POINTS NORTH ATLANTA • JULY 2017, ISSUE 206
AMERICANA ON WHEELS
SOUTHERN CROSS GEORGIA’S DUDE RANCH JULY 2017
HAPPY CAM PERS: AIRST REAM S’ AL LURE NE AR & FAR
AIRSTREAMS’ ALLURE NEAR & FAR
In this July 2017
POINTS NORTH Atlanta
Celebrating 200 Reasons We Love The Northside
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Motor Magic Caffeine and Octane is where tales of the past link more than 15,000 auto enthusiasts to the present at Perimeter Mall on the first Sunday of each month. The event regularly attracts as many as 2,000 vehicles, from the exotic to the mundane.
On the Road Again Hit the road in high style. Iconic Americanmade Airstream trailers and their new touring coaches are making a big, shiny comeback.
Why Not Nebraska? Whether it’s ever been on your radar or not, we couldn’t resist exploring northwest Nebraska’s Panhandle. Beauty here is found in a whisper, so listen closely.
Redefining Redemption Sam Collier has a way with words. An accomplished musician, radio show host and public speaker, he has channeled these talents and his inspiring personal journey to help students succeed in the classroom.
Destination Dude Ranch Who knew there was a guest ranch for horse lovers only an hour from Atlanta? Besides the location, the accolades and international heritage roped us into visiting Southern Cross in Madison.
EDITOR’S LETTER 6 COUNTING ON 26, 42 TWO-HUNDRED 58 MINUTES IN OFF THE PAGE 66
ON THE COVER Photo courtesy of Nebraska Tourism
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pinterest.com/pointsnorthatl PHOTOS COURTESY OF BROOKS METZLER; CITY OF NORCROSS
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PointsNorth Atlanta Atlanta PRESIDENT / CEO Witt Beckman PUBLISHER Carl Danbury Jr. EDITOR Heather KW Brown
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Robin Harrison
Celebrating a Free Spirit
SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Shannah J. Smith ASSOCIATE EDITOR Colleen Ann McNally
ASK ANYONE WHO HAS FOUGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY, allowing us to celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and you’ll get varying answers for the definition of freedom, than say, a couple who just bought their first Airstream or an adopted child whose personal perspective now shapes others. This month, in tandem with every ounce of independence we could muster, our pages are packed with plenty of Americana and the good old-fashioned urge to roam. We start with a passion for retro rides and those whose hearts race for hot rods. Originally, a small gathering of avid automobile lovers, Caffeine and Octane is now a favorite weekend pastime that attracts hundreds. We talk cars with those driving the event’s success and get a speedy spin of what’s on the horizon. For those behind the wheel of an Airstream, the skyline is full of sunrises and sunsets. Generations since its inception, the brand continues to epitomize the ultimate escape for many travelers. We caught up with a local couple who registered their Airstream “Florence Mae” in preparation for their plans to explore the Southeast this summer and then tracked down Atlanta artist Maggie Mathews who regularly retreats into her land yacht to work on small-scale projects. While some prefer the comforts of an iconic trailer, others are quite content to ride horseback. When the inclination to saddle up sets in, the obvious option might be to head west, but before you book that trip, consider the short drive to Madison, where the Southern Cross Dude Ranch awaits. A hidden gem for guests, this destination was one of 12 tapped by Travel & Leisure magazine as one of “America’s Best Dude Ranches.” On the subject of wild rides, we also shine the spotlight on Sam Collier whose touching story of second chances continues to inspire adults and students alike. We share his mission in hopes of encouraging an endless number of similar outcomes. Always in search of opportunities to promote positivity in the lives of my own children, I watched as my daughter bounded with abandon between two swings at Candlelight Forest — one attached to a tree and a rope swing hovering over a little stream not too far away. It was there, swinging back and forth with a smile stretching from ear to ear and a grip equally as mighty that she reveled in latitude often only associated with youth. Filled with visions of summers past, I couldn’t help but join her. Within seconds, I was free to feel like a kid all over again.
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Jennifer Colosimo CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Brooks Metzler Linley Mobley Marty Steiner EDITORIAL INTERNS Olivia Kolkana Rashida Otunba ADVERTISING 770-844-0969 firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR MEDIA CONSULTANT Karen Poulsen ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES George Colmant Linda Ladd-Roberts CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Tiffany Willard
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THE MAGIC OF
MOTORING MORNINGS WITH CAFFEINE AND OCTANE written and photographed by BROOKS METZLER
8 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
Y FIRST MEMORY
of any vehicle was my dad’s Chevrolet S10. I don’t remember much about the truck, other than it was black and the windows would fog up on early mornings when he’d take me to school. What I do remember vividly are warm summer nights, air rushed so thick and humid through the open windows I felt like I could scoop it in my hands. No older than 5, I had realized the freedom that cars can embody. Caffeine and Octane, a car show that begins – rain or shine – around 7 a.m. on the first Sunday of every month and wraps by 11 a.m., captures a bit of that same spirit. This past March, a record-breaking 20,000 people attended the monthly car show, now the largest in the country. Free
The real key to the show’s success, though, is the incredible variety of cars on display. “Everybody has car memories and everyone remembers their first moments in a car,” said Bruce Piefke. Piefke owns High Octane Events, LLC, which is responsible for producing Caffeine and Octane, both the monthly event and now its television show of the same name on the Velocity channel. “The goal [of the show] is and has always been bringing people together through a love of cars,” Piefke said. Car culture, he related, crosses all ages, ethnicities and genders. Cars are omnipresent and part of what has electrified the growth of a truly grassroots event.
dmission for spectators and participants a alike make the numbers that much more impressive.
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 9
REV YOUR ENGINES Caffeine and Octane began in 2006, when a group of men gathered on the first Sunday of every month outside the Panera Bread at The Avenue East Cobb. Skip Smith, owner of Classic Autosmith in Marietta, first attended the show that year. “Back then, it was a small group of guys. I’d take a chair and the Sunday paper and we’d talk cars,” he said. Those Sunday mornings, the only time they 10 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
found during the week to break away from work and household projects, were spent chatting about cars and life. Soon, others started catching on. Curious folks would chat, bring their cars and tell their friends about the gathering. The upward trend steadily began. By 2009, the show had become pretty big, according to Smith. “There were still no sponsors and not much organization to it. People were peeling out; there were
no police on hand to control the crowds,” Smith said, estimating 500 to 600 cars were in attendance, taking up the entire front section of the parking lot. “Next, they moved to Windward Parkway,” Piefke recounted. At that point, six years running, the show had attracted enough of an audience to necessitate police presence. The early morning time frame, once a deterrent to those who might act out by spinning tires and racing through the streets of Milton, wasn’t as effective given the word-of-mouth popularity the show had gained. Milton police started handing out tickets and the original organizers were faced with an unforeseen dilemma: what was once a quiet Sunday morning refuge had become a show bigger than anyone could have imagined. “The original organizers started talking to sponsors,” Piefke said. “They knew they had something valuable, but hadn’t figured out a way to make money from it.” By the time 2012 rolled around, the organizers had struck a deal with Autotrader, an affiliate of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises.
CAFFEINE AND OCTANE
PHOTOS COURTESY OF
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 11
Autotrader had plans of going national with the show, Piefke said, but ultimately needed someone to take it to the next level. They had begun to feel the strain of rapidly growing crowds at a small venue. With more than 25 years of experience in directing and managing events, Piefke was the person they called. “I saw the tremendous opportunity with this show. I saw what it could be with just a little more organization and sponsor help,” Piefke said. He purchased rights to the show in 2014, putting it under the umbrella of High Octane Events, LLC and set to work. 12 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
WHERE TO PARK IT First order of business was a change of address. “We moved around a bit in that first year, holding [the show] at a local high school, but even there the crowds were too much to handle,” he said. Eventually, they parked it at Perimeter Mall. In January 2015, the first Caffeine and Octane was held at its new location. “That’s when things really started to take off,” Piefke said. It finally allowed organizers the flexibility to add some desperately needed structure to the gathering. A main show area was established in the far corner of the lot, where unique cars could be featured
every month. This never-know-whatyou’ll-see phenomenon was already a big draw for the show, but now it’s easier to browse. “Our goal is not to exclude anyone,” Piefke added, “but we also don’t want 10 of the same cars in the show area.” With 7,700 parking spaces, Perimeter Mall finally gave the show the room it needs as well as opened up much more area for others to participate. While the main Caffeine and Octane show chooses cars based on diversity and quality, the surrounding parking lots are packed with local clubs showing off their own cars.
CAFFEINE AND OCTANE
• Serving the Dental Needs of Children from Newborn to Young Adults Television came into the mix as a way to tell stories. “You won’t see many owners camped out next to their cars here,” he said. “A lot of the owners come because other people’s cars are here.” This camaraderie leads to long talks about quirky or intricate engineering details, lost loves and trips to faraway places. Piefke pitched the idea for a television show to Velocity, an automotive enthusiast cable network that hosts shows like “Chasing Classic Cars” and “Wheeler Dealers.” “I didn’t want something with the manufactured drama of a reality show; just a show where people tell stories about what make their cars special,” he said. Now in its second season, the television show has given Caffeine and Octane international reach, evidenced through merchandise sales in Germany, Finland and Australia. In May, the show was given a “Placemaking for Dunwoody” Tourism award and Piefke said this is just the beginning.
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“Right now, our biggest goals are growing reach through social media,” he said. One idea is a smartphone app made exclusively for the show, where owners can upload supplemental information on their vehicles like performance specifications, track times, fun facts, stories and more. They’d then place a barcode in the window of their car and spectators could easily learn more through these interactive exhibits. Expansion of the Caffeine and Octane website is also on the horizon. “We want to make a place for that extra owner information, but also open up the potential for car sales and even auctions,” Piefke said.
A PLACE AND TIME FOR CHEVY Affable is a good word to describe Lenny Thompson. Step inside his salon on Church Street in Marietta and you’re instantly greeted with friendly Americana. On the counter, a Mickey Mouse rotary phone. In the back corner, a Seeburg Select-O-Matic Jukebox with Chuck Barry and The Beatles on its track list. On the back wall hangs a painting of a red Tri-Five July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 13
CAFFEINE AND OCTANE
Chevy and behind Lenny’s Salon, an identical car is parked. Tri-Five stands for 1955, -56 and -57, three years when Chevrolet poured their heart and soul into creating an extravagant car for the everyday driver. Thompson bought his 1957 Bel Air Sedan from a man in Michigan. “Not too long after I got the car home, I discovered it had been built in Georgia, so the car had made it home in a way,” Thompson said. His car was built at Doraville Assembly, a General Motors plant that opened in 1947 and continued to build cars until 2008. His Bel Air represents everything to which Thompson has devoted the decoration of his salon. “Being a younger guy, someone who didn’t grow up during [the 1950s], it’s great to hear stories from older folks who had one, or who have memories of one someone else [who did],” he said. Before this, Thompson owned a Ford Explorer and several Camaros, but he said that the car community surrounding this car has been one of the most supportive he’s encountered. “I’ve worked on this car myself and a lot of what I’ve done has been through trial and error,” he said. He’s also discovered a few quirks to owning a car built more than a decade before seat belt laws were introduced. Vacuum wipers, which run off of the engine’s intake pressure, will slow down at speed and when the car is at idle. There’s also a device mounted to the dashboard on the driver’s side that looks like glass ornamentation. It’s actually a traffic light viewer, useful in a car where the angle of the windshield is almost an “L” shape. Taking these minor differences in stride, Thompson took the car on its first road trip this past month, to a 1950s-themed car show in Nashville, Tennessee and drives his Tri-Five every day. Much like many enthusiasts have found, the car community is a way for us to come together. That’s what makes an event like Caffeine and Octane so special and why you’ll see people from all walks of life, even dogs, making up the crowds that surround old hot rods, Italian supercars, Japanese hatchbacks, high-riding Jeeps and everything in between. caffeineandoctane.com PN 14 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
Taking the Show on the Road
ST. PATRICK’S DAY WEEKEND marked the first-ever Caffeine and Octane at the Beach, a laid-back road show version held at the Jekyll Island Convention Center.
Three-hundred cars attended
on a cloudless weekend, including a 1958 Bentley that was ordered by a Venezuelan dignitary, but never delivered. Other notable cars included a selection of bespoke hot rods, including one of Hot Rod magazine’s creations dubbed “Blasphemi.”
“The Jekyll Island show is a
way for us to create more featured shows,” Piefke said, adding that he wanted Caffeine and Octane at the Beach to represent everything from American muscle cars to imports, like the Brazilian-built Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia TC on display.
It’s also an opportunity to incor-
porate automotive workshops, like the Lincoln Electric Welding class, events like the water-bound Sweetwater Brews Cruise and celebrity appearances, like that from famed
Read more about what to do, where to stay and what
hot rod designer Chip Foose.
to expect during this annual event at Jekyll Island at pointsnorthatlanta.com
Renewed Self-Confidence Starts Here. Dr. Philip K. Robb, Jr. and his family finally celebrate their return home to the community that raised them! Upon returning home, Dr. Robb has established Robb Facial Plastic Surgery: a cosmetic center focused on bringing the highest quality of customized cosmetic facial care for everyone. Founded on principles that place patient satisfaction, safety, and privacy, as the highest priorities; Dr. Robb uses a conservative and natural approach to his patients in a comfortable family setting. By opening Robb Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Robb brings the latest, most advanced cosmetic and reconstructive procedures to the northern suburbs of Atlanta.
PROCEDURES OFFERED BY DR. ROBB INCLUDE:
Robb Facial Plastic Surgery is conveniently located at the intersection of Highway 400 and Old Milton Parkway, just east of the Avalon Complex. Dr. Robb is on staff at Northside, St. Joseph’s, and Scottish Rite Hospitals.
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Airstream DREAMING 94 Number
THE WORLD AT YOUR DOORSTEP
written by COLLEEN ANN MCNALLY
The open road.
THE FREEDOM TO ROAM. THE SHINY ALUMINUM. The Airstream trailer has become an American icon synonymous with adventure, while still providing the necessary creature comforts to create a home away from home. Eighty years after their inception, the Airstreams hitting the highways today aren’t your parents’ trailers. Thanks to restoration enthusiasts, design-minded millennials and the brains at Mercedes-Benz, a life on wheels has been redefined with modern luxuries.
16 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
For other metro Atlantans, the farthest their wheels may travel is to their backyard. Their campers create a space where possibilities are endless — a home office, a 10-year-old’s epic sleepover party or perhaps a pop-up shop for a budding business. From answering the call of adventure to inviting whimsy into their own corner of the universe, we chased down a few locals who have made the Airstream dream a reality.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF AIRSTREAM; SAMANTHA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY
WHEREVER THE WIND BLOWS If I was asked in a game of trivia when the futuristic-looking Airstream trailer was invented, I would have guessed the mid-1950s. I would have flunked. The original actually dates decades earlier. According to the company’s website (airstream.com), Wally Byam built the world’s first Airstream trailer in 1929, although it was very different from the versions we know today. To paraphrase, a canny Stanford graduate had the idea to combine a tent July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 17
AIR STREAM DREAMING
contraption to a Model T chassis. After the apparatus didn’t fare well in the rain, he replaced the tent with a teardrop-shaped permanent shelter and added a stove and ice chest, too. His contraption was easy to tow and garnered enough attention from curious parties, so Byam had the clever idea to make more. From there, Airstream’s journey follows the course of American history. After an initial boom of success and the opening of a factory, the Great Depression took its toll. Later, when the U.S. entered World War II, aluminum supply was scarce and Byam had to redirect his attention to building aircrafts to aid the war effort. Still, his ambition endured. By the end of the ’50s, the company had leaped from being simply a travel trailer company to creating a movement and culture that is celebrated by generations. Byam even created a creed outlining his aims for a lifestyle for those who yearn for travel. “In the heart of these words is an entire life’s dream,” he wrote. “To those of you who find in the promise of these words your promise, I bequeath this creed … my dream belongs to you.”
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PREVIOUS PAGE: an Airstream campaign photo; Maggie Mathews' Airstream THIS PAGE: Mathews' converted Airstream art studio
THE ART OF THE AIRSTREAM Byam passed away after battling cancer in 1962, just as his passion project was reaching new peaks. When many of us think “Airstream,” we imagine the iterations produced during this time, particularly the petite Bambi design of the ’60s. Originally produced as a 16-foot single-axle trailer, the Bambi is more versatile and easier to pull while driving the family car. The Bambi name has carried on; it is applied to all single-axle trailers and a 1963 relic even traveled all the way to New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2007 for an installation titled “On the Road: Airstream Bambi Travel Trailer.” What makes an Airstream so appealing? Perhaps it’s the fusion of fashion and functionality. With limited space, every inch has a purpose. Not to mention, if you bought a new Bambi today, you could sleep soundly knowing that its engineering is the culmination of millions of road miles throughout the world.
Ultimately, an Airstream is your blank canvas to transport you wherever you want to go. For Atlanta artist Maggie Mathews, the Airstream itself might also become her canvas. As a abstract artist, it makes sense that striking images resonate well with Mathews. Drawing on inspiration of landscapes from the banks of the Chattahoochee River to the beaches of Florida’s St. George Island, the imagery tends to show up in her work and, in this case, her backyard. When we met, Mathews recalled with vigor the time she came across a magazine
12 IN 2016
spread many years ago featuring three Bambi trailers, each lavishly designed with a distinct aesthetic by Ralph Lauren. She shared a common love of Airstreams with her father, and together the pair bought a ’70s-era International Sovereign land yacht. When the trailer came into their possession, Mathews said it was essentially a shell and they knew little about the trailer’s past. Under their care, the Airstream has new life: wood floors and white walls, with years spent at her father’s beach home as well as at a relative’s mountain home; however, when Mathews turned 30 last year,
she had another adventure in mind. Currently, the Airstream resides in the rear of the Brookhaven home she shares with her husband. When not painting in her studio at Atlanta’s Goat Farm Arts Center, Mathews retreats to the “silver bullet” to work on small-scale pieces, or to simply unwind from the world. This Airstream has become a work in progress in itself for Mathews, who enjoys filling the trailer’s interiors with eclectic finds, printed pillows, fresh flowers and plenty of comfortable seating for entertaining friends. On the walls hang some of her recent artwork, though she has
also contemplated taking her paint brush directly to them. Where will its wheels roll next is still a mystery, but Mathews shared that a crosscountry tour has crossed her mind. Closer to home, Mathews has used the space for pop-up art sales and hopes to do more. To see what’s on the horizon follow her Instagram page @maggiemathewsart.
HAPPY CAMPERS Across town in the Ardmore Park neighborhood of Buckhead, Bill Pickeral and Cory Barger became the proud new owners of a 2009, 30-foot Classic in
PHOTOS COURTESY OF SAMANTHA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 19
AIR STREAM DREAMING
ABOVE & LEFT: Airstream International Serenity Interior
September 2016 after attending a recreational vehicle (RV) show in Hershey, Pennsylvania. “The Airstream representative at the show was very knowledgeable and instilled confidence in the brand for us,” Pickeral said. As of May, they officially registered “Florence Mae” with both Airstream and the state of Georgia with plans for many short trips to campgrounds throughout the Southeast this summer. Pickeral hopes to retire soon, and then the couple wants to take an extended trip, encompassing a loop to the West Coast. Pickeral eventually wants to volunteer as a host at a federal campground, and would use the Airstream onsite as a summer home. “Airstreams are fun to own,” Pickeral said. “They are immediately recognizable, and a real conversation starter in and out of the campground. Therefore, we get to meet lots of people on our journeys. This is our second RV and it is obvious to us that Airstreams and their owners are handsdown the most active and supportive group of RV owners.” He added that the Airstream community has a strong online presence with groups on Facebook, listing names like “Airstream Addicts,” “Airstream Hunter” and “Airstream Classifieds.” Alan David of Woodstock created “Georgia Vintage
Campers” for Airstream owners and other interested RV’ers and has organized meet-ups at campsites biannually for the past 15 years. There is also the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI) that holds weekend or week-long rallies. In fact, part of Byam’s creed encourages clubs and rallies to provide an endless source of friendships, travel and personal expressions. “If you ever see an Airstream with the big red numbers on the front and back, it is a member of the WBCCI,” Pickeral said. “The numbers identify the Airstream to other Airstreamers with the owners statistics. Airstreamers are always willing to share their knowledge and camaraderie.” Pickeral cited a time when he posted a photo of Florence Mae on Facebook and a fellow WBCCI member was helpful to correct an error made in deploying his awning. He also added that a common misconception surrounding Airstreams is that very few can afford one. “While a new Airstream can cost upward of $160,000, a used Airstream can be very affordable,” Pickeral said. “Airstreams are a classic, and their iconic aluminum structure and classic shape maintain structural integrity and appeal. These key features allow prospective Airstreamers to afford a used/older unit at an
affordable price, while providing a unit that can be updated to meet the owners’ desires and remain in their budget.” Today’s trailers are outfitted with so many bells and whistles that Byam might not recognize an Airstream from the inside out. A quick scan of the website for Norcross-based and authorized dealer, Southland RV (southlandrv.com), offers a wide range of sizes, styles and price points.
THE CLOUDS ARE THE LIMIT Well, let’s dream with a big budget for a minute. After all, we are in the era of HGTV’s “Tiny House Hunters,” and common knowledge is that downsizing in square footage doesn’t equate to an elimination of style. Ralph Lauren isn’t the only lifestyle brand that has gotten on board, either. Tommy Bahama and Mercedes-Benz have both collaborated for revamped renditions of the land yacht. If you imagine setting up your camp beachside, the Tommy Bahama Airstream Special Edition Travel Trailer might be your wish come true. Think roomy living spaces with signature Tommy Bahama print designs, and a built-in bar fitted to hold double old-fashioned and stemless wine glasses. For comfort and ease, the trailer’s rear sport hatch provides expansive panoramic views and trouble-free loading/unloading of surfboards or golf clubs. You can tour one for yourself at PHOTOS COURTESY OF AIRSTREAM
20 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
AIR STREAM DREAMING
To lead caravans wherever the four winds blow ...
over twinkling boulevards, across trackless deserts … to the traveled and untraveled corners of the earth. To strive endlessly to stir the venturesome spirit that moves you to follow a rainbow to its end … and thus make your travel dreams come true.” WALLY BYAM | Airstream Creed
Southland RV; however, if you’re looking for the Tommy Bahama Interstate Special Edition Touring Coach, head to RBM of Alpharetta Mercedes-Benz. Rather than sticker shock, Sheaffer Cheek, senior sales consultant at RBM of Alpharetta, said he stays busy dispelling a different misconception. “Most people hear the word Airstream and they immediately think about the silver pull-behind travel trailers,” Cheek said. “They do not realize they have the option of a Airstream Touring Coach that you can drive.” Not only does RBM of Alpharetta offer the Mercedes-Airstream mash-up,
Northsiders are spoiled as the dealership is the only one in the state — and one of three total — that sell the Interstate Touring Coaches as well as Mercedes-Benz vehicles (all other dealers are RV dealers). “We are the only Mercedes-Benz dealer that has made Airstream’s top 10 list in all of North America,” Cheek said. What are the advantages of driving a motor coach rather than a conventional trailer? Cheek explained that the overall length of a truck and trailer is much longer, making it more cumbersome on the road. Plus, with a touring coach, there is no backing a trailer or unhooking a trailer — a luxury within itself — and you still get all
the fancy bells and whistles. Upgraded features rolling out for 2018 editions include nickel finish cabinet knobs, a tankless hot water heater system, the MultiPlex touchpad electronic controls with energy management and ultra-quiet generator resonator to reduce sound levels, just to name a few. For some, that might make the decision easy. Others might want an extended test drive, or simply aren’t ready to buy, but want the touring coach experience. That’s where Southern Road Yachts steps in. With these top-notch vehicles available for rent, you can turn road travel into quality family time that can be equal parts relaxing for you, entertaining for kids and easier for traveling with pets. Southern Road Yachts even offers camping and tailgating packages with add-ons like an eight-person tent, portable propane grill, HD/TV or folding chairs and tables. “Airstreams have versatility, safety features and are easy to drive,” Cheek said. Whether you choose a trailer or touring coach, both share the Airstream dream Byam had in the 1920s. “I believe people want to spend time with their family outdoors, yet still have the creature comforts of home, which Airstream provides,” Cheek said. Another look at Byam’s creed hints that those provisions are just the beginning: “To lead caravans wherever the four winds blow … over twinkling boulevards, across trackless deserts … to the traveled and untraveled corners of the earth. To strive endlessly to stir the venturesome spirit that moves you to follow a rainbow to its end … and thus make your travel dreams come true.” PN
airstream.com maggiemathews.com airstreamatlanta.com southlandrv.com southernroadyachts.com 22 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
Discover DRIVEN TO
Off the Beaten Path in Northwest Nebraska’s Panhandle
HE BEAUTY OF the High Plains is a whisper rather than a shout.” I stepped closer to continue reading the placard inside Legacy of the Plains Museum in Gering, Nebraska. “The High Plains offers its spirit of subtle beauty in gentle strokes of light, shape and color.” I’d only spent a couple days immersed in the state’s diverse landscape, but immediately knew the truth of this assertion applied to northwest Nebraska as a whole. I had only just begun to listen. PHOTO COURTESY OF NEBRASKA TOURISM
written by COLLEEN ANN MCNALLY
WHY NOT NEBRASKA? Nebraska wasn’t a place I had dreamed of visiting. To be honest, Nebraska wasn’t a place I thought much about at all. Still, when an opportunity arose to drive across the state line from Denver, Colorado, I thought, why not Nebraska? My stops included the bordering towns of Gering and Scottsbluff, a 3-hour drive from Colorado’s capital city. It didn’t take long after leaving Denver’s city limits for me to feel out of my comfort zone. It’s not simply the lack of a Starbucks in sight, but the fact that anything commercial — including accommodations — are few and far between, which can make planning
ahead for gas stops and a place to sleep of increased importance. My crew had reservations at the Monument Inn & Suites, but on the road, it became apparent that the de facto way to travel out West is by camper. These road warriors have more freedom when it comes to places to spend the night and more scenic views. The hotel was a little more than 1.5 miles away from where it gets its name: the Scotts Bluff National Monument. The land has been preserved by the National Park Service for its significance along the Oregon Trail. Travelers by way of their recreational vehicle (RV) can camp in the shadows of the rocky expanse July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 23
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Chimney Rock; Carhenge; High Plains Homestead; Dinner on the High Plains
at Riverside RV Park on the banks of the North Platte River. The overall experience can toe the line toward glamping after a gourmet dinner at Emporium Restaurant and replenishing provisions thanks to the Tangled Tumbleweed’s curated selection of wine bottles and snacks. Scottsbluff and Gering are considered the High Plains, but also a part of the larger Panhandle region. A picturesque landscape known for its breathtaking buttes, sweeping plateaus and vast wheat fields, the Panhandle isn’t all grasslands. Traversing the region delivers travelers to a drastically different terrain, and covers centuries of history along the way.
MIGRATION AND MARVELS Many visitors come to follow the paths of history of the land, or more specifically 24 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
the Native Americans and western emigrants that have passed over it via the Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail, California Trail and the Pony Express. The emigrants of the 19th-century mentioned these naturally occurring rock formations like Scotts Bluff, as well as the nearby Chimney Rock, Bridgeport’s Courthouse and Jail House Rocks in diaries and journals of their cross-country migration. According to the NPS, more than 250,000 people made their way through the area between 1843 and 1869, often pausing to see such a natural
marvel and many remembered it long after their journeys were complete. Until I set foot in Nebraska, I had only heard of the names and places in a grade-school textbook or playing the computer-game interpretation of the Oregon Trail. Seeing the remnants of wagon ruts in person made those long-ago lessons come alive. If camping or traveling by RV sounds like” roughing it,” remembering the tribulations of these trailblazing generations offers a new perspective on contemporary conveniences. Speaking of automotive curiosities, Carhenge is a roadside attraction “must” on County Road 59 in Alliance, Nebraska. A creative replica of Stonehenge in England,
the unusual car sculpture has been drawing visitors since its dedication celebration on the Summer Solstice in 1987. Now 30 years later, Carhenge will be in the direct path of the Total Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21 and plans to celebrate the occasion with a weekend full of festivities, plus more than 800 primitive RV and camping sites for anticipated party-goers.
WHERE THE OLD WEST NEVER GOT OLD Beyond Carhenge, the road beckons for further exploration. My crew continued north from Alliance to Fort Robinson State Park and Toadstool Geological Park, but first refueled with lunch at the charming Bean Broker Coffee House in Chadron. Just when I was starting to reconsider the limits of my comfort zone, what a welcomed surprise to see a sight better than Starbucks: Atlanta’s own Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters brewing behind the bar. Then, it was on to a land without lattes, let alone strong cell phone reception. West of Chadron, Fort Robinson comprises more than 22,000 acres of exquisite Pine Ridge scenery, compelling tales from the Old West, cabins that date back to 1874 or scenic campsites as well as the park’s own buffalo and longhorn herds. Weather PHOTOS COURTESY OF NEBRASKA TOURISM
permitting, guests can ride among the buttes in an open-air Jeep in search of wildlife or take a horse-drawn tour through the park. A day of adventure sure works up an appetite. Luckily, the Drifter Cookshack at High Plains Homestead in Crawford serves up cowboy-sized meals three times a day featuring open-pit grilled Choice Ribeye steaks, pork ribs, salmon and chicken. Vegetarians and vegans will need to arrange other options, unless they are content making a meal of the homemade pies. High Plains Homestead, which includes bunkhouses, Dirty Creek Saloon and mercantile shops inspired by the Old West, is a member of the Northwest Nebraska High Country, a hospitable group of lodging, activities, guest ranches and outfitters available for out-of-towners. I learned they commonly host European travelers, many that don’t own their cars and are chasing both the American cowboy experience and allure of open highways. Only 30 minutes from Fort Robinson’s pines, a stark contrast in scenery at Toadstool Geologic Park and Campground, is something to see to believe. We set out early, when it was still dark, for a sunrise hike of otherworldly tranquility.
The lunar-like landscape stretches into South Dakota as the beginning of Badlands National Park. The barren hills and rock-strewn gullies disguise the abundant life that once thrived before the formation of towering spires and steep canyons. “Turn the clock back 30 million years and you would find miniature horses, humpless camels, gigantic tortoises, pigs and even rhinoceroses roaming here,” read the pocket-sized reference guide our hike leader handed out. “All that remains of these bizarre beasts are bits of bone and tracks imprinted in the once soft mud. Scientists have pieced these clues together to capture what life was like in this ancient river valley millions of years ago.” After the hike, we gathered for a campfire breakfast of hash and beer bread cooked in a Dutch oven. In the kettle, cowboy coffee made with eggs (shell and all) brewed over the heat and around the flames, we recounted our adventures. You can’t find this kind of morning klatch at your average coffee shop. PN
visitnebraska.com legacyoftheplains.org carhenge.com highplainshomestead.com nebraskahighcountry.com
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 25
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ABOVE: Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers LEFT: Sutton Foster
HIGH COUNTRY CULTURE.
written by CARL DANBURY
EACH SUMMER FOR THE PAST 33 YEARS, the Office of Arts & Cultural Programs at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, has orchestrated an eclectic celebration of music, dance, theater, visual arts and film programming. The six-week long event, An Appalachian Summer Festival, features big-city cultural arts in the heart of the mountains. “In 1984, several of the area’s second-home residents, many from Florida, came to the university and explained that they were much more accustomed to having entertainment options, particularly in the evenings, than what was then available in Boone and
the surrounding area,” said Anna Gaugert, director of marketing and public relations, on how the festival began, evolved and is sustained in a community of fewer than 19,000 residents. With the overwhelming majority of university students gone during the summer months, the entertainment lineup in the early years of the festival consisted of chamber and orchestra music, and classical dance. Today, it has expanded for a much broader audience as the demographic of second-home owners and their families has grown over the years, as has the local community. The festival’s 2017 lineup includes country music’s Jennifer Nettles, who is likely to sell out the 1,673-seat Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, An Evening with Sutton Foster, who will perform her Broadway hits, plus jazz trumpeter Chris Botti and Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers. The musical finale, “YEStival,” will feature 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee YES, special guest Todd Rundgren as well as an opening set from Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy honoring the magic of Keith Emerson and Greg Lake. Dance events include MOMIX, a company of dancer-illusionists that will reprise its “Opus Cactus” featuring the landscape of the American Southwest, while the Charlotte Ballet’s performance will include two iconic duets and two masterworks. Theatrical performances, film, visual arts, lectures and workshops round out this year’s festival. A total of 27,000 attended the events last summer, and with a lineup like that, you can count on more this year. appsummer.org PN PHOTOS COURTESY OF ©LAURA MARIE DUNCAN ; MICHAEL MARTIN; ©2017 AN APPALACHIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL
26 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
Join us at The Collection at Forsyth for our 6th annual SUMMER CONCERT SERIES with live music, giveaways, kidsâ€™ activities, along with dining and shopping specials at participating retailers and restaurants on the below listed Thursday nights. Activities begin at 6:00 PM; Concert from 7:00 PM-9:00 PM.
ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY JULY 6: Adam Komesar JULY 13: Cole Thannisch JULY 20: James Patrick Morgan
Cole Thannisch performs on July 13
FOR MORE INFORMATION visit collectionforsyth.com and like us on @CollectionatForsyth and follow us on @CollectionForsyth
4 1 0 P E AC H T R E E PA R K WAY, C U M M I N G , G E O R G I A E N T R A N C E I S C O M P L I M E N TA RY
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 27
WIN SAM COLLIER’S CONSTANT PURSUIT of HELPING OTHERS REACH THEIR GREATEST POTENTIAL written by LINLEY MOBLEY photos courtesy of SAM COLLIER
“MY TWIN SISTER AND I WERE BORN INTO POVERTY, drugs and addiction. My mother was 21 when she had us, and she had three kids already. She knew there was no way she’d be able to take care of five kids, so she was faced with the decision of whether or not to raise us in poverty or give us up so we could hopefully have a better life.” So begins the story of Sam Collier. 28 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 29
S AM COLLIER
“My dad always taught us to never be defined by your circumstances, but to use your mind to deliver you into a better life.” SAM COLLIER
PHOTOS COURTESY OF
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S AM COLLIER
THE TWINS FIND A HOME Collier and his twin sister, Sara, were born in Atlanta and given up at birth. Only two months later, Lamar and Belinda Collier went to the adoption agency, walked over to Sam and Sara’s crib, and said, “They’re the ones we want. We want the twins.” A woman working at the agency heard the Colliers, and told them, “Those babies came from addiction and poverty; they’ll more than likely be mentally challenged. You don’t want them.” But that didn’t deter the Colliers; they still felt drawn to Sam and Sara, and brought the twins home the week of Christmas in 1988. Collier and his twin sister were raised in downtown Decatur by loving parents who taught them to be selfless, generous, kind and accepting of everyone no matter what. “Our dad would often bring homeless people to the house just to take care of them and give them a good meal,” Collier said. “That’s the kind of guy he is, but I also think he wanted to expose us to poverty so that we would learn to be kind to people and always be appreciative of what we had in life.” The twins were blessed with many gifts — Sara excelled in academics and went on to attend Spelman College and Georgia Tech and is now an industrial engineer in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, Collier has always been blessed with the gift of music and communication. Starting from a young age, he could play almost any instrument and developed an interest in soulful R&B and Gospel tunes. Collier had record deals by the time he was in 10th grade and began touring the world to share his music before becoming a top 20 Gospel Billboard producer. He’s also worked as a radio host of the nationally syndicated “Sam Collier Show” as well as a communicator throughout local churches of metro Atlanta, including the many campuses of Andy Stanley’s North Point Ministries.
IF YOU CAN LOSE, YOU CAN WIN In 2010, Collier was touring with his self-titled band when he hit a speed bump. “I was traveling all over, and I could never get a break,” Collier said. “God wasn’t making any sense to me at the time, and I felt like the world was crashing in on me.” Collier experienced an especially dark night during this time. “It was the first and only time I ever asked myself
why I was alive,” he said. “I started praying, and I told God, ’I just feel like I’m losing at life.’ And God said to me, ‘If you can lose, you can win.’” That one night of prayer changed Collier’s entire outlook on life. He had always pursued others’ ideas of what it meant to win, so he struck out on a search of what that meant to him personally. “My dad always taught us to never be defined by your circumstances, but to use your mind to deliver you into a better life,” Collier said. “When you change your mind, you change your life.” Using his dad’s wisdom, Collier began to change his outlook on life. He learned about the 80:20 trap — the idea that most people do what they’re great at only about 20 percent of the time and do what they think they’re great at the other 80 percent of the time. This pushed him to seek out people who would be truthful with him and help him discover what his 20 percent was. “After talking to my close friends, family and mentors, one of the things that consistently came up is that I really had a way of inspiring people with my words,” Collier said. “Once I heard that over and over, I ran after it and doors started opening up for me like crazy.”
WORD BY WORD, LETTER BY LETTER Collier came up with five words that pushed him to live each day as his best self — think, act, focus, help and win. “Once I was able to define for myself what it meant to win, I felt a huge pull to spread that knowledge to others and make a difference,” Collier said. Collier knew there were people all over the world who were hitting the same spot he’d just come from, and he wanted to do everything he could to help. In 2011, he turned his five words into a five-step process, and created a nonprofit called No Losing. From there, he began to reach out to schools, groups and organizations to start mentorship programs to help those who were defining themselves by their circumstances. “One of No Losing’s main projects is the ‘No C Campaign,’ which is a mentorship program for middle-school and high-school students,” Collier said. “Since we’ve started that, we’ve reached more than 80,000 kids in the Atlanta area and have seen a 50 percent increase in academic achievement in those schools.” July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 31
S AM COLLIER
“It really shows that when you offer kids encouragement, motivation and reward, they’ll break down any wall to get where they want to be.” SAM COLLIER
Thanks to partners ranging from Dave & Busters to Microsoft, the “No C Campaign” focuses on helping kids persevere through their circumstances and excel at life by raising their grades above the C level. Collier and his team of volunteers go to schools like Martin Luther King Middle School, Forest Park Middle School, Miller Grove Middle School and Cedartown Middle School each month to encourage, tutor and mentor the kids for an hour. They also consult with the teachers and talk through ways they can continue encouraging and motivating the students throughout the year. At the end of the school year, the students who have raised their grades and maintained A’s and B’s get to take part in a huge celebration full of giveaways, games, music and food. “One time we had a student who had a 46 in a class,” Collier said. “By the end of the school year, he’d brought his grade all the way up to an 81. It really shows that when you offer kids encouragement, motivation and reward, they’ll break down any wall to get where they want to be.” Collier and his team have worked to package the “No C Campaign” so it’s now easy to start within your own school, church group or organization. Along the way, he has gained support from an impressive board of directors comprised of influential names like Angela Watkins, a professor of psychology at Spelman University and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A GREATER STORY In 2014, a couple of years after founding No Losing, a new chapter in Collier’s story unfolded. “Our dad came to us one day and said, ‘It’s time 32 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
you found your birth parents.’ Most of the time when someone says that, it’s meant to offer closure, but what’s really funny is that he just didn’t want us to grow up and marry our cousins,” Collier said with a laugh. Collier’s sister wrote to the “Steve Harvey” show to see if the show’s staff could offer any help in the search for their biological family. Almost a year later, the show reached back out to Collier and Sara with plans to fly them out to the show. Once Collier and his sister arrived at the studio, the staff of the “Steve Harvey” show told them they weren’t able to find their biological family, but they wanted them to still appear on the show to make a plea for anyone to contact them. “It turns out they lied to us — we were on the show and they brought our mom out, and then they ended up bringing out our biological siblings as well,” he said. “At that time, I felt so many emotions and didn’t know which one to choose, so I just sat there. Should I be mad? Should I be happy? I didn’t know how to be in that moment.” Despite his initial shock, Collier was able to talk with his biological family after the show and make some lasting connections. “My story has definitely been that of transformation and redemption,” he said. “Meeting my biological family really gave me a perspective on life that I didn’t have before. It allowed me to see how much God really did save [us] from tough circumstances. I’m more passionate and determined now to solve problems and leverage my gifts to help people and ensure that every day counts.” After repeatedly sharing his story with different groups and organizations, Collier had the vision to create another campaign called “A Greater Story,” based around the idea that when your story connects with God’s story, it leads to a greater one. Through this initiative, Collier has launched a podcast by the same name that focuses on overcoming circumstances and allowing your plans to connect with God’s plans. His podcast currently reaches 45 cities and more than 600,000 listeners across the country. The wordsmith is also planning to release a book in 2018 that is based on his story and the lessons he’s learned throughout his life — so far, that is, because Collier’s inspiring story isn’t over yet. PN nolosing.com agreaterstory.org
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34 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
Saddle Up RETREATING TO EAST GEORGIA'S HIDDEN DUDE RANCH
any equine enthusiasts will swear the best of the West is right here in Georgia. In a Travel + Leisure roundup of “America’s Best Dude Ranches,” a dozen destinations across the country were spotlighted. Southern Cross was the only Georgia ranch and one of only two on the East Coast that made this list. Unlike the others, this guest ranch doesn’t require a cross-country flight or a long drive, but is just an hour east of
written by MARTY STEINER Atlanta and convenient to Interstate 20. If this ranch’s location comes as a shock to you, hold on to your horses — the history behind Southern Cross is a wild ride too.
A FAMILY’S HEIRLOOM With overtones of a German fairytale, the story began when “fräulein” (unmarried woman) Inge Zeuch, who grew up in the Frankfurt region with few riding horses, married an American GI and moved to the United States. In 1964, the couple settled
near Indianapolis, Indiana. After a number of active duty deployments took a toll on their marriage, she remained in Indiana as a divorced mother of three. Utilizing a small family inheritance, she purchased a farm in 1974 along with an assortment of Paint, Quarter, Tennessee Walker and Appaloosa horses. She fell in love with Paints and began an active Paint breeding program. Working with a few champion stallions, a touch of serendipity brought Heirloom, an outstanding Indiana
PHOTOS COURTESY OF SOUTHERN CROSS
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 35
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stallion, to the family. During Heirloom’s relatively short career, he made her property a destination for many, including German clientele purchasing American horses. A lack of sufficient onsite accommodations and harsh winters, however, led her to look south for a horse-breeding ranch possibility. In 1991, she purchased a 200-acre farm near Madison that came with an unfinished residence and a small, rundown barn. She began building what would become Southern Cross, a hub for routing American horses to European buyers and a rapidly growing guest ranch for visiting clients. The move involved relocating nearly 200 horses more than 600 miles and the operation of both sites simultaneously for a period of time. The arrival of the 1996 Summer Olympics to Atlanta and its equine sports jumpstarted the hospitality portion of her ranch operation. Today, the expansive barn, hiking and riding trails accompanied by a bed and breakfast are proof of the now remarried Wendling's passion, hard work and perseverance. In this way, the history and development of Southern Cross closely parallels the origins of the original “dude” ranches in the 1880s. The early settlers in the West established cattle ranches in the virgin country. Excited by their new lifestyle, freedom and peacefulness of the open land, they would invite friends from the East to visit. A steady drizzle of the occasional visitor turned into a flood of city slickers, called “dudes,” especially after the railroads opened. The cost to host these guests soon became a burden. Charging for room and board while allowing guests to ride their horses became the common business model for guest ranches, many of which ceased raising cattle altogether and pivoted totally toward the hospitality-side of the business.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHARLOTTE DETIENNE; SOUTHERN CROSS
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12 IN 2017
The Steffen Thomas Museum of Art, located in the real city of Buckhead, is less than 3 miles from Southern Cross.
WHEN A BREAKAWAY FROM THE BUNCH IS ON THE MIND, SET YOUR SIGHTS ON A NUMBER OF UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE AREA.
Steffen Wolfgang George Thomas was a German-born, Atlanta-based artist generally known for monument statues but was active across the spectrum of art. He came to America commissioned to create the sculptures at Mar-a-Lago, now President Trump’s Palm Beach Club. The Georgia State Capitol and many other public sites feature his statues. A special series of programs, “Steffen Thomas: A Legacy in Atlanta,” is currently running through September 30. steffenthomas.org
The nearby Farmhouse Inn at Hundred Acre Farm is widely known as a wedding venue, and easily fits the bill of being a peaceful retreat. Recently, the historic Sugar Creek Baptist Church was moved to the property and restored as a wedding chapel. thefarmhouseinn.com
Antique Sweets The entire historic town of Madison is worth a visit and if you need any c onvincing, the family-owned chocolatier Antique Sweets should do it. Top it with a stop inside the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, offering live theater, music and both art and history exhibits all housed in a restored 1895 Romanesque school building. Information on these sites is available at madisonga.com, antiquesweets.com and mmcc-arts.org.
PHOTOS COURTESYINN OF PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE STEFFEN THOMAS MUSEUM OF ART; ANTIQUE SWEETS; THE FARMHOUSE
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That same allure remains today: escaping the city rush and enjoying the serenity of the countryside, especially experienced from horseback.
READY TO RIDE If you have a heart for horses or appreciate the solitude of bucolic settings, then Southern Cross is a welcome haven to visit again and again. The ranch remains family owned and operated with a unique blend of German thoroughness and Southern hospitality. There are 14 rooms in the main house and just a few steps away, three additional rooms are inside the dining room building. Most rooms have a view of the grounds and the horses. Ideally suited for trail riding by novices as well as seasoned riders, the horses include the Paint horse, one of America’s largest registered breeds and the American Quarter horse. Paints are described as being built on a base of Quarter and Thoroughbred lines with a conformation of a Western stock horse blended with spotted pinto. Characteristics are heavy, compact and muscular, but not too tall, lending to maneuverability, rapid acceleration and sprinting. Paints are popularly used in a variety of equestrian disciplines, especially Western riding and reining.
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Described as “decorated by nature,” the American Paint derives its markings from the two-toned mounts of the Spanish explorers, primarily of the West and Southwest. Native Americans and working cowboys alike sought these hardy and intelligent animals. The breed’s amiability, calmness and agreeable disposition make for an ideal companion and riding mount with either leisure or trail riders. The Quarter Horse is the sprinter — the drag racer of the equine world — so-named for its speed over the first quarter mile of any horse race. It is the most popular with the largest breed
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 39
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registration in the world. Like the Paint, the Quarter horse is also smaller in stature with a pleasant personality, making it ideal for less-experienced riders. Regardless of skill set, riding at Southern Cross is always an intimate experience. Groups are limited to six riders, making conversation possible among the group and the guide. Trails range from open meadows and wooded areas to Canter Hill, named for the tendency to pick up the pace when on this slope. While riding is not suitable for children younger than age 4, those ages 4 to 9 may ride tandem with their parents or another adult. Some youngsters may ride alone on a lead-
line in the ranch arena. Older children may ride with the group on their own horse. Rides are available twice a day for up to two hours each.
PLANNING YOUR VISIT Besides a nod from Travel + Leisure, what are the key factors to consider when choosing a guest ranch for vacation? For casual or inexperienced riders, look for easy terrain. It’s also worth considering the time of year, with an eye toward no weather extremes. March through June is a time for foaling, the birth of new horses, and many guests have had the opportunity
RECIPES WORTH REPEATING SOUTHERN CROSS GUEST RANCH is a family affair. In fact, dinner in the dining room finds the entire Southern Cross team having their meals together at the table. Hardly a meal goes by without an old country dish or two being passed among them. Meals are served at specific times, somewhat like a summer camp. Hearty and healthy, the menu of international and local food is self-served from a buffet line. Guests may find Southern almond chicken right next to authentic schnitzel. Real German potato salad and red cabbage are available side dishes, with portion sizes entirely up to you. Other signature dishes guests may encounter are creamed leeks, creamy cucumber salad, drunken pork and German meatloaf. These and many more are in the Southern Cross Ranch cookbook, “Favorite Recipes of the Southern Cross Guest Ranch.” We’ve shared a few that you can recreate at home at pointsnorthatlanta.com/southern-cross.
to witness this firsthand at Southern Cross. The staff will facilitate attendance at a birth, if the opportunity presents itself during your stay. Finally, the size of groups on a ride can play a major role in the guest ranch experience. Southern Cross’ maximum of six is far less than most. Solo, unguided riding for those comfortable doing so, is not only allowed here, it is encouraged. Perhaps the most satisfying aspect is the hands-on ability to interact with your horse as it is taken from the stable, groomed and saddled, ridden, groomed and returned to its stall. If time doesn’t allow an overnight stay, a variety of day trip arrangements are available with riding, meals or both. Saddling up aside, the swimming pool, mountain bikes and unlimited 24-hour snacks, desserts and beverages are available to all guests as well. While Southern Cross reflects a family that treasures spending time together, the experience is underlined by a genuine love for horses. The ranch’s stated philosophy is that it can’t be a horse-lover’s paradise if it’s not a horse’s paradise first. southcross.com PN
PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUTHERN CROSS
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Find Your Place to Beat the Heat Cohutta Lodge
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a visit to Blue Ridge IS ALWAYS IN SEASON
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July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 41
Counting ON ...
TREEHOUSE ACCOMMODATIONS. written by HEATHER KW BROWN A TREEHOUSE OBSESSION is what I’d credit for luring my family to spend the night at Le Petit Chateau in Candlelight Forest. That, and insatiable curiosity from watching Pete Nelson create many masterpieces on “Treehouse Masters.” Though not Nelson treehouses, Le Petit Chateau and neighboring Sophie’s Roost are two-story tree homes available to rent. Inside, guests can settle into a queen bed downstairs or four twin bunks upstairs. A full bath is included on the first floor with a half bath on the second. Located less than 20 minutes from downtown Chattanooga, Candlelight Forest is an easy drive from the northern suburbs of Atlanta. No sooner had we parked, my kids were running with wild abandon across the pastoral playground under a canopy of hardwood trees. All the while, the debate lingered: what should we do first? My daughter wanted to swing. My son wanted to fish. I wanted to watch them explore all of it — the real, albeit older, Nelson treehouse, the lake, the rope swing and the Tom Sawyer-like floating dock. Somehow, we found a way to do most of it. Candlelight Forest is a turn toward life’s simple pleasures and good old family fun. Anyone looking to make that feeling a lifestyle should peek beyond the gate into what owner/developer John Tatum and his business partner Chuck Lyle call Cloudland Station, a private community of homes nestled across 450 acres. When I met Tatum, he and his own brood were placing the finishing touches on The Plucky Peacock, the onsite farm stand and country store where guests will find snacks, sweets, s’mores essentials, fresh produce and more. “Candlelight Forest is a resort that harkens back to the simpler time of skipping stones, cane pole fishing and catching fireflies,” Tatum explained. “Magic for the soul, we are truly unique with something for everyone and a getaway for making memories.” thecandlelightforest.com PN PHOTOS COURTESY OF @SOLIPHOTOGRAPHY
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July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 43
Real Estate S P E C I A L A DV E RT I S I N G S E C T I O N
WAS TEN YEARS AGO THIS MONTH that I joined the crew of HGTV’s hit show, “Designed to Sell,” when the series made its move to Atlanta. For each episode, our team was given $2,000 for materials and three days to perform jaw-dropping renovations that would entice even the pickiest buyers to fall in love with our clients’ homes. Those were some long, exhausting and dirty days, but they were also incredibly rewarding. Looking back, I still can’t believe what we were able to accomplish with so little time and money. Fast forward 10 years, I’ve been fortunate to continue my career with HGTV, hosting and designing for over a dozen shows, while building my own real estate, architecture and design business, Wade Works Creative, based right here in Johns Creek. My team has helped families buy, sell, renovate and build properties all over metro Atlanta. Our 1,100+ projects have ranged from farms to penthouses, traditional to ultra-modern and everything in between. We have seen so much change when it comes to real estate and renovation, especially within the last 18 months. I might actually laugh out loud if you came to me today and asked me what renovation you could do for $2,000! Construction costs are sometimes double last year’s prices, and most contractors are fully booked for months. So, what’s going on? Welcome to Atlanta’s Seller’s Market. Surprised? Probably not. National trends in the economy, political policies and mortgage rates have encouraged growth in homebuyer demand and Atlanta is adding fuel to the fire with the addition of major manufacturing, sporting and retail development jobs. This influx is creating even more demand on top of an existing lack of inventory. Renovation numbers are skyrocketing as potential home sellers are limited by their relocation options and there’s no sign of it slowing. In fact, the Atlanta Regional Commission predicts that the metro area population will grow by 2.5 million by 2040, bringing the region’s population to more than 8 million. Atlanta, especially North Metro with its strong educational systems, will continue to be an attractive place to live and work, but how do we best navigate this seller’s market? If you’re selling, hire a great agent. As the ultimate DIY’er, I can appreciate the temptation to sell by owner, but this scenario is one that many times doesn’t pay off. My advice for sellers is similar to any other DIY project. Do an honest assessment of your skill set and the tools you’ll need to successfully accomplish the project. If you find yourself lacking, it’s time to call in the professionals. The person selling your home should understand how to present it in its best light to the largest pool of potential buyers. Sellers oftentimes embark on this process amid a life change. Seek out an advisor that can help you make the best decisions considering both the financial investment and emotional attachment to your home. If you’re looking to buy, don’t despair, but spend the time to carefully plan your strategy. Talk to experts and do your paperwork as early as possible. In 2017, over half of all home purchases will be from a first-time home buyer, and almost 70 percent of those first-time buyers will be millennials who are typically purchasing lower price-point homes that need renovation. Many lenders have loans that allow you to finance renovations in combination with the original purchase of a home. Take advantage of today’s market by looking at properties listed well below your overall budget giving you margin for a transformation. By exploring all your options, you may find your dream home or you may be able to create it yourself! – Chip Wade, Wade Works Creative, firstname.lastname@example.org
44 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
ongleaf Communities is the premier luxury homebuilder
for active 55+ adults in metro Atlanta. Their spectacular English Cottage style homes and communities are designed to meet the lifestyle needs and wishes of active seniors while providing low maintenance living. With three convenient locations, Longleaf Communities provides things other Active Adult communities provide: proximity to
area attractions and life necessities, low maintenance and ease of living,
Longleaf Battle Park in West Cobb.
regular updates on the costs and
a lock-and-go lifestyle and neighbor-
Their thoughtful floor plans and rep-
schedule. Contact Handcrafted
hood amenities. With a Longleaf
utation for superior craftsmanship
Homes, Inc. now for a compli-
home, you can have all that, plus the
are what make Longleaf the luxury
mentary consultation. 770-642-1010,
distinguished architecture, attention
builder of active adult communities.
to detail and superb craftsmanship
you’re accustomed to. The elegant homes feature airy floor plans with lofty 10-foot ceilings and solid 8-foot doors outfitted with generous millwork throughout.
Handcrafted Homes your intention is to W hether sell your home or give it a
aylor Morrison, a leading homebuilder and developer,
offers an impressive selection of
Choose from a variety of custom
facelift, Handcrafted Homes, Inc.
single-family homes and townhomes
cabinetry for your designer kitchen
has over 40 years of remodeling
throughout metro Atlanta priced
and select preferred finishes for your
experience and can provide key
from the high $100,000s to the high
designer bath. All of the homes fea-
pointers to streamline your renova-
$600,000s. From Gwinnett County
ture two main floor bedrooms, each
tion. One thing to consider is that
to Forsyth County to inside the
with a full bath and laundry room
the kitchen is the heart of any home.
Perimeter, Taylor Morrison has more
on the main. The upstairs includes
It’s the most expensive room to
than 30 communities in Atlanta’s
a finished loft, additional full bath
remodel, but surprisingly inexpen-
most sought-after areas. Named
and the option to add another bed-
sive improvements can make the
America’s Most Trusted Home-
room for more livable space
difference, include adding art,
builder™ in 2016 and 2017, Taylor
to welcome guests.
updating the countertops, installing
Morrison combines luxury with
a new backsplash or replacing
everyday conveniences to build
communities: Village Green of
plumbing and appliances. Co-owners
Homes Inspired by You®.
East Cobb in Marietta, Longleaf
Judy Mozen and Randy Urquhart
Woodstock in Cherokee County and
will work closely with you, providing
Longleaf currently has three
46 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
Tear Down and Build
sn’t it time? The experienced Tear Down and Build team
PX Works is pleased to announce that Emerson
invites you to build your dream
Buckhead, its luxury condominium
home in your dream location.
development at 2520 Peachtree
Experience a seamless process
Road, is moving forward. Activity on
combining expert location scouting,
the site has begun and the team
personal plan design and custom
anticipates the first move-ins to
home construction services. The
occur in mid-2019.
dedicated members of the Tear
JPX Works acquired the 1.84-acre
Down and Build team have com-
site and existing 47-unit condo-
bined real estate experience of more
minium building in November 2015.
than 50 years in the Greater Atlanta
The project team has been working
area. They are at your service.
diligently ever since to hone the
building’s design and ensure the
iconic project can be delivered within budget. The effort has paid
48 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
off, as JPX Works and its capital partners are ready to move forward. “Creating the renderings is the easy part. Transitioning the project from idea to reality and ensuring that the end product leaves buyers delighted and not disappointed is where the hard work begins,” says JPX Works Founding Principal Jarel Portman. “We are inspired by the intelligence, ingenuity and steadfast resolve of our team. Without their tireless efforts, Emerson would not be a possibility. To say that we are excited to reach this milestone in the project is a profound under-
C R E S S W I N D AT L A K E L A N I E R statement,â€? states Bruce Fernald,
square feet and range in price from
Principal of JPX Works.
$2.2 million to $2.6 million. Available
The design of Emerson Buckhead encompasses 41 total residences,
three-bedroom homes offer floorplans from roughly 2,600 square
Cresswind at Lake Lanier
resswind at Lake Lanier, Georgiaâ€™s best-selling
but the JPX Works team anticipates
feet to 3,700 square feet and current
community for four consecutive
the unit count to ultimately land in
prices span from $2.8 million to
years, just released its final phase of
the mid-30s after residence combi-
$4.5 million. 404-446-2520,
home sites. Now is the time to come
nations. The remaining 2-bedroom
find your new home and explore the
homes are approximately 2,200
50 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
40,000-square-foot clubhouse and
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
spectacular Lake Lanier setting. Want to go first? Go now. It’s all here and waiting for you at Cresswind at Lake Lanier by Kolter Homes.
After years of research, Kolter
Homes has perfected a groundbreaking approach to homebuilding
that results in everything you’d
expect in a luxury home, plus the industry’s most solid construction, featuring Kolter Homes’ unique
We’ve made it this long by being LEGITIMATE, QUALIFIED, and
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ment the way you want to live. Just
Judy Mozen, MCR, GCP • Randy Urquhart, UDCP
beyond the waterfall at Cresswind’s private, gated entrance, you’ll find a
variety of two- and three-bedroom, ranch-style floor plans to fit every want and need. One visit and you’ll see why Cresswind at Lake Lanier is the most award-winning active adult community in the Atlanta area. With 11, fully furnished model homes, you can find just the plan that works best for you. Single-family homes are priced from the mid $200s to $600s. Move-in-ready homes are available now. 770-532-4926, cresswindatlakelanier.com
Towne Club Windermere the living is easy, W here Towne Club Windermere is the next step in rental retirement living. A country club lifestyle with conveniences and high-tech details that keep you engaged, connected
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 51
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
and in control, the thoughtfully planned campus is a gathering place for all ages. Services, amenities and programs focus on lifelong wellness and ease of life. Independent living, assisted living and memory care exist in one beautiful setting, just north of Atlanta in Cumming. 770-288-5102, towneclubwindermere.com
St. George Village
L S T. G E O R G E V I L L A G E
ocated on 20 beautifully landscaped acres in historic
Roswell, St. George Village offers an energetic, carefree and independent retirement lifestyle, enhanced by an unrivaled slate of first-class amenities, activities and cultural offerings. Owned by Catholic Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Inc. and managed by Wesley Woods Senior Living, Inc., which is affiliated with world-renowned Emory Healthcare, it maintains a longstanding tradition of excellence that extends far beyond the local community. Every aspect of St. George Village â€” from the elegantly appointed residences, fine and casual dining rooms and well-equipped fitness center to a wide array of educational, travel and social activities â€” has been meticulously designed for the enjoyment and comfort of their residents. And, as a Life Plan Community, St. George Village provides a secure, worry-free future through guaranteed access to its healthcare
52 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 53
12 IN 2017
communities, if and when needed. Book your personal tour today
and see why the St. George Village retirement living experience is so
here’s something special about the lake and the
mountains, and when you add one of
the most pristine lakes in the Southeast and less than a 40-minute
nspired Living at Alpharetta, a vibrant community nestled
drive from Atlanta, you completely L A K E A R ROW H E A D
redefine living. Welcome to the 540-acre, 21-mile shoreline of Lake
Inspired Living helps resi-
Arrowhead, a private community
in the heart of Alpharetta, is
dents enjoy a truly rewarding and
conveniently located with easy
engaging lifestyle. Their wide range
access to Old Milton Parkway and
of lifestyle options and care levels
with 38 new home sites, the newest
Alpharetta’s exclusive restaurants
include well-appointed suites and
neighborhood underway is Sanc-
and shopping. Purposefully designed
independent living apartments as
tuary Cove with a limited number
with a variety of services and
well as inspiring health and wellness
of lakefront home sites boasting
amenities, Inspired Living
programs. Should a health issue
panoramic views and individual
Alpharetta features a fenced-in dog
arise, assisted living and memory
deep-water docks. Plus, designs have
park for pet-friendly residents,
care services are available, all within
begun and a “By Invitation Only”
putting greens, a swimming pool
an enriching, engaging, homelike
presales list has opened on a new
with tiki bar, breathtaking views
environment. Schedule a tour today.
portfolio of townhomes. With the
and beautifully landscaped
54 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
just outside of Canton. In addition to Highlands Vista,
8 miles of hiking and nature trails, outdoor concerts, resort style pool
and more, there’s something to
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
lure everyone to Lake Arrowhead.
construction, as her dad sold a lot of
mountain properties, so she
naturally has a good working
Rachel Callihan Cowart for Harry Norman Realtors
knowledge of the locally built cabins. Already well-known for its
The River Club
f it’s true that privacy is the new luxury, then it’s no
wonder why the River Club has kept its place among Atlanta’s most
fishing, gold, horseback rides and
coveted lifestyles. The distinctive
the famous Blue Ridge Scenic
Greeter’s Cottage signifies entry into
Railway train that winds its way
a community of exquisite custom
native of Fannin County,
through the mountains, now the
homes built around the emerald
Rachel Callihan Cowart’s
Blue Ridge area is booming. New
jewel of its Greg Norman-designed
family was one of the first to settle
shops continue to open, restaurants
golf course, the River Club is
there. There are two mountains, a
continue to thrive and the way of life
unmatched in the marketplace. The
book and a creek named after them.
continues at a peaceful, joyful pace.
clubhouse is the focal point of
She grew up riding her horse along
Come experience it for yourself.
community events and fundraisers,
the beautiful trail of Cashes Valley
706-632-7211 or 706-258-8067,
with a state-of-the-art fitness center
and also grew up in real estate and
rivaled only by its spa.
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 55
At every turn, the River Club
new living arrangements for the
elevates the standard for architec-
seniors in your life. If it’s time, you
tural quality, community design and
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
preservation of the land. Situated on more than 700 acres adjacent to national forest and the quiet flow of the Chattahoochee River, the community’s developer followed environmentally sensitive practices to preserve the land with utmost care – even preserving 88 acres with the Trust for Public Land, and seeking certification by Audubon International of the 18-hole golf course. The River Club’s homebuilders were carefully selected based on their commitment to superior building practices. Counted among the most acclaimed luxury home
2016 Atlanta Builder of the Year, the River Club’s Builder Guild™ offers an unparalleled portfolio of uniquely designed homes. Or, if you prefer, each builder will work directly with you and an architect of your choice to create your custom dream home. 678-541-6434, riverclub.com
Parc at DuluthJohns Creek
have discovered the right place at Parc at Duluth-Johns Creek, Atlanta’s premier senior living option. Parc at Duluth-Johns Creek is located in one of Atlanta’s most desirable neighborhoods and offers the finest lifestyle experiences for senior adults. Parc Communities has been a leader in Atlanta for over 15 years and recognizes the health benefits of vibrant and engaging social environments, which stimulate intellectual opportunities and healthy lifestyle options. Their motto, “Ladies and gentlemen
ake time out of the hustle
serving ladies and gentlemen,”
and bustle this holiday
is more than a slogan – it is
builders in Atlanta, including the
season and reflect upon whether it
2016 Obie Award winner and the
may be the right time to consider
their passion. Parc Communities feature spacious apartment homes, daily fine dining, wellness, concierge service, social activities and events, housekeeping, maintenance, scheduled transportation and the 24/7 service and support of Parc’s exceptional staff. Notwithstanding Parc’s wonderful amenities and features, it is the people at Parc Communities that earn their award-winning reputation. Parc Communities’ service standards were developed by Horst Schulze, former president of RitzCarlton hotels, and every member of the Parc Communities’ staff is trained to uphold these exceptional standards of excellence – to be attentive, responsive, relaxed and friendly. Visit today to see for yourself what residents and their families experience at Parc Communities. 770-622-6880, parccommunities.com
56 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 57
MINUTES IN ...
NORCROSS + PEACHTREE CORNERS written by JENNIFER COLOSIMO written by LAUREN VASTINE Nodding to their ever-changing charm and steady draw, we’re highlighting ways to spend 200 minutes in a different Points North Atlanta community for each of our 2017 issues. Whether you spend all 200 minutes in one place or divvy it up to discover several, enjoying your time in this neighborhood starts now.
N. P EAC HTR EE S T.
HW Y. 1 41
OAD GE R BRID NES W. JO
THE EVOLUTION OF GWINNETT COUNTY’S WEST SIDE is something to revel in. This area, once home to Creek and Cherokee Indian tribes, now reveals as many wonders as any downtown Atlanta address, and just like those locals, you can explore most of these wonders via foot or pedal. You’ll find new and noteworthy to-dos along the railroad in charming historic downtown Norcross, or off Peachtree Parkway in the sprawls of Gwinnett’s newest — and largest — city, Peachtree Corners. If you go chronologically, then technically, Peachtree Corners (the area formerly known as Pinckneyville) came first, as early pioneers settled there in the 1820s. However, the idea for its current appeal didn’t arrive until the 1970s, when businessman Paul Duke imagined a community where one could live, work and play without having to drive into town. Arguably one of the first master-planned communities of the greater Atlanta area came to fruition with the 300-acre Technology Park and grew to include residential neighborhoods tucked into a tree-lined office park of like-minded companies, churches, schools and parks. Peachtree Corners remains a popular place to take up business or residence (city hall grants approximately 30 business licenses per month and no one pays property taxes). Meanwhile for others, Peachtree Corners is quite the gem for shopping, snacking and sporting. All that to say, this month marks its fifth anniversary as an a t t R a i h v h e ooc he er C official city, and with the county’s biggest popQ JONES BRIDGE PARK ulation, it’s making a new kind of history. E. Across the divide, Norcross is the JO N JONES ES county’s second oldest city, boasting Q BRIDGE BR CIRCLE MEDLOCK ID a rich history dating back to its BRIDGE G E NATIONAL foundation in 1870. Since those RO SIMPSONWOOD Q RECREATION AD PARK early days, it has been a stop AREA PE along the Richmond & Danville A THE FORUM C CH Railroad, a getaway for AtlanO T ON PEACHTREE Q C RN RE PARKWAY IR E E tans visiting the once-famous C RS LE Brunswick Inn, home to one Q HOLCOMB Q BRIDGE . of the country’s biggest talent D LV PARK LB SPALDING DR. pools for baseball players at A I TR US the time and a rifle range for D IN EE Camp Gordon during World R Q HT AC War I. PE Despite fading from the spotlight as transportation shifted from the railways to BA Q BELLIES Thrasher Park the roads, the city is rising again Discovery with a community committed to Garden Park celebrating its roots and a resurgence Lillian Webb Mojitos Park of its charm. And that charm guarantees plenty to tempt your tastes. Q
58 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
Discovery Garden Park, Norcross PHOTOS COURTESY OF CITY OF NORCROSS
Two-Hundred MINUTES IN ... NORCROSS + PEACHTREE CORNERS
N U M B E R GARDENS OF DISCOVERY
Little Free Library
Speaking of roots, the first person I met during my day trip to historic downtown Norcross was Deb Harris, director of the new Discovery Garden Park behind the Welcome Center. Packed with history and plenty of guidance on how to discover current happenings, the city’s oldest building also provides a front door to this green addition. “When I think of Norcross, I really think of a city of friends,” Harris said as we weaved through the artfully overflowing plots of flowers, edibles and eclectic yard art. “Even though we might not all have lived here forever, when we go out and do things and see each other, you just feel like they’re your friends. It really feels like a small town where everyone knows each other.” Point made, as Harris paused our conversation several times to trade tips on what was growing with other gardeners or to catch up on preparations for the
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CITY OF NORCROSS; JENNIFER COLOSIMO
60 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
coming weekendâ€™s events. With 35 raised beds rented by community members or organizations (the fire station has an enviable selection of fresh veggies and herbs), the group is having fun figuring out how to fill in the rest of their square footage. Currently, they tend straw bale gardening plots courtesy of William Makson, owner of the nearby VSOP Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom. Harris and company also are experimenting with a free-play childrenâ€™s garden, gourd vines along the fence, community compost bins and two pollinator beds from a grant the garden received from Food
Well Alliance. Quaint as its idea, the area packs picnic tables for gardening breaks and a Little Free Library established by a local Girl Scout, encompassing a pretty tempting reason to stop and smell the roses.
While downtown has a lot of green thumbs in training, Sustainable Norcross is a nonprofit organization that aims to keep this little city as
Lillian Webb Park
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 61
Two-Hundred MINUTES IN ... NORCROSS + PEACHTREE CORNERS
pretty as ever, forever. Among many efforts ranging from energy and water conservation to recycling and alternate transportation, they inspire the residents who live here now to work toward creating a better future for residents of tomorrow. Sustaining more reasons to get outside, Norcross packs a big calendar. This month kicked off “Jazz in the Alley” amidst an already stellar lineup for the free annual summer concert series. Claim your seat for performances by Breakfast Club on July 14,
Laura Coyle and Mylah on July 22 and Liverpool Legends, a Beatles-tribute band, on July 28. “Movies in the Park” will continue through August and the fall delivers weekend-long celebrations around art, history, ghosts, shopping and more. My kids preferred hours spent in Thrasher Park, Norcross’s oldest park with
several inviting swings, a massive playground, pavilion and a front-row seat for the frequent train passing. A short walk away is Lillian Webb Park, where you can cool down on the splash pad or chill out beside the serene waterfall. Rossie Brundage, Betty Mauldin and several other small parks make it hard to retreat back to your car. After all, this city is made for walking, with something to see on every corner and plenty of storefronts requiring you to work up an appetite.
For my crew, that appetite led us to Mojito’s. Commonly named a downtown staple, its long line and continual stream of lunchtime traffic supported the rumor that this place is a can’t-miss. Learn for yourself with a sampling of crunchy, hot empanadas smeared with cool avocado cream sauce and stuffed with melted cheese and either seasoned beef, chicken or spinach and PHOTOS COURTESY OF NOBLE FIN RESTAURANT
62 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
mushrooms. As a main course, I couldn’t resist the original Cuban sandwich, but worthy amended versions exist. Based on one bite of both the Elena Ruth and the Media Noche, it might be hard to keep your order simple. One thing is certain: no matter what kind of dish you indulge in, wash it down with their namesake cocktail. At the risk of sounding cliché, it may be the best you’ll ever have. Though we chose to indulge in Cuban fare, plenty of other countries are represented on the century-old main drags. We could have easily split a New Yorknamed pizza at Paizanos, crunched into Arrachera tacos at Z’apata, devoured family-style spaghetti at Dominicks or ponied up for a pint at Iron Horse Tavern. The flavor continues over the train tracks. In Peachtree Corners, what you might dismiss as dated shopping centers actually house ample enticement to explore a little longer. My hidden gem of choice is the Asian gastropub Ba Bellies. Serving intrigue to both devour and drink, it features an extensive, rotating craft beer list and a menu that combines Southern classics with an Asian twist. I ordered the tangy Ahi Tuna Poké served on crispy shrimp crackers before two-handing the eclectic Chile-Basil Fried Chicken Sammich with fried-infish-sauce “tiger sprouts.” No less delicious is the comfort-food level Shaking
Beef Bo Luc Lac, a bowl of tender, wok-fired filet tossed with caramelized onion, watercress, lime, tomato and black pepper, coated in their special glaze and served over a bed of jasmine rice. Up the road is the year-old Noble Fin which showcases former in-town 4th & Swift chef and owner Jay Swift’s fresh-food philosophy in a New Englandstyle fish house that many locals have deemed their new special occasion place. Based on my experience, it’s going to be hard to limit your visits to this seafood mecca. Alongside his son, Jeb Aldrich, Swift has curated a menu of fresh catches, fried shrimp, hearty sides and prime-cut steaks that could eliminate the need for beach vacations and in-town dinner date nights. Try the grouper — driven in twice a week straight from the St. Petersburg, Florida docks — served with a quartered and caramelized Vidalia onion over English pea fricassee and guanciale. The dish is punctuated by sweet preserved lemon sauce and espelette aioli. Or, treat yourself to their most famous dish, the Maryland crab cake, a breading-free, succulent lump crab dream which Swift, a Baltimore native, crafts to rival anything you’d order near the Inner Harbor. Add in half shell happy hours, a lengthy libations list and cool, coastal-inspired décor, and anytime you dine here is going to be a special occasion.
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 63
Two-Hundred MINUTES IN ... NORCROSS + PEACHTREE CORNERS
Outdoor Festival in Peachtree Corners
OUTDOOR OASES If you still find time to spare on Gwinnett’s west side, you can shop until you drop. Just don’t forget the sunscreen. The Forum in Peachtree Corners is an outdoor mall offering shopping in the sunshine at favorites like fab’rik, Lizard Thicket and Dress Up Boutique, but also boasts finds like the collection of preowned designer handbags at Bella Bag’s second location or Prototype Prime
64 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
Crafted, a storefront originally
opened on Atlanta’s Westside that mentors and supports new business owners as their brands get off the ground. Their suburb shop (they’ve also got locations in Brickworks Midtown, Westside Provisions District and Lenox Square
Mall, as well as pop-up shops throughout the year) show-
Innovative products and ideas
cases local artisans selling a
burst from the seams of this
myriad of unique fashion and
hub. Check them out online
the area’s new multi-use trail,
shopping bags to stay on my
or pop in and see what they’re
which will span 11.5 miles of
bike, I’m definitely open to
thinking up today.
pathway for bikers and hikers
carrying this particular
to explore their neighbor-
Just beyond The Forum is a way to enjoy the city’s other resource: The Chattahoochee River. Spanning 7 miles of the city limits, you can enjoy the sparkling banks inside Holcomb Bridge Park, Simpson-
or via water toys at the area’s
A CENTER FOR SYNERGY
state park, the Medlock Bridge
Perhaps most exciting for the
National Recreation Area.
city of Peachtree Corners is
wood Park, Jones Bridge Park
place that this city needs.”
With the only question left
It also will bear the hub for
being how to get all of my
hood, commute to work or get exercise as it winds through Technology Park and the new Town Center.
aplacetoimagine.com peachtreecornersga.gov theforumonpeachtree.com prototypeprime.com
the highly anticipated 20-acre
AN INCUBATOR FOR IDEAS Nodding to the roots of
Town Center coming in fall 2018. From new restaurants and shops to office space, a movie theater, high-end townhomes and a public Town Green, this new project promises a calendar full of concerts, festivals and green space.
Peachtree Corner’s original
“This city is really
idea for business, Prototype
coming into its own,” said
Prime is turning new wheels
Judy Putnam, communica-
on the technology industry.
tions director for the City of
An incubator supporting
Peachtree Corners. “What
started as an idea for a place
nies and ideas, it rents shared
that would inspire creativity
workspace to inspire cool
and to be inventive through
stuff for the future. From 3D
trees and a natural environ-
models built to alert farmers
ment is becoming something
to irrigation needs to the ways
with true synergy. Soon, you’ll
social media can change
be able to walk, sit, relax or
sporting events, this bright,
watch your children play right
pop-color space is just beg-
in the middle of town. Town
ging for more brainstorms.
Center will be the gathering
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE CITY OF PEACHTREE CORNERS
July 2017 | PointsNorthAtlanta.com | 65
Off the PAGE
JOIN ACT TOGETHER MINISTRIES AS THEY start the school year off by giving back to their community. On July 22, His Hands Church in Woodstock is hosting a back-to-school event for low-income and foster children. These children will have the chance to receive haircuts, medical and dental screenings and new school supplies. In addition to participating in this event, Act Together Ministries is looking for volunteers who specialize in those areas, as well as school supply donations. actogetherministries.org — Olivia Kolkana Find more local happenings at pointsnorthatlanta.com/calendar-of-events Send submissions a full two months in advance to email@example.com
Picknicking: a pretty excuse to drink in the park. Sharing some picnic essentials with @lucys_market on the blog today and on select newsstands that carry @pointsnorthatl June’s issue! @lucys_market: This is so cute!! @our.southern.life: Cute set-up and those sandwiches look way good!
Linen & Flax Home: “We’re so proud to call Roswell our home! Thanks for the feature Points North Magazine!”
SEND We love to hear feedback from readers. Get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. “As a member of the Atlanta Rowing Club since 1981, I want to compliment Brooks Metzler on [his] recent article on the Atlanta Rowing Club (ARC). As a coach of the Lake Lanier Rowing Club (LLRC) in Gainesville, however, I would point out that ARC is not the only rowing club in north Georgia to offer learn-to-row classes for all ages, including masters. LLRC has classes throughout the summer for those who would like to learn the esoteric art of rowing. LLRC also has healthy competitive programs for both masters and juniors.”— Bill Akins
IN OUR JUNE ISSUE, the feature “Advice from Neighborhood Pharmacists” included valuable information intended to share clinical and budget-based advice from neighborhood pharmacists. Recognized regionally and nationally as an expert in Transitions of Care and medication management, Dr. Jennifer Shannon is the owner of and clinical pharmacist at Lily’s Pharmacy in Johns Creek. Her participation in our article is greatly appreciated and we regret any association that our sidebar titled “High Drug Costs, What Can You Do?” seems to suggest. In no way does Shannon recommend anything included in this sidebar. Her suggestion, instead, is to find a good, local pharmacist that you can talk to directly and is one who has relationships with local prescribers and then stick with them. Don’t fall for the mail-order “bait and switch” which suggests they can save you money (they can’t) and please don’t shop your drugs around — that is the leading cause of hospitalizations due to medication use. It is critical to have one gatekeeper looking at your entire medication profile before you put potentially dangerous chemicals into your body. ON THE COVER OF OUR MAY 2017 ISSUE, the members of the Atlanta Junior Rowing Association were identified as the Atlanta Rowing Club. In our “Guide to Summertime Fun” in the same issue, Raft One’s website should have been listed as raft1.com and the Ocoee River was spelled incorrectly.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CYNTHIA VOIGT; LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER ATLANTA
66 | POINTS NORTH | July 2017
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July 2017 Issue