One of my favorite things about being an admission counselor is finding special “corners” where I can feel at home in the cities I visit in my region. Case in point: during my first two-week trip to Philadelphia, I had lattes at three different local coffee shops and visited two hole-in-the-wall bookstores before I made it downtown to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Now when I make my regular visits to Philly, instead of answering email in my hotel room, I work at my favorite local coffee house and sandwich shop, The Outbound Station, in Conshohocken. The welcoming family that owns and operates this former train depot knows me by name, brews excellent coffee, and makes the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve had outside the Southeast (and that’s saying something).
I found Outbound by word of mouth, not a guide book, and those types of experiences make me feel even more connected to the varied communities I’m getting to know in my region. That’s the kind of interaction I hope to promote here in my hometown of Atlanta. Don’t get me wrong. Tourist attractions can be key parts of a city visit, and I recommend great tourist sites in Atlanta on this blog every month. For example, a wonderful day downtown could include The Coca-Cola Museum, a place to learn some fun Atlanta history and taste Coca-Cola products from across the globe (make sure you try The Beverly!), and The Georgia Aquarium, a destination in its own right and one of the largest aquariums in the world.
The next day, however, you might step off the beaten path and explore two of Atlanta’s new cultural hot spots: Krog Street Market and Westside Provisions District. I’ve spent time in both this summer and am a huge fan!
Krog Street Market, located on the east side of Midtown Atlanta, is housed inside a renovated 100-year-old factory warehouse right around the corner from the eastside trail of the BeltLine (wonderful itself; don’t get me started – subject for another month!). Accessibility, creative investors, and culinary craftsmen have made this “the place” to spend your weekend. There’s almost no end to the diversity of food, with restaurants and food stalls available throughout the market. My personal favorite is Superica, where awe-inspiring interior design meets fabulous, family-style Mex-Tex cuisine (yep, Mex-Tex; they like it different). Sit on the breezy outdoor patio where you can people-watch and listen to music. The perfect follow-up to Superica is either ice cream from Jeni’s or a pastry from The Little Tart (slogan: “Break hearts, not tarts!”). After you’ve checked out the retail stalls you can hop on the BeltLine for a quick walk to Inman Park or Piedmont Park.
Westside Provisions District (WSPD), located on the west side of Midtown Atlanta, is a collection of converted industrial buildings offering an abundance of eclectic retail and casual-to-fine dining. Amidst its offerings is Atlanta’s culinary gem, Bacchanalia, widely considered to be the best restaurant in the city and a destination point in the Southeast. With beautiful, panoramic views of the city skyline and a plethora of outdoor seating between shops and restaurants, WSPD is the perfect place for an evening out. It’s also ideal for a Sunday morning during the summer, when it plays host to one of Atlanta’s most popular farmers markets, the Westside Farmers Market.
If you’re in Atlanta visiting Emory University this August, we hope you plan time in your trip to get to know our city. In addition to our location suggestions above, we also recommend the events below to make your visit even more memorable!
Amidst current exhibitions of the 100th anniversary of the Coca-Cola bottle, African Art, and the work of internationally acclaimed artist, Alex Katz (just to name a few), you can find a new exhibit from contemporary Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena. This is their second installment in a long-term project devoted to making art tangible and helping people engage with it physically. In this installment, visitors can spin around in life-size versions of the spinning top! Free entertainment and performances are offered on the piazza every first and third Friday.
*Quick tip—Check with your bank about free museum weekends! Almost all banks designate a certain weekend each month during which their clients can gain free admission to Atlanta arts venues by showing their debit or credit card with the bank name.
“Decatur BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival” in Harmony Park, Decatur. Saturday, August 15.
This is the 15th annual celebration of great food and great music in south Decatur. Whether you consider yourself a BBQ aficionado or just love the stuff, this event is for you since it is catered by Fox Brothers, Williamson Bros., and Sweet Auburn (the Atlanta BBQ trifecta!). Enjoy live music throughout the day while tasting the best BBQ Atlanta has to offer. Tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the gate.
“Festival Peachtree Latino” at Piedmont Park. Sunday, August 23.
Enjoying its 15th anniversary in Atlanta, this festival is widely regarded as the largest multicultural event in the Southeast. Spend the afternoon at the park walking through artist exhibitions, enjoying international cuisine, and listening to live music from both internationally renowned musicians and local Atlanta musicians.
“Grant Park Summer Shade Festival” at Grant Park. Saturday, August 29-Sunday, August 30.
Similar to many of our summer festivals mentioned so far, this is a great way to enjoy one of Atlanta’s unique neighborhoods while listening to live music, eating local fare, and exploring artist markets.
‘Til next month!
Farish Jerman 11C*
Senior Admission Counselor
Office of Undergraduate Admission
* Emory uses these abbreviations to designate graduation year. For example, Farish graduated from Emory College of Emory University in 2011.