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December/January CONTENTS FEATURES Why I Love Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Atlanta’s Hottest Happenings in 2014. . . . . . . . . . . 26

Three prominent residents share their insights about what makes the city such a great place to live, and offer tips on restaurants, activities and more.

Get the rundown on the metro area’s best colleges and universities, from Emory and Georgia Tech to smaller public offerings and more.

There’s always something going on in your new city, with parades, festivals and concerts galore. Mark your calendars for these can’t-miss events of the coming year.

Atlanta’s Higher Education Options . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Georgia’s Best Holiday Celebrations . . . . . . . . . . 34 Explore your new state by taking in some of these festive seasonal events, from light displays to small-town traditions.




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

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

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

Homes & Communities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

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

DeKalb County, the third-largest county in the state, offers charming communities, affordable homes and great places to eat, shop and more.

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

Neighborhood Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

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

Just minutes from Atlanta, Decatur attracts families, students and young professionals with its convenience, charming square and small-town feel.

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

School Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Downtown’s new SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel offers a unique, romantic view of the city from 200 feet above the ground.

Woodward Academy, the largest day school in the continental United States, is dedicated to developing lifelong learners from an early age.

Dining Out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Atlanta is filled with excellent restaurants that specialize in traditional Southern cuisine. We serve up nine of our favorite spots. 4 | Newcomer Magazine |

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PHOTOS: (Center) Manda McKay; (Right) Joey Invansco

DEPARTMENTS | Newcomer Magazine | 5

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

Reap a Holiday Intimidated by the thought of preparing a huge family feast this year? Don’t sweat it—the East Point Holiday Market has you covered. The East Point Farmers Market hosts this indoor/ outdoor event featuring one-of-a-kind handmade gifts, jewelry, pottery, gift baskets and more, in addition to fresh seasonal produce, farm-fresh eggs and other homegrown goodies. Pre-order a holiday ham or turkey and pick up everything you need in one easy visit. Dec. 21 at Fire Station No. 1 in downtown East Point. For more information, visit

A Holiday Classic

PHOTO: Charlie McCullers Courtesy Atlanta Ballet


You simply haven’t experienced Christmas in Atlanta if you haven’t seen the Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. In addition to gorgeous choreography by John McFall and the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra performing the classic Tchaikovsky score, this year the holiday tradition features illusionist and America’s Got Talent finalist Drew Thomas in the role of the mysterious Drosselmeyer for the production’s first two weeks. What are you waiting for? Dec. 6-29. For tickets, call 855-285-8499 or visit

PHOTO: Courtesy of Macy’s

Suwanee in the News

All Aboard for Fun Generations of squealing children have flocked to a local department store to spend quality time with a beloved holiday character. No, we’re not talking about Santa or Rudolph, but instead Priscilla, the Macy’s Pink Pig. Located on the upper level of the Lenox Square Mall parking deck, this pink passenger train whisks delighted parents and tots alike through a giant storybook landscape. The Pink Pig runs through Jan. 5 (closed Christmas Day). For tickets, visit 8 | Newcomer Magazine |

The City of Suwanee, known for its public art displays, recently unveiled Remembrance, a tribute to the events and heroes of Sept. 11, 2001. The 1,628-pound relic from the World Trade Center towers, given to the city by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, sits in Town Center Square and is accompanied by a historical timeline. Learn more about the display, as well as local events and hot spots, on the city’s new Go! Suwanee mobile app, available now via Apple and Google Play. For more information, visit

infocus On, Dasher! On, Santa!

PHOTO: Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

Get some exercise to offset all that holiday cooking while helping out a good cause at the fifth annual Bedford Dasher 5K run/walk. Bring the family along to snap a photo with St. Nick and participate in the 200-meter elf run for kids 8 and under at this popular fundraiser for The Bedford School for children with learning differences. And say hi to the jolly old elf for us! Saturday, Dec. 14 at The Bedford School in Fairburn. For more information, call 770-774-8001 or visit

12 Days of Christmas Splendor One of Atlanta’s most impressive arts venues is getting gussied up for the holidays during Christmas at Callanwolde. The Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, which offers arts classes and workshops and hosts arts events, is made over by the city’s top interior and floral designers. Each room is a work of art. Tour the 27,000 square-foot mansion and enjoy special events Dec. 6-17. For more information, call 404-872-5338 or visit | Newcomer Magazine | 9

Why I


Love Atlanta By Muriel Vega

When you’re moving to a new city, it always helps to know someone who lives there who can give you the inside scoop. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a few well-known locals to get their insight on what makes Atlanta such a great place to live. Here, three prominent residents share their takes on Atlanta’s best neighborhoods, restaurants and things to do around town. 10 | Newcomer Magazine |


Robin Meade, anchor of HLN’s Morning Express With Robin Meade.

ROBIN MEADE Award-winning journalist Robin Meade anchors the HLN morning news show Morning Express With Robin Meade, and can be seen on CNN reporting on major events. She has lived in Atlanta since 2001.

PHOTOS: (Left) Jeremy Freeman/HLN; (Right) Angie Mosier

Q What’s your favorite thing about living in the Atlanta area? A My favorite thing about living in Atlanta, beyond the stellar people, the affordable housing and the livability factor of it all, is the weather.

Kevin Gillespie, chef at Gunshow and former Top Chef finalist.

“You don’t have to drive very far to get to an area that feels country and quaint.”

don’t have to drive very far to get to an area that feels country and quaint, where you can spend the day on a pontoon or casting a line from the water’s edge. One of the quietest times to hit the water would probably be during UGA football games. Just a little insider’s tip there.


Chef Kevin Gillespie is an award-winROBIN MEADE ning chef and former Top Chef contestant. He recently opened a new restaurant, Gunshow, in Glenwood Park. He has been an Atlanta resident for 13 years.

Q What’s your favorite neighborhood? A I enjoy Buckhead because of its shopping and dining as well as the little side-street neighborhoods with bungalows that have been there for decades. The older houses are within arm’s reach of the area’s great conveniences, yet those side streets are still a place where kids can skip to school together. Q What’s your favorite place to eat in metro Atlanta? A Right now, I’m in love with Empire State South. When I went there for the first time, I found it elegantly casual with a fantastic take on nouveau American/Southern fare. Another favorite of mine, outside the Perimeter, is Seed in East Cobb. It’s a farm-to-table [place] with seasonal menu changes. If you like cocktails, you’ll love the artisan feel of their drink offerings. Q What’s your favorite weekend activity? A My favorite activity for a weekend in Atlanta is heading for one of the many lakes in the surrounding areas and forgetting the city life! You

Q What’s your favorite thing about living in the Atlanta area? A I like that Atlanta has all the conveniences of a big city but feels less “big city-ish” because we have preserved so much green space and it’s less congested. Q What’s your favorite neighborhood? A I like the neighborhood Gunshow is in, whether you call it Ormewood Park, Grant Park or East Atlanta—the Southeast part of the city. It’s artsy and full of independent businesses. Q What’s your favorite place to eat in metro Atlanta? A That’s really hard. I’ll go with Buford Highway. There are so many choices from all over the world. It’s like a giant food court with good food. Q What’s your favorite weekend activity? A I love all the sports teams and going to games, but my favorite activity is to drive north a little and go hiking and fishing. u | Newcomer Magazine | 11|

JEFF DAULER Jeff Dauler, a 12-year resident, is an entrepreneur and a member of the nationally syndicated “The Bert Show” morning radio program, based in Atlanta. Q What’s your favorite thing about living in the Atlanta area? A There’s enough Southern charm to keep us polite and take the edge off, but we are a big city that still gets things done. I love telling people about the “big ones” that are headquartered here: Delta, Coca-Cola, UPS, CNN/Turner, Home Depot, and then keep going with some things they’ve never heard of that make this city awesome: Whynatte [a coffeebased energy drink], the movie industry, SweetWater Brewery, and music artists of all genres.

Q What’s your favorite place to eat in metro Atlanta? A If the weather is cooperating, patios always win. King + Duke, Tin Lizzy’s and Leon’s Full Service in Decatur are all on the short list. Want to impress someone special? KR SteakBar, Canoe and Bones all make an impression. Just looking for a place to have a good meal and visit with friends? Cypress Street Pint & Plate, Lure, or the recently expanded MetroFresh. My Sandy Springs favorites are Hearth and Blue Grotto. And my all-occasion go-to spot: Atlanta Fish Market.

Terms & Conditions – This offer is valid for one (1) adult ticket at the price of a child’s $15 ticket plus tax. Coupon must be surrendered at admissions when purchasing tickets. This discount is not valid with other discounts, coupons or offers and cannot be used with online or pre-booked tickets. Duplication, photocopying or sale of this offer is prohibited. No cash value. Not redeemable for cash or credit. Valid until 2/28/2014 (Code: 1003) LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob Configuration, the Minifigure and LEGOLAND are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2013 The LEGO Group.

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PHOTO: Rustic White Photography

Q What’s your favorite weekend activity? A A couple of years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to complete a triathlon, and I discovered the Silver Comet Trail for bike-riding and Stone Jeff Dauler of the nationally syndicated morning radio program Mountain for hiking and jogging. Both Q What’s your favorite neighborhood? “The Bert Show.” of those have remained favorites. I’ve A I live in Sandy Springs, and love the changes I’ve witnessed over the past several years. This part of town gotten spoiled sitting in the SunTrust Club seats at Turner Field a few keeps growing, but as it does, it starts to feel like a small town. The times; if you get the chance, do it. Baseball will never be the same. Celebhistorical squares of Roswell and Marietta are great places to visit for an spotting at Phipps Plaza, followed by a movie in the ridiculously comfortafternoon. But if I could live anywhere, it would be Midtown, halfway able and recently renovated theater there, is the perfect end to a great weekend in Atlanta. between Piedmont Park and Virginia-Highland.

TOP: (Left) The University of Florida Campus; (Right) The Butterfly Rainforest. BOTTOM: (Left) Poe Springs; (Right) Satchel’s Pizza.

PHOTOS: (Top Left and Bottom Right) Anna Mikell, Courtesy of Visit Gainesville; (Bottom Left, Top Right) Courtesy of Visit Gainesville

Gainesville, Florida

Four Reasons to Visit This Exciting City Gainesville, Fla., less than a day’s drive from Atlanta, is the seat of Alachua County, the largest city in North Central Florida, and home to the University of Florida and its Florida Gators sports teams, whose devoted fans can often be seen doing the “Gator Chomp.” But it’s also a bustling center of art, culture, history and more. Here are four reasons you’ll want to check out this exciting city.


Teaching Zoo

Nearly 30,000 people a year come through the gates to visit a unique site on the Santa Fe College campus: a teaching zoo. It is the premier wild animal technology program in the United States, where the students learn what it will take to be a zookeeper. The animals range from alligators to tree-climbing kangaroos—which, oddly enough, are not really great climbers. The animals and lush tree canopy make the zoo a year-round attraction perfect for all ages. Visit for more information.


Cold-Water Springs

The Gainesville area is home to one of the largest collections of high-magnitude cold-water springs anywhere. Poe Springs, located just west of the town of High Springs, pumps out 44 million gallons of crystal-clear cold water a day. The water is a year-round temperature of 72 degrees, brisk on cloudy days and truly refreshing during the brunt of a Florida summer. Swim, scuba dive, snorkel, canoe, kayak or just float—you can do it all while enjoying nature at its finest.



Ever taken a shower of butterflies? Gainesville now offers the chance to come face-to-face with exotic, vibrant butterflies fluttering atop a lush tropical canvas of foliage and flowers as you experience the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida campus. The screened vivarium is home to subtropical and tropical plants and trees, which support 55 to 65 species of butterflies. For more information, visit


Satchel’s Pizza

When traveling, it’s always fun to see where the locals dine. Satchel’s Pizza is a truly unique dining treat that blends family-friendly entertainment with delicious food. This one-of-a-kind local hangout offers great salads, calzones and, of course, pizza. In the back is Lightning Salvage, a combination five-and-dime store for souvenirs, live music venue and true junk museum. Satchel’s is not to be missed when in Gainesville. It’s not just a pizza joint; it’s an experience. For more information, visit

There’s more happening in Gainesville than the Gator Chomp. Gainesville delivers exciting nature-based activities, outstanding cultural offerings and delicious local cuisine. Experience how friendly a spot it is, and see how these things combine to make Gainesville the place “Where Nature and Culture Meet.” For more information, call 866-778-5002 or visit SPECIAL PROMOTION

Newcomer Magazine | 13

DeKalb County


Education, Diversity and Charming Communities By Susan Flowers

When you’re relocating to Atlanta, choosing which part of the metropolitan area to call home can be a challenge. Do you go for the hustle and bustle of a city environment, or do you choose a more relaxed life in the suburbs? DeKalb County offers the best of both worlds, hosting approximately 10 percent of the city of Atlanta as well as several appealing suburban communities.

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(Top) Provided by the Downtown Decatur Development Authority; (Bottom) (c)Kevin C. Rose/

Community Living DeKalb is home to more than 700,000 residents, making it the third-largest county in the state and boasting a larger population than Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming, according to the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce. DeKalb County residents enjoy a median household income of $51,712 and a median home value of $185,100, both higher than the city of Atlanta. Relocating residents will find a wide array of housing options. Whether you want a condo in artsy, close-in Decatur or Candler Park or a single-family home in more suburban Tucker or Lithonia, DeKalb’s small cities and numerous unincorporated communities offer something to fit every budget. According to the DeKalb chamber, home prices can range from a low of $90,000 to around $12 million, if you’re shopping in the area around Emory University. Decatur, the county seat, is a charming, historic city known for its pedestrian-friendly streets, great shops and restaurants and its Courthouse Square, which hosts numerous fes-

TOP: Decatur’s downtown square. CENTER: (Top) Candler Park; (Bottom) Stone Mountain.

tivals and events year-round. Dunwoody, which became a city in 2008, is a popular suburb for families and young professsionals and boasts such attracttions as the 35-acre Dunwoody Nature Center, Dunwoody Village and Perimeter Mall, the second-largest shopping mall in the state. DeKalb’s other cities are Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Doraville, Lithonia, Pine Lake and Stone Mountain.

Visitors to these varied neighborhoods will find that DeKalb offers the best of big-city diversity. The chamber boasts that the county is the most ethnically diverse in the Southeast, with residents from more than 30 countries speaking at least 120 languages. Thanks to its location just east of Fulton County and its excellent transportation options, getting to and around DeKalb is easy and convenient. Interstates 20, 85, 285 and 675, as well as U.S. Highway 78, traverse the county, as does MARTA. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is only 6 miles from the county’s southern border, and the DeKalb Peachtree Airport, said to be the state’s second busiest, is located in Chamblee.

Business and Education DeKalb’s central location allows residents to seek employment options in the city of Atlanta or in many of the area’s bustling suburbs. But | Newcomer Magazine | 15

The Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

The Centers for Disease Control and Presvention.

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with gothic architecture in a big-city setting. And Georgia Perimeter College, a public junior college that feeds students to four-year schools across the state, has campuses in Clarkston, Decatur and Dunwoody. The DeKalb County public school system is the third-largest in the state, serving the approximately 99,000 students not located within the Atlanta portion of the county. In addition, City Schools of Decatur, an independent public school system, serves the children of Decatur with eight schools.

Shopping, Dining and Entertainment When it’s time for leisure, DeKalb residents don’t have to venture past the county line to find all kinds of options for entertainment and dining. Stone Mountain Park, the No. 1 attraction not just in the county but the state, is a 3,200-acre state park that includes Stone Mountain itself, as well as a theme park, a cable car, a train that circles the mountain, a laser show and more.

TOP PHOTO: ©Kevin C. Rose/

there are plenty of great opportunities within the county’s borders, as well. More than half of the Fortune 500 companies in Atlanta have operations in DeKalb, according to the county chamber. Among DeKalb’s top employers are its government and public school system, as well as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, AT&T Mobility, Kroger, Cox Communications, Emory Healthcare and Emory University. Nationally renowned Emory is just one of several excellent post-secondary schools located in Decatur, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in subjects encompassing everything from liberal arts to mathematics and science, as well as schools of law, medicine, nursing, business, public health and theology. The city is also home to Agnes Scott, a private liberal arts college for women, and the Columbia Theological Seminary. Outside Decatur, the county also boasts Mercer University’s Atlanta campus and Oglethorpe University, a private liberal arts school featuring a gorgeous campus

The Fernbank Museum of Natural History lets visitors gaze in awe at the world’s largest dinosaur replicas and take in a movie at the museum’s IMAX theater. Those looking to get back to nature for an hour or two can stroll through Fernbank’s 65-acre hardwood forest. Some of the county’s most sought-after communities are also great places for shopping, dining and entertainment. The Decatur Square offers proximity to more than 50 shops, numerous restaurants and live music venues, including Eddie’s Attic. Candler Park, just five minutes from downtown Atlanta, features great options for weekend fun, with one-of-a-kind retail shops, art galleries, bars and restaurants. Antique lovers won’t want to miss Chamblee’s Antique Row, a cluster of shops known as the antique capital of the South, offering everything from vintage books to classic furniture. Of course, good restaurants are easy to find in DeKalb. The county’s dining options are as diverse as its population, with eateries ranging from Decatur’s Café Istanbul to the Southernstyle fare at such venues as the Flying Biscuit, Community Q BBQ and Matthews Cafeteria. Buford Highway, which begins near Midtown Atlanta and runs through DeKalb, offers a wide variety of international cuisines.

And those looking to prepare their own delicious meals head to the DeKalb Farmers Market. Covering 140,000 square feet and serving as many as 100,000 shoppers each week, it offers produce, seafood and other items from all over the world and is known as the world’s largest indoor farmers market.

From affordable housing to a wealth of businesses, colleges and universities, as well as a wide variety of restaurants, museums and other arts and recreation options, DeKalb County offers all of the convenience of Atlanta, along with many comforts, attractions and unique communities all its own.

COMMUNITY LIVING DeKalb County Government DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

Agnes Scott College Emory University

City of Decatur

Georgia Perimeter College City of Dunwoody Atlanta Public Schools DeKalb County Schools Mercer University Oglethorpe University Stone Mountain Park

City Schools of Decatur

Your DeKalb Farmers Market | Newcomer Magazine | 17



e Park Arts Festiva

Decatur By Muriel Vega


Fernbank Museum


Arts and Entertainment

Decatur offers affordable housing for every budget, from bungalows, townhomes and condos available for less than $50,000 to expansive single-family homes listing for more than $700,000. The median sale price for homes in the area between July and October 2013 was $180,000, according to Paces Park (888-743-2560) offers one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments starting at $895, with such amenities as a fitness center, tennis court and swimming pool. For young families, Kingston Point Manor (404-471-1772) offers townhomes in the low $200s, with three-story floor plans and close proximity to many shopping and restaurant options.

Eddie’s Attic (404-377-4976) is a beloved music venue famous for launching such acts as the Indigo Girls, Sugarland and John Mayer. For the science buff, the Fernbank Natural History Museum (404-929-6300) offers permanent and temporary exhibitions on dinosaurs, biology and history, along with IMAX films. Little Shop of Stories (404-373-6300) is an independent bookstore popular with adults and children alike. Each Labor Day weekend, the Decatur Book Festival ( fills downtown with authors, vendors, book signings, food and much more.

Local Treasures

Brick Store Pub (404-687-0990) offers an extensive beer list and delicious pub grub with a woodsy atmosphere. For brunch, visit Sweet Melissa’s (404-370-9111); make sure not to miss the famous home fries. The Iberian Pig (404371-8800) is a Spanish restaurant that serves delicious tapas, tenderloin and more. For a little pick-me-up, stop by Dancing Goats Coffee Bar (404-687-1100) for an espresso beverage and locally made pastries. The intimate Cakes & Ale (404-377-7994) serves up inventive American and Southern fare and sports a topnotch bakery. N

The heart of the city, the Decatur Square draws large crowds, especially in the summer and fall, for festivals like the Decatur Arts Festival, the Decatur Book Festival, the Great Decatur Beer Festival and outdoor concerts. The nearby Decatur Plaza features a fountain and is close to many great restaurants. The Old Courthouse on the Square (404-373-1088) hosts weddings and other events. The enormous Your DeKalb Farmer’s Market (404-377-6400) offers food from around the world, including almost any meat, vegetable or spice available. Decatur Plaza

The Iberian Pig

The Inside Track Formed in 1822, Decatur is the secondoldest municipality in the metropolitan Atlanta area.

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Culinary Treats

PHOTO: Provided by Decatur Downtown Development Authority

Paces Park

PHOTO: Fernbank Museum of Natural History/©Brian Upchurch

ust 15 minutes east of downtown Atlanta, the charming city of Decatur attracts young professionals and others looking for the convenience of city life and the peaceful feel of a small town. Families and college students from Emory University and Agnes Scott College fill the restaurants, shops and old-fashioned city square in the cozy, bustling downtown area. The city is served by three MARTA stations, making it accessible for pedestrians and out-of-town visitors.

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

make changes and Send anotHer ProoF. ove ad is oK to PubliSH witH cHangeS aS SHown. ove ad is oK to PubliSH aS iS.

Signature: date: | Newcomer Magazine | 19





Colleges & Universities You Don’t Have to Leave the State for a Great Education

PHOTO: Courtesy of Mercer University.

By Daniel Beauregard and Kevin Forest Moreau

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LEFT PAGE: The Atlanta campus of Mercer University. RIGHT PAGE: (Top) Emory University; (Bottom) Georgia Perimeter College.


he metro Atlanta area is home to a great number of quality colleges and universities, in addition to its wealth of public and independent schools. Maybe you’re moving to Atlanta with a child who’s close to college age or simply looking to learn some new skills to improve your employment situation. Either way, here are 10 of Atlanta’s most prominent institutions of higher education.

Emory University Situated on a beautiful leafy campus in Atlanta’s historic Druid Hills neighborhood, Emory University is considered one of the premier private research universities in the country. The university consists of the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Goizueta Business School, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and schools of law, medicine, public health and theology, in addition to one of the Southeast’s leading health care systems. Emory’s Oxford College, a two-year satellite campus, is located 40 minutes away in Oxford, Ga., where Emory was originally founded in 1836. There are approximately 14,500 students enrolled at the university, which is metro Atlanta’s third-largest private employer.

PHOTOS: (Top) Emory University Photo Video; (Bottom) Bill Roa/Georgia Perimeter College.

Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Tech, as it’s often called, is nationally recognized both for its football team and for being one of the top research schools in the nation. Located in downtown Atlanta, the school offers graduate and undergraduate degrees through its six colleges, which focus on architecture, engineering, computing, science, business and liberal arts. Georgia Tech has been consistently ranked as one of the top 10 public universities in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

Georgia State University One of four research universities in the University System of Georgia, this downtown Atlanta institution covers 100 fields of study, with 250 degree programs offered through its eight colleges. GSU is well known for its Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, and for its law school and college of education. u Newcomer Magazine | 21

LEFT: Oglethorpe University. RIGHT: Students pose with a mascot at Kennesaw State University.

Kennesaw State University

Mercer University Macon-based Mercer’s 300-acre Atlanta outpost, near the intersection of Interstates 85 and 285 north of the city, is known as the Cecil B.

Day Graduate and Professional Campus. The campus hosts 11 different schools and colleges, including the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the McAfee School of Theology, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing and the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, among other programs.

PHOTO: (Right) David Caselli for Kennesaw State University

The third-largest university in Georgia, with more than 24,600 students, Kennesaw State (KSU) sits on a bustling 328-acre campus roughly 30 minutes northwest of Atlanta near historic Kennesaw Mountain. In addition to well-known business, education and criminal

justice programs, KSU boasts the largest nursing program in the state.

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Morehouse College Morehouse, one of six historically black colleges in Atlanta, is a private, all-male institution, and has been ranked one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report. With a special emphasis on developing the intellect and character of its students, the school has produced such distinguished alumni as Martin Luther King Jr., former Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson, director Spike Lee and actor Samuel L. Jackson.

Oglethorpe University Founded in 1835, Oglethorpe University is a private liberal arts college in the Brookhaven neighborhood. Oglethorpe enrolls more than 1,000 students each year from countries all over the world and has been consistently honored by such publications as the Princeton Review and Forbes. It is home to the Conant Performing Arts Center, which hosts performances by Georgia Shakespeare each year, and the Crypt of Civilization, a time capsule slated to be opened in the year 8113.

Georgia Perimeter College Originally known as DeKalb College, Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) is spread across five

metro Atlanta campuses and offers two-year associate degrees and, since 2011, a number of four-year programs. As of 2012, GPC was the largest two-year college and the fourth-largest public college in the University System of Georgia.

Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), founded in Savannah, Ga., in 1978, is one of the top art schools in the world, with additional campuses in Hong Kong, France and Atlanta. SCAD’s Midtown Atlanta campus offers programs in graphic design, illustration, animation, fashion, interior design and more.

Spelman College Founded in 1881 as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, this all-female liberal arts school is one of the oldest historically black colleges in the country. It has been named one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and as one of America’s top colleges and top 10 women’s colleges by Forbes. Spelman graduates incude Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker and King Center CEO Bernice King.

MORE COLLEGES OF NOTE Agnes Scott College | This women’s college near downtown Decatur offers a robust liberal arts and sciences curriculum with a mission to teach women “to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times.” Brenau University | Based in Gainesville with additional campuses in Augusta, Kings Bay, Norcross and Fairburn, Brenau offers majors and degrees in health sciences, education, fine arts and humanities, and business and mass communication. Clark Atlanta University | This historically black university was formed in 1988 with the merger of Clark College and Atlanta University. Clayton State University | Located 15 minutes south of Atlanta in Morrow, this public university sits on more than 160 wooded acres. Spivey Hall, located on campus, is known as one of the best concert venues in the nation. Georgia Gwinnett College | Opened in 2006, this four-year public college in Lawrenceville offers bachelor’s degrees in 12 majors, including biology, criminal justice and special education.


authentic Montessori

right in Johns Creek!

“Education should no longer be mostly imparting of knowledge, but must take a

new path, seeking the release of human potentialities.” – Dr. Maria Montessori

• Children ages 18 months to 6 years • Montessori-certified teachers • Developmentally appropriate, high quality materials • Vibrant classroom communities Excellence in Montessori Education

Call to sChedule a tour!

• Child-centered, holistic Montessori education

Johns Creek Montessori sChool of GA 6450 East Johns Crossing • Johns Creek, Georgia 30097 (770) 814-8001 • | Newcomer Magazine | 23

PHOTOS: Michie Turpin Photography


Woodward Academy

Preparing Students for Lifelong Success By Cady Schulman


t Woodward Academy, students begin learning skills for success in academics and life as early as pre-K. “At the youngest ages, these students are already prepared, not only for the first grade, but college comes fast,” says Marci Mitchell, the school’s director of marketing and communications. “And after college, are they prepared for the world?” Part of the way Woodward Academy prepares its students for the world beyond its doors is by instilling a sense of confidence in themselves by teaching them to learn from their mistakes. “We’re preparing these young people to go out and be successful because of their confidence and their courage,” Mitchell says. “One teacher says, ‘Every time you make a mistake, your mind grows.’ That teaches something that a computer can’t provide. It teaches them problem solving. It gives them critical thinking.” That strong focus on developing lifelong learners has helped Woodward Academy grow into the largest independent day school not just in Atlanta but in the continental United States. The school currently serves more than 2,700 students from pre-K through 12th grade at its main campus in College Park and its Woodward North location in Johns Creek. Those students, drawn from 23 metro Atlanta counties, receive a well-rounded education thanks to a challenging college-preparatory curriculum that sends 100 percent of its graduates on to four-year colleges and universities. Aside from its rigorous academic focus, Woodward also offers a variety of arts and communications courses. Students begin taking a foreign language in pre-K, and upon reaching the upper school can add to their Spanish or French base with instruction in Japanese, German or Mandarin. For those interested in media, classes in video and film production are offered

24 | Newcomer Magazine |

in the school’s newsroom studio. Students produce a program called WA Live every morning, and also shoot and broadcast events like football games and parades. The school’s College Park campus houses a large fine arts building, where high school students can participate in orchestra, band, visual arts and theater. There’s an arts building dedicated to middle school students, as well. “They can do everything from photography to painting to sculpture and ceramics,” Mitchell says. In addition to its arts offerings, Woodward boasts an athletics program that includes more than 60 middle-school, varsity and junior-varsity teams, and intramural squads for grades 3 through 6. The school’s athletic complex features state-of-the-art weight rooms, training rooms and coaches’ rooms. “A lot of the college scouts come in and are like, ‘Are you kidding me? Our college doesn’t even have this type of facility,’” Mitchell says. The athletic and arts facilities, along with a diverse student body, help make the school feel more like a small liberal arts college. “We’re incredibly, incredibly diverse—ethnically, racially, religiously, socioeconomically,” Mitchell says. “When we ask parents, ‘Why Woodward?’ that’s their first answer. They want their children to have a life experience. You walk into any classroom, and it’s a snapshot of Atlanta. It’s a snapshot of our world.” N

The Specifics Grades: Pre-K-12 Student/Teacher Ratio: 10:1 Tuition: $13,500-$22,950 Location: Johns Creek and College Park

Contact: 1662 Rugby Ave., College Park, GA 30337 404-765-4001 Web: | Newcomer Magazine | 25

26 | Newcomer Magazine |

TOP: The Legendary Fourth of July at Lenox Square. CENTER: The Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain Park.

PHOTOS: (Top) Courtesy of Lenox Square; (Center) Courtesy of Stone Mountain Park


As you’ve probably figured out by now, Atlanta is a pretty big place, with many, many things to see and do. So many, in fact, that as a new arrival, you may be intimidated just thinking about them all. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the metro area’s biggest events, from outdoor arts festivals to one-of-a-kind cultural celebrations. Mark your calendar for these hot happenings and prepare to explore some of the best entertainment the city has to offer. (Dates are subject to change. Check event websites for updates.)

The Peach Drop, Atlanta’s largest New Year’s Eve event, fills the Underground Atlanta shopping district with live music as thousands of revelers await the descent of a sparkling, 800-pound peach and a spectacular fireworks display. Dec. 31. Atlanta’s premier Independence Day celebration, the Legendary 4th of July at Lenox Square Mall, boasts the largest fireworks display in the Southeast, as well as musical entertainment and food from top local restaurants.

FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVALS The Atlanta Food and Wine Festival highlights the food and beverage traditions of the South with chefs, mixologists, classes, tastings, dinners, special events and more. The festival takes place May 29-June 1 in Midtown Atlanta. Each October, Taste of Atlanta serves up a dazzling smorgasbord of cooking demonstrations, competitions and seminars featuring some of the top chefs, bartenders and farmers in the region. Savor samples from more than 90 great local restaurants. In early November, the Cabbagetown Chomp and Stomp energizes Atlanta’s Cabbagetown neighborhood with a chili cook-off, live bluegrass music, a 5K race, games and more. u | Newcomer Magazine | 27

Music Midtown.

Also in November, the Decatur Wine Festival takes over the historic square in downtown Decatur to showcase more than 500 wines from around the world. Attendees can also enjoy live entertainment and food from local restaurants.


The Global Imports Sandy Springs Cycling Challenge.

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, billed as “a 22-day cinematic exploration of Jewish life, culture and history,” screens dozens of narrative and documentary films and also features guest appearances by actors, directors, scholars and more. The festival runs Jan. 29-Feb. 20 at various venues. The Atlanta Film Festival, one of the largest film festivals in the country, shines a spotlight on a staggering number of films each year, from low-budget independent fare to awardwinning documentaries and more. The 2014 festival takes place March 28-April 6 at various venues. Out on Film is one of the oldest gay and lesbian film festivals in the nation, marking its 27th year in 2014. The festival takes place in October, running concurrently with Atlanta Pride, and also programs special events throughout the year. The Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival at the Fox Theatre offers the unique experience of watching classic films and recent hit movies on one of the largest screens in town. Before the show, enjoy a cartoon short and a singalong with the theater’s massive “Mighty Mo” organ. The festival runs on select dates June through August. For something a little different, Drive Invasion features cult films, classic cars and live music at the Starlight Six Drive-In each Labor Day weekend.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

CULTURAL CELEBRATIONS Oktoberfest runs from mid-September through October in Helen, Ga., a charming replica of an Alpine village just 90 minutes from Atlanta. This 28 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTOS: (Top) Manda McKay; (Center) Courtesy of Sandy Springs Hospitality and Tourism; (Bottom) Atlanta Motor Speedway Track Photographer.

MUSIC FESTIVALS The Atlanta Jazz Festival features performances by notable and up-and-coming jazz musicians throughout the month of May, capped off with a free three-day festival in Piedmont Park over Memorial Day weekend. Music Midtown has regained its crown as Atlanta’s premier music festival since returning in 2011 after a six-year absence. Held in Piedmont Park each September, it features two days of big-name acts on three stages; recent performers include Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters.

The Dragon Con parade.

The Peachtree Road Race.

PHOTOS: (Left) ©2013, James Duckworth/; (Center) MarathonFoto

The Suwanee Day parade.

colorful celebration of German food, beverage and music marks its 44th anniversary in 2014. The Atlanta Greek Festival brings the sights, sounds, tastes and traditions of Greece to Atlanta’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral the first weekend of October. Enjoy souvlaki, gyros, moussaka, dancing, music and much more. The Stone Mountain Highland Games bring the sights and sounds of Scotland to Stone Mountain Park during the third weekend of October. Thousands of people of Scottish descent participate in athletic events, dancing demonstrations and other events.

SPORTING EVENTS The Masters Golf Tournament is one of the major championship events in professional golf, drawing some of the biggest names in the sport. The 2014 tournament takes place April 7-13 at the Augusta National Golf Club, less than three hours from Atlanta. The Global Imports Sandy Springs Cycling Challenge returns to Sandy Springs for a seventh year of racing, food and fun in early May. The challenge caps the USA CRITS Series’ “Speed Week,” a nine-day string of bicycle races across the state. The event also includes the Taste of Sandy Springs food festival, with food and drink from more than 30 local restaurants.

The Peachtree Road Race, held on July 4, is one of Atlanta’s most beloved traditions. The 10K starts at Lenox Square Mall in Buckhead and ends at Piedmont Park in Midtown. More than 100,000 spectators line Peachtree to cheer on the participants. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series zooms into Atlanta Motor Speedway for a weekend of racing events billed as one of the most exciting events on the NASCAR schedule. Aug. 29-31.

NEIGHBORHOOD CELEBRATIONS The Inman Park Festival takes place the third weekend in April. Enjoy music, food, children’s activities and a tour of some of the nicest homes in this historic Atlanta neighborhood. April 2527. The Sweet Auburn Springfest is a free outdoor festival designed to spotlight the busi-

nesses and organizations of the Sweet Auburn Historic District. Thousands of attendees flock to Auburn Avenue each year for food, art and entertainment. May 9-11. The Virginia-Highland Summerfest commemorates the beginning of summer with a two-day outdoor festival each June. The scenic Virginia-Highland neighborhood hosts live music, food, an artists market, a 5K race and children’s activities. The Grant Park Summer Shade Festival takes place the last weekend of August with art, live music, a 5K race, food and a family fun zone with storytellers, puppet shows and much more. The Sandy Springs Festival draws more than 25,000 attendees during the third weekend of September each year for two days of fine art, music, a pet parade, 5K and 10K races, gourmet and festival food, classic rides and much more. The third Saturday of September brings Suwanee Day, a celebration of the bustling Gwinnett County city of Suwanee. This free festival features arts and crafts, a parade, food vendors, entertainment and lots of fun activities for the kids.

ARTS FESTIVALS One of the oldest fine arts festivals in the country, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival boasts a juried artists market featuring hundreds of artists | Newcomer Magazine | 29

working in paint, pottery, photography, sculpture, jewelry and more. The event also features food, live music, a disc dog tournament and children’s entertainment. April 11-13 in Piedmont Park. The Decatur Arts Festival features a month of events culminating in a weekend festival in May, featuring an artists market, a silent auction, performances, literary events and much more. The National Black Arts Festival stretches over the summer months with a roster of dance, theater, music, literature, film, visual arts and much more. The festival also produces yearround educational programming and special events. In less than 10 years, the Decatur Book Festival has grown into the nation’s largest independent book event. The festival takes place Labor Day weekend on and around the downtown Decatur square, with book signings, discussions, readings, writing workshops, food and book vendors, small press publishers and more. The Yellow Daisy Festival showcases the work of hundreds of crafters and artists, with food, music and much more. Sept. 4-7 at Stone Mountain Park.

The second weekend after Labor Day brings the Atlanta Arts Festival to Piedmont Park, with fine artists working in mixed media, photography, jewelry, paint and more. The two-day festival also offers artist demonstrations, classes, food and live music. For four years, Flux Night has filled the streets of Atlanta’s Castleberry Hill Arts District with temporary public art projects including dance performances, live music, sound and light installations, parades and more, shining a spotlight on the city’s diverse and vibrant arts community. Flux Night takes place in early October.

TRAVEL THROUGH TIME AND SPACE Celebrating its 29th anniversary in 2014, the Georgia Renaissance Festival transports visitors to the 16th century, with knights and maidens, a jousting tournament, a petting zoo, artists and more than 150 entertainers to delight the crowds with juggling, storytelling, music and more. April 19-June 8. Fans of science fiction, fantasy and all corners of popular culture flock to downtown Atlanta for Dragon Con every Labor Day weekend. This four-day festival spreads across five hotels, with vendors, celebrity appearances,

30 | Newcomer Magazine |

panels, a Saturday morning parade and thousands of costumed participants. Aug. 29-Sept. 1.

MORE HOLIDAY EVENTS Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hosts the Children’s Christmas Parade, which rolls down Peachtree Street in Midtown on Dec. 7. Get into the spirit of the season with Atlanta’s definitive version of A Christmas Carol, through Dec. 29 at the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre in Midtown. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer visits the Center for Puppetry Arts in a faithful adaptation of the beloved 1964 stop-motion animated special. Through Dec. 29. The annual Festival of Trees lights up the Embassy Suites Atlanta Galleria Hotel with 37 gorgeous trees decorated by local nonprofits. Through Jan. 1. Gift of Lights transforms Atlanta Motor Speedway with festive displays of more than 1 million LED lights. Through Jan. 14.

Truffle fries at JCT Kitchen.

Southern Cuisine Atlanta’s Best Spots for a Traditional Southern Meal

PHOTO: Suong Nguyen

By Hope S. Philbrick

Welcome to the South! If you like to eat, you couldn’t have arrived at a better time: Southern cuisine is now a trend so hot it’s popping up on menus across the nation. But here in Atlanta, you’re in the best place to savor it in its most authentic glory. To put you on the inside track, we’ve rounded up the best places to enjoy Southern fare. u | Newcomer Magazine | 31

678-904-0160, Chef Jay Swift helms this sophisticated tavern that serves modern comfort food and drink with a steadfast commitment to fresh, seasonal ingredients. The menu changes often, with mouthwatering options like braised short rib, pan-roasted duck breast, planked trout, cornmeal fried okra with harissa aioli and more.

steak and many others are inspiring a loyal fan base and following.


404-474-9600, Chef Joey Riley’s Brookhaven eatery serves food so good and priced so reasonably, each bite seems like a bargain. The menu offers scrumptious skillet-fried chicken with collards and baked mac and TOP: (Left) The 12-layer red velvet cake at Southern Art; (Right) the fried chicken, mashed cheese; creamy shrimp and grits; potatoes and green beans at Rosebud. BOTTOM: Fried green tomatoes at Chicken & the Egg. Carolina flounder; and an awardwinning burger topped with pimento cheese, slaw, green tomato chow Chicken & the Egg chow and bread and butter pickles. 678-388-8813, Chef Marc Taft creates classic Southern cuisine with innovative twists such as pimento cheese fritters served with tomato jam and green tomato Rosebud chow chow. Other favorites include pork chops brined in sweet tea, and 404-347-9747, a Georgia peach and Virginia ham flatbread. Save room for desserts like Chef Ron Eyester makes some of the city’s best fried chicken, brining chocolate bread pudding and blackberry corn cake. boneless breasts in salt water for 24 hours and then in a seasoned buttermilk brine for an additional 36 hours. From wild Georgia shrimp and grits to kale salad, the brisket burger and beyond, each bite satisfies. JCT Kitchen & Bar 404-355-2252, Chef Ford Fry helms an Atlanta empire with five restaurants already open South City Kitchen - Midtown and a new one, St. Cecilia, set to open any day now. JCT Kitchen, his first, 404-873-7358, serves up delicious Southern cuisine. Dishes like chicken and dumplings, This Atlanta favorite located in a historic bungalow is known for its conNorth Georgia trout, hickory-grilled Cabernet rib eye, wood-grilled hanger temporary Southern classics. Classic dishes get a creative spin, such as the 32 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTOS: (Top left) Sara Hannah Photography; (top right and bottom): courtesy of James Camp Photography.

4th & Swift

TOP: The dining room at Watershed on Peachtree. BOTTOM: (Left) the Kaleidoscope Burger; (Right) South City Kitchen - Midtown.

fried green tomatoes topped with goat cheese and pepper coulis, Caesar salad with Calabash shrimp, and flatiron steak with bacon-creamed collards.

PHOTO: (bottom right) LaCour Photography

Southern Art and Bourbon Bar 404-946-9070, For 10 years, Art Smith was Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef. These days, he grabs headlines with mouthwatering temptations like chicken and dumplings, shrimp and grits, Carolina gold rice risotto, bourbon-glazed pork shank, 12-layer red velvet cake and more. Bourbon Bar pours more than 70 distinct bourbons, plus an array of cocktails.

The Spence 404-892-9111, Chef Richard Blais, an Atlanta favorite known for innovation, came to many diners’ attention as the winner of Top Chef: All Stars. At this inven-

tive eatery, the staff cooks based on whatever’s inspiring them at the moment, from ingredients and chefs to bands or current events. The menu, which changes daily, features a mix of snacks, small plates, entrees and sides, with such tempting options as braised beef short rib with celery root and roasted mushrooms, or roasted beets with slow-cooked apple, aged cheddar and pecans. Don’t pass up the triple-cooked French fries.

Watershed on Peachtree 404-809-3561, In its original location in Decatur, Watershed became a beloved Atlanta institution known for its take on classic dishes and flavors from across the South—and especially for its fried chicken, a Tuesday night staple. Under the guidance of Executive Chef Joe Truex, Watershed on Peachtree continues that proud tradition with such dishes as jambalaya, pan-roasted salmon and, of course, the fried chicken (now served on Wednesdays). || Newcomer Newcomer Magazine Magazine || 33 33

LEFT PAGE: (Left) Stone Mountain Christmas; (Right) Global Winter Wonderland. RIGHT PAGE: (Inset) SAM Shortline Excursion Train.

PHOTOS: (Left) Stone Mountain Park; (Right) Courtesy of Global Winter Wonderland; (Inset) SAM Shortline Excursion Train, Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights The Atlanta Botanical Garden’s annual light show features a wealth of indoor and outdoor displays powered by more than 1 million lights, turning the 30-acre park into a kaleidoscopic spectacle of color. This year, sculptures from the hit exhibit Imaginary Worlds: Plants Larger Than Life are transformed into mesmerizing holiday visions, including a pair of 15-foot candy cane cobras, while the Edible Garden sports rows of illuminated corn, among other delights. This festive display runs through Jan. 4. 855-454-6849,

Global Winter Wonderland Avoid the hassles of holiday travel and see some of the world’s greatest monuments without leaving Atlanta. Billed as “a spectacular lantern festival and multicultural theme park,” this attraction turns 16 acres near Turner Field into a holiday paradise with a Christmas village, live entertainment and giant illuminated lanterns depicting scenes from around the world, including dazzling recreations of the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and the Golden Gate Bridge. Global Winter Wonderland runs through Jan. 5. 888-659-0888,

Holiday in Lights Each year, downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park becomes a magical landscape filled with

thousands of sparkling lights. In addition to the amazing display, the 21-acre park also hosts a popular outdoor ice-skating rink. Holiday in Lights runs through the first week of January. 404-222-7275,

Stone Mountain Christmas Stone Mountain Park, a 3,200-acre family attraction in Stone Mountain, Ga., offers a bounty of holiday activities for revelers of all ages, with such shows as Forever Christmas, Holly Jolly Cabaret, Toyrific! and A Crossroads Christmas Carol. Board the Singalong Train to hear renditions of your favorite Christmas songs and the story of the first Christmas. Meet Santa Claus, Rudolph and other characters and take in the nightly Christmas parade and fireworks display, among many other things to see and do through Jan. 1. While at Stone Mountain, you may also want to spend the day tubing through the snow and building snowmen on Snow Mountain, a snow-covered 400-foot hill, through Feb. 17. 770-498-5690,

A LITTLE FARTHER OUT Magical Nights of Lights Now celebrating its 21st year, Lake Lanier Islands’ signature holiday event features a 7-mile driving tour through scenes made of millions

of glittering lights. But that’s not all—there’s also a Holiday Village with a bonfire for roasting marshmallows, pony and amusement rides and more. There’s also a live nativity scene, an ice-skating rink, holiday shopping, a delicious buffet, carnival rides and a visit with St. Nicholas himself. Through Dec. 31. 770-945-8787,

Fantasy in Lights This 5-mile drive-through attraction at the sprawling Callaway Gardens resort has been delighting visitors of all ages for more than 20 years, and has been recognized by National Geographic Traveler as a Top 10 Place to See Holiday Lights. This spectacular light and sound show features 15 stunning scenes brought to life by 8 million lights. Scenes include the Enchanted Rainbow Forest, Christmas Tree Lane, Santa’s Workshop, the 12 Days of Christmas, Snowflake Valley and March of the Toy Soldiers. You can also enjoy shopping and dining at the Christmas Village. Fantasy in Lights runs through Dec. 30. 800-225-5292,

SAM Shortline Excursion Train The SAM Shortline whisks visitors on a fascinating journey in air-conditioned, vintage 1949 railway cars. The Shortline rolls through a number of charming towns filled with shopping, restaurants and fun attractions like the Georgia Veterans State Park and Military Museum, the Rural Telephone Museum and Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village. On Dec. 7, the train makes a special trip from Georgia Veterans State Park to Cordele, where vendors await with games, music and a reading of The Polar Express. 877-4272457, u | Newcomer Magazine | 35

Enchanted Garden of Lights.

Festival of Lights Drive through a series of magnificent light displays spread throughout The Parks at Chehaw, a park and zoo complex that stretches across almost 800 gorgeous acres some three hours from Atlanta in Albany, Ga. This holiday tradition, which dates back to 1986, also features a magical train ride, the Wiregrass Express, to ferry you and your loved ones to each wondrous display. You won’t forget the sight of these spectacular lights against a backdrop of hardwoods and moss-covered swamps. Festival of Lights takes place Dec.6-8, 11-24, and 26-29. And don’t miss Santa Claus himself, Dec. 13-14 and 18-23. 229-430-5275,

Enchanted Garden of Lights Wander through more than 30 holiday scenes at this extravaganza hosted by Rock City Gardens, situated atop Lookout Mountain two hours from Atlanta. Visit with Santa and his elves, decorate gingerbread cookies, sip hot cocoa and enjoy nightly entertainment at the North Pole Adventure. On select nights, visitors can also take part in a VIP experience that includes dinner with Santa himself. Through Jan. 4 (except Dec. 24). 800854-0675,

MORE SEASONAL CELEBRATIONS Charity Lane Festival of Lights Drive 7 miles adorned with Christmas lights in Rabun Gap’s Wolffork Valley. Dec. 6-8 and 13-15.

Holidays at Hills & Dales Estate Take a tour of the spacious Fuller E. Callaway family home in LaGrange, Ga., lavishly decorated for the season with a tinsel-laden tree, brilliant poinsettias and other trimmings. Dec. 6-28. 706-882-3242,

Christmas Tour of Homes Enjoy a candlelight tour of beautifully decorated historic homes in downtown St. Mary’s, Ga. Dec. 14. 912-882-4000,

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Rock City

Holidays in Olde Lincoln Town This annual festival in downtown Lincolnton in Lincoln County, Ga., includes a lighted Christmas parade, extended shopping hours, prizes, open houses and more. Dec. 7. 706-359-7970,

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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

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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Driving Tips

MARTA Rail Service

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.georgiatolls. com to purchase a card. The Georgia DOT provides daily updates of road work, road closings and traffic delays, which are helpful when commuting. Updates can be obtained by calling (toll free) 1-877-694-2511, by dialing 511, or by visiting


NEED TO KNOW Voter Registration

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

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

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

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION pUBLIC schools Bartow County Schools Board of Education: 770-606-5800 Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Career Academy Per-pupil expenditures: School & bus information

Bartow County

12 4 3 1 $8,311 770-606-5873

The Booth Western Art Museum ADAIRSVILLE

Avg. SAT Scores Bartow Co. 1440 Georgia 1452 National 1498 pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity City of Cartersville 770-387-5631 Georgia Power Company 888-660-5890 Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit

Telephone AT&T Residential 770-382-9743 Water Bartow County Water Department 770-387-5170 Cable TV AT&T 866-271-9724 Comcast 800-266-2278 Hospitals Cartersville Medical Center 770-382-1530 Emory Heart & Vascular Center 404-778-8400

the county seat after nearby Cassville was largely destroyed by Union General William Sherman. Located within the hills of North Georgia, Cartersville boasts several museums, including the Tellus Science Museum, the Booth Western Art Museum, the Rose Lawn Museum and the Bartow History Center. It is also home to the Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site, featuring prehistoric mounds dating back more than 1,000 years. Natural attractions including Lake Allatoona, Red Top Mountain State Park and the Pine Mountain Trail provide residents with outdoor recreation options and other familyfriendly activities. Today, Cartersville boasts a population of more than 19,000 residents, and has its own school district made up of five schools, from pre-K to high school.

WHITE Originally named Cass County, BARTOW Bartow County was renamed after CARTERSVILLE Colonel Francis S. Bartow in 1861. EMERSON Rich in Native American history, the county was created from part of Cherokee County in 1832. The county saw great devastation during the Civil County The first Georgia War, which was especially Neighborhoods town to be registered in tragic after the prosperous the National Register of antebellum period the area had Historic Places, Adairsville enjoyed. Union General William Schools Sherman burned nearby Cassville, was named after Chief John Median household income: $49,060 the original county seat, to the Adair, a Scottish settler who Median age of residents: 35.6 ground in 1864; the county married a Cherokee Indian Population: 100,661 seat was moved in 1867 to girl. The Western and Sales tax: 7% Cartersville, where it remains. Atlantic Railroad played Chamber of Commerce Though Cassville never a central part in the city’s 770-382-1466, recovered from the war, the growth in the mid-1800s, as Property Taxes county and Cartersville benefited local businesses flourished Per $1,000 of assessed value is: from the area’s natural resources around the depot. SixtyUnincorporated Bartow County, $27.73 and transportation. Mining and five miles from both Atlanta Cartersville, $30.73 agriculture became important and Chattanooga, the city Adairsville, $32.66 parts of the local economy along is perfect for an overnight Tax Commissioner: 770-387-5111 with textiles, corn and cotton. stay, especially at the . Today, the county offers a Currently, the county employs a nearby Barnsley Gardens tight-knit community, with a great sole commissioner form of government, Resort, which offers spa treatments, school system and affordable housing. and is the largest county to have such a gardens, restaurants, golf and In addition to Cartersville, the county government in the state. Georgia is the beautiful English cottages sure to is also home to the cities of Adairsville, only remaining state to allow for sole take your breath away. Kingston, Euharlee and Emerson. commissioner governments. Adairsville is also an antiques Attractions include the Euharlee lover’s dream, with the Georgia Covered Bridge and History Museum, North Antique Mall and the 1902 the Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Stock Exchange shop both in the Center, the Civil War Museum in small downtown area. N Kingston, the world’s first Coca Cola outdoor advertisement and abundant For more counties and neighborhood Incorporated in 1850, Cartersville nature trails in such spots as Pine Top information, visit our Web site at is full of history. The city became Mountain and Red Top Mountain.

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pUBLIC schools Cobb County Schools Board of Education 770-426-3300 Elementary Schools 71 25 Middle Schools High Schools 16 Magnet 6 Charter 6 Special 4 Per-pupil expenditures $8,816

Cobb County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

White Water



One of Family Circle magaCobb County came into zine’s “Ten Best Towns for Famibeing in 1832 when the state lies,” Kennesaw takes pride in its County redistributed land once part small-town atmosphere and boasts Neighborhoods of the Cherokee Nation. abundant parks and green space, Named after Thomas exceptional recreational programs Welch Cobb, the county and top-notch schools, includ experienced a devastating ing Kennesaw State University. Kennesaw’s Historic Downtown setback during the Civil 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 ofvalue. Tax Commissioner: 770-980-2000 delivers an amazing sense of style fers a quality of life unsurand love of life. The new Market passed in the Southeast. More than $770 million has been spent luxury apartments and condos near Village, home to fabulous restaurants, on transportation improvements in Cumberland Mall, secluded sub- bars and upscale shops and services, recent years, allowing residents easy divisions in East Cobb and horse is the final piece of a master plan for access to Atlanta and the commer- ranches in the northwest corner success. Call it “Main Street USA” or cial districts of Vinings Overlook, of the county. The small towns of “Disneyland,” but don’t overlook its Cumberland Parkway and the pres- Marietta, Vinings, Smyrna and Aus- charm and ability to offer the best in tigious “Platinum Triangle” in the tell still retain their Southern charm fresh, trendy lifestyle options. N Galleria area. amidst urban settings. According to For more counties and neighborhood A variety of housing options the Census Bureau, the median valinformation, visit our Web site at exist in Cobb County, including ue of homes in 2006 was $205,200.



Marietta City Schools Board of Education


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

Cobb Co. 1534 Marietta City 1514 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 Acworth Power 770-974-5233 770-429-2100 Cobb EMC Georgia Power 888-660-5890 770-942-6576 GreyStone Power Corp. 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 888-436-8638 AT&T 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 | Newcomer Magazine | 41

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


Cobb Energy (Electricity, Security, Telephone and Satellite TV) 770-429-2222 Electricity 706-276-2362 Amicalola EMC Cobb EMC 770-429-2100 Georgia Power 888-660-5890 Sawnee EMC


Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit Telephone AT&T 888-436-8638 ETC Communications 678-454-1212 TDS Telecom-Nelson 770-735-2000 Ball Ground Windstream 800-501-1754 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 404-266-2278 ETC Communications


Hospitals Northside Hospital-Cherokee 770-720-5100 Wellstar Kennestone Hospital 770-793-5000

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Avg. SAT Scores Cherokee Co. 1560 Georgia 1460 National 1509 pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

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,

42 | Newcomer Magazine |

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


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


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

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

Pinecrest AcAdemy

A PreK-12th grade, Catholic School

• 20 AP classes offered • Co-ed campus with gender separated classes • Rated as a top 50 Catholic high school in the nation • Highest sAT scores in Forsyth County and in all Georgia public school districts

OPen HOuse Jan. 12, 2014 1 to 3 pm

955 Peachtree Parkway Cumming, GA 30041 • 770-888-4477 | Newcomer Magazine | 43

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION pUBLIC schools DeKalb County Schools Board of Education 678-676-1200

DeKalb County 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.

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


Avg. SAT Scores DeKalb Co. 1334 City of Decatur 1577 Georgia 1460 National 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


Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Early Learning 1 Elementary Schools 4 Middle Schools 1 High Schools 1 Per-pupil expenditures $13,444 School & bus information 404-370-8737


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

The square is also home to some beautiful public art, and hosts numerous festivals, town celebrations and neighborhood events. Decatur is home to a diverse population, attracting young professionals, families, retirees and bright young college students—the city is home to the prestigious women’s university Agnes Scott College, and world-renowned Emory University is just outside the city limits. Older brick homes, smaller bungalows and cottage homes distinguish the community and the surrounding neighborhoods of Avondale Estates, Oakhurst and Candler Park.


Emory University


DeKalb County prosCounty pers in part due to its exNeighborhoods cellent transportation sys- tem. Five major road ar- teries traverse the county: Interstates 20, 85, 285, 675 and US Highway 78. Schools Hartsfield-Jackson Inter national Airport is only six miles from DeKalb’s Median household income: $51,753 southern border and the Median age of residents: 35 Population: 739,956 DeKalb Peachtree AirSales tax: 7% port, a general aviation field, is reported to be Chamber of Commerce DeKalb County the second busiest air404-378-8000, port 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 headis the Courthouse Square, which quartered there. The median value of homes in features an eclectic mix of store2006, according to the Census Bu- front boutiques and shops, restaurants and entertainment options. reau, was $190,100.

44 | Newcomer Magazine |

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 hotspot for families. N For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our Web site at


Fulton County

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

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

Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Charter Per-pupil expenditures

Downtown Atlanta skyline




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

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

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development.

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


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


Once a small farming community, Alpharetta has greatly boomed within the last 20 years to become

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

58 19 16 6 $9,746

Atlanta City Schools


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

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

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

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

Fulton County



CABLe Tv Charter Communications 877-728-3121 Comcast 404-266-2278 hoSPITALS Atlanta Medical Center 404-265-4000 Center for the Visually Impaired 404-875-9011 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding 404-785-9500 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite 404-785-5252 Emory Crawford Long Hospital 404-686-2513 Fulton County Health Dept. 404-730-1211 Grady Memorial Hospital 404-616-4307 North Fulton Regional Hospital 770-751-2500 Northside Hospital 404-851-8000 Piedmont Hospital 404-605-5000 Shepherd Center 404-352-2020 South Fulton Medical Center 404-466-1170 St. Joseph’s Hospital 404-851-7001 | Newcomer Magazine | 45

COUNTY INFORMATION pUBLIC schools Gwinnett County Schools Board of Education: 678-301-6000 Elementary Schools 72 Middle Schools 24 High Schools 20 Alternative 6 Open Campus 1 Per-pupil expenditures: $8,338 City Schools of Buford Board of Education:


Elementary Schools 1 Middle Schools 1 High Schools 1 Academy 1 Per-pupil expenditures $10,198 Avg. SAT Scores Gwinnett Co. 1526 City of Buford 1455 Georgia 1460 National 1509 pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

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


Telephone 888-436-8638

Water Buford 770-889-4600 Dacula 770-963-7451 678-376-6800 Gwinnett City Water Lawrenceville 770-963-2414 770-448-2122 Norcross Cable TV Bellsouth Multimedia 770-360-5000 Charter Communications


Comcast 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

Gwinnett County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development


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.




46 | Newcomer Magazine |



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The Book of Mormon, Fox Theatre Broadway in Atlanta presents the local premiere of the hit comedy musical from the creators of South Park and Avenue Q. Jan. 28-Feb. 9, 800-278-4447,

New Orleans!, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Celebrate the musical heritage of the Big Easy with performances by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Grammy Award-winner Aaron Neville.

“The Book of Mormon,” Fox Theatre

Theater & Concerts The Nutcracker, Gwinnett Performing Arts Center The Northeast Atlanta Ballet presents an energetic rendition of this classic holiday tale, set to the stirring music of Tchaikovsky as performed live by the Gwinnett Symphony. Dec. 6-22,

Justin Timberlake, Philips Arena The musician and actor performs in support of his latest album, The 20/20 Experience—2 of 2. Dec. 17, 800-745-3000,

Celebrating the Songs and Voice of Gregg Allman, Fox Theatre

Power 96.1 Jingle Ball, Philips Arena

This special one-night-only event honors Georgia native Gregg Allman, with performances from the Allman Brothers Band, Jackson Browne, Eric Church, Natalie Cole, John Hiatt and many others. Jan. 10, 855-285-8499,

Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, Pitbull, Flo Rida and more perform at this second annual concert event. Dec. 11, 800-745-3000,

Billy Gardell, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre


The actor and standup comic performs. Jan. 18,

Disney Junior Live on Tour! Pirate and 404-881-8885, Princess Adventure, The Midtown Men, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Take the little ones to this all-new show featuring Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre characters from the hit Disney Junior series Sofia the First and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Dec. 14-15, 404-881-8885,

Amy Grant and Vince Gill, Fox Theatre The award-winning country performers celebrate the Christmas season with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Dec. 16, 855-285-8499,

This stage show reunites four stars from the original cast of Broadway’s Jersey Boys for an evening of classic music from the 1960s. Jan. 26, 404-881-8885, Caboose Lighting and Holiday Festival, Suwanee

Star 94 FM Jingle Jam, Arena at Gwinnett Center The Backstreet Boys, the Fray, Goo Goo Dolls and Avril Lavigne perform at this annual concert hosted by local radio station Star 94. Dec. 16, 800-745-3000,

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PHOTO: © Joan Marcus 2013

Jan. 30, 404-881-8885,

Exhibits & Events Caboose Lighting and Holiday Festival, Suwanee See Santa Claus in person as he travels down Main Street in Suwanee’s historic Old Town in a tractor-drawn sleigh to light the red caboose, talk to children and take photos. Enjoy performances by elementary school choruses as well as craft activities, cookies, hot chocolate and s’mores. Dec. 6,

Holly Jolly Holidays, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Celebrate the holidays with a Santa takeover, holiday-inspired ornamental builds and more. Through Dec. 31, 404-848-9252,

New Year’s Eve Celebration, Duluth Town Green Usher in 2014 at this annual free event featuring music, fireworks and other festivities. Dec. 31,

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

Polar Bear Swim, Lake Lanier Olympic Venue This annual plunge into the cold waters of Lake Lanier celebrates the coming year in unique fashion. The event, hosted by the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club, marks its 17th year. Wear a costume and win a prize at this family-friendly outing. Jan. 1, 770-287-7888,

Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney, High Museum of Art This is the first major exhibition to examine the 50-year career of Caldecott Medal-winning

Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting, High Museum of Art

Through Jan. 5, 404-733-5000,

Open House, Pinecrest Academy Pinecrest Academy, one of the nation’s top 50 Catholic high schools, hosts an annual open house event. Jan. 12, 770-888-4477,

Go West!, High Museum of Art This exhibit features objects and major works of art showcasing the exploration and settlement of the American West, including posters, photos and other artwork created for Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show; recreational frontier firearms and the advertisements that promoted them; and a war bonnet and other artifacts crafted by members of Plains tribes. Through April 13, 404-733-5000,

Today’s West!, Booth Western Art Museum This exhibition showcases masterworks of the last 50 years from the collection of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyo. This is a special two-part exhibit in conjunction with the High Museum of Art, which features historical pieces from the Center. Through April 13, 770-387-1300,

Suwanee SculpTour, Suwanee Downtown Suwanee’s walkable, outdoor public art experience returns with 15 new sculptures created by artists from across the country. Through March 2015,

Bodies the Exhibition, Atlantic Station This exhibit offers an unmatched view of the human body and how it works, with more than 200 actual bodies and specimens offering a look at our skeletal structure, musculature, nervous and reproductive systems and more. Ongoing, 404-496-4274,

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

Titanic: The Artifact Expedition, Atlantic Station This stirring exhibit showcases more than 200 artifacts preserved from the wreck of the RMS Titanic, offering a one-of-a-kind look at the iconic ship. Ongoing, 404-496-4274,

PHOTO: Anna Mikell, Courtesy of Visit Gainesville

artist and illustrator Jerry Pinkney, displaying more than 140 of his watercolor illustrations from classic picture books and commissions.

Treat yourself to a getaway! Upcoming Events in Gainesville, Florida

Hoggetown Medieval Faire, Alachua County Fairgrounds

Downtown Countdown New Year’s Eve, Bo Diddley Community Plaza Ring in the New Year at this annual free celebration featuring live music and more. Dec. 31,

Hoggetown Medieval Faire, Alachua County Fairgrounds Travel back through time at this 28th annual festival and experience the sights and sounds of a bygone era as street performers stroll the grounds, delighting audiences with feats of dancing, juggling and other merriment. Enjoy musicians playing period music and live entertainment on eight stages. Wander the marketplace as artisans take part in demonstrations of blacksmithing, weaving, woodcarving and more. And don’t forget the living chess match and jousting tournament. Jan. 25-26 and Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 352-393-8536,


Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Auto Plus Raceway This annual drag-racing event is one of the National Hot Rod Association’s most beloved races and the sport’s traditional East Coast opener event. March 13-16, 352-377-0046,


10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Closed Sunday

Spring Garden Festival, Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Shop for plants for your garden or just browse among approximately 200 booths featuring plants, landscape displays, garden accessories, arts and crafts, educational exhibits and food offerings. The festival also features a walk-through butterfly conservatory, a children’s activities area, live entertainment and more. March 22-23, 352-372-4981, For more information on Gainesville Florida events, attractions and happenings call 866778-5002 or go to



Scarlett on the Square Original Gone With the Wind memorabilia on display from the private collection of Dr. Christopher Sullivan. Gift Shop, facility RentalS annual eventS

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SkyView Atlanta


hether you’re new to the area or a longtime resident, Atlanta’s newest touring attraction is offering a view of the city like you’ve never seen it before— from 200 feet above the ground. SkyView Atlanta, a Ferris wheel reaching almost 20 stories high, opened in July at the southern end of Centennial Olympic Park, near the Tabernacle and within walking distance of Philips Arena, the CNN Center, World of Coca-Cola and other attractions. And according to spokesman Jason Evans, it’s already By Cady Schulman become a hit. “We’ve been doing better than our initial projections,” he says, adding that visitors “have been really excited about this.” The wheel features 1 million LED lights that create thousands of different colors, and a nightly light show. “It’s spectacular to look at,” says Evans, who notes that SkyView’s height sets it apart from carnival Ferris wheels, which are typically 30 to 40 feet high. “I see little kids who come by, and their jaws are on the ground,” he says. “The sheer size really makes it special.” SkyView Atlanta features 42 climate-controlled, wheelchair-accessible, fully enclosed gondolas that seat between two and six riders. Each ride lasts four revolutions and lasts around 15 minutes. Though no two groups are put in a gondola together, no one is allowed to ride alone; SkyView employees accompany single riders. “If something happens to someone while they’re on the ride, we want there to be one other person there,” Evans says. So far, reaction has been extremely positive—even among those afraid of heights, like the woman who was second in line on opening day. “She comes off and she says, ‘I loved it. … The whole time I was up there I felt safe, and I want to go again,’” Evans says. Adults 13 and up ride for $13.50, while senior citizens and members of the military ride for $12.15 and tickets are $8.50 for children 3 through 12. There’s also a VIP flight that allows you to skip the line and take a double flight in a special gondola with leather seats and a glass floor for $50 per person. SkyView Atlanta is located at 168 Luckie St. For hours, tickets and other information, call 678-9499023 or visit

Taking Visitors to Amazing Heights

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Newcomer Magazine | December/January 2014  
Newcomer Magazine | December/January 2014