Newcomer Magazine Winter 2023

Page 1

Winter 2023 Get the InsideScoop on Atlanta p.10 PREPARING FOR COLLEGE 3 Steps to Help Your Child Get Ready NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS & HOAs What They Offer and How They Differ HISTORY MEETS LUXURY Visit Georgia’s Oldest Hotels & Inns | Newcomer Magazine | 3

Winter 2023 CONTENTS


Atlanta Insider’s Guide

New to Atlanta and feeling confused by the lingo? From The Big Chicken to the Frosted Orange, we’ll bring you up to speed on your new city.

How to Prepare for College

From middle school through high school, how to help your child get a head start on early preparation and navigating the college path.

Wintertime Fun

Start planning your winter activities now with our list of the best things to do for the season, including holiday events, indoor and outdoor festivals, ice skating and that polar bear plunge you’ve been eager to do.

Georgia’s History Inns & Hotels

Georgia’s oldest hotels and inns are historic gems of yesteryear, providing travelers the perfect mix of history, luxury and Southern charm


In Focus 8

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

Homes and Communities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Learn about homeowner associations and neighborhood associations and why they might be a good fit for your lifestyle.

Neighborhood Spotlight


Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, offering a thriving nightlife and foodie scene, is central to Atlanta’s downtown neighborhood revival.

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

Atlanta Academy, located in Roswell and founded by teachers, focuses on creativity, diversity and community to mold students into innovative thinkers.

Restaurant Review 31 Reverence, located inside the Epicurean Atlanta hotel, has a globally inspired menu reflecting the executive chef’s experience.

Relocation Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

A guide to help you find your way before, during and after your move, including count information, neighborhoods, relocation tips and more.

Upcoming Events

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


Hidden Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

With an emphasis on pink and unique products, Piggy Jo’s is a children’s clothing store and gift shop offering items you can’t find anywhere else.

4 | Newcomer Magazine |
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
32 26 10 | Newcomer Magazine | 5

We wish to thank all the people who made this publication possible through their valuable time and dedication. Many thanks to our advertisers for their support of Newcomer magazine.

editor Everett Catts marketing & promotions Jeff Thompson

contributing writers

Michelle Bourg, Susan Flowers, Tony Jenkins, Rachael Mason, Jackson Reeves

director of sales & marketing Patrick Killam

account director Lacey James

publisher/president Patrick Killam TO ADVERTISE CALL 770-992-0273

to check out past issues of Newcomer.

Scan this code to Succeed Enabling Children with Learning Differences Phone: 770-594-1313 I 200 Cox Rd. Roswell WWW.PORTERACADEMY.ORG

Newcomer magazine, Winter 2023, Volume 26, Issue 4. 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 submissions as necessary. Reproduction in whole or in part of any elements of this publication are strictly prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. © 2022 Killam Publishing, Inc.

6 | Newcomer Magazine |
For additional copies, further information, advertising or suggestions, please contact: KILLAM PUBLISHING, INC. P: 770-992-0273 • F: 844-706-1545 ✔ Pre-K through 8th Grade ✔ Small group instruction using multi-sensory techniques ✔ Academic programs matched to individual’s strengths | Newcomer Magazine | 7





Since the 1990s, Riverdance has stomped its way into countless hearts around the globe. And now the smash-hit stage production showcasing Irish and international dance is winning a new generation of fans with its hypnotic, energetic choreography. This completely reimagined show comes to the Fox Theatre Jan. 27-29, courtesy of Regions Bank Broadway in Atlanta. For tickets, visit


Now in its 12th year, Garden Lights, Holiday Nights has become a seasonal favorite, turning Midtown’s Atlanta Botanical Garden into a breathtaking landscape of natural wonders and fantastic light displays. This year’s event promises an all-new exhibition by French artist Cédric LeBorgne and three massive sculptures from the popular Origami in the Garden exhibit. Through Jan. 14.

Make a Splash!

Based on the popular PBS Kids series, Splash and Bubbles: Dive In, Lend a Fin! immerses young learners in the awesome world of our majestic oceans. This Children’s Museum of Atlanta exhibit allows your child to join Splash, Bubbles and the Reeftown Rangers to learn about marine biology and find out how even small actions can have big ripple effects that can help save our seas. This hands-on experience opens Jan. 21 and runs through April 30. For more information, call 404659-5437 or visit

Historic College Park Home

Step Into a World of Wizardry

There’s no need to take the Hogwarts Express to visit the world’s most famous boy wizard. Harry Potter: The Exhibition is an immersive, one-of-a-kind celebration of your favorite moments, characters and beasts from the film series. Learn behind-the-scenes film details while interacting with actual props and costumes and brushing up on your Quidditch moves. For more information or to buy tickets, visit

8 | Newcomer Magazine |
PHOTO: Photo courtesy of Harry Potter: The Exhibition as seen at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA from February 18 September 18, 2022. PHOTO: TM & © Henson. © Herschend Studios PHOTO: Atlanta Botanical Garden PHOTO: Jack Hartin © Abhann Productions

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Atlanta can boast few holiday traditions as be loved as the Alliance Theatre’s annual staging of A Christmas Carol. This year marks the show’s 34th season, and its second with a reimagined stage show featuring exciting costumes, set design, puppetry, exciting live music and a cast packed with some of Atlanta’s finest actors, including Andrew Benator as Ebenezer Scrooge. This telling of Charles Dickens’ timeless story remains a must-see event. Through Dec. 24. For tickets, call 404-733-4600 or visit | Newcomer Magazine | 9 inFOCUS
PHOTO: Photo by Greg Mooney


No doubt about it, Atlanta can be an intimidating place. There’s so much to take in that it’s easy to feel like an outsider. To help you start feeling like a true local, we’ve broken down what makes our city special: its essential dining experiences, sites that add a little history to your new home and the five things every true Atlantan has to do. Follow these helpful suggestions and you’ll be feeling like an insider in no time.


Standing at the top of Stone Mountain offers an unparalleled view of not just the Atlanta skyline but the entire surrounding area. If you can’t handle hiking the incline, you can ride to the top in a cable car, but keep in mind that you won’t get “I climbed Stone Mountain” bragging rights.


War and the city’s fascinating post-antebellum story and tour some of Atlanta’s grandest his toric homes.


Take a stroll along the BeltLine, a 22-mile paved trail constructed from reclaimed railroad corridors that links 45 neighborhoods, numer ous parks and additional trails. Be sure to stop for lunch on the patio at one of the many eateries along the way ( Admire the stunning flower gardens at the Atlanta Botanical Garden (, and spend an afternoon walking, biking, picnicking or just people-watching at the city’s favorite greens pace, Piedmont Park.


Located in the heart of downtown, Centennial Olympic Park is a lasting legacy of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. At its heart is the Fountain of Rings, where the water dances in a synchronized ballet with music, sound and light effects, four times a day, 365 days per year. In warmer months, the fountain is one of the most unique and fun ways for kids—and grownups—to cool off from the summer heat.

There’s nothing quite like an Atlanta Braves home game, especially now that the Braves are in their new home at Truist Park. The fun starts long before first pitch with a stroll through The Battery Atlanta, a lifestyle destination surround ing the park filled with dining, shopping and special activities galore. Inside the park, you’ll feel right on top of the action, as the park boasts some the best sightlines in the major leagues.


The metro Atlanta area is rich with history. Learn more about one of the city’s most famous residents at the Martin Luther King. Jr. Center ( At the Atlanta History Center, check out exhibits illuminating the Civil


The Varsity is Atlanta’s iconic fast food joint, in operation since 1928. The flagship location on North Avenue is billed as the world’s largest drive-in restaurant, sitting on more than two acres and able to accommodate more than 800 customers at a time. In addition, servers and savvy customers speak their own special lingo. Try the Frosted Orange, a frozen treat that tastes like a Creamsicle, only better.


This upscale establishment is the city’s premiere fine-dining restaurant. Each night, chefs/owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison create a different seasonal menu. The four-course meal, which costs $110 per person, includes two small appetizers, an entrée, a cheese course and dessert.

| Newcomer Magazine | 10
Stone Mountain Park


This attitude-heavy restaurant and bar (patrons must be 18 or older) serves up some of the best burgers in town, including the Classic Bypass, a half-pound sirloin patty topped with a fried egg, three slices of American cheese and four slices of bacon, served with mayo on the side. Two loca tions.


Located in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, this eatery has garnered several rave reviews and awards since opening in 2016, and its tasting menu changes regularly. But Staplehouse started as an underground supper club founded by Ryan and Jen Hidinger. Ryan died of cancer in 2014, but his legacy lives on with the restaurant and The Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit started to aid metro Atlanta restaurant industry employees who face unexpected hardships. All after-tax profits from Staplehouse benefit The Giving Kitchen. Its name changed to Staplehouse Market in 2020, when the restaurant started offering a pick-up food and drink service.


You don’t have to travel around the world to enjoy a wealth of international cuisine. Buford Highway offers a diverse cornucopia of authentic ethnic fare, from Korean barbecue and Vietnamese noodle bowls to Chinese kabobs, Cajun crawfish and Mexican menudo with handmade tortillas.


This giant bird, which adorns a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in neighboring Marietta, won’t teach you anything new about Atlanta, but it’s one of those things you have to see to believe, and is more than worth the drive to the suburbs. u | Newcomer Magazine | 11
PHOTOS: (Top Left) Kevin C. Rose/; (Bottom Left) The Reynolds Group; (Bottom Right) Kevin C. Rose/ The Big Chicken Bacchanalia The Vortex


Distinguished by a giant outdoor CNN logo, the cable empire’s world headquarters offers behind-the-scenes tours of several of its newsrooms. The space also includes a number of shops and restaurants and is con nected to the Omni Hotel and State Farm Arena, home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.


The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached non-violence at this historic church, which has been operating since 1866. Today, you can still visit the church on Auburn Avenue and take part in its services.


The Georgia State Capitol shines brightly in the Atlanta skyline due to the gold paneling on its dome. The Capitol also houses a museum where flags, artwork and other historic artifacts are displayed.


At this historic landmark, you can see the apartment where author Margaret Mitchell wrote “Gone with the Wind.” The space has been preserved with period furnishings and original architec tural features. The remainder of the building and an addition next door serve as a museum dedicated to Mitchell’s work.

| Newcomer Magazine | 12 | Newcomer Magazine | 13

Neighborhood Associations

When it comes to neighborhoods, Atlanta offers everything from older, tree-lined communities to new subdivisions with the latest perks. And those areas offer just as much variety in neighborhood and homeowners’ associations. Whether you’re looking for an area with strict standards for appearance with an eye toward property values, or a place with fewer rules but more personality, metro Atlanta has the right neighborhood for you.

| Newcomer Magazine | 14


A homeowner’s association (HOA) is a legal entity that is typically responsible for upholding rules governing the appearance of properties. An HOA will often have the right to enforce those rules by issuing fines and even placing liens on properties of non compliant owners.

“The big advantage is that there’s a standard that’s set for everyone,” says Realtor Josh Jarvis of Jarvis Team Realty. “They also do some other things, like maintain the amenities.” Because of the HOA, these neighborhoods are often able to offer pools, sidewalks, clubhouses or tennis courts.

Experts say an HOA is crucial to your home’s value in the long run because of all the services it provides.

“If things are uniformly maintained [by an HOA], you don’t have the issue of one or two sore thumbs” lowering the value of every home in the neighborhood, says Paul Queen, former director of marketing for Sentry Management, which handles HOAs for over 300,000 homes, condominiums and town homes across the country.

Of course, one person’s sore thumb can be another’s needed enhancement. An HOA’s in terpretation of standards can differ from yours. “They can also restrict things that you want to do to the home,” Jarvis says. “For example, you may want to put an outbuilding on your property. You may not be able to, or it might cost more than it would otherwise, because you can’t just go get an aluminum building.”

Another potential drawback is the impact of HOA dues on your purchasing power. While a well-maintained neighborhood can prevent your home’s value from depreciating, what you pay toward an HOA will be considered by banks when you apply for a loan, because your dues affect your debt-to-income ratio.

“If you pay $600 a year, that’s $50 a month,” says Jarvis. “A lot of people don’t think about that.” This can play an especially large role in the purchase of a townhome or condo, or in the purchase of a home priced near the limit of what you can afford.

But HOAs have other benefits, including architectural controls (residents must get ap proval for changes to their homes’ exteriors),

increased community engagement (events and activities that unite residents) and an extra layer of support (partnering with municipalities to ensure compliance with zoning codes), accord ing to Associated Asset Management’s website.


If you’re looking for a home in a neighborhood with an HOA, a little due diligence can pay off in the long run.

Ask to see financial reports for any HOA you’re seriously considering. Without adequate funding, amenities can’t be maintained and

improvements can’t be made. It’s reasonable to expect that your neighborhood’s pool and other features will be just as attractive in 10 years as they are today.

It’s also a good idea to ask to see the minutes of the past few HOA meetings. These docu ments can inform you of ongoing problems that can factor into your decision to buy. “What they’re talking about in the minutes gives you a good snapshot of what the issues are in a neigh borhood,” says Queen.

Although HOA documents are nobody’s idea of a page-turner, it’s still important to give them | Newcomer Magazine | 15
A homeowner’s association (HOA) is a legal entity that is typically responsible for upholding rules governing the appearance of properties. An HOA will often have the right to enforce those rules by issuing fines and even placing liens on properties of noncompliant owners.

County suburb with a population of about 46,000. With events including Food Truck Thursdays, a Fourth of July parade and live concerts, “We very much add to the quality of life in our city,” says longtime member Stacey Harris. The group also hosts candidates’ forums for city council and mayoral elections.

The Lake Claire Neighbors group seldom, if ever, tackles issues relating to the appearance of individual homes. “Even though we may have an issue of growing grass too long, we prefer the more flexible and free approach to how our neighborhood evolves,” says Dorsner. “Our neighborhood is laid back. We like the fact that it’s quirky and interesting. We don’t have to have all matching mailboxes.”

Remember that HOAs and neighborhood as sociations are different entities that serve differ ent functions, and be aware of what each offers and what you want when you’re investigating a particular community. Good luck!

a thorough read. If an HOA’s standards differ significantly from yours, it’s better to know before you purchase.

Drive through the neighborhood to be sure that it’s properly maintained. Amenities or homes in poor condition can tell you that an HOA isn’t doing its job.

And if you’re considering a gated community, be aware that everything inside those gates is the responsibility of the neighborhood’s home owners. If a road inside a gated community needs paving, the association, not the county, is responsible for the cost. “In a gated community, the only things they don’t own are the mail boxes,” says Jarvis.


If you’re looking for a looser structure than that offered by many homeowners’ associations, a neighborhood association might be the ticket. Found more often in areas close to Atlanta’s downtown than in the suburbs, neighborhood associations frequently act as advocates for a community, working with elected officials on improvements and taking actions to enhance the area’s quality of life.

A neighborhood association is typically less concerned with enforcing standards for ap pearance, and more concerned with issues that affect the community, says Nancy Dorsner of the

Lake Claire Neighbors.

“Really it’s just having an organization that can represent the neighborhood when things come up like school redistricting,” she says. “It’s a whole lot easier for the association to get face time with elected representatives. Every person in the neighborhood can’t get a meeting with our city council person. We can speak with one voice on neighborhood issues, like recommending that a traffic light should be changed.”

Although the name suggests that it’s an HOA, the 1,200-member Dunwoody Homeowners Association is actually closer to a neighborhood association in function. The Dunwoody HOA covers the entire city of Dunwoody, a DeKalb


• An HOA is a group of property owners with the authority to enforce rules concerning such issues as yard work, uniformity of appearance and safety.

• A neighborhood association is a group of neighbors and business owners concerned with such issues as quality of life.

• If you move into a community with an HOA, membership is generally mandatory.

• Most condominium communities are HOAs.

• Some HOAs have restrictions about parties, noise, etc.

• HOAs usually own and maintain community property, such as roads, swimming pools, etc.

| Newcomer Magazine | 16 HOMES & COMMUNITIES

Old Town Lilburn Is Growing


Lilburn, known for its walkable mix of restau rants, shops and attractions like Lilburn City Park and the Camp Creek Greenway.

The Main Street Townes at Lilburn, a new mixed-use development, offers a number of modern, built-to-rent townhomes facing Old Town’s vibrant Main Street, with more homes currently under construction. The development is also slated to include 15,000 square feet of retail space.

The city of Lilburn is one of the metro area’s hidden gems. Its small-town feel and con venience to Atlanta (downtown is 22 miles away) make it one of the area’s most desirable destinations for new families. And this Gwin nett County community is currently growing, developing its historic downtown, creating new housing and commercial spaces for families and young professionals.

Much of this work is focused on the Old Town downtown district, the beating heart of

Another project in the works, a commer cial development at 112 Main Street, aims to transform the corner of Main Street and Railroad Avenue across from 1910 Public House, with three new buildings joining the Cofer Electrical building. The first of those new buildings is slated to feature more than 6,000 square feet, with two restaurant anchors and an outdoor dining deck.

Developers and city leaders envision the popular Hope Springs Distillery moving into this

space from its current home around the corner on Railroad Avenue. Plans call for that Railroad Avenue space to house 275 luxury apartments looking out on the Camp Creek Greenway Trail. The city is also hard at work on infrastructure projects including raised crosswalks across Main Street and some new sidewalk areas, designed to make this booming neighborhood even more pedestrian-friendly to accommodate the influx of new arrivals drawn by the area’s lush greenspace and comfortable, intimate atmosphere. For more information on Lilburn, visit | Newcomer Magazine | 17

SPOTLIGHT neighborhood

Old Fourth Ward

Located on the east side of Atlanta, the Old Fourth Ward boasts Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthplace, a central hub for the BeltLine, along with a thriving nightlife and foodie scene. Situated just west of Inman Park, the area is at the crux of Atlanta’s booming downtown neighborhood revival. It was part of the historic Fourth Ward political area until the 1950s, when Atlanta changed to a district system.


For young professionals, the Old Fourth Ward’s hip environs offer plenty of appeal— and the neighborhood’s residential choices can rival those found in more established enclaves, such as Buckhead. 525 Park (, which opened in 2020 and includes 97 one- and two-bedroom condos, is so popular that all the units have sold out but some are available for rent.

Located near the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail, the Mariposa Loft Apartments (678-742-5190) offer luxury one- and two-bedroom units. ParkHaus (470-839-6010), a new four-story townhouse development, is only a mile from Ponce City Market.

Arts and Entertainment

Looking for a place to catch some of the best local musical talent? Look no further than Venkman’s (, a restaurant/bar co-owned by Nick Niespodziani and Peter Olsen of the band Yacht Rock Revue, which occasionally performs there along with countless other musicians. If you’re seeking a more upscale, wine-centric dinner-and-a-show experience, check out City Winery Atlanta (, which brings in top national acts for concerts and other events.

Then call it a night at Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium ( It’s exactly the sort of hip dive bar that it sounds like.

Culinary Treats

Ponce City Market (404-900-7900) features such offerings as sushi and sashimi at Miso Ko, deep-fried chicken at Hop’s Chicken and tacos at Minero. On the other end of the neighborhood, Krog Street Market ( includes such restaurants as Makimono and Superica. For tasty dessert options, check out Jake’s Ice Cream at Irwin Street Market (678-705-7945).

Local Treasures

Nestled just south of the Civil Rights leader’s birthplace, the Martin Luther King Jr. Na tional Historic Site (404-331-5190) features an exhibit on the movement and the man, titled “Courage to Lead,” along with special exhibits in the D.R.E.A.M Gallery. Across the street, you can visit where King delivered his first sermon at the pulpit, Ebenezer Baptist Church (404-688-7300). Right off the Belt Line, Historic Fourth Ward Park (404-5466757) includes a skate park and hosts the neighborhood’s annual arts festival. N


Mostly developed in the years following the Civil War, the neighborhood is one of the oldest in Atlanta. Boulevard, the central roadway of the Old Fourth Ward, has evolved repeatedly throughout its history— more than 100 years.

Ponce City Market Central Food Hall Ponce City Market Tower Terrace 525 Park Ebenezer Baptist Church
18 | Newcomer Magazine |
PHOTOS: (left and top far left) Jamestown; (bottom far left) National Park Service | Newcomer Magazine | 19


Attending college has long been a cornerstone of the American dream, and the majority of students hope to do so. But the path to getting there is a winding and long one: educators and college admissions officers recommend that planning for college begins when a child reaches sixth grade. For modern families, the three keys to navigating the path to college successfully are being proactive, organized and communicative.


In Georgia, the concept of proactivity has been mandated with the BRIDGE (Building Resource ful Individuals to Develop Georgia’s Economy) Act, which helps students select a focused study plan by providing career counseling and regularly scheduled advisement beginning in

sixth grade. (For more information, visit the Georgia Department of Education website at

Students begin by taking the Career Cluster Inventory and creating a YouScience portfolio to track their BRIDGE activities. During the spring of their eighth-grade year, students must select a career area and draft a correspond ing course of study called an IGP (Individual

| Newcomer Magazine | 20

Graduation Plan) in consultation with parents, counselors and teachers.

Parents should communicate with their chil dren about school performance and its impact on a future career by discussing possible career interests and helping them to develop good study habits, identifying academic areas that need improvement. The PSAT 8/9 offers a snap shot of a child’s academic strengths and weak nesses so families can create a plan of action.


As high school begins, parents and students should establish a good relationship with the guidance counselor and work with him or her to select prerequisite courses for advanced-level work. If any subjects are giving difficulty, ad ditional help should be sought in order to be up to speed going forward. It’s critical to maintain

grades and test performance, as colleges look at a student’s entire high school career.

Sophomore year is when the first standardized placement tests are taken; 10th-graders may take the PSAT 10 or the ACT prerequisite PLAN test. Qualified stu dents should look into the MOWR (Move On When Ready) program, which enables qualified Georgia high school students to take college courses and receive both high school and college credit.

Co-curricular participation is one of the most memorable parts of the high school experience and a key factor in college admissions. Students should try some out now and find one or two they will enjoy long-term. This is also a good time to begin satisfying the community service graduation requirement. Parents should monitor their child’s schedule to ensure that academics and co-curriculars remain in balance.

While the nitty-gritty of financial planning is still in the future, during fresh man year families should start to discuss financial aid, scholarships and the student’s responsibilities, if any. A good place to start | Newcomer Magazine | 21
As high school begins, parents and students should establish a good relationship with the guidance counselor and work with him or her to select prerequisite courses for advanced-level work.

is by visiting the website of the Georgia Student Finance Commission ( for information.

By the end of the year, Georgia ninth-graders must complete a supervised investigation of at least three potential careers and record them in their Georgia Career Information System (GCIS) portfolio. The summer between ninth and 10th grade is when research into college options should begin, with a file kept on each school to compare later.

Over summer break, students should make a list of desired criteria to guide their college explorations and intensify their research into different schools.


In junior year, the pace for college-bound stu dents intensifies dramatically, and life will seem like a non-stop parade of deadlines. Standard ized tests begin with the PSAT in October, and it takes discipline to balance studying for tests, keeping up with regular coursework, extracur ricular activities and volunteer or employment

| Newcomer Magazine | 22

responsibilities. Regular family meetings will keep everyone on the same page—making a weekly pizza date to talk things over will also carve out some quality de-stressing time. Using a family organization phone app such as Cozi or even a large-format wall calendar makes keeping track of test dates and applica tion deadlines easier.

Now is the time to begin evaluating colleges in earnest. Under BRIDGE, Georgia students must investigate at least three postsecondary institutions and record the information in their GCIS portfolio by the end of junior year. Using the list of personal criteria and the school infor mation they’ve gathered, students should make a ranked list of potential schools and make ap pointments to visit several. It’s also a good point to begin requesting letters of recommendation from respected mentors. Meanwhile, parents should begin reviewing the financial picture and making a budget.

The summer between junior and senior year is critical; in addition to working on jobs or internships, students need to finalize their list of schools and visit as many as possible, begin crafting application essays, organize financial aid info and consider applying early decision to the top schools on the list.

As senior year begins, students and their families have to hit the ground running. The SAT (and if applicable, the ACT) must be taken as soon as possible; it’s important to check the SAT subject test schedule, as some tests are only given on select dates. There may be final cam pus visits to make even as the essay and applica tion process is in full swing, and it’s imperative to maintain grades and class rank, as colleges scrutinize these carefully. As the year progresses, students must track acceptances, and if placed on a waitlist for their top choices, consider ap plying to schools with later deadlines.

Parents will also be busy, as financial aid

applications are time-consuming and must be completed as soon as possible. For information on college scholarships, parents and their chil dren can visit The Scholarship System website ( to find out how to properly apply for scholarships. According to its website, the System’s members have won more than $10.5 million in scholarships as of August.

If their son or daughter has applied to both public and private schools, it will be necessary to complete both the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile. As acceptances are received, families will need to compare the aid packages offered as they work together toward a final decision.

It’s been a long road, but as the portfolio is finally closed with the entry “College,” at last it’s time to raise a toast at the graduation party and savor the accomplishment. All too soon it will be time to shop for those dorm supplies. | Newcomer Magazine | 23
Parents will also be busy, as financial aid applications are time-consuming and must be completed as soon as possible.

Atlanta Academy Molding Minds with Creativity and Innovation

When you step onto Atlanta Academy’s campus in Roswell, you’ll see a school where creativity, diversity and community are paramount. Those tenets play into the school’s beliefs and mission, which include molding students into innovative thinkers who can adapt as they prepare for the future.

Atlanta Academy was founded in 2000 by seven teachers, and its success can be credited to an educator’s focus.

“I hire well and I train my teachers well and provide ongoing training so that they are always at the top of their game,” Head of School Angela Naples says. “But also, I look to my teachers for a lot of input when choosing curriculum and programs because they’re in the trenches. The teachers are our backbone. It’s worth your time and money to invest in your team, and your whole admin staff as well, not just the classroom teachers.”

Today the K-8 school sits on nine acres and the campus includes two STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) labs, three science labs, two art classrooms, a gymnasium, a greenhouse and a recording studio, with some of those facilities being new. As part of its STEAM program, the school has a chicken coop, used to raise chickens, and an aeroponic garden, where it raises trout before releasing them into the Chattahoochee River. Atlanta Academy also recently expanded its after-school programs and summer camps.

The school has about 375 students enrolled in the 2022-23 school year, with a 60-member faculty and a max class size of 16 students.

Atlanta Academy was honored for its success in 2017, when it was named a National Blue Ribbon School. The award is given by the U.S. Department of Education to public and private elementary, middle and

high schools for their “overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups,” according to the department’s website. Naples says the school’s well-rounded program of classes and extracurricular activities, with a mixture of traditional and modern approaches, makes it stand out.

“We’re very forward thinking and we’re very diverse,” she says, adding 37 percent of its students are minorities. “We do a lot of application, not just memorization of knowledge. We believe in exposing the children to everything. … We have strong acceptance rates into the high schools, both the private schools and also the Advanced Placement courses in public schools.”

Naples says the small classroom size, including a 6-to-1 studentto-teacher ratio, helps teachers get to know each student in his or her class, plus his or her family. The parents, in turn, are actively involved with the school, volunteering and attending school events often. Teachers even split their classes into smaller groups.

From start to finish—the day opens with a schoolwide morning prayer and closes with extracurricular activities that include eight sports and a top-notch performing and visual arts program—Atlanta Academy prepares students well for their next step in life. N


Grades: Pre-K (age 2)-8th grade Student/Teacher Ratio: 6:1 Tuition: $12,200-$26,610

Location: Roswell

Contact: 2000 Holcomb Woods Pkwy., Roswell, GA 30076 678-461-6102


24 | Newcomer Magazine | schoolSPOTLIGHT | Newcomer Magazine | 25

Winter doesn’t officially begin until Dec. 21, but at venues across metro Atlanta, the year’s coldest season has already commenced with a plethora of events to choose from.

And while the wintertime kicks off with a series of holiday events and activities, there are still plenty of other ways to celebrate the season in January and February, even after the holidays end.


There are countless ways to celebrate Christ mas, from art to theatre to visits with Santa Claus. Looking for fun ways to revel in holiday cheer? Check out the Callanwolde Winter House (, which will include art workshops, holiday dé cor, Santa Claus and more. At Holidays on the Roof at Ponce City Market (, you can rent an igloo for up to six people, visit with Santa and check out 9 Mile Station’s trans formation into a woodland forest. Fernbank’s Winter Wonderland: Holidays and Tradi tions Around the World ( will feature trees and other displays decorated by local cultural partners that mark holiday traditions and practices from around the globe.

A Gingerbread House at Callanwolde Winter House

The World of Coke's Holiday Celebration ( will include holidayrelated exhibits, seasonal/holiday beverages and more. The Atlanta Christkindl Market in the Buckhead Village District ( is a traditional German market with authentic food and beverages, visits with Santa and a great place to find gifts for your loved ones. The Georgia Aquarium's Winter Waterland (geor will include holidaythemed dolphin presentations, photos with Santa, holiday movie showings in its 4D Theater and more.

And if you are musically or thespian in clined, there are a few holiday classics that should whet your whistle and put you in the spirit of giving. The Center for Puppetry Arts’ Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer ( is based on the 1964 television special. The Alliance Theatre’s A Christmas Carol ( is based on Charles Dickens’ novella, and the Atlanta Ballet’s The Nutcracker ( is adapted from the original book by E.T.A. Hoffman and music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will host three Christmas with the ASO concerts (, featuring

| Newcomer Magazine | 26
Holidays on the Roof at Ponce City Market
PHOTOS: (Bottom Left and Right) Photos courtesy of Jamestown

Holidays at Atlantic Station

holiday carols, hymns and more.

Hannukah will take place Dec.18-26, and venues across the city will host menorahlighting ceremonies (atlantajewishconnector. com). Most, if not all of these events have free admission.

The holidays aren’t complete without check ing out a light show, and there are plenty to choose from. While most of the light displays

HolidayGardenLights, Nights

can only be accessed by foot, some are the drive-through kind, allowing families to stay warm in the comfort of their own vehicles. Though there are some smaller light shows in your area, these larger ones stand out:

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Midtown ( will feature more than a billion lights covering the grounds. Lights of Life at Life Univer sity in Marietta ( is a drive-through display, but don’t forget to stop for the pony rides, train rides and petting zoo. Stone Mountain Christmas ( boasts the World’s Largest Light Show and also includes a Christmas parade and carolers.

Holiday in the Park at Six Flags (sixflags. com) includes more than a million lights, classic shows and music, visits with Santa and holiday treats. Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens (, named one of National Geographic’s Top 10 Light Displays in the World, includes drive-through and walk-through experiences. The Lakeside Light Spectacular at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands

( features holidayand Margaritaville-themed lights, and Celebrate the Station at Atlantic Station (atlanticstation. com) includes lights, snow shows and more. While there are countless adults-only New Year’s Eve parties in metro Atlanta, several venues are offering ways for the whole family to toast the start of 2023. The Children’s Museum of Atlanta’s Bubble Bash (childrensmuseum will include music, dancing, games and lots of bubbles. Stone Mountain Park’s Early New Year’s Eve Celebration ( will include snow, fireworks and more. Noon Year’s Eve at Avalon ( will feature face painting, crafts and snacks and will benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Noon Year’s Eve on the Roof at Ponce City Market ( will include balloon artists, a magician and much more.

Though many venues are hosting ice skating rinks as part of their holiday festivities, the rinks will stay open for weeks into January and even February. Here’s where to find those rinks: The Ice Rink at Sugar Hill ( | Newcomer Magazine | 27
PHOTOS: (Top Left) Atlanta Botanical Garden; (Bottom Left) Addison Hill Photography

will host special events including a Valentine’s Day date night. Olde Town on Ice at Olde Town Conyers Pavilion ( and Ice Days Ice Skating Rink in Covington ( each have a separate area for hosting private parties and events.

License to Chill Snow Island at Margarita ville at Lanier Islands ( offers ice skating plus snow tubing, amusement rides and opportunities to play in the snow. Skate the Sky at Ponce City Market ( includes ice skating, un limited gameplay and admission to The Roof.

Skate the Station at Atlantic Station boasts metro Atlanta’s largest ice rink at 10,000 square feet. The Rink at Park Tavern in Mid town ( offers patrons a view of Piedmont Park and the Midtown skyline plus selfie stations, fire pits and fireplaces and more. Season on the Square at Colony Square in Midtown includes days when 10% of admission benefits Children’s Health care of Atlanta, Avalon on Ice in Alpharetta ( features a Rockefeller Center-inspired rink.

Are you an art lover? Then go to the Callanwolde Artist Market ( Do you enjoy Chinese food and culture? If so, try the Atlanta Chinese Lunar New Year Festival ( Love movies? Then check out the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (

Looking for something out of the ordinary? Try the Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival (, set for Feb. 3-5 at the Yaarab Shrine Center in Midtown. It includes juggling, unicycling, flow and play, hooping and comedy.

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

Though most of metro Atlanta’s festivals take place in the warmer months of the year, there are still some that happen in the winter, though mostly indoors. Are you a beer or wine lover? If so, check out the Winter Beer Fest in Atlantic Station ( or the Atlanta Winter Wine Festival (

| Newcomer Magazine | 28
The Children’s Museum of Atlanta’s Bubble Bash

Love New Orleans-themed cocktails and food? Check out the Mardis Gras Streetcar Adventure (, in which participants can ride the Atlanta Streetcar to more than 40 participating bars and restaurants.

Speaking of food, there are not one but two February festivals dedicated to oyster eat ing while the bivalves are still in season. The Steamhouse Lounge in Midtown will host its annual Oysterfest (, and Atlantic Station will hold the Atlanta Oyster Festival (

If you’re ready to start the new year with an exhilarating bang, take a dip in the Lake Lanier Polar Bear Plunge-N-Paddle on Jan. 1. Other Polar Bear Plunges take place in Acworth on Lake Allatoona ( and Alpharetta ( BearPlunge/) later in January or February. Most of the events double as charity fundraisers, with some benefitting Special Olympics Georgia.

Speaking of Special Olympics Georgia, the State Indoor Winter Games (specialolympicsga. org) will come to venues across Cobb County Jan. 27 and 28. The competition will include basketball, bowling, floor hockey, powerlifting and female gymnastics.

If you’re the outdoorsy type, the Atlanta Trails website ( has a guide on the best hiking trails in metro Atlanta and beyond. It also offers a list of its Favorite Winter Hikes | Newcomer Magazine | 29

TheChick-fil-A PeachBowl

( The winter hike list includes frozen waterfalls, the Appalachian Trail and even Providence Canyon State Park, nicknamed Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon.”

Two longtime Atlanta traditions will return in late December and midJanuary with the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl ( and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration (, respectively. The Peach Bowl, set for Dec. 31 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, will host one of the two College Football Playoff semifinal games. The King Celebration, taking place Jan. 10-16 at the King Center, marks the civil rights leader’s birthday.

Throughout the winter, Zoo Atlanta ( offers discounted admission for guests. So bring your winter gear to check out the panda bears, elephants, giraffes and the rest of the zoo’s animals. While Stone Mountain, as the world’s largest piece of exposed granite, gets most of the attention, its smaller cousin, the Arabia Mountain National Heri tage Area (, is also worth a visit. Located nearby in Lithonia, it has two granite outcroppings and offers views of the Atlanta skyline on clear days.

Midtown’s Piedmont Park (, which is on the BeltLine and considered Atlanta’s version of New York’s Central Park, also gives visitors a chance to unwind. So grab a blanket and some food and drinks, and head down for a fun-filled picnic. Oakland Cemetery (, a park-like setting just east of downtown Atlanta, dates back to 1850 and is the final resting place of several famous Georgians, including Bobby Jones, Margaret Mitchell and seven Atlanta mayors. The cemetery hosts events even in winter, including weekly holiday scavenger hunts in December.

Speaking of history, the Atlanta Preservation Center (atlanta, which is located nearby in Grant Park in one of the only two remaining antebellum homes in the city, is the place to go to learn more about Atlanta’s architecture and historic buildings, neighborhoods and landscapes.

| Newcomer Magazine | 30
PHOTO: Paul Abell via Abell Images for Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl


Midtown Eatery Takes Diners Around the Globe

With a wide-ranging menu, Reverence, the signature restaurant inside the new Epicurean Atlanta hotel in Midtown, is striving to become an upscale dining haven for both residents and hotel guests.

Open since September 2021, Reverence offers a variety of Ameri can contemporary fare that reflects its executive chef, Ewart Ward haugh. The Scotland native has culinary experience on five conti nents, including stops in France and, most recently, Los Angeles.

“I think it’s a little bit of creativity without going overboard. We’re always taking a twist on classics and reinventing them,” he said, adding the menu changes with each season and sometimes twice in a season based on items’ availability.

If you’re an oenophile, Reverence is your kind of place, offer ing more than 200 different bottles in its cellar, ranging from Pike’s Riesling to Dom Perignon brut. For non-wine lovers, Wardhaugh recommends the Bacon, a spin on the old fashioned with bacon fat-washed Old Forester bourbon. Open for breakfast, dinner and Sunday brunch, the restaurant’s fare takes you around the world.

Where else in metro Atlanta would you find a dinner menu that includes caviar a la crème fraiche, with potato croquetas, chive and confit egg yolk; Cham pagne-infused canta loupe with hearts of palm, watermelon rad ish, beetroot crema; and karaage fried chicken (which Wardhaugh says is the most popular) with masa harina, soy, sake, spiced yuzu aioli and citrus chermoula?

The entrees are just as varied, and Wardhaugh says the pan-seared Georgia trout, with fingerling potatoes, crème fraiche and smoked trout cream; the steak frites, whose fries are triple cooked; and the char-grilled Turkish lamb kebab, with apricot puree, pickled sun choke, trumpet mushrooms and saffron salsa; are its most popular ones. But also try the wood-grilled sous vide octopus, with bulgur wheat salad, burnt leek, cauliflower and citrus, or one of the vegetarian entrees such as the spring pea papardelle, with mushrooms, fava beans, garlic, pecorino and pea sprout.

The sides menu includes nothing but vegetables, featuring an ode to the South with beer-battered onion rings but also paying homage to the Middle East with bulgur tab bouleh. The dessert menu includes “Nutter Butter” choux, and Wardhaugh says “anything chocolate” is a crowd favorite, but the chocolate shards are the most popular one.

For breakfast, variety remains the keyword, with plates ranging from to the farmhouse granola to the ruby red grapefruit brûlée to the full Epicurean breakfast. The menu also includes an assortment of breads and pastries.

The Reverence’s décor is warm but modern, with a mix of gray and brown walls, tables and chairs dominating the space. The bar, colored in gray and black, fronts the all-glass kitchen so guests seated there can view the chefs at work.

Also, the restaurant partners with the Epicurean Theatre, a space within the hotel that hosts cooking classes and other special dining events at least once a week. Some of those events take place inside Reverence if they outgrow the theatre, Wardhaugh said.

Above: The Reverence’s décor is warm but modern, with a mix of gray and brown walls. Left: The “waffled” cheddar grits breakfast entree.


Attire: Business casual Atmosphere: Upscale modern Recommendations: Georgia trout and steak frites entrees, chocolate shards dessert Reservations: Encouraged but not required. Walk-ins welcome.

Parking: Valet parking available

Because Reverence is new, not everyone knows it exists, but those who have found it have been loyal customers, Wardhaugh says.

Hours: Mon.--Sat. 7 to 11 a.m., Sun. 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Mon.-Thur. 6 to 10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5 to 11 p.m.

Location: 1117 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309

Contact: 470-283-2590,

“The response has been great,” he added. “The biggest challenge is for people to know where we are. Once people find us, we get a lot of repeat clientele because they love the constant changing of the menus.” N | Newcomer Magazine | 31 restaurantREVIEW
Photos: (Left) Brandon LaJoie; (Right) Seamus Payne

Georgia’s Historic Inns & Hotels

Learning about Georgia’s history can be a relaxing and even romantic adventure. There are many hotels and inns throughout Georgia where history, luxury and Southern charm intersect. Encompassing both grandeur and quaint, elegant charm, here are just a few of Georgia’s historic hospitality venues.

THE 1842 INN

A quaint bed and breakfast in Macon, the 1842 Inn was a home built by the city's former mayor, John Gresham, in, well, you can guess the year. There are 19 guest rooms found within the main, Greek Revival-style antebellum house and the adjoining Victorian cottage, as well as four hospitality parlors. Antique paintings, oriental carpets, heart pine flooring and 12foot ceilings accentuate each room, and many include fireplaces and whirlpools. To bolster the relaxing and romantic vibe, there’s a 17-col

umned wrap-around veranda where you can sip on iced tea (or other beverages) while overlook ing the courtyard.


After a fire decimated much of Washington, Georgia’s public square in 1895, brothers J.H. and T.M. Fitzpatrick returned to the city, between Athens and Augusta, and began construction on what would become The Fitzpatrick Hotel. After opening in 1898, the

historic hotel went through several ownership and name changes and was eventually closed in 1952. More than 50 years later, after the hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places, The Fitzpatrick was restored and reopened. By using old photos and original memorabilia and purchasing period antiques, the new owners retained the hotel’s original Victorian grandeur and charm, while including modern-day conveniences like HDTVs and WiFi access.

| Newcomer Magazine | 32 OUTSIDE ATLANTA
The 1842 Inn



What's better than one mansion? Two adjacent Regency-Italianate mansions have been turned into a four-diamond award-winning bed and breakfast in a charming residential area of Savannah. The two mansions that now make up The Gastonian were built in 1868 and ex emplify the Southern charm one would expect from a history-laden city like Savannah. From the grand décor and period antiques to the fire places and tranquil gardens, The Gastonian was recognized by Conde Nast Traveler magazine as one of the finest places to stay in the world. It’s a great location, too: The Gastonian is in the Sa


Located on about 3,000 acres in Adairsville, Barnsley Resort offers luxury accommodations in the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills. Com pleted in 1848, it was built first as a manor by

Godfrey Barnsley in honor of his wife Julia, who unfortunately died before it was finished. According to the hotel’s website, the home and its gardens were inspired by landscape designer Andrew Jackson Downing, a promoter of Italianate and gothic revival architecture. Start ing in 1942, the property changed ownership twice before being sold in 1988 to a Bavarian prince, who revived and expanded the historic gardens, which three years later were opened to the public as a museum and garden. In 1999 Barnsley Resort opened, and today it includes guest cottages, a golf course and a spa and offers outdoor activities including horseback riding, sporting clays and hiking. In 2018 it opened a traditional inn building to give guests another lodging option.


Opening for business in 1911, The Georgian Terrace is located in Midtown directly across from another Atlanta landmark, the Fox The atre. The elegant hotel has hosted an impressive guest list over the years, including Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Warren Harding, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Walt Disney and Charles Lindbergh. In 1939, the Terrace hosted the premiere gala for the movie “Gone With The Wind,” and stars like Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh were right at home amid the turreted corners, floor-to-ceiling windows, gorgeous chandeliers and wraparound verandas. In the 1970s, the hotel played host to musical acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Kiss and Billy Joel in its Electric Ballroom. After avoiding demolition in the 1980s by being listed on the National Register of Historic | Newcomer Magazine | 33
PHOTOS: (Top and Bottom) Barnsley
vannah historic district within walking distance of Forsyth Park, Colonial Park Cemetery and several of the city squares. Barnsley Resort Barnsley Resort The 1842 Inn

Places, there was a brief stint as an apartment building. In the early 1990s, The Georgian Ter race reopened as a luxury hotel. Now billed as “Where Atlanta’s Thriving Culture Begins,” the Southern charm remains, but is complemented by modern features, including award-wining fine dining at the Livingston Restaurant & Bar.


People like J.P. Morgan, William Rockefeller, Jo seph Pulitzer and William K. Vanderbilt played roles in the history of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, which was founded in 1886 as a private club that included members from some of the world's wealthiest families. Designated a histor ic landmark in 1978 and reopened as a resort hotel in 1985, it is now one of the top resorts in Georgia. In addition to a history tour, the hotel includes six restaurants, a pub, a swim ming pool and a nearby private beach club, among other amenities. The location, on one of the state's four coastal barrier islands, provides

a lush and unspoiled backdrop for the elegance and Victorian charm you'll find at every turn. Even if you don't stay the night, it's worth a visit for the architecture alone.


When it opened in 1876, The Piedmont Hotel in Gainesville was a three-story, 36-room, U-shaped structure owned and operated by Confederate Gen. James Longstreet. Throughout the years, Longstreet hosted several high-profile guests, including Gens. Joseph Johnston and Daniel Sickles, writer Joel Chandler Harris and President Woodrow Wilson, whose daughter, Jessie, was born on the ground floor of the hotel. Today, it’s the only floor of the hotel that remains, after a last-minute decision saved it from being demolished with the rest of the hotel in 1918. However, it has been renovated and is headquarters of The Longstreet Society, open Tuesday through Saturday. Visitors can learn about the hotel’s history, including visits by a past president and the ghost that occupies the remaining structure.


Opening in Savannah 1851, The Marshall House is one of the city’s oldest hotels, exud ing Southern charm and history. According to its website, the hotel was founded by businesswoman Mary Marshall, who saw the need for accommodations and housing during the railroad boom of the 1840s and ’50s, when Savannah doubled in size. The hotel, which has also served as an apartment building over the years, was at one time the home to the aforementioned Harris. The Marshall House was closed in 1957, with the second through fifth floors abandoned but the first one kept open for shops until 1998. A year later, it was carefully restored as a hotel. Today it has 65 rooms and three suites and features the building’s original floors and doors and has tall ceilings and unusual architecture. Since reopening as a hotel, The Marshall House has earned a bevy of awards. Believed to be haunted, it was named the No. 2 Best Haunted Hotel by USA Today in 2021.

| Newcomer Magazine | 34 OUTSIDE ATLANTA
PHOTO: J&D Images Jekyll Island Club Hotel


Vehicle Emission Inspection

Mass Transit

One way to avoid long commutes is to take advantage of the city’s local transit system, the 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 $2.50 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

Vehicles that are 24 model years old and later (except the three years prior to the current year) must be checked yearly for emission standard compliance. Visit a statedesignated inspection station for the service. Call 800-449-2471 or visit

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) 877694-2511, by dialing 511 or by visiting | Newcomer Magazine | 35 GETTING STARTED
GETTING STARTED 5665 Milam Road Fairburn, GA 30213 770-774-8001 • Session 1: Starting in June Session 2: Starting in July Held on the campus of e Bedford School in Fairburn AFTERNOON RECREATION ACTIVITIES TUTORING IN READING, MATH AND WRITING SKILLS FOR STUDENTS WHO NEED AN ACADEMIC BOOST THIS SUMMER!
MARTA Rail Service



Cherokee County Schools Board of Education 770-479-1871

Elementary Schools 23 Middle Schools 7 High Schools 6 Centers 4

Avg. SAT Scores

Cherokee County QUICK



Median household income: $75,477

Median age of residents: 38 Population: 235,896 Sales tax: 6%

Chamber of Commerce

Cherokee County 770-345-0400,

Property Taxes



Per $1,000 of assessed value is: Unincorporated Cherokee County, $21.46; Incorporated Cherokee County, $21.46. Tax Commissioner: 678-493-6400





Cherokee County

Water Authority 770-479-1813

City of Ball Ground 770-735-2123

City of Canton 770-704-1500

City of Waleska 770-479-2912

City of Woodstock 770-592-6006


Northside Hospital-Cherokee

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 develop ment 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 newcom ers. In fact, nearly 60 percent of the county’s population are commuters. According to, the me dian value of homes is $283,573. Homes for well over $1 million can be purchased in such neighborhoods as Bradshaw Farm, BridgeMill and Towne Lake Hills.

Interstate 575 and Ga. Highway 92 traverse the county, affording resi dents easy access to Atlanta and the nearby attractions of Town Center Mall, Lake Allatoona and the North Georgia Mountains. Other great places

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



Canton was incorporated in 1833 and renamed in 1834 at the re quest 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 reinvesting 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. Lo cated at the foothills of the Blue Ridge

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


Located 12 miles south of Canton, Woodstock is one of Geor gia's top 10 fastest-growing cities and a community recently named one of the Top 50 Cities Places to Live in the U.S. by Money magazine.

Residents also enjoy easy access to 575 and 92, allowing short com mutes 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 area, 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 conve nient to more than 13 state parks. N

For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our Website at

36 | Newcomer Magazine |
Per-pupil expenditures $9,149 School & bus information 770-720-2112
Cherokee Co. 1115 Georgia 1048 National 1039
Visit our website at for a list of private schools in this county.
EMC 706-253-5200
Cobb EMC 770-429-2100 Georgia Power 888-891-0938
Sawnee EMC 770-887-2363 GAS
natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit
Cobb EMC
Comcast (Xfinity) Direct Dish Network ETC Communications Spectrum TDS Telecom Windstream
Wellstar Kennestone Hospital
Old Sixes Mill



Cobb County

Cobb County came into being in 1832 when the state redistributed land once part of the Cherokee Nation. Named after Thomas Willis Cobb, the county experi enced a devastating setback during the Civil War when most of it was destroyed during the famous Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.




Median household income: $75,654

Median age of residents: 36.6

Today, Cobb County, located northwest of Fulton County, is one of the state's most thriving counties. With a diverse economic base that includes jobs in the service, retail, aerospace and tech nology sectors, Cobb County offers a quality of life unsur passed in the Southeast. Nearly $900 million has been spent on transportation improvements in recent years, allowing residents easy access to Atlanta and the commercial districts of Vinings Overlook, Cum berland Parkway and the prestigious Platinum Triangle in the popular Galleria area.

Population: 755,754

Sales tax: 6%

Chamber of Commerce Cobb County 770-980-2000,

Property Taxes

The property tax is $33.84 per $1,000 of assessed value. Tax Commissioner: 770-980-2000


One of Family Circle maga zine’s Ten Best Towns for Families, Kennesaw takes pride in its smalltown atmosphere and boasts abundant parks and greenspace, exceptional recreational programs and top-notch schools, includ ing Kennesaw State University. Kennesaw’s historic downtown features shopping, dining and at tractions such as the Smithsonianaffiliated Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive His tory, the Smith-Gilbert Gardens and nearby Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.



Cobb County Schools

Board of Education 770-426-3300

Elementary Schools 67

Middle Schools 25 High Schools 17 Magnet 6 Charter 1

Per-pupil expenditures $8,833 School and bus information 678-594-8000

Marietta City Schools Board of Education 770-422-3500 marietta-city-org Elementary Schools 8 Middle Schools 1 High Schools 1 Sixth-Grade 1 Magnet 1

Per-pupil expenditures $10,542 School and bus information 770-429-3110

Avg. SAT Scores

Cobb Co. 1114 Marietta City 1056 Georgia 1048 National 1039


Visit our website at for a list of private schools in this county.



Acworth Power 770-917-8903

Cobb EMC 770-429-2100 Georgia Power 888-891-0938

GreyStone Power Corp. 770-942-6576 Marietta Power 770-794-5150


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



Cobb EMC

Comcast (Xfinity)

Direct TV Dish Network Spectrum

A variety of housing options exist in Cobb County, including luxury apartments and condos near

Cumberland Mall, secluded sub divisions in East Cobb and horse ranches in the northwest cor ner of the county. The small towns of Marietta, Vinings, Smyrna and Austell still retain their Southern charm amidst urban settings. Ac cording to the Census Bureau, the median value of homes in 2018 was $237,800.

Rapidly defining what’s new and progressive in quality of life and citizen services, Smyrna delivers an amazing sense of style and love of life. The Market Village district, home to fabulous restaurants, bars and upscale shops and services, is the final piece of a master plan for success. Call it “Main Street USA” or “Disneyland,” but don’t overlook its charm and ability to offer the best in fresh, trendy lifestyle options. N

For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our Website at


Austell Water 770-944-4300

Cobb County Water System 770-419-6200

Marietta Water 770-794-5150

Powder Springs Water 770-943-8000

Smyrna Water 678-631-5338


WellStar Cobb Hospital 470-732-4000

WellStar Kennestone Hospital 770-793-5000

WellStar Windy Hill Hospital 770-644-1000

| Newcomer Magazine | 37
Truist Park



Fulton County Schools Board of Education 470-254-3600

Elementary Schools 59 Middle Schools 19 High Schools 18

Charter 10 Centers 4

Per-pupil expenditures $10,609 School & Bus Information North 470-254-2970 South 470-254-6060

Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education 404-802-3500

Elementary Schools 49 Middle Schools 12 High Schools 14

Charter 18 Alternative 4

Per-pupil expenditures $11,263 School & bus information 404-802-5500

Avg. SAT Scores

Fulton Co. 1086

Atlanta Public Schools 944 Georgia 1048 National 1039


Visit our website at for a list of private schools in this county.



City of College Park 404-669-3759

City of East Point 404-270-7010

City of Fairburn 770-964-2244

City of Palmetto 770-463-3322 Georgia Power 888-891-0938


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



Comcast (Xfinity)

Direct TV Dish Network


Fulton County 404-612-6830


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 404-785-2273

Emory University Hospital Midtown 404-686-4411

Grady Memorial Hospital 404-616-1000

WellStar North Fulton Regional Hospital 770-751-2500

Northside Hospital 404-851-8000

Piedmont Hospital 404-605-5000 Shepherd Center 404-352-2020

Emory St. Joseph's Hospital 678-843-7001

Fulton County

Fulton County serves as the cen ter of the metro Atlanta area. With 90 percent of the city of Atlanta, includ ing the state’s capital building, lo cated within its borders, it sits at the hub of the area’s financial, transpor tation, retail, communications and cultural services. A number of For tune 500 companies, including the Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines and UPS, are headquartered here.

More than one million 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 $290,400.

Fulton is home to many of At lanta’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 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 The atre, as well as a host of art galler ies. Midtown’s Piedmont Park, the city’s most popular greenspace, hosts many outdoor festivals and concerts.



Buckhead is “where old money lives and new money parties,” according to the At lanta Journal-Constitution. With its mixture of mansions and uniquely styled homes, Buck head is a favorite among archi tecture and history buffs. Convenient to Georgia 400, Interstate 85 and MARTA, it’s filled with high-rises, up scale restaurants, the Governor’s Man

sion, the historic Swan House and the Atlanta History Center.

Buckhead is also an enter tainment and dining hotspot. With luxury hotels, shops, bars and more than 250 restau rants, the Buckhead area is a magnet for young pr als.The neighborhood also offers numerous antique stores, art galleries and mall shopping at both Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza.


County Neighborhoods

Median household income: $65,037 Median age of residents: 35.5 Population: 1,050,114 Sales tax: 7.75%, Atlanta City: 8.9% Chamber of Commerce Greater North Fulton 770-993-8806, Metro Atlanta 404-880-9000, South Fulton 770-964-1984,

Property Taxes

is home to about 64,000 residents, drawn to its affordable housing, parks, shopping at North Point Mall and concerts at Ameris Bank Amphi theatre. The city's historic downtown boasts an appealing town square. Called Alpharetta City Center, it features locally owned shops and restaurants, and hosts events year round.

Johns Creek

Incorporated in 2006, this thriving community of 84,000 was ranked fourth among 50 Best U.S. Cities to Live In by USA Today. It boasts a diverse eco nomic base, coupled with a peaceful environment: the city contains over 400 acres of parkland and na ture reserves and contains five access points to the Chattahoochee River.


The property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value is: $40.92 for the City of Atlanta; $29.18 for incorporated Fulton County; $40.76 for unincorporated Fulton County; $33.54 for Johns Creek; $33.91 for Sandy Springs. Tax Commissioner: 404-613-6100


One of metro Atlanta’s most vibrant and affluent cities, Alpharetta

Also incorporated in 2006, Milton combines a pastoral setting with forward-thinking city planning that offers what's been called "The best quality of life in Georgia." N

For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our website at

38 | Newcomer Magazine |
Piedmont Park

Gwinnett County

Originally part of Georgia’s Native American territory, Gwinnett County was created by the State Legislature in 1818 and named after Button Gwinnett, one of Geor gia's three signers of the Declaration of Independence and a former governor.

While the county was once largely rural with small towns, country stores, farms and forests, today it is home to about 600 international companies and 450 high-tech firms. With an aver age of 21 new professional and industrial companies relocating to the county each year, attract ing almost 21,000 new jobs, Gwinnett County remains in the top 10 ranking for growth nationwide. The county sup ports many cultural events, r estaurants and shopping op portunities, including the Mall of Georgia in Buford.

Gwinnett County remains affordable for renters and firsttime home buyers, many of whom find homes in the communities of Doraville, Lawrenceville and Snellville. The median value of homes in 2018, according to the Census Bureau, was $200,400.



Amidst the pristine setting




Median household income: $68,914

Median age of residents: 35.3 Population: 920,260 Sales tax: 6% Chamber of Commerce Gwinnett County, 770-232-3000,

Property Taxes

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 subdivi sions. Duluth still retains some of its original small-town businesses, along with chain businesses, many acces sible by Ga. 400 and I-85.



Gwinnett County Schools Board of Education 678-301-6000

Elementary Schools 80

Middle Schools 29 High Schools 25

Per-pupil expenditures $8,926

City Schools of Buford Board of Education 770-945-5035

Elementary Schools 2 Middle Schools 1 High Schools 1 Per-pupil expenditures $9,397

Avg. SAT Scores

The property tax in unincorporated Gwinnett County is $28.84 per $1,000 of assessed value. Tax Commissioner: 770-822-8800.

of Gwinnett County, Duluth has some of the most exclusive neigh borhoods in metro Atlanta and is home to some of the best golf courses and private tennis clubs. There are numerous parks for rec reation and participatory sports, including Bunten Road Park and Shorty Howell Park. North Point Mall, a major shopping center, is located near Duluth. The South eastern Railway Museum, which preserves and operates old railroad equipment, is a must-see for any

Suwanee is named after the Shawnee Indians who settled here in the latter part of the 18th century. Following the official founding of the city in 1837, Suwanee became a railroad stop along the Southern Railroad route. It remained a small country town well into the ’70s when construction of I-85 and U.S. 23 brought easy access to the region. Since then, Suwanee has experienced tremendous growth, from 2,412 residents in 1990 to more than 20,000 today. To help manage growth, the city has developed a comprehensive development plan that promotes pedestrianoriented development and mixed-use zoning. The city was designated a Tree City USA for 29 years for its commitment to preserv ing 27 percent of its land as greenspace. Such foresight has allowed Suwanee to retain its old-fashioned charm while providing contemporary convenience. Only 35 miles from downtown Atlanta, Suwanee is close to big-city attractions, business districts and shopping. Many antique shops and historic structures, including several Victorian and regional farm-style homes, are located near downtown Suwanee. N

For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our website at

Gwinnett Co. 1094 City of Buford 1122 Georgia 1048 National 1039


Visit our website at for a list of private schools in this county.



City of Buford 678-889-4600

City of Lawrenceville 770-963-9834

City of Norcross 770-448-2122 Georgia Power 888-891-0938

Jackson EMC 800-462-3691

Sawnee EMC 770-887-2363 Walton EMC 770-267-2505


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



Comcast (Xfinity)

Direct TV

Dish Network


Buford 678-889-4600

Dacula 770-963-7451

Gwinnett City Water 678-376-6800

Lawrenceville 770-963-2414

Norcross 770-448-2122


Spectrum 888-438-2427

Comcast 800-266-2278


Eastside Medical Center 770-979-0200

Northside Hospital Gwinnett 678-312-1000

Gwinnett Women’s Pavilion 678-312-4790

Summit Ridge Center for Behavorial Health 678-442-5800 | Newcomer Magazine | 39 COUNTY INFORMATION
City Hall and the Town Green in downtown Duluth

Theater & Concerts

Gwinnett Ballet’s 41st annual The Nutcracker, Gas South Theater

The Gwinnett Ballet Theatre celebrates 40-plus years of staging this enduring classic with entrancing choreography, stunning sets and colorful costumes. Dec. 3-18,

Anastasia, Fox Theatre

Regions Bank Broadway in Atlanta presents this dazzling stage musical of a young woman striking out to unravel the mystery of her past. Dec. 6-11,

The Nutcracker, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

This long-running production by the Atlanta Ballet is a beloved Atlanta tradition, with an innovative production featuring spectacular sets, bold costumes and striking video projections. Dec. 9-26,

Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Gas South Arena

The arena-rock band performs music from its landmark album “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” and other songs from throughout its 26-year career. Two shows at 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 11,

Christmas With the ASO, Atlanta Symphony Hall

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performs a program of Christmas carols, hymns, and other holiday favorites. Dec. 15-18,

Celtic Woman: A Christmas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony Hall

The popular all-female Irish group performs a holiday-themed concert with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Dec. 17,

A Christmas Carol, Gas South Theater Storybook Theater performs a moving version of the timeless holiday classic. Dec. 20-21,

Christmas Canteen 2022, Aurora Theatre

The long-running holiday variety show returns with an evening of festive music, comedy sketches and show-stopping dance numbers. Through Dec. 23,

Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet, Fox Theatre

This acclaimed holiday tradition returns for its 30th anniversary tour with larger-than-life puppets, dazzling costumes and breathtaking acrobatics performed by an international cast, featuring starts of Ukraine ballet. Two performances at 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 23,

Indigo Girls, Atlanta Symphony Hall

Ring in 2023 with the Atlanta-based, awardwinning folk-rock duo, performing live in con cert alongside the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Dec. 30-31,

Hadestown, Fox Theatre

Regions Bank Broadway in Atlanta presents touring production of this award-winning musical that spins a fresh take on the myths of Orpheus and Eurydice and Hades and Persephone. Jan. 10-15,

Yesterday: A Tribute to the Beatles, Gas South Theater

The internationally renowned tribute act performs. Jan. 20,

Don Giovanni, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

The Atlanta Opera presents a film-noir version of the classic opera. This opera contains adult themes that may not be suitable for children. Jan. 21-29,

Jim Gaffigan, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

The actor and stand-up comedian performs on his Dark Pale Tour. Feb. 2-5,

Carrie Underwood, State Farm Arena

Eight-time Grammy Award-winning country music superstar and former “American Idol” winner Underwood performs on her Denim & Rhinestones Tour. Feb. 7,

John Mellencamp: Live and In Person, Fox Theatre

The award-winning singer and songwriter known for such hits as “Jack and Diane,” “Pink Houses,” “Small Town” and “Hurts So Good” performs. Feb. 10,

Dancing With the Stars Live 2023, Fox Theatre

America’s favorite televised dance competition hits the road once again with a lineup of “Dancing With the Stars” pros and special guest stars. Feb. 11,

TINA – The Tina Turner Musical, Fox Theatre


This inspiring musical charts the rise of the award-winning, boundary-smashing performer who has won 12 Grammy Awards and sold more concert tickets than any other solo artist ever. Presented by Regions Bank Broadway in Atlanta. Feb. 21-26,

Patrol: Adventure Play, Children’s Museum of Atlanta
upcoming 40 | Newcomer Magazine | EVENTS
PHOTO: Casey Gardner Ford PHOTO: Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Christmas Canteen 2022, Aurora Theatre

Exhibits & Events

Deck the Hall, Downtown Duluth

Kick off the holiday season with live entertainment, a real snow playground, photo ops with Santa, children’s crafts, light installations and a traditional tree lighting, Dec. 3,

Duluth Farmers and Artisan Market, Duluth Town Green

Shop locally grown produce, baked goods and other homemade items like candles, soaps and pottery at this monthly event showcasing local farmers and vendors on the second Sunday of each month from 2-6 p.m. Dec. 11,

Christmas Craft Week, Interactive Neighborhood for Kids

Celebrate the holidays by making festive red and green crafts! Dec. 19-23, 770-536-1900,

Sun, Earth, Universe, Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Created by the National Informal STEM Educational Network in collaboration with NASA, this exhibit explores our closest stars, our plan ets and the universe, and how they interact. Children can design, build and test their own model spacecraft to complete a space mission. Through Jan. 1, 404-929-6300,

PAW Patrol: Adventure Play, Children’s Museum of Atlanta

This immersive, hands-on exhibit lets kids assist the heroic search-and-rescue pups as they learn how to use their different skills to problem-solve and overcome challenges. Through Jan. 8, 404-659-5437,

Rodin in the United States: Confronting the Modern, High Museum of Art

This exhibit showcases more than 70 sculptures and drawings, from well-known compositions like “The Thinker” and “The Kiss” to lesser-known works. Through Jan. 15, 404-733-5000,

Snowflake Craft Week, Interactive Neighborhood for Kids

Bring your children to create a beautiful snowflake crafts to take home. Jan. 23-29, 770-536-1900,

Valentine’s Day Craft Week, Interactive Neighborhood for Kids

Make your valentine a one-of-a-kind gift with fun materials all week long! Feb. 13-19, 770-536-1900, | Newcomer Magazine | 41

hidden ATLANTA


When Mandy Volpe decided to open Piggy Jo’s, a children’s clothing and gift shop in Buford, she envisioned a place to bring the city together.

“In my opinion, it’s become a community gem,” she says. “It’s cu rated wonder. It’s not going to be everything clothing-wise you see in every department store. We hand-select everything. … The reason is I want your children to be unique.”

Piggy Jo’s, which opened in December 2021, is a mashup of Volpe and her husband and co-owner Conner’s grandparents’ names: Pap Paw Piggy and Grandma Jo. When you pull up to the store’s entrance and, especially when you step inside, you’re hit with an explosion of mostly pink to accentuate the “piggy” theme. The store sells clothes for newborns through preteens (sizes 7-14), plus toys, books and gifts.


LOCATION: 11 Buford Village Way, Suite 147, Buford, GA 30518

HOURS: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday

CONTACT INFO: or 706-983-2871


But not everything in the store has pink or other bright colors. Piggy Jo’s sells Rylee + Cru children’s clothes that tend to come in more neutral tones. Other popular items are children’s clothes by The Beaufort Bonnet; Inde structibles, a line of books for babies that are chew-, rip- and drool-proof; and stuffed animals by Jellycat.

At least once a quarter, Piggy Jo’s hosts community events such as story time and charity fundraisers. Volpe and her husband’s three children, Parker, 7, Fallon, 5, and Savannah, 2, even are involved in the everyday activities of the store.

So, if you’re looking for something you can’t find anywhere else, Piggy Jo’s is the place to go.

| Newcomer Magazine | 42 | Newcomer Magazine | 43