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Best Reason to Play in the Dirt
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.
347 Boulevard. 404-529-9980. www.theurbangardener.com.
Best Place to Get Your Rear End Buffed
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.
381 Marietta St. 770-572-1831. www.doitrightcarwash.com.
Best Resource for the Carless
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.
1901 Peachtree St. 404-817-3599. www.flexcar.com.
Best Place to Fill Your Tank
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.
1836 Briarcliff Road, and other locations. www.quiktrip.com.