NFT Atlanta Grant Park / Summerhill

Grant Park / Summerhill

Grant Park, neighbor to Turner Field, the Capitol, and Zoo Atlanta, was once thought doomed when I-20 ran it through like a scurvy dog. Yet now it boasts delicious restaurants and hip bars, and its greenspace is one of Atlanta’s most successful revitalization areas. This “transitional area” puts the vital in revitalization. If you want in, better put down an offer pronto, otherwise you might have to wait for your final resting place at Oakland Cemetery.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
'Que Crazy

By Josh Green
Join Josh Green on a meticulously itemized journey 'cross the dusty Georgian badlands in pious search of the best barbecue, the finest fixings, the friendliest waitstaff and the deadliest catch. Underrated, Overly-Smoked, Texas-Style and Hard-to-Find. Josh Green has seen it all. And now he's ready to dole out his blessings and curse the rest of the BBQ joints to hell.

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Sister Bars

By Jim Hunt
Bars! Who needs bars?! Jim Hunt does. Like a starving man needs a meal. But Jim was getting tired of his old libatory standby. Pesky newcomers, hygienic improvements. Jim deserved more, so he took to the open highway and found six sister bars that would fulfill an old desire: A place to hang his weary head, a bartender to soothe his gaping wounds and a niche that he could call his own. Join Jim on this journey, and never go thirsty again.

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On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Dakota Blue
Dakota Blue, a perky neighborhood joint in Grant Park, must be home to the city's most economical brunch/lunch. Which makes it all the more confounding that I rarely see the place crowded. Every sandwich, burrito and brunch plate falls under the rare $7 mark. I'd recommend the Dallas Cowboy wrap for breakfast, a sausage, sour cream, and Pico de Gallo monstrosity built for linebackers. A "big ol' stack" of pancakes, which I have admittedly yet to try, costs a Waffle House-esque $4.95. After packing your belly, the leafy gullies of a true Atlanta treasure, Grant Park, are a five-minute stroll down Cherokee Avenue.



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

Six Feet Under
What is it about this place that inspires work-weary parents to bring their kiddies here in droves? Is it the enormous bar that takes up a large portion of the dining room? The unique patio view overlooking one of Atlanta's oldest cemeteries? Or perhaps the restaurant's moniker itself? Maybe it's the fact that the menu boasts raw oysters, steamed shrimp and calamari. On a recent Tuesday evening, I could swear there were more under-12s dining here than over-21s. The little crumb-snatchers were everywhere. It's not that I don't like kids; I just don't like your kid. Okay, that was harsh. Kids are nice enough and just like all smart Southern ladies, I will put up with anything--Romper Room included--to get my hands on some good catfish, especially if that catfish is grilled and stuffed into a flour tortilla along with cabbage, jalapenos and cucumber wasabi. The food is fabulous, the beer is plentiful and the atmosphere is outstanding, even with all the wee ones taking up space. Parents, this restaurant is your dream destination, especially if putting up with junior all day has got you sorely in need of a stiff drink.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Daddy D'z
Daddy D'z is the kind of barbeque shack where you can spit on the floor. Maybe barf in the graffiti-drenched bathroom. Toss a Budweiser bottle at the bluesman by the door. It's all cool here, man. Unruliness is encouraged. Look to the shack's motto: "We ain't pretty, but we're good" for substantiating proof. But don't let the grime fool you. This is pit-smoked succulence at its finest. A frequent champion in the city's best lists, (see the wall near the bathroom for a checkerboard of plaques) the barbeque here trumps the too-smoky, Texas-style fare of the shack's newcoming brethren up the street. And it's cheap, too (good luck finding $5 chopped pork at the 'que chains of Alpharetta and Gwinnett). Each weekday features a plate-plus-drink special for a downright nice $8.59. Standing like a one-story dollhouse from hell at the crossroads of Memorial Drive and Hill Street, Daddy D'z has served white-collars and riffraff alongside each other at its ripped-vinyl booths for years. The chopped beef is especially tender, the broccoli casserole gooey and fresh. The ribs are enough to make you chuck bones at your server. Just the way she likes it.



Posted By:  Jim Hunt
Photo:  Jim Hunt

Standard Food & Spirits
Skip out of work thirty minutes early sometime this week, make your way down Memorial Avenue, park at The Standard Bar, and get ready to enjoy rush hour. Whether you're sitting inside in their dark paneled bar room, side patio, small TV room, or standing outside under the covered table, you'll have a perfect view of the rat race in action: frustrated commuters heading back to their suburban enclaves, writhing in their cars, and longingly looking over at the beer in your hand as you drink the lengthening day away. Funny, considering the Standard's former life as a filling station. Instead of keeping drivers prepared for long commutes home, the space is now keeping you sane with good food and beer as commuters slug by, neglected. Finally, top offs are not only allowed, they're encouraged.



Posted By:  Beth Malone
Photo:  Beth Malone

Lenny's
Now that Atlanta GLBT Pride has passed, another wave of wieners will be flooding the city! Corndogorama has moved from the EARL, where it was held for the past 6 years, to the new strip-mall Lenny’s. Boo. But, we all have to evolve. And with the popularity of Corndogorama, Lenny’s offers a bigger parking lot for the 60 bands that will play during the two-day festival. The headliners are Mastadon and Snowden, but any local band or DJ you happen to enjoy will probably be there. Check the website http://www.corndogorama.com for the list. In addition to music, there will be art, a dunking booth, an eating contest, and the Miss Corndogorama beauty pageant. I’m expecting a win. Also, Faster Mustache is bringing the beach. Corndogorama is quite possibly the best festival of the year—it shouldn’t be missed. Wear an elastic waistband, grab a forty, and prepare to gain a greater appreciation for the capabilities of the corndog. Warning: you’re guaranteed to have at least two hickies, slight hearing damage, and a debilitating hangover—take Monday off in advance.



Posted By:  Mark Rogers
Photo: 

Oakland Cemetery
The south wall of Oakland Cemetery runs along the old city limits; just beyond the wall, they’d stage vigilante hangings during the Civil War. Fifty feet across the street and over the wall, huddled together in the “city too busy to hate,” lay the Jewish section. Many have been defaced, though since repaired. The Atlanta Jewish experience is a curiosity; among the leading citizens of the city, Jews were also lynched and had a synagogue bombed by the Klan. Southern Jews fought for the Confederacy, yet marched on behalf of civil rights alongside Dr. King. Jews and blacks knew how it was to walk Jim Crow’s unforgiving line. Across the cemetery from the Jewish section, lies a mass, unmarked grave. And so, flanking Margaret Mitchell and “Our Confederate Dead,” are Atlanta’s nameless poor (black and white) and its Jews. Both sides lend their voices to a tapestry of marginalization. Some say, “Some Jews and blacks are in the cemetery’s center; that’s progress.” If tokenistic meritocracy amounts to progress, then Oakland Cemetery is a shrine to ceaseless struggle. The Jewish Sections (Old and New) in Oakland Cemetery lay along the south wall parallel to Memorial Drive perpendicular to Park Avenue.



Posted By:  Shelley Howell
Photo:  Shelley Howell

Atlanta Habitat Office & ReStore
Moving in? STOP. Put down the credit card, and back away…Atlanta has plenty of options for your furniture and home restoration needs, without breaking the piggy bank. The Habitat Restore is my favorite–a depot of new (some old) model under priced home goods, from sinks to doors to grills to valve-handle-turner-thingy’s. Paint, hard hats, furniture—the works. Habitat for Humanity uses items deeply discounted to them from Home Depot and other suppliers, and the items not used or gently used end up in this wonderland of home restoration. Plus, you feel doubly-good that the few dollars you do pay are going back to a great non-profit. With that, the pinnacle of home decorative items is Tuesday Morning. You can go on any day really, and find all the great deals you need. Be wary–TM has many ‘cult-like’ shoppers, there in hoards for the great deals right after the circulars come out, but bring some assertiveness and your bag of tricks…and your new house will be looking homey in no time. Locations are all over Atlanta.



Posted By:  Jennifer Kornder
Photo:  Jennifer Kornder

Ria's Bluebird
If you do nothing else ever again in your whole life, I must recommend that you go to Ria’s Bluebird and get a takeout lunch (perhaps a salmon BLT). Then go eat it across the street at Oakland Cemetery. Especially on a pretty day when you can spread yourself out underneath some lovely magnolia trees and gaze upon Confederate tombstones and pretend that the whole damn city has just burned down, and that everyone you hate is dead or has been captured by Yankees. Further, if you are accompanied by an attractive friend, the cemetery makes an ideal spot to hide behind a mausoleum and lick each other’s molars. It also makes an excellent place to hang out when you are skipping your therapy sessions—nothing cures wounds of the psyche like walking around Potter’s Field, where prior to 1900 approximately 17,500 of Atlanta’s poor were buried in unmarked graves. Whatever your reason for going there, hit Ria’s for food and then trot over to Oakland—just don’t get mowed down as you’re crossing Memorial, or you may find yourself making out with the ghost of Margaret Mitchell.



Posted By:  Shelley Howell
Photo:  Shelley Howell

Oakland Cemetery
One big draw to Atlanta is the fact that it boasts all four seasons. And by that, I mean the four that we learned about in kindergarten (not “Braves,” “Falcons,” “Hawks,” and “Thrashers”). Fall—my favorite—is here. What do you do when it’s not too hot outside and not too cold? You go out, you stroll, you hang out on patios… you do Atlanta on foot. From Buckhead, the “Beverly Hills of the East,” to the Fox Theater, originally a Masonic temple, you can get the best Atlanta has to offer and never a gas charge to your credit card. A suggestion, if I may, as Halloween gets closer… take a few strides through the historic Oakland Cemetery. Visit Margaret Mitchell and Bobby Jones, and once you’ve worked up an appetite, meander across the street to the Six Feet Under pub and ale house—fish tacos and seafood quesadillas to die for!



Posted By:  Shelley Howell
Photo:  Todd Alexander

Big dreams reside in this haven of artist studios and what used to be the hotbed of mattress manufacturing in Atlanta. At the Mattress Factory (formerly the Southern Spring Bedding Company) local artists find the best and hardest-to-get value for a studio. Or they get on the long waiting list and stay there. Convenient to Daddy D’z barbeque and all the southside Atlanta street charm you could ask for, an addendum to an impressive residential loft and commercial space development bears thirty or so arbitrarily divided artists’ spaces, a roof over the most creative vibes in Atlanta… and maybe a little bit of electricity for the fortunate. The railroad tracks that sideline the factory delivered the cotton for the mattress filling dating back to the 1860s. The railroad yard is still operational with the regular deafening sound of train cars coupling. The precarious raised wooden walkways, worn by years of factory workers’ toiled steps complete the picture, inspiring even the most idea-starving artist. The Mattress Factory perpetuates the model of industry that is appreciated and preserved throughout many burgeoning Atlanta communities.



Posted By:  Beth Malone
Photo:  none

Lenny's
When I heard that Lenny’s was closing down, I was understandably upset. Where else can you play pool, drink 24 oz PBR’s, listen to live music, and watch old has-beens smoke pot and Marlboro Reds on the back patio? Once this sick rumor was proven to be nothing more than just that, we schlepped to Lenny’s for some local tunes. After leaving the Dodge Stratus in the gravel parking lot next to a dumpster, we paid the $5 cover and walked straight to the bar. Barkeeps pumped us full of tequila and $2 high life as the music started. Don’t ever expect to leave Lenny’s with hearing intact—the low ceiling doesn’t let any noise escape, and bands are all drums and electric guitars. If you enjoy a nice dive, go play some pool in plumes of smoke and have a dance in one of the cities finest. How can you not love a place with obscene bathroom graffiti and a view of Oakland Cemetery?



Posted By:  Beth Malone
Photo:  Beth Malone

When I’m not traipsing around the city looking for ways to entertain us, I spend my time bending the minds of youth. Two weeks ago I took my boys to the zoo. I haven’t heard anything about the place since Willie B died, which must have been ten years ago. So, with no grand expectations, off I went with 8 angry, hormonal teenage boys pretending we were embarking on a great adventure. To my pleasant surprise the Atlanta Zoo has been completely revamped. The reptile house holds loads of squiggly snakes, turtles, and lizards. They even have a reticulated python! Not sure what that is? Go to the Zoo! The elephants and lions are well-kempt and playful. The most entertaining animal at the Zoo is the orangutan. He’s 9 feet tall with crazy dreadlocks. There’s adequate parking and plenty of snacks. Believe me, if my apathetic kids were impressed, yours will be too.



Posted By:  Ben Bowlin
Photo:  none

Six Feet Under is a disarmingly cheerful, seafood-leaning bar and restaurant directly across from Oakland Cemetery on Memorial Avenue. Take a table on the top deck when weather permits, because the view is a gorgeous, character-revealing portrait of Atlanta. This is a neighborhood spot where groups of friends can converse without yelling over canned or live music. Six Feet Under tops my list for the “Best Cheap Seafood in Town.” They have a crab cake po’boy with expert seasoning that accents the crab rather than smothering it, as well as some great catfish entrees. For an appetizer, try one of the baked oyster variants or fried green tomatoes. There is also a weekend Bloody Mary bar offering a range of different ingredients with which to customize your drink. This bar is a cozy, out-of-the-way dating spot—just make sure your partner isn’t allergic to shellfish, as the non-seafood dishes can be mediocre.



Posted By:  Mariam Qureshi
Photo:  Mariam Qureshi

For some, a cemetery may seem like a strange place to visit if you don’t know anyone buried there. But enchanting Oakland Ceme-tery is actually one of the prettiest locations in Atlanta. Established in 1850, its layout captures Victorian elegance and grace, with mean-dering pathways and inspired use of green space. The grounds are filled with bursts of pink and white azaleas, pale yellow daffodils, and stately magnolias, with plenty of shaded areas to sit and enjoy a picnic. For photography enthu-siasts, Oakland presents an abundance of interesting subject matter. Sketching some of the striking, sometimes melancholy, sculptures and ornate designs is another fun activity. Some headstones are filled with flowery poetry, while others simply state the obvious: “This Man Lived.” Entry to the cemetery is free, though guided tours can be taken for a small fee. No park-ing is available, so either ride Marta (East) to King Memorial Sta-tion or park on a side street. Oakland Cemetery’s website gives a comprehensive calendar of special tours and events.




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