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Relocation, Lifestyle & Living in Atlanta

December/January 2013


Holidarygsia in Gteatoe’s Best The S rations Celeb p.34

Atlanta’s Hottest EVENTS IN 2013

From Holiday Happenings to Summer Festivals, We’ve Got Your Year Covered Hotel Dining at its Finest

Shop Til You Drop!

Does Class Size Matter?

Six Great Restaurants to Check Out

Atlanta’s Best Places for Shopping

Finding the Right Mix

December/January CONTENTS FEATURES The City’s Best Shopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Atlanta’s Hottest Happenings in 2013 . . . . . . . . 26

Whether you’re looking for home furnishings or simply way behind on your holiday shopping, the metro Atlanta area offers a multitude of options.

How important is classroom size to your child’s education? Atlanta-area educators offer their perspective on the debate.

There’s always something exciting going on in your new city, with parties, parades and outdoor festivals galore. Mark your calendar for these can’tmiss annual events for 2013.

Does Class Size Matter? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Georgia Holiday Celebrations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Looking to get away during the holidays? Check out these festive events around the state, from light displays to excursions into yesteryear.



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

Dining Out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

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

Hotel restaurants aren’t just for hungry travelers. Here are six that are considered to be among the city’s best eateries.

Homes & Communities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 With a growing business community, affordable housing and peaceful neighborhoods, the busy South Fulton region is a convenient alternative to city living.

Neighborhood Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 College Park offers the best of both worlds, with a charming, small-town vibe and convenient access to the airport and downtown Atlanta.

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

Upcoming Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Get caught up on the best exhibitions, theatrical productions, special events and holiday attractions across the metro area.

School Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Arlington Christian School strives to cultivate well-rounded young men

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

and women with rigorous academics and a commitment to students’ spiritual development.

A holiday tradition for more than 50 years, the Macy’s Pink Pig whisks children and adults away through a storybook world.

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

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PHOTOS: Lenox Square Mall: Simon Property Group; Magical Night of Lights: Jekyll Island Authority


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

let it

PHOTO: Courtesy of Ruby Falls

You don’t have to travel all the way to the North Pole to add a little winter scenery to your holiday season. Not when Ruby Falls, just two hours from Atlanta, offers freshly fallen snow, horse-drawn carriages and more during Ruby Red Christmas. Each Friday and Saturday night in December, take a specialized Christmas tour of the Cavern Castle, enjoy live acoustic music, mingle with colorful costumed characters and make arts and crafts with Mrs. Claus. For more information, call 423821-2544 or visit

Let There Be Light

PHOTO: Joey Ivansco


Need to get into the spirit of the season? Even Ebenezer Scrooge’s heart would be gladdened by the dazzling spectacle of color on display at Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. More than 1.5 million lights transform the garden’s 30 acres into a giant kaleidoscope of color. Meet Lumina the Light Sprite and take in such spectacular sights as the Cascade Garden’s Liquid Lights display. The display runs through Jan. 5, 2013. For more information, call 404-876-5859 or visit

All Aboard! Ever wondered where snow comes from, or what exactly makes the sky so blue? Then hop aboard Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Kicks Up A Storm at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. Whether you’re a would-be meteorologist or simply curious, you’ll be immersed in this informative and engaging exhibit, which explores how weather is created, experienced and measured. Through Jan. 27, 2013, at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. For more information, call 404-659-5437 or visit 8 | Newcomer Magazine |

Congratulations to the Atlanta International School, whose Adair Art, Science and Design Center recently received a prestigious LEED Silver Rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Adair Center, which opened at the start of the 20092010 school year, includes spacious classroom lofts, state-of-the-art labs, a greenhouse and exhibit space, among other features. For more information, visit

PHOTO: Atlanta International School

PHOTO: Courtesy of Jeff Roffman Photography

It’s Easy Being Green

infocus A Monster of a Show

PHOTO: Courtesy of Terrific Thursdays

Based on the now-classic 1991 film, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is enshrined in history as one of the top 10 longest-running shows in Broadway history. Witness the magic for yourself as the national touring production returns to Atlanta following last year’s sold-out run. Can Belle teach the Beast to love and be loved and break his curse? Experience the romance and enchantment of this lavish Tony Award-winning musical. Through Dec. 2 at the Fox Theatre. For tickets, call 855-285-8499 or visit

When doing your holiday shopping, it only makes sense to frequent the same stores Santa does. Well, we happen to know the jolly old elf likes to check out the bargains at Terrific Thursdays. Find great deals while strolling among Decatur’s best shops, galleries and eateries. Bring the kids to chat with Santa, and don’t miss the bonfire and marshmallow roast on Dec. 13. Terrific Thursdays takes place every Thursday throughout December. To keep up on all the goings-on, visit

Run With Santa! Okay, so jolly old St. Nick probably won’t be changing into his jogging sweats at the fourth annual Bedford Dasher 5K run/walk. But he will be on hand to take photos with the kids at this popular event, a fundraiser for the Bedford School for children with learning differences. There’s also a 200-meter Elf Run for children 8 and under. Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Bedford School in Fairburn. For more information, call 770-774-8001 or visit

Out of the Blue

Photo: ©Paul Kolnik

PHOTO: Joan Marcus

Deck the Halls in Decatur

At once an imaginative, family-friendly spectacle and a winking commentary on some of our societal obsessions and practices, a Blue Man Group performance is a visually arresting mix of contradictions. The grease-painted trio stays silent throughout, instead expressing their amazement and fascination with our world with expressive faces and an array of hypnotic percussion, rock music and some splashing paint. You’ll definitely come away entertained—if a little confused. Jan. 15-20, 2013, at the Fox Theatre. For tickets, call 855-285-8499 or visit | Newcomer Magazine | 9

Phipps Plaza.


Places for Shopping

10 Great Malls, Neighborhoods and Outlets Moving to a new city can be a costly process, especially when you finish unpacking all your boxes and realize you’re in dire need of kitchen cookware or a new wardrobe. Whether you’re looking for home furnishings to complete the look of your new nest or you’re simply way behind on your holiday shopping, the metro Atlanta area offers a bevy of shopping options. From quality shopping malls to neighborhoods known for their ritzy boutiques, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for. 10 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Simon Property Group

by Cady Schulman

TOP: A treatment room for couples at the Spa at Chateau Elan. BOTTOM: (left) A pedicure at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, Buckhead; (right) The Spa at Four Seasons Midtown.


TOP: North Georgia Premium Outlets. BOTTOM (Left): The Cobb Galleria Centre; (Right) Lenox Square Mall. CENTER: Mall of Georgia.

PHOTOS: (Top) North Georgia Premium Outlets, Dawsonville, Georgia; (Bottom Left) Cobb Convention & Visitors Bureau, (Bottom Right) Simon Property Group and (Center) Courtesy Mall of Georgia.

Cobb Galleria Centre Tucked inside the Cobb Galleria Centre, the Galleria Specialty Shops are a cluster of small, boutique retail stores running the gamut from jewelry to handbags, apparel and travel gear. Anna’s Place offers professional and casual clothing, while Affinity specializes in contemporary jewelry and home accessories and Design Faze Boutique showcases fashionable women’s clothing, handbags, jewelry and accessories. What’s more, Cumberland Mall, with such stores as Macy’s, Sears and H&M, is just across the street, accessible via a pedestrian sky bridge. 770-955-8000,

Lenox Square Mall Atlanta’s Lenox Square Mall is billed as the Southeast’s premium shopping destination, and it’s hard to argue with that claim, thanks to such high-end residents as Fendi, Burberry and Louis Vuitton. The mall is anchored by Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s, and houses

J. Crew. Looking for a diversion while enjoying a bite in the food court? Try the Akoo Pavilion, a unique experience that allows shoppers to control the programming of high-definition TVs with their mobile phones, with trivia games, concert tickets, entertainment and information on deals in the mall. 678482-8788, more than 200 other retailers and restaurants. 404-233-6767,

Mall of Georgia The largest mall in the state, the Mall of Georgia lives up to its name. This shopper’s paradise near Buford features three floors of shops in the main building and more than 225 across its sprawling complex, including anchor stores Macy’s, JC Penney, Belk, Dillard’s, Nordstrom and Dick’s Sporting Goods, as well as such names as Apple, Armani Exchange, Coach and

North Georgia Premium Outlets It’s hard to imagine not finding the perfect gift at North Georgia Premium Outlets. This outlet mall north of Atlanta in Dawsonville boasts 140 stores, making it a great one-stop destination for all your holiday shopping. The dozen restaurants in the food pavilion will help recharge your batteries. An on-site playground is a nice break for any kids in tow. There’s also stroller rental just in case your children can’t keep up with your super shopping trip. 706-216-3609, X | Newcomer Magazine | 11

TOP: The Virginia-Highland area offers lots of sidewalk shopping. CENTER: Atlantic Station.

Phipps Plaza

Tanger Outlets Located north of Atlanta off Interstate 85, this outlet destination offers great brands and low prices to shoppers from all over. Stores range from such premier brands as Calvin Klein, Brooks Brothers and Tommy Hilfiger to Sunglass Warehouse and the As Seen on TV Museum. There are also plenty of stores for picking out that special gift for younger members of the family, such as Carter’s and The Children’s Place. There’s plenty of walking to do here, but don’t worry; there are more than a dozen footwear shops to grab a new pair of sneakers, heels or maybe some work boots. 706-335-3354,

retail spaces, including Solomon Brothers Fine Jewelry. The Shops Around Lenox offer such names as Crate & Barrel, Bill Hallman and Fab’rik. Miami Circle, just off Piedmont Road, boasts an extensive selection of antiques, furnishings, appliances and fine art. www.

Little Five Points NEIGHBORHOODS Atlantic Station This live-work-play development in Midtown offers an engaging mix of retail shops in a pedestrian-friendly outdoor environment. Choose from high-profile shops including Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Bath & Body Works, H&M and Target. A sprawling IKEA store sits just a short drive down 17th Street. When you’re done shopping, relax at one of the many dining establishments, catch a flick at Regal Cinemas or enjoy special events including live music, outdoor movie screenings and more. 404-733-1221,

Buckhead There’s much more to this neighborhood than Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza, whether you’re looking for the outdoor clothing of Patagonia or upscale gifts at Peridot. The Tower Place complex offers a mix of offices, hotels and

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A favorite of college students and the young at heart, this vibrant, colorful neighborhood is great for off-the-beaten-path finds. Flip through vintage vinyl LP’s at Wax n’ Facts, browse CDs, comics and toys at Criminal Records or get lost among the clothing, accessories and gifts at Junkman’s Daughter. Check out the fun, funky footwear at Abbadabba’s or the trendy, cutting-edge clothing at Wish Atlanta.

Virginia-Highland The best way to experience the shopping choices this eclectic, walkable neighborhood has to offer is to stroll along its tree-lined streets, stopping in at various boutiques. Looking for a perfect holiday gift? Try Mitzi’s Corner, Festivity, Bill Hallman Original or Dakota J’s for clothing and accessories or the Indie-Pendent for handmade items, home decor and much more. And La Raine’s Bridal Boutique offers a variety of gowns, jewelry and alterations for your big day.

PHOTOS: (Top) © 2012, Kevin C. Rose/ and (Center) Courtesy of Atlantic Station

Located in gorgeous Buckhead, this upscale mall located across Peachtree Street from Lenox Square Mall is more than just a shopping mall; it’s an experience. Big-name tenants include Belk, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Versace and Tiffany and Co. No matter how stressed you get trying to track down gifts for family and friends, you’re likely to find yourself impressed and soothed by the décor, including marble floors, glass elevators and a grand staircase. No trip to Phipps is complete without a stop at LEGOLAND Discovery Center, where every visitor, no matter their age, is a kid again. 404-262-0992, | Newcomer Magazine | 13




SOUTHFULTON Small-Town Atmosphere and Big-City Convenience by Muriel Vega

The area collectively known as South Fulton is found in the bottommost part of Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia. This 125,000acre stretch, separated from the northern part of the county by the city of Atlanta, enjoys its own specific identity. And these days, South Fulton—which includes southwest Atlanta and the cities of Chattahoochee Hills, College Park, East Point, Fairburn, Hapeville, Palmetto and Union City, as well as the unincorporated parts of this half of the county—is experiencing a resurgence. 14 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTOS: (Top Left) Courtesy of Chick-fil-A and (Bottom) Courtesy of Woodward Academy

TOP: (Left) The original Chick-fil-A Dwarf House in Hapeville; (Right) Walton Lakes is an intimate, affordable apartment community in southwest Atlanta. BOTTOM: Woodward Academy in College Park is the largest independent day school in the continental United States.


ome to several renowned businesses and the world’s busiest airport, the region is also a beneficiary of Georgia’s aggressive push to lure the entertainment industry to the state. And its alluring neighborhoods, appealing education options and convenient access to Atlanta are making the area a natural fit for businesses and residents.

Community Living South Fulton’s more than 87,500 inhabitants, who take home an average household income of $69,765, according to the South Fulton Chamber of Commerce, enjoy affordable housing options that are convenient to both schools and downtown Atlanta. “Housing in the area is very attractive,” says Dyan Matthews, president of the South Fulton Chamber of Commerce. “You still get a lot for your money.” New homes at Oakley Township in Union City range from the $100,000s to the low

Retail shoppers can visit Camp Creek Marketplace, with more than 100 shops and restaurants, and Greenbriar Mall. $200,000s. Two- and three-story homes at the Parks at Cedar Grove in Fairburn start in the $170,000s. Throughout South Fulton, areas like College Park, Fairburn and Hapeville sport a peaceful, small-town feel with walkable neighborhoods and a live-work-play environment. Colorful neighborhoods like Historic College Park, filled with tree-lined streets and historic homes, and

Cascade, an affluent community in southwest Atlanta, add to the area’s appeal. Serenbe, a 1,000-acre sustainable-living community in Chattahoochee Hills, features quaint townhouses and cottage-style homes, shops and businesses. And Walton Lakes, a gated apartment community near Camp Creek Parkway, offers its own intimate environment with a cozy “Main Street” feel. Those homes and neighborhoods are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to quality of life, says Fulton County Commissioner William “Bill” Edwards. “There’s no traffic congestion, an exorbitant amount of green space, a lower crime rate compared to other metro cities and counties, and [low] home costs.”

Education and Business All public schools in South Fulton are operated by the Fulton County School System, one of the oldest school districts in Georgia. The county also hosts a variety of independent and charter | Newcomer Magazine | 15

TOP: The Georgia International Convention Center. BOTTOM: (Left) The Georgia Soccer Park in East Point; (Right) a house and swimming pool at Serenbe.

schools. Woodward Academy, in College Park, is the largest independent school in the continental United States. Business is growing in South Fulton, thanks in no small part to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, consistently recognized as the world’s busiest since 1998. The airport, which straddles Fulton and Clayton counties, is a principal part of the area’s economy. “The trend is to build more activity and density around airports,” says Barbra Coffee, economic development director for College Park. “No longer will you see airports sitting out there all by themselves. The activity is coming in and around them.” Hartsfield-Jackson is connected to the Georgia International Convention Center, the state’s second-largest convention facility, and the Gateway Center office and hotel development, via the ATL Sky Train.

South Fulton’s alluring neighborhoods, education and access to Atlanta make it a natural fit for businesses and residents. The area is also a major shipping and transit hub, with easy access to Interstates 20, 75, 85 and 285 and a CSX Intermodal Terminal in Fair-

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burn. South Fulton enjoys service from MARTA, Atlanta’s speed rail train, throughout much of the area. “The exciting thing about South Fulton is that we have total access to Interstate highways, the airport and rail,” says Edwards. “That’s attractive to people coming into the area, especially businesses, because those are three things that they use to move their goods and products.” In fact, many prominent businesses call the area home. Hapeville is home to the corporate headquarters of Delta Air Lines and a Wells Fargo processing center. In July 2012, Porsche Cars North America purchased 56.2 acres for the site of its new U.S. headquarters. The former Ford Motor Company site is being redeveloped as Aerotropolis, a 130-acre mixed-use development with office and retail space, restaurants and a hotel. In 2009, the city launched a wire-

less network to promote tourism and economic development. In East Point, plans are underway to transform Fort McPherson, a former U.S. Army base, into a development that would include the Georgia Science and Technology Park, a research center similar to North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. Union City is home to a manufacturing facility for the biotechnology company Dendreon, while Palmetto hosts the Community Medical Center and a new Lowe’s distribution center. The recently renovated Palmetto Train Depot offers a banquet room and meeting space and aims to open a history museum next year. Retail shoppers can visit Camp Creek Marketplace, with more than 100 shops and restaurants, and Greenbriar Mall, which features more than 75 stores and vendors. Last but not least, South Fulton is home to an EUE/Screen Gems Studios facility and Tyler Perry Studios, and numerous film and television productions have filmed in the area.

Arts and Entertainment South Fulton hosts many things to see and do year-round. The Taste of East Point festival serves up food and art on the first Saturday in

May, while the Georgia Renaissance Festival brings thousands of visitors to Fairburn each year for jousting, live music and other medieval sights and sounds. The area is home to two outdoor music venues, Wolf Creek Amphitheater and Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood. The Southwest Arts Center in Cascade features classrooms, exhibits and a performance theater. Downtown Hapeville boasts a unique public art program, consisting of giant butterflies painted by local students and artists. The Hapeville Arts Alliance encourages a vibrant arts community in the city. The Hapeville Depot Museum features exhibits, railroad and aircraft artifacts and archives from the 1800s. In East Point, Georgia Soccer Park provides playing fields for youth and adult recreation leagues, while the Dick Lane Velodrome is one of the premier bicycle racing facilities in the nation. The Cochran Mill Nature Center in Palmetto features wildlife exhibits and hiking trails. Whether you’re a young professional or moving with your family, South Fulton has something to offer everyone, with great education, affordable housing, a growing economy, a relaxing community atmosphere and easy access to Atlanta.

ESSENTIAL INFO South Fulton Chattahoochee Hills College Park East Point Fairburn Hapeville Palmetto Union City South Fulton Chamber of Commerce Fulton County Schools Woodward Academy Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Georgia International Convention Center || Newcomer Newcomer Magazine Magazine || 17 17


e Park Arts Festiva

spotlight College Park by Muriel Vega

PHOTOS: Courtesy of the City of College Park


ollege Park serves as a gateway to Atlanta, thanks to its proximity to both Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and downtown Atlanta. Home to the corporate headquarters of Chick-fil-A, it’s also a growing community with lots of small-town charm, beautiful historic homes and a walkable Main Street.

Historic College Park Arts Festival


Culinary Treats

The Historic College Park neighborhood features many historic homes, ranging from around $50,000 to more than $400,000. Cooks Landing (770-719-1616) is a safe, family-friendly subdivision right off Camp Creek Parkway with more than 300 homes in the low $80,000 range, a pool and a very active homeowners association. The Rugby Valley Apartments (404-209-9600) offer five different floor plans with European-style kitchens and private patios, as well as private tennis courts and a swimming pool.

Head to Our Place Bakery (404-767-3181) for Southern favorites like fried chicken, smothered pork chops and delicious sides—as well as a wine and jazz bar. Barbecue Kitchen (404-766-9906) specializes in breakfast along with barbecue staples, jalapeno cornbread and homemade peach cobbler. The Manchester Arms (404-763-9980) is the spot for British pub fare like fish and chips. The Brake Pad (404-766-1515) serves up satisfying burgers and sandwiches on a breezy patio. The Pecan (404-762-8444) offers a blend of classic and contemporary Southern style and cuisine. The Feed Store (404-209-7979), housed in an actual former feed store, presents a fine-dining take on classic Southern and New American cuisine. Simon’s Steak and Seafood (404-7680143) is a go-to spot for, well, hand-cut steaks and seafood, as well as ribs, chicken and pasta. Noodle (404-767-5155) delivers Pan-Asian cuisine in a fun, retro setting.

Local Treasures

Georgia International Convention Center

The heart of College Park is located on Main Street and Virginia Avenue, with businesses, restaurants and shops lining the streets. The College Park Go Bus, a free transportation initiative, connects residents and visitors to hotels, the airport and restaurants with two routes between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each weekday. The Georgia International Convention Center (770-997-3566) is connected to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport by the ATL Sky Train, making it a hub for major conventions and meetings. The city is also home to Woodward Academy (404-7654000), the largest independent college-preparatory school in the continental United States. The College Park Woman’s Club (404-767-7212) provides a stylish setting for meetings, receptions and special events. Historic College Park Home

The Pecan

The Inside Track College Park boasts the fourth-largest urban historic district in Georgia, with 867 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Arts and Entertainment Sponsored by the local Neighborhood Association, the Historic College Park Arts Festival arrives each fall with a t-shirt design contest, a silent auction, a children’s parade, arts and food vendors and more. The College Park Municipal Golf Course (404-761-0731) is a nine-hole course with no tee times and extremely reasonable rates. N

Newnan, Georgia Experience the Newnan Advantage A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE, WORK, STAY AND INVEST

Ĵ Offering an abundance of existing commercial and retail space, and nationally recognized brands. Ĵ A bustling historic downtown, quaint neighborhoods, rich amenities all within small town charm. Ĵ Close proximity to metro Atlanta and the world’s busiest airport (AHJ International Airport). Ĵ State of the art healthcare facilities. Ĵ Development opportunities available. To learn more about the City of Newnan or for help starting, relocating or expanding a business here, call

770-253-8283 | Newcomer Magazine | 19




Classroom size Can Fewer Students Improve Your Child’s Learning? by Susan Flowers

The role of class size in student success has been a source of debate among educators for years. And in the wake of a 2010 Georgia Board of Education decision lifting limits on class sizes, it continues to be a topic of discussion for teachers and administrators.

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he debate has been raging since at least the 1980s, when Tennessee launched Project STAR (Student-Teacher Achievement Ratio), a large-scale study of the effects of reduced class size on children from kindergarten through third grade. The study concluded that smaller classes of around 15 children resulted in “substantial improvement” in student learning. At many of Atlanta’s independent schools, small classes are seen as drivers of achievement. This is in part because smaller classes allow teachers to genuinely understand and connect with their students, says Diane Stinger, assistant principal at the Atlanta Academy. “When there are fewer kids in the class, the teacher has the opportunity to really get to know the kids,” she says. “They know the students and the families and their pets and everything. It’s a great learning environment.” Classes at Atlanta Academy average around 13 students, and Stinger says this size is ideal for the school’s workshop-style lessons, allowing students to learn independently. Deborah Marshall, director of institutional advancement at Brandon Hall, agrees that a less-crowded classroom leads to better outcomes for young learners.

“It helps the teacher because she can teach and not just manage the class.” —Betsy Box, The Bedford School

“It allows the teacher to spend one-on-one time with the student, to help them with lessons and problems they’re having with that lesson,” she says, noting that teachers are able to give “more time to the student.

Brandon Hall’s student/teacher ratio of three to one, with classes ranging from as few as one student to a maximum of eight, also fosters an atmosphere that encourages participation, says Marshall. “If there’s a student who’s on the quiet side, that student has more of a chance to speak out,” she says. “The kids have to be prepared because they will be participating. [In a large class] if you didn’t want to raise your hand and be called on, you didn’t have to. There’s accountability, and that’s a life lesson, too.”

Customized Learning At the Galloway School, small classes are the rule at every level, from 3-year-olds to 12thgraders. Admissions Director Polly Williams says that having fewer students allows for a more customized learning style. “We can’t individualize the curriculum, but we can personalize it to some extent,” she says. “If a student needs a more accelerated program in a particular subject or they are very interested in a particular topic, then we can develop that for them.” Maximizing teacher attention is a definite benefit for students with special needs. At the Bedford School, which focuses on learning disabilities for children in grades one through nine, | Newcomer Magazine | 21

classes have no more than 12 students, with an overall student/ teacher ratio of eight to one. “We use small classes because our students need the individualized attention,� says founder and director Betsy Box, adding that smaller class sizes cut down on distractibility and discipline issues. “It helps the teacher because she can teach and not just manage the class,� she says. “In a small class, children are more willing to volunteer or take a risk. They’re not as worried about getting laughed at. In a small class, they feel more confident and are more willing to risk being wrong.� Approaching the issue from a different angle is Montessori. The Montessori philosophy calls for grouping students of varying ages according to their windows of development. Montessori deliberately fosters larger classes of around 25-30 students, with 25 considered the target number.

Atlanta. Throughout the Montessori experience, student/ teacher ratios are kept low, with one teacher for every three to six students, and students receive a great deal of one-on-one attention at every turn. “Our philosophy is built upon following the child and delivering the lesson in ways that are meaningful to each child and would meet academic needs,� she says.

Infinity and Beyond Since the Georgia Board of Education voted to remove limits on class sizes due to a budget crisis brought on by the struggling economy, “there really aren’t [mandated] class sizes anymore,� says Thomas Van Soelen, associate superintendent for City Schools of Decatur. “Each school gets to decide.� Van Soelen cautions that concentrating too much on classroom size instead of other factors misses the bigger picture.

“It’s the teacher that makes the difference.� —Thomas Van Soelen, City Schools of Decatur

But a focus solely on the system’s class size is misleading, says Ernestine Morgan, admissions coordinator at First Montessori School of



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22 | Newcomer MagazineMagazine | PCA_Ad_Newcomer Oct 2.375� x 4.812�

But he’s quick to point out that City Schools of Decatur, which operates nine charter schools, works to keep its classes smaller than the law previously mandated. “Our charter actually says that our class size can go to the state maximum, and then add two,” he says of the system. “So technically, our

class size is infinity. And since we can go plus two it’s sort of like Buzz Lightyear: infinity and beyond. But that doesn’t mean we’re there.” The system’s average first-grade class is 21 students, below the previous state maximum of 23. The average fourth-grade class has 25 students, and the sixth-grade average is 21, below the previous limit of 28 for grades four to eight. In high school, sizes are broken down more by content than by grade level: the system’s social studies classes, for example, average around 25 students. At Marietta City Schools, the average elementary classroom contains 20 students, while the average secondary school class contains 25, according to Director of Communications Thomas Algarin. Ultimately, Van Soelen says, the number of students in the class isn’t as important as who’s leading that class. “We believe it’s important to point out that teacher quality is more important than class size,” he says, adding that City Schools of Decatur focuses its priorities more on improving the skills of its educators than on reducing the number of students in a given class. “It’s the teacher,” he says, “that makes the difference.”

KNOW YOUR TERMS School literature on class size may contain some confusing terminology. Be aware of these common terms.

WHAT IS A SMALL CLASS? Research has shown that classes of less than 20 students can greatly affect student achievement.

WHAT IS AVERAGE CLASS SIZE? This is the number of students in classes divided by the number of classes.

WHAT IS TEACHER-STUDENT RATIO? This comes from dividing the number of a school’s teachers by the total number of students. A school’s teacher-student ratio is not the same as its average class size. | Newcomer Magazine | 23

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Arlington Christian School


Arlington Christian School Developing Mind, Body and Spirit by Susan Flowers


t Arlington Christian School, faculty and staff work to develop children academically, spiritually and socially. With a mission statement dedicated to helping children grow “in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man,” the 53-year-old institution strives to cultivate well-rounded young men and women with a rigorous college-prep program, a range of extracurricular activities and a strong commitment to spiritual development and community service. The strength of Arlington’s academic program can be seen in its results, says Dr. Gary Kirkendall, the school’s president. “Our graduates are 100 percent college-accepted and have been for several years,” he says. “Fifteen percent of our graduating class this year scored over 2,000 on their SATs.” Kirkendall notes with pride that the school has seen five graduates move on to military academies in recent years, including three in 2012. Two students will attend the Air Force Academy this fall, and one has been accepted to the Naval Academy. Those achievements can be credited in part to the teaching staff—“More than half of our faculty has more than 15 years of teaching experience,” Kirkendall says—and to Arlington’s advanced placement college programs. The school also offers a firm grounding in the arts, with classes in painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, graphic design, music and theater arts, among others. Several recent graduates have gone on to attend the renowned Savannah College of Art and Design, Kirkendall says. Arlington Christian’s Athletics Department has developed a reputation for success with its girls’ basketball team. Led by former University of Georgia and WNBA player Lady Harmon Grooms, the Lady Eagles won their fourth consecutive Georgia Independent School Association state championship earlier this year.

24 | Newcomer Magazine |

The school also offers football, baseball, softball, track and field, cross country, soccer, swimming, tennis, volleyball and cheerleading. Nine members of the 2012 graduating class signed collegiate athletic scholarships. Arlington Christian fosters spiritual development with daily Bible classes, chapel and programs including Rachel’s Challenge, which focuses on treating people the way they should be treated. The school adheres to such a strong honor code that there are no locks on students’ lockers. Each high school student attends a spiritual retreat in the fall, and students are also able to undertake mission trips to locations including Central America. Service is emphasized domestically, as well. “We’re helping them to see that they need to be givers and not just takers,” says Kirkendall. Located in Fairburn, Ga., Arlington is open to children from kindergarten through grade 12, and attracts a diverse student body that reflects the world its students live in. “One of the things that makes Arlington special is that it really does reflect the demographics of the Southern Crescent area,” Kirkendall says, noting that 50.4 percent of the school’s students are African-American, 43 percent are Caucasian, and the rest are Asian or Hispanic. That diversity, he says, is what attracts “a lot of our students here. Parents want their kids to have that Christian education. But they don’t want it in a bubble.” N

The Specifics Grades: K-12 Student/Teacher Ratio: 9:1 Tuition: $6,650 - $10,200 Location: Fairburn

Contact: 4500 Ridge Road, Fairburn, GA 30213 770-964-9871 Web:

Touch. Smell. Taste. Hear. See.

Come See What Other Families Have Discovered


Come see us

We strive to help children reach their highest potential, while developing a life-long love of learning in a warm and nurturing environment where students matter most.

Open House Sunday, January 27, 2013 Early Years Festival Saturday, March 2, 2013

t Private non-parochial Preschool, Elementary and Middle Grades t Challenging Hands On Academics tSACS, GAC and NAEYC accredited Open House: Dec. 12, 9:30-10:30 a.m.; Jan. 12, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

IB World School | Preschool – eighth grade

Roswell, Georgia | 770.993.2940 |

Learn More, visit 5368 McGinnis Ferry Road, AlpharFUUB ("t770-664-7764 | Newcomer Magazine | 25 HMS12-EarlyYears-Newcomer-QtrPg.indd 1

11/1/12 10:06 PM


BIGGEST E V E N T S A Month-By-Month Guide to Atlanta’s Hottest Happenings By Kevin Forest Moreau

Congratulations! You’re finally settled in your new city, and now you’re wondering what there is to do around here. No problem—we’re here to help. On the pages that follow, we’ve outlined the upcoming year’s most important events to mark on your calendar, from New Year’s Eve celebrations to Fourth of July fireworks, the city’s biggest festivals and more holiday happenings than you can fit under the tree. (Dates are subject to change. Where no official 2013 dates are listed, please check attraction and event websites for updates.)

26 | Newcomer Magazine |

Ring in the New Year at the Peach Drop.

The Dare Devil Dive at Six Flags Over Georgia.

PHOTOS: (Top Left) : John E. Ramspott, (Bottom Right) Stone Mountain Park and (Bottom Center) AF&WF/Raftermen Photography

Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park.



There’s no better way to dive into your new city than to ring in the New Year at the Peach Drop. Live music fills the Underground Atlanta shopping district as thousands of revelers wait for a sparkling, 800-pound peach to begin its 138-foot descent. The event is capped off by a visually dazzling fireworks display. More than 100,000 people attended last year’s celebration. If you’re a football fanatic, you might prefer to spend the evening with The Atlanta Food and Wine Festival. several thousand other fans watching teams from the ACC and the SEC do battle in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, held every New Year’s Eve in the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta.

Every Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, Georgia’s official weather prognosticator, General Beau Lee, emerges from his home at the Yellow River Game Ranch to predict the coming of spring.

JANUARY The third Monday in January is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which many locals observe at the Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church on historic Auburn Avenue.

MARCH Six Flags Over Georgia celebrates its 46th anniversary this year with two new attractions: the 24-story SkyScreamer and the Typhoon Twister. Fans of independent movies, from low-budget horror flicks to award-winning dramas and documentaries, won’t want to miss the Atlanta Film Festival, held March 15-24 at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema. Don your best leprechaun costume, dance to authentic Irish music, watch traditional Irish dancers strut their stuff and wash down your bangers and mash with some green beer as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade makes its annual trek through downtown Atlanta, rolling down Peachtree Street from Ralph McGill to Woodruff Park. March 16. | Newcomer Magazine | 27

Race fans flock to Atlanta Motor Speedway for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series excitement.

The Peachtree Road Race.



Looking to erase the sting of their abrupt exit from the playoffs last October, the Atlanta Braves will host the Philadelphia Phillies on Opening Day of the 2013 season at Turner Field on April 1. The Masters Golf Tournament, one of the sport’s major championships, tees off April 8-14 at the Augusta National Golf Club, less than three hours from Atlanta. Enjoy two of the city’s biggest outdoor events back-to-back. First, the 77th annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival fills Piedmont Park with music, food, children’s entertainment, a disc dog tournament and hundreds of artists. April 19-21. The following weekend, the 42nd annual Inman Park Festival showcases one of Atlanta’s oldest and most scenic neighborhoods with three days of music, food, a parade, arts, crafts, children’s activities and a tour of some of the area’s nicest homes. April 26-28.

Each year, Memorial Day weekend brings local, national and international jazz artists to Piedmont Park for the three-day Atlanta Jazz Festival. The festival also celebrates “31 Days of Jazz” each May with daily jazz performances and various events around town. May 25-27.

28 | Newcomer Magazine |

JULY Dedicated to showcasing artists of African descent from the United States, Latin America, Africa and beyond, the National Black Arts Festival is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary with a stirring lineup of dance, theater, visual arts, music, literature, film and performance art.

FOURTH OF JULY The Peachtree Road Race is an Atlanta institution billed as the world’s largest 10K race. Thousands of spectators camp out to enjoy live music and cheer on the runners. The Legendary 4th of July at Lenox Square Mall is Atlanta’s premier Independence Day celebration. Revelers fill the area around this busy Buckhead shopping mall for an evening of live music, food and the Southeast’s largest fireworks display.

PHOTOS: (Top Left) James Reynolds, (TopRight) Atlanta Motor Speedway Track Photographer and (Center) © 2012, James Duckworth/

MAY The Decatur Arts Festival features more than 150 artists selected in a competitive jury process, as well as theater and literary arts, dance, performing arts, a fine arts exhibit, areas for kids and teens and a silent auction. The Atlanta Food and Wine Festival showcases award-winning chefs, mixologists and local growers with a weekend of cooking and cocktail classes, tastings, seminars, dinners, discussions and more. May 30-June 2.

JUNE This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Virginia-Highland Summerfest, a two-day outdoor festival along treelined Virginia Avenue in the VirginiaHighland neighborhood. Expect live music, food, a juried artist’s market, a 5K race, children’s activities and more.

Centennial Olympic Park hosts its own 4th of July Celebration with free music and fireworks. And the Fantastic Fourth Celebration at Stone Mountain Park includes the park’s breathtaking Lasershow Spectacular.

AUGUST Bask in the last days of summer beneath beautiful, century-old trees at the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival. The weekend event features art, live music, a 5K, children’s entertainment and a fine food and wine event. Celebrate the start of college football season with the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff, as the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Virginia Tech Hokies do battle at the Georgia Dome on Aug. 31.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND The Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons.

Whether you’re a fan of science fiction, fantasy and popular culture or just want to do some serious people-watching, Dragon*Con is the place to be. Don’t miss the parade on Saturday morning. Billed as the nation’s largest independent book festival, the Decatur Book Festival fills the downtown Decatur square with book signings, readings, writing workshops, food, panel discussions and much more. If you love classic cars, corn dogs, vintage flicks and drive-in movie theaters, then you’ll want to park yourself at the Starlight Six Drive-In for Drive Invasion. This retro weekend features live rock bands all day and cult movies all night. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the fifth straight year, with a weekend full of events leading up to the big race on Sunday, Sept. 1.


Family fun at the Yellow Daisy Festival.

Early September ushers in the start of the NFL season, with the Atlanta Falcons charging into the Georgia Dome. Browse the works of more than 400 artists and crafters at the Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain Park while enjoying great food, shopping, children’s activities and demonstrations of everything from crafts to clogging. On the second weekend after Labor Day, the Atlanta Arts Festival fills Piedmont Park with fine artists working in mixed media, photography, jewelry, paint and more. The two-day festival features artist demonstrations, classes, food and live music, as well.

PHOTOS: (Top) © 2012, Kevin C. Rose/; (Center and Bottom ) Courtesy Taste of Atlanta


Have a mouth-watering good time at Taste of Atlanta.

In nearby Helen, Ga., the month of October is synonymous with the town’s signature celebration, Oktoberfest (which actually begins in late September). This authentic replica of an Alpine village comes alive with German cuisine, music and dancing. Experience the sights, sounds, traditions and flavors of Greece at the Atlanta Greek Festival. Taste of Atlanta, the city’s premier food and drink festival, marks its 12th anniversary in 2013 with demonstrations, competitions and seminars featuring the area’s top chefs, bartenders and farmers—and, of course, lots of great food and drink vendors. Every weekend in October, the Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain celebrates the colors and traditions of fall with such activities as a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt, a pie-eating contest, a costume party, storytelling and more. The Atlanta Pride Festival features live music, a parade, a dance party and more. Oct. 12-13 at Piedmont Park. X | Newcomer Magazine | 29

Out on Film, one of the oldest gay and lesbian film festivals in the country, turns 26 in 2013 and programs special events throughout the year. And in late October, the Atlanta Hawks take flight at Philips Arena as the 2013-2014 NBA season gets underway.

HALLOWEEN The Atlanta Botanical Garden gets into the Halloween spirit all month long. The weekly Fest-of-Ale combines seasonal brews and live music, local chefs compete in a pumpkincarving contest, and Scarecrows in the Garden features more than 100 scarecrows handcrafted by local businesses, schools and organizations. Zoo Atlanta’s Boo at the Zoo offers such family-friendly fun as a corn maze, a costume contest and, of course, the chance to view the zoo’s many exotic animals, usually over the last two weekends of the month. The Little Five Points Halloween Parade brings an invasion of colorful costumes and live music to the quirky Little Five Points neighborhood. Netherworld Haunted House, one of the nation’s top haunted-house attractions, features

live actors, visually stunning special effects and gruesome creatures that may not be appropriate for pre-teens and younger fright-seekers.

NOVEMBER The first Saturday in November brings the Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens, featuring thoroughbred horse races, bagpipers, a hat contest and plenty of children’s activities. Nov. 3. Also on the first Saturday of the month, the Decatur Wine Festival takes over the historic square in downtown Decatur. Enjoy food from local restaurants, live entertainment and more than 500 domestic and international wine selections at metro Atlanta’s largest outdoor wine festival.

DECEMBER In addition to hosting the Chick-fil-A Bowl and the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff, the Georgia Dome is also the site of the SEC Football Championship each December. Teams from the Eastern and Western divisions of the South eastern Conference face off to decide the reigning champion of the most powerful organization in college football.

HOLIDAY EVENTS Get into the spirit of the season with Atlanta’s definitive version of A Christmas Carol, staged by the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre. It’s not Christmas in Atlanta until you’ve taken in a performance of the Atlanta %DOOHWnV Nutcracker at the Fox Theatre. Holiday in Lights transforms Centennial Olympic Park into a wonderland made up of thousands of lights. The park also features an outdoor ice-skating rink. The Lighting of Atlantic Station is an all-day celebration with live music, children’s crafts and other activities at this open-air shopping district. Stone Mountain Christmas features live shows, storytelling, a Wonderland Walkway, the Polar Express 4-D Experience and much more. There’s also Snow Mountain, with snowman building, tubing and other fun activities.


30 | Newcomer Magazine |


Atlanta Grill at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta.


Great Atlanta Restaurants

Hotel Dining Spots Worth Checking Out One of the first things you’re likely to want to investigate about your new city is its cuisine. And no tour of Atlanta’s restaurant scene is complete without a stop at these six destinations, each situated in an upscale hotel. Whether you’re just checking out the menu or checking in for an overnight stay (so you can follow up a calorie splurge with a quick elevator commute to a guestroom or suite), each of these spots offers the makings for a delicious memory. X 31 | Newcomer Magazine | | Newcomer Magazine | 31

PHOTO: Ron Starr

By Hope S. Philbrick

The Sun Dial Restaurant in the Westin Peachtree Plaza offers one of the best views of the city.

The cornmeal-crusted catfish sandwich at Southern Art.

Atlanta Grill at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta, Downtown

Park 75 at the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta

404-659-0400, Attention to detail is the theme at this warm and stylish Southern steakhouse. From the swanky décor to the spectacular service to the garnishes adorning each glass and plate, nothing escapes notice at Atlanta Grill. Dine indoors in a club-like setting or opt for seasonal outdoor dining on the veranda overlooking Peachtree Street. Start with a gorgeous cocktail inspired by the framed artwork, then peruse the scrumptious menu of grilled steaks, chops and seafood with Southern-inspired accompaniments. Chef Brian Jones grew up cooking alongside his grandmother and aunts, and brings that heritage to menus that brim with varieties of local and regional produce.

404-253-3840, Fantastic without fuss, Park 75 is fine dining without formality. The menu is flexible: Choose any number of hot or cold dishes (starting at $5) to build your own small or multi-course meal. Opt for casual comforts like short rib grilled cheese or BLT sliders, house-made presentations like charcuterie or citrus-grilled tuna steaks or inspired innovations like red velvet pancakes or red pea succotash. Every bite impresses. Servers are well educated about wine and can suggest pairings from a list that is primarily American with an emphasis on red varietals and boutique labels.

Restaurant Eleven at Loews Atlanta Hotel 404-745-5745, Classic Mediterranean dishes get a contemporary Southern twist at Eleven—so, for example, the porcini mushroom risotto has some smoked tomato cream, the butternut squash veloute boasts crumbled spice pralines and the “Farmer Dan” apple salad features crumbled Blue Mountain smoked trout. Chef Olivier Gaupin finds inspiration in local, seasonal ingredients and sources top-quality meats, fish and produce. A native of France, he visited the U.S. on a three-week vacation and has stayed for 16 years. Sit back, relax and enjoy the friendly, efficient service while surrounded by sleek décor warmed with natural woods. 32 | Newcomer Magazine |

Southern Art and Bourbon Bar at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta 404-946-9070, For 10 years, Chef Art Smith was the personal chef to Oprah Winfrey, and he continues to coordinate and cook for the headline-grabbing special events she hosts around the world. In 2011, he opened Southern Art, where Chef Anthony Gray serves up a menu showcasing such Southern classics as chicken and dumplings, shrimp & grits, bourbon-glazed pork shank and 12-layer red velvet cake. Next door, Bourbon Bar is a stylish meeting place for after-work and pre- or post-dinner gatherings, serving more than 70 distinct bourbons and an array of cocktails. The drink menu changes seasonally, tailoring libations to suit the weather. Dining at Southern Art and Bourbon Bar is a quality experience, with staffers who display passion and dedication with true Southern hospitality.

PHOTOS: (Top left) Sara Hannah Photography and (bottom left) Cliff Robinson Photography

The 36-ounce Bone-in Ribeye Tomahawk Steak at Park 75.

The Trellis Room at Spice Market.

The living room at Eleven.

PHOTOS: (Top right) Spice Market Atlanta and (bottom right) Courtesy of the Loews Atlanta Hotel

Spice Market at the W Atlanta–Midtown 404-724-2550, Created by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, one of the world’s most famous chefs, the menu at Spice Market is inspired by the vibrant street life of Southeast Asia. On a daily basis, Chef Richard Wiggins and Chef Shean Suter execute bold preparations of dishes that display complex blends of spices and layers of flavor. Exotic curries and seasonings are blended to create tantalizing dishes such as steamed mussels in saffron crème fraiche, tuna tartare with soy yuzo dressing, sautéed snapper with sesame vinaigrette and soy-glazed short rib. Sit back, relax and enjoy the sleek, adventurous environment, and don’t skip the cocktails or dessert, as each concoction delivers its own unique, satisfying adventure.

The Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View at the Westin Peachtree Plaza 404-589-7506, See all of Atlanta from the comfort of one seat inside Atlanta’s only revolving tri-level dining complex and cocktail lounge, housed in the city’s fifth tallest building. Whether sipping a cool cocktail or biting into a delicious dish, live jazz performances convey a sense of Southern place—sit long enough and odds are you’ll be treated to the familiar chords of Georgia’s state song, “Georgia on My Mind.” The menu features upscale classics such as vanilla-butter-poached prawns, sautéed duck, herb-roasted lamb chops and bone-in ribeye. Save room for such delicious desserts as fried apple pie, creamy vanilla cheesecake and vanilla bean crème brulée.

HOLIDAY DIING After celebrating with your family and loved ones, let someone else do the cooking at these five stylish hotel restaurants.

Atlanta Grill at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta, Downtown Cap your Christmas morning with a brunch menu including a sumptuous dessert buffet, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $75 per adult, $35 per child 12 and under. 404-659-0400,

Lobby Bar and Bistro, TWELVE Hotels and Residences This restaurant on the ground floor of TWELVE in Atlantic Station will be hosting a Christmas Day dinner. Details to be announced. 404-961-7370,

Paces 88 at the St. Regis Hotel This elegant dining spot offers a Christmas Day brunch buffet, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. $99 per adult, $36 per child 12 and under. 404-563-7910,

The Palm, Westin Buckhead Atlanta This steak and seafood haven will be offering a Christmas dinner, details to be announced. 404-814-1955,

Park 75, Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta This beautiful Midtown restaurant features a Christmas Day brunch buffet. $86 per adult, $30 for children ages 6-12. Call for times. 404-253-3840, | Newcomer Magazine | 33



Georgia Holiday Happenings Light Shows, Time Travel, Celebrations and More

The state of Georgia is filled with wonderful things to see and do year-round, and that’s especially true during the holiday season. Here are just a few of the festive holiday events your new home state has to offer, from giant drive-through light displays to charming excursions into yesteryear. X 34 | Newcomer Magazine |

Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens.

Courtesy of Callaway Gardens

By Hope S. Philbrick

LEFT: Travel back in time with Holidays in History at Jekyll Island. RIGHT: Build a gingerbread house at Hills & Dales Estate in LaGrange.


Magical Night of Lights at Lake Lanier Islands.

Christmas Tour of Homes This merry tradition kick-starts the holiday season in the small waterfront town of historic St. Marys. An assortment of beautifully decorated private homes, bed and breakfasts, museums and churches open their doors on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Sparkling trees and winter wonderland décor at each uniquely ornamented location may inspire ideas to deck your own halls. Entertainment includes church choirs and vocal groups caroling along the route. Walk or drive from point to point, as all stops are conveniently located within the downtown district. 912-882-4000,

PHOTOS:(top left) Jekyll IslandAuthority; (top right) Courtesy of Hills & Dales Estate; (right) Courtesy of Lake Lanier Islands

Deck the Halls Hills & Dales Estate in LaGrange is decorated for the holidays Dec. 1 through 22, with features including a circa 1940s tinsel-laden tree, brilliant Poinsettias and other fresh, seasonal treasures. Surrounded by the historic Ferrell Gardens, this 1916 Italian-inspired estate is the 30-room, 13,000-square-foot home of the Fuller E. Callaway family, designed by Neel Reid and opened to the public in 2004. Hands-on workshops include wreath making, gingerbread house decorating and more. 706-882-3242,

LIGHT SHOWS Enchanted Garden of Lights This award-winning Rock City extravaganza features more than 30 holiday scenes that trans-

form the garden’s natural daytime splendor into a nocturnal fantasyland. Witness elves harvesting candy canes and building toys. Visit with St. Nick (nightly through Dec. 23), decorate gingerbread cookies, sip hot cocoa, get a Sugar Plum Fairy Makeover and enjoy nightly entertainment at the North Pole Adventure. The VIP experience includes dinner with Santa (on select nights only, beginning at 5 p.m.) and includes a buffet dinner, a special gift and more. 6 to 9 p.m. through Jan. 5, 2013. 800-854-0675,

Fantasy in Lights Recognized as the South’s most spectacular holiday light and sound show, this Callaway Gardens extravaganza has delighted visitors of all ages since 1992. In fact, the five-mile drive-through attraction has been recognized by National Geographic as a top 10 place to see

holiday lights. More than eight million lights are arranged in over a dozen scenes set to music. Ride in an open-air Jolly Trolley or drive your own vehicle. Extend the experience with resort packages, including accommodations at Callaway’s Mountain Creek Inn. The extravaganza runs through Dec. 30. 800-225-5292,

Magical Nights of Lights This annual holiday attraction at Lake Lanier Islands adds some new attractions to its traditional seven-mile driving tour through scenes comprised of millions of twinkling lights. Displays include an animated carousel, 12 days of Christmas, Santa’s elves, the North Pole Express and an icicle tunnel, among other sights. The Holiday Village is a must-see, complete with a bonfire for roasting marshmallows, pony and amusement rides, shopping and much more. Pick up a Christ- | Newcomer Magazine | 35

mas tree ornament to commemorate your visit. And what holiday spectacle would be complete without a visit with Jolly Old St. Nick? Through Dec. 30. 770-945-8787,

TRAVEL THROUGH TIME SAM Shortline Excursion Train Ride in vintage train cars while enjoying a unique mix of yesteryear and the excitement of today’s Southern holiday cheer. Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites’ SAM Shortline rumbles into quaint towns filled with fun attractions, restaurants and shopping and hosts special themed trips on select dates. 877-427-2457,

Holidays in History Venture inside the cottages of Jekyll Island’s National Historic Landmark District and get a taste of how the holidays were celebrated from the Victorian Era to the Jazz Age. Daily in December, except Dec. 24 and 25. 912-635-4036,

Christmas Walks The Explorations in Antiquity Center in LaGrange, a “living museum” dedicated to replicating the experience of life during Biblical times, features a guided “Follow the Shepherds Christmas Walk” that takes you from Nazareth to Bethlehem, with live actors and animals. Friday and Saturday evenings throughout December. 706-885-0363,

Victorian Christmas in Thomasville







Journey back to the 1890s for a unique yuletide celebration including horse-drawn carriage rides (complete with jingle bells), street vendors, live musicians and dancers, strolling carolers and, of course, St. Nick himself. Dec. 13 and 14. 229-228-7977,

Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village This 95-acre site in Tifton takes visitors back in time to experience life in 19th-century Georgia. On Dec. 8, partake in a Wiregrass Christmas with caroling, bluegrass music and more. Ride on a 1917 steam locomotive, the North Pole Express, to visit with Santa on Dec. 1415. And on Dec. 16, take a steam engine to the Victorian Village by Candlelight for an old-fashioned holiday light display. 229-391-5200,

MORE SEASONAL CELEBRATIONS Holidays in Olde Lincoln Town Dec. 1. 706-359-7970, This annual festival in downtown Lincolnton in Lincoln County, Ga., includes arts and crafts vendors, prizes, trackless train rides and a colorful parade.

Charity Lane Festival of Lights


Art, Culture and Entertainment | 1-800-568-3301 36 | Newcomer Magazine |

Dec. 7-9 and 14-16. Drive seven miles adorned with Christmas lights in Rabun Gap’s Wollfork Valley.

Christmas Tree Lighting 706-745-2628, Witness a tree lighting, carols, hayrides, bonfires and a visit from Santa. Dec. 8 at Vogel State Park in Blairsville, Ga.

Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.

Atlanta’s majestic skyline.

Suwanee’s Town Center.

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


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

Car Tag

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

MARTA Rail Service

No memorization. No standardized tests.

Learn more about how the Montessori philosophy of joyful learning helps to develop every child’s natural interests in a safe, supportive environment.


BROOKSTONE MONTESSORI ĉĎĐĈ/,,(01,+")(ĴAcworthĴ770.426.5245Ĵ$"0ĸĊĉűĊŖĎ6"/0 MEDLOCK BRIDGE MONTESSORI čĐĉč"!), (/&!$"(46ĶĴJohns CreekĴ770.623.1965Ĵ$"0ĸĉĐ*,+1%0ŖĎ6"/0 NESBIT FERRY MONTESSORI đċċĈ"0&1 "//6!ĶĴAlpharettaĴ770.552.8454Ĵ$"0ĸĊŖđ6"/0 PRESTON RIDGE MONTESSORI ċĐĈĈ,/1%,&+1(46ĶĴAlpharettaĴ770.751.9510Ĵ$"0ĸĊĉűĊŖĎ6"/0 SUGARLOAF MONTESSORI ĊĊďĈ"!,4%2/ %!ĶĴDuluthĴ678.473.0079Ĵ$"0ĉČ*,+1%0ŖĎ6"/0

38 | Newcomer Magazine |

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

Vehicle Emission Inspection

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

Driving Tips

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

NEED TO KNOW Voter Registration

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

Making a Phone Call All phone numbers in the metro Atlanta area include the area code plus the sevendigit number. To make a phone call, dial one of the four area codes (404, 770, 678 and 470) and the seven-digit number. In general, 404 is designated for intown areas and 770 for suburbs; the 678 and 470 area codes overlay both areas. Cell phone subscribers can choose from any area code when signing up for service.

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.


Christian School

Changing the world for Christ…one child at a time.

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4500 Ridge Road, Fairburn, GA 30213 770.964.9871 Fully Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and “with quality” by the Georgia Accreditation Commission. | Newcomer Magazine | 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 Cobb EMC 770-429-2100 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 ETC Communications 678-454-1212 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.


Central GA EMC


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


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

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Marietta City Schools Board of Education

71 25 16 6 6 4 $8,816



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 |




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 The county seat of DeKalb, Decatur is a charming historic city known for its recreation and pedestrian-friendly streets. Its beating heart

The square is also home to some beautiful public art, and hosts numerous festivals, town celebrations and neighborhood events. Decatur is home to a diverse population, attracting young professionals, families, retirees and bright young college students—the city is home to the prestigious women’s university Agnes Scott College, and world-renowned Emory University is just outside the city limits. 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 headquaris the Courthouse Square, which tered there. The median value of homes in features an eclectic mix of store2006, according to the Census Bu- front boutiques and shops, restaurants and entertainment options. reau, 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 Fayette County Schools Board of Education 770-460-3535

Avg. SAT Scores

Fayette Co. Georgia National

1550 1431 1483

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

UTILITIES & CONTACTS HOME SERVICES ELECTRICITY Georgia Power Company 888-660-5890 Coweta-Fayette EMC 770-253-5626 GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit TELEPHONE AT&T Residential


WATER Fayette County Water 770-461-1146 Comcast

CABLE TV 404-266-2278

HOSPITALS Fayette Care Clinic 770-719-4620 Piedmont Fayette Hospital 770-719-7000


Old-fashioned community pride mingles with a progressive sensibility on the streets of historic downtown Fayetteville, where antique stores and boutiques sit side by side in refurbished buildings. Boasting a population of approximately 16,000 residents, Fayetteville is home to the Fayette County Historic Society, Research Center and Museum. A haven for family fun, Dixieland Fun Park offers an assortment of activities for young and old alike. The HollidayDorsey-Fife Museum provides a fascinating link to the past thanks to its association with several historical figures, including Margaret Mitchell and "Doc" Holliday. The 1,500-seat Southern Ground Amphitheater attracts national touring acts with its annual summer concert series.

17 6 5 1 1 $8,359 770-460-3520 Photo: Courtesy of the City of Fayetteville

Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Alternative Open Campus Per-pupil expenditures School & bus information

Fayette County


Starr's Mill in Fayetteville

Located southwest of Atlanta, the land comprising Fayette County was ceded from the Creek Indian Nation in 1821, thus creating Georgia’s 49th county. The county seat, the city of Fayetteville, was established in 1823 and contains the oldest courthouse in the County state, built in 1825 and located Neighborhoods The area now known as on Fayetteville’s historic town Peachtree City was originally square. Both the county and city Schools settled by Woodland Era were named for the Marquis de Indians several thousand LaFayette, who fought alongside Median household income: $82,216 Median age of residents: 42.4 years ago, and ceded to George Washington in the Population: 107,104 the Federal government Revolutionary War. Sales tax: 6% in 1821 by Chief William Author Margaret Mitchell Chamber of Commerce McIntosh, Jr. spent many summers at her 770-461-9983, Comprising some grandfather’s home in Fayette 12,000 acres, Peachtree County, which helped to inspire Property Taxes Per $1,000 of assessed value is: City was chartered in the locations in her novel Gone With Unincorporated Fayette County, $30.70; 1950s as a masterplanned the Wind. Fayetteville, $31.64; community of five separate Today, the 199-square mile Peachtree City, $34.54. villages. Today, the area area is renowned as a thriving Tax Commissioner: 770-461-3611 is linked by a 90- mile economic center that features network of trails and golf numerous attractive incentives for businesses, including the 2,200From 1984 to 1994, Fayette cart paths connecting homes, acre Peachtree City Industrial Park, County was the fifth-fastest growing businesses, schools and parks. Gol carts, bicycles and walking are the which features its own Foreign Trade county in the U.S. Zone, which allows merchandise to Fayette County boasts several preferred modes of transportation enter from or exit to foreign countries golf courses and two amphitheaters, among its 35,000 residents, who without a formal U.S. Customs entry among other attractions serving a enjoy its wooded scenery and or payment of duties. In addition, family-oriented population of more wealth of parks, playgrounds and Fayette County maintains a rural, than 106,000 residents. Single-family recreational areas N . small-town allure, and has been housing in Fayette County ranges For more counties and neighborhood recognized as one of the nation’s from the $50,000s in moderateinformation, visit our Web site at most attractive communities for income areas to more than $2 million corporate family relocation. in affluent neighborhoods.

44 | Newcomer Magazine |


Peachtree City


Fulton County

PUBLIC SCHOOLS Fulton County Schools Board of Education 404-768-3600

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.

Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Charter Per-pupil expenditures

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.

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.

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.


one of Atlanta’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 greatly boomed within the last 20 years to become

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

58 19 16 6 $9,746

Atlanta City Schools


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 Outside Georgia 800-356-3094

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 St. Joseph’s Hospital 404-851-7001 | 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 QUICK INFO

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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18. Cumberland Mall B-3 napfin 19. Greenbriar Mall A-6 20 Gwinnett Place F-1 21. Lenox Square D-3 155 22. Market Square Mall E-4 Fla t S23. Northlake Mall F-3 h o a l s Pkwy 24. Peachtree Center C-5 25. Perimeter Mall D-2 26. Phipps Plaza D-3 27. Shannon Mall A-7 28. Southlake Mall D-7

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

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F | Newcomer Magazine | 47


Justin Bieber, Philips Arena The world-famous pop singer performs in support of his 2012 album Believe. Expect such hits as “Baby,” “Never Say Never” and more. Jan. 23, 800-745-3000,

The Producers, Fox Theatre The touring production of Mel Brooks’ smash-hit Broadway musical, based on his classic movie of the same name, returns with the hilarious story of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom and their scheme to stage the biggest flop in Broadway history. Jan. 25-31, 2013, 855-285-8499,

Exhibits & Events New Year’s Eve Crawl, Duluth

Theater & Concerts Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, Fox Theatre The majestic Fox Theatre makes the perfect setting for this definitive Atlanta holiday experience. The lavish spectacle receives a live sound track from the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. Dec. 7-26, 855-285-8499,

Star 94 FM Jingle Jam, Arena at Gwinnett Center Jason Mraz, Grace Potter, Alex Clare, Andy Grammer, American Idol winner Phillip Phillips and Ed Sheeran perform at this annual concert hosted by local radio station Star 94. Dec. 13, 800-745-3000,

Carrie Underwood, Arena at Gwinnett Center The best-selling country singer performs in support of her new album, Blown Away. Dec. 19, 800-745-3000,

All is Well, Roswell Presbyterian Church Roswell Presbyterian Church’s Glory of Christmas presents two nights of celebration with a mix of traditional, contemporary and classical music with performances by a full orchestra, singers, bell ringers and a choir of middle- and high-school students. Admission is free.

Romeo and Juliet and drops it into the world of youth gangs in 1950s New York City, has endured for more than 50 years. See and hear it for yourself, complete with a legendary Bernstein and Sondheim score packed with such standards as “Tonight,” “I Feel Pretty,” “Maria” and “America,” among others. Dec. 13-16, 800-745-3000,

The Nutcracker, Gwinnett Performing Arts Center

Caboose Lighting and Holiday Festival, Old Town Suwanee Usher in the holiday season with Santa and his elves and enjoy chorus performances from local elementary schools. Bring your wish list of Christmas goodies! Hot chocolate, cookies and s’mores will be served. This event is free and open to the public. Nov. 30,

Christmas at Northstar Church Arts & Crafts Show, Kennesaw Browse more than 75 arts and crafts exhibitors from across the Southeast, as well as children’s activities, live entertainment, photos with Santa and more. Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 770-423-1330,

The Northeast Atlanta Ballet presents an energetic rendition of this classic holiday tale, set to the stirring music of Tchaikovsky as performed live by the Gwinnett Symphony. Through Dec. 16,


Enjoy games, food, crafts and carolers as you await the lighting of Duluth’s signature Christmas tree and the arrival of Santa Claus on a sleigh pulled by live reindeer. Dec. 1, 770-476-3434,

Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival, Philips Arena Join Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and characters from The Little Mermaid, Toy Story and Aladdin in this exciting show that remixes Disney hits with contemporary sounds and styles. Dec. 16, 800-745-3000, All is Well, Roswell Presbyterian Church

Lighting of the Duluth Tree, Duluth Town Green

Christmas High Tea, Bulloch Hall Relax and enjoy this holiday tradition as ladies in period dress serve a two-course high tea. Also includes a tour of Bulloch Hall in Roswell. $40 per person. Dec. 4, 6, 11 and 18, 770-992-1731,

New Year’s Eve Crawl, Duluth

West Side Story, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Ring in 2013 with family-friendly activities, a giant snow slide, a winter carnival and live music by the American Flyers Show Band. The Chickfil-A Bowl will be shown on a big screen, as well. And, of course, there will be a fireworks display at midnight. Dec. 31, 770-476-3434,

This classic musical, which takes the story of

Dec. 13-14, 770-993-6316,

48 | Newcomer Magazine |

Peach Drop, Underground Atlanta Take part in Atlanta’s signature New Year’s Eve tradition, with live music, fireworks and an 800pound peach dropping at midnight. Dec. 31,

Enchanted Garden of Lights, Rock City This family tradition at Rock City in nearby Chattanooga, TN, features more than 30 scenes and more than a million LED lights, transforming the natural beauty of the attraction’s gardens into an amazing fantasyland. Decorate gingerbread cookies and enjoy hot cocoa and nightly entertainment. You can even have dinner with Santa (only on select nights in December). Through Jan. 5, 2013, 800-854-0675,


Junior Observatory Workshop, Tellus Science Museum Parents and children will tour the current sky in the planetarium, receive and learn how to use a junior rotary star chart and get the chance to observe the night sky through small telescopes and the Tellus Museum’s 20” telescope. Jan. 18, 2013, 770-606-5700,

Fast Forward: Modern Movements 19132013, High Museum of Art This exhibit traces a century of artistic development as seen in works by such masters as Henri Matisse, Salvador Dali, Georgia O’Keefe and more, drawn from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Through Jan. 20, 2013, 404-733-5000,

PHOTO: CCourtesy of the City of Suwanee


National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West, Booth Western Art Museum

This installation highlights selections from a project photojournalist Arthur Grace undertook for Newsweek magazine, which culminated in his book Choose Me: Portraits of a Presidential Race, featuring the candidates of the 1988 campaign, including George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, Jesse Jackson, Al Gore, and Michael Dukakis. Through Jan. 6, 2013, 404-733-5000,

Gift of Lights, Atlanta Motor Speedway One of the most famous sports facilities in the world is transformed into a winter wonderland with more than a million LED lights illuminating hundreds of festive displays. Wander in and around the grandstands and through a brilliantly lit tunnel with more than a mile of sparkling holiday splendor. Admission is $15 per car Monday through Thursday and $20 per car Friday through Sunday and on holidays. Through Jan. 16, 2013, 770-423-1330,

GONE WITH THE WIND Scarlett on the Square

Join Don German, the Tellus Museum’s own solar system ambassador, for a discussion on the Mars Rover Curiosity and what it has discovered so far on its exploration of the red planet. The talk begins at 12:15 p.m. Jan. 23, 2013,

Choose Me: Arthur Grace’s Portraits of a Presidential Race, High Museum of Art



Lunch and Learn: Are You Curious?, Tellus Science Museum

Caboose Lighting and Holiday Festival, Old Town Suwanee


10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Closed Sunday

Original Gone With the Wind memorabilia on display from the private collection of Dr. Christopher Sullivan. GIFT SHOP, FACILITY RENTALS ANNUAL EVENTS


Drawn from the National Geographic photography archives, this exhibition features approximately 75 Western images spanning more than 100 years of history. Subjects include westward expansion, Native Americans and conservation efforts. Through March 10, 2013, 770-387-1300,

Inside CNN Studio Tour, CNN Center Get a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the world’s first and most famous 24-hour news network. Watch the CNN newsroom in action and have your picture taken reading the day’s news. Ongoing, 404-827-2300,

Southern Quilt Trail, Powder Springs Tour this series of quilt patterns painted on the sides of historic barns and other buildings in an effort to promote and preserve the history of this traditional art form that has been handed down for generations. Ongoing, 770-439-1780,

Suwanee SculpTour, Suwanee Downtown Suwanee’s walkable outdoor public art exhibit returns, featuring 15 all-new original sculptures. Guided tour available on iTunes. Ongoing, | Newcomer Magazine | 49

hiddenATLANTA LEFT: Priscilla the Pink Pig is still making new friends. RIGHT: The Macy’s Great Tree Lighting.

The Macy’s Pink Pig F

or more than 50 years, generations of squealing children have flocked to a local department store to spend time with a beloved holiday character. No, it isn’t Santa Claus, or even Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In Atlanta, the face of the season belongs to a rosy-cheeked pig named Priscilla. BY SHEILA COSGROVE Priscilla the Pink Pig began as a monorail ride that ran along the ceiling of Rich’s department store in downtown Atlanta in 1953, allowing children to gaze in wonder at the treasures of the store’s toy department. She was soon joined by a second pig named Percival, and the “monorail twins” were later relocated to the roof of the store. After a brief stop at the Egleston Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees, the trains were donated to the Atlanta History Center in 1995. In 2003, a new Priscilla was introduced to Atlanta at the Rich’s store at Lenox Square Mall in Buckhead. Rich’s is now Macy’s, and today Priscilla entertains throngs of local children in her new home on the upper level of the mall’s parking deck. Starting in late October, children and their parents board pink passenger cars beneath a giant, 170-foot pink tent with a nostalgic, 1950s theme, and soon the new Priscilla is whisking them away through a giant storybook landscape. Throughout December, visitors can view another Atlanta holiday tradition, the Macy’s Great Tree, which, like the Pink Pig, originated at Rich’s. The lighting of the tree is an annual event that takes place on Thanksgiving night, in a ceremony filled with music and fireworks and broadcast live on WSB-TV. The tree, a white pine, stretches 70 feet tall or higher and is festooned with thousands of lights, making it a breathtaking addition to the Atlanta skyline. Today, the Pink Pig endures as an annual rite of passage not just for small children but also for adults who harbor fond memories of their own childhood encounters with this charming and historic holiday tradition. The Pink Pig runs through Dec. 30 and is closed on Dec. 25. Tickets are $3 for one ride, $5.50 for two rides and $7.50 for three. A portion of the proceeds from each ride will benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. For more information, visit

50 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Macy’s

An Atlanta Holiday Tradition

Newcomer Magazine Atlanta | December/January 2013  

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

Newcomer Magazine Atlanta | December/January 2013  

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