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Relocation, Lifestyle & Living in Atlanta

June/July 2011


Balancing Your Child’s Academic Pursuits Discover What Makes Gwinnett So Great The Inside Scoop on Atlanta



Local trips just a short drive away

June/July CONTENTS FEATURES The Inside Scoop on Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Finding Balance in Academics . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Moving to Atlanta? We’ll tell you what every new Atlantan needs to know. Get the scoop on area arts, entertainment, shopping, neighborhoods, and even how to get there.

When you’re looking for a new community to call home, consider Gwinnett County. With strong schools, award-winning Parks and Rec, and world-class employers, it’s not hard to see why Gwinnett is great.

As you consider new schools for your child, make sure your education choices allow balance among extracurricular pursuits, schoolwork and free time.

Gwinnett County Living . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Local Adventure Getaways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 After the adventure of moving to a new city, you may be ready for an adventure of a more pleasurable kind. From Smoky Mountain thrills to Okefenokee chills, plenty of excitement is just a drive away.




PHOTO: © 2008, Kevin C. Rose,

PHOTO: Gatlinburg Department of Tourism


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

Relocation Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Here’s the inside scoop on this summer’s hottest news, events and happenings around Atlanta and beyond.

A comprehensive guide to help you find your way before, during and after your move: counties, neighborhoods, relocation tips and more.

Neighborhood Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

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

Located just 30 miles north of downtown Atlanta, Suwanee has twice made Money magazine’s list of 100 Great American towns. Find out what all the greatness is about.

Summer is upon us, and it’s time for impressive exhibitions, theater productions and live music around the metro area.

Explore some great destinations, events and attractions that make Georgia so unforgettable.

Rockdale County.

Hidden Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Georgia Travel Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 The Monastery of the Holy Spirit offers a peaceful retreat east of the city, in

Restaurant Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 With Top Chef-winner Richard Blais at the helm, Flip Burger Boutique delivers great flavor with a side order of fun.

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On the Cover: Atlantans who find adventure on a golf course will enjoy Ross Bridge, one of the longest courses in the world and the newest addition to Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Photo: Michael Clemmer – Golf Landscape Photography

advertiserDIRECTORY June/July 2011 Newcomer magazine would like to thank the many advertisers who, issue after issue, have partnered with us to deliver this quality relocation and new resident guide to you at no charge. We recommend that you contact these advertisers for the many services and resources you will need for your transition to Atlanta.

Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Travel Destinations

Booth Western Art Museum....................... 33 CNN Center............................................... 49 The Fox Theatre: Coca-Cola Film Festival.. 33 Gone With the Wind Museum .................. 49 Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation......... 19 Sandy Springs Hospitality & Tourism......... 13 U.S. Space & Rocket Center....................... 32.

Albany, Georgia.......................................... 30 Booth Western Art Museum....................... 33 Brunswick and the Golden Isles................... 7 Carrollton, Georgia..................................... 38 Cartersville-Bartow County, Georgia............. 7 City of East Point......................................... 3 City of Peachtree City................................. 32 Douglasville, Georgia .................................. 6 Fitzgerald, Georgia..................................... 31 Oconee County, Georgia............................. 38 Sandy Springs Hospitality & Tourism......... 13 Statesboro, Georgia.................................... 30 Thomson-McDuffie County, Georgia ........... 9 U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville..... 32

Banking & Financial Services Georgia’s Own Credit Union......................... 9

Cities, Towns & Neighborhoods Cherokee Chamber of Commerce.............. 17 City of College Park......................Back Cover City of Duluth.............................................. 5 City of East Point......................................... 3 City of Peachtree City................................. 32 City of Smyrna........................................... 39 City of Suwanee................ Inside Front Cover.



where there is always something to do!

Corporate/Temporary Housing Provider TP Corporate Lodging................................ 18

Schools & Education Atlanta International School ...................... 21 Atlanta School Guide.................................... 6 The Bedford School.................................... 21 The Children’s School................................. 21 Cliff Valley School...................................... 25 Eastside Christian School........................... 25 Gwinnett County Public Schools................ 17 Hebron Christian Academy.......................... 6 The Heritage School................................... 24 Lanier Technical College..... Inside Back Cover Mount Paran Christian School.................... 24

+V\NSHZ]PSSL*VU]LU[PVU =PZP[VYZ)\YLH\ 6694 Broad Street Douglasville, GA 30134 (770) 947-5920


^^^]PZP[KV\NSHZ]PSSLJVT 6 | Newcomer Magazine |

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

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marketing & promotions

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Katie Kelly Bell Whitney Brennan Dawn Sloan Downes Wendy Dunham Julie Edwards Susan Flowers

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Lacey James

TO ADVERTISE CALL 770-992-0273 Newcomer magazine, June/July 2011, Volume 15, Issue 2. 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. © 2011 Killam Publishing, Inc.

For additional copies, further information, advertising or suggestions, please contact:

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

In a new exhibit that exercises both body and mind, children will discover the connection between science and athletics in TEAM Up! at Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta from June 11—September 11. By slinging fastballs, perfecting bounce passes and keeping balance on pommel horses and balance beams, kids will learn how the principles of geometry, physics, friction and force affect how they play their favorite sports. Call 404-659-KIDS or see

For Us the Living

PHOTO: © Mort Künstler, “War is Hell” 2001, oil on canvas, 65” x 99”

PHOTO: Courtesy of Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta

TEAM Up! at Imagine It!

The Booth Western Art Museum’s current special exhibit, on display now through September 4, takes an artistic look at the Civil War. Mort Künstler’s Civil War Art: For Us the Living features more than 40 of Künstler’s major paintings—plus dozens of sketches—that serve as an important visual history of some of the nation’s darkest times. For more information on Cartersville’s Booth Western Art Museum and this exhibit, see

99X Unplugged in the Park Atlanta’s favorite low-key, free concert series returns with a lineup including Sonia Leigh, Angie Aparo, Josh Joplin and more. Held at the Garden Tent at Park Tavern every Sunday from 6 to 10 p.m., 99X’s Unplugged in the Park features both established artists and local up-and-comers, all under Park Tavern’s air-conditioned tent. For more information, including a complete list of performers, call 404-497-4700 or see

A 30-year East Point tradition, the city’s Salute to the Red, White and Blue 4th of July Hometown Celebration will bring musical performers, plenty of food and a professional carnival—carousel, Ferris wheel, games and all—for a week of family-friendly fun in downtown East Point. The carnival begins June 29 and culminates with South Fulton County’s largest pyro digital fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. on the 4th of July. For more information, see 8 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Courtesy of 99X

Salute to the Red, White and Blue

PHOTO: Movement: Fifth Avenue, The Art Institute of Chicago, Alfred Stieglitz Collection


A Medium for Modernism Featuring many original watercolors never before displayed, John Marin’s Watercolors: A Medium for Modernism represents the first comprehensive exhibit addressing Marin, named the country’s no. 1 artist by Life magazine in 1948. Known for his avant-garde approach to watercolors, Marin’s paintings mostly reflect bustling city life and Maine’s dramatic coastline. This exhibit will be on display at the High Museum of Art from June 26-September 11; for more information, see | Newcomer Magazine | 9

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre offers an unparalleled outdoor performance experience.

Georgia Aquarium is the world’s largest aquarium, with 10 million gallons of water.

The Inside What Every New Atlantan Needs to Know by Whitney Brennan

As a new or future Atlanta resident, you’ve picked a great city to call home. But undoubtedly, you are experiencing some stress and anxiety as a result of preparing for your new life in an unfamiliar place. A new job, a new school for your children, new people, new places. But rest assured: Atlanta is a great place for everyone, and no matter your situation, Atlanta is sure to feel like home. 10 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTOS: (Left) Chris Lee and (center) © 2008, Kevin C. Rose,


Turner Field is home to the Atlanta Braves.

PHOTOS: (Top right and bottom center) © 2008, Kevin C. Rose,


he city is a thriving, vibrant area, offering plenty to do, incredible neighborhoods to call home, fantastic job opportunities and top-notch health care. In fact, there is so much to know about Atlanta that you may need some help navigating this metropolis. Where can you shop, see a play or concert, browse artwork, watch a baseball game? What is The Hooch, the Perimeter, Tech or The Ted? The following answers these questions and more, offering insight into such topics as Atlanta’s entertainment options, neighborhoods and health care. It’s what every new Atlantan must know.

Arts, Entertainment & Shopping Atlanta is home to some world-class attractions, entertainment venues and shopping destinations. Whether you’re into theater shows, concerts, exhibits, history, animals or sports, Atlanta has you covered. Shopaholics enjoy the fact that there are more than 15 major shopping malls in Metro Atlanta. Buckhead’s Phipps Plaza, once named a “Southern Best” in Southern Living magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards, features over 100 specialty stores, including Jimmy Choo, Juicy Couture and Gucci, as well as four full-service restaurants. With 225 stores, the Mall of Georgia is the largest mall in the state—and one of the largest in the country. Located just half an hour

Phipps Plaza features over 100 stores.

from the city of Atlanta in Buford, the Mall of Georgia features such stores as Coach, Armani Exchange and Williams-Sonoma. After a shopping excursion, why not enjoy a concert or theater production at one of Atlanta’s world-class venues? The Arabian palace-style Fox Theatre downtown is itself a must-see, but the venue often hosts world premieres, innovative adaptations of classics, as well as exciting concerts. Upcoming shows include Fiddler on the Roof and Guys & Dolls. Located on 45 wooded acres in Alpharetta, the state-of-the-art 12,000seat Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre offers an unparalleled outdoor performance experience. Since its opening in 2008, the venue has seen the most popular touring summer concerts. Metro Atlanta also offers plenty to do for history and art buffs as well. The Atlanta History

Center boasts one of the Southeast’s largest history museums, as well as permanent, temporary and traveling exhibitions and historic homes and gardens. Temporary exhibit World War in Our Backyards: Discovering Atlanta, 1861-1865 challenges visitors to consider their personal connections to a war that was literally fought in all of our backyards. The High Museum of Art has more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection—19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; European paintings; modern art and photography; and more. The exhibition Special Editions: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Prints, running through Aug. 21, highlights recent print acquisitions for the High’s contemporary collection. For those who may be more into wildlife, Atlanta is home to the world’s largest aquarium. Boasting 10 million gallons of fresh and marine water and the largest collection of aquatic animals, the Georgia Aquarium houses aquatic life from whale sharks to piranha and African penguins to sea otters, and new in 2011, dolphins. A short drive away in Grant Park, Zoo Atlanta offers more than 200 species of animals. The clouded leopard, giant panda, African lion, American alligator and Komodo dragon are just a few of the zoo’s residents. Atlanta is home to the only giant panda cub born in the U.S. in 2010. X | Newcomer Magazine | 11

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s busiest airport.

Atlanta pleases sports lovers as well. Baseball fans can visit state-of-the-art Turner Field for an Atlanta Braves game; football fans can enjoy a thrilling Atlanta Falcons game at the Georgia Dome, the largest cable-supported domed stadium in the world; and those looking for basketball or hockey can find it at Philips Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers. And all three of these world-class venues offer fun and activities in addition to the games.

Navigating Neighborhoods Atlanta has come a long way from its beginnings 170 years ago as a railroad village called Terminus. Today, “Atlanta” refers to a metro area encompassing more than 20 counties, but the city itself also has a collection of intown neighborhoods that have developed such a unique character and charm that it’s easy to forget that these vibrant communities are not cities, but neighborhoods of Atlanta. The following are just some of these great intown neighborhoods. Some of the finest examples of period architecture can be found in Atlanta’s Ansley Park. Developer Edwin P. Ansley modeled his Ansley Park on park designs by famed architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The neighborhood, featuring wide winding streets, offers a suburban lifestyle in the heart of the city. Also recognized for its architecture is Atlanta’s beautiful Inman Park neighborhood. As Atlanta’s first trolley suburb, Inman Park has a rich history, and its caring citizens work hard to preserve its beautiful Victorian-era homes. The more than 1,400 retail stores in Buckhead generate more than $1 billion in sales every year. The upscale neighborhood also boasts multi-million-dollar estates. The Greenwich Village of Atlanta, trendy Virginia Highland is home to an ever-growing number of nightclubs, galleries and boutiques, as well as

renovated turn-of-the-century houses and exclusive gated communities.

Getting Around Atlanta & Beyond Because Atlanta is a metropolis—with over 5 million people—traffic congestion is an everyday part of life for most residents. However, metropolis status also has its advantages, including the fact that there are various ways to travel and alternate transportation options. Atlanta’s regional transit system includes Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), which offers both bus and train service for $2 one way including transfers. The three other major transit options include Cobb Community Transit, Gwinnett County Transit, and Xpress, a luxury coach service for 12 metro counties. (Tip: Some employers will pay for their employees to use mass transit.) Those who may want to carpool can find a partner through The Clean Air Campaign. And for those who need to travel outside Atlanta by air, Atlanta is home to the world’s busiest airport, HartsfieldJackson Atlanta International Airport.

High-Quality Health Care Atlanta is well known for hospitals and medical facilities boasting first-rate technology and care. The area is home to world-renowned U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, American Cancer Society, Arthritis Foundation and top research medical universities, including Emory University and the Morehouse School of Medicine. Grady Memorial Hospital has one of the top trauma and burn centers in the nation, while Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is renowned for its exceptional care for children. Atlanta is also home to The Shepherd Center, one of the nation’s largest catastrophic care hospitals treating patients with spinal cord

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injury and disease, brain injury and degenerative, neuromuscular and urological disorders. Children’s Healthcare, The Shepherd Center and Emory University Hospital were among the U.S. News Best Hospitals 2010-2011.

KNOW THE LINGO Be “in the know” with these Atlanta terms and phrases: Big Chicken: An Atlanta landmark, this 56-foot metal rooster that soars above a KFC in Marietta has been in existence since the ‘60s. The Connector (or Downtown Connector): The stretch of highway where interstates 85 and 75 overlap. The Hooch: The Chattahoochee River serves as a source of power, drinking water and recreation. ITP/OTP: Inside the Perimeter/Outside the Perimeter—meaning inside the I-285 loop (the more urban areas) or outside (suburbia). King and Queen Buildings: Located at the I-285/ Ga. 400 merge, the designs of the two towers resemble chess pieces. The Perimeter: I-285, which circles the city of Atlanta and is meant to be used as a bypass. Spaghetti Junction: Complicated intertwining of I-85 and I-285 loops and bridges. Tech: Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, one of the oldest, most respected polytechnic universities in the country. The Ted: Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves baseball team.

PHOTOS: (Left) GA Dept. of Economic Development and (right) © 2008, Kevin C. Rose,

Ansley Park offers a suburban lifestyle in the heart of the city.




Easy Access to a High Quality of Life

Living by Dawn Sloan Downes

Fireworks punctuate a celebration in Duluth.

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PHOTOS: (Top left) Gwinnett County Public Schools and (bottom left) Gwinnett County Communications Division.

TOP: Gwinnett County Public Schools has been honored with the Broad Prize. BOTTOM: Gwinnett Medical Center is a leading care provider as well as a top employer. RIGHT: The City of Suwanee has garnered numerous awards.

While the world heralds the Atlanta area as a business mecca with considerable opportunities for jobs and economic growth, few parts of the metro area embody those characteristics more than Gwinnett County. In fact, when you’re searching for a community where your family can put down roots, Gwinnett certainly is worth a look.


winnett County has long been recognized as the fastest growing county in the state of Georgia and, for much of the 1980s, was also the fastest growing county in the United States. According to the 2010 census report, Gwinnett County’s popula-

tion grew by nearly 37%. While much of the county’s growth in the 1980s and early 1990s was unchecked, wise county and city leaders took control of that growth over the last two decades, balancing economic development with long-term environmental, aesthetical, and other Newcomer Magazine | 15

quality of life concerns to build a county known for its strong school system, great jobs, affordable housing, and—in many of its communities—a way of life that hearkens back to days gone by. Gwinnett County was officially founded in 1818, with the town of Lawrenceville named as the permanent county seat in 1821. As the great Southern Railway cut its busy path through the county, towns like Suwanee, Duluth, Lilburn, and Norcross grew up out of the commercial development along the line and flourished, connecting the county’s rural roots with the new growth and prosperity of industrial development. Today, the county still prospers as home to major national and international corporations. According to Adrienne Saputo, Marketing Manager of Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, Gwinnett County is now home to over 1,300 high-tech companies—more than any other county in Georgia. Additionally, over 275 of the state’s leading bioscience companies call Gwinnett home. “Our highly-trained, diverse

workforce, a moderate cost of doing business, and our proximity to six of the state’s leading research colleges and universities, have consistently made Gwinnett County one of the top three leaders in job growth in the state of Geor-

gia since 2000,” adds Saputo. Gwinnett County offers more than just great job opportunities and a uniquely diverse community. Many Gwinnett residents proclaim their love of the laid-back lifestyle and access to a quality of life not offered by other parts of the metro area. Great schools top the list of those quality of life issues. Gwinnett County recently became the largest school district in the state, educating 161,000 students in the 2010/11 school year. The district is comprised of 18 school clusters plus a set of charter, magnet, and concept schools including the Gwinnett Online Campus. In spite of its size, the district offers some of the best schools in the state, recently winning the Broad Prize for Urban Education—popularly known as the “Nobel Prize of Public Education”—which honors the top five large urban school districts that exhibit the strongest student achievement and improvement while narrowing achievement gaps between income and ethnic groups. In recent years Gwinnett voters approved local option sales tax referendums to support both their public libraries and their parks and recreation

Gwinnett residents proclaim their love of the laid-back lifestyle and access to a quality of life not offered by other parts of the metro area.

PHOTO: Gwinnett County Communications Division.

Gwinnett County has one of the most outstanding Parks and Recreation departments in the country.

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Big Splash is a big hit with families in Suwanee’s Town Center.

system. In fact, Gwinnett County has been recognized as having one of the most outstanding Parks and Recreation departments in the United States with over 8,000 acres of greenspace, 39 parks, including two skate parks and nine water parks and aquatic centers. The county even boasts a park designed especially for children with special needs. An extensive list of youth sports is also offered. The Parks and Recreation Department even hosts a Disc Golf challenge each summer to raise funds which will offset the costs of activities for low-income children and senior citizens who wish to take part in parks activities but cannot afford the fees. Gwinnett’s towns and cities offer their own charming ways of life as well. In Suwanee, residents enjoy plays, concerts, festivals, and movie nights on the Town Center, the thriving heart of the community anchored by a seven-acre park.

According to Lynn DeWilde, marketing director for the City of Suwanee, 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of a $17.1 million voter approved bond referendum to fund public greenspace and parks. In all, seven parks have been funded and built, including the Town Center, an urban playground, a community garden, and a lake surrounded by walking trails. Duluth offers events for all ages.

PHOTO: (Bottom) Gwinnett County Communications Division.

The Arena at Gwinnett Center brings hockey games and music concerts to the area.

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The City of Suwanee has also committed to public art, encouraging developers to use one percent of a project’s development costs to create public art within all new developments. Also, through March 2012 the city will host SculpTOUR, a walking tour of public art placed throughout Town Center and the city’s historic downtown. Residents can vote for the work of art they love most and the winning sculpture will be purchased by the city for permanent display. The City of Duluth has also earned recognition for its commitment to the arts. Each year the city hosts the Duluth Fall Festival which attracts over 100,000 visitors for a weekend of art and music held on the Town Green, an elaborate series of terraced greenspace that culminates at the foot of a Victorian-inspired arts pavilion. The Town Green is in the heart of Duluth’s downtown, surrounded by shops and restaurants adjacent to the town’s Taylor Park. Friday evenings find families enjoying the city’s “Flicks

on the Bricks” program and residents can enjoy weekday “Brown Bag Lunches” featuring live music and other familyfriendly performances in the amphitheater. When it comes to finding a home in Gwinnett County the offerings are plentiful, from multimillion dollar estates in the Sugarloaf area to the more moderately priced Suwanee Station townhomes located near the area’s town center and featuring two- to three-bedroom homes beginning in the $150s, a junior Olympic swimming pool, eight lighted tennis courts with an onsite tennis pro, a fitness center and an amphitheater. Families looking for single-family developments might find what they’re looking for in the John Thomas Homes development Baxley Ridge located in Duluth’s esteemed Peachtree Ridge school district. Set upon one of Gwinnett County’s highest elevations the development features three- to six-bedroom homes beginning in the $210s, many of which feature an unusual porte-cochere style. The Lakes at Sugarloaf, a

Duluth’s Taylor Park features live music and other family-friendly performances in the amphitheater.

Beazer Homes development, offers 100% Energy Star homes with three to six bedrooms in a gated community beginning at $242,900. Families eager to find an energetic, familyfocused community that provides them with easy access to the city while allowing them to live in “Mayberry-like” confines won’t go wrong establishing their new home in Gwinnett County. The mantra once spouted by civic leaders and residents throughout the 1980s and ‘90s still holds true today: Gwinnett is, indeed, great!

FOR MORE INFORMATION City of Duluth City of Suwanee Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce Beazer Homes John Thomas Homes

play { live { learn

Recognized as the number one park agency in the state of Georgia by the Georgia Recreation and Park Association

gwinnettcounty parks & recreation 770.822.8840 | Newcomer Magazine | 19


spotlight Suwanee


Living up to its motto, Suwanee certainly “exceeds expectations.” The community has twice made Money magazine’s list of 100 Great American Towns, breaking into the top 10 best places to live list in 2007. Over the past few years, this friendly, vibrant community has continued to boost its livability, building several new parks and a Town Center, which stands as a functional and appealing community focal point. Located 30 miles north of downtown Atlanta, Suwanee is committed to maintaining the highest quality of life for its residents.

Harvest Farm

Town Center Big Splash

Culinary Treats


For a little French flair, visit Gourmandises (770-945-6599), a neighborhood bistro serving gourmet food made from the freshest ingredients including out-of-this-world pastries and fluffy, light quiches. Try Ippolito’s (678-985-4377), a small, comfortable neighborhood restaurant with great service, for delicious, authentic Italian food—and be sure not to miss the homemade garlic rolls! Visit Mango Cuban Restaurant (770-831-6664) for generous portions of richly flavored Cuban-inspired cuisine in a fun, casual atmosphere. And be sure to try the signature Wild Pie at Olde Towne Tavern & Grille (770-9453737), home to Gwinnett County’s only outside bar with great views of Town Center Park.

With a 2010 average home sale price of $260,789, the community offers a variety of housing options to fit an array of lifestyles. Many newer neighborhoods in Suwanee feature traditional designs, including multi-family as well as single-family units, and are part of planned mixed-use developments. Among Suwanee’s newest neighborhoods are Highland Station, Madison Park at Town Center, McGinnis Reserve, Stonecypher, Suwanee Station, Three Bridges, and Village Grove. And just outside the city limits, The River Club, an elegant, gated, nature reserve community with a Greg Norman golf course, sits alongside the Chattahoochee River.

Local Treasures

Over the past two decades, thousands have discovered the charm of living in Suwanee. 97 percent of Suwanee residents find the community an excellent or good place to live. Census figures for the past decade indicate that Suwanee remains one of the fastest-growing cities in Gwinnett County, with a 2010 population of 15,355. Suwanee is home to several progressive, high-tech national firms, including Dish Network, Echo Star, Hewlett-Packard and Mitsubishi Electric. The city also serves as a model for, and has received numerous awards in, the areas of open space preservation, creation of parks, downtown revitalization, and smart-growth management. N — Julie Edwards

Create personalized pottery at Peace, Love & Pottery (678-714-5683) or celebrate every occasion in style at La Ti Da (678-482-7777) offering whimsical gifts and more. As an alternative, visit Georgia’s largest organic community garden, Harvest Farm, which is part of the city’s White Street Park. In addition to the 76 farm plots, the park features a barn that functions as an educational/community center, natural outdoor amphitheater, and looping trail. Or enjoy fun in the fountain at Town Center Park. Open April 1- Oct. 31, Big Splash is the largest interactive fountain in Gwinnett County.

Town Center Park

The Inside Track The City of Suwanee hosts nearly 30 events every year including Suwanee Day, which brings hundreds of exhibitors and about 40,000 people to Town Center Park each September.

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People | Newcomer Magazine | 21

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Finding the Balance Gaining perspective on your child’s academic pursuits by Wendy Dunham


oday’s society and culture have altered family life, many say tipping it out of balance. Parents and teachers put pressure on kids to achieve academically. More children are being enrolled in organized sports and extracurricular activities at times when, traditionally, they would have been enjoying unstructured down time, play time, and family time. When these after-school activities and the ever-increasing amounts of homework are done, what time is left for relaxation? On top of this, moving into a new school and a new community can bring additional stress. Students might feel added pressure to get up to speed and perform well academically in a new class. Parents might over-do it when they urge their children to take part in extracurricular activities in hopes of helping them make new friends. It’s not that sports, extracurricular activities and homework are bad for kids; in fact they need and benefit from them, but in moderation. While you’re in the process of making education choices for your children, don’t forget to

factor extracurricular activities, homework and unstructured time into your decisions. Striking that balance is becoming harder for parents, and it’s a fine line to walk as you choose a school. Gina Kantor, a second grade teacher at Garrison Mill elementary in Marietta, thinks kids are on a treadmill. “Down time is crucial for creative expression. It provides the opportunity for imaginative play,” she says. “We want to foster children who will mature into adults who can think outside of the box. Down time also gives a child an opportunity to relax and regroup, giving him or her a better chance of being centered. This reduces impulsive behavior and increases the likelihood of a child responding rather than reacting to a situation. It is so much harder today to raise well-rounded, centered, fit, prepared, and creative young people.” “Children need unplanned time to practice exercising choice, renewing their senses, and for simply being,” adds Jay Underwood, Head of School for High Meadows School in Roswell. “When our hearts beat there is space in between; when we breathe our lungs expand | Newcomer Magazine | 23

and contract. Life has a rhythm all its own that includes ample recovery along with activity.” If children aren’t given time to relax and regroup, what is the outcome? “When children are on the go the whole time they don’t know how to stop and think even for just 10 minutes. Without a technological crutch, they don’t know what to do with themselves,” says Garrison Mill school counselor Jennifer Ofiara. “Schools can do their part by limiting what is expected of them after school, but parents should not let family time be all about their kids’ sports or activities.” Too many organized activities and not enough unstructured ones hurt processing skills, adds Mike Cook, 2010 Teacher of the Year at Sixes Elementary in Canton. “Children need time to sit and think so they can process all they have been exposed to,” he says. “They need to get to bed early, too. Parents who both work often let kids go to bed late so they can spend time with them. Then they come to school the next day tired.” At the same time, Cobb County School System prevention specialist and consultant Jeff Dess knows how valuable sports and extracurricular activities are for young people. “They give them a chance to socialize, learn how to

play, and learn how to work as a team,” he says. “Some kids struggle educationally but can do well in a different field. They need to be given the opportunity to feel good about themselves and feel success.” Kids with poor social skills also benefit from the team-building spirit of sports, according to

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Ofiara, who adds that nonathletic children can shine in other areas such as music and the arts. Furthermore, Kantor says that sports teach kids to cooperate for the greater good, get exercise, and think on their feet. Sports are necessary for the full development of children, but homework is more controver-

sial. Ofiara agrees with research findings that recommend the ideal amount corresponds to 10 minutes per grade level. First graders do 10 minutes per night, second graders do 20 minutes, and so on. “Short periods of meaningful homework are very beneficial,� says Cook. “If a child is strug-

gling on a particular subject, extra work on that topic can only help. But it should not last for several hours a night nor interfere with family time.� “Homework topics should be connected to what the child is doing in class to make it beneficial,� adds Dess. “Right now I believe young people are getting too much homework.� Achieving balance takes effort. Ofiara says parents should observe what is going on, read cues from their children, and make changes if necessary. “Are you stressed out from driving your kids all over? Are your kids crying because they have too much homework? Are they having tantrums?� she asks. “If family life is stressful then you must change it by slowing down the pace.� Ultimately, parents must be the ones to make wise choices for their children. “Parents must reject the notion that children must act, play, compete and perform in multiple areas to ‘keep up,’� warns Jerri King, head of School at First Montessori School of Atlanta. “Research, trends observed by family therapists, and the common practices in college acceptance do not support the perceived benefits of over-involvement. While children may have the tendency to over-commit, balance is sustained when adults provide the necessary limits and

expectations regarding school work and extracurricular activities.� Today, Dess sees more young people stressed out and anxious than ever before. “Parents can help by identifying and recognizing their child’s gifts, no matter what they are. They should expose them to new opportunities, but listen to who they are and not push them into something they don’t enjoy. If we balance emotional and social well-being with academic performance, then academic performance will benefit.�

FINDING BALANCE Looking for balance for your child at school? Here are some questions to ask: t What are the school’s expectations about extracurricular involvement? t How much homework is given each night to my child’s grade level? t Will the homework be related to what my child is learning in class? t Is homework given over breaks? t Is any unstructured time provided for in the school day?


“Eastside Christian School works for our family delivering a quality academic experience from a biblical perspective in a loving environment.� ~ Amy Minnick, Communication Consultant & ECS Parent


Wherever Your Neighborhood May Be +Â&#x; Â&#x;THÂ&#x;GRADESÂ&#x;pÂ&#x;&OREIGNÂ&#x;LANGUAGE 3MALLÂ&#x;STUDENTTEACHERÂ&#x;RATIO 6ISUALÂ&#x;Â&#x;PERFORMINGÂ&#x;ARTSÂ&#x;pÂ&#x;!THLETICS #OMPUTERÂ&#x;TECHNOLOGYÂ&#x;EDUCATION 2450 Lower Roswell Rd. Marietta, GA 30068

770-971-2332 / Eastside Christian School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color or national origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies or employment practices. | Newcomer Magazine | 25

Thrilling Destinations Just a Short Drive Away

Adventures of both the manmade and the natural variety are waiting to be explored in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains beyond.

26 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTOS: (Top left) Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism and (bottom) Gatlinburg Department of Tourism.

by Susan Flowers

PHOTOS: (Top and bottom left) Art Webster, USFWS and (bottom right) Gatlinburg Department of Tourism.

From the Okefenokee down south to the mountains up north, adventure awaits Atlantans, and it’s just a drive away.

Moving to a new city is an adventure, itself. Now that you are settled in, perhaps you are ready for an adventure of a more pleasurable kind. Fortunately, numerous adventurefilled vacations are within an easy drive of Atlanta.


rom whitewater rafting in the Smokies to hiking in the Okefenokee Swamp, and from a one-of-a-kind Space Center experience to golfing some of the country’s best courses right next door in Alabama, exciting leisure opportunities abound for Atlanta’s newcomers. There’s even a little something for those who prefer to find their adventure at a game table. What better way to explore the area than to plan an adventure get-away in your new part of the world?

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia With around 402,000 acres of exotic wildlife and lush vegetation, the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is an adventure-lover’s paradise.

Meaning “the land of the trembling earth,” the Okefenokee is a five-hour drive from Atlanta in southeast Georgia. If photography is your hobby, the refuge is the place for you. The swamp is teeming with amphibians, fish, mammals, reptiles and birds. Otters, ducks, frogs, hawks and a seemingly endless variety of other birds inhabit the refuge at various times of the year. You may encounter some of nature’s larger animals as well. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, visitors paddling canoes through the swamp might glimpse an alligator or a bear. Of course, wilderness canoeing is an experience best reserved for those who can take on a challenge. Trails are demanding, and may require strenuous paddling or pushing | Newcomer Magazine | 27

Whether rolling down a hill, zipping above a park, or rafting through a river is your thing, the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas have what you want.

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Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, Tennessee From whitewater rafting to trout fishing and hiking, the area around Gatlinburg, TN, affords rich opportunities for those who love the outdoors—and it’s only a four-and-a-half-hour drive north of Atlanta. Hikers can explore the Great Smoky Mountain National Park’s more than 800 miles of maintained trails. Black bears, elk and deer are among the wildlife that vacationing Atlantans might see as they trek through the wilderness. Visitors can also count on being dazzled by the park’s array of wildflowers, many of which bloom year-round. According to the National Park Service, many hikers choose trails that allow up-close views of the park’s spectacular waterfalls, which include Grotto, featuring direct access from the Trillium Gap Trail; Ramsey Cascades, at 100 feet, the park’s tallest waterfall; and Rainbow, which frequently offers a rainbow in the mists of its 80 feet of falling water. Not interested in hiking? You may enjoy horseback riding through the park’s many horse trails, or cycling on the 11-mile Cades Cove Loop, with its numerous views of wildlife and historic sites. The park is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with 60 species living there year-round, according to the Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau. Campers, whether

PHOTOS: (Top left, right and inset) Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism and (bottom) Gatlinburg Department of Tourism.

canoes at some points. Visitors can also be subjected to extreme temperatures and precipitation. Canoers can camp at any of nine designated campsites located throughout the refuge. Not up to paddling through the Okefenokee? You may enjoy taking a guided boat tour. Tours available include a 90-minute trip through the Suwannee Canal and Chesser Prairie, conducted by concessioner Okefenokee Adventures. You can also arrange for an extended or overnight excursion through the company. Hikers will also enjoy their visit to the refuge as they cover one of eight authorized trails. Take in nature’s wonders as you observe birds and other wildlife in their natural habitat, and enjoy plant life that will surround you at every step. Walk the .2-mile Upland Discovery Trail and take advantage of your chance to photograph a colony of red-cockaded woodpeckers, or immerse yourself in the forests of the 4-mile Long Leaf Interpretive Trail. You may also enjoy cycling on the swamp’s paved roads, although bicycles are not permitted on hiking trails. Fishermen can enjoy the refuge throughout the year—but you may have to compete with an alligator for your catch! The refuge features shallow water prairies, lakes and ponds, and fishing from boats, kayaks and canoes is permitted in various areas.

PHOTO: Michael Clemmer-Golf Landscape Photography.

For those who find their adventure on a golf course, Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail offers 26 courses across the state.

backpacking or traveling in a recreational vehicle, will find sites to accom- added zip line can carry visitors over the entire park for an aerial view. Also in Pigeon Forge is Zorb Smoky Mountains, which allows visimodate a variety of needs. With over 2,000 miles of streams, the park also offers abundant op- tors to be pushed down a 750-foot mountainside track while inside an portunities for fishing. Fishermen will also enjoy a visit to some of nearby 11-foot sphere. The city is also home to the country’s first indoor skydivGatlinburg’s many rivers and streams, populated by fish from the city’s ful- ing attraction, Flyaway. Using a vertical indoor wind tunnel powered by ly stocked trout-rearing facility. (When making your plans, remember that an airplane propeller, this attraction lets you experience the thrill of this extreme sport. The city’s Parkway offers excitement as well, with go-karts trout are released every Thursday, and no fishing is allowed on that day.) Golfers who visit the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area won’t be disap- and small bungee jumping. pointed. The Bent Creek Golf Course offers a front nine in the valley and a back nine in the mountains, punctuated by a stream which runs Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Alabama all the way through the course. And the recently renovated Gatlinburg For golfers, there’s no greater adventure than playing on that perfect Golf Course features a challenging course in a setting that’s a feast for the course—and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail has everything any golfer senses. could ever want. For a more adrenaline-charged The trail actually consists of A HIGH STAKES ADVENTURE getaway, you may want to try white26 courses, with 468 holes at 11 water rafting down the Big Pigeon locations across Alabama, rangFor adventure of a different kind, you may wish to visit one of sevRiver. With 12 Class III and 3 Class ing from the northern sections of eral casinos within driving distance of Atlanta. Harrah’s Casino IV rapids, the river provides a thrillthe state to near the Gulf Coast. and the Cherokee Tribal Casino in Cherokee, NC, are around ing, challenging ride. Designed by course architect three-and-a-half hours’ drive away, with dining options including the Paula Deen’s Kitchen restaurant at Harrah’s. Visitors can stay Adventure can also be found in Robert Trent Jones as his masat the 21-story Harrah’s hotel or any of several other hotels in Pigeon Forge. Nearby Dollywood terpiece, the trail has been chothe area. At six-and-a-half-hours’ drive away, Biloxi, MS, offers a has one of the best roller coaster sen as the best golf value in the range of casinos, including the Beau Rivage, the IP Casino Resort collections around, according to country by the readers of Golf & Spa and the Grand Biloxi Casino Hotel & Spa. Biloxi also ofTom Adkinson of the Pigeon Forge Digest, who also ranked it in the fers numerous options for lodging and dining. Department of Tourism. A recently top eight for quality. No less an | Newcomer Magazine | 29

PHOTO: Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau,

at the Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge authority than the New York Times has said Resort & Spa, the Marriott Shoals Hotel & that the trail offers “some of the best public Spa in Florence and the Renaissance Montgolf on earth.” gomery Hotel & Spa at the convention cenWhat inspires all this adulation? Stops ter in Montgomery. including Hampton Cove, featuring three 18-hole courses dotted with thousands of Japanese black pines, massive oaks, dogHuntsville, Alabama woods and crepe myrtles, and Ross Bridge, Whether you dream of soaring into space the third longest course in the world. Landor exploring underground caverns, Huntsscaping at all of the trail’s courses is exquiville, AL—less than four hours northwest site, and golfers can count on challenges at of Atlanta—has the right getaway for you. every stop. For would-be astronauts, the U.S Space For Atlantans, the trail is easily acces& Rocket Center has attractions running sible. Its eight stops are each within 15 minthe gamut from space program artifacts to utes of an interstate, and all are no more than Space Camps. Visitors can take in the Daa two-hour drive from another stop. Courses vidson Center for Space Exploration and are located in or near Anniston, Auburn, Birgaze in wonder at the Saturn V rocket mingham, Dothan, Greenville, Huntsville, housed there, while Space Camp allows Mobile, Point Clear, Prattville (near Monteveryone from grade schoolers to growngomery), Hoover and Muscle Shoals/Florups the opportunity to learn about manned ence. Green fees range from $50 to a peak space flight. of $64. Adults can enjoy a weekend program Excellent lodging and restaurants are that gives a real insider’s look at space Space Camp in Huntsville is a thrill for adults as well as children. available throughout the trail. Relax and enshuttle simulators, mission control and the joy fine dining at any of eight world-class Marriott and Renaissance hotels, International Space Station. You may also choose a six-day adventure that including the nautical-themed Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel focuses on astronaut training, including jet fighter simulators and SCUBA in Mobile and the Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center at diving with an underwater astronaut trainer. The course concludes with Grand National in Opelika. Enjoy a little pampering after your day of golf (continued on pg. 32)

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TRAVEL GUIDE Explore these great destinations, events and attractions that make Georgia so unforgettable.



, Georgia

Brunswick and Georgia’s Golden Isles Brunswick and Georgia’s Golden Isles offer the ideal coastal getaway. Sundays through September mean Jazz in the Park at St. Simons Lighthouse. June through mid-August, visitors to Jekyll Island can learn about sea turtles and their habitat on evening shoreline walks. Golfers will love Brunswick’s Heritage Oaks Golf Club featuring championship tees on a 72-par course. Luxury seekers will feel right at home on Sea Island, home of The Cloisters, an exclusive resort with a full-service spa, private beaches, kids’ programs, and theme weekends. A less-hurried, more environmentally-friendly vacation awaits on Little St. Simons. With only 20 of its 10,000 acres developed, this privately owned island is an environmental gem, virtually untouched for centuries, featuring one of the only growing beaches on the east coast. For more information call 800-933-2627 or visit

Booth Western Art Museum


Cartersville and Bartow County

On the banks of the Flint River in Southwest Georgia, Albany offers visitors a medley of attractions. The Albany Civil Rights Institute illustrates how ordinary individuals changed long-standing practices of slavery, racism, and segregation through non-violent protest. Described as “a Ray Charles concert on the banks of the Flint River,” Ray Charles Plaza is centered around a lighted, rotating sculpture of Charles playing the piano while his music continuously emanates from the park’s sound system. Other notable sites include the nearly 800-acre Parks at Chehaw, featuring a Wild Animal Park and a Creekside Park; the Albany Museum of Art, housing the Southeast’s largest collection of subSaharan art; and the Flint Riverquarium, built around a blue-hole spring and telling the story of the Flint River and its wildlife. To learn more call 866-750-0840 or visit

Bartow’s Barnsley Gardens resort offers a full-service spa and golf on one of Golf Magazine’s 2010 Silver Medalist courses. Summer concerts the first Saturday of every month through August set against the backdrop of Cartersville’s charming square are fun for all, and The Clarence Brown Conference Center offers a range of events. Tellus Science Museum gives hands-on science experimentation for the whole family. “Night at the Museum” on August 6th, offers a chance to meet favorite characters from science fiction and science fact. Art and history lovers will enjoy the Booth Western Art Museum and the Bartow History Museum, both of which feature extensive Civil War collections. Mother Nature prompts guests to spend some time swimming, boating, and hiking along the 12,000-acre Lake Allatoona. To learn more call 800-733-2280 or visit

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A Mosasaur fossil at GSU Museum



There’s always something to do in Douglasville. Nature and history lovers enjoy Sweetwater Creek State Park with its fishing, hiking, and Civil War ruins. Shoppers enjoy Arbor Place Mall, the largest indoor shopping venue west of Atlanta. Everyone can enjoy one of the town’s many festivals. May brings Taste of Douglasville with food samples from favorite local restaurants, as well as arts vendors and local talent. June begins Friday Night Flicks, with a free movie on the plaza and the Black History Exhibition known as Juneteenth. The Fourth of July boasts a parade, barbecue and fireworks. A charity bike ride in October invites riders to explore various bike loops. In December, the Douglasville Holiday Weekend features a parade, Santa Claus and tree lighting. For more information call 770-947-5920 or visit their website at

Home to Georgia Southern University, Statesboro offers more than just football and tailgating. The Georgia Southern Botanical Garden features a unique view of coastal plains botany and features a native plant garden and an endangered plant exhibit. The Georgia Southern Wildlife Education Center features an extensive reptile and amphibian exhibit with Georgia snakes, alligators, and frogs, while the Lamar Q. Ball Raptor Center lets visitors get a view of native eagles, hawks, kestrels, and other birds of prey. Wine enthusiasts will want to visit the Meinhardt Vineyards and Winery where they can enjoy wine tastings and tours. September brings the annual Grape Stomp and Muscadine Festival, where festival attendees can crush grapes themselves and see how muscadine wine is made. Call 800-568-3301 or visit for more.



This charming south Georgia hamlet offers a wealth of opportunities for Civil War aficionados including the Blue and Gray Museum, Evergreen Cemetery, Grand Plaza Park with its Confederate and Union topiaries, and the Jefferson Davis Historical site—a 13-acre wooded park marking the site of the capture of the President of the Confederacy. Kids will love a trip to the Fire Engine Museum, where they can slide down an antique fire pole and see the evolution of fighting fires from the 18th century to now. The whole family will get a kick out of the town’s most unusual residents, a flock of wild Burmese chickens who roam about downtown Fitzgerald and serve as the inspiration for the town’s Wild Chicken Festival held each spring. Take in a show at The Grand Theatre, a restored 1936 Art Deco facility that welcomed a historic 1926 Barton Theatre Organ earlier this year. To learn more call 800-386-4642 or visit

In the heart of Georgia’s Lake Country, Thomson offers outdoor enthusiasts plenty of opportunities for bass fishing, boating, hunting, or simply enjoying the great outdoors. August’s Arts in the Alley Festival provides a mix of musical and dance performances, and visual arts. Visitors will also love cooling off at the Tom Watson Watermelon Festival in August, which features music, art, and of course, lots of watermelon and unusual watermelon recipes. October offers Scarecrows On Main, a delightful display of fall’s favorite icon, plus Thomson’s annual geocaching event, the Thomson Treasure Hunt. November, however, holds the premier event of the region with the annual Belle Meade Hunt, where visitors can ride on a Tally-ho wagon, following hunters and hounds in the world’s largest simulated foxhunt. To learn more call 706-597-1000 or visit


Newcomer Magazine | 35


Flip Out

Flavor Fun at Flip Burger Boutique by Katie Kelly Bell

36 | Newcomer Magazine |

A turkey burger comes with avocado and cheese … rather ordinary really, until you taste the pomegranate ketchup. It’s those inspired touches that make eating here so entertaining and tasty. We loved the southern with its chicken fried chicken, pimento cheese and sriracha ranch sauce. Add on a side of house-made onion rings or fries and you’re set. Want something else? How about the lamburger with coriander lamb, citrus yogurt and goat cheese, fauxlaffel with fried chickpea, tzat-siki and salsa, or blackened

Photos: Courtesy of The Reynolds Group


t’s been an exciting year for Atlanta’s foodies. Of late, the restaurant scene is buzzing about the city’s new celebrity chef: Richard Blais, who is this season’s Top Chef All-Stars winner. He’s also the inventive genius behind all the fun at Flip Burger Boutique. Any newcomer to Atlanta should make a point of visiting the only restaurant in the city to have a Top Chef winner. And what fun it is. From Krispy Kreme milkshakes to buffalo sweetbreads with blue cheese foam, Flip is anything but your average burger joint. Decked out in whites and reds, the interior has a bit of Jetson’s meets Space Odyssey feel. Look up and you’ll see the light fixture is attached to an identical table suspended from the ceiling. Other tables are stacked closely together, all the better to promote the restaurant’s convivial atmosphere. Don’t come expecting a quiet date night over burgers. Flip has an electric, playful energy from the tricked out booths to the food and drink. Let’s just start with the liquid nitrogen … not typically something you’d find behind the counter at a restaurant; but it’s all the sci-fi you need to craft thrilling milkshakes that arrive at your table literally smoking cold. Blais reaches for the familiar, with shakes like Captain Crunch, Krispy Kreme doughnut, apple pie, Nutella and burnt marshmallow, and for those who like a beverage adventure: foie gras. Sure, you can get your Sweetwater on draft, Cheerwine, mango martini, or Pinot Grigio by the glass, but a visit here just wouldn’t be complete without a milkshake. What to go with that milkshake? The menu is divided into beef burgers (comprised of brisket, short rib or hangar steak) and Flip burgers (crafted from just about anything). The beef burger is a good place to start if you want something traditional. With the buffet of house-made condiments (smoked mayo, borscht slaw, horseradish mayo, coco-cola ketchup, sriracha ranch dressing, to name a few), you won’t be disappointed. But why settle on that when you might enjoy something like the d’Lux with black diamond steak, truffle herb butter, roasted mushrooms, foie gras and a red wine reduction? Our local burger was one of the highlights, with local grassfed beef, tomme cheese, beef bacon and a coca cola ketchup with pickled peach and pecans. It’s a mouthful, and will take a bit of a bite from the wallet at $14, but the flavors just played so nicely to The the lean quality of the beef. The rBQ arrived as Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; a ground burger topped with a stack of pulled Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; brisket, coleslaw, rBQ sauce and a dollop of Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. smoked mayo—who’d a thunk it? Brisket on Reservations: No a burger—what a treat. If the beef is not your Phone: 404-549-3298 thing, you’ll find plenty to amuse you on the Parking: Lot Attire: Casual and fun ‘flip’ side.

ABOVE: A bit “Jetson’s meets Space Odyssey,” Flip has an eclectic, playful energy. LEFT: The chorizo burger features spicy pork, hash browns and a fried egg.

shrimp with cajunnaise, sweet & sour tomato and fried lemon? The fun at Flip is the playful interplay of flavors. Throw in a side of candycane beets, vodka onion rings, fried pickles or caramelized brussel sprouts (not everyone loves fries) and you get the idea. DETAILS There really isn’t an ingredient that Blais Atmosphere: Buzzy casual is afraid to try, which is why this conRecommendations: d’lux or local burger, cept works; taking an ordinary burger krispy kreme milkshake, blackened shrimp burger to a totally new level just by being bold and the southern burger. Location: 3655 Roswell Rd., Atlanta GA, 30342 with flavor and concept. It’s the kind of (other location: Westside Atlanta) intrepid thinking of a winner, a Top Chef Web: winner at that. N

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

Patrick Killam, Publisher provide the amount of sales on your vehicle. 770.992.0273 Office For information on a specific county, contact the county’s Tax Commissioner’s Office. 770.649.7463 Fax



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

Ad Size:

Issue: December/January 08

Voter Registration

Registration applies to U.S. citizens at least 18 FULLYou PAGE years of age. have8.375"x up to 10.875" 30 days before an election to register. Register at your local Voter HALF PAGE HORIZONTAL 7.375"x 4.812" Registration Office and most public libraries. Refer to the AT&T directory for locations, or download a HALF PAGE VERTICAL 3.5625"x 9.875" registration form at THIRD PAGE VERTICAL 2.375"x 9.875"

Making a Phone Call

All phone numbers in the Metro Atlanta area include the area code plus the sevenTHIRD PAGE HORIZONTAL 4.75"x 4.812" digit 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 FOURTH PAGE VERTICAL 3.5625"x 4.812" 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 SIXTH PAGE VERTICAL 2.375"x 4.812" 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


46 | Newcomer Magazine |



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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


The Wiggles, Cobb Energy Centre RSVP now for the biggest birthday bash of the year—the Wiggles Big Birthday! Sing along with your favorite Wiggle and dance along in the aisles; it’s encouraged! Portions of ticket sales will benefit Reach Out and Read, a charity that encourages families to read together. Cobb Energy Centre, July 12, 2:30 and 6:30 p.m., 1-800-7453000 or

PHOTO: Courtesy Atlanta History Center

Martha Speaks, Center for Puppetry Arts

War in Our Backyards, Atlanta History Center

Theater & Concerts Concerts by the Springs, Sandy Springs Sandy Springs’ celebrated outdoor concert series, Concerts by the Springs, continues its 15th annual season with concerts from Banks & Shane, Haywire, and The Breakfast Club. Concerts are free and open to the public, but guests are encouraged to arrive early to snag the best spot. Table seating for six is also available for a fee. Sandy Springs’ Heritage Green, June 5, July 10 and August 7,

Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival, Fox Theatre This summer, come see a movie at the only theater in town offering an organ show --featuring Mighty Mo-- and vintage cartoon before the main attraction. The Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival returns to Atlanta’s Fabulous Fox Theatre with a mix of current blockbusters and cinema classics, including The Social Network, True Grit, Rango and To Kill a Mockingbird. Fox Theatre, June 9, 10

Symphony on the Green, Duluth See the Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra perform your favorite orchestral and choral selections of both classical and popular music. Concerts are free to the public and start at 7:30 p.m.; the Green is also the perfect spot for a pre-concert picnic. Downtown Duluth, June 17 and July 15,

Rock of Ages, Fox Theatre With a soundtrack featuring the very best of the ‘80s, Rock of Ages tells the arena-rock love story of a small-town girl’s whirlwind romance with a big city rocker. Die-hard Journey, REO Speedwagon, Asia, Twisted Sister, Whitesnake and Styx fans, get your tickets now. Fox Theatre, July 5-10, 1-800-745-3000, or

48 | Newcomer Magazine |

Enjoy dinner and a live performance of Buttonwillow Church Civil War Dinner Theatre’s Grandaddy’s Watch, which highlights common misconceptions about the Civil War. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m., and the performance follows at 7 p.m. Booth Western Art Museum, July 21, 7 p.m.,

Cirque de la Symphonie, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park Combining the breathtaking aerial gymnastics of Cirque du Soleil with the world-class accompaniment of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Cirque de la Symphonie promises to be an awe-inspiring spectacle of movement and music. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, July 30, 8 p.m., 404-733-5000,

Exhibits & Events Modern by Design features almost 150 works by more than 120 artists chronicling the 20th century modernism movement. Pieces ranging from furniture and product design to glass and ceramics will be displayed, as well as a companion installation featuring the High’s growing contemporary design collection. High Museum of Art, June 4-August 21,

Basic Canoe Clinic, Panola Mountain State Park

PHOTO: Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources

Luther’s Mountain, Booth Western Art Museum

Grandaddy’s Watch, Booth Western Art Museum

Modern by Design, High Museum of Art

and 11, 404-881-2100 or

Enjoy dinner and live entertainment by Luther’s Mountain, a bluegrass and gospel band, at Cartersville’s Booth Western Art Museum. Held in the museum’s ballroom, it’s sure to be a night of great food and music. Tickets are $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers; cash bar. Booth Western Art Museum, June 16, 5 to 8 p.m.,

Based on Susan Meddaugh’s book series about a dog named Martha who gains the power to speak, Martha Speaks is a lively rod puppet show by Paul Mesner Puppets of Kansas City, MO. Center for Puppetry Arts, July 19-31,

Rockfest, Tellus With vendors selling minerals, gems, jewelry and fossils and educational activities for kids, Rockfest 2011 has something for every member of the family. Try your hand at dinosaur Bingo or decorate your own reusable bag. Tellus Science Museum, June 11, and June 12, 770-606-5700 or

Turtle Tours, Heritage Sandy Springs

Atlanta Fest 2011, Stone Mountain Park

Toast @ Town Center, Suwanee

The perfect activity for children ages 2-5 and their parents, “Turtle Tours” teaches children important history lessons through crafts, hands-on exhibits and stories. Sandy the chipmunk and Spring the turtle will tackle tools and community helpers. Tours last 30 minutes and are free, but donations are encouraged. Heritage Sandy Springs Museum,

Returning for its 25th year of music and ministry is Atlanta Fest 2011, the South’s premier Christian music festival. This year’s artists include Switchfoot, MercyMe, David Crowder Band and Casting Crowns. Also appearing speakers Scott Dawson and David Nassar. Stone Mountain Park,

On the fourth Thursday of each month, Suwanee’s Town Center transforms from city mainfare to a bustling street festival featuring special deals, entertainment and in-store events from area merchants. Suwanee Town Center, June 23

June 11 and July 9,

June 15-18, 1-800-965-9324,

My Princess, Medieval Times For daughters who dream of being princesses and fathers who dream of making their daughters happy, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament offers My Princess Daddy Daughter Date Night, a ticket upgrade package that includes special pre- and post-show activities. Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, June 17, 7:30 p.m.,

PHOTO: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival, Fox Theatre

and July 28, 6 to 10 p.m.,

Basic Canoe Clinic, Panola Mountain State Park Held on Stockbridge’s scenic Alexander Lake, this basic canoe clinic teaches adventurers how to safely use a canoe. This clinic is taught by a certified park ranger, and participants must register in advance. Panola Mountain State Park, June 25, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 770-389-7801,

Father’s Day Nightcrawler, Zoo Atlanta

War in Our Backyards, Atlanta History Center

Celebrate Father’s Day the Zoo Atlanta way with After Dark Family Nightcrawler, the only sleepover in the city where you ensure a healthy wetland habitat for alligators, turtles and more. Take exclusive tours, participate in hands-on activities and have breakfast on the zoo the next morning. Children must be 6 or older. Zoo Atlanta, June 18,

Take a historical look at the Civil War’s impact on modern Atlanta through War in Backyards: Discovering Atlanta, 1861-1865, which uses period sources, eyewitness accounts and the latest interactive technology to unearth hidden reminders of the Civil War via 3D maps. Atlanta History Center, through October 1, 404-814-4000, | Newcomer Magazine | 49


The Monastery T of the Holy Spirit

he sign that marks the entrance to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit near Conyers, Georgia, approximately 30 miles east of Atlanta, is modestly small, considering that this community of Cistercian monks is one of Rockdale County’s largest tourist attractions, drawing an estimated 70,000 visitors a year. Utilizing the 2,000-acre wooded tract of land on which the Monastery is located, the monks have provided for themselves since the monastery was by Margaret Tate founded in 1944 by a group of monks who came from Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky. In the early years, they sold hay and beef cattle. Today, they grow bonsai trees and make fudge and fruitcake to sell in the Abbey Store, which also offers food from other monasteries, along with religious-themed books and art. The monks have a small stained-glass operation, and they also have a Retreat House that can accommodate groups and individuals for rest, reflection and renewal. “It’s other-worldly here,” says Brother Callistus, who serves as spokesperson for the Monastery. “It’s a curiosity for people. When you have a place where people live a life totally dedicated to the worship of God, an environment is created around them with certain qualities like silence and solitude, green space, conservation, nature. These qualities draw not only the curious, but also those who want to partake of some of those elements, some of that peace that’s almost palatable.” Brother Callistus recommends allotting at least an hour for a leisurely tour of the Monastery, but he says many people make a day of it, bringing a picnic and enjoying walking trails. Many visitors come specifically to see the Monastery’s historic church, which the founding monks built themselves, and are invited to worship and pray with the monks in this awe-inspiring Norman-Gothic cathedral. Groups are encouraged to make reservations. The Monastery is open to visitors year-round, but the best times to visit are in the spring and fall. The Web site for The Monastery of the Holy Spirit provides directions and a schedule of events, which mainly revolve around worship, with special concerts from time to time. “The Monastery is not the typical type of place where you come for activities,” Brother Callistus emphasizes. “It’s more of a learning experience for people, something that came right out of the history books and medieval days.” For more information, call 770-483-8705 or visit N

50 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTOS: Monastery of the Holy Spirit Archive

A Peaceful Retreat

Newcomer Magazine Atlanta | June/July 2011

Newcomer Magazine Atlanta | June/July 2011