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Relocation, Lifestyle & Living in Atlanta

February/March 2012


Insider’s Guide

Where to Eat, Best Places to Shop, and Five Things You Absolutely Must Do PLUS:

Atlanta’s Top 10 Family Attractions Buying and Selling a Home in Today’s Market Exploring History, Culture and the Outdoors in Augusta Choosing a School for Children with Learning Difficulties

february/march CONTENTS FEATURES Atlanta’s Top 10 Family Attractions . . . . . . . . . . 10 The Inside Scoop on Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

A top-notch zoo, a breathtaking aquarium and the world’s foremost puppet museum provide plenty of interesting and educational diversions for kids and adults alike.

Many Atlanta schools help children who suffer from learning difficulties, or simply learn differently. Learn which school might be right for your child.

Get to know your new home like a local with an insider’s guide to the city’s best shopping, intriguing landmarks, most unique dining experiences and the five things every resident must do.

Special Schools for Special Students . . . . . . . . . . 22 Exploring Augusta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Georgia’s second-largest and second-oldest city offers a wealth of things to see and do, from history and culture to outdoor escapes.




PHOTOS: Courtesy of (left) Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta; (center) © 2011, Kevin C. Rose/; (right) the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau


In Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Restaurant Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

The inside scoop on news, events and happenings around Atlanta.

From its spectacular seafood to its impeccable service, Buckhead’s Ocean Prime treats diners like royalty.

Homes and Communities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Buying a new home or selling your current one doesn’t have to be a Relocation Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 nightmare, even in the current economic climate. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process.

Neighborhood Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 With its five separate villages and plenty of entertainment and recreation—

Upcoming Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48

including 90 miles of multi-use pathways—Peachtree City feels as much like a peaceful resort as it does a community.

Get caught up to speed on the best exhibitions, theatrical productions, special events and live music across the metro area.

School Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Hidden Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Learn how the Bedford School helps children with ADD, dyslexia and other learning disabilities reach their full potential.

Walk through a piece of Atlanta history and trace the footsteps of MLK at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

A comprehensive guide to help you find your way before, during and after your move, including counties, neighborhoods, relocation tips, a map to Metro Atlanta and much more.

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On the Cover: Atlantic Station, a mixed-use development in Midtown Atlanta, is one of the city’s best places to shop. See page 28 for more.


A Walk Through Life


used to believe life was as simple as night and day—that there was a right way and a wrong way to do things and a right way and a wrong way to live your life. This viewpoint extended not only to other people’s choices and actions but to their overall points of view. It astounds me to look back throughout the years and note specific instances in which I made a decision not to get to know certain individuals better, simply because their outlook didn’t correspond with mine. Whether it was a date, a friend, a co-worker or a mentor, if there was a difference of opinion, I was certain that particular person was not meant to play an important role in my life. However, now I see things completely differently. I find myself more understanding and more accepting of other people’s thoughts and opinions without feeling threatened. I’ve also realized that people’s lives are rarely ever fixed in one place. As individuals, we are constantly changing our minds, trying new things and amending old habits. With this continual growth, our thoughts about life are modified in diminutive ways. It’s such a missed opportunity for us to judge others based solely on our own perspective and assume that others should think, feel and understand as we do. We are all at different levels of growth and change in our lives. Further, we can never really know what road someone else may have traveled to arrive at his or her current stage. Nor can we comprehend what he or she may become in six months, a year or 10 years from now. More often than not, that person will be in a place entirely different from when our paths first crossed. I often think back on the many people I’ve met throughout the years and wonder where they are, who they’ve become and how they’ve changed. Keep in mind that the next person you meet may be more like you than you first imagined. They may even be able to enhance your life in ways you would have never thought possible. All you need to do is give them a chance.

We wish to thank all the people who made this publication possible through their valuable time and dedication. We graciously thank our advertisers for their support of Newcomer magazine. ­—PK publisher/president

Patrick Killam editor

Kevin Forest Moreau administrative assistant

Julie Porter marketing & promotions

Michael Thompson contributing writers

Carly Felton Rachael Mason Hope S. Philbrick Cady Schulman Mary Welch

director of sales & marketing

Patrick Killam

Welcome to your new life! Welcome to Atlanta.

account director

Lacey James

Patrick Killam Publisher


Relocation , Lifestyle

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6 | Newcomer Magazine |

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TO ADVERTISE CALL 770-992-0273 Newcomer magazine, February/March 2012 Volume 15, Issue 6. Submissions, photography or ideas may be sent to Killam Publishing, Inc., 200 Market Place, Suite 230, Roswell, GA 30075. Submissions will not be returned unless otherwise requested and accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Newcomer magazine reserves the right to revise any necessary submissions. Reproduction in whole or in part of any elements of this publication are strictly prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. © 2012 Killam Publishing, Inc.

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inFOCUS n e w s b i tes fr om a ro un d AT LANTA

fashion and fun

PHOTO: McKenzie Dunn

Unique clothing finds by day, sizzling soirees by night … that’s the idea behind Bouchic Boutique + Lounge, a one-of-a-kind shopping experience for the cosmopolitan crowd. Offering exclusive yet affordable styles, the shop, which opened on Glenwood Avenue in December, also doubles as an event space with a sexy lounge vibe for private parties and trunk shows. For more information, call 678-831-2442 or visit


Parents, get ready for lots of trips to Phipps Plaza. The upcoming LEGOLAND Discovery Center will offer a range of interactive areas based on the famous toy line, including a 4-D cinema, exciting rides, an exhibit of Atlanta’s iconic buildings and skyline, and master classes from the LEGO Master Model Builder. This fun-filled attraction is scheduled to open on March 17. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit

Getting Fit, Having Fun Sixth-graders from Eastside Christian School recently attended Camp Winshape in Rome, Ga., where they completed a rope course and participated in other activities (below), strengthening their bodies while learning to interact as a team. And on Dec. 10, more than 400 children and adults took part in the Bedford Dasher 5K and 200m Elf Run at the Bedford School, which specializes in helping learningdisabled students and their families.

Getting a Head Start It’s never too early to learn a new language, which is why the Atlanta International School recently broke ground on an Early Learning Center at its Buckhead campus. The center, rendered above, will offer a full-immersion program in French, German and Spanish for 3- and 4-year-old students, and is scheduled to open in August. For more information, visit 8 | Newcomer Magazine |

infocus A Beloved Favorite Returns

PHOTO: Doug Fallon Photography

For years, Atlanta diners flocked to a former Decatur gas station for inspired Southern cuisine and some of the city’s best fried chicken. This spring, the award-winning Watershed gets a new address: inside the Brookwood (below), a 219-unit mixeduse condominium community on Peachtree Street. Expect private dining, a patio, more parking and an update to the menu. For more information, visit

Jump For Joy Last year, there were no indoor trampoline arenas offering an energetic workout for Atlanta kids and adults. Soon, there will be two. In addition to the previously announced Hang Time in Buckhead, scheduled to open in February, the recently opened Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park in Suwanee offers 32,000 square feet of wall-to-wall trampolines, promising the ultimate play experience with such activities as “3-D dodgeball” and “Skyrobics.” For more information, call 678-745-9900 or visit | Newcomer Magazine | 9

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PHOTOS: Courtesy of (Top) Fernbank Museum of Natural History/©Brian Upchurch; (Left) The Georgia Department of Economic Development; (Right) The Center for Puppetry Arts; (Bottom) Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta

TOP: Dinosaurs on the prowl at the Fernbank Museum. CENTER: (left) Visitors cool off at Centennial Olympic Park; (right) Make new friends at the Center for Puppetry Arts. BOTTOM: Interactive fun at Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta.


oving to a new city has its challenges for adults, but it can be especially hard on children. Luckily, Atlanta boasts a wealth of attractions that present fun distractions for kids who miss their favorite friends and hangouts. We’ve selected 10 of the city’s best, with enough entertaining options for youngsters of any age. And from the history of the Olympic Games to wildlife and even puppetry, these places pack plenty of educational value as well.

Centennial Olympic Park Perhaps this park’s biggest draw is the Fountain of Rings, which kids play in whenever it’s warm enough. But this 21-acre green space in the middle of downtown Atlanta also hosts lots of events, including frequent concerts, Fourth Saturday Family Fun Days, fireworks on the Fourth of July and an ice-skating rink during the holidays. While you’re here, be sure to try a burger and shake from Googie Burger, a to-go restaurant designed to evoke the feel of a 1950s roadside attraction.

Center for Puppetry Arts Newcomers to Atlanta (and even longtime residents) may not realize that the city is home to one of the world’s most vibrant puppetry centers. The Center for Puppetry Arts houses puppet theaters, classrooms and even a puppet museum. Kid-friendly shows make up the bulk of the center’s schedule, but you should be aware that some experimental and adults-only productions are also staged. Still, this is a great

place for kids—and their parents—to learn about the wide world of puppetry. Upcoming shows include Adventures of Little Noodle (March 8-April 1) and Peter Pan (April 5-May 27).

Fernbank Museum of Natural History Without a doubt, this museum is the best place in the city to see dinosaurs. However, the fun doesn’t stop at the giant prehistoric skeletons on display in the atrium. Permanent exhibits include A Walk Through Time in Georgia, which depicts the state’s natural history, and Sensing Nature, where interactive stations highlight human perception. The museum also hosts traveling exhibits, including Wildlife Rescue (Feb. 4 - May 6) and The Scoop on Poop, which is set for summer 2012. Movies highlighting the natural world are shown in the museum’s IMAX theaters, while special events like storytelling and festivals entertain guests young and old.

The Fabulous Fox Theatre In addition to many concerts and touring Broadway musicals, the Fox hosts a variety of | Newcomer Magazine | 11

A mother gorilla and her child at Zo o Atlanta. LEFT: Coke memorabilia at the Word of Coca-Cola.

Georgia Aquarium

Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta

You’ll find a variety of marine life swimming in more than 10 million gallons of fresh and salt water at this downtown attraction. Visitors of all ages come to see everything from whale sharks and beluga whales to penguins and dolphins. Sign up for a sleepover or behind-thescenes tour. During spring, summer and holiday breaks, kids can take part in Camp H20 and learn more about their favorite sea creatures.

Designed with younger kids in mind, Imagine It! is a place for children ages 8 and under to learn and explore. Toddlers (age 2 and under) can play in the Crawl Space, while older kids can dress up, paint on the walls, splash around a waterfall and learn about food. Upcoming special exhibits include Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog (Feb. 4-May 6) and The Big Adventure (May 26-Sept. 9).

PHOTOS: Courtesy of (Left) World of Coca-Cola and (Right) Zoo Atlanta

performances suitable for kids. Each summer, classic films and some of the year’s most popular movies are screened during the Coca-Cola Film Festival. Kids will also love the historic building itself, including the auditorium’s star-filled ceiling and the Mighty Mo organ, which rises out of the floor for pre-show singalongs. Plus, you can buy snacks like popcorn and candy at the concession stand. The Fox also offers theater classes and workshops for budding performers.

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Six Flags Over Georgia

The World of Coca-Cola

Though it’s been open since 1967, there’s always something new to discover at this amusement park, which is home to more than 30 rides— including 11 roller coasters. Family favorites include the Monster Mansion, the sky buckets, the old-fashioned cars, the railroad and the carousel. Live entertainment and games can be found throughout the park, which also hosts concerts throughout the season.

This museum brings the history of the world’s most recognized soft drink to life in a way that’s entertaining and engaging. As visitors make their way through the museum, they can see classic 8-ounce glass bottles of Coke being filled with soda—and even get a bottle to take home. The latest addition to the museum is a vault where the secret formula for making Coca-Cola is now stored. While the displays of memorabilia are entertaining, kids usually love the last part of the museum best—the room where they can taste Coca-Cola flavors from around the world.

Stone Mountain Park There’s always plenty to do at this park, formed around one of Atlanta’s most prominent landmarks. Hiking up the mountain or along the nature trails is always popular, as are such yearround activities as a skyride, a scenic railroad, and the Great Barn, an interactive play space with games and experiences designed for ages 5 to 12. In summer and early fall, be sure to stick around after dark for the laser show, projected onto the side of the mountain. Upcoming special events include Snow Mountain, Atlanta’s only snow-filled attraction, with a hill for tubing, a snowball shooting gallery and much more (through Feb. 20), a Spring FUN Break (March 31-April 7) and an Easter sunrise service on April 8.

Zoo Atlanta Yes, you can watch some of the zoo’s most wellknown residents online on the Panda Cam, but seeing them in person is way more fun. Of course, giant pandas Lun Lun, Yang Yang, Xi Lan and Po are only a few of the animals that call Zoo Atlanta home. Be sure to check out the gorilla habitat, the Komodo dragon and the African elephants, as well as the petting zoo, the reptile exhibit and the parakeet adventure, featuring hundreds of birds. Keep in mind that the zoo is almost always open, closed only on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day (and occasionally during bad weather).

Centennial Olympic Park tXXXDFOUFOOJBMQBSLDPN Center for Puppetry Arts tXXXQVQQFUPSH Fernbank Museum of Natural History tXXXGFSOCBOLNVTFVNPSH The Fabulous Fox Theatre tXXXGPYUIFBUSFPSH Georgia Aquarium tXXXHFPSHJBBRVBSJVNPSH Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta 404-659-5437 XXXDIJMESFOTNVTFVNBUMBOUBPSH Six Flags Over Georgia 770-948-9290 XXXTJYnBHTDPNPWFS(FPSHJB Stone Mountain Park tXXXTUPOFNPVOUBJOQBSLDPN World of Coca-Cola tXXXXPSMEPGDPDBDPMBDPN Zoo Atlanta tXXX[PPBUMBOUBPSH | Newcomer Magazine | 13




Buying and Selling a


Reducing Stress in the Current Economy by Kevin Forest Moreau

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he first thing to keep in mind? Don’t panic. While the real estate market is in a state of flux, “things seem to be getting better,” says Steve Palm, president of SmartNumbers, which provides statistics, polling information and reporting on residential real estate for brokers, developers and banking professionals. Palm predicts that 2012 will be better than 2011, “and I haven’t said that in a long time,” he says. Still, the unsteady economy means that less people are looking to purchase new homes, which benefits those who are looking to buy. “If you can afford to buy something right now,” Palm says, “do it.” Natalie Lee, a Realtor with Prudential Georgia Realty whose client list includes first-time home buyers, corporate executives and others relocating to and from the Atlanta area, agrees. “It’s definitely a great time to buy,” she says, adding: “There’s a lot to choose from, a lot of different opportunities.” But, she warns, “Flexibility is key. More options are opened up if you have time and can be flexible.”

Short Sales and Foreclosures

Relocating to a new city is a daunting prospect under the best of conditions. For those looking to purchase a home in Atlanta, perhaps while also selling their existing home, the current real estate market, with fewer homes selling or being built than in past years, only increases their anxiety. Will they be able to sell their home from hundreds or thousands of miles away? Will they be able to find a good deal on a home in their new locale? But local real estate experts say that with a little foreknowledge, the process can be a lot less stressful.

That’s because many of those options take the form of short sales and foreclosure sales. Experts say these types of sales can save buyers a lot of money—but be aware that there are some risks involved. A short sale, Lee explains, “is when a seller is selling the property for less than what they owe on the mortgage.” In this situation, the seller must get the bank that owns the mortgage to agree to take less than what the homeowner currently owes. “For bankers, taking a loss in a short sale can be better than foreclosure and better than bankruptcy,” Lee says. “For buyers, they’re not paying full price in a lot of cases.” The downside? “Short sales take time,” says Rhonda Duffy, a broker and consumer advocate. “They take 50 days on average to get approval, and another 25 to 30 to close.” In fact, echoes Lee, getting approval from the bank “can take six months or more in some instances.” Foreclosures, in which the bank or mortgage lender takes a property back from a mortgage holder, usually for lack of payment, come with their own risk, Duffy says. An issue with the title can crop up late in the process, scuttling the deal and forcing the buyer to start over. Sometimes, says Lee, due to a backlog of cases, a bank may list a property as available before the proper paperwork on the foreclosure has been completed. In addition, these sales come with other pitfalls, especially for those who are relocating to a | Newcomer Magazine | 15

new city. “Short sales and foreclosures typically don’t have the maintenance history of a regular resell,” says Duffy. In addition to the stress of a new job, meeting new people in a new place, the buyer “doesn’t know any contractors, they don’t know where the nearest Home Depot is, that kind of thing.” Most of the time, she says, while buyers relocating from somewhere else may initially be attracted to short sales and foreclosures, “they don’t end up buying one. Foreclosures and short sales can be a great deal, but they require a great deal of patience. I just find that for some people who already have uncertainty about where they’re moving, where they’re going to be working, making new friends and so on, they just can’t really tolerate this added uncertainty.” If you decide to pursue a short sale or foreclosure, “make sure to work with a Realtor that has handled them before and can ask the right questions,” Lee advises. “Is the short sale approved, meaning all the paperwork has been done and the bank is willing? Sometimes a home is marketed as a short sale but the bank hasn’t approved it. Months down the line, the bank says no and you’re out all that time.” Lease-purchase and lease-option agreements are appealing alternatives to many new

“I think it’s more of a seller’s market than a buyer’s market.” RHONDA DUFFY arrivals. A lease-purchase allows the buyer to occupy the space and pay rent while he or she pays in installments to buy the property, while a lease-option or rent-to-own arrangement is

16 | Newcomer Magazine |

basically a regular rental agreement with an option to purchase the home at a later date. These arrangements come with their own potential dangers, Duffy warns. “We advise

Artwork in this proof is for accuracy of content and general display. This proof is printed at a reduced resolution. Color, while representative of the final, is approximate, as is the size of the ad which may appear larger or smaller than in the final publication.

make changes and SEND ANOTHER PROOF. ove ad is OK to PUBLISH WITH CHANGES AS SHOWN. ove ad is OK to PUBLISH AS IS.

Signature: Date: | Newcomer Magazine | 17

“If you can afford to buy something right now, do it.” STEVE PALM of SmartNumbers renters to write the mortgage portion to the mortgage lender and the rest to the landlord, if they can arrange it,” she says. “It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask, and maybe have the landlord prove they’re current with the lender, so you don’t move in and find out they’re seven months behind on the mortgage.”

Selling the Home You Have Now What about selling your current home? “What is shifting right now is, I think it’s more of a seller’s market than a buyer’s market,” says Duffy. “Three years ago we had 110,000 houses on the market. Now we have less than 50,000, and that includes foreclosures, short sales, new construction, resales—everything.” Duffy strongly advises potential sellers to educate themselves and find out exactly what 18 | Newcomer Magazine |

their home is currently worth. “A lot of people are hesitant about the value of their property,” she says. “The media talks about how bad the market is, and homeowners just go along with what they hear instead of investigating it for themselves. A lot of people are surprised because they think their houses are devalued, but that isn’t the case for every person. There’s still a lot of pockets in Atlanta that didn’t take a hit.” For those moving to Atlanta while at-

tempting to sell a home in another market, Lee stresses “having a good network—working with someone that’s easy to communicate with.” When interviewing agents to sell your home, look for “someone you trust to keep you abreast of what’s going on from afar.” And, she adds, “Sellers need to know that if they want to compete, their property needs to be in the best condition possible without financially overextending themselves. Make sure it’s clean and ready to go and properly marketed. If you’re offering a top-quality product, it’s still possible to sell.”

ONLINE RESOURCES FOR FINDING A HOME IN ATLANTA National Association of Realtors Home Insight Foreclosures *Always consult a licensed Realtor for the most up-to-date information on home values, sale prices and other data. | Newcomer Magazine | 19


spotlight Peachtree City


eachtree City actually dates back about 2,000 years—when the area was first settled by Woodland Era Indians. In 1821, the land was ceded to the federal government and became part of Fayette County. In the 1950s, real estate developers amassed the land to build Peachtree City, a master-planned community that today covers nearly 16,000 acres. The city was developed into different villages, each with its own shopping area, recreational facilities and elementary schools: Aberdeen, Braelinn, Glenloch, Kedron and Wilksmoor. A highlight of the city is its 90-mile network of multi-use paths for pedestrians, cyclists and golf carts. Residents can travel from neighborhoods to shops, schools and parks through wooded scenery, which gives the whole area the feel of a relaxing resort.

“The Fred”

PHOTO: Charles Plant

Golf carts are a common sight in Peachtree City.

Peachtree City offers housing options for every need. Ravin Homes’ Cedarcroft community (770-487-9608) offers cottage-inspired homes in Wilksmoor, with prices starting in the mid$200s. For those who’d rather rent, the Retreat at Kedron Village (678-604-8142) apartment community boasts a clubhouse, pool and fitness center, and Balmoral Village (866-378-2069) apartments feature fireplaces, picnic areas and golf cart-charging stations. For older residents, the award-winning Towne Club retirement community (770-6325823) features upscale apartments and assistedliving units with country club dining, a library, business center, fitness complex and 24-hour staff, among other amenities.

Local Treasures In Peachtree City, recreation is the name of the game. In addition to the 90-mile network of pathways, residents and visitors enjoy three golf courses, two lakes for canoeing, fishing and sailing, two nature areas, dozens of playgrounds, a BMX track, a dog park, and more than 50 sports fields and courts for soccer, baseball, softball, football, volleyball and more.

The Avenue Peachtree City

The Inside Track Peachtree City has been featured as one of Money magazine’s Top 100 Best Places to Live and U.S. News & World Report’s Best Places to Retire.

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Flat Creek Golf Club

The city also offers plenty of shopping selection. The Avenue Peachtree City (770-4866587) features such names as American Eagle, Banana Republic, Talbots and Williams-Sonoma, while McIntosh Village (770-452-7435) hosts a Home Depot, Best Buy, Office Depot and more. Each village also features a village center with grocery stores and other shops.

Arts and Entertainment The Peachtree City Library (770-631-2520) hosts book clubs, foreign film showings and poetry readings, among other activities and events. The Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater (770631-0630), or “The Fred,” as it’s known, is a 2,500-seat outdoor venue that hosts entertainers of all stripes. The Legacy Theatre (404-8951473) in nearby Tyrone also offers concerts and theater productions.

Culinary Treats For seafood in a casual environment, the Georgia Shrimp Co. (770-631-9114) is a popular choice. Casa Vieja (770-631-8338) specializes in tasty Mexican fare. Thai Spice (770-632-3573) offers a range of fresh, spicy and palate-pleasing Thai dishes. n — Carly Felton PHOTO: Dan Nelson

Housing | Newcomer Magazine | 21




Special Students

Finding A Fit for Children With Learning Difficulties by Mary Welch


oving to a new city and finding a new school for your child is a difficult process. But it can be even more difficult if your child is what some educators call “nontypical,” meaning he or she struggles with learning disabilities or doesn’t perform well in a conventional school setting. How do you find the school that best meets your child’s needs when you don’t know what options are available, and may not know the exact nature of your child’s difficulties? Fortunately, the Atlanta area is rich in schools dedicated to helping such children. Many of these schools focus on children with specific disabilities such as autism, dyslexia, at-

tention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), while some more traditional schools offer help for children wrestling with learning issues in addition to their general curriculum. The problem, of course, is deciding which school best suits the child’s educational needs. “There really are a large variety of schools that service the needs of students with special learning issues,” says Jacque Digieso, co-founder of the Cottage School.

Identifying Your Child’s Issues But how do you select the right school? The first step is to identify your child’s issues. Students

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who exhibit average or above-average intelligence but don’t perform well in a traditional classroom setting may be struggling with dyslexia, ADHD or Asperger’s Syndrome, a highfunctioning form of autism, among many other possible diagnoses. If your student exhibits more intelligence than his or her schoolwork demonstrates, it’s critical to have the child tested immediately. “There really needs to be an evaluation, especially a psychology exam, so that the parents and the schools know what they’re dealing with,” says Betsy Box, executive director of the Bedford School. If a professional diagnoses your child with a specific learning disorder, and your child is currently enrolled in a public school, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) evaluation may be in order. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires all U.S. public schools to develop an IEP for learning-disabled students who meet special education requirements. An IEP details how the child learns and outlines what teachers and other professionals can do in order to ensure that the student learns more successfully.

Knowing Which Questions to Ask Armed with this information, parents can start searching for schools that cater to their child’s specific difficulties. But there’s much more to finding schools than typing a few words into a search engine. Stefanie Smith, executive director of Alexsander Academy, suggests that parents “think about where you see your child long-term so that you can help them achieve the skills they need in order to get where you want them to go.” It’s important to interview potential schools to determine their suitability. “You need to keep asking questions until you find a school that you are comfortable with that will have learning techniques that will work with your child,” says Ava White, founder of Ava White Academy in Gainesville. For instance, some schools focus on a specific disability: The Schenck School caters to students with dyslexia. Schools such as Mill Springs Academy and the Howard School cater to students with learning difficulties who plan to go to college. Some, like Eaton Academy, don’t specifically target those with learning disabilities, but teach students across all levels of learning who have had difficulty in a traditional classroom setting. “Is the school more geared for students with strong academics and poor social skills,” asks Box, “or is it more for students with learning disabilities who learn in different ways?” X Newcomer Magazine | 23

Other considerations include whether the school offers a variety of sports, after-school activities and arts programs. Are there summer programs? Does it offer financial assistance? Is it accredited, and if so by which organizations? Are the teachers certified to instruct special education or special-needs children? Does the school serve a specific age range, or work with students on all grade levels? The transition from middle school to a new high school can be a challenging one for many students with learning difficulties. After parents sort through the schools and come up with a short list of candidates, it’s time to make some calls. “Ask professionals, like your doctor, what schools they recommend,” Digieso advises. “They may be aware of schools that specifically cater to your child’s profile.” Then it’s time to visit the schools you’re interested in. This is crucial, as talking to the staff will give parents a sense of how they interact with students. If possible, talk to parents or students who have graduated. Ask for referrals of parents whose children exhibited learning behaviors similar to your own child. At this stage of the process, it’s important to bring as much information on your child as possible. The more the school knows about

“Go With Your Gut”

At Brandon Hall, children with learning difficulties get the same curriculum as their fellow students.

your child, the better prepared it is to assess whether it and the student are a good match. In addition to the results of a psychological exam or an IEP, bring a sample of the child’s schoolwork. “That way we see where the child is academically,” says Debbi Scarborough, co-founder of the Cumberland Academy of Georgia.

There are also schools that accommodate students with learning disabilities within a more traditional setting. Brandon Hall, for example, caters to average and gifted students, but accommodates certain types of learning disabled students as well. “In some cases, the local public or independent schools do not have the quality academic programs that will challenge a student’s potential or address a learning difference or a specific learning style,” says Dr. John Singleton, the school’s headmaster. “So many times students with learning differences don’t get the collegeprep curriculum. We are proud that those with learning differences get the same curriculum as the other students.” Once parents have done all the work and gathered all the information—having their child tested, finding schools in their area, researching and visiting them—the final choice may be easier than they think. “Parents know their children better than anyone,” says Box of the Bedford School. “There may be more than one school that could be appropriate for your child. Go with the school that you think will work best for your child. Go with your gut.”

OPEN HOUSE Feb. 5, 2012, 2 - 4 p.m. Mar. 14, 2012, 9 - 10:30 a.m. Apr. 22, 2012, 2 - 4 p.m. The Bedford School offers a fresh start for students with learning disabilities and who are frustrated in traditional learning settings.

+Grades 1-9 +Ability grouping +Beautiful 45-acre campus in Fairburn +Challenge course +Squirrel Hollow Camp


The Bedford School maintains a non-discriminatory policy concerning admissions, employment, use of facilities or scholarships on the basis of sex, race, color, religion or national origin.

770-774-8001 5665 Milam Road, Fairburn, GA 30213

24 | Newcomer Magazine |



Ava White Academy ADD, ADHD and learning disabilities


The Bedford School Dyslexia, Asperger’s Syndrome and other learning disorders








Cumberland Academy ADD/ADHD, autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and learning disabilities

Alexsander Academy


Eaton Academy Average, gifted and students with OHDUQLQJFKDOOHQJHVZKRKDYHQRW responded to traditional methods


The Howard School Language-learning disabilities and OHDUQLQJGLIIHUHQFHV


Mill Springs Academy ADHD and learning disabilities


Up to $2,000 off tuition. Don’t miss the deadline - call today!

‹ ‹ ‹

Academically rigorous Elementary and Middle School programs

Taking learning to new heights!

Academic remediation Middle and High School programs

‹ Announcing New K4 Program (Fairburn, Newnan, Tyrone)

Reasonable tuitions SBIO and scholarship funding available

‹ SACS Accredited, K4-12th Grade ‹ Now Offering Forensic Science ‹ College Preparatory Curriculum ‹ Championship GISA Athletic Program


‹ Extended Learning Day Programs

Alpharetta: 678-339-9989 Roswell: 770-641-8257

Students with dyslexia


Christian School

Changing the world for Christ‌one child at a time.

Where all students are academically challenged regardless of their differences

St. Francis School

The Schenck School



1090 Powers Place ‹Alpharetta, GA 30009 404-839-5910 ‹770-777-0475

Open House: Sunday, Feb. 12, 3 p.m. 4500 Ridge Road, Fairburn, GA 30213 770.964.9871

Fully Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and “with quality� by the Georgia Accreditation Commission. | Newcomer Magazine | 25


The Bedford School

Shaping Students With Learning Difficulties by Mary Welch


rom its beginnings as a 36-student school in 1985, the Bedford School has grown into one of Atlanta’s leading schools for children with specific learning disabilities. Today, the Bedford School works with more than 130 students in grades 1-9 who struggle with such disorders as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, central auditory processing disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome. “At the Bedford School, we do whatever is the necessary and appropriate intervention for each learning-disabled child,” says Betsy Box, the school’s founder and executive director. “We have very small class sizes—usually anywhere from one to nine students per classroom, and never more than 12. We have reading and math twice a day. We also employ a lot of multisensory techniques that our students respond well to.” The focus at Bedford is to engage its students academically and prepare them for the world outside its doors. The school offers a college-preparatory curriculum as well as remedial classes. It also features two computer labs, and teachers use technology like Smart Boards (interactive whiteboards) in their instruction. “Our goal is to have our students be successful when they leave us,” Box says. Before founding the Bedford School, Box taught for 14 years in the learning disabilities program at Woodward Academy, and expanded that program into a summer camp called Squirrel Hollow. “Students received individualized academic tutoring as well as recreation and social skills, but it was like a regular camp where we went swimming and had fun,” she says. “So many of the parents were thrilled with what we were doing during the summer that they said there needed to be a full-time school specifically for children with learning disabilities.” At Bedford, students in the lower and middle schools are grouped

26 | Newcomer Magazine |

together based on their level of ability. The staff stresses the importance of organization in the students’ work, and fosters a supportive environment that encourages them to take on more responsibilities as they progress. In addition, students can participate in extracurricular sports activities including volleyball, soccer, basketball and track and field, allowing them to make friends, develop new skills and learn the value of sportsmanship. The school also continues to offer Squirrel Hollow as a summer program for children whose learning difficulties contribute to academic troubles. “As educators, we need to have a positive atmosphere where our students will be able to grow emotionally, physically and intellectually,” says Box. The Bedford School is located in Fairburn, Ga., roughly a half-hour’s drive south of Atlanta. The 46-acre campus includes a main building with 17 classrooms, a library and a full-size gym. The site also features a playground, an outdoor classroom, a soccer field, a swimming pool and a 30-element challenge course. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS-CASI) and the Georgia Accrediting Commission. “We believe that our role as educators is to provide a structured, positive environment that will foster emotional, physical and intellectual growth,” Box says. “We believe that our students can learn the fundamental skills necessary for coping successfully in our complex world.” n

The Specifics Grades: 1-9 Student/Teacher Ratio: 7/1 Tuition: $15,750 Location: Fairburn

Contact: 5665 Milam Road Fairburn, GA, 30213 770-774-8001 Web:

Come See What Other Families Have Discovered

INSPIRING STUDENTS WITH THE PASSION TO EXCEL We strive to help children reach their highest potential, while developing a life-long love of learning in a warm and nurturing environment where students matter most. p Private non-parochial Preschool, Elementary and Middle Grades p Challenging Hands On Academics p SACS, GAC and NAEYC accredited

Learn More, visit Ÿ-C'INNISŸ&ERRYŸ2OAD Ÿ!LPHARETTA Ÿ'!ŸŸŸpŸŸ770-664-7764 | Newcomer Magazine | 27

28 | Newcomer Magazine |

FIVE THINGS YOU MUST DO Walk Up Stone Mountain Standing at the top of Stone Mountain offers an unparalleled view of not just the Atlanta skyline but the entire surrounding area. If you can’t handle hiking the incline, ride to the top in a cable car, but keep in mind that you won’t get those “I climbed Stone Mountain” bragging rights.

The Atlanta Botanical Garden offers a gorgeous distraction from everyday life. Take in the small-town feel of downtown Decatur.

The food is even better than the decor at the Vortex in Little Five Points.

Catch a Braves Game at Turner Field Whether you’re in the sweet seats or the cheap seats, attending a Braves game in person makes a world of difference. You don’t even have to be a baseball fan to enjoy the experience: From the Chop House restaurant to batting cages and the family-friendly Fun Zone, there’s plenty to do. Bring your glove, because you never know when you might catch a ball.

Learn Some Southern History In the grand scheme of things, Atlanta is still a relatively new city, but the region is quite rich in history. Find out more about one of the city’s most famous residents at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, operated by the U.S. National Park Service. ( At the Atlanta History Center, located on 33 acres in Buckhead, check out exhibits highlighting life in the South and explore some historic homes. ( And discover more about the Civil War at the Atlanta Cyclorama, an attraction that features a panorama of the 1864 Battle of Atlanta. (

PHOTOS: Courtesy of (Top) The Atlanta Botanical Garden; (Left) The Decatur Downtown Development Authority; (Right and Bottom) © 2011, Kevin C. Rose/

Explore the Outdoors

The sculpture on Stone Mountain is larger than two football fields.

Trade in the hustle and bustle of metro Atlanta for the pedestrian-friendly, small-town feel of downtown Decatur, with its beautiful square and independent boutiques. (www.decaturga. com.) Take in the remarkable displays of plant life at the Atlanta Botanical Garden (www. and stroll the lush fields of the city’s favorite green space, Piedmont Park (

Enjoy the View at the Sun Dial Located at the top of the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel, the Sun Dial is a rotating restaurant that allows for a 360-degree view of the city. Savor the skyline as you ride up in a glass elevator to the three-story complex, complete with cocktail lounge and observatory level. It’s consistently voted one of the most romantic spots in town, making it the perfect pick for date night or special occasions. X Newcomer Magazine | 29

FIVE DEFINITIVE DINING EXPERIENCES Get a Frosted Orange at the Varsity The Varsity is Atlanta’s iconic fast-food joint. The flagship location on North Avenue is billed as the world’s largest drive-in restaurant, sitting on more than two acres and able to accommodate more than 800 customers at a time. Plus, servers and savvy customers speak their own special lingo. Try the Frosted Orange, a frozen treat that tastes like a Creamsicle, only better.

Grab a Burger at the Vortex This attitude-heavy restaurant and bar (patrons must be 18 or older) serves up some of the best burgers in town, including the Elvis (which comes with peanut butter, bacon and fried bananas) and the Coronary Bypass (a half-pound sirloin patty topped with a fried egg, three slices of American cheese and four slices of bacon, served with mayo on the side). Two locations.

Bacchanalia This upscale establishment is one of the city’s elite restaurants. Bacchanalia was one of the first spots in Atlanta to embrace the farm-to-table trend, and still serves outstanding cuisine. Each night, chefs Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison create a different seasonal menu. The fivecourse meal, which costs $85 per person, includes two small appetizers, an entree, a cheese course and dessert.

Fried Chicken Night at Watershed When this Decatur outpost of Southern cuisine closed, it took a piece of the city’s culinary heart with it. Many considered the restaurant’s fried chicken, served in limited quantities each Tuesday night, the best in town. Fortunately, Wa-

tershed is set to reopen in the spring of 2012, and promises the return of Fried Chicken Night with a twist.

Explore Buford Highway You don’t have to travel around the world to enjoy a wealth of international cuisine. Buford Highway offers a diverse cornucopia of authentic ethnic fare, from Korean barbecue and Vietnamese noodle bowls to Chinese kabobs and Cajun crawfish.

FIVE PLACES TO SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP Atlantic Station This mixed-use development has the feel of an old-fashioned city, with lots of window shopping and green space. In addition to stores like H&M, Dillard’s, Banana Republic and Ann Taylor, it’s home to many restaurants, a movie theater, and plenty of worthwhile events, like concerts and a free summer movie series.

The Margaret Mitchell House looks out on world-famous Peachtree Street. The Cobb Galleria Centre.

A private dining room at Bacchanalia.

30 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTOS: Courtesy of: (Top) Our Labor of Love; (Left) Sara Hanna Photography; (Top Right) The Atlanta History Center; (Bottom Right) Cobb Convention & Visitors Bureau

A gulf crab fritter at Bacchanalia.

Cobb Galleria Centre


This shopping center is also home to a thriving convention space, which plays host to a variety of events each year. Shoppers and conventiongoers alike enjoy the eateries and specialty shops here, as well as the proximity to nearby Cumberland Mall and the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

The Gold Dome The Georgia State Capitol shines brightly in the Atlanta skyline due to the gold paneling on its dome. The Capitol also houses a museum where flags, artwork and other historic artifacts are displayed.

Lenox Square Mall

Margaret Mitchell House

Want to spot celebrities in Atlanta? Spend a little time at this Buckhead shopping destination, which boasts stores like Fendi, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Brooks Brothers. You’ll also want to make plans to see the annual Fourth of July fireworks show, which ranks among the city’s most spectacular patriotic displays.

At this historic landmark on the corner of Peachtree and 10th streets, you can see the apartment where author Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind. The space has been preserved with period furnishings and original architectural features. The remainder of the building and an addition next door serve as a museum dedicated to Mitchell’s writings.

It’s worth the drive to Marietta to check out the one-of-a-kind Big Chicken.

Phipps Plaza

This trendy neighborhood is known for its eclectic mix of shops, and is a great spot for people-watching. Check out Criminal Records, one of the city’s few remaining independent music stores, as well as Stefan’s Vintage Clothing and Junkman’s Daughter, both filled with clothes and accessories you’re not going to see anywhere else.

This shopping center is one of the city’s most upscale malls, with stores including Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Belk, Juicy Couture, Gucci and Jimmy Choo. The mall will become even more attractive in the eyes of the city’s younger residents with the debut of LEGOLAND Discovery Center, which is set to open on March 17.

The Big Chicken This 56-foot-tall structure, which adorns a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant at the intersection of Cobb Parkway and Roswell Road in Marietta, won’t teach you anything new about Atlanta, but it is one of those things you have to see to believe, and is more than worth the drive. X

PHOTO: © 2011, Kevin C. Rose/

Little Five Points | Newcomer Magazine | 31

CNN Center

Atlanta Ballet

Distinguished by a giant outdoor CNN logo, the network’s world headquarters offers a behindthe-scenes tour and a look at the newsrooms of HLN and CNN International, among other channels. The space also includes a food court and is connected to Philips Arena, which hosts many concerts and events and is home to the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.

Atlanta’s premier dance troupe has developed a reputation for innovative works, such as a collaboration with Big Boi of the hip-hop duo OutKast. The Atlanta Ballet also hosts the city’s definitive production of The Nutcracker each holiday season.

Ebenezer Baptist Church The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached nonviolence at this historic church, which has been operating for 121 years. Today, you can still visit the church on Auburn Avenue and take part in its services.

Five Cultural Treasures The Alliance Theatre The Alliance is the city’s most prestigious theater company. It won a Regional Theatre Tony Award in 2007 and consistently brings great shows to the stage, like the upcoming world premiere of Ghosts Brothers of Darkland County, written by Stephen King and John Mellencamp. The show opens April 4 and continues through May 13.

Atlanta Symphony This world-renowned orchestra presents a full schedule of concerts throughout the year. The symphony performs at Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown and the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, and even accompanies pop and rock acts during the “Classic Chastain” concert series at Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

High Museum of Art The Southeast’s leading art museum displays the works of top local, national and international artists. High-profile shows like Picasso to Warhol bring art history to life. Frequent special events, like jazz nights and masquerade balls, offer after-hours fun.

Atlanta Opera This regional company, based at the Cobb Energy

32 | Newcomer Magazine |

Performing Arts Centre, consistently earns rave reviews from opera fans and newcomers alike.

GETTING AROUND ATLANTA The Connector (or Downtown Connector): The stretch of highway where Interstates 85 and 75 overlap. The two highways join south of the city and split off just above the 17th Street exit. The Perimeter: Interstate 285, which circles the city of Atlanta and is meant to be used as a bypass. However, traffic jams and speeding cars often make this highway the one to avoid. ITP: Inside the Perimeter—meaning inside the I-285 loop, where the more urban areas are located. OTP: Outside the Perimeter—or outside the city. Spaghetti Junction: On the north side of the city, I-85 hits I-285 in a complicated intersection of exit ramps and bridges that resembles a bowl of pasta. Any weekday, this is where traffic is all but guaranteed to be backed up during morning and evening rush hours.


Ocean Prime

Service and Seafood Fit for a King by Hope S. Philbrick

taurant, which opened in October 2011, there are already some popular standouts. “We sell a lot of crab cakes,” says Shelley. “They’re made with jumbo lump crab, lightly seasoned and baked, and served with a creamy corn emulsion.” The flavor combination is divine. Other popular dishes include the ahi tuna tartar appetizer with avocado and ginger ponzu sauce, signature snapper with champagne beurre blanc sauce and spinach, crab-crusted blue tilapia with warm fingerling potato

PhotoS: Courtesy of Ocean Prime


t Ocean Prime, expect to be treated like royalty. “‘Yes’ is the answer to everything,” promises Greg Sage, general manager of the new dining destination in Buckhead. “We will never say the word ‘no.’ If you want a dessert we don’t have on the menu or something prepared a certain way or have allergies or anything, we will go above and beyond to accommodate every request.” What’s more, multiple servers attend to each table. From the moment you pass through the door, it’s obvious you’re somewhere special. The interior design is stunning: Stone walls are offset by warm woods, captivating pops of orange and blue lighting. Spectacular bubble-glass fixtures hang above the booths in the main dining room. And through a sparkling glass wall sits the kitchen, where chefs perform a ballet of preparation. “Our goal is to deliver a complete night out, a total destination,” says Sage. Sip cocktails in the lounge while listening to live entertainment, then head to the dining room for dinner, and perhaps later relax back in the lounge or on the outdoor terrace. Live music begins nightly at 6 p.m. with piano, jazz guitar and vocal performances. (A calendar is posted online.) Billed as a modern American supper club, Ocean Prime is aimed at adults out for a date night or special occasion. “We do have a children’s menu. Though we don’t truly cater to that demographic, they are welcome,” says Sage. The relatively young company, established in 2006, already has 10 locations and plans to expand to 20 nationwide in the next four years. The Atlanta location is currently the only one with an open kitchen. “By showing the pace in the kitchen, customers can see how dedicated” the staff is, “and how much time goes into the preparation of dishes,” says Sage. While 90 percent of the menu is standard at all locations (and updated throughout the year to reflect the seasons), there are some regional influences. “Nightly special features showcase local produce and fish to exemplify the area,” says Jason Shelley, executive chef. “My cooking philosophy is to always put the best food forward. No plate is ever sub-par or substandard.” When creating any dish, his primary consideration is product quality. For two months before the restaurant The opened, Shelley visited food producers to enHours: Mon-Thu, 5-10 p.m.; sure his ingredients are sourced from the best Fri-Sat, 5-11 p.m.; Sun, 5-9 p.m. possible purveyor. “We want Ocean Prime to Blu Lounge: 4 p.m.-Close be the top tier, to set the standards and be Reservations: Recommended Phone: 404-846-0505 consistent,” he says. “We want to be a dining Parking: Valet destination of the best caliber.” Attire: Business casual to cocktail chic Among the menu temptations at the res-

ABOVE: Enjoy a cocktail and live music in the Blu Lounge. LEFT: The jumbo lump crab cake is a popular menu item.

salad, and pork porterhouse with Brussels sprouts and port wine reduction. (Shelley confesses that pork is his favorite item to cook.) Prime steaks are prepared with house-made seasoning and broiled at 1,200 degrees. The black truffle macaroni and cheese is so yummy that your taste buds will swoon with each bite. Desserts like the DETAILS chocolate peanut butter pie are sweet, Atmosphere: Upscale seafood for special inspired indulgences. occasions in a romantic setting. “Everything we do is fresh,” says Recommendations: Jumbo lump crab cake, Shelley. “We pride ourselves on serving crab-crusted blue tilapia. Location: 3102 Piedmont Rd. NW the best quality.” You’ll appreciate that Atlanta, GA 30305 commitment to quality in every sip and Web: every bite. n | Newcomer Magazine | 33

Downtown Augusta sits on the banks of the beautiful Savannah River.

Learn and Play in Augusta Year-Round by Hope S. Philbrick

PHOTOS: Courtesy of the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau

Nestled alongside the Savannah River in the east central region of the state, Augusta is Georgia’s second largest city (after Atlanta) and the state’s second oldest city (after Savannah). But when you’re looking to get away and don’t want to bother with the airport or burn too much gasoline, Augusta, approximately 145 miles from Atlanta, is a great first-choice destination. Whether you’re looking to escape for a week, a weekend or even just for dinner, in search of romance, family time or a place to explore on your own, there are many reasons to visit throughout the year.

34 | Newcomer Magazine

PHOTOS: Courtesy of the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau

TOP: Explore Augusta’s historic downtown. CENTER: James Brown’s statue.

Exploring the Outdoors

History and Culture

Augusta is best known as the home of the Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. If playing 18 holes is your goal, there’s great news: Visitors are welcome to whack away at the dozen Augusta-area course options that allow non-member play. One option is the River Golf Club, just across the river in South Carolina. 803-202-0110, While you can’t get onto the city’s most famous greens, you can get over them: Augusta Aviation, Inc. hosts aerial tours departing from Daniel Field and is authorized to fly anywhere within 25 nautical miles of the airport—and the great news for golf fans is that Augusta National is just three miles away. Other aerial tour highlights include Downtown Augusta, the Savannah River, the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area and Clarks Hill Dam. 706-733-8970, If you prefer boating, head to the Augusta Canal, Georgia’s first designated National Heritage Area, for a guided tour aboard a replica Petersburg canal cargo boat. Built in 1845 to harness the water and power of the Savannah River, the 8.5-mile canal today offers opportuni-

Learn while you stroll through the Augusta Museum of History, which showcases 12,000 years of local history. Collection highlights include a 10,000-year-old projectile point, a 1914 locomotive, a 1920s trolley car, an exhibition on the history of health care in Augusta and much more. A Local Legends exhibit showcases such famous residents as Ty Cobb and James Brown, who’s also honored with a statue in downtown’s James Brown Plaza. 706-722-8584, On Saturdays, departing from the Augusta Museum of History, The Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau hosts a new Trolley Tour on the Lady Liberty Trolley that explores Augusta’s Historic Downtown. To journey at your own pace, pick up a CD at the Visitors Center for $10 and pop it into your CD player for a narrated self-guided driving tour through the city and its neighborhoods including Summerville, a resort area in the 1890s through the 1920s, and Old Towne, which boasts many fine examples of 19th century architecture. The narration includes details of Augusta’s founding, the Great Fire of 1916, cemeteries, presidential connec-

ties for walking, biking, canoeing and kayaking in addition to the informative historical cruise. Among the tour options is one commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. 706823-0440, Prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground? Stroll the boardwalks at the 1,100-acre Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, where the wildlife includes blue herons, egrets, red-shouldered hawks, otters, alligators and an elusive bobcat. Don’t forget your camera! 706-828-2109. | Newcomer Magazine | 35

tions, arts, churches, museums, historic sites and more. Among the places you’ll want to stop and explore is the Morris Museum of Art, dedicated to celebrating the American South. The collection includes nearly 5,000 paintings, works on paper, photographs and sculptures dating from Antebellum through contemporary periods. In addition to the permanent collection galleries, the museum hosts several special exhibitions each year. 706-724-7501, At the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, discover the influence of African-Americans on education, banking, the arts and more. 706-724-3526, Glimpse Georgia life during the Civil War and Reconstruction at the boyhood home of President Woodrow Wilson. The 28th president’s family home has been restored to its 1860s appearance with original paint colors, period furnishings including 13 original pieces used by the Wilson family, period accessories and replica floor coverings and window treatments. Let loose your inner child at the National Science Center’s Fort Discovery, located on the scenic Riverwalk in downtown Augusta. More than 250 interactive exhibits inspire the imagination while promoting science and math through hands-on exploration of electronics, communications, automation, robotics, power generation and more. 800-325-5445,

Where to Stay At the end of a busy day, you’ll welcome rest. Consider the Partridge Inn, a historic property with modern updates thanks to a multi-milliondollar renovation completed in October 2006. All 145 guest rooms— from studios to two-room suites—boast rich reproduction furnishings and amenities like plush towels and high-speed Internet access. The Partridge Inn was the first hotel in Georgia selected for inclusion in Historic Hotels of America. Each Sunday the award-winning “Best of Augusta” brunch buffet draws visitors and locals. The hotel is conveniently located in Augusta’s Summerville Historic District, ideal for a drive or stroll around neighborhood streets to peek at historic houses. 706-737-8888, Looking for cozy sleep on a budget? Consider the Country Inn & Suites by Carlson. It’s easy to locate and offers all basic amenities, plus free Internet access. Warm cookies await guests who stroll through the lobby in the afternoon, and a complimentary continental breakfast is available each morning. 706-736-8988, Visit Augusta and you’ll understand why 1.5 million people from around the world come to the city each year. Odds are, you’ll discover so many ways to play in Augusta—even if you never make it to a golf course—that you’ll likely return again and again.

Planning Your Visit Visitor Information Center 706-724-4067 Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field 706-798-2656 American Airlines, Delta and US Airways Daniel Field Airport 706-733-8970 private aircraft

36 | Newcomer Magazine |

Atlanta’s majestic skyline.

Suwanee’s Town Center.

PHOTOS: (Top and second from bottom) © 2010, Kevin C. Rose/

Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.

What you need to know before, during and after your move INDEX 38 42 Tips on Getting Started 40 44

Counties, Neighborhoods, Utilities, Hospitals, Education

51 Metro Atlanta Region Map 47




THERE Driver’s License

Out-of-state drivers are required to obtain a Georgia driver’s license within 30 days. To obtain your license, you will need to provide the following: 1) Previous driver’s license; 2) Two pieces of identification; 3) An eye exam at the time of issue; 4) A $20 fee (in cash) for a five-year license, or a $35 fee for a 10-year license. Licenses are issued through the Georgia Department of Driver Services at several sites across Atlanta. Call 678-413-8400 or visit

Mass Transit

One way to avoid long commutes is to take advantage of the city’s local transit system, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). Offering both train and bus service, MARTA is a convenient way to travel to downtown or the airport. The fee for traveling one way is $2.00 including transfers, and payment is even easier now with the Breeze limited-use and extendeduse cards. Weekly and monthly passes can be obtained at discounted rates. For fares, schedule and route information call 404848-5000 or visit

38 | Newcomer Magazine |

Car Tag

MARTA Rail Service

You must register your car within 30 days of residency. Bring with you the following information: 1) Car title, name and address of lienholder, or copy of lease agreement; 2) Current tag registration; 3) Mileage reading of vehicle; 4) Proof of insurance; 5) Emission certificate (if applicable). There is an approximate $20 fee for your tag. In January 2006, the state began charging sales tax on vehicles. Your tag office will

GETTING STARTED provide the amount of sales tax on your vehicle. For information on a specific county, contact the county’s Tax Commissioner’s Office.

Vehicle Emission Inspection

Vehicles dating from 1985 through 2006 model year must be checked each year for emission standard compliance. Visit a statedesignated inspection station for the service. Call 800-449-2471 or visit

Driving Tips

Georgia 400 is the only toll road in Atlanta. If you travel it daily, obtaining a Cruise Card is recommended. Purchased in advance, the Cruise Card allows drivers to bypass the tollbooth and avoid long lines. Call 404-893-6161 or visit www. to purchase a card. The Georgia DOT provides daily updates of road work, road closings and traffic delays, which are helpful when commuting. Updates can be obtained by calling (toll free) 1-877-694-2511, by dialing 511, or by visiting

NEED TO KNOW Voter Registration

Registration applies to U.S. citizens at least 18 years of age. You have up to 30 days before an election to register. Register at your local Voter Registration Office and most public libraries. Refer to the AT&T directory for locations, or download a registration form at

Making a Phone Call All phone numbers in the Metro Atlanta area include the area code plus the sevendigit number. To make a phone call, dial one of the three area codes (404, 770, 678) and the seven-digit number. In general, the 404 area code is designated for intown areas, the 770 area code for suburbs, and the 678 area code is normally used for cell phones, fax numbers and some suburbs.

Registering for School By law, children must be 5 years old on or before September 1 to enter kindergarten and 6 years old on or before September 1 to enter the first grade. To enroll your child in either kindergarten or first grade, you will need to provide the child’s social security number; a vision, hearing, and dental screening from a family practitioner or local health clinic; and immunization records on Georgia State Form 3231. | Newcomer Magazine | 39

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION public schools Cherokee County Schools Board of Education 770-479-1871

Cherokee County QUICK INFO

Elementary Schools 22 Middle Schools 7 Intermediate Schools 1 High Schools 6 Alternative 1 Evening 1 Per-pupil expenditures $8,578 School & bus information: 770-720-2112 Avg. SAT Scores Cherokee Co. Georgia National

UTILITIES & CONTACTS HOME SERVICES Cobb Energy (Electricity, Security, Telephone and Satellite TV) 770-429-2222 Electricity Amicalola EMC 706-276-2362 770-429-2100 Cobb EMC Georgia Power 888-660-5890 770-887-2363

Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit Telephone AT&T 888-436-8638 678-454-1212 ETC Communications TDS Telecom-Nelson Ball Ground 770-735-2000 Windstream


Water Cherokee County Water Authority City of Ball Ground City of Canton City of Waleska

770-479-1813 770-735-2123 770-704-1500 770-479-2912

City of Woodstock


Cable TV Charter Communications 888-438-2427 Comcast


ETC Communications


Hospitals Northside Hospital-Cherokee 770-720-5100 Wellstar Kennestone Hospital


Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

1560 1460 1509

pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

Sawnee EMC

County Neighborhoods Schools

Median household income: $63,518 Median age of residents: 34 Population: 210,529 Sales tax: 6% Chamber of Commerce Cherokee County 770-345-0400, Property Taxes Per $1,000 of assessed value is: Unincorporated Cherokee County, $26.80; Incorporated Cherokee County, $24.06. Tax Commissioner: 678-493-6400

Cagle Dairy Farm, Canton

Located northwest of Atlanta, Cherokee County gets its name from the original inhabitants of the area, the Cherokee Indians. The county seat, then called Etowah, was established in 1833 and renamed Canton in 1834. Today, the city is enjoying its greatest economic boom in its history since more than $60 million was invested in residential and commercial development in 1998. Despite developing its own industrial base, Cherokee County remains idyllic and serene. Farming, especially poultry processing, remains a leading industry. Canton and the neighboring community of Woodstock have seen tremendous growth as subdivisions crop up to accommodate newcomers. In fact, nearly 60 percent of the county’s population are commuters. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median value of homes in 2006 was $194,900. Homes for well over $1 million can be purchased in such neighborhoods as Bradshaw Farms, Bridge Mill and Town Lake Hills. Interstate 575 and Ga. Highway 92 traverse the county, affording residents easy access to Atlanta and the nearby attractions of Town Center Mall, Lake Allatoona and the North Georgia Mountains. Other great places to live,

40 | Newcomer Magazine |

Ridge Mountains and along the banks of the Etowah River, Canton is prime location for development.


work and play in Cherokee County include the cities of Ball Ground, Holly Springs and Waleska.


Canton Canton was incorporated in 1833 and renamed in 1834 at the request of two founding fathers who had visions that the town might become a silk center similar to what existed in Canton, China. Canton did become famous for its “Canton Denim,” known worldwide for the high-quality denim produced by Canton Cotton Mills. Today, Canton is attracting new industry and residents. As a result, the city is re-investing in its downtown. As part of its “Streetscapes” program, downtown Canton will be restored to its historic look and features a newly designed theater on Main Street. Located at the foothills of the Blue

Twelve miles south of Canton, Woodstock is the fastest-growing city in Cherokee County. With a growth rate of 70 percent over the past 10 years, the city has doubled in size. Residents enjoy easy access to Interstate 575 and Ga. Highway 92, allowing short commutes to Cobb and Fulton counties. While affording convenience to big-city attractions, Woodstock still maintains its small-town appeal. Buildings dating back to 1879 characterize the downtown, where antique and other specialty shops are located. Various golf courses are located in Woodstock, including Arnold Palmer’s Eagle Watch, a course with wooded countryside views that is considered to be one of the top places to play in Atlanta. The 11,860-acre Lake Allatoona provides additional recreation. Woodstock is also convenient to more than 13 state parks. N For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our Web site at


Clayton County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Life in Clayton County revolves around transportation, much like it did when the Central Railroad passed through the county seat of Jonesboro carrying goods and people. Today, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport employs more than 35,000 people, one-third of whom


Jonesboro Clayton County is steeped in history, especially Jonesboro, the fictional setting for Margaret Mitchell’s legendary Civil War

novel, Gone With the Wind. In truth, the farming community of Jonesboro was all but destroyed in the decisive Battle of Jonesboro. Today, this community of more than 4,000 residents maintains its small-town atmosphere despite its proximity to Atlanta and major freeways. Jonesboro’s Main Street buildings, some dating back to the mid-1800s, have been renovated and now house antique shops, gift shops and government offices. Many residential homes have also been restored, including the historic Ashley Oaks Mansion (1879) and Stately Oaks (1939). Open to the public, these antebellum gems transport visitors to the Gone With the Wind era.

Morrow Stately Oaks quilt show


live in Clayton County. Many of the county’s almost 267,000 County residents have lived in the area Neighborhoods for generations. Unlike in other Metro Atlanta counties, nearly Schools half of them also work in the county. Median household income: $43,674 Just 15 miles south of Median age of residents: 32 Population: 273,718 downtown Atlanta, Clayton Sales Tax: 7% County, one of the smallest counties in Georgia, offers Chamber of Commerce residents many natural reClayton County treats, including the Reyn678-610-4021, olds Nature Preserve, the Property Taxes Newman Wetlands Center, The property tax rate is $32.52 per $1,000 of Lake Blalock and Lake Shamassessed value. Tax Commissioner: 770-477-3311 rock. The county also boasts several private and public golf courses. World-renowned Spivey Hall, located on the campus of Clayton State University, attracts acclaimed performers and is one of the world’s foremost acoustical facilities. The 2006 median value of homes, according to the Census Bureau, was $133,700. Milliondollar homes can be found in the Lake Spivey area.

A passenger traveling north from Jonesboro to Atlanta in the mid-1800s would have invariably passed through a small farming community known as Morrow Station. Once depicted as “the whistle stop” south of Atlanta, today Morrow is a booming city of more than 5,000 residents with a thriving industrial, commercial and retail base that includes Morrow Industrial Park and Southlake Mall. N For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our Web site at


public schools Clayton County Schools Board of Education 770-473-2700 Elementary Schools 36 Middle Schools 14 High Schools 10 Charter 3 Alternative 2 Per-pupil expenditures $8,146 School & bus information 770-473-2835 Avg. SAT Scores Clayton Co. Georgia National

1273 1460 1509

pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.



Georgia Power Company


Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit Telephone AT&T 888-436-8638 Ultimate Security of America, Inc. 770-460-5722 Water Clayton County Water Authority 770-961-2130 Cable TV Comcast

800-266-2278 Hospitals

Southern Crescent Hospital for Specialty Care 770-897-7600 Southern Regional Medical Center


South Fulton Medical Center

404-466-1170 | Newcomer Magazine | 41

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION pUBLIC schools Cobb County Schools Board of Education 770-426-3300 Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Magnet Charter Special Per-pupil expenditures


Elementary Schools 7 Middle Schools 1 High Schools 1 Sixth-Grade 1 Magnet 1 Per-pupil expenditures $9,061 School and bus information 678-594-8000 Avg. SAT Scores

Cobb Co. Marietta City Georgia National

1534 1514 1460 1509

pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS HOME SERVICES Cobb Energy (Electricity, Security, Telephone and Satellite TV) 770-429-2222 ELECTRICITY Acworth Power 770-974-5233 Cobb EMC 770-429-2100 Georgia Power 888-660-5890 GreyStone Power Corp. 770-942-6576 Marietta Power/ Columbia Energy 770-794-5100 GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit TELEPHONE AT&T 888-436-8638 Comcast 404-266-2278 MCI Worldcom 770-541-7235 Outside Georgia 800-356-3094 WATER Austell Water Cobb County Water Systems Marietta Water Powder Springs Water Smyrna Water

770-944-4300 770-423-1000 770-794-5100 770-943-8000 770-319-5338

CABLE TV Bellsouth Multimedia 770-360-5000 Charter Communications 888-438-2427 Comcast 404-266-2278 HOSPITALS Emory Adventist Hospital 770-434-0710 WellStar Cobb Hospital 770-732-4000 WellStar Kennestone Hospital 770-793-5000 WellStar Windy Hill Hospital 770-644-1000

White Water

Cobb County



One of Family Circle magaCobb County came zine’s “Ten Best Towns for Famiinto being in 1832 when lies,” Kennesaw takes pride in its the state redistributed land small-town atmosphere and boasts County once part of the Cherokee abundant parks and green space, Neighborhoods Nation. Named after Thomas exceptional recreational programs Welch Cobb, the county and top-notch schools, includ experienced a devastating ing Kennesaw State University. setback during the Civil Kennesaw’s Historic Downtown War when most of it was features shopping, dining and atSchools destroyed during the Battle tractions such as the Smithsonian at Kennesaw Mountain. affiliated Southern Museum of Median household income: $65,123 Today, Cobb County, Civil War and Locomotive History, Median age of residents: 35 located north of Fulton the Smith-Gilbert Arboretum and Population: 698,158 County, is one of the fastnearby Kennesaw Mountain NaSales tax: 6% est-growing counties in the tional Battlefield Park. Chamber of Commerce nation. With a diverse ecoCobb County nomic base that includes 770-980-2000, Rapidly defining what’s new jobs in the service, retail, Property Taxes and progressive in quality of life aerospace and technology The property tax is $28.75 per $1,000 of assessed and citizen services, Smyrna sectors, Cobb County offers value. Tax Commissioner: 770-980-2000 delivers an amazing sense of style a quality of life unsurpassed and love of life. The new Market in the Southeast. More than $770 million has been spent on apartments and condos near Cum- Village, home to fabulous restaurants, transportation improvements in re- berland Mall, secluded subdivisions bars and upscale shops and services, cent years, allowing residents easy in East Cobb and horse ranches in is the final piece of a master plan for access to Atlanta and the commer- the northwest corner of the county. success. Call it “Main Street USA” or cial districts of Vinings Overlook, The small towns of Marietta, Vin- “Disneyland,” but don’t overlook its Cumberland Parkway and the pres- ings, Smyrna and Austell still retain charm and ability to offer the best in tigious “Platinum Triangle” in the their Southern charm amidst urban fresh, trendy lifestyle options. N Galleria area. settings. According to the Census For more counties and neighborhood A variety of housing options ex- Bureau, the median value of homes information, visit our Web site at ist in Cobb County, including luxury in 2006 was $205,200.

42 | Newcomer Magazine |



Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Marietta City Schools Board of Education

71 25 16 6 6 4 $8,816


DeKalb County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Located east of Fulton County, DeKalb County is the second largest county in the state with a population of about 705,000. DeKalb County contributes to Atlanta’s status as an “ international city” with its businesses and residences representing more than 30 different countries and 120 languages.


Decatur As the county seat, Decatur revolves around the Courthouse Square. In recent years, the square has undergone a renaissance as small storefront mo-

shed and Supper Club. The square also plays host to numerous festivals, town celebrations and neighborhood parties. Decatur is home to a diverse population, attracting young professionals, families and retirees. With Agnes Scott College, a prestigious women’s college, and just outside the city limits, Emory University, Decatur is a college town amidst a big city. Older brick homes, smaller bungalows and cottage homes distinguish the community and the surrounding neighborhoods of Avondale Estates, Oakhurst and Candler Park.


Emory University


DeKalb County prosNeighborhoods pers in part due to its ex- cellent transportation sys- tem. Five major road ar- teries traverse the county: Interstates 20, 85, 285, Schools 675 and US Highway 78. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is only six Median household income: $51,753 miles from DeKalb’s south- Median age of residents: 35 Population: 739,956 ern border and the DeKalb Sales tax: 7% Peachtree Airport, a general aviation field, is report- Chamber of Commerce DeKalb County ed to be the second busiest 404-378-8000, airport in Georgia. DeKalb County is also a leader in Property Taxes the biomedical commu- The property tax rate is $41.50 per $1,000 for unincorporated DeKalb County. Tax Commissioner: nity with The Center for 404-298-4000 Disease Control headquartifs have been preserved, attracting tered there. The median value of homes in unique shopping, entertainment and 2006, according to the Census Bu- dining that includes By Hand South, Square Roots, Eddie’s Attic, Waterreau, was $190,100.

In the northern corner of the county is Dunwoody, a popular neighborhood among established professionals and young, upwardly mobile professionals raising families. It is often referred to as the “tennis set” neighborhood because of its numerous recreational outlets that include Lynwood Park and Recreation Center, as well as Blackburn Park and Tennis Center. Cultural attractions include the Dunwoody Nature Center and the Spruill Gallery. A variety of housing is available in Dunwoody, including apartments, townhomes, ranch-style homes, bungalows and mini-mansions with manicured lawns. Nearby Perimeter Mall provides shopping, dining and family entertainment. With its proximity to all major expressways and North Fulton’s booming business opportunities, Dunwoody is a hot-spot for families. N For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our Web site at

EDUCATION pUBLIC schools DeKalb County Schools Board of Education 678-676-1200 Elementary Schools 83 Middle Schools 20 High Schools 20 Per-pupil expenditures $9,896 School & bus information 678-676-1300 City Schools of Decatur Board of Education


Early Learning 1 Elementary Schools 4 Middle Schools 1 High Schools 1 Per-pupil expenditures $13,444 School & bus information 404-370-8737 Avg. SAT Scores DeKalb Co. City of Decatur Georgia National

1334 1577 1460 1509

pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity Georgia Power


Snapping Shoals EMC


Walton EMC


Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit Telephone AT&T



404-780-2355 Water

DeKalb County Water System 770-621-7200 Cable TV Charter Communication


Comcast Cablevision


Hospitals Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston


DeKalb Medical Center


Emory University Hospital


Piedmont Hospital and Medical Care Center

404-605-5000 | Newcomer Magazine | 43


pUBLIC schools Fulton County Schools Board of Education 404-768-3600 Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Charter Per-pupil expenditures

58 19 16 6 $9,746 404-802-3500

Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Charter Non-Traditional Per-pupil expenditures: School & bus information:

55 16 22 7 2 $13,710 404-753-9815

Avg. SAT Scores Atlanta (City) 1285 Fulton Co. 1584 Georgia 1460 National 1509 pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS HOME SERVICES Cobb Energy (Electricity, Security, Telephone and Satellite TV) 770-429-2222 Electricity City of College Park 404-669-3772 City of East Point 404-270-7093 City of Fairburn 770-964-2244 City of Palmetto 770-463-3377 Georgia Power Company 404-395-7611 GreyStone Power Corp. 770-942-6576 Sawnee EMC 770-887-2363 Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit Telephone AT&T 888-436-8638 800-356-3094 Outside Georgia Water Fulton County


Cable TV Charter Communications 877-728-3121 Comcast 404-266-2278 Hospitals Atlanta Medical Center 404-265-4000 Center for the Visually Impaired 404-875-9011 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding 404-785-9500 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite 404-785-5252 Emory Crawford Long Hospital 404-686-2513 Fulton County Health Dept. 404-730-1211 Grady Memorial Hospital 404-616-4307 North Fulton Regional Hospital 770-751-2500 Northside Hospital 404-851-8000 Piedmont Hospital 404-605-5000 Shepherd Center 404-352-2020 South Fulton Medical Center 404-466-1170 404-851-7001 St. Joseph’s Hospital

At the center of the Metro Atlanta area is Fulton County. Bordered on the west by the Chattahoochee River and encompassing Interstates 85, 75, 285 and Ga. 400, Fulton County is at the hub of the area’s financial, transportation, retail, communications and cultural services. Most Fortune 500 corporations maintain national or regional facilities in the area; many are headquartered here, including Coca-Cola, Equifax, United Parcel Service, Home Depot, Delta Airlines and Turner Broadcasting System. More than 3 million live and work in Fulton County. Older, innercity neighborhoods, such as Inman Park, Candler Park and trendy Virginia-Highland offer eclectic living amidst unique boutiques and restaurants. Midtown is at the heart of the city’s cultural life, home to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, High Museum of Art, Alliance Theatre and the historic Fox Theatre. Many outdoor festivals are held at Piedmont Park. According to the Census Bureau, the median value of homes in 2006 was $270,000. Homes in the millions can be found in such affluent neighborhoods as Buckhead, Sandy Springs and Alpharetta.

Buckhead is also the epicenter for the city’s entertainment and dining industries. With more than 200 restaurants, luxury hotels and nightspots, it has long been a young professional’s paradise. The area also offers numerous antique stores, art galleries and mall shopping at Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza.

Downtown Atlanta skyline




Considered Atlanta’s “silk stocking district,” Buckhead is “where old money lives and new money parties,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. With its one-of-a-kind Georgian and Neoclassical mansions and uniquely styled homes from the 1950s and 1960s, Buckhead is a favorite locale among architecture and history buffs. It is home to the Governor’s Mansion, the historic Swan House and the Atlanta History Center.

44 | Newcomer Magazine |

County Neighborhoods Schools

Median household income: $57,586 Median age of residents: 35 Population: 963,676 Sales tax: 7%, Atlanta City: 8% Chamber of Commerce Greater North Fulton 770-993-8806, Metro Atlanta 404-880-9000, South Fulton 770-964-1984, Property Taxes The property tax rate per $1,000 is: $30.49 for the City of Atlanta; $28.03 for incorporated Fulton County; $33.69 for unincorporated South Fulton and $31.90 for unincorporated North Fulton County County. Tax Commissioner: 404-730-6100

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development.

Atlanta City Schools

Fulton County

lanta’s most affluent neighborhoods. Homes range from elegant subdivisions to those with acreage. The Country Club of the South is a planned community home to several sports stars, high profile executives and celebrities. A successful combination of old and new, Alpharetta has become a haven for singles, families and professionals wanting a bit of country living with all the amenities that city dwelling offers. While many residents shop at nearby Northpoint Mall and Gwinnett Mall, many still enjoy the old stores on Main Street— a visit to the Alpharetta Soda Shoppe is a special treat. N


Once a small farming community, Alpharetta has boomed within the last 20 years to become one of At-

For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our Web site at

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Gwinnett County

COUNTY INFORMATION Some of Duluth’s neighborhoods include Edgewater Estates, Sweet Bottom Plantation, and Riverbrooke. Affluent estates with antebellum architecture can be found as well as apartment communities, older brick, ranch-style homes and subdivisions. Duluth still retains some of its original small-town businesses, along with chain businesses, many accessible by Ga. 400 and I-85.


Suwanee is named after the Shawnee Indians who settled here Mall of Georgia in the latter part of the 18th century. Following the official founding of Originally part of Georgia’s the city in 1837, Suwanee became Native American territory, Gwinnett a railroad stop along the Southern County was created by the State Railroad route. It remained a small Legislature in 1818 and named after country town well into the ’70s when Button Gwinnett, the third signer of construction of I-85 and U.S. 23 the Declaration of Independence and brought easy access to the region. a former state governor. Since then, Suwanee has exWhile the county was perienced tremendous once largely rural with small growth, from 2,000 resiCounty towns, country stores, farms dents in 1990 to more Neighborhoods and forests, today it is home to than 10,000 today. To more than 245 international help manage growth, companies and 450 high-tech the city has developed firms. With an average of 260 a comprehensive developSchools new professional and industrial ment plan that promotes companies relocating to the pedestrian-oriented deMedian household income: $64,005 county each year, attracting more velopment and mixedMedian age of residents: 33 than 6,000 new jobs, Gwinnett use zoning. Designated Population: 789,499 County remains in the top 10 a Tree City USA for more Sales tax: 6% ranking for growth nationwide. than 10 years, the city Chamber of Commerce The county supports many is committed to preserving Gwinnett County cultural events, restaurants 27 percent of its land as 770-232-3000, and shopping opportunities, green space. Property Taxes including the Mall of Georgia. Such foresight has The property tax in unincorporated Gwinnett Gwinnett County remains allowed Suwanee to retain County is $31.77 per $1,000 of assessed value. affordable for renters and first-time its old-fashioned charm Tax Commissioner: 770-822-8800. home buyers, many of whom find while providing contemhomes in the communities of Doraville, in Metro Atlanta and is home to porary convenience. Only 35 miles Lawrenceville and Snellville. The median some of the best golf courses and from downtown Atlanta, Suwanee is value of homes in 2006, according to private tennis clubs. There are close to big-city attractions, business numerous parks for recreation and districts and shopping. Many anthe Census Bureau, was $193,100. participatory sports, including tique shops and historic structures, Bunten Road Park and “Shorty” including several Victorian and reHowell Park. Two major malls, gional farm-style homes, are located Gwinnett Place and Northpoint, near downtown Suwanee. N are located near Duluth. The Southeastern Railway Museum, Amidst the pristine setting of which preserves and operates old For more counties and neighborhood Gwinnett County, Duluth has some railroad equipment, is a must-see information, visit our Web site at of the most exclusive neighborhoods for any railroad aficionado.




EDUCATION pUBLIC schools Gwinnett County Schools Board of Education: 678-301-6000 Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Alternative Open Campus Per-pupil expenditures: City Schools of Buford Board of Education:

72 24 20 6 1 $8,338 770-945-5035

Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Academy Per-pupil expenditures

1 1 1 1 $10,198

Avg. SAT Scores Gwinnett Co. City of Buford Georgia National

1526 1455 1460 1509

pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity City of Buford 770-945-6761 City of Lawrenceville 770-963-2414 City of Norcross 770-448-2122 Georgia Power 404-395-7611 Jackson EMC 770-963-6166 Sawnee EMC 770-887-2363 Walton EMC 770-972-2917 Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit


Telephone 888-436-8638

Water Buford Dacula Gwinnett City Water Lawrenceville Norcross

770-889-4600 770-963-7451 678-376-6800 770-963-2414 770-448-2122

Cable TV Bellsouth Multimedia 770-360-5000 Charter Communications



404-266-2278 Hospitals

Emory Eastside Medical Center


Joan Glancy Memorial Hospital 678-584-6800 Gwinnett Medical Center


Gwinnett Women’s Pavilion 678-312-4770 Summit Ridge Center for Behavorial Health 770-822-2200 | Newcomer Magazine | 45

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION pUBLIC schools Henry County Schools Board of Education 770-957-6601 Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Alternative Per-pupil expenditures School & bus information


29 12 10 1 $7,910 770-957-2025

Avg. SAT Score Henry Co. Georgia National


1410 1460 1509

pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity Central Georgia EMC 770-775-7857 Georgia Power


Snapping Shoals EMC


Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit

McDonough’s town square

Henry County

Incorporated in 1823, McDonough was named after Commodore McDonough of the War of 1812 and is the county seat. Many historic structures with architecture dating back to the 1800s can be seen in and around McDonough’s town square. McDonough, in an effort to bring its residents a sense of community, created its Main Street Program, which revitalized its Main Street. Today, the street is not only home to intimate boutiques and family-friendly restaurants, it is also home to a variety of free community events throughout the year on the town square, including Music on the Square summer concerts, Santa on the Square at Christmas, classic car shows and chili cook-offs.

Named after Patrick Henry, orator from the Revolutionary War, Henry County is one of 17 County counties created from the Creek Neighborhoods Indian land secessions. The Schools county is known as the “Mother Median household income: $63,395 Host of the LPGA of Counties” because much of Median age of residents: 32 Chick-fil-A Charity Chamits land was taken to develop Population: 191,502 pionship each year in April, surrounding counties, including Sales tax: 7% Stockbridge is a golfer’s parFulton, DeKalb and Clayton. Chamber of Commerce adise. Eagle’s Landing, the Today Henry County is Henry County community surrounding made up of the cities of 770-957-5786, the 18-hole Eagle’s LandMcDonough, Stockbridge, ing golf course, is home to Locust Grove and Hampton. Property Taxes some of the most beautiful It is one of the fastest-growing The property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value is $37.51 for unincorporated Henry County. and exclusive neighborcounties in Metro Atlanta with Tax Commissioner: 770-288-8180 hoods south of Atlanta. The more than 198,000 residents. 51,000-square-foot, plantaThe county continues to flourish as a major industrial and retail hosts the LPGA Chick-fil-A Char- tion-style clubhouse on the property exemplifies Georgian charm. Home center. Tanger Outlet Center in ity Championship. Locust Grove is a favorite attraction With the county’s rich resources prices range from the hundredamong Atlanta’s shoppers. and convenience to I-75, housing thousands to the millions. Incorporated in 1920, StockHenry County is known best, has continued at a steady growth however, as the home of Atlanta Mo- with such planned developments bridge began as a settlement in tor Speedway and Eagle’s Landing as Heron Bay Golf & Country 1829 and celebrates its heriCountry Club. Located in the county Club and Crown Ridge cropping tage each May with Ole’ Stocksince 1959, the speedway attracts up everywhere. The median value bridge Days. N people from all over the state for of homes in 2008 was $150,189, For more counties and neighborhood its two annual NASCAR races. making Henry County a very information, visit our Web site at Eagle’s Landing in Stockbridge affordable place to live.




Telephone 888-436-8638 Water

City of Hampton


City of Stockbridge


Henry County Water System 770-957-6659 Locust Grove



770-957-3915 Cable TV

Charter Communications



404-266-2278 Hospitals

Henry Medical Center


Southern Regional Medical Center


Sylvan Grove Hospital


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8 SCOTTDALE 10 R ockbridge Rd 29 45 29 DRUID PIEDMONT VIRGINIA HILLS t ATTRACTIONS 16 PARK HIGHLAND v A 6 de Leon Avondale Rd GEORGIA 12 1. Atlanta History Center C-3 MIDTOWN W . Po n c e 10 TECH 278 31 2. Botanical Gardens C-4 44 Ponce de Leon Av 78 North Av Av AVONDALE e 8 JIMMY CARTER 3. Civic Center C-4 lleg o 10 10 DOWNTOWN C PRESIDENTIAL MADDOX AGNES ESTATES 4. CNN Center C-5Red e n R d 11 LIBRARY PARK SCOTT 3 WORLD Simpson St 7 CONGRESS Dekalb Av COLLEGE DECATUR 5. Cyclorama C-5 w 4 43 k m P MARTIN ri a CENTER o 6. Fernbank Museum & Science Center D-4 d o 36 e 4 Fre m LUTHER Me 15 24 7. Georgia Aquarium C-5 155 D t 33 r KING JR. e c S D a r t u r J 154 tin Luther K ing NATIONAL r a 8. Georgia State Capitol C-5 GSU M 13 HIST. SITE MOOREHOUSE Memorial Dr 154 9. Governor’s Mansion C-3 COLLEGE SPELMAN 8 20 COLLEGE 278


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40. Atlantic Station C-4 41. Buckhead C-3 42. East Atlanta D-5 43. Little Five Points D-5 44. Midtown D-4 45. Virginia Highland D-4

F | Newcomer Magazine | 47


Earl Klugh, Ferst Center for the Arts The Grammy Award-winn ing smooth jazz guitarist and composer performs songs from throughout his career, including his most recent album, 2008’s The Spice of Life. March 3, 404894-9600,

Women of Ireland, Georgia Southern University Performing Arts Center Discover the next generation of Ireland’s leading female performers, including former Riverdance lead Siobahn Manson, champion Irish fiddle player Zoe Conway, and singers Michelle Lally, Ingrid Madsen and Denise Brennan. March 3, 912-

PHOTO: Joan Marcus


Memphis, Fox Theatre

Theater & Concerts

performs. Martina McBride opens the show.

Joe Goode Performance Group, Ferst Center for the Arts

Jade Simmons, Ferst Center for the Arts

This acclaimed troupe, known for its mix of dance, theater, music and spoken-word performance, unveils the Atlanta premiere of its newest work, The Rambler, designed to promote understanding, compassion and tolerance through text and movement. Feb. 3, 404-894-9600,

Sophie Milman, Ferst Center for the Arts

Feb. 10, 800-745-3000,

Pianist Jade Simmons was selected as an ARTech resident artist at Georgia Tech for her commitment to expanding the boundaries of classical music. This performance will include work created during her residency. Feb. 18, 404-894-9600,

American Boy Choir, Georgia Southern University Performing Arts Center

This Russian-born jazz singer has won a Juno Award, the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy, for her graceful interpretations of American classics. Milman performs in support of her 2011 album In the Moonlight. Feb. 4, 404-894-9600,

The United States’ premier boys’ choir, which has performed with the likes of jazz great Wynton Marsalis, pop star Beyoncé and Sir Paul McCartney, takes the stage. Statesboro native Steven Metrejean, a former member of the Statesboro Youth Chorale, will perform with the choir.

Feb. 23, 912-478-7999,

Aretha Franklin, Fox Theatre Spend an evening with the legendary “Queen of Soul,” who will perform hits from her storied career in this rare appearance. March 5, 800-745-3000,

Jon Faddis with the GSU Jazz Band, Averitt Center for the Arts Renowned trumpeter Jon Faddis, a former conductor for the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, performs with the Georgia Southern University Jazz Band, conducted by Dr. William Schmid. March 9, 912-212-2787,

Space!, Center for Puppetry Arts Learn about gravity with Sir Isaac Newton, gaze at Saturn’s rings with Galileo and find out what kind of gas fuels the sun in this fun family show that unearths out-of-this-world facts about planets, stars, meteors and more. Through March 11, 404-873-3391,

Billy Elliot The Musical, Fox Theatre

Memphis, Fox Theatre

Follow one boy’s journey to make his dreams come true. Set in a small town, the story follows Billy as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class. March 14-25, 800-745-3000, or

This hot new musical spins a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love, with explosive dancing and irresistible songs. Through Feb. 5, 800-745-3000,

Young Frankenstein, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

The touring production of the popular Broadway musical based on the classic Mel Brooks comedy rolls into Atlanta. Expect plenty of laughs as bright young Dr. Frankenstein attempts to create a living creature, with unexpected and uproarious results. March 29-April 1, 800-745-3000,

Celtic Woman, Fox Theatre The red-hot all-female Irish vocal ensemble performs songs from its previous albums and its PBS special Believe, which was recorded at the Fox Theatre. Feb. 9, 800-745-3000,

George Strait, Arena at Gwinnett Center The country music superstar, who has the most No. 1 hits of any artist including Elvis Presley,

Fore! Images in Golf Art, Morris Museum of Art

48 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: ©Doug Kuntz

South Pacific, Georgia Southern University Performing Arts Center This production of the classic Rodgers & Ham-

merstein musical, based on the award-winning 2008 Lincoln Center Theater production, features all the numbers you’ve come to know and love, including “Some Enchanted Evening” and “There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame.” April 1,

Fore! Images in Golf Art, Morris Museum of Art

Suwanee SculpTour, Downtown Suwanee

This exhibit at Augusta’s Morris Museum features more than 25 photographs, paintings and drawings exploring and celebrating the history of golf. Works include a dramatic LeRoy Neiman oil portrait of Tiger Woods, Dan Rizzie’s depiction of Bill Murray in Caddyshack, and more.

Stroll through the City of Suwanee’s walkable public art project, featuring 15 outdoor sculptures. Walking tours are available at Suwanee City Hall. A podcast featuring a guided tour of the exhibit, with information and insights from contributing artists, can be downloaded via the iTunes store and the City of Suwanee’s website.

A brand new 25th anniversary production of the legendary musical about the survival of the human spirit, dazzlingly reimagined with glorious new staging. April 24-29, 800-745-3000,

Feb. 4-April 15, 706-724-7501,

Through March 2012,

Western Art South of the Sweet Tea Line III, Booth Western Art Museum

Mandala: Sacred Circle in Tibetan Buddhism, Michael C. Carlos Museum

The third offering in the Booth’s signature triennial exhibition series, Western Art South of the Sweet Tea Line III features seldom-seen great works of art from public and private Southern collections. Through Feb. 12, 770-387-1300,

Explore the rich tradition of the mandala, the sacred diagram meant to advance practitioners of Buddhism toward a state of enlightenment. This exhibit displays different types of mandalas, including paintings and three-dimensional works, and examines their significance and symbolism.


Les Misérables, Fox Theatre

Through April 15, 404-727-4282,

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Fox Theatre

Picasso to Warhol, High Museum of Art

The pioneering dance ensemble, described as “a vital American cultural ambassador to the world” by a 2008 Congressional resolution, performs as part of its 2012 North American Tour.

Explore more than 100 works created by 14 20th century-artists including Pablo Picasso, Rene Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol at this landmark exhibit, one of the largest collections of modern art masterpieces to be exhibited in the Southeast. Through April 29,

Feb. 16-19, 800-745-3000,


Tellus Museum’s Director of Marketing Joe Schulman discusses his visit to Kennedy Space Center to tweet about the November 2011 launch of the rocket carrying the Mars Rover Curiosity. See behind-the-scenes photos of Kennedy Space Center and learn more about this exciting trip. March 2, 770-605-5700,

Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, Goldstein Gallery, Atlanta History Center Sophie Milman, Ferst Center for the Arts

Exhibits & Events


Open House and Academic Fair, First Montessori School of Atlanta

This exhibit examines the rich cultural history of the Harlem theater. Rarely displayed artifacts include James Brown’s jumpsuit, Michael Jackson’s fedora, the Supremes’ dresses, Sammy Davis’ tap shoes and Ella Fitzgerald’s dress, among others. Through Mar. 4, 404-814-4000,

Parents of children 1 and a half to 12 are encouraged to visit the campus and speak with students, parents and staff on Feb 3. And then on Feb. 9, fourth- through eighth-grade students present research projects on a variety of subjects. Feb. 3 and 9, 404-252-3910,

The Paleontology of Georgia, Tellus Science Museum Tellus Museum director Jose Santamaria presents a brief snapshot of life from different periods of Georgia’s past. Feb. 3, 770-605-5700,

American Boy Choir, Georgia Southern University Performing Arts Center

PHOTO: Courtesy of Georgia Southern University

PHOTO: Ferst Center for the Arts

Tweet Me Up NASA, Tellus Science Museum | Newcomer Magazine | 49


MLK National Historic Site


n 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in an upstairs bedroom in a house on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta. Today, visitors can take a guided tour of Dr. King’s boyhood home and other points of interest that make up the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, a collection of landmarks commemorating the late civil rights pioneer run by the National Park Service. The two-story home in Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn historic district is a short walk from Ebenezer Baptist Church. Visitors can retrace this path, which King likely took countless times in his life, on their way to the church where King— by Cady Schulman who was ordained as a minister at the age of 19—and his father served as co-pastors. The National Park Service has painstakingly restored Ebenezer Baptist Church to the way it looked when King and his father pastored there in the 1960s. The restoration included the design and installation of electrical, heating and air conditioning and fire-suppression systems, as well as the refinishing of pews, the reappearance of the original tiled floor in the fellowship hall, and the return of beautiful painted glass windows. The results of all this work are so effective visitors can almost hear Dr. King’s voice thundering from the pulpit. The site also includes the burial crypt of King and his widow, Coretta Scott King, as well as the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, established after King’s assassination in 1968. Here, guests can see exhibits featuring the Kings and Mahatma Gandhi. The International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, which lines the path to the National Park Service’s Visitor Center, honors those who helped make Dr. King’s dream of equality a reality. Granite markers feature the actual footstep impressions of Rosa Parks, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ambassador Andrew Young and U.S. Congressman John Lewis, among several others. Inductions into the Hall of Fame are held each year. The historic site is open daily at 9 a.m. Tours of King’s birth home are free and limited to 15 people at a time. Registration for the tour is at Freedom Hall at the MLK Center. For more information, call 404-331-6922 or visit N

50 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: © 2011, Kevin C. Rose/

Taking a Walk Through Civil Rights History

Newcomer Magazine Atlanta | February/March 2012  

Newcomer magazine is Atlanta’s leading relocation and new-resident guide, providing an invaluable resource for businesses, executives and fa...

Newcomer Magazine Atlanta | February/March 2012  

Newcomer magazine is Atlanta’s leading relocation and new-resident guide, providing an invaluable resource for businesses, executives and fa...