The big peach
Who's lookin' out for ya? The PEACH DROP's namesake 8-foot, fiberglass peach weighs a total of 800 pounds and drops 138 feet in 65 seconds on NEW YEAR'S EVE. With that kind of small-talk fodder, how couldn't you find a last-minute honey for a midnight kiss? Fringe benefits of partying with 100,000 of your closest friends include free admission to Underground Atlanta's Kenny's Alley, where a total of eight clubs and restaurants are opening (the price will rise to a whopping $5 following NYE), an open-container ordinance that allows you to drink outdoors while club-hopping and free live music by bands including locally loved Kingsized and inexplicably loved Sister Hazel and Edwin McCain. Free. Dec. 31, noon-4 a.m. 50 Upper Alabama St. 404-523-2311. www.peachdrop.com.-- Layla Bellows
To this Florida girl, the CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL really comes down to one question: Orange and blue or orange and green? For my money, the Gators have the advantage over the Hurricanes. Who cares about statistics? UF's team colors are opposites on the color wheel, which means their light waves vibrate slightly when placed next to each other -- obviously the perfect way to psych out the other team's players. If your football knowledge is as in-depth as mine, these events surrounding the bowl offer a welcome surge of pre-game spirit:
Peach Party: Hosted by Atlanta alumni hailing from Florida and Miami and happening at Midtown's Cosmopolitan and Lava Lounges, expect pretty people and special drinks including Peach Martinis and Peach Drop Shots. Call for price. Begins at 9 p.m. 45 13th St. 404-873-6189. www.cosmolava.com.
Peach Bowl Parade: Florida and Miami University presidents, bands, mascots and cheerleaders join together with local professional athletes, fans and anyone else who gets tangled up in a walk down Peachtree and eventually to the Georgia World Congress Center. Free. 11 a.m.-noon. Begins at the intersection of Ralph McGill Boulevard and Peachtree Street. www.chik-fil-apeachbowl.com.
Peach Bowl FanFest: Technically, this is a pre-game family warm-up, but if it was happening at a high school, it would be called a pep rally. The event includes games like pedestal jousting, rock climbing and bungee runs. $8. 12:30-6 p.m. Georgia World Congress Center, 285 International Blvd. 404-586-8500. www.chik-fil-apeachbowl.com. -- LB
Alive in '05
For your night of debauchery to ring in the New Year, CL wishes you the best. But to make sure you actually make it to 2005, we've compiled a clip 'n' keep list of safe rides and nearby places to crash once your imbibing ceases.-- Alyssa Abkowitz
Transportation (all taxis accept major credit cards)
ATLANTA CHECKER CAB: 404-351-1111. (Checker Cab has teamed up with TEAM Georgia to offer free rides from 200 bars and restaurants. Visit www.teamgeorgia.net for more information.)
ATLANTA YELLOW CAB: 404-521-0200
AMBASSADOR TAXI SERVICE: 404-724-0220
ATLANTA MIDTOWN YELLOW CAB: 404-881-0134
MARTA: 404-848-4711. www.itsmarta.com. Trains will run all night, but at Sunday frequency. Buses will stop service at 2 a.m.
Hotels (prices subject to change):
BEST WESTERN INN AT THE PEACHTREES: Rooms start at $109 a night. 330 W. Peachtree St. 404-577-6970.
HAMPTON INN ATLANTA IN MIDTOWN: Rooms start at $125 a night. 1152 Spring St. 404-872-3234.
HOLIDAY INN MIDTOWN NORTH: Rooms start at $85 a night. 1810 Howell Mill Road. 404-351-3831.
Smoke 'em if you got
Smoking and writing used to go together like hamburgers and heart attacks, but we're all a bunch of marathon-running vegans now. We still pine for the romantic notion of debauched brilliance, though, so we picked smoke for the theme of our fourth annual Fiction Contest. On Wed., JAN. 5, Creative Loafing and The Chattahoochee Review throw a smokin' soiree in honor of our 2005 FICTION CONTEST at Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery. Lit-rock band the Fantastic, featuring Jamie Allen, Mike Geier and Monkey Zuma, will perform. Artist Christie Blizard will exhibit her literary-inspired paintings. A cut-rate book sale will raise proceeds for Literacy Action Inc. And the first-place winner of our Fiction Contest will read his or her winning entry. Free. 7- 9:30 p.m. 290 Martin Luther King Drive. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. www.atlanta.creativeloafing.com. -- Suzanne Van Atten