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Best of Atlanta 2011 Index

 

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2011 Index of Winners

Best restaurant to take visitors BOA Award Winner

The Vortex - Little Five Points|The Vortex Bar and Grill - Midtown

Best sushi BOA Award Winner

Ru-San's
And other metro Atlanta locations

Best veggie Burgers BOA Award Winner

Grindhouse Killer Burgers - Midtown

Best author to befuddle the critics BOA Award Winner

Blake Butler
When Atlanta author Blake Butler's surrealist domestic novel There Is No Year showed up in the New York Times Book Review earlier this year, critic Joseph Salvatore waxed equal parts ecstatic and befuddled. In his effort to describe the language-driven tale of a mother, father and son, he dropped namesmore...
When Atlanta author Blake Butler's surrealist domestic novel There Is No Year showed up in the New York Times Book Review earlier this year, critic Joseph Salvatore waxed equal parts ecstatic and befuddled. In his effort to describe the language-driven tale of a mother, father and son, he dropped names like William Faulkner, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. And then he declined to take a stab at interpreting what the book might be about. This is true in much of the criticism around Butler's work: Whether critics love him or hate him (and there are plenty of both) they seem to have no clue what to do with his work. That reaction speaks to There Is No Year's visceral power: It will run through your body as much as your mind and probably leave you mumbling to yourself for days. www.gillesdeleuzecommittedsuicideandsowilldrphil.com. less...

Best local poet BOA Award Winner

Kevin Young

Best male actor and best female actor BOA Award Winner

Chris Kayser and Tess Malis Kincaid

Best opening BOA Award Winner

Launch of Streetela
In April, the warehouse at 900 DeKalb Ave. slung open its loading dock doors for the launch of Streetela, a new ATL apparel brand that's taking work off walls and rail cars and putting it on T-shirts and tote bags. Art lovers and party people packed into the space to check out tightly curated works frommore...
In April, the warehouse at 900 DeKalb Ave. slung open its loading dock doors for the launch of Streetela, a new ATL apparel brand that's taking work off walls and rail cars and putting it on T-shirts and tote bags. Art lovers and party people packed into the space to check out tightly curated works from Evereman, Ola Bad, DO IT, Paper Twins, Joy Phrasavath, Joe Tsambiras and more. The dense crowd spilled into the gravel lot out front, making the spring evening feel like a balmy summer night. Local bands Carnivores and Shepherds played to a horde of onlookers. Lines snaked up to the Good Food Truck and the Big Pickle for snacks. And from across the street, a glowing Evereman projection proclaimed "4 U ATL." streetela.com. less...

Best play BOA Award Winner

August: Osage County
Despite the risk of burning out some of Atlanta's best actors through prolonged exposure to scorching family drama, the Alliance Theatre should make an annual tradition of its production of Tracy Letts' August: Osage County. Director Susan V. Booth cultivated a sense of family connection by filling themore...
Despite the risk of burning out some of Atlanta's best actors through prolonged exposure to scorching family drama, the Alliance Theatre should make an annual tradition of its production of Tracy Letts' August: Osage County. Director Susan V. Booth cultivated a sense of family connection by filling the cast with mainstays of the Atlanta theater scene, including Georgia Shakespeare Artistic Director Richard Garner, 7 Stages Artistic Director Del Hamilton and grande dame Brenda Bynum, who left retirement to play a vicious, drug-addicted matriarch of a squabbling Oklahoma family. August: Osage County presented the Weston clan as a dysfunctional social microcosm, with blood-sport banter that made the three-hour running time pass like a rocket. Alliance Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-4650. alliancetheatre.org. less...

Best reason to wander into a vacant warehouse BOA Award Winner

Dashboard Co-Op
Dashboard Co-Op seems blissfully unaware of the word "boundaries." And "rules." And "limits." And "functional indoor plumbing." Launched in early 2010, the local arts organization and online gallery has made some bold moves to help bridge the creative corners of the city. Founders Courtney Hammond andmore...
Dashboard Co-Op seems blissfully unaware of the word "boundaries." And "rules." And "limits." And "functional indoor plumbing." Launched in early 2010, the local arts organization and online gallery has made some bold moves to help bridge the creative corners of the city. Founders Courtney Hammond and Beth Malone excel in reimagining and repurposing raw, vacant spaces as multipurpose art/music/food wonderlands. Dash's collaboration with pop-up restaurant Dinner Party in an unoccupied Westside storefront married two normally independent communities and challenged the ideas of what a gallery or a restaurant is. The sound and video installation Ants and Grasshoppers illuminated an empty Castleberry Hill warehouse and created an interesting juxtaposition between the bare-bones space and the tech-heavy artwork. The artist co-op and its founders instill in us a sense of civic pride, a feeling that just about anything is possible if we simply get off our tushes and make it happen. dashboardco-op.org. less...

Best theater company BOA Award Winner

Actor's Express
An outpouring of support accompanied Actor's Express' S.O.S. fundraising drive this year, which indicates the fierce loyalty of the edgy playhouse's fans and the value of its mission. The theater has changed locations and leadership over its two and a half decades, but sustained its identity as Atlanta'smore...
An outpouring of support accompanied Actor's Express' S.O.S. fundraising drive this year, which indicates the fierce loyalty of the edgy playhouse's fans and the value of its mission. The theater has changed locations and leadership over its two and a half decades, but sustained its identity as Atlanta's most exciting playhouse. With impeccable recent productions including the insightful comedy Becky Shaw and the twisty musical See What I Wanna See, Actor's Express brings such intelligence and passion to its work that even its most challenging scripts become accessible. The company began its 24th season this fall with the hip rock show Spring Awakening. Here's hoping the youthful onstage energies will be matched by a resurgence of financial security. 887 W. Marietta St. 404-875-1606. actors-express.com. less...

Indie crafter BOA Award Winner

Becky Striepe

Local male actor BOA Award Winner

Chris Kayser

Stage director BOA Award Winner

Susan V. Booth

Best local DJ BOA Award Winner

DJ Ployd

Best local folk act BOA Award Winner

Pocket the Moon

Best local music blog BOA Award Winner

Ohmpark

Best local songwriter BOA Award Winner

Sonia Leigh

Best strip club BOA Award Winner

Best indie rock underdogs BOA Award Winner

Reveling in the mesmerizing aesthetics of drone pop and Krautrock, Red Sea's songs creep along at a hypnotic pace. But a slow and jangling indie rock sensibility propels these four fresh-faced 18- to 21-year-olds from Suwanee over deep, dark valleys of reverb and resonance. Less than 24 hours after self-releasingmore...

Reveling in the mesmerizing aesthetics of drone pop and Krautrock, Red Sea's songs creep along at a hypnotic pace. But a slow and jangling indie rock sensibility propels these four fresh-faced 18- to 21-year-olds from Suwanee over deep, dark valleys of reverb and resonance. Less than 24 hours after self-releasing the Weird Problem EP via Bandcamp, Red Sea was deemed a buzzworthy band by the local blogosphere, and its subsequent live shows only highlighted the band's potential to achieve local clout at an age when most acts are still kicking around in the garage. redsea.bandcamp.com.


Listen: Red Sea "Cruel Future"

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Best new gay thing to happen outside of Midtown BOA Award Winner

Atlanta has a rich tradition of gay bars with delightfully suggestive names: BJ Roosters; Swinging Richards; and the recently shuttered Three Legged Cowboy. But Atlanta's latest gay bar, The Cockpit, takes the cake. Imagine diving headfirst into a pit of ... well, you get the idea. With Atlanta's gaymore...
Atlanta has a rich tradition of gay bars with delightfully suggestive names: BJ Roosters; Swinging Richards; and the recently shuttered Three Legged Cowboy. But Atlanta's latest gay bar, The Cockpit, takes the cake. Imagine diving headfirst into a pit of ... well, you get the idea. With Atlanta's gay scene still largely sequestered in Midtown, the Cockpit is a welcome and necessary addition to those who crave a bar off the beaten path. It's the only gay watering hole in Grant Park, not far from Mary's in East Atlanta, and an encouraging sign of the city's sprawling gay population. The cozy interior with exposed brick and a central bar houses a pool table, and the space includes a small outdoor patio. Also a rarity among gay bars, the Cockpit is smoke-free. But what's most appreciated is the location's down-to-earth attitude. Still, those Boulevard bears know to keep the Gaga blasting. 465 Boulevard. 404-343-2450. thecockpit-atlanta.blogspot.com. less...

Best off-the-radar place to see a local show BOA Award Winner

Forget a Facebook invite; you couldn't stumble upon this place with a pocket compass. That's because the location of the tunnel shows that take place along the southwestern stretch of the Beltline remain shrouded in secrecy. Imagine the Southern gothic atmosphere of a William Faulkner novel, channeledmore...
Forget a Facebook invite; you couldn't stumble upon this place with a pocket compass. That's because the location of the tunnel shows that take place along the southwestern stretch of the Beltline remain shrouded in secrecy. Imagine the Southern gothic atmosphere of a William Faulkner novel, channeled into a strange but beautiful outsider folk scene. Ramshackle and hobo-esque acts with names such as Pony Bones, Melissa Lonely, the Subliminator, and Shitty Bedford howl at the moon while carving out a sound that's anything but urbane. less...

Best bizarro local news story BOA Award Winner

T.I. talked the jumper off the building
Late one afternoon last October, radio and TV news reported that a man was threatening to jump 22 stories from the top of Colony Square in Midtown. Photos of the desperate 24-year-old peering over the ledge, taken by people in neighboring skyscrapers, appeared on Twitter. Police closed nearby streetsmore...
Late one afternoon last October, radio and TV news reported that a man was threatening to jump 22 stories from the top of Colony Square in Midtown. Photos of the desperate 24-year-old peering over the ledge, taken by people in neighboring skyscrapers, appeared on Twitter. Police closed nearby streets as a hostage negotiator tried to coax the man off the roof. And then the day was saved as T.I. talked the jumper off the building! Yes, T.I., the rapper and actor, heard the news on V-103 (WVEE-FM) while en route to a video shoot and decided to swing by the scene. Once there, he videotaped a message telling the jumper, "No matter what's going on in life, it gets better," which was quickly taken to the roof. The man came down, spoke with the rapper for a few minutes and was then taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for psychiatric evaluation. T.I. told reporters that the random act of disaster avoidance was in no way linked to his appearance days later before a federal judge for probation violations. It seems he was right: He got 11 months. less...

Best chance to watch gold medal Olympians BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Beat
It's an expansion team in a league many people don't even know exists, but the Atlanta Beat pro soccer club fielded three members of the U.S. squad that made it to the finals of the Women's World Cup in July and helped bring home the gold at the 2008 Olympics. Defender Heather Mitts, with two gold medals,more...
It's an expansion team in a league many people don't even know exists, but the Atlanta Beat pro soccer club fielded three members of the U.S. squad that made it to the finals of the Women's World Cup in July and helped bring home the gold at the 2008 Olympics. Defender Heather Mitts, with two gold medals, is best known for her appearances in Maxim, Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue and other lad mags, and for being named "Hottest Female Athlete" by ESPN.com. It's never too late to become a fan, guys. womensprosoccer.com/atlanta. less...

Best community garden for bringing a community together BOA Award Winner

English Avenue Community Garden

Best local blogger rivalry BOA Award Winner

What Now, Atlanta? and Tomorrow's News Today
Online flame wars typically fizzle out after a day. Twitter debates are limited to 140 characters. And arguing in public sucks because you actually have to look at your opponent. But the rivalry between What Now, Atlanta? and Tomorrow's News Today has provided months of catty fun for onlookers. A fewmore...
Online flame wars typically fizzle out after a day. Twitter debates are limited to 140 characters. And arguing in public sucks because you actually have to look at your opponent. But the rivalry between What Now, Atlanta? and Tomorrow's News Today has provided months of catty fun for onlookers. A few years back, WNA's Caleb Spivak and ToNeTo's Eli Zandman, who both provide updates on the city's retail, restaurant and development scene, were partners. Hell, they even camped out together to be first in line when H&M opened. But since splitting acrimoniously in late 2009, there have been battles for scoops, occasional jabs via social media and blog comments by fans needling the rivals' posts. Spivak and Zandman's new-media feud proves that Atlanta's sleepy blogosphere has a pulse. tonetoatl.com. whatnowatlanta.com. less...

Best local political figure BOA Award Winner

Mayor Kasim Reed

Best neighborhood listserv (for outsiders) BOA Award Winner

Inman Park LISTSERV
Itching to learn more about your fellow Atlantans but can't get away from your desk? Heard of a nifty invention called the Internet? It comes with message boards, and there are none more entertaining and oddly addictive than the Inman Park LISTSERV. In addition to the expected missives about unfamiliarmore...
Itching to learn more about your fellow Atlantans but can't get away from your desk? Heard of a nifty invention called the Internet? It comes with message boards, and there are none more entertaining and oddly addictive than the Inman Park LISTSERV. In addition to the expected missives about unfamiliar cars and prowlers, the message board's nearly 800 members have devoted vast amounts of bandwidth to discussing the activities of a narcissistic goose and debating the artistic merits of a neighborhood mural. When Congressman David Scott bellyached about a proposed community garden near his Inman Park home, its members chose sides in what became a contentious battle. Throw in the occasional posts by a brew-loving real estate agent, hacked email accounts and passionate calls to action for local causes, and you've got a great real-time portrait of one of the city's most dynamic neighborhoods. inmanpark.org. less...

Best opportunity for national retail and food hall glory BOA Award Winner

Ponce City Market
After more than a year of touch-and-go negotiations, City Hall East was finally sold to a developer this summer and its new owner wasted no time in renaming the 2-million-square-foot building Ponce City Market. In the middle of a ruptured economy, Cobb County-based Jamestown Properties plans to spendmore...
After more than a year of touch-and-go negotiations, City Hall East was finally sold to a developer this summer and its new owner wasted no time in renaming the 2-million-square-foot building Ponce City Market. In the middle of a ruptured economy, Cobb County-based Jamestown Properties plans to spend $180 million over the next three years in hopes of creating a world-class food hall, a regional shopping destination, and sought-after office and loft space. Why are we so optimistic? Because it's done it before, with Chelsea Market, a 99-year-old former Nabisco factory in Manhattan's Meatpacking District that now houses dozens of restaurants, boutiques and top-tier food shops, as well as the Food Network studios where "Iron Chef" is filmed. The company has since floated a few similarly ambitious ideas for PCM, including an organic garden on the roof, an indoor farmers market and even amusement park rides that would enable riders to look 200 feet down onto Ponce de Leon Avenue at night. Sounds good to us. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. poncecitymarket.com. less...

Best reuse of a demolished housing project BOA Award Winner

Wheat Street Gardens

Best sign of political common sense BOA Award Winner

Sunday alcohol sales
It wasn't the most important legislation to pass this year, and we wouldn't attempt to argue that future generations of Georgians will enjoy more fruitful and satisfying lives as a result, but in the annals of no-brainers, legalizing Sunday alcohol sales tops the list. After decades of kowtowing to themore...
It wasn't the most important legislation to pass this year, and we wouldn't attempt to argue that future generations of Georgians will enjoy more fruitful and satisfying lives as a result, but in the annals of no-brainers, legalizing Sunday alcohol sales tops the list. After decades of kowtowing to the Christian right, state lawmakers finally managed to nut up and pass a law allowing grown adult people to vote on whether they should be able to buy a cold one on the Sabbath. less...

Con(vention) BOA Award Winner

Dragon*Con

Day care center BOA Award Winner

Primrose

Local blogger BOA Award Winner

Lindsay Roberts and Lauren Kraselsky of the Quick and Dirty Dirty

Local Twitter feed BOA Award Winner

Brandon Bond
twitter.com/brandonbond

Place to people-watch BOA Award Winner

Little Five Points

Radio DJ/personality BOA Award Winner

Bert Weiss, Q-100 (WWWQ-FM)

Suburb BOA Award Winner

Decatur

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