NFT Atlanta Georgia Tech / Midtown

Georgia Tech / Midtown

The interstate used to separate Georgia Tech from the heart of Midtown, but Technology Square has changed all of that. The High Museum of Art expansion, with its tree-lined piazza for outdoor events, nudges Atlanta closer to cultural respectability. The Georgian Terrace offers some of the best value per room in the city, makes you feel like a 30’s gangster, and hey you’re right across the street from the Fox, which is worthy of the moniker ‘legendary’.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Guide to Entertaining Tourists

By Sara Cheshire
It's not just peach tree climbing anymore.

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Atlanta by Train

By Sara Cheshire
Public transportation in Atlanta? But what if you're agoraphobic or wearing heels? Sara Cheshire feels your pain, but she also likes to save on car insurance. And that's why Sara takes the MARTA. Follow her as she nimbly carries you to museums, nightclubs and puppet shows while strategically avoiding preachers and beggars. So jump on the ninth largest US rapid-transit system! With minimal body contact and foot travel, it's just the way Atlantans like it.

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Historic Buildings in Atlanta

By Sara Cheshire
Ready to see Atlanta's famous antebellum architecture? Well, fuck you, 'cause you can't! They been BURNED since 1865 so get ready to see a lot of McDonalds instead, you ignorant tool. In the meantime, Sara Cheshire has some cool late 19th century buildings to peacock.

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On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Ri Ra Irish Pub
Midtown's most opulent bar just arrived by boat. By bar, I mean the ornate 19th century cabinet for drinks at Ri Ra Irish Pub, Atlanta's best shamrock saloon this side of Buckhead's Fado. The centerpiece bar is truly transporting, an intricate masterwork gutted from a real Irish pub and restored. In fact, much of the cavernous space--from the crown molding to the knickknacks--is salvaged material brought back to shine in a warehouse outside Dublin. The beer is of course heavy on the stouts. As advertised, the Shepherd's Pie is scrumptious but rather minute for $11.95. A real hit is the warm bread served with Guiness butter, complimentary at every sitting. At $9.95, the Publican's Ruben (corned beef) is succulent without being salty, and paired with pan-seared mushroom it's a suitable lunch or dinner. The name, in case you're wondering is roughly translated as "divilment," meaning any sociable activity that improves with drink. So that basically covers them all.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Bank Of America Plaza
Nearly 20 years since its celebrated construction, Atlanta's phallus still reigns supreme. At 1,023 feet, the Bank of America Plaza is the tallest building in North America outside New York City and Chicago, which also means it's the tallest of all buildings in U.S. capitals. So kiss our ass, LA and Houston. At night, the tower's gold-plated spire glows orange, giving the appearance of an upturned cigarette, a cosmic Marlboro Red. As a kid, the tower signified for me that Florida and warm climes were near on my family's vacations from the North. More than any other structure, it embodies Hotlanta's resurgent spirit, an unmistakable icon aglow in the night, all these years later.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

The Cheetah
In a town famous for seedy nightlife, Atlanta's classiest, buck-nakedest and most fabled strip club absolutely shines. Rumor has it Jay-Z raps about it. Countless CEOs and conventioneers swear by it. My bachelor party crew was nearly arrested there en masse (note: management frowns on bar naps) but a drunk-tank morning would've been minor penance for a night spent watching these cats go. For all the glitz, the Cheetah isn't the gouge-fest you might expect, especially from a high-end joint whose ladies could double as Miss April. A ticket stub from any local sporting event gets you in free that day, otherwise cover is $4, or $10 during prime hours. Beers are about $5. No need to look, the Cheetah has zero poles, just a purple-lit harem of the South's finest, dancing like eels through water. Word to the wise (and the spendthrifts): Making it rain at the Cheetah can get you thrown out.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Fox Theatre
Sure, it's tough to justify forking over $50 for tickets to a carnival of trash cans in the midst of an economic apocalypse. But Atlanta's most badass venue--this trippy, Egyptian-style wonderland of drifting clouds, onion domes and cricket-chirp acoustics--is capable of the escapism we all so desperately need. Forced to see STOMP! at the Fabulous Fox Theatre last year, I left a changed man, hankering to go back within those walls, amid that sound. Erected as a mosque in the pre-crash 1920s, the Fox has seen its own financial doldrums, but its lineups now are impressively eclectic. From Chris Rock to the Lion King to Smashing Pumpkins in the course of a few weeks. I saw My Morning Jacket there last autumn, and swept up by the reverb, blown down by heavy bass and lifted by ghostly, ethereal vocals, I've never felt so much like I was the music, no longer a mere witness.



Posted By:  Paul Francis
Photo: 

Sutra
What compels people to party hard? Here are my suspicions: a cure for boredom, a love of great music, the joys of hanging out with friends, and of course the chance of finding that special someone (at least for a while). You'll find many places to satisfy these desires in Atlanta. But Sutra provides the best one. Here, partygoers mingle happily, dancing or listening to the hypnotic and sometimes lascivious sounds of various genres of the best dance music, and some excellent mashups, including cutting edge Hip Hop and Reggae. This club has an intimate feel--in other words it's on the small side--with just one level, two VIP areas, and an excellent patio area. But it rarely feels cramped.



Posted By:  Katherine Dean
Photo:  J.E. Kemp

Cypress Street Pint & Plate
Two words for you: Sausage fest. Uh-huh. Cypress Street Pint & Plate is completely crawling with dudes (at least at Friday Happy Hour). Lots of people call this place neighborhood-y, but really, it’s more of a haven for the business-caj thirty-somethings who work along Peachtree. When the whistle blows at 5 o’clock, this place fills to the brim with ass-slapping, hand-shaking, schmoozing and guffawing bravado with nary a lady in sight, save the super-cute bartender. Which I suppose is appropriate for any establishment with Meatball Sliders on the menu. Single gals take note: I saw many unadorned left hands on men who appeared to be un-gay. And I spied lots of collars and even a few suits which tend to signify some sort of gainful employment. Get ‘em while they’re hot, gals, because even though they seemed a little focused on work (read: emotionally retarded), they probably won’t last. Oh yeah, and skip the plates, they’re not so good (spinach fondue = unimpressive runny cheese); let’s hope they get better! Go for the not-so-spendy pints.



Posted By:  Paul Francis
Photo:  Paul Francis

Apache Café
It’s Sunday night and there’s poetry in the air. That is, the intermittent sounds of reggae, hip hop and soul coming from the back veranda of the venerable Apache Café. Not to mention... is that the smell of incense or…? Well, we won’t comment on that part of the atmosphere; best to see it yourself. There’s an excellent open mic night for spoken word poetry on Sundays. Apache normally combines this with some headliners. There’s also usually a DJ on the patio spinning the newest reggae and hip hop songs. There’s an excellent bar for drinks and tapas. The café usually hosts a variety of special events and performances throughout the week.



Posted By:  Larissa Erin Greer
Photo:  Larissa Erin Greer

The fashion-forward crew has been trying desperately to keep Thread House a secret, purely because it’s such an amazing find here in Atlanta. It’s pure punk love from floor to ceiling. Think edgy, with a little bit of West Coast and lots of indie labels thrown in. You can seriously waste away an afternoon and this month’s rent scouring the completely packed racks and trying on some killer designer denim. My favorites are picks from Alice & Olivia, Bailey 44, Louis Verdad, and pretty much any of the accessories they have on hand (read: crazy huge belt buckles, hand-stitched bags, guitar pick jewelry). Scott, Lori, Justin, and the rest of the staff are great, and will make sure you leave the shop with something completely hot, even if you doubt your own fashion-stylist skills. This is also good for the guy in your life, because they’ve got looks for both ends of the gender spectrum (and everything in between). Always good in Atlanta.



Posted By:  Beth Linder
Photo:  Beth Linder

As much as I like to consider myself an individual, I will admit it–I support restaurant franchises. Now, before you fully judge me, stop cringing and hear me out. This isn’t a tossed-together-on-a-sesame-seed-bun-concoction that vaguely resembles what may be five-month-old chicken. This is an Ikea-esque bistro, where savory tender Bourbon steak, roasted peppers, blue cheese crumbles, caramelized onions, baby greens, and horseradish aioli are hot pressed between perfectly cut slices of panini and presented like artwork on a plate with a choice of sides that would make Henry VIII swear off dieting forever (execution, well that’s another story). You’ll have fresh food in under 10 minutes for under 10 dollars in portions that will last you two days. It’s the health-conscious fiend on a budget’s paradise. Bring your own little umbrella garnish.



Posted By:  Beth Linder
Photo:  Beth Linder

Vortex Bar & Grill
Ever wonder what would happen if acclaimed Burlesque dancer, Dita Von Teese hooked up with American Chopper’s Paul Teutul Sr.? Their mutant offspring would come to fruition as The Vortex Bar & Grill. As one of the last remaining anti-bureaucratic, smoke-till-you’re-dead, we-don’t-care establishments, you can gather with the diverse pack of loyal clientele who leave their conventions and inhibitions wherever they may have found a spot in Midtown to park their cars. You won’t find a burger more worthy of a triple bypass or a liquor menu with more extensive and exotic a selection (pumpkin ale, anyone?). Even amidst the impressive variety of cooked animal, veggie-goers alike, can still be satisfied. Here, black is the staple color, skeletons straddle motorcycles, tattoo-clad girls eye you from every angle, Dames Aflame bring back the art of Vaudeville and light up the Laughing Skull Lounge, and any whiners, idiots, or jerks will rightfully be tossed out the door on their tightey-whitey covered behinds. Just a heads up, The Vortex and all her pride in political incorrectness will not grant entry to patrons under the age of 18. So all you tight-asses, non-legals, and cradle-robbers best stay home or bring your business to the more compromising Mickey D’s up the street.



Posted By:  Lauren Begnaud
Photo:  Lauren Begnaud

Whatdayahave? That will most likely be the words you’ll hear when you approach the menu board to order. This fast-paced fast food place has become an Atlanta staple. Located close to Georgia Tech and the Georgia Dome, this place is always a common eatery for sports fans. Burgers are served to you at the counter, hot and greasy, (often squished), but for some reason you just can’t resist. Fries are equally grease-filled and equally good. What’s more…you don’t even have to get out of your car to order! The perfect fix for a hot day is the Frosted Orange, a cross between a Creamsicle and a milkshake. Pick up a burger, pick up twelve napkins and you’re set. Whatdayahave?



Posted By:  Beth Malone
Photo:  Beth Malone

Marriot Courtyard
The heat in Atlanta would be much more tolerable if we all knew that a large body of water was close by. Yeah, there are clean parts of the Chattahoochee, and Lake Lanier is 45 minutes away. But, what I’m talking about is sitting in downtown traffic with no AC, your ass melting to the driver’s seat, as the seat-belt buckle brands your sweaty exposed thigh—heat that bounces off skyscrapers, and ricochets off steamy black asphalt. Atlanta summers quadruple my electric bill, and give me stinky feet. But alas, I’m letting you in on a secret; one that raises the risk of trespassing fines. Pools are abundant in our city, but those open to the public, can get tricky. With adult swims, kiddy swims, old lady swims, doggie swims, big guy/small guy swims—I can’t keep up. So, I sneak into hotel pools. The best one with minimal risk is Marriott Courtyard. Park in their lot and walk around back; keep a low profile—no booze or music. The Sheraton downtown (inside jungle pool!) and the Georgian Terrace (rooftop pool!) are far superior, but should be left to those who have been in the business for a while.



Posted By:  Beth Malone
Photo:  Drew Van Atten

Relapse Theatre
We’re throwing a gala. For some reason Drew and I think we can pull it off. After two glasses of wine at Noche Latina, a night benefiting Latin American Education—I made the decision. On May 14th Atlanta artists will crawl out from the underground to show off their latest creations. Four DJ’s will spin, five films will be shown, and artists will auction some pieces that have been collecting dust in their studios. ALL proceeds will go to Africare (http://www.africare.org); a unique organization that has delivered $560 million of aid to Africa—representing 2,000 projects and millions of beneficiaries. The event will be at Relapse Theatre (dig deep in the NFT archives to find my review on Relapse for info). Doors open at 7 pm—tickets are $10 for food, entertainment, and a few Peroni’s. Relapse also has a full bar. You’re going out anyway; you may as well drink for a good cause. I can’t wait to meet you and all of your friends.



Posted By:  Deanna Jue
Photo:  Deanna Jue

Bazzaar is what many a bar aspires to be when they grow up. They claim to be an ‘elegant chic European lounge’—and they really are! Lounges are all about atmosphere, and Bazzaar does the whole ‘unpretentiously trendy’ ambiance right. Relax with cocktails or get tipsy and create your own dance floor upstairs near the DJ booth, or romance a date in the dimly lit upstairs, which also has private booths with a curtains-closed option. Mingle downstairs at the bar or appease your stomach’s call for a late night snack with something from the menu. The central location at the intersection of Ponce de Leon and Peachtree make it easy for the diverse crowd of laid back, hipsteresque types to find and an ideal place to start the night. Good crowd, music and drinks—what more can you ask for? Ample, free parking did you say? Bazzaar will validate your parking ticket for two hours of complimentary parking if you park across the street at the Georgian Terrace garage.



Posted By:  Jamie Grimes
Photo:  Jamie Grimes

Tin Drum
Got twenty dollars burning a hole and an open disposition to things just outside the ordinary? Got a hankering for a Thai-inspired burrito-esque concoction and don’t know your way around your own kitchen? Well, if you’re willing to brave the near-perpetual roadwork on Piedmont Avenue and the generally heavy afternoon traffic of I-85 and Sidney Marcus Boulevard, then stop in at Tin Drum, a relatively new addition to Lindbergh Plaza. Orders were taken at the door of this Americanized noodle joint, and there were no servers to speak of—call me old-fashioned, but I love having wait staff; it’s part of the reason I go out. The food did come quickly, large bowls of noodles and rice. Modest pad Thai and a chicken and peanut dish that I can’t even remember the name of. What caught my attention was the restaurant’s namesake: the tin drum. An amalgam of onions, carrots, peanuts, chicken, and an as-yet unidentified spice, this appetizer was like a spring roll gone awry, the great burrito of spring rolls, an entrée in and of itself. The flavors made for interesting tasting, and brought spice to an otherwise unimpressive party.



Posted By:  Shelley Howell
Photo:  Shelley Howell

Enoteca Carbonari
A new blip on the Midtown radar, Enoteca fills in the space next to owner-restaurant Baraonda, residing at 710 Peachtree Street…different than its same-sounding, sibling-seeming Eno restaurant up the street a couple of blocks. If you’re not from those parts, they are easily confused—true story, a friend was heading to a private party at Enoteca and hit Eno by accident. “Are you here for the private party?” the host asked. “Yes I am,” he said. “Can I get you a drink?” “Sure, I’ll take a beer.” Beer in hand my friend ventured into the private party crowd—in which he knew no one. After a quick explanation and a thank you for the free beer he made a quick departure to the ‘other’ Eno-place down the street to join his friends. Moral of the story—never turn down a free beer. And think of Enoteca the next time you want some wonderful appetizers with an atmosphere that is a cross between a Tuscan-nestled winery and an Irish pub.



Posted By:  Beth Malone
Photo:  Beth Malone

I never used to eat meat, chicken especially. I had a few bad run-ins with chicken’s feet soup whilst on a Chinese adventure, and spent my formative years so close to a poultry plant that I still had the smell of boiled chicken in my nose long after my escape to the city. My feelings about meat are less about the torture of animals, and more about the hormones that are pumped into it. Hormones giving 9 year-old girls boobs, and increasing our portion sizes to make us all fatties. However, all that aside, things have taken a slight turn. I’ve started eating chicken wings—smothered with blue cheese dressing and slathered in delicious hot sauce. Then, I wash it all down with a frosty, $2 beer. I’ve always been quite fickle about all my ethical views anyway…no real gumption. The ONLY place to eat chicken wings in Atlanta is JR Crickets. Not just any Crickets, the one that hides in the shadow of the Varsity on Spring Street. The service is quick, the chicken wings are a normal size, and the blue cheese is freshly made. Sit upstairs, and avoid the restroom. I love chicken.



Posted By:  Shelley Howell
Photo:  Ryan Hadding

Front Page News
Regardless of your religion, there is no better way to spread, no make that smear, the holiday spirit throughout town. Multiple Santa’s teetering on the brink of intoxication, Snowmen hitting on Mrs. Claus—you have to see it to believe it. The 14th annual Santa Pub Crawl starts and ends in Midtown on Saturday, December 9, with a list of bars (yes, checked twice) falling victim to the convalescing red mass of cheer-goers. Sans the blankets of snow here in the south, the rambunctious party-goers seem to make up for what we lack in ‘white’ with the array of costumes with warmer temps comes more flexibility in clothing choices… I’ll stop there. Go Ho-Ho—join the Santa pub crawl. And if you end up in a chimney, that’s your problem.



Posted By:  Jennifer Kornder
Photo:  Jennifer Kornder

Christian Science Church
I had just finished a meeting with a particularly difficult client at the little courtyard café of the High Museum and was waiting for my Mom to pick me up to take me on a shopping spree at the Ross. Standing on the corner, heart heavy and nerves frayed, I looked up at the looming Christian Scientist church—open for private prayer and meditation on a Wednesday night. I was fascinated—here was a relaxing place to kill time while waiting for Mom! I sat down inside and was awash in the calmingly austere interior. My appreciation for the place lay not in any understanding of the architecture of the building (which was nice), or the tenets of Christian Scientistism (which I understand superficially as having something to do with not getting vaccinated), but instead in the lovely calm of the interior. I was privileged to listen to some of the church goers speak and marveled at the similarity of our problems. I left feeling a sense of connectedness, a relaxing clarity, and left the church uplifted to score some amazing bargains at Ross.



Posted By:  Beth Malone
Photo:  Beth Malone

Relapse Theatre
If you’ve ever passed Silver Skillet on 14th, then you’ve seen Relapse Theater. You may have mistaken it for a Georgia Tech classroom, home to the 3 Liberal Arts students who hang their inferior heads when passing their atom-splitting, turbine-building, equation-solving peers. It’s in a humble brick building that was once a church—how appropriate that it now houses dance parties for reckless youth. The main room is big enough to hold the two major attractions at the VHS or Beta show two weeks ago: a 10 x 15 ft. projection screen, and the half-naked man on stilts. The massive dance space, a lounge area with couches, and a second downstairs bar, make this place perfect to see underground music. The downstairs room even has those high-heel chairs. Thought they left with the 80’s? Not so, they’re hiding underneath Relapse Theater. Check online for DJ’s and other shows coming to town; prices shouldn’t get over fifteen bucks. This place may be Atlanta’s answer to CBGB.




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See Georgia Tech / Midtown...
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