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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 Person Panda You Hate to Love

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 »more

Best Addition to the Skyline

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 »more

Best All-Purpose Path

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 »more

Best Athlete(s)

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 »more

Best Bass-Guitar-Playing EcoPatriot

Rob Del Bueno

If America is addicted to oil (as even President Bush admitted in 2006), then Atlanta is a jittery crack whore for petro. Our sprawl and »more

Best Beach Retreat

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 »more

Best Climbing Wall

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 »more

Best Columnist Not Published in Creative Loafing

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 »more

Best Country Radio Station

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 »more

Best Day Trip to a War Zone

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 »more

Best Golf Course

Legacy Links & Fox Creek

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 »more

Best Hype About Atlanta That Isn’t Actually True

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 »more

Best Intown Park

Lullwater Park

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 »more

Best Jazz Radio Station

WCLK-FM 91.9

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 »more

Best Local Hero

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 »more

Best Local Political Figure

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle

In the midst of the cesspool of the Georgia Capitol is an island of relative sanity — the office of LT. GOV. CASEY CAGLE. When »more

Best Local Political Website

Peach Pundit

Political junkies are surprisingly nonpartisan when it comes to getting the latest scuttlebutt. You could have Ted Kennedy’s face tattooed across both ass cheeks and »more

Best Local Sports Blog

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 »more

Best Local Sports Radio Host

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 »more

Best Local Troublemaker

Sgt. Michael Scott Kreher

It takes personal courage to challenge authority in the Atlanta Police Department. Former Deputy Chief Lou Arcangeli suffered retaliation when he went public with substantiated »more

Best Morning Drive-Time Radio Show

Bert Weiss and the Bert Show on Q100 (100.5)

If someone told you listening to a daily dose of drama and dysfunctional relationships on your drive-in commute could actually make Atlanta’s traffic tolerable, you’d »more

Best Neighborhood Festival

Inman Park Festival

To avoid the stifling heat of summer, Atlanta crams a full six months of outdoor civic togetherness into the three spring months. The festival season’s »more

Best Old Thing About Atlanta Made New Again

The Beltline

Just when it seemed Atlanta was as likely to issue free personal jet packs to every resident as it was to make progress on THE »more

Best Overall Radio Station

WREK-FM 91.1

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 »more

Best Parade

Little Five Points Halloween Parade

The Inman Park Festival parade is best-known as home turf for the incredibly entertaining Kelly’s Seed and Feed Marching Abominable Band. The quirky Pride Parade »more

Best Person You Love to Hate

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 »more

Best Place to Commune with Nature Without Leaving the City

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 »more

Best Place to Find Girls Gone Wild

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 »more

Best Place to Get in Touch with Your Inner Ty Pennington

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 »more

Best Place to Spot Celebrities

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 »more

Best Quirk About Atlanta

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 »more

Best Radio Oasis from Red-State Insanity

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, »more

Best Rock Radio Station

Album 88, WRAS-FM 88.5

The collective knowledge of Pitchfork’s contributors is an invaluable tool for finding new and interesting rock; on the other hand, the mag is marred by »more

Best Sign Atlanta Isn’t Like the Rest of Georgia

Buford Highway

BUFORD HIGHWAY is Atlanta’s Chinatown. It’s also our Koreatown, our Vietnamtown, our Mexicotown and many more. To some, Buford Highway is just a shopping and »more

Best Sign Atlanta Isn’t Turning Into Houston (or L.A., New York, or D.C.)

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 »more

Best Snitch

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 »more

Best Street Character Who’s Not Baton Bob

Willy Terry, aka Bicycle Shorts Man

With his paid gigs and his slick website, “street character” is no longer an apt title for Baton Bob. He’s a full-fledged local celeb now. »more

Best Suburb

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 »more

Best Thing About Atlanta That We Don’t Get Credit for Having

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 »more

Best Tourist Spot

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 »more

Best Urban Radio Station

V-103, WVEE-FM 103.3

Personalities are the lifeblood of commercial stations. And V-103, WVEE-FM (103.3) has a killer lineup: Frank Ski, Wanda Smith and Miss Sophia (mornings), Porsche Foxx »more

Best Website for Shopping, Sex and Miscellaneous Weirdness

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 »more

Best Yearly-Orama

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 »more

Timeless: Best TV News Anchor

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 »more

Trendy: Best Blogger

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 »more

Best Person Panda You Hate to Love

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 »more

Best Addition to the Skyline

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 »more

Best All-Purpose Path

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 »more

Best Athlete(s)

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 »more

Best Bass-Guitar-Playing EcoPatriot

Rob Del Bueno

If America is addicted to oil (as even President Bush admitted in 2006), then Atlanta is a jittery crack whore for petro. Our sprawl and »more

Best Beach Retreat

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 »more

Best Climbing Wall

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 »more

Best Columnist Not Published in Creative Loafing

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 »more

Best Country Radio Station

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 »more

Best Day Trip to a War Zone

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 »more

Best Golf Course

Legacy Links & Fox Creek

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 »more

Best Hype About Atlanta That Isn’t Actually True

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 »more

Best Intown Park

Lullwater Park

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 »more

Best Jazz Radio Station

WCLK-FM 91.9

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 »more

Best Local Hero

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 »more

Best Local Political Figure

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle

In the midst of the cesspool of the Georgia Capitol is an island of relative sanity — the office of LT. GOV. CASEY CAGLE. When »more

Best Local Political Website

Peach Pundit

Political junkies are surprisingly nonpartisan when it comes to getting the latest scuttlebutt. You could have Ted Kennedy’s face tattooed across both ass cheeks and »more

Best Local Sports Blog

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 »more

Best Local Sports Radio Host

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 »more

Best Local Troublemaker

Sgt. Michael Scott Kreher

It takes personal courage to challenge authority in the Atlanta Police Department. Former Deputy Chief Lou Arcangeli suffered retaliation when he went public with substantiated »more

Best Morning Drive-Time Radio Show

Bert Weiss and the Bert Show on Q100 (100.5)

If someone told you listening to a daily dose of drama and dysfunctional relationships on your drive-in commute could actually make Atlanta’s traffic tolerable, you’d »more

Best Neighborhood Festival

Inman Park Festival

To avoid the stifling heat of summer, Atlanta crams a full six months of outdoor civic togetherness into the three spring months. The festival season’s »more

Best Old Thing About Atlanta Made New Again

The Beltline

Just when it seemed Atlanta was as likely to issue free personal jet packs to every resident as it was to make progress on THE »more

Best Overall Radio Station

WREK-FM 91.1

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 »more

Best Parade

Little Five Points Halloween Parade

The Inman Park Festival parade is best-known as home turf for the incredibly entertaining Kelly’s Seed and Feed Marching Abominable Band. The quirky Pride Parade »more

Best Person You Love to Hate

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 »more

Best Place to Commune with Nature Without Leaving the City

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 »more

Best Place to Find Girls Gone Wild

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 »more

Best Place to Get in Touch with Your Inner Ty Pennington

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 »more

Best Place to Spot Celebrities

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 »more

Best Quirk About Atlanta

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 »more

Best Radio Oasis from Red-State Insanity

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, »more

Best Rock Radio Station

Album 88, WRAS-FM 88.5

The collective knowledge of Pitchfork’s contributors is an invaluable tool for finding new and interesting rock; on the other hand, the mag is marred by »more

Best Sign Atlanta Isn’t Like the Rest of Georgia

Buford Highway

BUFORD HIGHWAY is Atlanta’s Chinatown. It’s also our Koreatown, our Vietnamtown, our Mexicotown and many more. To some, Buford Highway is just a shopping and »more

Best Sign Atlanta Isn’t Turning Into Houston (or L.A., New York, or D.C.)

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 »more

Best Snitch

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 »more

Best Street Character Who’s Not Baton Bob

Willy Terry, aka Bicycle Shorts Man

With his paid gigs and his slick website, “street character” is no longer an apt title for Baton Bob. He’s a full-fledged local celeb now. »more

Best Suburb

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 »more

Best Thing About Atlanta That We Don’t Get Credit for Having

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 »more

Best Tourist Spot

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 »more

Best Urban Radio Station

V-103, WVEE-FM 103.3

Personalities are the lifeblood of commercial stations. And V-103, WVEE-FM (103.3) has a killer lineup: Frank Ski, Wanda Smith and Miss Sophia (mornings), Porsche Foxx »more

Best Website for Shopping, Sex and Miscellaneous Weirdness

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 »more

Best Yearly-Orama

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 »more

Timeless: Best TV News Anchor

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 »more

Trendy: Best Blogger

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 »more

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