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Relocation, Lifestyle & Living in Atlanta

Atlanta’s HOTTEST Events YOUR



From New Year’s Eve to Fall Festivals, We’ve Got Your Entire Year Covered PLUS:

Sensational Georgia Mountain Adventures Helpful Tips for Financing Your Child’s Education Making Connections in a New City City Living and Small-Town Charm in Cobb County

December/January 2012

december/january CONTENTS FEATURES Expanding Your Social Circle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Atlanta’s Hottest Happenings in 2012 . . . . . . 28

Making new connections in an unfamiliar city can be a challenge, but not if you follow these helpful suggestions.

Finding ways to pay for independent school and college doesn’t have to be an ordeal. There are many savings plans, loans, grants and programs to help ensure your child’s scholastic success.

With parties, parades and outdoor festivals galore, there’s always something exciting going on in your new city. Mark your calendar with these can’tmiss annual events for 2012.

Financing Your Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Escape to the Mountains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation or a quick weekend adventure, the North Georgia Mountains offer convenient and unforgettable adventures close to home.




PHOTO: Charlie McCullers/Courtesy Atlanta Ballet


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

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

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

From the wood-burning ovens to the fresh ingredients, everything at Antico Pizza Napoletana is imported from Italy, resulting in an authentic atmosphere and enchanting pies.

Homes and Communities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Just 30 minutes away from downtown Atlanta, Cobb County boasts topnotch schools, a shopping Mecca, thriving cities and abundant outdoor activities.

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

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

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.

With its historic homes, cultural offerings and prestigious country club, Brookhaven attracts upscale families and Hollywood productions alike.

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

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

Stave off winter’s chill with great exhibitions, theatrical productions, holiday events and live music across the metro area..

Hebron Christian Academy strives to build character, nurture young minds and guide its students in all areas of life.

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

With its sprawling lawn, impressive sculptures and the popular Fountain of Rings, Centennial Olympic Park is both a green oasis in the middle of downtown Atlanta and a tribute to the city’s Olympic legacy.

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The Spirit of the Holidays

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


ith the holiday season upon us, it’s the perfect time for contemplation and assessment of all the gifts that others have given to us throughout the years. I’m not talking about the impressive new pair of shoes or that newest electronic gizmo you may have received one Christmas. Actually, I’m not even referring to anything that can be bought, wrapped or knowingly given to another person. What I’m referring to are the genuine gifts that matter in life. Have you ever thought about how you became the person you are today? How you developed your thoughts, opinions or the qualities that make up the essence of who you are? Who you have become is a direct result of a lifetime of experiences you have shared with other people who have touched your life in one way or another. People enrich our lives in such large and small ways that we will never truly understand or realize their full impact. From the moment we are born until the moment we die, they create lasting impressions that become part of the symphony of our lives. Every moment we share, every relationship we experience, shapes our mental, physical and spiritual outlook of the world— ultimately changing it forever. During the holidays, we all tend to create wish lists of the things we think we need. But you don’t become a better person by having the most expensive car or by wearing the hottest new fashions. You become a better person by enjoying the relationships you share with the people in your life. After all, those are the only things that really endure and remain a constant in our lives. Everything else will eventually fade away. This holiday season, think about all the people who have contributed to the development of your life throughout the years. Take the time to appreciate the gifts you never asked for, but which you received through the love, understanding and acceptance of others.

Patrick Killam editor

Kevin Forest Moreau administrative assistant

Julie Porter marketing & promotions

Michael Thompson contributing writers

Caroline Cox Rachael Mason Hope S. Philbrick Meredith Pruden Muriel Vega Carrie Whitney director of sales & marketing

Patrick Killam account director

Lacey James

Welcome to your new life! Welcome to Atlanta.

TO ADVERTISE CALL 770-992-0273 Patrick Killam Publisher

Newcomer magazine, December/January 2012 Volume 15, Issue 5. Submissions, photography or ideas may be sent to Killam Publishing, Inc., 200 Market Place, Suite 230, Roswell, GA 30075. Submissions will not be returned unless otherwise requested and accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Newcomer magazine reserves the right to revise any necessary submissions. Reproduction in whole or in part of any elements of this publication are strictly prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. © 2011 Killam Publishing, Inc.

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

KILLAM PUBLISHING, INC. P: 770-992-0273 • F: 770-649-7463

6 | Newcomer Magazine | | Newcomer Magazine | 7

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

carving out a niche


Two years after its original show wowed Atlanta crowds, Cavalia returns with Odysseo, a new production that melds equestrian and human acrobatics with 69 horses, 55 performers, and spectacular projections and visual effects on a 2,500 square-meter stage, under a big top more than twice as large as its predecessor. The show is scheduled to take place Dec. 11–Jan. 8, 2012 at 8th and Spring Streets. For tickets, call 866-999-8111 or visit

Running For a Good Cause

PHOTO: Hang Time

The fourth annual Ella’s 5K, Fun Run and Mud Run took place at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center on Oct. 8. The event benefitted Right to Hike, which honors the late Meredith Emerson by raising funds and awareness for issues like hiker safety (Emerson was abducted and killed while hiking in January 2008). For more information on Right to Hike, visit

Hop to It We’re jumping for joy at the news that Hang Time, an indoor trampoline arena, is scheduled to open in the old Crunch Fitness space at Tower Place in Buckhead in February 2012. The 26,000 squarefoot arena will include two jumping areas, viewing lounges, a café and arcade. For more information, visit 8 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Courtesy of Cavalia

Suwanee SculpTour, the City of Suwanee’s walkable public art project featuring 15 outdoor sculptures, took home a Downtown Excellence Award for Best Image-Building Campaign at the Georgia Downtown Association’s annual conference in September in Rome, Ga. The interactive exhibit runs through March 2012. Walking tours are available at Suwanee City Hall.

infocus Whether you’re new to Atlanta’s restaurant options or just looking for something different, a handful of recent openings should whet your appetite. Half-Baked Casseroles, which opened in Buckhead in October, offers fresh, convenient meals for busy families and professionals. www. Also in Buckhead, Frank Ski’s Restaurant & Lounge, owned by one of the city’s most prominent radio personalities and philanthropists, offers classic American fare. And on North Highland Avenue, HD1 (below) serves up a gourmet “haute dog” menu in an equally sophisticated setting.

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Atlanta Botanical Garden

PHOTO: Heidi Geldhauser Courtersy of the Reynolds Group

Newcomers on the Dining Scene

Winter Wonderland … In Midtown Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden showcases nature-inspired spectacles throughout the 30-acre Midtown attraction. This spectacular event allows visitors to meander among garden displays—including giant “starflakes,” fleeting bumblebees and a towering “praying Santa mantis”—while sipping hot drinks and listening to strolling carolers. The exhibit runs from Nov. 19 to Jan. 7, 2012. For more information, call 404-876-5859 or visit | Newcomer Magazine | 9

Meeting People Expanding Your Social Circle in a New City by RACHAEL MASON


hen you’re new to a city, figuring out where to meet people can be a major challenge. Luckily, Atlanta is a friendly place with no shortage of places to go and things to do that can help you make new friends. Get started at, a networking site that lists hundreds of meetings for every interest group imaginable. The Atlanta New In Town Meetup Group is one option for new

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residents. You’ll also want to look into the many networking groups, which offer great, low-key ways to interact with new business contacts (and potential friends). If you and your family are looking to meet other families, a good place to start is your neighborhood library. During the day, moms and dads can interact with other parents and kids during story time. Whether you live in Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb or one of the oth-

Get started at, a networking site that lists hundreds of meetings for every interest group imaginable.

in Atlanta er counties in metro Atlanta, your library is also likely filled with activities and information that will help welcome you and your kids to town. Little Shop of Stories in Decatur is a bookstore that specializes in everything for young readers, from picture books to the hottest young adult novels (think the Twilight series). Not only can the shop match your family up with new reading material, it also hosts a wide range of events, including story times, author readings and book signings. Book lovers will also want to check out the Georgia Center for the Book, headquartered at the DeKalb County Public Library in Decatur. This nonprofit organization presents regular au-

thor events that attract avid readers from across the metro area. And what goes better with a book than a cup of coffee? Coffee shops are great places for a caffeine fix, but they’re also major social hubs. Of course, you could always hang out at Starbucks, but for real neighborhood flavor, stop by one of the many independent coffee shops dotting the streets of Atlanta. Octane Coffee is a high-energy spot on Howell Mill Road on the Westside that serves signature coffee drinks as well as beer and cocktails. Its newest location, in the Jane building in Grant Park, shares its space with the Little Tart Bakery, which means there are lots of sweet

handmade treats to try. If you’re near Emory University, the Steady Hand Pour House on North Decatur Road is another good option. When you’re out and about, you’ll also see the shop’s Rattletrap ATL Street Coffee—a vintage Volkswagen van that serves java at events around town. In Atlanta, you can indulge in mobile dining any day (or night) of the week. Food trucks and mobile food vendors are great for date nights, but they’re also well-suited for families. Kid-friendly options include ice cream from Westside Creamery, popsicles from the King of Pops and tacos from Yumbii and Tex’s Tacos. If your kids are more adventurous, they might want to try tamales from the Tamale Queen truck or the signature Poodle (French toast hot dog bun with a beef dog and apple slaw, topped with maple syrup and spicy mustard) from the Good Food truck. The Atlanta Street Food Coalition website is a great way to keep up with the individual food trucks. There are also regular weekly events to check out. The Howell Mill Food Park provides a gathering space for food trucks. The Woodruff Arts Center, Underground Atlanta and the Sweet Auburn Curb Market also host regular food truck events.

Getting Physical Of course, one of the best ways to get to know the city is through volunteering. Whatever your interests, there’s a volunteer experience to match your passions. Hands On Atlanta is a great nonprofit that pairs individuals, families and groups with volunteer opportunities at more than 400 community-based agencies and schools. If you’re looking for hands-on activities, try building houses with Habitat for Humanity or planting trees with Trees Atlanta. Want to support the growing local food movement? Volunteer with Georgia Organics, which presents farming seminars and food workshops and | Newcomer Magazine | 11

events throughout the year. 3DWULFN.LOODP3XEOLVKHU ing Bar Brewpub in Little Five Points. Want to plenty of free-flowing conversation. Whatever you do, enjoy yourself—having Looking for something toSNLOODP#EHOOVRXWKQHW do after work? see where the beer is made? Sign up for tours Ad Size: fun always makes meeting people easier. And You could definitely meet people by joining a at SweetWater Brewing Company or Red Brick 2IĂ€FH gym, but many sports leagues in Atlanta com- Brewing. These tours also feature samples and welcome to Atlanta! Issue: December/January 08 770.649.7463 Fax bine physical activity and socializing. The Atlanta Bocce League has bocce ball games almost FOR MORE INFORMATION every night of the week—some of them are FULL PAGE 8.375"x 10.875" even played at bars and restaurants. Kickball Atlanta Street Food Coalition Habitat for Humanity enthusiasts can find games at the World Adult HALF PAGE HORIZONTAL 7.375"x 4.812" Kickball Association and Go Kickball websites. Trees Atlanta Howell Mill Food Park HALF PAGE VERTICAL 3.5625"x 9.875" At Georgia Sports Leagues, you’ll find flag ball, soccer, basketball and softball. Ultimate Georgia Organics Woodruff Arts Center THIRD PAGE VERTICAL 2.375"x 9.875" Sports of Atlanta organizes teams for flag ball, softball, kickball and bowling. And if tenOrmsby’s Sweet Auburn Curb Market nis is your game, check ALTA (the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association) for men’s, women’s, mixed and junior leagues. The Highlander Underground Atlanta If you’d rather keep the competition casual, challenge someone to a game at a neighborhood Porter Beer Bar THIRD PAGE HORIZONTAL Georgia Center for the4.75"x Book 4.812" bar. Ormsby’s features a basement game room with darts, pool, shuffleboard and two indoor Wrecking Bar Brewpub Little Shop of Stories bocce courts. At the Highlander, a casual but FOURTH PAGE VERTICAL 3.5625"x 4.812" colorful neighborhood Midtown spot, you can SweetWater Brewing Company Octane Coffee play pool or air hockey while enjoying great bar food and drinks. If you’re a beer enthusiast, you’ll have a lot Red Brick Brewing On Atlanta SIXTH PAGEHands VERTICAL 2.375"x 4.812" to talk about with patrons at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur, or the Porter Beer Bar and Wreck-


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The path to

leadership starts here

Central Michigan University in Metro Atlanta




entral Michigan University’s Metro Atlanta locations offer master’s degrees designed to meet the unique needs of working students. Adult- and military-friendly classes meet evenings or weekends in compressed terms that allow students to complete their degrees in less time. Registration and textbook ordering can be completed online. Our nationally-recognized Off-Campus Library Service is ready to help with research, reference assistance as well as document and book delivery. The following CMU degree programs are offered in Metro Atlanta: MA degree in Education (Adult Education or Instruction), MA degree in Sport Administration, Master of Public Administration degree (Public Management), and a Master of Science in Administration degree (General Administration, Health Services Administration, Human Resources Administration, Leadership or Public Administration). CMU has two locations in Georgia—the Atlanta Metro Center on Powers Ferry Road and the DeKalb Center on Lakeside Parkway in Tucker. Additional degrees are often added in a cohort format where a group of students follows a set schedule of courses together from start to finish. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, CMU takes its academic responsibilities seriously. Classes at Metro Atlanta centers meet the same academic standards as on-campus courses. Additionally, faculty come from CMU’s main campus, other distinguished universities, as well as the executive ranks of business, government, and industry. More than 70,000 students have earned their degrees from CMU’s off-campus programs since 1971. N For more information on CMU’s educational opportunities in Georgia, call 770-933-7660 or 877-268-4636 or visit PROMOTION

Stand out from the competition with a recognized degree from an accredited university – CMU in Metro Atlanta.

Master of Arts degree in Education Strengthens and deepens the skills of educators. t Adult Education t Instruction

Master of Arts degree in Sport Administration Succeed in a variety of national, state, local, collegiate, and school sport administration careers.

MPA degree/Public Management The gold standard degree for upper-level positions in the public and non-profit sectors.

Master of Science in Administration degree Provides a solid core of leadership skills with no GRE or GMAT required.

We make it possible. CMU in Metro Atlanta. Two local centers: Metro Atlanta & DeKalb

Call 770-933-7660 or 877-268-4636 today! Central Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. CMU is an AA/EO institution (see 31784 8/11 || Newcomer Newcomer Magazine Magazine || 13 19

PHOTO: David Douglas

TOP: The Cobb Galleria Centre anchors Cobb’s commercial district. BOTTOM LEFT: Smyrna’s pedestrianfriendly Market Village development. BOTTOM RIGHT: The historic Marietta Square radiates small-town charm.

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Cobb County The fountain at Glover Park in Marietta Square.

Abundant Nature and Suburban City Living PHOTO: Courtesy of Decatur Downtown Development Authority

by Muriel Vega


Located just 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta, Cobb County offers all the perks of suburban life with a city-like atmosphere. Residents enjoy Cobb’s low cost of living, access to nature, great educational options and rich history. Built around the Chattahoochee River and bordering Cherokee County and Fulton County, Cobb County is part of the core five-county metro Atlanta area. X Newcomer Magazine | 15

programs and Georgia’s only doctorate in Business Administration.

Big City With a Small-Town Feel

Shops along the Marietta Square.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Cobb ranks as the most educated county in the state of Georgia. And with good reason: Cobb County houses 13 of Newsweek Magazine’s 2010 Best Public High Schools, including Walton High School and Marietta High School. The city of Marietta boasts one of Georgia’s

first charter school systems, allowing local officials more flexibility with student curriculum. And its top-notch school district attracts small businesses, making it even more attractive. Cobb is also home to such recognized universities as Southern Polytechnic State and Kennesaw State, which offers 43 bachelor’s degree

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Marietta, the largest city in Cobb County, allows residents to enjoy both the conveniences of a bustling metropolis and the comforts of small-town living. With a median home price of around $160,000, it’s easy to find affordable housing. And some of that housing is quite beautiful: Marietta claims more than 150 antebellum and Victorian-style homes. The heart of the city is the historic Marietta Square, which serves as both park and town center, lined with boutiques, museums, shops and restaurants. Theatre in the Square stages high-quality productions in an intimate, 225seat space, while the Earl Smith Strand Theatre, a renovated art deco movie house reopened in 2009, hosts musical productions, classic movies and concerts. Hemingway’s Bar & Grill, a casual eatery with a nautical feel, is a favorite landmark offering live music on weekends. The Historic Marietta Trolley offers one-hour tours showcasing antebellum homes, the Gone with the Wind museum and the battlefields at Kennesaw Mountain. Marietta is mostly accessible by Interstate

LEFT: Diners relax al fresco on the Marietta Square. RIGHT: Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

75 South. If driving is an issue, Cobb County Transit connects the suburbs with the City of Atlanta. With eight available park-and-ride shuttles around the county, it’s easy to hop a bus into the big city and transfer to MARTA, Atlanta’s public rail system.

Outdoor Pursuits For those with an interest in history and the outdoors, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park offers more than 2,800 acres of

green space, with three areas commemorating the Civil War battle fought on the property (and from which the park takes its name). A recently expanded museum displays rare artifacts and weapons from the era, and screens a short film on General Sherman’s Atlanta campaign and the Battle of Kennesaw. Relic hunting is prohibited, but visitors can take self-guided cellphone audio tours. Runners and hikers can enjoy more than 17 miles of trails, while the rest of us can drive to the top of the mountain on weekdays

(there’s also a shuttle on weekends). Another outdoor option is the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, which offers bike trails as well as mountain biking for more daring riders, and even horseback riding on Bowman’s Island. Rafts, canoes, kayaks and other small boats are allowed on the water, and there are also boat rentals available for those keen on fishing or getting to know the river. The nearby Sweetwater Creek State Park offers more than nine miles of trails with vary- | Newcomer Magazine | 17

TOP AND BOTTOM: Smyrna’s Market Village boasts a walkable, open-air feel.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Cobb ranks as the most educated county in the state of Georgia. ing levels of difficulty. The red trail follows the stream down to the ruins of the Manchester Manufacturing Company, a textile mill that burned during the Civil War. The park rents kayaks and canoes in the summer, and fishing supplies are available in the park’s bait shop.

Cobb Means Business Cobb County has a strong small business presence, with the Cobb Chamber of Commerce being one of the largest in the state, boasting more than 250,000 members. With programs for discounted employee health insurance, an Office Depot Discount Program and the Small Business of the Year annual awards program, Cobb offers great incentives for entrepreneurs to grow

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their dream businesses within its borders. The area’s commercial center is a stretch of real estate anchored by the Cobb Galleria Centre, a convention and shopping center with specialty shops that connects to another retail shopping destination, Cumberland Mall, via a pedestrian sky bridge. The Cobb Galleria Centre is also connected to two hotels, the Sheraton Suites Galleria and the four-star Renaissance Waverly Hotel. This concentration of businesses also features the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, a prominent entertainment venue that hosts concerts and Broadway shows and is also the home of the Atlanta Opera and the Atlanta Ballet. For those who want to be closer to Atlanta,

Smyrna is located about 10 miles from the city and can be reached by I-285. Smyrna boasts a younger demographic than the rest of the county, with a median home price of around $200,000. Williams Park, one of its oldest neighborhoods, houses many Victorian and historic homes and is only a short walk from downtown Smyrna and the Market Village, with many homes in the upper $300’s. For a more traditional suburban plan, Bennett Woods has more than 300 homes, all traditional brick ranches built in the ’60s and ’70s. In the heart of Smyrna’s downtown, the mixed-use Market Village development sports an open, airy vibe thanks to a walkable combination of family-friendly green space and a town center. Market Village also features 16 townhomes, 40,000 square feet of office space and another 18,000 square feet of retail space. Cobb County offers everything from great education options, affordable housing and a high quality of life to small-business opportunities and a vibrant commercial and entertainment complex. Its many parks and green spaces put you close to nature without taking you too far away from the always-buzzing county seat of Marietta, one of Atlanta’s largest suburbs. Why choose one world or the other, when Cobb County gives you both?

ESSENTIAL INFO Cobb County Government Cobb County Schools Kennesaw State University City of Marietta Marietta Welcome Center Cobb Galleria Centre Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre City of Smyrna Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Sweetwater Creek State Park || Newcomer Newcomer Magazine Magazine || 19


spotlight Brookhaven


ocated in the northeast part of Atlanta, Brookhaven is an attractive, upscale community, home to historic landmarks and modern attractions. Though the neighborhood is an unincorporated community, residents have recently begun a movement to make Brookhaven its own city.


Local Treasures Village Place.

Murphey Candler Park offers a beautiful lake, plenty of trails, a playground, swimming pool, picnic areas, tennis courts and more. The historic district is well-loved by locals— and by Hollywood. The Sandra Bullock drama The Blind Side filmed location shots in historic Brookhaven, as did the romantic comedy Life as We Know It.

Arts and Entertainment PHOTO: CinéBistro

Oglethorpe University (404-261-1441) is one of the neighborhood’s most striking landmarks.


The Inside Track The Historic Brookhaven Neighborhood Association ( is a great source of information about historic Brookhaven, which was named an historic district in 1986.

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The annual Petrels of Fire race at Oglethorpe University.

The liberal arts college is home to such cultural offerings as the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, a 7,000-square-foot space displaying works from its permanent collection and three curated exhibits each year. It also hosts a series of lectures and classical concerts. The university’s Conant Performing Arts Center is home to Georgia Shakespeare (404-5041473), which presents three shows each summer, with additional fall performances. Beyond the Oglethorpe University campus, the Brookhaven Arts Alliance (www. supports the community’s visual arts scene. Each year, the organization presents an annual fall arts festival, as well as the summertime Taste of Brookhaven Festival.

Culinary Treats The area’s dining offerings increased greatly with the addition of the Town Brookhaven mixeduse development. The latest addition is CineBistro at Town Brookhaven (404-333-0740), an upscale movie theater featuring a restaurant and bar. Verde Taqueria (404-254-5319) has been serving tasty tacos since 2009. Neighborhood residents love Haven Restaurant and Bar (404969-0700), known for its outstanding menu and wine list, and Valenza (404-969-3233), inspired by the cuisine of Northern Italy. Buford Highway, known for its wide variety of ethnic restaurants, also runs through the neighborhood. n — Rachael Mason PHOTO: Jeff Roffman

Oglethorpe University.

Historic Brookhaven, a neighborhood within Brookhaven, developed around a golf course owned by the Capital City Club (404-2332121). In fact, the Brookhaven Historic District is the oldest planned golf course and country club residential community in Georgia, according to the National Parks Service. The houses in the area were built from 1910 to 1941. Outside of historic Brookhaven, there are a variety of real estate options, from rental properties to single family homes and luxury homes located in mixed-use developments, like Village Place Brookhaven (404-816-0466) at Brookhaven Village. “Brookhaven has a huge range in terms of pricing,” says Jennifer Sibley, a real estate consultant with Ian Marshall Realty, noting that prices vary from the mid-$100,000s to multi-milliondollar mansions.


Christian School

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

Every student should have the opportunity to succeed in school and in life. The Bedford School offers a fresh start for students with learning disabilities and who are frustrated in traditional learning settings.

Taking learning to new heights!

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




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

770-774-8001 5665 Milam Road, Fairburn, GA 30213 | Newcomer Magazine | 21



Financing Your Education Easy Ways to Find Funding for Private School or College

by Meredith Pruden


f you’re considering an independent school or college education for your child, you’re likely wondering how you’ll pay for it. The cost of tuition can be discouraging for both parents and students. However, even though private school and higher education are relatively expensive, the benefits greatly outweigh the costs. Independent schools usually offer more specialized courses and individualized instruction as well as smaller class sizes, while colleges foster skills such as independence and responsibility and usually allow your child to acquire

a higher-paying job than a non-graduate. If you and your child decide that independent school or college is the best path to take, don’t let cost get in the way. There are many funding options available to help ensure that your child reaps the benefits of a private or higher education.

Saving and Investing One way to fund your child’s education is through parent and student personal savings and investments. Parents may set aside a cer-

22 | Newcomer Magazine |

tain amount of money each month, years prior to the start of school or college. Any amount helps. The Upromise college rewards program is a subsidiary of Sallie Mae, the nation’s leading provider of student loans and administrator of college savings plans. Upromise allows members to earn 1 to 25 percent back on purchases with the company’s numerous business partners, including restaurants, drug stores, grocery stores and more. Those savings are put in their Upromise account. Essentially, everyday spending is turned into money for college, and

Upromise allows members to earn 1 to 25 percent back on purchases with the company’s numerous business partners, including restaurants, drug stores, grocery stores and more.

the program is free. Family and friends can also contribute to the account. Members can choose whether they want to receive a check or invest it directly into a 529 tax-free savings plan, a popular method for saving for college. There are actually two types of 529 savings plans, also called “qualified tuition plans.” One is the pre-paid tuition plan, which allows those saving for college to pay for tuition credits, and sometimes room and board, at participating colleges in advance. This method often comes with state residency requirements. The second type allows college savers to open accounts in which the saved funds can be allocated for any college tuition. Earnings in 529 plans are not subject to federal tax, and in many cases state tax, if used for eligible college expenses such as tuition or room and board. At least one 529 plan is available in each of the 50 states save Tennessee, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. An additional savings plan that can be used for private and higher education is a Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA), a trust or custodial account that can be established for

Loans, Grants, and Scholarships

any beneficiary under the age of 18 or any special-needs beneficiary. Contributions are not tax-deductible, but they are tax-free if distributions from the account do not exceed the beneficiary’s qualified education expenses at an eligible college or school. To open a Coverdell ESA, your modified adjusted gross income must be less than $110,000, or $220,000 if filing a joint return.

Another way to fund college or private education is through student and parent borrowing. Much like universities, many independent schools utilize financial aid to cover tuition, including multiple-student discounts (for those enrolling more than one child) and payment plans. Many independent schools in the Atlanta area, such as Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Sandy Springs, offer needs-based financial aid through the School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), a service of the National Association of Independent Schools. In addition, Sallie Mae offers the K-12 Family Education Loan, which typically carries low interest rates, to parents or other creditworthy family members of children attending private elementary, middle, or high schools. For college, federal government loans are available to both students and their parents, and often come at low interest rates with long-term repayment schedules that may not begin until after graduation. College financial aid offices can assist with acquiring federal student loans, but the process usually requires the completion | Newcomer Magazine | 23

of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Filing this application helps ensure that you and your child will receive all the types of federal funds for which you are eligible. Grants and scholarships, which typically do not have to be repaid, are another source for funding private and post-secondary education. For both universities and many independent schools, needs- and merit-based scholarships are available. A popular needs-based grant for colleges is the Federal Pell Grant, obtained by filing a FAFSA and given to low-income undergraduate and certain post-baccalaureate students.

The Children’s Scholarship Fund provides aid to low-income families for use at a private school of their choice. There are numerous scholarship options for college, but perhaps the most well-known (and utilized) merit-based scholarship program in Georgia is the HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) Scholarship, funded by the Georgia Lottery. The HOPE Scholarship rewards students with financial assistance in degree, diploma and certificate programs at eligible Georgia public and private colleges and universities and public technical colleges. Scholarships are typically offered directly from individual schools and colleges.

Many independent schools utilize financial aid to cover tuition, including multiplestudent discounts.

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With a bit of research and planning, you can help ensure that a lofty price tag doesn’t prevent your child from reaching his or her potential. And you’ll see the return on your investment for years to come.


Children’s Scholarship Fund

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts

Federal Pell Grant

Free Application for Federal Student Aid

HOPE Scholarship

K-12 Family Education Loan

Upromise | Newcomer Magazine | 25


Hebron Christian Academy

Building Character, Shaping Young Minds by Carrie Whitney


ince first opening its doors in 1999, Hebron Christian Academy, located in Dacula, Ga., has striven to offer a quality education in all areas of life. To that end, it offers a college-preparatory academic curriculum while also teaching its students the meaning of compassion and inspiring them to make a difference in the world. “Our written mission is ‘to help parents prepare their children spiritually, academically, physically, and socially to become disciples of Jesus Christ,’” says Director of Advancement Deborah Lee. That goal is present in every aspect of the school, from academics to athletics and other extracurricular activities. Hebron students of all ages are challenged by experiential learning, with plenty of hands-on activities. Field trips are taken in and around Atlanta, and students have also traveled to Washington, D.C., Savannah, England, Scotland, France and the Dominican Republic. Additionally, Hebron incorporates other teaching methods with the understanding that children do not all learn the same. Hebron students consistently score far above average on national tests such as the SAT and ACT. Hebron incorporates a strong athletic program with the goal of building character through competition. Middle school and high school students can compete in football, soccer, basketball, baseball, swimming, volleyball, softball, cross-country and golf. Hebron’s varsity baseball team won the Georgia High School Association’s 2011 state championship, and the school has sent several students to Division I colleges on sports scholarships. Hebron also participates in competitive cheerleading and spirit squads. Students can participate in other types of extracurricular activities, as well, such as math club and technology competitions, including robotics.

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Hebron also boasts strong theater and music departments, including a symphonic band for its advanced high school musicians. To maintain a Christian-centered focus, students at Hebron attend ageappropriate weekly chapel services. The school offers a relevant Bible curriculum, in which students engage in life-applicable Bible study. Hebron students are also offered a chance to participate in mission trips to many states and foreign countries. In addition, students can participate in community impact projects such as Operation Christmas Child, where they create giftfilled shoe boxes for children in desperate situations around the world. Since starting with approximately 300 students more than a decade ago, Hebron Christian Academy has more than tripled in size, and will educate 967 students in grades kindergarten through 12 this year. And as the student body grows, the campus—spread across two locations, one for elementary students and the other for middle- and high-schoolers—follows suit. In 2008, Hebron’s high school campus debuted its science and technology building, a $3.2-million expansion featuring labs for biology, physics, chemistry, general science and technology, and rooms for art, chorus and drama. That’s all part of the school’s commitment to creating a well-rounded student. “Parents can expect that we will provide their students every opportunity to grow spiritually and to excel in the classroom, on the playing field, and through the arts,” Lee says. n

The Specifics Grades: K-12 Student/Teacher Ratio: 20-25/1 Tuition: $5,716-$7,280 Location: North Gwinnett

Contact: 2975 Old Peachtree Road Dacula, GA 30019 770-962-5423 Web: | Newcomer Magazine | 27

Hot Happenings in WINTER




A Year-Round Guide to Atlanta’s Top Events by Caroline Cox

Moving to a new city can be very taxing. And when the dust settles, you’re probably too exhausted to ask the really important questions, like “When does the local amusement park open?” or “So what’s there to do around here on St. Patrick’s Day?” Here’s a list of the important events to mark on your calendar, from New Year’s Eve parties to outdoor arts festivals, Fourth of July fireworks and more. (Where no official 2012 dates are listed, please check the event websites for updates.)

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LEFT: Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Peach Drop. TOP RIGHT: Six Flags Over Georgia turns 45 this year.


PHOTOS: (Top Left) Courtesy of the Peach Drop and (Top Right, Bottom Right and Center) Courtesy of the Georgia Department of Economic Development

For many Atlantans, there’s no better way to gear up for a New Year’s Eve party than college football in the Georgia Dome. Cheer on teams from the ACC and SEC in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. In Atlanta, Dec. 31 is synonymous with the Peach Drop. Usher in 2012 in style as a sparkling, 800-pound peach descends upon Underground Atlanta. Revelers fill the downtown shopping district for fun family activities including live music and, of course, a dazzling fireworks display.

JANUARY The third Monday in January is set aside for honoring a son of Atlanta who spearheaded the Civil Rights movement. Observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, or the Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church on historic Auburn Avenue.

February Who needs Punxsutawney Phil? Every Groundhog Day, Atlanta consults its own furry weather prognosticator at Stone Mountain’s Yellow River Game Ranch. General Beau Lee scurries out on Feb. 2 to predict when spring will come to the Southeast.

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

April brings the annual Dogwood Festival.



Don your best green ensemble and head downtown for floats, Irish dancers and music, all part of Atlanta’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Bars and restaurants throughout the city, and local Irish hangouts like Meehan’s Public House, Fadó and RiRa Irish Pub, will be hosting all-day parties, as well. March 17. Six Flags Over Georgia celebrates its 45th anniversary this year with new live shows alongside its roller coasters, games, family rides and water attractions. The park opens for the season on March 17. For movie buffs, the Atlanta Film Festival, held at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, features a range of buzzworthy independent flicks. March 23–April 1.

One of the city’s biggest outdoor events, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival has been drawing crowds for more than 75 years. Held in Midtown’s beautiful Piedmont Park, it features hundreds of artists, as well as musicians, food vendors, children’s entertainment and a disc dog tournament. April 20–22. Another popular outdoor celebration, the Inman Park Festival is a whirlwind weekend of music, street food, dance performances and a tour of some of the neighborhood’s nicest homes. There’s also an arts and crafts market filled with paintings, sculptures and more, as well as a kids’ zone with slides, obstacle courses and other exciting activities. April 27-29. X | Newcomer Magazine | 29

MAY A relative newcomer to the local event scene, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is sure to be a favorite among Atlantans for years to come. The festival features dishes, demonstrations and seminars by the South’s top chefs, mixologists and local growers. May 11-13.

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND Celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2012, the Atlanta Jazz Festival features three days of local, national and international jazz artists and ensembles in Piedmont Park. The festival also celebrates “31 Days of Jazz” each May with daily jazz performances around town. The festival runs May-26-28. The Decatur Arts Festival features an artist market, theater and literary arts, dance, performing arts, areas for kids and teens and a silent auction.

JUNE For the last 28 years, VirginiaHighland Summerfest has featured art, food and fun, with an artist market, 5K race, live music and more, on Virginia Avenue in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood.

JULY Featuring artists from the U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, the National Black Arts Festival bills itself as “the largest celebration of art and artists of African descent in the world.” The festival showcases dance, theater, visual art, film, music, performance art and literature.

FOURTH OF JULY The Peachtree Road Race is an Atlanta institution. For more than 40 years, thousands have gathered to trek the scenic 6.2-mile course, or

The Legendary 4th of July at Lenox Square.

just to cheer on the runners and enjoy live music. Last year’s race brought a crowd of 60,000 participants. Let freedom ring at Lenox Square Mall’s Legendary Fourth of July Celebration. The area around this large Buckhead shopping mall is filled with musical entertainment and food from top local restaurants before the Southeast’s largest fireworks show takes your breath away. Atlanta offers plenty of other patriotic parties on the Fourth. Bring the family for fireworks and even a laser show at the Fantastic Fourth Celebration at Stone Mountain Park. And downtown, Centennial Olympic Park has its own 4th of July Celebration and fireworks spectacular.

AUGUST The Grant Park Summer Shade Festival encourages families to enjoy Atlanta in the summertime with a weekend of art, live music, children’s entertainment, a 5K run and a fine food and wine event.

October brings the annual Taste of Atlanta.

SEPTEMBER The Atlanta Arts Festival in Piedmont Park features fine drawings, paintings, sculptures, mixed media, photographs and more, plus live art demonstrations and classes so the whole family can create their own masterpiece. 30 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTOS: Courtesy of (Top) Lenox Square, (Bottom) Taste of Atlanta and (Inset) the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

LABOR DAY WEEKEND It’s not uncommon to run into Darth Vader, Wonder Woman or Captain Jack Sparrow in downtown Atlanta on Labor Day weekend. That’s because Dragon*Con draws thousands of fantasy and sci-fi enthusiasts from around the world each year. The Decatur Book Festival is the country’s largest independent book festival, with book signings, poetry slams, readings, writing workshops, parades and more in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur. Go retro with a weekend of rockabilly music, classic cars, corn dogs and drive-in films at Drive Invasion. This ’50s-style celebration takes place in an actual drive-in movie theater, with bands playing all day and movies running all night.

The Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker is a holiday tradition.

Celebrate Halloween at Boo at the Zoo.

Enjoy a weekend of family fun at the Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain. For nearly 50 years, generations have come together to enjoy shopping, great food, art and live entertainment, including fun demonstrations of everything from crafts to clogging. Sept. 6-9.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of (Top) Charlie McCullers, the Atlanta Ballet; (Top Right) Courtesy of Zoo Atlanta; (Bottom Right) Callaway Gardens

OCTOBER The Atlanta Greek Festival is an annual celebration of the sights, sounds, tastes and traditions of Greece, with souvlaki, gyros, dancing, music and much more. The festival usually runs over the first weekend of October. Taste of Atlanta is the city’s premier food and drink festival, with top chefs, farmers and bartenders offering delicious drinks and dishes. There are also live cooking demonstrations, competitions and seminars across three stages. The Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain celebrates autumn with storytelling, pie-eating, scavenger hunts and a puppet parade. Kids can enter a costume contest and even dress their own scarecrow. Every weekend in October. Atlanta Pride Festival is the city’s biggest LGBT event. Hosted in Piedmont Park, it features live music, literary events, a dance party and a parade. Out on Film, Atlanta’s premier gay and lesbian film festival, often screens in October as well.

HALLOWEEN The Atlanta Botanical Garden hosts a number of fun Halloween-related events all month long, including a Great Chefs of Atlanta Pumpkin Carving Contest; Fest of Ale, a weekly celebration of harvest season with live music and seasonal brews; and Scarecrows in the Garden, featuring more than 100 scarecrows hand-crafted by local businesses, schools and organizations. Boo at the Zoo at Zoo Atlanta is the perfect place for spooky family fun. Kids can explore the corn maze, view thousands of exotic animals, enter a costume contest and more. Boo at the Zoo usually takes place the last two weekends of October. The Little Five Points Halloween Parade features two stages of live music and an army of costumed participants. Check with the website for upcoming 2012 date and schedule information. And Netherworld Haunted House, consistently hailed as one of the nation’s top haunted-house attractions, offers bone-chilling sights and frights that may not be appropriate for pre-teens and younger fright-seekers.

NOVEMBER, DECEMBER AND HOLIDAY SEASON Early November brings old-time tunes and home cooking with the Cabbagetown Chomp & Stomp. At this chili festival in the hip Cabbagetown neighborhood, just $5 gets you

Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens.

a spoon for plenty of sampling. The event also features a 5K run, art vendors and plenty of local beer. Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens features more than 8 million twinkly lights strung along the wooded area of the beautiful Callaway Gardens luxury resort in Pine Mountain. Children won’t forget the spectacular | Newcomer Magazine | 31

winter scenes and larger-than-life creations. Check the website for dates, directions and other information. Kick off the holidays in Midtown Atlanta’s top shopping district with the Lighting of Atlantic Station. Families gather to enjoy a film screening, open-air market, holiday fashion show, children’s crafts, a realistic snowfall and a special appearance by Santa Claus himself. It’s not Christmas in Atlanta until you’ve seen A Christmas Carol at the Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker at the Fox Theatre. Bring the family to both of these holiday traditions featuring some of the city’s best actors and dancers.

ALL-STAR LINEUP Sports Dates to Keep an Eye Out For Atlanta’s sports calendar gets off on the right foot in March as the Atlanta Silverbacks men’s professional soccer team takes the field at Silverbacks Park. (The women’s team begins its season in May.) The Masters Golf Tournament, a top tournament exalted by pro golfers nationwide, takes place April 2-8 at the Augusta National Golf Club.


10 –19, 2012 at

April also ushers in baseball season, with the Atlanta Braves playing their home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers at Turner Field on April 13. NASCAR zooms into town for three days of high-octane excitement on Labor Day Weekend, culminating in the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race on Sept. 2.

Atlanta Ballet presents

TICKETS AS LOW AS $20 ON SALE NOW! Call at 800-982-2787 or visit Groups of 10 or more call 404-873-5811 x207

Illustration by Rainingcrow

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Football season kicks off in September, with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (, the Georgia State Panthers (www., the University of Georgia Bulldogs (www. and last but not least the Atlanta Falcons ( charging the gridiron. And finally, barring any setbacks, the last week of October brings your chance to cheer on some of the city’s tallest residents as NBA season brings the Atlanta Hawks back to Philips Arena.


Antico Pizza Napoletana An Authentic Slice of the Old Country by Muriel Vega | Newcomer Magazine | 33

PhotoS: Sara Hannah Photography


hen walking into Antico, the first thing you notice isn’t the first dates. Close to Georgia Tech, the mood stays casual as students mingle seductive aroma of pizzas baking in the oven: It’s the atmo- and eat in between papers. The restaurant isn’t very conducive to conversasphere. The décor is simple and rustic, the speakers blast the tion, with Italian music played at bombastic levels, but that just adds to the poignant tenor of Andrea Bocelli, and the counters and communal tables overall experience. evoke the interior of a small, hidden restaurant in Naples, Italy, not Atlanta. If you’re not in the mood for pizza, try a Calzone Napoletana with mari That feeling of being transported to another country is intentional. Ev- nara sauce. One of three calzoni, the Gigiotto is a savory combination of erything at Antico is imported from the old country: the three wood-burn- sausage, bufala mozzarella and broccoli. Every bite contains a variety of texing ovens, the delicious bufala mozzarella, the San Marzano tomatoes and the flour for the crispy crust. The restaurant is the vision of Giovanni Di Palma, a New York transplant with roots in Naples. Di Palma realized his dream of bringing Napoletana pizza to the U.S. after a stint in New York and training with the Maestros of Italy in Naples and Rome. Antico was a critical darling from the moment its doors opened, and as word of mouth has grown, so have the lines outside the door. And with just cause: Small details like the restaurant’s website being registered in Italy (note the “.it” instead of the typical “.com” address) and the freshness of the ingredients give diners a hint as to how passionate Di Palma is about his craft. After ordering your pizza at the counter, you can continue to the back and watch the cooks as they twirl the dough in the air and sprinkle the ingredients. The seating arrangement is unique—standing-room-only tables mixed with big, communal benches. A back table showcases fresh condiments such as olive oil, freshly chopped garlic, oregano, spicy red peppers, and grated Parmesan cheese. Once you receive your pizza, eat it quickly, as the crust will get soggy. The pizzas take about 60 seconds to bake—the crust burns slightly before the cooks move it to the top of the stone cavern to melt the cheese. The dough is made fresh ABOVE: Antico bakes its pies in wood-burning ovens imported from Italy. daily, and the restaurant closes when it runs out, a great way to maintain the LEFT: The Margherita D.O.P. is a popular choice. quality of the food. Antico doesn’t have a liquor license, so the restaurant is strictly BYOB— tures, each one different from the next—and thanks to the accompanying Bring Your Own Beer. Or wine, if you prefer. Feel free to pair your favorite marinara sauce, a mouthwatering delight. After feasting on a hot slice, follow your sweet tooth to one of the homevintage with a slice of the Margherita, a simple mix of San Marzano tomatoes, bufala mozzarella, basil and garlic, served hot from one of the 1,000- made cannolis, prepared fresh daily. With a flaky crust and creamy fillings like Nutella and toppings like peanuts or degree ovens. The DETAILS hazelnut, one bite will make you forget Other appetizing options include the laabout your long week. sagna pizza, weighted down with ricotta, Ro- Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Atmosphere: Authentic, one-of-a-kind pies in Reservations: No a loud setting If your dream is to walk the streets mano and meatballs for a flavorful twist on Phone: 404-724-2333 Recommendations: Margherita pizza of Naples experiencing authentic pizza, a comfort-food classic, and the San Gennaro, Parking: Small lot across the street with a Nutella cannoli Location: 1093 Hemphill Ave., then Antico is the next best thing. Give which packs a sweet and spicy punch with Attire: Casual Atlanta, Ga., 30318 in to the illusion and enjoy a savory slice red peppers and cippolini onions. Web: of Italy. n Antico is family-friendly, but also great for

Seven Sensational Adventures by Hope S. Philbrick

The north Georgia mountains offer plenty of opportunities to escape the city. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline boost or a romantic jolt, you’ll find a range of activities sure to lift your spirits and help you forget about how many boxes remain unpacked. And if you’re craving snow-covered vistas this winter, the region offers the best odds in the state. Here are seven of our favorite retreats.

Mountain Biking

Great options abound, but Unicoi State Park offers some of Georgia’s most beloved hiking. Navigate all of the park’s 7.5 miles of trails, or choose a specific destination, such as the twomile route to the Alpine village of Helen or the challenging 4.6-mile Smith Creek Trail. Or park your car strategically at the lot on the bordering U.S. Forest Service land and walk a quartermile paved footpath to the base of the Anna Ruby Falls—spectacular twin waterfalls! From the falls, Smith Creek tumbles down to the beautiful 53-acre Smith Lake. 706-878-2201.

Winter is an ideal time to race down the mountainsides on a mountain bike. The air is crisp, the underbrush has died down, and critters are scarce. Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike GetA-Way, located in the Chattahoochee National Forest just 12 miles from Ellijay, offers an overnight “home base” with ride-in/ride-out access to some of the best single-track mountain bike trails in the Southeast, including the renowned Georgia Pinhoti trail system. Explore miles of challenging fun for intermediate to advanced riders without risk of falling into a routine: The trails are packed with variety, including stream

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crossings, switchbacks, climbing, roller-coaster descents and wildlife sightings. 706-698-2865.

Hang Gliding Lookout Mountain Flight Park, the nation’s largest and most popular full-time hang gliding school and resort since 1978, is located less than 150 miles from Atlanta. Soar 2,000 feet above lush Lookout Valley, drifting in loops above the gorgeous view. Try it just once during a 15-minute tandem flight with a professional at your side, or take several lessons over a weekend or longer period of time and work toward

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Georgia Department of Economic Development

Nature Hiking

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Georgia Department of Economic Development

PHOTO: Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce

Hiking in the North Georgia mountains.

Escape to a spa weekend at Château Élan.

PHOTO: Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce

Raise a glass at one of the state’s many wineries.

Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-A-Way. LEFT: Unicoi State Park offers some of the best hiking in Georgia.

ready your camera to snap the best scenes. The trip follows the old Marietta and North Georgia Railroad line circa 1877. Abandoned in 1949, it was restored and relaunched as the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway in 1998. (Special December dates offering rides with Santa are especially popular.) 706-632-8724.

Spa Pampering a solo flight as a certified hang gliding pilot. 706-398-3541.

Railway Riding Leisure trips aboard the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway depart from Blue Ridge, a picturesque town bursting with unique restaurants and boutiques. The red locomotive pulls out of the 100-year-old depot towing 10 vintage railcars, some of which are climate-controlled, others open-air. One popular route is a 26-mile round trip boasting peeks at the Toccoa River. Friendly car hosts share interesting facts about sites passed en route and even suggest when to

For those times when you just want to kick back and say ahhhh, the luxurious solution is to head to the Spa at Château Élan. Located at a resort designed to evoke the French countryside, this full-service, European-style spa occupies a 35,000-square-foot facility that recently underwent a renovating face-lift. The result is a space that melds comfort with modern conveniences. Whether you opt for a body treatment, massage, facial, hydrotherapy, signature antioxidant winery treatments, nail service, sauna, steam room or another option, and whether you stay for a few hours or a full week, you’ll feel like royalty. Since you won’t want to leave, book a stay in one of the 14 overnight guest suites and

dine at the signature Fleur de Lis restaurant. Château Élan also boasts three world-class public golf courses and a full-production winery. 800-233-9463.

Wine Tasting Dozens of wineries crisscross the rolling mountainsides that surround Dahlonega, Helen and Sautee. While many of the wines from these vineyards are available at restaurants and package stores in Atlanta, the wineries offer the best selection, plus the advantage of sipping before you buy. One stop along the Georgia Wine Highway is Habersham Vineyards & Winery, located just a half-mile from Alpine Helen in Nacoochee Village. Founded in 1983, it’s one of the largest and oldest wineries in Georgia, with production of approximately 15,000 cases each year of more than 20 different wines under three different labels in a range of styles from dry to sweet. 706-878-WINE. www. Additional stops along the Georgia Wine Highway are listed online at X || Newcomer Newcomer Magazine Magazine || 35 35

PHOTO: North Georgia Canopy Tours

North Georgia Canopy Tours.

Zip Lining Add a thrill to your discovery of Georgia by zipping through the treetops at speeds up to 40 miles per hour at North Georgia Canopy Tours, located in Lula on 136 acres near the headwaters of the North Oconee River. Two course options both promise invigorating fun. The Skybridge Tour offers nine zip lines, two sky bridges and two nature hikes. Highlights include a zip that crosses the North Oconee River three times and a 700-foot dual racing zip as the grand finale. The Adventure Tour boasts an additional three zip lines for a total of more than a mile of cable, plus a 20-foot rappel. 770-869-7272.

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS During the winter holiday season, the Georgia mountain region bursts with celebratory spirit. Nov. 18–Dec. 31 Enchanted Garden of Lights at Rock City on Lookout Mountain Nov. 18–Jan. 1 Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier Islands Nov. 19–Jan. 13 Holiday Show and Sale at the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Center Dec. 10 Festival of Trees at Unicoi State Park Nov 25.–Dec. 31 Old Fashioned Christmas in Dahlonega Nov. 26-27 & Dec. 2-4 A Seussified Christmas Carol at Fifth Row Center

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Atlanta’s majestic skyline.

Suwanee’s Town Center.

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

Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.

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

Counties, Neighborhoods, Utilities, Hospitals, Education

51 Metro Atlanta Region Map 47




THERE Driver’s License

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

Mass Transit

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

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Car Tag

MARTA Rail Service

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

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

Vehicle Emission Inspection

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

Driving Tips

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

NEED TO KNOW Voter Registration

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

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

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

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

Cherokee County QUICK INFO

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

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

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


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

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

City of Woodstock


Cable TV Charter Communications 888-438-2427 Comcast


ETC Communications


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


Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

1560 1460 1509

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

Sawnee EMC

County Neighborhoods Schools

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

Cagle Dairy Farm, Canton

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

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


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


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

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


Clayton County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

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


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

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

Morrow Stately Oaks quilt show


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

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


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

1273 1460 1509

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



Georgia Power Company


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

800-266-2278 Hospitals

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


South Fulton Medical Center

404-466-1170 | Newcomer Magazine | 41

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


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

Cobb Co. Marietta City Georgia National

1534 1514 1460 1509

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

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

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

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

White Water

Cobb County



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

42 | Newcomer Magazine |



Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Marietta City Schools Board of Education

71 25 16 6 6 4 $8,816


DeKalb County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

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


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

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


Emory University


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

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

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


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

1334 1577 1460 1509

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

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity Georgia Power


Snapping Shoals EMC


Walton EMC


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



404-780-2355 Water

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


Comcast Cablevision


Hospitals Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston


DeKalb Medical Center


Emory University Hospital


Piedmont Hospital and Medical Care Center

404-605-5000 | Newcomer Magazine | 43


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Downtown Atlanta skyline




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

44 | Newcomer Magazine |

County Neighborhoods Schools

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

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development.

Atlanta City Schools

Fulton County

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


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

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

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Gwinnett County

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


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




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

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

Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Academy Per-pupil expenditures

1 1 1 1 $10,198

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

1526 1455 1460 1509

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

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


Telephone 888-436-8638

Water Buford Dacula Gwinnett City Water Lawrenceville Norcross

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

Cable TV Bellsouth Multimedia 770-360-5000 Charter Communications



404-266-2278 Hospitals

Emory Eastside Medical Center


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


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

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


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

Avg. SAT Score Henry Co. Georgia National


1410 1460 1509

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

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


Snapping Shoals EMC


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

McDonough’s town square

Henry County

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

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




Telephone 888-436-8638 Water

City of Hampton


City of Stockbridge


Henry County Water System 770-957-6659 Locust Grove



770-957-3915 Cable TV

Charter Communications



404-266-2278 Hospitals

Henry Medical Center


Southern Regional Medical Center


Sylvan Grove Hospital


46 | Newcomer Magazine |



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

F | Newcomer Magazine | 47


Zac Brown Band, Philips Arena The Georgia-based band, known for its Grammywinning mix of country, folk and Southern rock, performs a New Year’s Eve concert at Philips Arena. Sonia Leigh and Nic Cowan open the show. Dec. 31, 800-745-3000,

PHOTO: Charlie McCullers/Courtesy Atlanta Ballet

Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Wonderland, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, Fox Theatre

Theater & Concerts Demi Lovato, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre The singer and Disney actress (Camp Rock, Sonny with a Chance), performs songs from her three albums, including 2011’s Unbroken, which mixes energetic dance-pop with more thoughtful, reflective fare. Dec. 1, 800-745-3000,

John Serrie Christmas Concert, Tellus Science Museum

10, 770-605-5700,

A Christmas Carol, Alliance Theatre

The legendary singer-songwriter, a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, performs in support of his new album, So Beautiful or So What. Dec. 2, 800-745-3000,

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas!, Fox Theatre

Blake Shelton, Arena at Gwinnett Center Award-winning country music performer Blake Shelton brings his Well Lit & Amplified Tour to Atlanta, showcasing songs from his latest album, Red River Blue. Justin Moore and Dia Frampton, whom Shelton coached on the first season of NBC’s hit talent competition The Voice, open the show. Jan. 27, 2012, 800-745-3000,

Memphis, Fox Theatre From the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, TN, comes a hot new musical that energizes with explosive dancing, irresistible songs, and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. Memphis follows a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break. Jan. 31-Feb. 5, 2012, 800-745-3000,

Billy Elliot The Musical, Fox Theatre Billy Elliot The Musical is the joyous celebration of one boy’s journey to make his dreams come true. Set in a small town, the story follows Billy as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class. March 14-25, 2012, 800-745-3000,


Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, Fox Theatre The Atlanta Ballet’s annual staging of this holiday classic is as much a seasonal tradition as eggnog and mistletoe. Bring the family for an enchanting evening of costumes, dance and the unforgettable music of Tchaikovsky, performed live by the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. Dec.8-24, 800-745-3000, Once Upon a Time … Exploring the World of Fairy Tales, Imagine It!, The Children’s Museum of Atlanta

48 | Newcomer Magazine |

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

Discover the magic of Dr. Seuss’ classic holiday tale as it comes to life on stage. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! features the classic song “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas.” Through Dec. 4, or


The New Age musician and composer performs renditions of winter holiday songs, accompanied by beautiful images of the night sky on the dome of the Tellus planetarium. Two shows, 7 & 8:30 p.m. Tellus Science Museum Planetarium, Dec.

The Alliance’s acclaimed production based on Charles Dickens’ beloved story returns for a 22nd year, with veteran local actor Chris Kayser reprising his cherished portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge, who undergoes a journey of self-discovery. Through Dec. 24, 404-733-5000,

Paul Simon, Arena at Gwinnett Center

Performed by the celebrated Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Wonderland presents a bold, multimedia retelling of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with all your favorite characters presented in a new light. Jan. 12-14, 2012,

Les Misérables, Fox Theatre A brand new 25th anniversary production of the production based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel. April 24-29, 2012, 800-745-3000,

Exhibits & Events


2011 Town & Country Holiday Tour, Madison Tour some of the state’s most beautiful homes during this 28th annual event held in the city of Madison. Dec. 1-4, 800-709-7406,

Lighting of the Tree, Duluth Watch as Santa Claus arrives on his sleigh, pulled by live reindeer, at this annual family-friendly event. Dec. 3, 770-476-3434,

Nature’s Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muir’s Botanical Legacy, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center John Muir, a lifelong botanist, contributed significantly to today’s need to preserve wilderness. The traveling exhibition Nature’s Beloved Son traces his trek to Canada, Indiana, the American Southeast, California, and Alaska, and presents vivid images, specimens and actual plants Muir held in his hands, carried in his pockets, and preserved for all time. Through Dec. 4, 404-814-4000,

Port St. Joe to Mexico Beach and everywhere in between. Dec. 31, 850-229-7800, and

Once Upon a Time … Exploring the World of Fairy Tales, Imagine It!, The Children’s Museum of Atlanta Step into enchanting new worlds in this handson exhibit that takes children and adults alike inside seven fairy tales and explains the stories behind the stories. Through Jan. 22, 2012, 404-659-5437,

Western Art South of the Sweet Tea Line III, Booth Western Art Museum The third offering in the Booth’s signature triennial exhibition series, Western Art South of the Sweet Tea Line III features seldom-seen great works of art from public and private Southern collections. Included are more than 50 works in a range of media and styles covering more than 150 years of art history. Through Feb. 12, 770-387-1300,

Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, Goldstein Gallery, Atlanta History Center

Lighting of the Tree, Duluth

Christmas at Callanwolde, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center Enjoy period furniture, fine art and dazzling Christmas trees as the 27,000 square-foot mansion housing the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center is transformed by Atlanta’s top floral and interior designers for this 14-day holiday tradition. Events include Teddy Bear teas, breakfast with Santa, Cabaret Nights and more. Dec.5-18, 404-872-5338,

New Year’s Eve Crawl, Downtown Duluth Ring in 2012 with family-friendly activities, a gigantic snow slide, a winter carnival and the music of Banks and Shane, and watch the Chick-fil-A Bowl on the big screen. Dec. 31, 770-476-3434,

Celebrate Safe, Celebrate Twice Ring in the New Year, beach-style. First, celebrate in Port St. Joe, Fla., in the Eastern Time Zone. Then travel less than 10 minutes to celebrate again in Mexico Beach, in the Central Time Zone. Free shuttles run continuously from

Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment examines the rich cultural history of the Harlem theater, tracing its story from its early origins as a segregated burlesque hall to its starring role at the epicenter of African-American entertainment. Rarely displayed artifacts include James Brown’s jumpsuit, Michael Jackson’s fedora, the Supremes’ dresses, Sammy Davis’ tap shoes and Ella Fitzgerald’s dress, among others. Through Mar. 4, 2012, 404-814-4000,

Mandala: Sacred Circle in Tibetan Buddhism, Michael C. Carlos Museum Explore the rich tradition of the mandala, the sacred diagram meant to advance practitioners of Buddhism toward a state of enlightenment. This exhibit displays different types of mandalas, including paintings and three-dimensional works, and examines their significance and symbolism. Through Apr. 15, 2012, 404-727-4282,

Picasso to Warhol, High Museum of Art Explore more than 100 works created by 14 20th century-artists including Pablo Picasso, Rene Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol at this landmark exhibit, one of the largest collections of modern art masterpieces to be exhibited in the Southeast. Through April 29, 2012, 404-733-5000, | Newcomer Magazine | 49



Strolling Through Atlanta’s Olympic History

50 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Georgia Department of Economic Development

Centennial Olympic Park

estled amid the skyscrapers of bustling Downtown Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Park is an oasis in the city’s concrete jungle. Originally designed for the 1996 Olympic Games, this 21-acre park has become one of the most recognized landmarks in the state of Georgia. Easily accessible by MARTA, Atlanta’s public rail line, the park offers as much history as entertainment. Opened to the public in 1998, it features by Muriel Vega granite from each of the five continents represented in the Olympics, and serves as home to several commanding sculptures, including the Gateway of Dreams, which honors Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games. The visitor center, staffed with volunteers, provides guests with $5 audio walking tours, free wireless Internet and a locator for the nearly half-a-million bricks that pave the park, engraved with messages from donors. The park’s most popular attraction, the Fountain of Rings, is the world’s largest interactive fountain, with 251 water jets lining its five connected rings, shooting streams of water in a synchronized show with music and lights four times a day, year-round. During the summer, children run around the fountain as an alternative to crowded pools. The fountain area also features the official flag of the Olympic Games and the flags of host cities of past Summer Olympics. Bring a picnic lunch or grab a fresh-grilled burger and fries from Googie Burger, adjacent to the fountain, and relax on the sweeping Great Lawn while admiring the eight magnificent 65-foot Hermes towers that encircle the park. Each November, Holiday in Lights transforms the park into a wondrous landscape dotted with thousands of lights. In the midst of that glittering display you’ll find a canopied outdoor ice rink in December and January. Admission for 90 minutes of rink time is $7 and skate rental is $2. Student and group discounts are available. The park is also neighbors with the new World of Coca-Cola, the CNN Center and the Georgia Aquarium, making it easy to switch gears throughout the day and enjoy different facets of Atlanta’s history. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit N

Newcomer Magazine Atlanta | December/January 2012  

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 2012  

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