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Best Of Atlanta 2013 Cityscape (large)


Cityscape

We live in a great city. Originally built in the middle of nowhere, it was burned to the ground, rebuilt into the epicenter of the Southeast, hit hard by the recent recession, and is now growing once again. Business leaders will say this is because of our massive airport or the many Fortune 500 companies headquartered here, which is partly true. But while it's easy to credit the big names, more often it's the efforts of the little guys that are truly making a difference in building a better city: The oddballs and mysterious characters who make superhero outfits and patrol neighborhood streets. The new parks and greenspaces that are forming around us thanks to committed residents. The communities we're all trying to improve because we can't imagine ever leaving them. And the elected officials fighting the good fight Downtown. (Yes, they exist.)

In the last year we've celebrated a stray cat along the Atlanta Beltline, taken over the streets in the name of a young teen who died hundreds of miles away, invested in a more bike-friendly city, and seen a baseball player who had seemingly given up hope go on to become a living legend. Too often we focus on the ills of our fair city. But there is much more good in Atlanta than there is bad and that deserves recognition.

— Thomas Wheatley

Best act of civil disobedience BOA Award Winner

Year » 2013
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2013 » Cityscape » Critics Pick
Trayvon Martin protests
Even though the trial took place in Florida, Trayvon Martin protests occurred across the country in the days following the jury's decision to clear George Zimmerman on all charges of killing the 17-year-old. Atlantans took to the streets and practiced civil disobedience on a massive scale to demand justice.more...
Even though the trial took place in Florida, Trayvon Martin protests occurred across the country in the days following the jury's decision to clear George Zimmerman on all charges of killing the 17-year-old. Atlantans took to the streets and practiced civil disobedience on a massive scale to demand justice. They marched from Woodruff Park to the tombs of Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta, and back. They protested across the street from the CNN Center. They rallied in West End and walked en masse to the heart of Downtown, clogging Peachtree Street. The next day, hundreds - possibly thousands - did it again from the Atlanta University Center to Centennial Olympic Park. Atlanta got loud. Atlanta got angry. Atlanta remained peaceful. All in all, zero arrests were reported. less...

Best addition to an excellent park BOA Award Winner

Year » 2013
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2013 » Cityscape » Critics Pick
Piedmont Park (Featured)
One of the best parks - arguably the best park - in Atlanta just got better. This summer, Piedmont Park's 13-acre expansion and its collection of new entrances was unveiled. The add-on near the intersection of Piedmont Road and Monroe Drive is crowned by the new Piedmont Commons, a multi-use fieldmore...
One of the best parks - arguably the best park - in Atlanta just got better. This summer, Piedmont Park's 13-acre expansion and its collection of new entrances was unveiled. The add-on near the intersection of Piedmont Road and Monroe Drive is crowned by the new Piedmont Commons, a multi-use field for relaxing and picnicking. New access points to the park, including a trail through the North Woods forest alongside the Atlanta Botanical Garden, offer easy access to Ansley Park and Morningside residents. The effort is a follow-up to a 2011 expansion that included wetlands, an expanded and improved dog park, and an interactive fountain. Even more excellence is on the way: The park's final planned expansion is set to include a skate park, and eventually the Beltline will also be built out along the greenspace. www.piedmontpark.org. less...

Best athletic redemption story BOA Award Winner

Year » 2013
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2013 » Cityscape » Critics Pick
Brian Banks
After Brian Banks had verbally committed to play college football with the University of Southern California, he was falsely accused of raping a 15-year-old girl. He received a wrongful conviction in 2002, served a five-year prison sentence, registered as a sex offender, and remained on probation formore...
After Brian Banks had verbally committed to play college football with the University of Southern California, he was falsely accused of raping a 15-year-old girl. He received a wrongful conviction in 2002, served a five-year prison sentence, registered as a sex offender, and remained on probation for an additional five years. This past April, shortly after Banks was exonerated of all charges after completing most of his sentence, the Atlanta Falcons signed the 28-year-old and gave him a chance to fight for a spot on the team's roster. He was cut from the team in late August, but won the respect and admiration of Falcons fans along the way. less...