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April/May CONTENTS FEATURES The Credit Union Advantage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Metro Atlanta’s Top Neighborhoods . . . . . . . . . . 22

Better rates, better service and better lending practices help make these not-for-profit co-ops banking’s best kept secret.

Our annual neighborhood guide explores 12 great places to call home, and includes a list of the metro area’s top 100 communities.

Teaching the Whole Child . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Spring Travel Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

At these metro Atlanta schools, teachers go beyond academics to help their students develop into happy, healthy and responsible adults.

Spring is the perfect time for a vacation, and we’ve outlined plenty of options—all within a day’s drive of Atlanta.

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32

PHOTOS: (Center) Courtesy of the City of Duluth; (Right) Courtesy of Visit Gainesville.

DEPARTMENTS

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

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

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

School Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

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

Holy Spirit Preparatory School balances a strong focus on faith and academics with a tight-knit sense of community.

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

Restaurant Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

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

The Optimist serves up a gourmet take on classic seafood, with inventive sides and local ingredients.

Hidden Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Gainesville’s Lake Lanier Olympic Venue hosts local, national and international water sports competitions.

On the Cover: The Midtown skyline, as seen from Piedmont Park, helps make Midtown one of metro Atlanta’s top 100 neighborhoods. See page 29 for the full list.

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

Patrick Killam

pkillam@killampublishing.com editor

Kevin Forest Moreau editor@killampublishing.com marketing & promotions

Jeff Thompson contributing writers

Anna Bentley, H.M. Cauley, Melanie Gibbs, Tony Jenkins, Cady Schulman director of sales & marketing

Patrick Killam pkillam@killampublishing.com account director

Lacey James advertising@killampublishing.com

TO ADVERTISE CALL 770-992-0273 font: mawns handwriting

Scan this code to check out past issues of Newcomer.

Newcomer magazine, April/May 2015 Volume 19, Issue 1. Submissions, photography or ideas may be sent to Killam Publishing, Inc., 200 Market Place, Suite 230, Roswell, GA 30075. Submissions will not be returned unless otherwise requested and accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Newcomer magazine reserves the right to revise any necessary submissions. Reproduction in whole or in part of any elements of this publication are strictly prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. © 2015 Killam Publishing, Inc.

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

KILLAM PUBLISHING, INC. P: 770-992-0273 • F: 844-706-1545 editor@killampublishing.com www.newcomeratlanta.com

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inFOCUS

ne w s b i tes fr om a ro un d AT LANTA

ARTS-A-

PHOTO: City of Gainesvile

Explore many of Gainesville’s top cultural attractions for free or at discounted prices during FLUXUS 2015. Formerly known as the Northeast Georgia Festival of Museums, this one-day extravaganza brings together such institutions as Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, the Beulah Rucker Museum, the Elachee Nature Science Center, the Quinlan Visual Arts Center and more. Enjoy interactive events, demonstrations, music, prizes, craft projects and other activities. May 30. For more information, visit www.gainesville.org.

NEW WONDERS IN BLOOM

PHOTO: Atlanta Botanical Garden

PALOOZA

Speaking of Gainesville, the Hall County city will soon be home to a brand-new cultural attraction with the grand opening of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Gainesville. This offshoot of the popular Midtown Atlanta oasis will feature a visitor center, an amphitheater, a model train garden, the Southeast’s largest conservation nursery and, of course, lush outdoor gardens. The garden is scheduled to open May 2. For more information, visit www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org/visit/gainesville.

Food, Fiddles and Fun

Treat Your Mother Right Forget the flowers and banish the brunch. Instead of the same old Mother’s Day routine, give mom a weekend to remember at Barefoot in the Park at the Town Green in Duluth, May 9-10. This 11th annual celebration of the arts includes a juried fine arts market, free children’s art park, live performances, a beer garden, wine tasting, great food and much more. For more information, visit www.barefootinthepark.org. 8 | Newcomer Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com

PHOTO: Sevierville CVB

Savor mouth-watering barbecue and dance to some of the finest bluegrass musicians around at the 11th annual Sevierville Bloomin’ Barbecue & Bluegrass Festival in Sevierville, Tennessee, May 15-16. Barbecue teams from across the country will be competing for more than $17,000 in cash and prizes. There will also be a singing competition and, of course, plenty of bluegrass— including the Grammy Award-winning Steep Canyon Rangers. For more information, call 888-889-7415 or visit www.bloominbbq.com.


infocus Suwanee’s annual juried arts festival, Arts in the Park, offers something a little different this year. In addition to the usual live art demonstrations, live music, food vendors and activities for kids, the festival will also serve as the official unveiling of the latest installment of Suwanee SculpTour, the city’s popular public art showcase. The exhibit features 17 new sculptures, including Capacious (pictured), Taking Flight, Sunflower Gate, Carry Forward, Faith, Father & Son, Love Hurts, Three Muses, Cow on a Horse, Oak Leaf Horizon and more, created by artists from Georgia, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The festival takes place Saturday, May 16, at Suwanee’s Town Center Park. For more information, visit www.suwaneeartsinthepark.com.

PHOTO: Joan Marcus

PHOTO: Courtesy of the City of Suwanee

Breaking the Mold

Hitting the High Notes With a mix of returning favorites and sparkling debuts, the 2015-2016 season of Broadway in Atlanta, sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, is giving Atlanta theater lovers plenty to sing about. The season kicks off with Jersey Boys (Oct. 6-11), followed by Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Nov. 3-8), Elf the Musical (Dec. 2-6), The Book of Mormon (pictured, Jan. 12-24), Beauty and the Beast (Feb. 2-7), The Sound of Music (March 1-6), Kinky Boots (March 29-April 3), Beautiful—the Carole King Musical (May 24-29), The Wizard of Oz (June 21-26), and If/Then (Aug. 9-14). For more information, call 800-278-4447 or visit www.broadwayinatlanta.com.

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The Credit Union

Advantage Banking’s Best-Kept Secret By Tony Jenkins and Melanie Gibbs

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W

hen you’re looking for a financial institution in your new city, a credit union may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But it may be time to give credit unions a closer look. Not only do they offer products and services comparable to those provided by traditional banks, they can also offer very competitive rates and fees. And they’re becoming increasingly mainstream. There are more than 150 credit unions in the state of Georgia, with more than 1.8 million members. “They’re the best kept secret in banking,” says Dan Berger, president of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.

WHAT IS A CREDIT UNION? Credit unions are not-for-profit, cooperative financial entities owned by their members. Federal credit unions are chartered and supervised by the National Credit Union Administration, which administers the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). Backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government, the NCUSIF insures the member accounts in all federal credit unions and most state-chartered credit unions. “Credit unions have been a reliable, consistent source of credit in both good and bad economic cycles for more than 100 years,” says Matthew Shepherd, executive vice president and chief operations officer of Delta Community Credit Union. “Credit unions offer the same basic products as banks, including savings, checking, credit cards, auto loans and home loans.” A common misperception is that you must work for a certain employer in order to join a credit union. Although corporate credit unions do exist, not all credit unions require employment with a particular company. Associated Credit Union, for example, has an “open policy” that invites anyone to join, says Tom Maiellaro, vice president of marketing. “Virtually any person in Georgia could find a credit union they can join,” he says. At CDC Federal Credit Union, you can apply for membership if you live, work, go to school or church, or volunteer in parts of DeKalb, Fulton, or Gwinnett counties. You can also apply if you are a past or present employee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or its affiliates or subsidiaries, among other criteria. Delta Community Credit Union serves the entire metro Atlanta area, including residents of 11 metro counties. LGE Community Credit Union is open to residents of Cobb, Cherokee, Fulton and Paulding counties and more than 350 partner groups and family members. Need help figuring out which credit unions

$ “Credit unions have been a reliable, consistent source of credit in both good and bad economic cycles for more than 100 years.” —MATTHEW SHEPHERD, Delta Community Credit Union

for which you qualify? Websites like www. asmarterchoice.org and www.culookup.com can help identify which credit unions may be right for you. After entering a little information (such as your address and an organization you belong to, like a church, school or employer), you can see a list of credit unions you may be eligible to join.

WHY CONSIDER A CREDIT UNION? So why should consumers moving to the Atlanta area consider credit unions over banks? For one thing, they offer benefits that can come in handy for new residents. “When someone moves into town, one of the first things they’re going to need is a good checking account,” says Maiellaro. “Maybe they’ll live in an apartment temporarily while shopping for a home. They will find extremely favorable rates at credit unions. At virtually every credit union, if they’ll shop around and compare, they’ll find higher interest rates and

lower service charges compared to what a bank would offer.” At Associated Credit Union, he continues, “the loan process is all done in-house, so you’ll work with the same loan officer throughout the entire home-buying process, which is a huge relief. Mortgages are confusing. It helps to have someone guide you every step of the way.” Another advantage is that membership is relatively easy and doesn’t require a significant commitment. Many credit unions simply require consumers to make a small deposit when they join. “For example, Delta Community asks consumers to deposit five dollars into a savings account,” says Shepherd. “The five dollars is not a fee, and continues to belong to the member.” What’s more, credit unions know that staying in step with the times is an important factor when it comes to gaining and retaining members. “Most credit unions offer a large selection of products and services, including mobile banking and online services,” says Berger. u

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$

“Credit unions are owned by their customers, not stockholders. We pride ourselves on providing consumers more personalized service and objective advice based on their long-term financial goals.” —MATTHEW SHEPHERD, Delta Community Credit Union

Credit unions also tend to offer distinctive service. “The fundamental difference between credit unions and banks is our cooperative, not-for-profit structure,” says Shepherd. “Credit unions are owned by their customers, not stockholders. We pride ourselves on providing consumers more personalized service and objective advice based on their long-term financial goals. We also offer better pricing and fewer fees in general.” “We’re constantly looking for ways to help our members achieve financial success,” says Maiellaro. “For instance, our Rate Reward Auto Loan helps members who may not have the best credit reduce their interest rate by 1 percent APR (annual percentage rate) for every 12

months of on-time payments, up to 36 months. It helps improve credit while saving our members money.” In addition, Berger points out, credit unions help promote the building of wealth, so many offer classes on subjects to help members reach their financial goals. “In choosing a banking partner,” Shepherd says, “we encourage consumers to look at the provider’s financial stability as well as the total value of their services. Credit unions typically score high marks in both areas. We actually reinvest the earnings we generate into our membership through competitive pricing, better service and other conveniences our members deem important.”

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FOR MORE INFORMATION Associated Credit Union www.acuaonline.org Delta Community Credit Union www.deltacommunitycu.com LGE Community Credit Union www.lgeccu.org National Credit Union Administration www.ncua.gov National Association of Federal Credit Unions www.nafcu.org


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TOP: Students at Woodward Academy learn the importance of the environment. CENTER: Students at Johns Creek Montessori School of Georgia develop problem-solving skills.

H

ere are just a few of the different types of schools and philosophies that aim to educate the whole child, going beyond facts, figures and tests to help students grow into happy, healthy and responsible adults.

PHOTO: (Top) Michie Turpin Photography

A Hands-On Approach The concept of embracing a student’s whole development is key to Montessori education, focusing as much on students’ social, physical and emotional growth as on academics. Students learn at their own pace, through handson exploration, and also learn life skills like responsibility and respect for the environment. At Arbor Montessori School in Decatur, more than 300 students, from toddlers to eighth-graders, are embraced as learners as well as developing personalities. “We look at each child holistically,” says Head of School Jan Deason. “That means from the time they’re little, teaching them social graces and social expectations. That starts from the largest subject areas down to in-

young ages, the Montessori philosophy plays a key role in helping students develop independence and self-discipline, which helps academics come more easily, says Director Denise Harold. “We teach them to take care of themselves and their immediate surroundings,” Harold says. “They develop a sense of ‘I can do what I need to do when I need to do it,’ and that gives the brain more bandwidth. At the same time, being able to answer their own needs gives them more energy for learning.” Research supports the theory that building an independent, confident person with the skills to learn translates into a student who does better academically as well as socially, she adds. “Children have an amazing ability to concentrate and a curiosity and desire to learn,” she says. “Our job is to remove the obstacles from their paths. And when we do, the child fares better.” u

The hands-on approach helps students learn the skills they need to grow into successful adults. teracting with others. We stress an appreciation for what others before us have done.” The approach is the same at Johns Creek Montessori School of Georgia, which teaches students from 15 months to age 6. Even at such

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While not a Montessori school, The Children’s School, an independent elementary school in Midtown Atlanta, also focuses on hands-on learning to help teach students valuable life skills. Rather than having students memorize facts out of a textbook, this experiential approach involves students working collaboratively on projects that provide lessons in multiple subjects at once. In one such project, students researched and interviewed homeless veterans, and then designed and hand-crafted different multimedia pieces of art representing the idea of home. The project culminated with the entire fifth grade class visiting the Veterans Empowerment Organization, which works to provide housing and other services for homeless veterans, to present the veterans with the works of art the students had created. The project helped teach students design, cooperation, and service to others, says Christy Robinson, director of extended day and summer learning for The Children’s School. “What’s really important in terms of how we view the education of the whole child is a sense of play, passion and purpose,” Robinson says. “And those principles intersect in our different programs.” That approach helps students learn

Students collaborate on a multimedia project at The Children’s School.

“many of the basic skills children need to grow into successful adults,” she adds.

Stressing Service to Others Woodward Academy, with campuses in College Park and Johns Creek, seeks to serve the whole child with a well-rounded curriculum that bal-

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ances rigorous academics with opportunities for its 2,700 students, from preschool through high school, to develop interests in the arts, athletics and community awareness. “While we have a prescribed curriculum and a commitment to academics, we are also workcontinued on page 18


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ness of the community. But it’s not a separate lesson—it’s interwoven, so we consider how it plays into a math, geography or English lesson.” This approach, Heneghan says, is a natural extension of how we grow and process information. “It’s not just teaching math or science,” she says. “It’s also about creating a community and contributing to others. Everything is interconnected. Here, students can practice that and see what the real world is like. It’s a natural extension of who humans are. That’s really how we learn.”

ing to see that students develop their physical bodies and an understanding of themselves through character and faith,” says Woodward President F. Stuart Gulley. Toward that goal, Woodward requires its high school students to participate in community-service projects that develop their sense of social awareness. Students must perform 20 hours of service a year in order to graduate, and the school offers a variety of service options, including a chapter of the Boys & Girls Club of Atlanta located on campus. “We also work closely with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and a school in Zambia that is part of our international effort,” Gulley says.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

“Everything Is Interconnected” For the 1,160 students at Atlanta International School, serving others is just one facet of the school’s International Baccalaureate model, which strives to prepare students for life in an increasingly global world. “Students have an opportunity to pick things that are most compelling to them and to develop not only themselves but service to others,” says Jessi Heneghan, an upper school counselor. “That’s very important for developing them as a full person, as well as connecting them to the local and international community.

Arbor Montessori School 404-321-9304, www.arbormontessori.org Atlanta International School 404-841-3840, www.aischool.org

It’s so important that we devote time during the school day to do it.” The school’s approach varies by grade level, from Pre-K through 12th grade. “In the primary grades, each different area of learning has a personal development piece,” Henghan says. “That may be developing critical thinking that requires self-awareness and aware-

Strong Foundations for Life

The Children’s School 404-873-6985, www.thechildrensschool.com Johns Creek Montessori School of Georgia 770-814-8001, www.jcmsog.com Woodward Academy 404-765-4000, www.woodward.edu

The PiedmonT School of ATlAnTA Serving children K-6 with autism

counTrY Brook MonTeSSori School 2175 N. Norcross-Tucker Rd Norcross, GA 30071 770-446-2397 www.countrybrookmontessori.com

Schedule Your Tour TodaY! Covered BridGe MonTeSSori School 3941 Covered Bridge Place & 488 Hurt Road Smyrna, GA 30082 770-434-3181 www.coveredbridgemontessori.com AMS AffiliAted • GAC ACCredited

Serving Toddler, Primary & Elementary Levels (14 months - 9 years) 18 ||Newcomer Newcomer Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com 18 Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com

Integrating Academics, Friendships & Life Skills The curriculum integrates academic, social-emotional, and life skills using Individualized goals and Georgia Standards 1330 N. Druid Hills Rd. Atlanta, GA 30319 404-382-8200

www.thepiedmontschoolofatlanta.org


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schoolSPOTLIGHT

Holy Spirit Preparatory School

Emphasizing Faith, Academics and Community By Cady Schulman

A

sk parents and students their favorite things about Holy Spirit Preparatory School, and you’re likely to hear them praise the school’s tight-knit sense of community. Which might come as a bit of a surprise, given that the school’s approximately 500 students are spread across two campuses in Buckhead and Sandy Springs. “A lot of people are nervous about that,” says Tim Durski, the school’s director of communications, “because they like the idea of a bigger experience, especially high-school students. But what we’ve found is that a lot of students who withdraw to go to a bigger school end up coming back because they don’t like it. They feel lost. It’s more difficult to make friends. It’s more difficult to be in clubs. It’s a richer environment for them here.” To encourage mingling between students from the Lower School campus in Sandy Springs and the Upper School campus in Buckhead, the school sorts students in grades 5 through 12 into one of four “houses,” each one representing one of the four Ecumenical councils. “That’s your family,” Durski says. “Those are the people that you are closest to during your years at school.” Throughout the school year, each house hosts events like games and fundraisers, and provides leadership opportunities for older students, who also become big brothers and big sisters to the younger students in their houses. “The house system really is the main vehicle for creating those relationships between students of different grades,” Durski says. Holy Spirit Prep features a Christ-centered approach to education, with an emphasis on the teachings of the Catholic Church, aiming to mold students into men and women of character.

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It also boasts a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum, with classes in history, English, science, math, music, foreign language and athletics. And the school’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) lab helps teach STEM and STEAM (which adds arts to the mix) principles as early as preschool. The school also prides itself on its college counseling program. The counselor begins creating a curriculum for students that starts in the 7th grade, working with them on the college application process and helping to find the right school for each child—whether it’s an Ivy League college, a local state university or an art school. All seniors submit their college applications by the end of October. So far this school year, the 40 students in the senior class have garnered 100 college acceptances and have amassed $2.5 million in scholarships. The college counseling program “is one of the best things that we offer,” Durski says. “I don’t know of a parallel in the Atlanta market. It takes a lot of stress off the students. They hate it for a while, but by Christmas and January, they’re very relieved.” With a strong foundation of academics and a focus on faith and community, Holy Spirit Prep prepares students not just for college, but also for the many challenges of life outside the classroom. N

The Specifics Grades: Pre-K-12 Student/Teacher Ratio: 6:1 Tuition: $6,005-$22,465 Location: Sandy Springs (lower school); Buckhead (preschool and upper school)

Contact: 4449 Northside Drive, Atlanta, GA 30327 (upper school) 678-761-7992 Web: www.holyspiritprep.org


Northwoods Montessori School

Serving children 12 months to 12 years of age A.M.I.-AccredIted

Call for a tour 770-457-7261 www.northwoodsmontessori.org 3340 Chestnut Dr., Atlanta, GA 30340 www.newcomeratlanta.com | Newcomer Magazine | 21


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TOP: (Left) Family-friendly fun in Decatur; (Right) Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven; CENTER: Alpharetta’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.

PHOTOS: (Left) Provided by Decatur Downtown Development Authority; (Center) Courtesy of the City of Alpharetta.

Alpharetta Why: Nicknamed the “Technology City of the South,” Alpharetta is a northern suburb best known for its excellent schools and strong technology sector. It’s an affluent city with a recently revamped historic downtown and unique attractions, including Georgia’s only American Girl Boutique and Bistro; Topgolf Alpharetta, a golf entertainment complex; Wills Park, a 110-acre park with an arboretum, equestrian center, and a 1.8-mile walking trail, among other features; and the recently opened Avalon, a pedestrian-friendly mixed-use development with high-end shopping options. Plus, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park hosts legendary bands and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra every year. Perfect For: Families, Empty Nesters, Young Professionals For More Info: www.alpharetta.ga.us.

Brookhaven Why: One of Atlanta’s newest cities, Brookhaven officially incorporated in 2012. This intown city stretches from just northeast of downtown Atlanta to its northern suburbs, and in its 12

Decatur

square miles are an incredibly diverse mix of residents and amenities. In Brookhaven, you’ll find pre-war estates; newer mixed-use developments; Oglethorpe University; a Robert Trent Jones-designed golf club; plenty of parks; and Buford Highway, Atlanta’s most culturally diverse corridor, famed for its variety of ethnic cuisine. Perfect For: Families, Empty Nesters, Young Professionals For More Info: www.brookhavenga.gov.

Why: A vibrant city with a tight-knit community, Decatur is located just 15 minutes from Atlanta. The city puts a premium on walkability with its historic downtown, full of charming restaurants, pubs, boutique shops and specialty stores. Events are held downtown throughout the year, including the popular Decatur Craft Beer Festival and the Decatur Book Festival. Decatur is also on the MARTA line, allowing for easy access to Atlanta’s top destinations and events. Perfect For: Families, Empty Nesters, Young Professionals For More Info: www.decaturga.com.

Duluth Why: Voted one of Georgia’s best affordable suburbs by Businessweek magazine, Duluth sports a small-town feel thanks to its familyfriendly Town Green and historic downtown. The Town Green, with its amphitheater and fountain, hosts community events throughout

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TOP: (Left) Lanier World, near Gainesville; (Right) Oakwood Cemetery. BOTTOM: (Left) Duluth’s Town Green; (Right) a stately Johns Creek home.

Gainesville Why: Located about an hour northeast of Atlanta, Gainesville is a top pick for active families and nature lovers alike. Lake Lanier, on the western and northern edges of town, offers plenty of swimming, fishing and camping options, as well as a vacation resort and water park; and the Blue Ridge Mountains just north

Duluth’s Town Green contributes to the city’s charming smalltown feel. of the city are another perfect option for hiking or camping. The city’s Interactive Neighborhood for Kids and Quinlan Visual Arts Center are just a few of its family-friendly attractions. Gainesville has also been recognized by the AARP as one of the top 10 affordable places to retire. Perfect For: Families, Empty Nesters For More Info: www.gainesville.org.

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Grant Park Why: Located inside the city, just east of downtown Atlanta, Grant Park is best known for its 100-year-old Victorian estates, Queen Anne homes, and Craftsman bungalows; its sweeping, scenic public park; and Zoo Atlanta, founded in 1899. The park from which the neighborhood gets its name is the city’s fourth-largest, and includes a recreation center and a pool in addition to the zoo and and the Atlanta Cyclorama, a Civil War museum that features a 358foot cylindrical painting. The neighborhood is also home to Oakland Cemetery, resting place of famous Atlantans, including “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell and golf legend Bobby Jones. Perfect For: Families, Young Professionals For More Info: www.grantpark.org. Continued on pg. 26 u

PHOTOS: (Top Left) Lake Lanier Islands Resort; (Top Right) Dinny Addison; (Bottom Left) Courtesy of the City of Duluth; (Bottom Right) City of Johns Creek.

the year, like the annual Duluth Fall Festival each September. Duluth is also home to the Gwinnett Gladiators (a minor league ice hockey team) and the Gwinnett Center, which often hosts major festivals, concerts and events. The Hudgens Center for the Arts is another highlight, offering classes for adults and children in pottery, drawing, painting and more. Perfect For: Families, Empty Nesters For More Info: www.duluthga.net.


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TOP: Outdoor dining in Lilburn. MIDDLE: The Marietta Square. BOTTOM: A family park in Sandy Springs.

Johns Creek Why: Just a neighborhood a decade ago, Johns Creek officially became its own municipality in 2006—and it hasn’t stopped growing since. The young, affluent city boasts some of metro Atlanta’s top schools, and the award-winning Technology Park mixed-use development, which hosts several Fortune 500 companies. And with the Chattahoochee River forming a large part of the city’s southern and eastern boundaries, Johns Creek offers plenty of options for outdoor recreation—including miles of recreational trails; the Johns Creek Greenway, a 4-mile (and growing!) trail system; and the Autrey Mill Nature Preserve & Heritage Center, which sits on 46 acres of woodlands. Perfect For: Families, Young Professionals For More Info: www.johnscreekga.gov.

Lilburn Why: With an estimated population of around 13,000, this Gwinnett County city is one of the smaller ones on this list, but that makes a big difference when it comes to its sense of smalltown community. Top attractions include the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a traditional Hindu stone temple; Lilburn City Park; and the Camp Creek Greenway, a 4.2-mile paved and gravel trail. Lilburn has experienced substantial growth in recent years, and plans are underway to build a new city hall/library complex and revitalize its downtown corridor. Perfect For: Families, Empty Nesters For More Info: www.cityoflilburn.com.

Continued on pg. 28 u

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PHOTO: (Bottom) City of Sandy Springs.

Marietta Why: Anchored by the charming Marietta Square, this northwestern suburb is one of the largest on our list—it’s about 23 square miles, with an estimated population of 59,000. Still, the city maintains a sense of community with family-friendly events, including theatrical performances from the Atlanta Lyric Theatre and Marietta Players, among others, and plenty of festivals throughout the year. There’s also plenty of history in Marietta—the Marietta Museum of History, the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum and the Marietta Fire Museum are all a short walk from Marietta Square. And Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, an important Civil War site, is only a short drive away. Perfect For: Families, Young Professionals For More Info: www.mariettaga.gov.


AMERICA REUNITED The Fitzgerald Ben Hill Civil War Sesquicentennial Celebration

May 8 & 9, 2015 800-386-4642 www.fitzgeraldga.org

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TOP: Suwanee’s Town Center. BOTTOM: Atlanta’s VirginiaHighland neighborhood.

Sandy Springs Why: Directly north of Atlanta, Sandy Springs is one of Atlanta’s biggest employment and highend shopping destinations. The city recently began work on creating a new City Center to serve as the heart of the community. Though still in its planning stages, the City Center will include office space, green space, residential and retail space, and a performing arts center to build on its arts focus. The city hosts the Sandy Springs Artsapalooza fine arts festival each spring, and the popular Sandy Springs Festival, complete with its popular pet parade, in the fall. Perfect For: Families, Empty Nesters, Young Professionals For More Info: www.sandyspringsga.org.

Suwanee Why: Suwanee has been recognized as a stellar place to raise a family by the likes of Family Circle magazine and Kiplinger.com for years. A big part of Suwanee’s family appeal is its mixeduse Town Center, envisioned by city leaders in 2002 as the city’s “front yard.” Today, the Town Center boasts plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment options for all ages, in addition to the 10-acre Town Center Park, which features the Big Splash interactive fountain and an amphitheater for concerts and other performances. The city has also focused on its network of multiuse trails and parks, each with its own distinct personality. Perfect For: Families, Empty Nesters, Young Professionals For More Info: www.suwanee.com.

Virginia-Highland

6 MORE COMMUNITIES WE LOVE Fayetteville: The Fayette County seat boasts a stellar school system and Pinewood Atlanta Studios, a major film-production facility. Recognized by Forbes as a “Top 25 Suburb for Retirement.” Hapeville: This charming city boasts a small-town feel and is the home of the Dwarf House, the first Chick-fil-A restaurant. Midtown: The heart of Atlanta is home to such jewels as the Fox Theatre, the Woodruff Arts Center, and the city’s most prominent green space, Piedmont Park. Peachtree City: Named one of Money’s “Best Places to Live” five times in the last decade, this appealing community features 90 miles of paths enjoyed by walkers, joggers, and some 10,000 golf carts—one of the area’s primary sources of transportation. Smyrna: Attractive neighborhoods, a thriving downtown and plentiful green space highlight this Cobb County city. Woodstock: This Cherokee County suburb offers public beaches, a historic downtown and proximity to Lake Allatoona.

| www.newcomeratlanta.com 28 || Newcomer NewcomerMagazine Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com

PHOTO: (Bottom) ©2015, Kevin C. Rose/AtlantaPhotos.com.

Why: Just east of Midtown Atlanta is the vibrant neighborhood of Virginia-Highland, named for the intersection of Virginia and Highland avenues that sits at its heart. This fun, funky neighborhood is filled with eclectic shopping and diverse dining and nightlife options, including some of Atlanta’s oldest bars and pubs. Its Summerfest arts and music festival is one of the largest in the Southeast, and its network of short blocks and residential streets lined with historic bungalows makes it one of Atlanta’s most walkable communities. Plus, it’s right off the Atlanta Beltline, a 22-mile biking/walking trail, and a short walk from Atlanta’s sprawling Piedmont Park, making it ideal for active young professionals. Perfect For: Families, Young Professionals For More Info: www.vahi.org.


ATLANTA’S TOP 100 NEIGHBORHOODS

Once again, Newcomer presents our annual list of the most popular neighborhoods in metro Atlanta. Popularity is based on a number of factors, including but not limited to home sales.* Note that home sales include single family as well as condos/townhomes, where those are available. KEY TO NEIGHBORHOODS’ DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

Neighborhood

Acworth

Families/Kid-Friendly (F) Young Professionals (YP)

Empty Nesters (EN) New Construction/Newer Homes (NC)

County

Homes sold 2014

Avg. days on market

Sale price vs. list price

Average sale price

Classic Architecture/Historic Appeal (HA) Walking Distance to Shopping/Dining (W)

Website

International Draw (I)

Distinguishing Characteristics

Cobb

964

60

98%

$221,510

www.cityofacworth.org

Adairsville

Bartow

97

69

96%

$119,961

www.adairsvillega.net

F, YP, NC F, EN

Alpharetta

Fulton

1,916

41

98%

$347,453

www.alpharetta.ga.us

F, YP, EN, NC

Downtown Atlanta

Fulton

www.downtownatlanta.com

YP, W

East Atlanta

Fulton

942

39

98%

$302,051

www.eaca.net

F, YP, NC

Northwest Atlanta

Fulton

908

36

97%

$186,465

www.atlantaga.gov

F, YP

South Atlanta

Fulton

751

64

98%

$150,334

www.atlantaga.gov

F, YP

Southeast Atlanta

Fulton

605

54

97%

$188,158

www.southeastatlanta.org

F, YP

Auburn

Barrow

104

50

99%

$110,679

www.cityofauburn-ga.org

F, NC, W

Austell

Cobb

335

63

98%

$102,882

www.austellga.gov

F, EN, NC

DeKalb

99

115

96%

$310,579

www.avondaleestates.org

F, EN, NC, HA, W

Ball Ground

Cherokee

154

97

97%

$227,503

www.cityofballground.com

F, EN, NC

Bethlehem

Barrow

149

46

98%

$124,039

www.bethlehemga.org

F, NC, HA

Braselton

Gwinnett

65

110

95%

$447,419

www.braselton.net

F, EN, NC, HA

Avondale Estates

Brookhaven

DeKalb

107

27

98%

$436,929

www.brookhavenga.gov

F, YP, EN, NC, W

Buckhead

Fulton

2,114

30

95%

$560,448

www.buckhead.net

YP, EN, NC, HA, W

Buford

Gwinnett

1,050

53

98%

$216,307

www.cityofbuford.com

F, EN, NC, HA

Canton

Cherokee

1,526

75

98%

$233,523

www.canton-georgia.com

F, NC, HA

Carrollton

Carroll

537

72

95%

$128,767

www.carrollton-ga.gov

F, NC, HA

Cartersville

Bartow

451

92

96%

$152,827

www.cityofcartersville.org

F, NC, HA

Chamblee

DeKalb

1,137

34

98%

$300,692

www.chambleega.com

F, YP, NC

Clarkston

DeKalb

79

39

95%

$100,684

www.clarkstonga.gov

F, I

Clermont

Hall

40

81

98%

$177,913

www.clermontga.com

F, EN, NC

Fulton

274

74

96%

$119,021

www.collegeparkga.com

F, YP, NC, HA

Rockdale

817

65

96%

$130,361

www.conyersga.com

F, EN, NC

Newton

874

65

97%

$118,388

www.cityofcovington.org

F, EN, NC, HA F, EN, NC, HA

College Park Conyers Covington

Forsyth

3,053

63

97%

$287,748

www.cityofcumming.net

Dacula

Gwinnett

746

64

98%

$233,370

www.daculaga.gov

F, EN, NC

Dallas

Paulding

1,168

66

97%

$143,252

www.cityofdallasga.com

F, EN, NC

Dawsonville

Dawson

274

100

96%

$212,153

www.dawsonville-ga.gov

F, NC

Decatur/Emory

DeKalb

2,197

40

97%

$308,764

www.decaturga.com

F, YP, EN, HA, NC, W

Cumming

Doraville

DeKalb

83

52

98%

$152,067

www.doravillega.us

F, NC, I

Douglasville

Douglas

1,002

63

97%

$139,343

www.ci.douglasville.ga.us

F, EN, NC

Duluth

F, EN, NC

Gwinnett

898

40

96%

$231,105

www.duluthga.net

Dunwoody

DeKalb

797

31

97%

$336,265

www.dunwoodyga.gov

F, YP, NC

East Point

Fulton

1,143

69

96%

$75,372

www.eastpointcity.org

F, YP, HA, W

Ellenwood

Clayton

115

69

97%

$91,419

www.claytoncountyga.gov

F, NC

Euharlee

Bartow

57

54

97%

$134,429

www.euharlee.com

F, NC, HA

Fairburn

Fulton

378

59

99%

$156,895

www.fairburn.com

F, EN, NC, HA

Fayetteville

Fayette

939

78

97%

$255,800

www.fayetteville-ga.gov

F, EN, NC, H

Hall

480

64

97%

$221,892

www.flowerybranchga.org

F, NC

Forest Park

Clayton

181

53

94%

$42,802

www.forestparkga.org

F, EN

Gainesville

Hall

971

95

96%

$204,626

www.gainesville.org

F, EN, NC

Flowery Branch

Grant Park

Fulton

www.grantpark.org

Grantville

Coweta

63

43

95%

$89,879

www.grantvillega.org

F, EN, NC

Grayson

Gwinnett

289

66

98%

$213,263

www.cityofgrayson.org

F, EN, NC

• Data is not available for these neighborhoods/areas.

*Information provided by Smart Real Estate Data (770-424-5128, www.smartredata.com).

F, YP, HA, W

Chart continued on page 30

www.newcomeratlanta.com | Newcomer Magazine|| 29 29 www.newcomeratlanta.com | Newcomer Magazine


KEY TO NEIGHBORHOODS’ DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

Neighborhood

Griffin

Families/Kid-Friendly (F) Young Professionals (YP)

Empty Nesters (EN) New Construction/Newer Homes (NC)

County

Homes sold 2014

Avg. days on market

Sale price vs. list price

Average sale price

Classic Architecture/Historic Appeal (HA) Walking Distance to Shopping/Dining (W)

Website

International Draw (I)

Distinguishing Characteristics

Spalding

595

95

94%

$94,229

www.cityofgriffin.com

Hampton

Henry

318

68

98%

$181,035

www.cityofhampton-ga.gov

F, NC, HA

Hapeville

Fulton

43

59

94%

$81,300

www.hapeville.org

F, YP, W, HA

Paulding

295

46

97%

$134,202

www.cityofhiramga.gov

F, EN, NC

Butts

207

93

93%

$100,712

www.cityofjacksonga.com

F, EN, NC

Fulton

631

52

97%

$416,280

www.johnscreekga.gov

F, YP, NC

Clayton

801

57

97%

$87,987

www.jonesboroga.com

F, NC, HA

Hiram Jackson Johns Creek Jonesboro Kennesaw

F, EN, NC

Cobb

1,178

54

97%

$230,411

www.kennesaw-ga.gov

F, EN, NC, HA

Lawrenceville

Gwinnett

2,681

48

98%

$167,538

www.lawrencevillega.org

F, EN, NC, W, HA

Lilburn

Gwinnett

680

55

97%

$187,237

www.cityoflilburn.com

F, EN, HA, NC

Lithia Springs

Douglas

161

59

96%

$97,413

www.celebratedouglascounty.com

F, EN

Lithonia

DeKalb

916

57

96%

$89,193

www.co.dekalb.ga.us

F,NC

Fulton, DeKalb

www.littlefivepoints.net

YP, W

Little Five Points Locust Grove Loganville Lula Mableton

Henry

369

54

97%

$167,768

www.locustgrove-ga.gov

F, HA, NC

Gwinnett

445

55

98%

$163,959

www.loganville-ga.gov

F, NC

Hall

54

46

97%

$109,042

www.hallcounty.org

F, EN

Cobb

651

50

97%

$216,421

www.cobbcounty.org

F, EN, NC

Marietta

Cobb

4,276

54

97%

$257,652

www.mariettaga.gov

F, YP, NC, HA

McDonough

Henry

1,361

61

97%

$175,057

www.mcdonoughga.org

F, HA, EN, NC

Midtown

Fulton

www.midtownatlanta.org

YP, F, W, HA

Milton

Fulton

324

70

97%

$588,520

www.cityofmiltonga.us

F, EN, NC

Monroe

Walton

464

72

96%

$159,329

www.monroega.us

F, EN

Morrow

Clayton

180

54

96%

$73,214

www.cityofmorrow.com

F, EN, NC

Newnan

Coweta

1,509

69

97%

$193,424

www.ci.newnan.ga.us

F, HA, EN, NC

Norcross

Gwinnett

799

29

98%

$167,005

www.norcrossga.net

F, NC, HA

Oakwood

Hall

95

49

95%

$130,724

www.cityofoakwood.net

F, EN

Newton

94

83

97%

$167,264

www.oxfordgeorgia.org

F, EN, HA

Oxford Palmetto

Fulton

59

61

94%

$89,504

www.citypalmetto.com

F, EN

Peachtree City

Fayette

586

47

97%

$288,324

www.peachtree-city.org

F, EN, NC, HA, W F, EN, NC, HA

Powder Springs

Cobb

797

76

97%

$201,459

www.cityofpowdersprings.org

Rex

Clayton

184

50

99%

$75,834

www.claytoncountyga.gov

F, EN

Riverdale

Clayton

455

51

96%

$58,288

www.riverdalega.gov

YP, EN, HA

Roswell

Fulton

1,400

41

97%

$338,397

www.roswellgov.com

F, YP, EN, NC, HA

Sandy Springs North

Fulton

886

32

96%

$293,900

www.sandyspringsga.org

F, YP, EN, NC

Sandy Springs South

Fulton

425

52

96%

$610,734

www.sandyspringsga.org

F, YP, EN, NC

Senoia

Coweta

328

58

99%

$216,744

www.senoia.com

F, NC, HA

Sharpsburg

Coweta

349

61

98%

$247,199

www.coweta.ga.us

F, EN, NC

Smyrna

Cobb

1,289

39

98%

$251,501

www.smyrnacity.com

F, YP, EN, NC

Snellville

Gwinnett

1,000

60

97%

$167,902

www.snellville.org

F, EN, NC

Henry

609

58

96%

$136,997

www.cityofstockbridge.com

F, NC

Stockbridge Stone Mountain

DeKalb

879

57

96%

$104,848

www.stonemountaincity.org

F, HA

Sugar Hill

Gwinnett

459

45

98%

$207,037

www.cityofsugarhill.com

F, NC

Suwanee

F, YP, EN, NC, W

Gwinnett

883

50

98%

$283,032

www.suwanee.com

Temple

Carroll

124

68

96%

$109,196

www.templega.us

F

Tucker

DeKalb

413

60

97%

$173,149

www.co.dekalb.ga.us

F, EN, NC, HA F, EN, HA

Tyrone

Fayette

123

74

97%

$312,600

www.tyrone.org

Union City

Fulton

209

77

98%

$91,360

www.unioncityga.org

F, EN

Villa Rica

Carroll

368

68

96%

$124,345

www.villarica.org

F, EN, NC

Vinings

Cobb

224

19

97%

$457,903

www.viningsga.org

F, YP, EN, HA

Virginia Highland

Fulton

2,014

19

97%

$352,714

www.virginiahighland.com

F, YP, HA, W

Cherokee

112

94

96%

$189,915

www.cityofwaleska.com

F, HA

Barrow

652

58

98%

$123,723

www.cityofwinder.com

F, EN, HA

Waleska Winder Winston Woodstock

Douglas

90

59

95%

$162,574

www.celebratedouglascounty.com

F, EN

Cherokee

1,779

51

98%

$222,576

www.woodstockga.gov

F, NC

| www.newcomeratlanta.com 30 || Newcomer NewcomerMagazine Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com


restaurantReview

The Optimist

A Positive Take on “Beach Food” Classics by H.M. Cauley The scene at the Optimist is as much an attraction as the menu. The spacious dining room, with its high metal ceilings and subway-tiled walls, is a blend of refined industrial and urban chic, decorated with woodtopped tables and metal-framed chairs. The elongated bar is a popular spot for lingering over the extensive menu of cocktails, beer and wine. The crowds queuing for tables have room to unwind with a beverage at an outdoor picnic table next to a small putting green, or in the inside lounge.

Photos: Andrew Thomas Lee

A

tlanta’s west side has been in the throes of a renewal over the last few years, with restaurants and shops sprouting up to serve the residents moving into new apartments and condos. One of the hottest tables in the neighborhood can be found in the oyster bar or the high-ceilinged dining room of the Optimist on Howell Mill Road. Chef and owner Ford Fry may have hit on the name as an equal match to his concept: It takes an optimist to open a seafood-centric restaurant in a city five hours from any coastline. But the local celebrity chef, a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, has the salty background to pull it off. Fry is famous locally for his Southern-style JCT Kitchen, his spin on Italian at No. 246 and St. Cecilia, and his American-styled pub, King + Duke. In this venture, he aims to bring “beach-food classics” beyond the sand dunes and give them prominent play on the local menu. What constitutes beach food? For Fry, it’s hush puppies, whole-roasted trout, clams swimming in garlicky sauce and oysters—all brought from the best sea sources in the country: Georges Bank scallops, North Carolina red snapper and flounder, Sapelo Island clams. But unlike a beach picnic, these fresh delicacies are given the gourmet treatment and delivered to diners with a variety of inventive sides and sauces. On a given night, the scallops may be paired with peppers, Georgia peaches and arugula; and swordfish, poached in duck fat, may be dished up with chantrelles, leeks and horseradish butter. Forget eating these treats with your fingers! Along with creative preparation, Fry focuses on bringing local ingredients into the mix. Watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, sugar snap peas, black-eyed peas and butter beans are just a few of the elements that move from nearby producers directly into the restaurant’s kitchen. Diners will also find familiar seafood selections. Starters include classic seafood gumbo and a delicate she-crab soup. A fish-and-chips entree consists of a crispy beer-battered cod accompanied by a traditional malt vinegar aioli. And landlubbers haven’t been ignored; the “turf” options include chicken, skirt steak and braised lamb shank. The The oyster and raw bar takes the concept Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri; Dinner Sun-Sat to a new level, adding a wood-fired oven that Reservations: Recommended roasts not only oysters but squid, scallops, Phone: 404-477-6260 octopus and grouper. But there are plenty of Parking: Small lot; $2 valet traditional favorites here, as well, like lobster Attire: Urban chic roll, tuna tartare, smoked fish chowder and peel-and-eat shrimp.

ABOVE: The dining room at the Optimist. LEFT: The Oyster Bar.

The Optimist isn’t just a draw for locals. It’s attracted its share of national attention, as well. After opening in 2012, it was named best new restaurant of the year by Esquire magazine. And Fry has been nominated as an “outstanding restaurateur” by the James Beard Foundation two years in a row. Patrons are advised to make reservaDETAILS tions well in advance. And be prepared Atmosphere: Comfortably upscale for higher-than-beach-grub prices: Most Recommendations: She-crab soup, fish and entries fall in the high $20s and low chips, any of the extensive oyster selections $30s. But after a few bites, you’re likely Location: 914 Howell Mill Road, to decide that Fry’s smartly executed Atlanta, GA 30318 Web: www.theoptimistrestaurant.com take on the concept is well worth the price. N www.newcomeratlanta.com | Newcomer Magazine | 31


32 | Newcomer Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com


TOP: (Left) Helen, Georgia; (Right) the Santa Fe River near Gainesville, Florida. BOTTOM: (Left) A historic mansion in Savannah; (Right) Family fun in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

PHOTOS: (Top Right) Courtesy of Visit Gainesville; (Bottom Left) www.visitsavannah.com; (Bottom Right) Gulf Shores & Orange Beach (Al) Tourism.

GEORGIA Macon is steeped in history, with ties to various Native American cultures dating back more than 1,000 years. The Ocmulgee National Monument offers a fascinating step back through time, with carefully preserved Indian mounds and earth lodges, as well as an archaeology museum showcasing artifacts created by the prehistoric Native Americans who lived here. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, less than two hours northeast of Atlanta, is the enchanting town of Helen. This former logging town reinvented as a re-creation of a Bavarian village is most famous for its Oktoberfest gathering each fall, but Helen also celebrates spring in grand style. Springfest (April 11) commemorates the season with German music, dancing, food and drinks on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. Spring is also a perfect time of year to take in the distinct charms of Savannah. Less than a four-hour drive southeast of Atlanta, Georgia’s oldest city—and one of its most beautiful—boasts trees draped with Spanish moss, attractive garden squares, historic homes and antebellum architecture. The picturesque Bonaventure Cemetery is a captivating landmark, as is lively River Street. Lined with renovated cotton warehouses, this dining and entertainment center offers sweeping views of the Savannah River and its port traffic.

Each spring, the city of Vidalia, two and a half hours southeast of Atlanta, bustles with family-friendly activity during a four-day festival celebrating Georgia’s official state vegetable. Called one of the “Five Don’t Miss Festivals Across the U.S.” by MSNBC, the Vidalia Onion Festival (April 23-26) kicks off with a children’s parade and includes an arts and crafts show, sidewalk sales, an air show featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, an onion-eating contest and, of course, a Vidalia onion recipe contest.

FLORIDA About five hours south of Atlanta, the city of Gainesville (Florida, not Georgia) is the perfect spot for a spring getaway, with a wealth of cultural attractions and outdoor recreational activities. Visitors can stroll through downtown Gainesville and enjoy live music at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza, take in a performance at the Hippodrome State Theatre or stroll the Harn Museum of Art. The Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History features hundreds of butterflies in a tropical landscape of plants and waterfalls, while the popular Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo is home to more than 75 species, from bald eagles to tree kangaroos. Nature lovers can enjoy canoeing on the Santa Fe River, hiking in gorgeous Paynes Prairie Prewww.newcomeratlanta.com | Newcomer www.newcomeratlanta.com | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 33


short drive from Huntsville, you’ll find Cathedral Caverns, which is just as out-of-this-world, with 14 acres of underground caverns to explore. It’s hard to argue with the idea of spending some of your spring looking out into the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf Shores, a little more than five hours southwest of Atlanta, is a popular travel destination for its white-sand beaches, deep-sea fishing and other activities. Gulf Shores is also home to the annual Hangout Music Festival, which this year takes place May 15-17 with performers including Foo Fighters, Beck, Sam Smith and many more. Gulf Shores is also known for its golf courses, and in fact golf is a popular draw throughout the state. One of Alabama’s top tourist attractions is the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, which consists of 26 courses, with 468 championship holes at 11 locations across the state.

ALABAMA

SOUTH CAROLINA

Less than four hours from Atlanta, Huntsville offers countless hiking trails, beautiful mountain views and, of course, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, a must-see for space travel buffs and astronauts in the making. And just a

The South Carolina region known as Upcountry, a little more than two hours from Atlanta in the northwest corner of the state, boasts more than 120 beautiful waterfalls, some of which (like Reedy River Falls and Wild-

PHOTO: Courtesy of U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

serve State Park or exploring The Devil’s Millhopper, a lush rainforest situated in a large sinkhole. The main attraction in Jacksonville, less than five hours from Atlanta, is its sandy beaches, but the city offers much more. There’s fishing, kayaking and surfing, a bustling downtown, a thriving arts and culture scene, more than 1,200 holes of golf on 70 courses, professional sporting events—the list goes on and on, much like the 22 miles of beaches. Tallahassee, just a four-anda-half hour drive away, offers a diverse mix of culture and activities for the entire family, including more than 600 miles of trails perfect for hikers, bikers and horseback riders. And on April 4, the state capital also becomes the barbecue capital, as the Southeast Regional Pigfest fills the Florida air with the mouth-watering aroma of barbecue and the sound of live music.

34 Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com 34 ||Newcomer Newcomer Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com


FOR MORE INFORMATION Macon, Gergia

www.maconga.org

Helen, Georgia

www.helenga.org

Savannah, Georgia Vidalia Georgia Vidalia Onion Festival

cat Falls) are easily accessible, while others (like Rainbow Falls and Raven Cliff Falls) are for serious hikers looking for more of a challenge. There’s a reason that such luminaries as NHL legend Mark Messier and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, among others, have homes on Hilton Head Island; it’s a great place to relax. But the calming powers of walking along the Atlantic Ocean are just one of the features of this island located just four hours southeast of Atlanta. You can also enjoy 350 tennis courts, 24 championship golf courses, deep-sea fishing and enough biking paths to keep you riding all day.

www.savannah.com www.vidaliaarea.com www.vidaliaonionfestival.com

Gainesville, Florida

www.visitgainesville.com

Jacksonville, Florida

www.visitjacksonville.com

Tallahassee, Florida

www.visittallahassee.com

Huntsville, Alabama

www.huntsville.org

U.S. Space & Rocket Center

www.rocketcenter.com

Gulf Shores, Alabama

www.gulfshores.com

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Upcountry, South Carolina

www.rtjgolf.com www.upcountrysc.com

www.newcomeratlanta.com | NewcomerMagazine Magazine|| 35 35 www.newcomeratlanta.com | Newcomer


The U.S. Space & Rocket Center

T

works for Family Camp, from parent and child to grandparents and grandchildren to aunts and uncles with their nieces or nephews. Together, families build rockets, learn about space exploration history and experience astronaut training simulations that help them discover what it feels like to walk on the moon or take a space walk. Since Space Camp opened its doors in 1982, more than 650,000 have graduated from Space Camp and its affiliate programs, Aviation Challenge Camp and Space Camp Robotics. Space Camp alumni include corporate leaders, engineers, teachers and, yes, even astronauts. Space Camp has five astronaut alumni, and alumna Samantha Cristoforetti is currently aboard the International Space Station. For more information on Family Space Camp and other programs, visit www.spacecamp.com or call 800-637-7223.

PHOTO: Courtesy of U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

he U.S. Space & Rocket Center, located less than a four-hour drive from Atlanta, is a must-see for the space enthusiast or for families looking for an out-of-thisworld adventure as they train like astronauts at Family Space Camp. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is the Official Visitor Center of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and is also a Smithsonian Affiliate. The Center tells the story of four decades of space exploration and also looks to the future with exhibits highlighting the next generation of space vehicles, from Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser to NASA’s Space Launch System. Family Space Camp is a special program for families and offers a weekend of adventure as parents and children, ages 7 and up, take part in authentic simulated missions to space. Any configuration of family

36 | Newcomer Magazine

SPECIAL PROMOTION


38 40 46


GETTING STARTED

HERE MARTA

TO

THERE Driver’s License

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

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 www.itsmarta.com.

38 | Newcomer Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com

Car Tag

MARTA Rail Service

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


tax on vehicles. Your tag office will provide the amount of sales tax on your vehicle. For information on a specific county, contact the appropriate county’s Tax Commissioner’s Office.

Vehicle Emission Inspection

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

Driving Tips

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 www.georgia-navigator.com.

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 www.sos.georgia.gov.

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.

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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

County www.cherokeega.com Neighborhoods www.canton-georgia.com www.woodstockga.gov www.cityofballground.com www.hollyspringsga.us www.cityofwaleska.com Schools www.cherokee.k12.ga.us

pRivate schools Visit our Web site at newcomeratlanta.com 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 706-276-2362 Amicalola EMC Cobb EMC 770-429-2100 Georgia Power 888-660-5890 770-887-2363

Sawnee EMC

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

770-926-8852

Cable TV Charter Communications 888-438-2427 Comcast 404-266-2278 ETC Communications

678-454-1212

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

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

Cagle Dairy Farm, Canton

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

40 | Newcomer Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com

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

Woodstock

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

Neighborhoods

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 www.newcomeratlanta.com


COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION

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

Neighborhoods

Kennesaw

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 www.cobbcountyga.gov redistributed land once part small-town atmosphere and boasts Neighborhoods www.austellga.org of the Cherokee Nation. abundant parks and green space, www.mariettaga.gov Named after Thomas exceptional recreational programs www.ci.smyrna.ga.us Welch Cobb, the county and top-notch schools, includ www.kennesaw-ga.gov experienced a devastating ing Kennesaw State University. www.cityofpowdersprings.org Kennesaw’s Historic Downtown setback during the Civil War when most of it was features shopping, dining and atSchools www.cobb.k12.ga.us destroyed during the Battle tractions such as the Smithsonian www.marietta-city.org 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, www.cobbchamber.org 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 www.newcomeratlanta.com exist in Cobb County, including ue of homes in 2006 was $205,200.

QUICK INFO

Smyrna

Marietta City Schools Board of Education

770-422-3500

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 newcomeratlanta.com 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 www.newcomeratlanta.com. TELEPHONE 888-436-8638 AT&T Comcast 404-266-2278 770-541-7235 MCI Worldcom 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

www.newcomeratlanta.com | Newcomer Magazine | 41


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

404-370-4400

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

Neighborhoods

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

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

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity Georgia Power

404-395-7611

Snapping Shoals EMC

770-786-3484

Walton EMC

770-972-2917

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

888-436-8638

Bellsouth

404-780-2355 Water

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

877-728-3121

Comcast Cablevision

404-266-2278

Hospitals Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston

404-785-6000

DeKalb Medical Center

404-501-1000

Emory University Hospital

404-712-2000

Piedmont Hospital and Medical Care Center

404-605-5000

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Avg. SAT Scores DeKalb Co. 1334 City of Decatur 1577 Georgia 1460 National 1509

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.

Dunwoody

Emory University

QUICK INFO

DeKalb County prosCounty www.co.dekalb.ga.us pers in part due to its exNeighborhoods www.decaturga.com cellent transportation sys- www.druidhills.org tem. Five major road ar- www.dunwoodyga.org teries traverse the county: www.candlerpark.org www.stonemountaincity.org Interstates 20, 85, 285, 675 and US Highway 78. Schools www.dekalb.k12.ga.us Hartsfield-Jackson Inter www.csdecatur.net 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, www.dekalbchamber.org 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.

42 | Newcomer Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com

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 www.newcomeratlanta.com


COUNTY INFORMATION

Fulton County filled with high-rises, upscale restaurants, the Governor’s Mansion, the historic Swan House and the Atlanta History Center. Buckhead is also an entertainment and dining hotspot. With more than 200 restaurants, bars shops and luxury hotels, the Buckhead area is a magnet for young professionals.

pUBLIC schools Fulton County Schools Board of Education 404-768-3600 Elementary Schools 58 Middle Schools 19 High Schools 17 Charter 8 Centers 4 Per-pupil expenditures $9,561

Buckhead

Buckhead is “where old money lives and new money parties,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. With its mixture of mansions and uniquely styled homes, Buckhead is a favorite among architecture and history buffs. Convenient to Georgia 400, Interstate 85 and MARTA, it’s

Avg. SAT Scores Fulton Co. 1567 Georgia 1452 National 1498 pRivate schools Visit our Web site at newcomeratlanta.com for a list of private schools in this county.

Alpharetta

One of metro Atlanta’s most vibrant and affluent cities, Alpharetta is home to approximately 62,000 residents, according to 2012 U.S. Census Bureau estimates. They're drawn to its mix of big-city vitality and small-town charm, as well as its many amenities and affordable housing options. Homes range Median household income: $57,664 from large apartment comMedian age of residents: 34 munities to elegant subPopulation: 977,773 Sales tax: 7%, Atlanta City: 8% divisions, with a median value of $324,300. Chamber of Commerce Alpharetta offers a vaGreater North Fulton riety of parks and outdoor 770-993-8806, www.gnfcc.com Metro Atlanta attractions, including the 404-880-9000, www.metroatlantachamber.com Big Creek Greenway trail. South Fulton Shoppers flock to North 770-964-1984, www.southfultonchamber.com Point Mall for a multiProperty Taxes tude of retail options. The The property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value is: city’s historic downtown $44.12 for the City of Atlanta; $29.13 for incorporated area boasts an appealing Fulton County; $41.60 for unincorporated Fulton town square surrounded County; $33.75 for Johns Creek; $33.86 for Sandy by restaurants and shops. Springs. Tax Commissioner: 404-613-6100 The Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre hosts big-name The neighborhood also offers numerconcerts each summer. N ous antique stores, art galleries and For more counties and neighborhood mall shopping at Lenox Square and information, visit our Web site at www.newcomeratlanta.com Phipps Plaza..

County www.co.fulton.ga.us Neighborhoods www.alpharetta.ga.us www.buckhead.net www.virginiahighland.com www.eastpointcity.org www.collegeparkga.com www.hapeville.org www.roswellgov.com www.sandyspringsga.org www.fultonschools.org Schools www.atlanta.k12.ga.us

404-802-3500

Elementary Schools 52 Middle Schools 14 High Schools 20 Charter 15 Alternative 6 Per-pupil expenditures: $13,069 School & bus information: 404-802-5500

Downtown Atlanta skyline

QUICK INFO

Neighborhoods

Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development.

Fulton County serves as the center of the metro Atlanta area. With 90 percent of the city of Atlanta, including the state’s capital building, located within its borders, it sits at the hub of the area’s financial, transportation, retail, communications and cultural services. A number of Fortune 500 companies, including the Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines and UPS, are headquartered here. More than 970,000 people live in Fulton County, drawn by its convenience to Interstates 75, 85 and 285 and Georgia State Route 400. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median value of homes in the county is $246,200. Fulton is home to many of Atlanta’s signature neighborhoods, including its bustling downtown district. Older neighborhoods like Inman Park, Grant Park, Candler Park and Virginia-Highland offer affordable housing, pedestrianfriendly layouts and plentiful parks and recreational options. Midtown Atlanta is the heart of Atlanta’s cultural scene, with the Woodruff Arts Center (home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art) and the historic Fox Theatre, as well as a host of art galleries. Midtown’s Piedmont Park, the city’s most popular green space, hosts many outdoor festivals and concerts.

EDUCATION

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity City of College Park 404-669-3759 City of East Point 404-270-7010 City of Fairburn 770-964-3481 City of Palmetto 770-463-3322 Georgia Power 888-660-5890 Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit www.newcomeratlanta.com. Telephone AT&T 866-271-9724 Comcast 404-266-2278

Fulton County

Water

404-730-6830

Cable TV Charter Communications 887-906-9121 Comcast 404-266-2278 Hospitals Atlanta Medical Center 404-265-4000 Atlanta VA Medical Center 404-321-6111 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 University Hospital Midtown 404-778-2000 Grady Memorial Hospital 404-606-1000 North Fulton Regional Hospital 770-751-2500 Northside Hospital 404-851-8000 Piedmont Hospital 404-605-5000 Shepherd Center 404-352-2020 St. Joseph’s Hospital 678-843-7001

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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:

770-945-5035

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 newcomeratlanta.com 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 www.newcomeratlanta.com.

AT&T

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

888-438-2427

Comcast 404-266-2278 Hospitals Emory Eastside Medical Center

770-736-2400

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

678-312-4321

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

Gwinnett County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

EDUCATION

for any railroad aficionado. 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

Suwanee is named after the Shawnee Indians who settled here in the latter part of the 18th Originally part of Georgia’s century. Following the official Native American territory, Gwinnett founding of the city in 1837, County was created by the State Suwanee became a railroad stop Legislature in 1818 and named after along the Southern Railroad route. It Button Gwinnett, the third signer of remained a small country town well the Declaration of Independence and into the ’70s when construction of a former state governor. I-85 and U.S. 23 brought easy access While the county was to the region. once largely rural with small Since then, Suwanee County www.co.gwinnett.ga.us towns, country stores, farms has experienced tremenNeighborhoods www.cityofbuford.com and forests, today it is home to dous growth, from 2,000 www.duluthga.net more than 245 international residents in 1990 to www.snellville.org companies and 450 high-tech more than 10,000 today. www.suwanee.com firms. With an average of 260 To help manage growth, Schools www.bufordcityschools.org new professional and industrial the city has developed www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us companies relocating to the a comprehensive developMedian household income: $64,005 county each year, attracting more ment plan that promotes Median age of residents: 33 than 6,000 new jobs, Gwinnett pedestrian-oriented dePopulation: 789,499 County remains in the top 10 velopment and mixedSales tax: 6% ranking for growth nationwide. use zoning. Designated Chamber of Commerce The county supports many a Tree City USA for more Gwinnett County cultural events, restaurants than 10 years, the city 770-232-3000, www.gwinnettchamber.org and shopping opportunities, is committed to preserving Property Taxes including the Mall of Georgia. 27 percent of its land as The property tax in unincorporated Gwinnett Gwinnett County remains green space. County is $31.77 per $1,000 of assessed value. affordable for renters and firstSuch foresight has Tax Commissioner: 770-822-8800. time home buyers, many of whom allowed Suwanee to retain find homes in the communities of of the most exclusive neighborhoods its old-fashioned charm while proDoraville, Lawrenceville and Snellville. in Metro Atlanta and is home to viding contemporary convenience. The median value of homes in 2006, some of the best golf courses and Only 35 miles from downtown Ataccording to the Census Bureau, was private tennis clubs. There are lanta, Suwanee is close to big-city numerous parks for recreation and attractions, business districts and $193,100. participatory sports, including shopping. Many antique shops and Bunten Road Park and “Shorty” historic structures, including severHowell Park. Two major malls, al Victorian and regional farm-style Gwinnett Place and Northpoint, homes, are located near downtown are located near Duluth. The Suwanee. N Southeastern Railway Museum, For more counties and neighborhood Amidst the pristine setting of which preserves and operates old information, visit our Web site at Gwinnett County, Duluth has some railroad equipment, is a must-see www.newcomeratlanta.com

Mall of Georgia

QUICK INFO

Neighborhoods

Duluth

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METRO ATLANTA

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46 | Newcomer Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com

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www.newcomeratlanta.com | Newcomer Magazine | 47


upcoming EVENTS

Exhibits & Events Food Truck Fridays, Town Center Park Enjoy a variety of delicious options from local food trucks, plus live music. April 3 and May 1, www.suwanee.com.

Sustainable Shelter, Museum of Design Atlanta Subtitled “Dwelling Within the Forces of Nature,” this exhibit explores the way humans and animals have adapted to different environments through an amazing diversity of structures. Through April 5, 404-979-6455, www.museumofdesign.org.

Spring Break Out!, Rhodes Jordan Park Learn how to “break out” into healthy new habits at this health and wellness expo presented by Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation and Live Healthy Gwinnett. Participate in a 3K walk/run, interactive demonstrations and much more. April 10, 770-822-8869,

Memorial Day Service, Duluth Town Green

Theater & Concerts The Marriage of Figaro, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre The Atlanta Opera brings this classic comic opera, with timeless music by Mozart, to life. April 4, 7, 10, and 12, 404-881-8885, www.atlantaopera.org.

against the backdrop of a small 1930s Appalachian community. Through April 19, 404-733-5000,

Holy Spirit Prep Spring Gala, Ritz-Carlton Buckhead

Pippin, Fox Theatre

www.broadwayinatlanta.com.

The blue-skinned performance-art trio known for its mix of music and audio/visual spectacle returns to Atlanta. April 7-12, 800-278-4447,

Atlanta Ballet: MAYhem, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Blues for an Alabama Sky, Alliance Theatre This production of Atlanta author and playwright Pearl Cleage’s searing play, set in Harlem, New York, during the Great Depression, marks the 20th anniversary of the play’s world premiere at the Alliance Theatre. April 15-May 10, 404-733-5000, www.alliancetheatre.org.

Enjoy a wonderful evening of fun, fellowship and fundraising to support the teachers of Holy Spirit Preparatory School. April 11,

Broadway in Atlanta presents the national touring production of the Tony Award-winning musical, featuring captivating acrobatics and choreography. May 5-10, 800-278-4447,

Blue Man Group, Fox Theatre

www.broadwayinatlanta.com.

www.gwinnettparks.com.

www.alliancetheatre.org.

www.holyspiritprep.org.

World War II Heritage Days, Falcon Field

The Atlanta Ballet features premieres of Alexander Ekman’s “Cacti,” Yuri Possokhov’s “Classical Symphony” and John Heginbotham’s “Angels’ Share.” May 15-17, 404-892-3303,

This event features re-enactors, WWII vehicles, vintage aircraft and exhibits for a “living history” experience commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. The event takes place at the Dixie Wing Historical Airpower Facility at Falcon Field in Peachtree City.

www.atlantaballet.com.

April 18-19, 678-364-1100, www.wwiidays.org. Star 94 Woofstock, Town Center Park

Fridays N Duluth, Duluth Town Green Enjoy movies, children’s activities, concerts and more at this free weekly event for all ages in downtown Duluth. Films include Divergent on May 1 and Big Hero 6 on May 15. May 1, 8, 15, 22,

Atlanta Ballet: Modern Choreographic Voices, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

404-892-3303, www.atlantaballet.com.

Edward Foote, Alliance Theatre The Alliance Theatre presents a world premiere billed as a Southern Gothic mystery, set 48 | Newcomer Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com

and 29, 770-476-3434, www.duluthga.net.

Suwanee Farmers Market, Town Center PHOTO: Courtesy of the City of Suwanee

The Atlanta Ballet performs works from some of the world’s most popular choreographers, including Ohad Naharin’s “Minus 16,” Alexei Ratmansky’s “Seven Sonatas” and Gina Patterson’s “Quietly Walking.” April 17-19,

Browse and purchase local produce, flowers, honey, jams, baked goods and more. The market is open Saturday mornings through Oct. 3. May 2, www.suwanee.com.

Brain Teasers 2, Tellus Science Museum Sharpen your problem-solving skills as you work your way through 20 different challenges

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


that range from mathematical conundrums to mind-boggling block puzzles at this handson science exhibit. Through May 3, 770-606-5700,

The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office, Booth Western Art Museum

www.tellusmuseum.org.

See rarely seen images from nine different White House photographers, stretching from the Kennedy years of the early 1960s to the Obama administration. Through June 7,

Star 94 Woofstock, Town Center Park Bring your four-legged friend for a day of pet adoptions, contests, food trucks, live music and more. May 9, www.star94.com/Woofstock.aspx.

Movie in the Park, Lilburn City Park Relax on a blanket and enjoy a family-friendly movie under the stars. Movie begins at dusk. May 22, 770-921-2210, www.cityoflilburn.com.

Red, White, Bluegrass & Bach, Town Center Park Enjoy live bluegrass music and more at this Memorial Day celebration. May 22, www.suwanee.com.

770-387-1300, www.boothmuseum.org.

A Painter’s Profile: The High Celebrates Romare Bearden, High Museum of Art This exhibit honors Bearden, one of the 20th century’s most influential artists, as well as the important recent acquisition of his only known self-portrait. Through July 5, 404-733-5000, www.high.org.

The Coca-Cola Bottle, High Museum of Art

This annual event honors the sacrifices of the men and women of our armed forces. May 23,

This exhibit offers an exploration of the iconic design of one of the world’s most recognizable objects, and features artworks by Andy Warhol and photographs inspired by or featuring the bottle. Through Oct. 4, 404-733-5000,

www.duluthga.net.

www.high.org.

Imagining New Worlds, High Museum of Art

Bodies the Exhibition, Atlantic Station

Memorial Day Service, Duluth Town Green

This retrospective explores the works of the influential Surrealist painter Wifredo Lam, and contemporary artists José Parlá and Fahamu Pecou. Through May 24, 404-733-5000, www.high.org.

Smoky Mountain Springfest, Sevierville, Tenn.

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

GONE WITH THE WIND COLLECTION

Fox Theatre Tours, Fox Theatre

Enjoy spring decorations, mountain wildflowers and plenty of great events during this seasonal celebration. Through June 6, 888-738-4378,

Take a guided tour of this historic venue, including the orchestra pit, the Egyptian Ballroom and the “Mighty Mo” organ. Ongoing,

www.visitsevierville.com.

855-285-8499, www.foxtheatre.org.

Gainesville, Ga. Event Corner

First Friday Concert, Gainesville Square Dave Anderson and the Shadetree Smugglers perform an exciting mix of rock, R&B and “a little bit of everything” at this free concert, which takes place from 7-9 p.m. May 1, 770-535-6860, www.gainesville.org. Spring Chicken Festival, Downtown Gainesville

Spring Chicken Festival, Downtown Gainesville Enjoy a parade, children’s activities, live entertainment, a “re-hatched” market featuring recycled items, and an official chicken cook-off. Tickets are $5 and include 10 samples. This event is a fundraiser for Keep Hall Beautiful and Main Street Gainesville. April 25, 770-535-6860, www.gainesville.org.

Blue Sky Concerts, Gainesville Square Enjoy lunch on the lawn and live music from noon to 1 p.m. May 6, 13, 20, and 27, 770-5356860, www.gainesville.org.

19th Annual Butterfly Release, Wilshire Trails Park Watch as more than 1,500 butterflies are released, and enjoy free children’s activities at this annual Gainesville event. May 17, 770-535-6860, www.gainesville.org.

MOnDay-SaturDay

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Closed Sunday

MarIETTa

GONE WITH THE WIND M u s E u M

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

770-794-5576 www.gwtwmarietta.com www.newcomeratlanta.com | Newcomer Magazine | 49


hiddenATLANTA

T

he Lake Lanier Olympic Venue is a welcome reminder of the lasting impact made by the 1996 Summer Olympics not just on the games’ host city of Atlanta, but throughout the Southeast. Located an hour north of downtown Atlanta, on the shores of the 38,000-acre Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia, the venue, built on the site of Clarks Bridge Park, played host to canoe and kayak events during the ’96 games, and has carried on that legacy ever since. It is the only venue from the ’96 Olympics still used for its original purpose, hosting a variety of local, regional and national sporting events, including canoe, kayak, rowing and other water sports. The Lake Lanier Olympic Venue is also home to both the Lake Lanier Rowing Club and the Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club. These training, competition and membership organizations maintain the facilities, and host many sporting events. Thanks to its straight, flat open water—ideal conditions for competitive rowing—the venue, which seats approximately 2,000, has become a destination for both serious and recreational sports enthusiasts. The facility also plays host to festivals and other events. In 2016, it will host the Pan American Championships and Continental Olympic Qualifying Regatta. It’s events like these, as well as the venue’s history, that help Lake Lanier Olympic Venue remain vital to the local community. By Tony Jenkins “It’s a hidden gem in the Gainesville and Hall County community,” says Morgan House, the venue’s manager. “It draws in thousands of people from all over our community, state, country, and the world, and the economic impact reaches into the millions of dollars per year.” The two clubs also offer a wide range of programs for young and old, and maintain a fleet of kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards and dragon boats available for rent. But you don’t have to don a wetsuit to take advantage of the natural beauty surrounding the venue, or to enjoy its storied history. The Olympic Boathouse, Olympic Tower and Olympic Plaza are all available to rent for everything from board meetings to weddings and festivals, ensuring that you’ll get a gold medal in event planning. Lake Lanier Olympic Venue is located at 3105 Clarks Bridge Road in Gainesville. For more information, call 770-540-6307 or visit www.lakelanierolympicvenue.org.

Lake Lanier Olympic Venue

A Leading Destination for Water Sports

50 ||Newcomer Newcomer Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com 50 Magazine | www.newcomeratlanta.com


Newcomer Magazine | April/May 2015  

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