John Keuler is a sophomore at Emory University from Fayetteville, Georgia majoring in both Journalism and English. He has written for the Fayette County News producing sports recaps, crime coverage, and feature stories. In the summer of 2014, he will be working at Atlanta Magazine within the Digital Media department.
A century ago, farming equipment was constructed in the King Plow factory off of West Marietta Street. The factory was renovated and is now the King Plow Arts Center and hosts more than 65 different establishments. Terminal West is just one of the numerous tenants that inhabit the industrial complex today. Where steel and iron were once molded into plows, (nice) modern music resonates within the aged building whenever Terminal West hosts a show in its 7,000 square foot property.
Terminal West took advantage of the electronic dance music craze in 2012, earning the title of Best New Venue from Creative Loafing. Referred to as “the house that dub step built” by Creative Loafing, the venue now hosts anything from its original electronic beats to other tunes like rock and R&B. However, Terminal West stays true to its electronic roots with an advanced light system that complements any DJs that may step onto the stage.
Terminal West gives viewers not only a musical experience but a visual experience, too. Using the combinations of sight and sound, Terminal West boasts on its website that visitors will have “unforgettable nights of music.” Furthering its appeal, the venue added a feature in 2013, adding a third sense to its arsenal, the sense of taste.
The extension of Terminal West is a restaurant called Stationside because of its direct proximity to railroad tracks across the street. Stationside serves lunch from 11 a.m.. to 2 p.m.. on Tuesdays through Fridays, and whenever Terminal West has a show at night. Stationside pulls together its array of sandwiches with local ingredients and also offers gluten-free and vegetarian options.
Contrasting the history surrounding it, Terminal West and Stationside both bring a modern vibe to a historic area. Depending on when you visit, the venue offers the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a new world of music or to enjoy your lunch break while overlooking railroad tracks on the balcony.
Jesse Grossman sits comfortably in the back of Starbucks after combating Atlanta traffic to get to Emory Village. He normally rides his bike to Emory from his home in Virginia-Highland, but it will be dark soon and Grossman does not want to run the risk of biking home in the dark. “There’s no time for fun,” he says sarcastically, punctuating his jest with a smile.
Grossman’s sarcastic statement encompasses the attitude of the volunteer group that he founded. The group, called Community Bucket, is a collection of young professionals who seek to make a positive impact on Atlanta through service while simultaneously connecting with new people. Following the service project of the day, the group moseys over to a bar or tavern to socialize and celebrate its hard work.
In 2013, Community Bucket hosted 28 volunteer events ranging from cleaning up the Atlanta BeltLine, to sorting books to be sent to African children. These events had a combined attendance of 500 different individuals. These specifics are good. However, that is only the beginning. In 2014, Community Bucket is introducing its corporate program.
For a fee, Community Bucket will schedule and plan events for corporations to participate in. The past year, Grossman was able to turn a profit out of Community Bucket from the fees that individuals paid to work with Community Bucket. Grossman supports himself from the profit he makes through his company and also with freelance marketing jobs.
Grossman and his roommate from his senior year at Emory, Mike Guardalabene, had discussed starting a non-profit together. In the summer of 2012, the plan was set into action. Gathering friends, acquaintances, and friends of friends, Community Bucket held its first large service project and 75 volunteers attended. Realizing the potential of Community Bucket, as well as losing his interest marketing for large-scale businesses, Grossman quit his job in marketing in January 2013. “Building a brand from nothing and making it into something of value, as well as marketing for something I’m passionate about, I realize how much I enjoy it now,” says Grossman. He has tremendous enthusiasm for his brand, but it may not always be evident to outside observers.
Grossman speaks with a soft and calm tone, but at the same time he is never forced to raise his voice over the coffee beans grinding behind the Starbucks counter. The curly-headed Marietta-raised man has an intriguing balance of passion for his brand but that excitement hides behind a shy, but suave personality.
Jacey Lucus, a fellow millennial and official team manager for Community Bucket, shares the 25-year-old Grossman’s affinity for sarcasm, “His sarcasm is hilarious. He’s able to poke that in, but he knows when to be professional,” says Lucus. Professional and passionate are certainly two adjectives to describe Grossman.
“He is very welcoming, but very relaxed and lets people come to him,” says Lucus. Grossman goes against his natural shyness to greet volunteers at events, according to Guardalabene. “Jesse can speak to a crowd and command a presence, but he can also gravitate quickly back to being quiet and reserved,” said Guardalabene.
Guardalabene said that it actually took some time for him to get to know Grossman because of their shared shyness. Following their graduation in 2010 from Emory, Grossman and Guardalabene traveled to South America together for five weeks, “That’s where I got to know him best,” said Guardalabene. Grossman is an explorer of sorts, always looking for a new favorite restaurant around Atlanta, naming Brick Store Pub, Woo Nam Jeong Stone Bowl House, and Fellini’s as his top three destinations. On his weekends, Grossman lives an active lifestyle. “I generally try to get outside somehow,” says Grossman, sporting a Columbia athletic shirt and blue jeans.
Leaning back with his elbow resting on a neighboring chair, Grossman gives off relaxed vibes, but maybe it’s the calm ones you have to worry about most. “His purpose in life, the reason he’s on this earth, is to pull practical jokes on people,” said Guardalabene. His calm, cool, and collected demeanor likely helped him to keep a straight face during any prank Grossman pulled on Guardalabene.
That same attitude is beneficial for crisis management for when things go wrong around Community Bucket. A location for a service project recently fell through but Grossman handled it, according to Lucus. “He was able to make calls, work it out, maybe freak out for a bit. But he stepped up and made it happen. I really only have great things to say about him,” said Lucus.
A unique mix of prankster, explorer, and entrepreneur, Grossman is a balanced person who is not afraid to chase down his passion. Luckily for Atlanta, Grossman’s passion is social work, and Community Bucket is his outlet. Grossman’s former roommate gave a description of Grossman that might mirror Community Bucket’s personality. “Jesse’s a mix of serious and laid-back,” said Guardalabene. Oddly enough, Grossman described how he hoped people approach an event with Community Bucket with a similar phrase that Guardalabene used described to Grossman. “Let’s work hard but try not to take it too seriously.”
Before Atlanta grew to be the biggest city in what is known as the Empire State of the South, it was the home of the Zero Milepost. The Zero Milepost marked the endpoint of a 138-mile railroad that started in Chattanooga. Around that endpoint, a bustling railroad city called Terminus began to form.
General William Sherman ran his Union soldiers through Terminus, burning most of it to the ground. However, the people remained resilient and again built around the milepost. Viaducts, or types of bridges, were built in the 1920’s. All the shops moved up, abandoning underground roads and aged storefronts below.
The forgotten places beneath became what is Underground Atlanta today. Plazas were constructed above starting in 1943, but in 1969 The Underground once again became the home to shops. The stores no longer resembled Jacob’s Pharmacy, the first store to sell Coca-Cola in 1866. Where people first took sips of Coke, they now buy vibrant Jordan shoes from Foot Locker.
Falling in behind the modern retail stores, chain restaurants and nightclubs moved in. Next came the Pac-Man Play Arcade. A sharp contrast to the history that surrounds it, the arcade breaks up the musty darkness with its lively music and brilliant lights.
On one side of the Underground sits a classical diner, Johnny Rockets. On the opposite half, dozens of kiosks reside, selling smartphones and rap mix tapes next to concrete blocks where old hotels stood nearly 200 years ago. Take a stroll from the historical side to the opposing MARTA station entrance, and you can see how Terminus became Atlanta and how it got from there to here.
The Underground has experienced a number of closings and reopenings for a variety of reasons. The war, MARTA, crime, and other reasons that lead to lack of retail eventually caused Atlanta to look for another solution. In mid-March, the city bought out the rest of the lease that The Underground had and now it looks to sell the subterennean mall to anyone with a plan for the area. The timeline below will help put the ups and downs of the plaza into a more visual perspective.
The 1970’s was probably the only decade that the Underground Atlanta really enjoyed any success over a period of time. The gallery below features some of the advertisements that a pedestrian would find while walking through the Underground for the restaurants and bars that were open.
The ideal college schedule doesn’t include Friday classes, and if you’re one of the lucky Atlanta college students who sleep in on Fridays, a worthy way to spend those free Friday afternoons is going to a Braves game. These guidelines will ensure that you’ll have the ultimate experience at Turner Field.
First, you should arrive about five hours prior to first pitch so that you’ll have time to savor your tailgate. Prime parking where grilling is allowed is near the YMCA on Pryor Street and it’s only an eight-minute walk from the ballpark. Grilling is also permitted in the grassy areas of the Braves Blue Lot—which have shady trees and tables as well.
Early arrival is important for tailgaters who double as avid baseball fans because batting practice begins nearly three hours before game time, according to the Braves’ website. If you’re hoping to catch a home run ball during batting practice, Kurt Smith, the author of Baseball Park E-Guides, believes the premier place to stand is left field because the majority of hitters are right-handed.
If you have minimal interest in snagging a souvenir, an alternate spot to watch from is the Chop House, a restaurant that offers a wide variety of menu items and overlooks centerfield. There, you can try some of The Ted’s ballpark food after warm-ups. Other the Chop House grub, Smith says his favorite dish is the Georgia Dog and it can be bought at any of the Top Dog Express stands.
Buying a Skyline ticket, which is for seating at the highest row, is just a dollar and can save cash. After the third inning, ushers allow fans to move seats without much trouble if there are available spots, according to Smith. The same practice can be used in the lower level to move very close to the field, but ushers operate more strictly closer to the field.
Turner Field will be demolished in 2017 and then Friday afternoon trips to a Bravos game from Emory will be an entirely different process. But for now, you can follow these words of advice and you are sure to maximize your spectator experience.
At the bottom you will find a map giving directions from Emory to the parking lot that Smith named as a great parking option near the YMCA.