Jun 12 2008

More Love in the ATL

This week we continue our series “5 Things I Love About Atlanta.” One of the great things about being a student (or a staff- or faculty-member) at Candler is living in one of this country’s great cities, Atlanta. I have my personal favorite things (about which you will hear soon). I have also interviewed my classy, cultured, and sophisticated colleagues around Candler for their favorite things about this little corner of the universe known as The ATL. So here we go.

Jamila Garrett-Bell, Assistant to the Registrar
She came to Atlanta from Seattle, Washington via New York City. She has been at Candler since 2002, was the 2006-2007 Candler Staff Perso
n of the Year, and is a tenacious basketball player.

Jamila’s Top Five Things She Loves About Atlanta
1. Affordable Housing
Atlanta is one of the most affordable major cities in which to live in the United States. You can find a decent one-bedroom apartment in a good i
ntown neighborhood for around $650/month (around $950 for two-bedroom). The median house price in metro Atlanta is $154,000.

2. Greenery
If you’ve ever flown into Atlanta (or been on Google Earth), you’ve noticed that the whole city seems to be blanketed by trees! Trees in Atlanta remove 19 million pounds of pollutants from the air each year. How about that?! Atlanta is currently working on The Beltline Project, 23-mile long intown system of parks and biking/walking trails.

3. Great Indian Food

Atlanta is home to a vibrant Indian and Indian-American population, so we’ve got fantastic Indian food! Jamila’s favorite Indian restaurant is Desi Spice in Midtown Atlanta. Jamila loves the Bhuna Shrimp Puri. Other great Indian restaurants within 4 miles of Emory include Madras Saravana Bhavan, Udipi, and Bhojanic.

4. Festivals
Jamila is a huge
fan of Atlanta festivals. This year was the 31st annual Atlanta Jazz Festival, a month-long showcase of jazz talent, culminating in a free weekend concert series. Whether you like your jazz fusion or funky, smooth or straight no chaser, Jamila recommends loading up the family, taking blankets, dinner, and drinks and spending the day downtown groovin’.

5. Local Music
Atlanta is home to some amazing music. International superstars such as Emory’s own Indigo Girls, as well as Jermaine DuPri, John Mayer, Ludicrous, Outkast, Sugarland, and Usher have all come out of the Atlanta music scene. For the next generation of homegrown talent, five places to check out are:

Sugarhill (soul, hip hop, funk, and R&B)
Eddies Attic (acoustic, singer-songwriters, indie
Apache Café (experimental, jazz, funk, spoken word)
Red Light Café (bluegrass Thursdays, folk)
Five Spot (jazz, funk, reggae, electronica).

Jessica Smith, Communications Coordinator, Office of Contextual Education

A 2005 MDiv graduate of Candler, Jessie will start her PhD at Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion this fall, focusing on constructive theological anthropology.

Jessie’s Top Five Things She Loves About Atlanta
1. Brick Store Pub
BSP, for short, is located in downtown Decatur, GA. Jessie enjoys the unique selection of beers and the one-of-a-kind space and atmosphere. There are no TVs in the joint (halleluiah!), so community and conversations are the heart of this pub. For a cozy evening, go upstairs to the Belgian Room.

2. The High Museum of Art
Jessie finds Atlanta’s largest fine art museum to be small enough to be accessible, and yet substantial enough to bring in fantastic exhibits. Jessie went to the Annie Leb
exhibit this spring and caught the Louvre Atlanta: The Royal Collections exhibit last year. They do Jazz at the High every Friday night.

3. Diversity and Neighborhoodiness
Jessie finds Atlanta’s neighborhoods to be charming, and appreciates a city that has such a range of cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and musical/artistic tastes. She enjoys hanging out in neighborhoods like Oakhurst, Grant Park, Vinings, and Virginia-Highland.

4. Southern Urban Cuisine
There are few places on earth where you can eat food quite like they serve in Atlanta. A little bit down-home, a little bit sophisticated goodness. Jessie loves One Midtown Kitchen and Trois and adores Watershed, which is co-owned by Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls. Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road… But when her mom’s in town, Jessie takes her to Canoe, tucked away on the Chattahoochee River.

5. Shake at the Lake
Every summer the Georgia Shakespeare Company puts on a week of free dock-side plays at the lake in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. Tickets are first come, first served and must be picked up the morning of the performances. Last year Jessie took a picnic and a blanket and saw Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and this year she caught Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters (ok, it’s usually, but not always, Shakespeare).

About the Blogger: Brad Schweers is enjoying his new-found power as Candler’s Admissions Blogger. He also enjoyed the three times it snowed in Atlanta this past winter. Twice it even stuck on the ground!

May 30 2008

Summer at Candler

Today is my first day as the Candler Admissions Blogger—my first day as any kind of blogger, for that matter. Lane Cotton Winn has left us here at Candler to serve as Associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church of Amite, Louisiana. Our blog will continue every two weeks throughout the summer.

There is actually a lot going on at Candler this time of year. We are offering ten courses this summer, including Dr. Joy McDougall’s Doctrine of God: Women’s Voices Past and Present, Dr. Steve Kraftchick’s Seeing Jesus: The Gospels and Cinema, and Dr. Ian McFarland’s Christian Creeds and Confessions. Additionally, Candler students will be attending the Africa South Regional Evangelism Seminar in Johannesburg, South Africa, with Dr. Wesley de Souza in August.

This summer, the admissions office is continuing to help students who are entering Candler’s MDiv, MTS, ThM and ThD programs starting this fall. We’re processing I-20s for our international students, preparing for the Hampton Ministers’ Conference in June, answering questions about fall classes and the MDiv curriculum, and help process students for Candler’s new need-based financial aid grants. We are also eagerly anticipating our move to the new theology building going up right before our eyes and out our windows. We are starting to pack our books, files, and belongings, and are recycling a lot of paper!

One of the projects I am working on this summer is putting together a resource guide for current and prospective students about some of the wonderful things there are to see, do, smell, eat, and take part in here in Atlanta. I grew up outside Chicago and moved to Atlanta in 1997 right out of college. I was a US-2 United Methodist missionary and came to Atlanta for a two-year term of service. I loved my first two years and decided to extend my stay for a third. Three turned into four then five. Six years after arriving, I felt the call to come to seminary, and the best fit for me was right here at Candler. So my two years has turned into ten, in no small part because of what a fantastic city Atlanta is. I love Atlanta for its community and diversity, its arts, sports, recreational opportunities, food, theater, live jazz, outdoor festivals, and proximity to mountains, beaches, hiking and camping.

In anticipation of my forthcoming and more extensive resource guide, I have begun to interview my coworkers here in the Admissions and Financial Aid Office about what they love about Atlanta. So here you have it, the Candler School of Theology Office of Admissions and Financial Aid’s 5 Things I Love About Atlanta, listed in no particular order.

Lisa Parker, Financial Aid Advisor

Lisa has lived in Atlanta for nearly twenty years, moving here from Brooklyn, New York. “I’m just as much a peach now as I am an apple!” she noted when she realized she’d been down in Georgia for about long as she’d lived in NYC.

Lisa’s Top Five Things She Loves About Atlanta
1. Fun independent theaters for shows, plays, and performances. Lisa sees the Alvin Ailey Dance Company perform every year when they come to town (this year was at the Fox Theatre) and also caught Daniel Beaty in his one-man play Resurrection at the 14th Street Playhouse.

2. Atlanta Dream, Atlanta’s new WNBA basketball team.

3. The Sundial Restaurant, an upscale, tri-level, revolving restaurant that sits atop the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel, the tallest hotel in the western hemisphere. Lisa recommends going for drinks and jazz.

4. MARTA—Lisa takes public transportation to work every day. MARTA is the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Lisa catches the train and the #6 bus to get from home to Emory. Not only does she not have to pay for gas, but she receives a Cash for Commuters reward of $3 a day to not drive her car to work. Pretty cool.

5. The new World of Coca-Cola. In addition to helping pay your tuition at Emory, the Coca-Cola Company, headquartered right here in Atlanta, has a fun, interactive museum/tasting center. The Admissions Office saw Jimmy Kimmel there last summer. He was kinda thin. TV really does add a few pounds.

Jena Black, Admissions Advisor

Jena moved to Atlanta from Philadelphia in 2002 to begin the MTS program at Candler and has stuck around ever since.

Jena’s Top Five Things She Loves About Atlanta
1. The DeKalb Farmers Market. This family-run, international farmers market occupies 140,000 sq. ft. and serves up to 100,000 people per week! Try the fresh-baked breads and homemade pizzas. Check out the >virtual tour.

2. Proximity to the country-side. Jena enjoys living in the city, while also being less than 45 minutes away from the working farm she goes to where she can relax or work with the animals.

3. Festivals in the City of Decatur. Check out the BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival, the Decatur Beach Festival—with 60 tons of imported sand—and Jena’s favorite the Decatur Book Festival.

4. The Freedom Park Trail. Jogging, rollerblading, or walking the dog—the trail dead ends into a fantastic panoramic view of downtown Atlanta.

5. The Flying Biscuit. One of Atlanta’s many award-winning restaurants, tucked in the Candler Park neighborhood. The biscuits are un-sane, Jena’s a fan of the Love Cakes, and you can get breakfast all day! She thinks their pastry chef might have been on Hell’s Kitchen Season 1.

Check back in two weeks for more Atlanta favorites!

Brad Schweers is an Admissions Advisor at Candler and a 2005 graduate of Candler’s Master of Theological Studies program. His interests include comparative religion, mystical theology and social change (Howard Thurman, Thomas Merton, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Dorothee Solle, Swami Vivekananda), woodworking, Ultimate (frisbee), the Chicago Cubs and fantastic beer.