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Best of Atlanta 2013 Index

 

2013 Best Of Atlanta Large


2013 Index of Winners

Best elected state official BOA Award Winner

State Rep. Stacey Evans
She doesn't have a reserved seat on Sunday morning talk shows like Mayor Kasim Reed. Nor the penchant for protests like state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta. But State Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, deserves every bit as much of the spotlight. CL bestowed her with a 2012 Arnie Award - our annual accolademore...
She doesn't have a reserved seat on Sunday morning talk shows like Mayor Kasim Reed. Nor the penchant for protests like state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta. But State Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, deserves every bit as much of the spotlight. CL bestowed her with a 2012 Arnie Award - our annual accolade for do-gooders under the Gold Dome - for coming back early from maternity leave to protest abortion legislation by wrapping herself in caution tape with other female Democratic lawmakers on the House floor. Evans took home yet another Arnie in 2013, this time for her adamant push to lower the HOPE scholarship's grade point average requirements for tech school students. Her proposal, which was designed to give students better access to vocational training opportunities at technical colleges, gained bipartisan support from her fellow lawmakers - as well as a reluctant Gov. Nathan Deal. www.staceyevans.org. less...

Best free annual event BOA Award Winner

Dogwood Festival AND SweetWater 420 Fest

Best local blog BOA Award Winner

Wrestling with Pop Culture

Best morning drive-time radio show BOA Award Winner

"The Regular Guys" on 100.5 (WNNX-FM)

Best non-commercial radio station BOA Award Winner

90.1 (WABE-FM)

Best rabble-rouser BOA Award Winner

Common Cause Georgia
While progressive political group Better Georgia has emerged as a major GOP foe and a force to be reckoned with, Common Cause Georgia truly deserves applause for daring to question City Hall and the business elite. Amid the rushed process of the Atlanta Falcons' new stadium deal, the ethics watchdogmore...
While progressive political group Better Georgia has emerged as a major GOP foe and a force to be reckoned with, Common Cause Georgia truly deserves applause for daring to question City Hall and the business elite. Amid the rushed process of the Atlanta Falcons' new stadium deal, the ethics watchdog group stood as one of the few steadfast opponents and continuously expressed concerns. The organization called out city officials, most notably Mayor Kasim Reed, for what it considered a failure to maintain transparency. Common Cause also raised hell over the use the hotel and motel tax, from which at least $200 million (and potentially hundreds of millions more) will go toward the stadium's construction. In the end, Common Cause made a valiant, albeit unsuccessful, effort to collect 35,000 signatures to force the issue to a referendum. www.commoncause.org/ga. less...

Best radio station BOA Award Winner

105.7 (WRDA-FM)

Best stray animal BOA Award Winner

Piper the Beltline Cat
Not too many animals, domesticated or not, have their own Facebook page with more than 4,600 likes. But Piper the Beltline Cat, so named for her home in a drainage pipe along the Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail, has become an Atlanta celebrity and unofficial mascot for the smart-growth project evermore...
Not too many animals, domesticated or not, have their own Facebook page with more than 4,600 likes. But Piper the Beltline Cat, so named for her home in a drainage pipe along the Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail, has become an Atlanta celebrity and unofficial mascot for the smart-growth project ever since she cozied up in the metal coop earlier this year. It was there that she would chow down on Fancy Feast and "read" fan mail left in the mailbox admirers planted in her front yard. That is, until she was "bought out" by a developer building a residential complex atop her claimed home. No worries, however. The feline apparently found a new home a few blocks from the Beltline in a similar pipe attached to a bungalow. A big *pawbump* (her catchphrase, not ours) to the city's coolest stray. www.facebook.com/BeltLinePiper. less...

Best street BOA Award Winner

Peachtree Street

Best vision for Atlanta's west side BOA Award Winner

Northside Drive Corridor Study
Walk along Northside Drive and you'll pass auto shops, stores set far back from the street, and traffic congestion. Try to cross the busy north-south thoroughfare and you better have a will. Georgia Tech professor Mike Dobbins and a group of his students have set out to overhaul what's essentially anmore...
Walk along Northside Drive and you'll pass auto shops, stores set far back from the street, and traffic congestion. Try to cross the busy north-south thoroughfare and you better have a will. Georgia Tech professor Mike Dobbins and a group of his students have set out to overhaul what's essentially an intown highway. Over the course of a year, the former Atlanta planning commissioner and his pupils brainstormed and created the Northside Drive Corridor Study, a beautiful vision of transit, mixed-use development, and walkable environments that could improve Northside Drive. Among the proposals: starting bus rapid transit, turning the reservoir along Howell Mill Road into a park, and promoting dense, mixed-income developments. The analysis was timely - both a new Atlanta Falcons stadium and possible Amtrak and Greyhound stations are being considered along the road, which could mean major changes in the years to come. Heavy-hitters such as Central Atlanta Progress, the Midtown Alliance, City Hall, and Georgia Department of Transportation sponsored the study, so it's likely it will have some strong advocates when upgrades are considered. www.northsidedrvision.gatech.edu. less...

Best barbershop BOA Award Winner

Roosters Men's Grooming Center

Best bikini wax BOA Award Winner

And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best crossfit BOA Award Winner

Best doggie day care BOA Award Winner

We try not to get our feelings hurt when we drop off "Luke" and "Lola" at Bark ATL on our way Downtown. As soon as we pull into the driveway, they do everything but shout "See ya!" as they leap toward the friendly attendants waiting at the back gate, completely forgetting to give us our goodbye kiss.more...
We try not to get our feelings hurt when we drop off "Luke" and "Lola" at Bark ATL on our way Downtown. As soon as we pull into the driveway, they do everything but shout "See ya!" as they leap toward the friendly attendants waiting at the back gate, completely forgetting to give us our goodbye kiss. Missing those pups, we can't help but sneak online a few hundred times a day to peek in on their activities, all captured on Bark ATL's Bark Cams, or check the Bark ATL Facebook page or Twitter feed for status updates and photos. Sunny out? They're no doubt splashing near the pool or sunning on the patio. Midday thunderstorms? They're likely snuggled indoors napping on their favorite blue cots. Time to play? There are plastic castles and bridges to explore, new friends to roughhouse, and tails to catch. Whenever we check in, things always appear tidy and under control, just the way we like it. For extras, we indulge in nail trims and holiday photo sessions, because nothing says Christmas like your dog sitting on a white cotton cloud wearing a red Santa hat or fuzzy brown antlers. less...

Best fashion blogger BOA Award Winner

Witty + Pretty

Best fashion designer to watch BOA Award Winner

Afriyie Poku
In Afriyie Poku's native homeland of Ghana, the word oberima is like saying "gentleman" or "you're the man." So it's fitting that Poku would name his new luxury collection Oberima Afriyie, considering the young designer's mission to redefine the modern gent. Though the look book is still under developmentmore...
In Afriyie Poku's native homeland of Ghana, the word oberima is like saying "gentleman" or "you're the man." So it's fitting that Poku would name his new luxury collection Oberima Afriyie, considering the young designer's mission to redefine the modern gent. Though the look book is still under development for a 2014 debut, his menswear designs have already earned top honors at Peroni Style Atlanta's 2012 show and Charleston, S.C.'s 2013 Fashion Week. His personal style skirts a fine line between effeminacy and masculinity, which carries over into his designs. Bearing a strong 19th-century influence, his line features such fancifully constructed items as high-waisted riding pants and double-breasted morning coats. But he keeps it edgy and contemporary with additions like shendyt pants, derived from Egyptian waist wraps. It's a progressive look for 21st century menswear, but surely you can pull it off if you're the man. www.facebook.com/afriyiepoku. less...

Best florist BOA Award Winner

Candler Park Flower Market

Best gym BOA Award Winner

And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best independent bookstore BOA Award Winner

Charis Books and More

Best jewelry BOA Award Winner

Worthmore Jewelers

Best mart for cultural immersion BOA Award Winner

Super H Mart
Doraville's Super H Mart is part of a nationwide chain that originated in Korea and specializes in Asian foods. Of the four Georgia stores, the Doraville location is open 365 days a year, but the best time to visit is on the weekend for free food demos. There are entire aisles dedicated to soy saucemore...
Doraville's Super H Mart is part of a nationwide chain that originated in Korea and specializes in Asian foods. Of the four Georgia stores, the Doraville location is open 365 days a year, but the best time to visit is on the weekend for free food demos. There are entire aisles dedicated to soy sauce (more than 70 brands and varieties), sake (60 chilled, 26 non-chilled), Japanese and Korean snacks, teas, and seaweed. The rice section is practically a United Nations assembly, with dozens of different types originating from India, Japan, Thailand, Korea, and Jamaica. Even pressurized rice cookers run the gamut, from $29 to $500. Raw marinated Korean barbecue (otherwise known as bulgogi) is available to cook at home, along with sashimi for sushi and many types of the popular Korean condiment kimchi. In addition to Asian foods, Super H Mart also has fruits and vegetables from around the world. And don't forget to hit the food court on your way out to enjoy some great Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, or Chinese food, and sweets from the Korean bakery. It's cultural immersion without the expensive plane ticket. less...

Best place to wax-on wax-off BOA Award Winner

Remember that scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin when Andy's bootleg full-body waxing left him a bloody pulp of a mess? Not to worry at Wax. Owner Myka Barbato started the full-service studio as an alternative to places where waxing was either a total afterthought or too timely and costly. Formerly locatedmore...
Remember that scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin when Andy's bootleg full-body waxing left him a bloody pulp of a mess? Not to worry at Wax. Owner Myka Barbato started the full-service studio as an alternative to places where waxing was either a total afterthought or too timely and costly. Formerly located in Inman Park, Wax moved this year to Old Fourth Ward's Studioplex into a similarly sleek, modern space. Wax still covers hair removal from the rooter to the tooter, including the Brazilian ($55) for women and the Manzilian ($75) for men. The best part is the commitment to healthy, hygienic services, which means no double-dipping or re-using wax and no environmentally toxic products. That's good news for wax virgins and old pros, alike. less...

Best reinvention of a beloved neighborhood outpost BOA Award Winner

When Young Blood Boutique owners Kelly Teasley and Maggie White announced last winter that they were putting their longtime Poncey-Highland art shop up for sale, Atlantans let out a collective, "NOOOOOOOOO!" For 15 years, Young Blood had supported local artists with a shop and gallery space and nurturedmore...
When Young Blood Boutique owners Kelly Teasley and Maggie White announced last winter that they were putting their longtime Poncey-Highland art shop up for sale, Atlantans let out a collective, "NOOOOOOOOO!" For 15 years, Young Blood had supported local artists with a shop and gallery space and nurtured a fresh generation of talent. But before you could say "Regretsy," local ladies Rebecca Hanna, Jessie White, and Erica Jamison stepped up to purchase the business and continue its DIY mission. (White and Teasley retain ownership of the gallery portion in name.) The new owners cleared out the store, gave it a modern face-lift with crisp white paint and dark wood accents, and streamlined the inventory. Where T-shirts and onesies once resided now hang suspended wood racks of prints by Methane Studios and Brainstorm. Local vendors Vouched Books and Dust-to-Digital records both have racks of curated goodies. Practically the entire left wall is adorned with jewelry by Erica Weiner, Sanctuary, Seaworthy, Crafts and Love, and more. There are sumptuous Neva Opet bags, rustic handmade frames by the Atlanta-based Blackrabbet, and yes, there's still gallery space. Jamison moved her MINT Gallery into the back of the building for regular exhibits. It's never fun to say goodbye to an old friend. Thankfully, Young Blood's spirit lives on in this fresh reinvention. less...

Best shopping district BOA Award Winner

Little Five Points

Best soul soothing music store BOA Award Winner

Atlanta's internationally recognized soul scene wouldn't have a brick-and-mortar hub without Moods Music in Little Five Points. Owner Darryl Harris celebrates 13 years in business this month, which is practically a lifetime in independent-record-store years. From vintage to nu soul, Moods Music is allmore...
Atlanta's internationally recognized soul scene wouldn't have a brick-and-mortar hub without Moods Music in Little Five Points. Owner Darryl Harris celebrates 13 years in business this month, which is practically a lifetime in independent-record-store years. From vintage to nu soul, Moods Music is all about supporting the genre in all its glorious forms. Moods is also known for its special events, whether it's hosting in-store appearances for out-of-town artists such as Australia's Hiatus Kaiyote before a recently scheduled concert or throwing a listening party and meet-and-greet for Atlanta-based favorites like Anthony David. Besides carrying an extensive collection of CDs from hyperlocal to global acts, Moods has expanded its product line to include live performances and classic black films on DVD, a line of Moods Music T-shirts, and complimentary teas for regulars. And the couches provide a perfect place to lounge while vibing to the sounds. With nurturing like that, it's no wonder why the city's soul community continues to flourish. less...

Best use for a recycled skateboard BOA Award Winner

Deck Specks
If you need proof that Atlanta is a bona fide skate town, look no further than Deck Specks. The independent company makes handcrafted sunglasses (about $95/pair) out of used skateboard decks - hence the name. Started by co-owner Luke Bullard, Deck Specks is a bare-bones six-man operation run by realmore...
If you need proof that Atlanta is a bona fide skate town, look no further than Deck Specks. The independent company makes handcrafted sunglasses (about $95/pair) out of used skateboard decks - hence the name. Started by co-owner Luke Bullard, Deck Specks is a bare-bones six-man operation run by real skaters. They take used skateboards, donated by Atlanta skaters and such shops as Little Five Points' Stratosphere, and individually de-grip each board before cutting out the frames, planing, and sanding each pair down. The wood-grain finishes retain the skateboards graphics and stains. And though multiple glasses are cut from each board, every pair is unique. So in addition to authenticity points, wearers can take pride in knowing that there won't be any shady replicas within eyeshot. www.deckspecks.com. less...

Best burritos BOA Award Winner

Bell Street Burritos

Best chef BOA Award Winner

Kevin Rathbun

Best cupcakes BOA Award Winner

CamiCakes Cupcakes

Best foodie Tweeter BOA Award Winner

Best gluten-friendly BOA Award Winner

Yeah! Burger

Best Mixologist BOA Award Winner

Miles Macquarrie

Best new restaurant trend BOA Award Winner

Farm-to-table

Best place to eat like you're in China BOA Award Winner

Located in the Atlanta Chinatown Mall's food court, Hong Kong BBQ gets you in and out quickly. In fact, taking the food to go is a great way to enjoy the Chinese barbecue and Cantonese specialties. Whether sliced in clear soup with thin noodles or as a platter with steamed rice, watching the chefs carvemore...
Located in the Atlanta Chinatown Mall's food court, Hong Kong BBQ gets you in and out quickly. In fact, taking the food to go is a great way to enjoy the Chinese barbecue and Cantonese specialties. Whether sliced in clear soup with thin noodles or as a platter with steamed rice, watching the chefs carve the glossy ducks and barbecued pork with a menacing cleaver is always fun. The large menu also features addictive dishes such as the sour cabbage and sausage fried rice and a stellar version of Hainanese chicken rice. Cash only or you'll go hungry. less...

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