State Park

Named for its sheer, dark-hued cliffs, BLACK ROCK MOUNTAIN STATE PARK sits in the far northeast corner of the state, where Georgia meets the Carolinas. »more

Best Compromise With a Big Box

Underwood Hills Neighborhood Association

It takes a tenacious neighborhood group to get Wal-Mart to listen. But UNDERWOOD HILLS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION did just that, making sure the store’s developers heard »more

Best Convention

Bronner Bros. International Hair Show

This year, Atlanta lost several trade shows, some of whose organizers blamed an economic slump for diminished interest in the events. Despite the losses, the »more

Best Historic Downtown

Buford

As small-town main streets go, one of the most charming in these parts belongs to the city of BUFORD, nestled in the northern tip of »more

Best impression of Marc el Duchamp on a piece of public art

The Vandalizing of "54 Columns"

In 1919, French artist Marcel Duchamp decorated a postcard of the Mona Lisa with a moustache and goatee. For some reason, it became a famous »more

Best Intown Festival

Inman Park Festival

Held the last weekend in April, the INMAN PARK FESTIVAL has all the offerings you’d expect from a such an event: a goofy parade, a »more

Best Intown Jogging Path

Lullwater Park

Emory University’s 185-acre LULLWATER PARK, nestled between Clifton Road and Emory’s Clairmont Campus, is home to a scenic lake, mature trees, and well-developed paths. Venture »more

Best Intown Neighborhood

Whittier Mill Village

After the textile boom hit Atlanta in the 1870s, villages started cropping up around the city’s cotton mills. When the mills closed, many of the »more

Best Lesson in Rock History

Stonehenge

You’re not going to hear the hits of the ’60s and ’70s on WREK’s classic rock show STONEHENGE, thank God, but you will learn about »more

Best Local Blog

www.extremecraft.com

There were, at press time, about 14.9 jillion gazillion blogs on the Internet, most of them indulgences in mental masturbation. One that is not is »more

Best Local Celebrity

Vernon Jones

He’s known for his police-escort posse, designer-label suits and a jet-setting lifestyle that included a secret junket to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. It’s »more

Best Local Columnist

Bill Shipp

Seventy-two-year-old BILL SHIPP has been kicking ass for more than five decades. His column is syndicated in 85 Georgia newspapers and regularly beats the AJC »more

Best Local Do-Gooders

Riverwood High School

Senior proms are awkward, expensive, pretentious affairs. Isn’t there anything better to do with your time and money? That’s what RIVERWOOD HIGH SCHOOL students asked »more

Best Local Hero

Rosalynn Carter

It’s hard to stand in the shadow of a Nobel Peace Prize-winning former president. But ROSALYNN CARTER has been a leader in her own right »more

Best Local Intellectual

Deborah Lipstadt

DEBORAH LIPSTADT, a professor of modern Jewish and Holocaust studies, is one of the most popular faculty members at Emory. But what really sets her »more

Best Local Magazine

Atlanta Jewish Life

You don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate ATLANTA JEWISH LIFE. The magazine, which first published in the spring of 2001, comes out every other »more

Best Local Podcast

Skepicality

Of the growing number of local podcasts — an MP3 file that can be downloaded into an iPod — we’re particularly fond of SKEPTICALITY, the »more

Best Local Politico

Bobby Baker

Few politicians have stood up for the little guy better than Public Service Commissioner BOBBY BAKER. The Public Service Commission sets rates for utility companies »more

Best Local Professional Athlete

Andruw Jones

The man who defies a traditional spelling of his first name finally is having the kind of year that shows off his natural talents. ANDRUW »more

Best Local Troublemaker

Carl Roland

Forty-one-year-old CARL ROLAND performed a Flying Wallenda act last May, when he sat atop a 25-story crane in Buckhead for 57 hours to avoid an »more

Best Loft Project

Troy-Peerless Lofts

With so many lofts and loft-style developments going up these days, it’s possible to get picky. For those who are holding out for a reclaimed »more

Best New Building

1180 Peachtree

The 41-story glass tower rising on the corner of Peachtree and 14th streets marks the tallest construction in Atlanta in more than a dozen years. »more

Best New Radio Station Format

Dave FM

People laughed when Infinity Broadcasting dumped its tired classic rock formula on Z-93 and created something called “DAVE FM” at 92.9, promising “rock without rules.” »more

Best OTP Festival

Georgia Apple Festival

Make sure you show up hungry to the GEORGIA APPLE FESTIVAL just outside Ellijay, the state’s apple capital. The annual event, now in its 34th »more

Best OTP Neighborhood

Mountain Park

Sitting on the border of Cobb and Cherokee counties, many of MOUNTAIN PARK’s 250 cottages were built in the early 20th century as summer retreats »more

Best Park for a Romantic Picnic

Springvale Park

SPRINGVALE PARK is small, and therein lies its charm. The peaceful atmosphere is unlikely to be disturbed by a pickup game of any sort, because »more

Best Person You Hate to Love

Ty Pennington

Ooh, look at TY PENNINGTON take off his shirt and swing a hammer for the cameras on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Isn’t he dreamy? Well, »more

Best Person You Love to Hate

Ralph Reed

Baby-faced super-Christian RALPH REED is running for lieutenant governor, and while the campaign is Reed’s first bid for public office, he’s said to have his »more

Best Place to Bike

Arabia Mountain Trail

A few years back it was the poor man’s Stone Mountain, but thanks to DeKalb’s much-touted greenspace program, ARABIA MOUNTAIN TRAIL has come into its »more

Best Place to Commune With Nature

Ignatius House

Standing on the grounds of IGNATIUS HOUSE, one can’t help but evoke the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” »more

Best Place to Get Over the Fact that Your Landlord Doesn’t Allow Dogs

Piedmont Park Dog Park

Located just north of where Park Drive crosses from Monroe Drive into Piedmont Park, the PIEDMONT PARK DOG PARK is where the city’s pooches, from »more

Best PR Fiasco

Choicepoint

We have to hand it to CHOICEPOINT. The company spent years buying information on virtually every American while assuring privacy advocates that the information was »more

Best Pseudonym

Ron Mexico

His friends call him Mike; his driver calls him Mr. Vick; and his doctor calls him RON MEXICO. At least that’s the name that Falcons »more

Best Quick Thinking by a Newspaper Reporter in Peril

Don O'Briant

People often wonder how well they’ll perform in a life-and-death situation. On March 11, DON O’BRIANT, a reporter at the AJC, found out firsthand. With »more

Best Radio Station For Boomin’ Bass and 26-inch Spinners

WHTA-FM

For all your crunk desires, you can’t beat Hot 107.9. Riding in your old-school Olds, listening to everything from the Ying Yang Twins to T.I., »more

Best Radio Station that Keeps on Getting Better

Album 88

It might be well into its 30s, but ALBUM 88 hasn’t lost a shred of edge. In what can be a somewhat despairing sea of »more

Best Reason To Leave Atlanta

Gentrification

No, this isn’t a misprint. In the midst of intown’s renaissance, GENTRIFICATION has wreaked severe side effects. Rampant development has burdened Atlanta’s already strained sewage »more

Best Reason To Live In Atlanta

Gentrification

Flash back 15 years ago. The words “East Atlanta” described little more than the swath of land on the far side of Moreland Avenue. Freedom »more

Best Sign of the New South

IKEA

As if people making pilgrimages here from hundreds of miles away wasn’t enough evidence that Atlanta has reached a new milestone, how about $19.99 for »more

Best Silly Class To Change Your Life

Jeff Justice’s Comedy Workshop

During the past 15 years, nearly 1,400 Atlantans have learned the rudiments of stand-up comedy in Jeff Justice’s Comedy Workshop. Justice teaches students how to »more

Best Street Character

Baton Bob

That’s street “character,” not street person. Bob Jamerson, 53, may work as a florist, but he spends his free time trying to cheer up his »more

Best Tourist Spot

Georgia Aquarium

Although it doesn’t open until Nov. 23, we’re pretty sure the GEORGIA AQUARIUM deserves this honor — not least of all because the facility will »more

Best Trashy Festival

Corndogorama

Screw the face-painting and arts and crafts booths. Each summer, the Earl’s CORNDOGORAMA mixes hot bands and white trash for the perfect indie-rocker brouhaha. During »more

Best Untrue Rumor

A Local Restaurant Was Serving Rats, Mice, Kittens, Puppies, and a Large Frozen Hawk

In January, an e-mail began popping up in inboxes claiming A LOCAL RESTAURANT WAS SERVING RATS, MICE, KITTENS, PUPPIES AND A LARGE FROZEN HAWK. While »more

Best Vestige of the Old South

Cabbagetown

In the 1880s, CABBAGETOWN was built to accommodate Fulton Bag & Cotton Mill workers. In the ensuing century, the neighborhood developed into an enclave of »more

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