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Best Of Atlanta 2007 Cityscape Large


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 Suburb BOA Award Winner

Decatur

Best Annual Event BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Pride Festival

Best Local TV Anchor BOA Award Winner

Monica Pearson

Best Quirk About Atlanta BOA Award Winner

Traffic
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Best Beach Retreat BOA Award Winner

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 out. Sure, some of the development on the way to the water leaves something to be desired, but the beach and watermore...

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 out. Sure, some of the development on the way to the water leaves something to be desired, but the beach and water at Tybee are quite nice. And the little boardwalk is a gem, a quaint, smaller version of the old famed boardwalks in beach towns between Virginia and New York. Best of all, Tybee is right next to Savannah. If the beach’s nonoceanic accommodations aren’t to your liking, you can do your eating, drinking and passing out closer to River Street.


www.tybeeisland.com

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Best Beach Retreat BOA Award Winner

Destin, Fla

Best Climbing Wall BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Rocks!

Best Columnist BOA Award Winner

Hollis Gillespie

Best Columnist Not Published in Creative Loafing BOA Award Winner

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 think not. This year, we’re granting CL’s honor to Tucker’s deputy editorial page editor.more...

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 think not. This year, we’re granting CL’s honor to Tucker’s deputy editorial page editor. JAY BOOKMAN attacks his topics with a strong sense of justice, well-aimed wit and even wisdom, as he did with a July column slyly protesting the hypocrisy of the district attorney who prosecuted teenager Genarlow Wilson for having sex with another teenager. Over the years, Bookman has particularly distinguished himself with fair-minded, powerful columns on the Iraq fiasco and Georgia’s disastrous transportation policies — both of which he saw coming with painful clarity. We can’t say this will lead to a Pulitzer, but there is a precedent.


www.ajc.com

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Best Country Radio Station BOA Award Winner

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 planted in the traditions of the genre and you end up doing a precarious balancing act. EAGLE 106.7, WYAY-FM, manages these tasks quite well, mixing the old and the newmore...
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 planted in the traditions of the genre and you end up doing a precarious balancing act. EAGLE 106.7, WYAY-FM, manages these tasks quite well, mixing the old and the new in a way that satisfies both camps. It plays a lot of the hot new stuff the young’uns want to hear, but also pays sufficient homage to Willie, Merle and Bocephus. In addition, it features “Country Gold” Saturday and Sunday nights, covering all the classics for the stalwarts. Sunday morning and afternoon are filled with live NASCAR shows and race coverage — now that’s country. less...

Best Jazz Radio Station BOA Award Winner

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 hear it a block away — WCLK-FM (91.9) has been Atlanta’s best jazz station. Of course, there were times whenmore...
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 hear it a block away — WCLK-FM (91.9) has been Atlanta’s best jazz station. Of course, there were times when WCLK was Atlanta’s only jazz station. But with competition or not, WCLK clearly stands apart with its smart and eclectic mix of all things jazz, plus programs that celebrate blues and gospel music. Today, the station may still broadcast at a modest 6,000 watts from the campus of Clark Atlanta University, but without WCLK, the jazz scene in Atlanta would be Kenny G. at Chastain Park. less...

Best Jazz Radio Station BOA Award Winner

107.5 WJZZ

Best Local Do-Gooder BOA Award Winner

Clark Howard

Best Local Hero BOA Award Winner

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 drug raid that left an innocent elderly woman dead. Morale stinks, officers are fleeing and crime rates are up. Which is why we salute THEmore...
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 drug raid that left an innocent elderly woman dead. Morale stinks, officers are fleeing and crime rates are up. Which is why we salute THE COP ON THE CORNER. They risk their lives, get cursed at and get used as pawns in city politics, all to keep us safe. There’s not much a lowly lawman or lawwoman can do about the department’s leadership except show up for work and do his or her job. So, to all the rank-and-file police officers wading through the department’s current mess: You are, indeed, Atlanta’s finest. Thank you. less...

Best Mountain Escape BOA Award Winner

Blue Ridge Mountains

Best Parade BOA Award Winner

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 in Midtown is Atlanta’s most honest celebration of freedom. We love them both. But Atlanta’s most original, entertainingmore...

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 in Midtown is Atlanta’s most honest celebration of freedom. We love them both. But Atlanta’s most original, entertaining and downright bizarre street march is the LITTLE FIVE POINTS HALLOWEEN PARADE. Where else does a 7-foot-penis swagger by a wholesome family in broad daylight, or a snarling, bare-chested madman gnaw on his bone and lunge at the crowd only to have his collar jerked by his masterful mistress?


www.l5phalloween.com.

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Best Radio DJ BOA Award Winner

Mara Davis, Dave FM
WZGC-FM (92.9)

Best Sign Atlanta Isn’t Like the Rest of Georgia BOA Award Winner

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 restaurant district — a place to get a bowl of pho on a Friday night, or a place to pick up stalks of fresh lemongrassmore...
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 restaurant district — a place to get a bowl of pho on a Friday night, or a place to pick up stalks of fresh lemongrass for a Thai recipe you’re making at home. Buford Highway’s much more than food and shopping, though. It’s the living, breathing fulfillment of Atlanta’s oft-stated desire to be an international city instead of just a provincial capital. less...

Best Bizarro Local News Story BOA Award Winner

Chris Benoit murdering his wife and child then taking his own life

Best Climbing Wall BOA Award Winner

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 of people do with their free time. The ATLANTA ROCKS! location on Collier Road claims to be the largest indoor gym in the Southeast.more...
“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 of people do with their free time. The ATLANTA ROCKS! location on Collier Road claims to be the largest indoor gym in the Southeast. With 12,000 square feet of climbing surface and climbing routes for beginners and experts alike, we have no reason to doubt them. It beats the hell out of spin class. less...

Best Golf Course BOA Award Winner

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 cram in a difficult round in a couple hours, but the main draw is the sprawling complex of practice facilities, named the best in the Southeast by Sportsmore...
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 cram in a difficult round in a couple hours, but the main draw is the sprawling complex of practice facilities, named the best in the Southeast by Sports Illustrated. The driving range stays open till 10 every night, as do the two putting greens and seven chipping greens. There are six pro instructors on hand and an indoor practice center with tees that are videotaped from three angles for swing analysis. In August, Fox Creek replanted all its greens with Champion Bermuda grass, a new hybrid “ultra dwarf” species intended to allow faster, smoother putts. Yeah, but can you smoke it? less...

Best Local Fighter for the Environment BOA Award Winner

Laura Turner Seydel

Best Local General Interest Website BOA Award Winner

Access Atlanta website

Best Locally Produced Podcast BOA Award Winner

Paste Culture Club

Best Neighborhood Festival BOA Award Winner

Inman Park Festival

Best Overall Radio Station BOA Award Winner

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 makes sense that Georgia Tech’s student-run radio station, WREK-FM (91.1) is the same: strange in a good way. The station’s format is noncommercial andmore...
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 makes sense that Georgia Tech’s student-run radio station, WREK-FM (91.1) is the same: strange in a good way. The station’s format is noncommercial and nonconforming. Few stations in the city can compete with WREK’s eclectic playlist as it moves without missing a beat from the street-conscious rap of Lupe Fiasco’s “Just Might Be OK” to the mind-numbing rock of Japan’s Solar Anus. It’s as if the daily sound blocks are programmed to project moods instead of genres. The station’s website even provides a detailed blueprint of WREK’s mission statement for the next three years. How efficient. less...

Best Overall Radio Station BOA Award Winner

Dave FM 92.9

Best Quirk About Atlanta BOA Award Winner

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 because it’s one of the few cities in the country whose strip clubs feature BOOZE AND BOTTOMLESS DANCERS. Even residents who aren’tmore...
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 because it’s one of the few cities in the country whose strip clubs feature BOOZE AND BOTTOMLESS DANCERS. Even residents who aren’t patrons of the ecdysiastic arts appreciate the importance of the convention trade to the city’s economy. And for those who do partake in the occasional table dance, you already know what a bummer it would be if that G-string never came off. Or if you had to drink wheatgrass milk all night long instead of your customary Courvoisier-and-Red-Bull shooters. less...

Best Radio Oasis from Red-State Insanity BOA Award Winner

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, they dominate our politics. That’s why WABE-FM (90.1) is such a treasure. In a desert of loudmouths, it’smore...
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, they dominate our politics. That’s why WABE-FM (90.1) is such a treasure. In a desert of loudmouths, it’s an oasis of thoughtfulness and quiet sanity. NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,” as well as PRI’s “The World,” air locally on WABE, and are far and away the best broadcast news programs available in our city. And such talk shows as “Fresh Air” and “This American Life” are cultural lifelines, reminding us daily that there are parts of America where people don’t turn the bumpers of their cars into shrines for dead NASCAR drivers. less...

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

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 remarkably safe from external mortal threats. The biggest threat to Atlanta is itself. It means OUR DESTINY IS IN OUR HANDS. All the things we bitchmore...
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 remarkably safe from external mortal threats. The biggest threat to Atlanta is itself. It means OUR DESTINY IS IN OUR HANDS. All the things we bitch about (traffic, sprawl, crime, filthy air, etc.) are our own doing — the result of decades of electing state and local politicians who are better at bickering than leading. Believe it or not, that’s good news. L.A. can’t make earthquakes go away. But we can stop doing stupid shit. less...

Best Suburb BOA Award Winner

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 suburb. But a suburb it is. The DeKalb County seat is home to 18,000 people who enjoy many of the benefits of suburban living (more green space,more...
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 suburb. But a suburb it is. The DeKalb County seat is home to 18,000 people who enjoy many of the benefits of suburban living (more green space, a slightly slower pace of life than the city, decent public schools and an accessible local government) with few of the drawbacks. It has public transit, and plenty of places within walking distance of each other, including charming shops, great restaurants, bars and an increasing number of mid-rise condominiums. This fall, it’s even slated to get a free municipal Wi-Fi network that will cover much of the city. Top that, Alpharetta. less...

Best Suburb BOA Award Winner

Decatur

Best Website for Shopping, Sex and Miscellaneous Weirdness BOA Award Winner

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 it pains us to say this since Craigslist has taken a huge chunk of newspaper revenues, we still have to givemore...

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 it pains us to say this since Craigslist has taken a huge chunk of newspaper revenues, we still have to give props. Whether you’re looking for a guitar, a couch, a car or a house, it’s a great place to browse. On a given day, you’ll also find things such as heartfelt letters penned to anonymous grocery-store clerks someone was afraid to talk to, invitations by men who want to “swap body rubs,” and obscene racist rants about problems with Mexican drivers. Craigslist is part shopping mall, part diary, part bathroom wall.


www.atlanta.craigslist.com

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Best Addition to the Skyline BOA Award Winner

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 downtown/Midtown boom in the late ’80s and early ’90s. By the end of the year, the title “Buckhead’smore...

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 downtown/Midtown boom in the late ’80s and early ’90s. By the end of the year, the title “Buckhead’s Tallest Building” will have changed hands twice in 2007. Come ’08, the title will belong to SOVEREIGN. Inside a curving, 635-foot-tall exterior that kind of looks like a giant Ionic Breeze, Sovereign will offer office, retail, restaurants and 93 condos that will cost up to $12 million. Here’s hoping the mixed-use monolith encourages more centralized living, working and playing — and thus less driving, driving and driving.


Tower Place 200, 3348 Peachtree Road, Suite 1095. 404-266-3344. www.sovereignbuckhead.com

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Best Annual Event BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Pride Festival

Best Day Trip to a War Zone BOA Award Winner

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 a more complete, and scenic, view of the battle that preceded Atlanta’s fall. But if you really want to feel the scopemore...

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 a more complete, and scenic, view of the battle that preceded Atlanta’s fall. But if you really want to feel the scope of the last war fought on Southern soil, head about 100 miles north to CHICKAMAUGA AND CHATTANOOGA NATIONAL MILITARY PARK. The Chickamauga part of the park, which is in Georgia, looks and feels like a hallowed old battlefield: rolling fields, idle cannons, somber memorials. It was the site of one of the South’s last big victories. U.S. troops retreated north to Chattanooga, Tenn., regrouped there, broke out of the city, and then, under the leadership of William Tecumseh Sherman, marched on to Atlanta. Parcels of the park commemorate clashes in and around Chattanooga, including Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.


www.nps.gov/chch

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Best Local Sports Blog BOA Award Winner

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 about all of Atlanta’s sports teams, but quickly settled on his favorite: the Braves. Thomason’s observations on all things Braves are often funnymore...

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 about all of Atlanta’s sports teams, but quickly settled on his favorite: the Braves. Thomason’s observations on all things Braves are often funny and usually insightful. And his rants can be provocative, such as his rebuke to Slate.com when the web magazine framed Hank Aaron as a slow-and-steady “good player,” as opposed to a great one. The blog has become a gathering spot for hardcore Braves fans, and it’s not unusual to see Thomason receive 300-plus comments on a single post where fans critique every move Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz make … and didn’t make.


www.bravesjournal.com

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Best Local Sports Radio Host BOA Award Winner

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 The Zone) is the only radio show that can get John Smoltz out of bed at 5:30 the morning after he’s pitched, and get him to talk about going one-on-onemore...
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 The Zone) is the only radio show that can get John Smoltz out of bed at 5:30 the morning after he’s pitched, and get him to talk about going one-on-one with Barry Bonds the night before. The show has five strong personalities, but we spotlight CHRIS DIMINO. Not because he’s the guy they call “Rain Man” for a memory that can pull up every obscure stat you could ever imagine, but because he’s the station’s most skilled interviewer. Aside from morning duties, he hosts a one-hour pregame show before every Braves home game. Dimino is also one of the few radio guys you actually see at games checking out the action in person when he should be home sleeping: Fer chrissakes, he’s on the air at 6 in the morning! less...

Best Local TV Anchor BOA Award Winner

Monica Pearson

Best Person Panda You Hate to Love BOA Award Winner

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 panda. After the wall-to-wall press coverage, the billboards, the nightly gushing and cooing by local TV anchors, the ads for panda posters in the AJC and the frickin’more...

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 panda. After the wall-to-wall press coverage, the billboards, the nightly gushing and cooing by local TV anchors, the ads for panda posters in the AJC and the frickin’ panda cam, for God’s sake, we’re sick of hearing about the little beast. But, um, have you been over to the zoo to check her out? She’s actually pretty adorable in person, lounging on her log or playing with her mother. We don’t need to read any more about Mei Lan. Can we just take her home instead?


800 Cherokee Ave. 404-624-5600. www.zooatlanta.org

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Best Person You Love to Hate BOA Award Winner

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 rap records, etc. But for many people, abusing and torturing animals is on par with child molestation. The things MICHAEL VICK did to dogs are so disgustingmore...
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 rap records, etc. But for many people, abusing and torturing animals is on par with child molestation. The things MICHAEL VICK did to dogs are so disgusting and sordid that it’s impossible to look at the guy the same way we used to. Vick has failed his Falcons teammates, effectively wasted our entire football season and deeply embarrassed his adopted city. less...

Best Place to Get in Touch with Your Inner Ty Pennington BOA Award Winner

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 on the upswing, somewhere between semisqualor and universal respectability. That pretty well describes ORMEWOOD PARK, where it’s still possible to findmore...
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 on the upswing, somewhere between semisqualor and universal respectability. That pretty well describes ORMEWOOD PARK, where it’s still possible to find affordable bungalows and rehab projects for DIYers on shady, tree-lined streets. Ormewood is close to I-20, and benefits from the recent openings of nearby restaurants and bars in the Glenwood Park development and in East Atlanta Village. A final selling point for those who think long-term: when the Beltline is finished, you’ll be able to take your grandkids to Piedmont Park on the trolley. less...


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