Jul 18 2008

Oh Atlanta, I hear you callin'…

“Same old place, same Old City, What can I do, I’m falling in love…” Atlanta, our muse, is the topic yet again of our blog. Here’s more about the Atlanta we love.

Todd McCullough,
Third-Year MDiv Student

Todd is a North Carolinian, a Pfeiffer University grad, and an all-around jovial bloke.

Todd’s Five Favorite Things About Atlanta

1. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site

Atlanta’s most famous son Martin Luther King, Jr. was born and raised in Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn neighborhood, one of the country’s first middle-class African American neighborhoods. The area around King’s birth-home and Ebenezer Baptist Church has been designated a National Historic Site. Go when you have at least 2-3 hours to take in the “Courage to Lead” civil rights exhibits, The King Center with Martin and Coretta’s tombs, and a tour of historic Ebenezer.

2. Stone Mountain Park
Todd says going to Stone Mountain makes him feel like he’s in the mountains, and yet is only 10 miles east of the city. The mountain itself is 825 feet tall and the park covers 583 acres. The carved surface of the mountain is larger than a football field. Go any time of the day or night—closing time is 11 pm—to walk, bike, or jog the 5 miles around the mountain, or take a picnic and eat on the lake at the Grist Mill. There’s also a wacky laser show—a “cultural event” as Todd puts it. Well said, Todd.

3. Euclid Avenue Yacht Club
“For an eclectic mix and a taste of Atlanta flair”, Todd goes to Little 5 Points (a.k.a “Little 5”, sometimes written [but never spoken] as “L5P”) and the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club. The Yacht Club is neither anywhere near a body of water nor a destination for anyone who would likely go to an actual yacht club. So leave your docksiders, J/30 polo shirts, and Croakied sunglasses slung backwards around your neck at home and grab a beer and a ¼ lb. Original Yacht Dog (for omnivores) or a Black Bean Burrito (for veg folks). EAYC is the place to have a drink and watch the L5P Halloween Parade.

4. Ms. Ann’s Ghetto Burgers
The Wall Street Journal voted the Ghetto Burger at Ann’s Snack Shack best hamburger in America! Ann is not the Soup Nazi, but Todd makes sure to keep on her good side. It’s her shack, she’s got great food and dedicated regulars, and she only does things her way. Period. Or
you’re out! Located on Memorial Drive on Atlanta’s east side, Ann makes every paddy to order so be prepared to wait up to 2-3 hours. But it’s worth it!

5. Intramurals at Emory
Todd is the unofficial intramural captain for Candler. Candler plays in the grad/faculty/staff division and typically fields multiple teams in softball, flag football, basketball, and soccer. Teams are co-ed and unisex, so check in with Todd if you’re interested in playing! This past spring, Hand of God, our soccer team, went into the playoffs ranked #2, but was upset by the med school in the semifinals.

Deborah van der Lande, Admissions Assistant

A native Atlantan, Deborah is a mother of three great kids and has been working at Candler for almost a year.

Deborah’s Five Favorite Things About Atlanta

1. Something old, something new
Deborah has lived in Atlanta for a few years and has seen much progress and many changes. And yet Deborah also appreciates old standards that haven’t changed a bit, like Evans Fine Foods in Decatur—that still has the same benches from when she went there for breakfast as a kid—and the DeKalb Farmers Market, which has changed location in the past 25 years, but retains its original flair.

2. Concerts at Chastain Park
There are many places to see great concerts in Atlanta, but there’s only one place to sit outside under the stars and enjoy the music with your picnic dinner and wine—Chastain. Deborah has seen Crosby, Stills, and Nash and Diana Ross, and last week caught Earth, Wind & Fire with her daughter Heather.

3. International Flavor
Well before the world came to Atlanta for the 1996 Summer Olympics, Atlanta has been an international city. Metro Atlanta is home to the world’s busiest airport and 49 international consulates. For international cuisine, try Buford Highway for Chinese, Korean, or Japanese, Cheshire Bridge for authentic Italian, and Memorial Drive for Jamaican/Caribbean.

4. Arts and Museums
Among all of the artistic offerings in Atlanta, Deborah particularly likes arts offerings at Emory University, The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO)—the ASO has been known to collaborate with likes of the
Indigo Girls
and Wynton Marsalis—the Atlanta Opera, the High Museum—host to Friday Jazz on the third Friday of every month, and the Michael C. Carlos Museum.

5. Brio Tuscan Grille
Deborah loves this Tuscan take on an Italian trattoria. Dressed up or dressed down, Deborah enjoys the terrace dining at the Buckhead location, and recommends the Veal Marsala Clasico, the Chicken Limone, or the Wild Mushroom Risotto.

Jun 27 2008

Summertime in the City

Summer is in full swing here in Atlanta. With so much to do, here are some favorite things around town, from Candler staff.

Cassondra Haffner, Admissions Assistant

Cassie grew up hometownless (Navy brat), has a background in Art History and Architecture, and has been at Candler for three years.

Cassie’s Five Favorite Things About Atlanta
1. Fourth Friday ArtStroll at Castleberry Hill

Cassie is kinda artsy and loves Castleberry Hill (CH), Atlanta’s up-and-coming-and-maybe- already-there art district. CH hosts a monthly ArtStroll, where galleries and lofts are open to the public, local lounges cater to Stroll-ers, and Atlanta in general gets its culture on. Candler grad Ben Brazil wrote a great article on CH for the New York Times.

2. Walking Sam, her dog, at Piedmont Park
What began in 1887 as the Gentlemen’s Driving Club, was transformed in the early 20th century by the Olmstead brothers into Piedmont Park. The park is a 185-acre urban oasis in Midtown Atlanta. In addition to having the city’s largest dog park, Piedmont is a great place to walk your dog around miles of walking/biking/jogging/rollerblading paths. Go early on a summer Saturday for the open-air Green Market to buy fresh produce directly from local farmers.

3. Grits at South City Kitchen
Located in Midtown, South City Kitchen has been dishing out “contemporary Southern cuisine with a sophisticated twist” since 1993. Cassie loves the shrimp and grits, collard greens, and buttermilk fried chicken, all with a glass of Sweet Tea-the table wine of the South. If you’re from the North (a.k.a., “a Yankee”), try the grits. Don’t roll your eyes. Cheese grits, creamy grits, shrimp and grits…mmmm.

4. Ballet
Cassie has been involved in ballet all of her life, and has trained with the Atlanta Ballet for the past three years. This spring, Cassie saw big, a ballet-hip-hop fusion performance featuring live music by Antwan “Big Boi” Patton of Outkast performing onstage with the Ballet. You don’t see that every day. The 2008-2009 season features traditional pieces like Swan Lake and the Nutcracker, as well as performances like Don Quixote and Dracula. Cassie is considering auditioning for the Company this fall! Woohoo!

5. Braves games at Turner Field
What would summer be in Atlanta without the Braves! Take MARTA to Five-Points Station and catch the free Braves Shuttle. Turner Field allows you to bring in food and drinks (no glass), so pack a picnic or pick up a pizza on the way. Tickets can be ridiculously cheap, with lots of specials—they sell a couple hundred $1 tickets before every game.

Brad Schweers, Admissions Advisor

Brad grew up around Chicago and has been in Atlanta for ten years. Yikes! He graduated from Candler with a Master of Theological Studies in 2005.

Brad’s Five Favorite things About Atlanta
1. Ultimate (frisbee)
Atlanta’s weather allows for Ultimate leagues 11 months out of the year. Brad has played on several Summer and Spring league teams with the Atlanta Flying Disc Club. There are also pick-up
games all over town on just about every day of the week. Candler students play pick-up on the quad every Friday at 2:00 p.m. Last fall we played with four Buddhist monks during H.H. the Dalai Lama’s visit. No joke.

2. Wednesday Night Jazz at Après Diem
Brad has been a regular at Après Diem’s Wednesday night Jazz jam sessions for years. The free music usually goes on around 8 p.m. and can be heard from the bar, the patio, or the lounge (go early to get a couch). Dave Frackenpohl, a Georgia State University Jazz instructor, leads the house band and there are always musicians and vocalists who pop in for a song or two. Try the Tomato Montrachet, Salmon Ciabatta, or Salmon Farfalle.

3. Taizé Prayer
Prayer services based on the music and liturgy of the Taizé Community in France have spread all across the United States and the world. Taizé services are at once ancient and yet contemporary and popular. At any given service, the melodic and meditative songs might be sung in any of a half-dozen languages, along with times of corporate and silent prayer and reading of the Christian Scriptures. Atlanta has a vibrant network of churches who host services weekly or seasonally, including a Monday eve
ng service somewhere in Atlanta every week.

4. Ponce
Paris may have the Champs Élysées, New York may have 5th Avenue, Chicago may have the Magnificent Mile, but only Atlanta has Ponce. The proper (and never used) name is Ponce de Leon Avenue, but it is pronounced monosyllabically “Ponce”. Where else can you find a private prep-school, a boys choir, a Hare Krishna temple, and Willie-the-Bike-Shorts-Guy perpetually waiting for the bus, all within 4 blocks? Ponce is home to a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop, the 24-hour Majestic Diner, a female roller-derby team (that plays in an active Shriners’ Temple!), and the Open Door Community, a Catholic Worker-inspired social justice community.

5. Religion
You’d be hard-pressed to find a city in the U.S with a more dynamic religious presence than Atlanta’s. It was no accident that the Civil Rights Movement emerged from the Black Church and the fertile religious culture of Atlanta. Atlanta is the international home to the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, the Southern Christian Leadership Council, Habitat for Humanity, and the Depung Loseling Monastery, American seat of H.H. the Dalai Lama’s Gelugpa monastic order. On the ground, religion vibrates in every village and every hamlet, with scores of churches, synagogues, mosques, chapels, temples, meeting houses, monasteries, ashrams, and house-churches.

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!