Nature with Makeup

Michael and Sandro stood anxiously shivering under the roof of Long-Street Means as the 42 degree air had their teeth chattering and fingers frozen. Once again Sandro subtly hinted “Do we really have to go? I’ve been there before and have pictures”. Without even acknowledging his comment Michael jumped in the Uber and Sandro reluctantly followed. Once again Sandro decided that the Uber driver was his best friend as Michael shook his head and put in his headphones. Though the ride only lasted 10 minutes, the sound of Sandro talking about cheese with this complete stranger had Michael smashing his head against the window.

Michael after we got shut down.

Shortly after the ride Michael and Sandro were warmly greeted by the garden staff with a “We are closed!” as the receptionist shut the window. Sandro started laughing hysterically, but Michael was extremely frustrated as the garden was supposed to be open on Sundays. A technician approached us from behind explaining that there was a “power outage” moments before we arrived. After Sandro berated Michael with about 50 “I told you so”s, Michael was convinced that Sandro was a bad luck charm for our blogs. “What the f*** are we going to write about” Michael crankily said, but Sandro somehow had it all planned out.

Sandro’s eyebrow started twitching and along came a sudden flashback. It was like a PTSD moment for the Vietnam War veterans except on a smaller scale. He was only 13 years old when his parents forced him to go to this wretched place. Sandro turned to Michael and started talking about his first experience: “First up, after the main entrance hall where you are given the opportunity to learn all the worthless information about the different types of flowers at the garden, is the Rose garden itself. The tour guide as well as the website said that ‘The Rose Garden offers a representative collection of old-fashioned and landscape roses to visitors. These varieties are managed organically and are interplanted with appropriate perennials’.”

Sandro’s Flashback:

Outside the Garden.

However, to bring it down to a few sentences, if you’ve ever seen a bunch of different colored roses planted together or have seen four different colored roses in a small bouquet, you can completely skip this part and head on over to the next useless attraction at the garden, the Great Lawn. This one’s amazing, there’s a whole field of grass, I was absolutely mesmerized when I saw grass for the first time in my life on this indeed Great Lawn. If you come at night, they even hang some flashing lights on nearby trees as well as across some of the bushes surrounding the Chapman Conservatory. The lights, I have to admit, were very aesthetically pleasing, but I definitely wasn’t at the botanical garden to get an epileptic seizure. Our tour guide said our next stop was…. The Rock Garden. Holy f***ing s**t, I thought to myself, rocks with lights over them. The tour guide described it as an exciting addition to that garden, but really there was just one tiny gazebo with water around it.

Parterre Fountain Installation
Storza Woods

On the way we saw the Parterre Fountain Installation, which definitely did not make my $30 ticket worthwhile. The website says “Created for the Atlanta Botanical Garden in 2004, Dale Chihuly’s Parterre Fountain Installation is a one-of-a-kind sculpture in blue and white, interpreting shapes and colors of water, ice and sky. A captivating assemblage of twisting, brightly colored glass, the sculpture sparkles in Levy Parterre Fountain, where it is especially lovely lit up after dark. See it sparkle from a whole new perspective, the top of the recently renovated Alston Overlook.” “Sparkle” there was not sparkle. I thought I came to the garden to see plants, not glass. Last but not least we were at the Gardens in Storza Woods where we would “Experience the tranquil beauty of storied hardwoods surrounded by woodland gardens in one of four spaces: Beachwood Overlook, Boardwalk Balcony, Channel Overlook and The Patio at the Water Mirror.” That was truly the only good part about the garden, nothing was altered, it was just one big peaceful wooded area. But again, the ticket was $30 and I have some trees planted in my backyard as well.” Wow, Michael thought as Sandro finally closed his mouth and they hopped in the Uber back to Emory. Thank God for the wind that day, as otherwise he too would’ve endured the same torturous fate as Sandro did on the cold night of August 11th, 2014.

Man made sculpture and pond.

Although Sandro successfully convinced Michael that the power outage was a good thing, he noticed a theme in Sandro’s flashback. Though Sandro’s experience was utterly painful, he seemed to have appreciated the natural beauty of the Gardens in Storza Woods. He was able to describe in great detail the unpolished elegance of this wooded area compared to the superficial aesthetic of the other sites. Though the Botanical Garden emphasizes an “organic approach”, it seems like almost everything in the garden has some sort of human alteration and fabricated appearance. Whether it was the Rock Garden or Parterre fountain, there really seemed like nothing truly natural about this garden. While one could easily argue that the garden is supposed to be seen as a giant architectural achievement, there are some clear transformations that are almost too artificial. A perfect example of this can seen with the lights on the Great Lawn. Though this arrangement was aesthetically pleasing, Sandro was disappointed because the lights distracted the visitors from the natural beauty of the lawn. It seems as if our world is no longer attracted to the simple, natural things in life. From beauty products to the man made designs of the garden, our world is living in a constant cycle of superficial reinvention. But when does it go too far? How long can our world sustain a balance of natural beauty and advancement when our own affinity for the natural things in life is ever changing?

Feel free to explore the website:

-Michael and Sandro


uscitytraveler. “Atlanta Botanical Garden.” YouTube, YouTube, 10 Oct. 2011,

Central Park Vibes in the ATL

Imagine yourself in standing in the middle of an open, green field, with trees all around. There is a lake to your left, and all around you in the distance are tall buildings that contrast the nature within your immediate distance.

This is what it feels like to visit Piedmont Park, an urban park about one mile northeast of Downtown Atlanta. Its 185 acres of land are home to many activities and events, including a farmer’s market and sports practices.

As I ordered my Uber to visit Piedmont Park last Thursday afternoon, I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew was that after a long week of studying and classes, I was ready to be outside in the beautiful weather and have a relaxing afternoon.

The Uber dropped my friend and me off near the Welcome Plaza. As soon as we stepped out of the car, we were struck with silence. Not only were there limited people around, but the only sounds we could hear were the rustling of leaves and the occasional bird chirping. This was brand new to us coming from a bustling college campus.

A map of Piedmont Park. Credit to

We decided to take a look at the map to see what the park had to offer. We noticed tennis courts, a swimming pool, and many picnic areas. However, the map was a bit difficult to interpret, so we simply walked forward to see where it would take us.


First, we came upon a beautiful lake, where there were multiple people fishing, reminding me of the parks near my home, where my dad used to take me fishing. We sat on a wooden swing near the shore and soaked up the silence as we enjoyed the view: the tops of the buildings downtown peeking out from the rows of trees behind the lake. This view quickly reminded me of Central Park, one of my favorite places in New York. Growing up, my dad’s company would send him to New York three to four times a month, so going to visit him became a common occurrence. I was always so amazed that the city had room for so much greenery and hills, and I had this same feeling as I sat on the swing in Piedmont Park.

Our view from the shore of the lake at Piedmont Park.


We continued on our journey and came upon the swimming pool. Only open during the summer, the pool included 4 lap lanes, a concession stand, and locker rooms.

This was the best view we could get of the pool, which is closed for the 2017 season.

The concessions stand at the pool wasn’t the only one in the park however. There are multiple throughout the park, most of them only open on Saturday and Sunday. Blue Donkey Coffee and King of Pops, a couple of Emory favorites, are only some of the food options that the concessions stands have to offer.

After passing dog parks, playgrounds, and picnic areas, we climbed some stairs to my favorite area: The Active Oval. The Active Oval, home to a running track, two soccer fields, two softball fields, and and two sand volleyball courts, is where all of the sports practices take place. To me, the greatest part of it all was the view. Standing on the field gives the perfect panorama of the Downtown Atlanta landscape. Staring wide-eyed at the incredible city in front of me, I was so proud to call Atlanta my new home.

A panorama I took of the view from the Active Oval.
Our newest restaurant discovery, Cactus House, right next to Piedmont Park.

After snapping more than a few photos, my friend and I found ourselves wishing the concessions stands were open. We decided to walk to Piedmont Avenue, the city street where the park’s main entrance is located, to scope out the good restaurants. We quickly came upon Cactus House, a brand new Mexican restaurant about a block away from the park. We sat and enjoyed some chips and guacamole and an avocado taco on the porch, raving about our experience at the park. We agreed to gather a big group of friends and return on a weekend for a long walk and a picnic.

Overall, my experience at Piedmont Park was amazing. College students need to get off campus every once in awhile and spend some time outside to refresh their brains, and a walk in the park was exactly what I needed. However, my recommendation would be to visit the park on a Saturday or Sunday, especially if you’re looking to enjoy a snack and see all of the activity.




THE GREEN MARKET: Every Saturday in March-December, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

TOURS: History Tours, Tree Tours, and Bird Walks offered

FITNESS: Guided fitness classes and free monthly yoga




NOV 1 – Pick Up and Pitch In for Piedmont Park @ 2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

NOV 12 – Love You Healthy Fitness Party @ 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

NOV 27 – Free Yoga on the Promenade @ 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.


By Kate Monger

Inside a Record-Breaking MLS Game

As a fun Family Weekend activity and a birthday present, I had the opportunity to attend a soccer match with my family between Atlanta United FC and the team I support, Toronto FC. The match was the last of the regular season, and both teams had something to play for; Atlanta United could score a bye in the first round of the playoffs, while Toronto could achieve the highest ever point-tally in Major League Soccer (MLS) history. The atmosphere truly reflected the importance of the game, with over 71,000 people showing up to watch (an MLS attendance record). The passion of the fans and the amount of noise made it pretty uncomfortable to cheer for the away team.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The match took place in the brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which Atlanta United share with the Atlanta Falcons. The stadium is located just southwest of Centennial Olympic Park, close to the center of downtown Atlanta. This causes a lot of traffic before and after their games, but we didn’t really have a problem getting out. The unique shape of the stadium makes it stand out in the downtown area. All the noise coming from the area also draws lots of attention. I found that all of the stadium staff were very efficient and friendly. We never really had to wait in a line, despite there being 70,000 other people there.

Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco signing autographs

In order to get to our seats, we had to walk past the tunnel where they players enter the field from. Fans of Atlanta United were lined up along the sides, waiting for their heroes to come out. As the players came out of the dressing room, they jogged down the tunnel and high-fived all the fans who stuck their hands out. After the players were on the field, we got to watch them warm up from the field-side and then took our seats. We just so happened to be sandwiched between Atlanta United fans, but from looking around the stadium I could tell that they were everywhere. I was only able to find a few other Toronto supporters during the match.

Before the game started, Atlanta United displayed their tradition of taking a golden spike, signed by fans of the team, and hitting it with a sledgehammer as the fans spell the name of the team. This match, the honours of hitting the spike were given to Atlanta recording artist 2 Chainz. Afterwards, the anthem was sung by another Atlanta recording artist, CeeLo Green. As the match started, everyone remained on their feet and did not sit for the entire 90 minutes. The energy in the stadium was truly unmatchable by any other team in MLS.

2 Chainz with the sledgehammer and CeeLo Green singing the anthem
Final score: 2-2

The match was very even throughout and ended in a 2-2 draw. While both teams were hoping to win, a draw suited Toronto just fine – they achieved the most ever points in MLS history with 69 (20W-9D-5L). However, because Atlanta did not win, they were unable to move into second place, so they must play in a knockout game against Columbus Crew S.C. in order to stay alive in the playoffs. Tickets to this game are already practically sold out, as fans of the team are very excited to see Atlanta United in the playoffs in their inaugural season.

Following the MLS and keeping an eye on Atlanta United has made me think about one question: How are Atlanta United so successful? There has to be an explanation to how they can get over 70,000 people to come to a game. There are a few reasons, and combined it all makes perfect sense.

The first reason is undoubtedly the success. There is no way that the team would have so many fans without it doing well in the league. The owner of the team, Arthur Blank, invested lots of money from the get-go in order to start the franchise on a high note. Atlanta brought in talented players from across South America and a coach who understood what the fans want to see. The result is an exciting team that plays fast-paced, interesting soccer that the fans love to watch. When the supporters see their team doing well, it reinforces their pride and makes them feel happy. Atlanta were excited when they got their team, and the success that they’ve had in their first year has kept that excitement going.

The Atlanta United Supporter’s Section

A deeper reason why that many people come out is that it is a team of the people. The team name, Atlanta United really means that it is a medium to unite everyone in the city. Having the word united in the name has special significance to the supporters, as it makes them feel that they are just as big a part of the club as anyone else. Not only that, but Atlanta is a city on the rise with lots of young people. This club is something that they feel they can take and make theirs. This leads to the creation of supporters groups, who sit together, chant together, and… support together.

The supporter groups have really done a great job of getting people to join in and support their club. To quote an interview done by Copa90, “Hip-hop was the lubricant to bring people in who are newbies and show them a good time”. The interview showed the various things the supporter groups do to lure people in to joining. These include playing hip-hop music, tailgating, and creating tifos, which are large displays that the fans hold up to show support for the club.

An Atlanta United tifo

Overall, Atlanta United F.C. is a successful franchise on many levels. The success of the team as well as the fans is really something special. However, it will be worthwhile to see how they do in the playoffs, and if the hype will last from season to season.


Copa90 interview:

Match highlights:


“If You’re Alone, You’re Sick”

After three hours of chasing down MARTA buses, forgetting play tickets, and interesting uber rides we (Faith and Rachel ) somehow managed to arrive an hour early at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta for the showing of the Alliance Theatre on the Go’s Crossing Delancey. Exhausted from the day’s events we didn’t even consider looking up the plotline of the play and instead decided to kill the hour with a conversation about academics, pushy family members, and our loves lives, or more so our lack of ones. So imagine our surprise when the play unfolded to be a young Jewish bookstore owner, Izzy, and her attempt to find love with the unwanted help of her persistent grandmother and matchmaker friend. As the play continued we found ourselves in a pickle with a pickle man, a lonely bookstore owner, her Bubbie, an author, and a matchmaker.

Faith’s ticket

Needless to say, the play, Crossing Delancey, captured our attention and nurtured our interest in generational differences on dating and marriage.

The stage lights turn on and immediately the audience is transported to the tiny home of Bubbie, the protagonist, Izzy’s, very bold and very Jewish grandmother. Right off the bat viewers can feel the endearing love that Izzy has for her eccentric grandmother, despite the conflicting viewpoints the two women discuss over baked goods at the kitchen table. As Izzy stuffs her mouth with Bubbie’s home-cooked delights she is subjected to the lecturing of her grandmother, who insists on getting her married off as soon as possible in order to protect her from the most horrible fate imaginable-life alone. As Bubbie’s speech progresses Izzy becomes continuously more amused until finally laughing in disbelief when her grandmother encourages her to go out on a blind-date a matchmaker set up for her with the local pickle man, Sam Posner. Right away Izzy counters her relative’s statement, defending the mindset of the modern woman’s take on marriage.

Bubbie’s kitchen

She argues that “It’s very different for women of my generation. . . . Everything’s different. We have options. . . . I can do anything I want to do. Go anywhere I want to go. . . . Maybe I don’t want a husband. . . And if I did, he wouldn’t be a pickle man.”  Izzy’s statement stood out to us as a perfect representation of the generational gap present in terms of what marriage truly entails for millennials versus those born before. Whereas Izzy’s grandmother looks at marriage as a means for security, Izzy sees marriage as a unity between two souls made perfectly for each other, which is more along the lines of what today’s young adults are searching for in lifelong partners. Initially, Izzy looks down on the idea of a prospective suitor being someone invested in the business of pickles as it seems to contrast immensely from her passion for books and intellect. However, as the play progresses it is revealed that perhaps not all the ways we millennials go about the dating process are ideal. Crossing Delancey brings up differences regarding the options available to younger generations, the use of technology for dating, and expectations of marriage.

When examining Izzy’s previously mentioned statement there is one word that seems to stand out, “options”. People of our generation, Millennials, and even the generation after us, Generation Z, have far more dating options than our grandparents. We do not have to worry about one lost opportunity because we have plenty of fish to catch in the sea, which we can easily attain with one quick swipe right on our phone screens. Izzy just had Sam the pickle man and the author Tyler Moss, who we eventually learned was only interested in making her his assistant, but that could be more than others had near her. Because the play is set in the 80’s Izzy doesn’t take to any dating apps to talk to her potential suitors; however, we still noted the idea of “options” being translatable to technology today. Technology provides places like the internet with millions of users worldwide, which allow us to connect with numerous amounts of people who could be prospective companions. Dating apps, websites, and even social media are new places for people to meet and form relationships; however, prior to this people were limited to those that lived in close proximity to them. This meant that there were not many places where people could connect and thus convenience played a large factor in who people married at the time. This fact is depicted in the play when Bubbie goes on to describe how she married her late husband. He was ever persistent and had a good job so finally, she decided “why not?” and proceeded to date and eventually marry him. Because Bubbie grew up in a time where traditional male roles of providing for the household were expected, there is a conflict with the way she views marriage versus Izzy. Just like us, Izzy is living in a time of female progressivism and the idea of a woman providing for herself and marrying for love and not convenience has become normalized which Bubbie, just as some members of older generations, do not understand.

Living with immigrant parents that are a generation older, Faith has been acutely aware of these differences as she grew up. Growing up, Faith still remembers being confused about both her parents and her grandparent’s marriage situations. Her grandparents wed when her grandmother was only about fourteen or fifteen, but her grandfather was about thirty. Keep in mind that this was in Africa, and it was and in some places still is culturally acceptable. They basically still see marriage as a source of security. Faith’s grandpa owned a business so he could take care of her grandma, they lived in the same city, shared the same religion, and their families descended from the same tribe, which meant that they should be able to live together comfortably. Love was not the main priority because it could come with time. Faith’s parents married for similar reasons. As she grew up, it was clear that while her mom did want her to be in love with the person she married, Faith could tell based off what her mother said that she prioritized stability and security. Faith, however, is not necessarily worried about security and wants to marry her soulmate, which parallels Izzy’s desires exactly.

Us with Sochi Fried who played Izzy

Another issue that we discovered is that the Millennials and the Baby Boomers are not looking for the same things when it comes to partners and marriage. According to Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg in their book Modern Romance: An Investigation, in the past, people had companionate marriages: they were not necessarily about love, but convenience. Marriage used to be mainly about security; each person had clearly defined roles that would ensure that they produced a good family. For women, marriage meant more autonomy, since they were now only under the authority of their husbands. Since men worked, marrying a man that had a good job was necessary. They were just looking for someone that they could have kids and a stable life with. For men, marriage meant finding a nice girl to have kids with so that you could be the head of a household. In a survey taken in the 1960’s, they found that 76% of women would marry someone that they did not love as opposed to 35% of men (Ansari and Klinenberg 22). Now we are not just looking for these things alone, but we also want a soulmate. In the play, Izzy did not want to marry the pickle man because having a successful business was not enough for her. She wanted someone that she connected with on a deeper level, which is what she believed she would have with Tyler, the snobby author, based off what she read in his novels. Ever since the Women’s Movement, women no longer find themselves needing to rely on a man for stability. This means that it is no longer the biggest factor in pursuing a partner. In the 1980’s another survey was done and they found that 91% of women and 86% of men would not marry someone that they did not experience romantic love with (Ansari and Klinenberg 24). The people want true love and real connections. We found this especially interesting as the play takes place during the 80s where this shift of marital expectations is examined. After reflecting on the play and researching the causes and effects of generational gaps we began to ponder what we learned from this Out on the Town event.

We decided that dating in the twenty-first century can get complicated quickly. At first, it seems simple: Slide into said person’s DMs, swipe right on Tinder, create a profile on Christian Mingle, or just text the kid you like from your math class. While we do have so many options, so does everyone else, which makes finding a soulmate a long and tricky process. It makes us wonder whether or not the “old way” of thinking is all that bad, especially when considering Izzy ends up being with pickle man Sam by the end of the play.

A poster for the play

Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned about convenience when we examine it from the viewpoint of lessening up on our dependency on technology to make connections. And maybe finding a soulmate who can provide security is not so bad if we view security as emotional and mental insurance as opposed to just economical protection. Lessening the generational gap could be possible if we viewed opinions and concepts from a different perspective and simply tried to understand one another. But going back to dating, if you find that you are still looking for love in your life, relax. Despite what Bubbie Kantor says, being alone does not make you sick. It could just mean that you are still in the process of searching for your soulmate, which in the end could make it all the more worthwhile.

Ansari, Aziz, and Eric Klinenberg. Modern Romance: An Investigation. Penguin Books, 2015.

SpelHouse outdoes Emory


Morehouse College and Spelman College are part of the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUC), which comprises of one co-ed school, one all male school, and one all female school; Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College respectively. Each of the colleges in the AUC are also Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), meaning they have an overwhelmingly high black student population. Morehouse and Spelman celebrate their homecomings together in what is known as the “SpelHouse Homecoming” every year. They have events throughout the week, including a concert on Wednesday and a homecoming football game on Saturday.

Flyer for the concert.
The chaotic line outside Forbes Arena.



Michael: I jumped out of my seat during film class as I received a text on my phone. The words “Travis Scott this Wednesday at Morehouse” made me ecstatic as I quickly flipped open my laptop and purchased a ticket. My favorite artist was performing in Atlanta and all my friends were coming with me. Two days later we found ourselves in a swarm of people 6,000 deep. We were pushed, shoved, and even cursed out as everyone made a mad rush to the door. The shouts of the security guards only made the crowd even more disorderly as students began to bang on the glass. “Move back! We need everyone to move back!”, but nobody was listening as the crowd of people slammed into the doors like a wave crashing into the shore. The reflection of red and blue police lights on the glass windows illuminated the excited faces of the crowd. The concert started at 8pm and it was already 9:30pm. Suddenly a scream was heard from the right side of the mob as multiple student were seen frantically wiping pepper spray from theirs eyes. With the fear that the chaos would only escalate, many AUC students began to disperse, but we were not ready to give up. Being one of the few white students in the crowd, some people were giving me dirty looks. They tried to tell me that I would be denied at the door because I was not an AUC student. I tried to tell them it was open to the public, but they refused to listen. Although I was frustrated by this, I understood their perspective as it was SpelHouse homecoming meant mostly for the AUC students. As I received these dirty looks from all angles, one Morehouse student named Hilliard took us under his wing and led our entire group to the doors. Once we finally made our way through security, we rushed into the gymnasium and found some great seats on the bleachers. Though we tried to find space on the floor, the gym was clearly reaching maximum capacity as it was extremely packed. After Travis’ expected late arrival, the concert began and the whole crowd went crazy.

Saturday’s tailgate.

Zion: My older sister Ashia is currently a Junior at Spelman College and this weekend happened to align perfectly for my family. Emory University and Spelman College both had their homecomings on the same weekend and this weekend was also parents weekend at Emory. Our mom decided to come down from Maryland to Atlanta and we got to spend the weekend together. On Saturday, my family and I attended the SpelHouse tailgate before Morehouse’s homecoming game later that day. The plan was for my sister to meet us over there, so my mom came and picked me up from Emory that morning. Trying to find parking was an absolute nightmare given the amount of people who showed up for the event. We ended having to pay $25 to park a few blocks down, but we were determined to have a good time. Once we finally arrived at the tailgate we were met with a huge crowd of people. There were families with children, current students, and alumni who had come back to visit. The air was filled with a sort of electric energy that I can’t quite describe. We quickly found my sister and she introduced us to some of her friends before disappearing again into the crowd. My mom and I didn’t stay long, however, as I had to get back to Emory for a track meet later that afternoon.

Since our blog comes from the perspective of two outsiders, we decided to interview Chris Moye, who has attended Morehouse homecomings all his life.

Tell me about your experiences at Morehouse homecomings when you were younger.

“My experiences at homecoming consisted of going to the tailgate before the football game, and meeting alumni. It was always one of the things that I looked forward to in the fall when I was growing up.”

What do you think about the Morehouse community and AUC?

“I love the Morehouse community and the AUC. I have dealt with many Morehouse men and members of the AUC since childhood, and I have yet to meet someone who makes me think negatively about Morehouse, or the AUC as a whole; Morehouse and the AUC as a whole is essentially a giant family.”

How have the homecomings changed since you were younger?

“The access that I have to certain homecoming events has changed as I have gotten older. In years past, there wasn’t as much corporate involvement in the Morehouse homecomings, but they are now hosted by large companies like Ford and Viacom.”

Morehouse Homecoming 2017

After attending both homecomings, there was a clear distinction between the two schools. Though the endowments of both universities are quite disparate, it was evident that Morehouse puts more effort and creativity into its homecoming compared to Emory. The energy at Morehouse was significantly greater as the community was extremely tight-knit and lively. Whether it was the thrill of the concert or the celebrations at the tailgate, we both realized that the AUC truly moves and acts as one big family. Traveling to Morehouse was more than just a change in environment, it was a change in spirit and morale. The school showed signs of unity and harmony that we never knew existed on campuses. After interviewing Chris it was clear that the AUC homecomings continue to grow as more money is put into events through sponsorships with large companies. Without a football team, we expected Emory to focus heavily on community events, but we realized that our school lacks one essential aspect of campus life: school spirit. It seems that nobody is excited about campus events unless it is required for PACE. Following our visits to Morehouse and Spelman, we both walked away with a newfound understanding about what campus culture truly should be. When talking to Zion’s sister, a current student at Spelman, she noted that at this year’s concert there was an unusually high number of people who did not attend one of the AUC schools. She also explained that while each school is its own entity, the level of school spirit is unparalleled to other schools. The AUC is much more than a community, it is a family, and to see people who aren’t part of that family at the events understandably rubbed some students the wrong way, but it truly shows the excitement it brings.  The sight of thousands of students all coming together and celebrating the year was quite incredible and really inspired us to create this same community and awareness at Emory.

Emory’s lack of school spirit.


EliDaGreat420. “MAMACITA Instrumental.” YouTube, YouTube, 13 Dec. 2015,

“Home.” Atlanta University Center Consortium,

“Travis Scott In Concert – Atlanta, Georgia.” Getty Images,

-Michael and Zion

A Dream Parents Weekend

This past week was crazy for me. Being that it was Homecoming Week and I’m in Student Programming Council, the student organization that runs Homecoming, I was so relieved that I got Saturday off because my family was coming for Parents Weekend. I thought that this would be a perfect time to go out on the town and give my family a taste of Atlanta by going to the historic site of The King Center.

King Center Sign

The King Center was established in 1968 by Coretta Scott King to continue Dr. King’s Dream and preserve his legacy. This living monument educates patrons about non-violence and civil rights in an effort to inspire future generations to carry out Dr. King’s legacy. The King Center does more than memorializing Dr. and Mrs. King. It also features many other important champions of civil rights, past and present. The first place I stopped on my self-guided tour of The King

The tile of Rosa Park in the Civil Rights Walk of Fame.

Center was the Civil Rights Walk of Fame. The Civil Rights Walk of Fame was established to honor people with significant contributions to equality. Some of those featured include Rosa Parks, Magic Johnson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Bill Clinton, NeYo, and Dr. Maya Angelou just to name a few. The Walk of Fame is updated each year with new inductees. The Walk of Fame ended with a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, who inspired Dr. King’s non-violent philosophy. It’s hard to explain, but the whole area exuded an air of enlightenment and reflection. All around there were plaques with passages and quotes from Dr. King with one-word titles like “Mandate” and “Motivation.” Thos definitely added to the aforementioned feel.

After passing the World Peace Rose Garden, I went to the Historic Ebenezer

The Sanctuary of Ebenezer Baptist Church

Baptist Church. Ebenezer Baptist Church is the pastoral home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sr. The church was restored in 2011 to its 1960s state. Being in the church was really nostalgic. Going to church was a big part of my life when I was younger.  My family is pretty religious, so being in the traditional style church made me feel like I’ve been there before. Whether it’s was the beautiful kaleidoscopic stained-glass windows, the wooden pews, or the red carpet, I was just so fascinated by the place. Even my dad felt that there was just something about being in there that interested him and it was his favorite spot of the tour.

Stained Glass Windows

After leaving the sanctuary, I went downstairs into the fellowship room. It was a small room with tile floors. There

The Fellowship room

were rows of chairs that people could sit and watch a video about the church.  Different fact boards line the walls and there were two glass cases with artifacts such as photographs, Bibles, and shards of glass from the original Ebenezer Baptist Church.

The final part of the tour ended at Freedom Hall. I didn’t have much time to explore because I had to go to work, but this area didn’t have too much to explore because of construction. In preparation of the 50th anniversary of Dr.  King’s assassination and the establishment of The King Center, there are renovations going on in Freedom Hall, the Crypt, and Reflecting Pool. Even with the renovation, I still enjoyed my experience. Going to the King Center made me really reflect and think about

Freedom Hall

how much of an impact Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement had on my life. Without going through the obvious historic and political route, references to civil rights are all around me.  I was always very involved with Black History Month in school and for a while, I’ve been that person to always talk about black issues and address civil rights in general. Weirdly, Dr. King has had an impact on my poetry because of his performativity when giving speeches. Going back to the Civil Rights Walk of Fame, one of the people I didn’t mention was Roberto Goizueta, who’s the namesake of the b-school. I’m also a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar and my sponsor is Hank and Billye Aaron, Hank Aaron is also featured on the Walk of Fame. My dorm is decorated with MLK and Malcolm X posters and other nods to black culture.  And overall I want to work in a career dealing with civil rights, education inequality, etc. I’m not saying this to say to have some theory of fate. I think the bigger picture is that a lot of times we don’t notice how the things around us shape our futures. Being that we’re college students, it’s nice to just think about how different experiences guide our decisions. It’s great to do this now because soon we’ll be able to declare our majors and a little later down the road, we’re going to be choosing career paths. These are very big decisions, but I think that reflection is a good way of preparing for a big decision.

The King Center is open seven days a week from 9am-5pm. If you want to learn more or plan a visit, you can check out their website by clicking on this link

Sandro Hijacks Jared and Hannah’s Blog Post

“Maybe we can just pretend that we went,” I thought to myself as our Uber’s estimated time of arrival extended from seven minutes to half a century. After 15 minutes of waiting and two missed calls to the Uber driver later, we canceled the ride and ordered another one. This time, a lovely gentleman named Daran picked us up. Little did I know that this man would soon become my best friend. After discussing his graduate studies at Georgia Tech, war, my family origins and global warming, I wondered whether I could ask Daran for his number, knowing that I would probably want to catch up with him later and find out how he and his girlfriend were doing. Sadly, we live in an imperfect world dictated by social norms that deem asking your Uber driver for personal information to spark a friendship “weird”.

Sandro befriending our Uber driver Daran.

When we arrived at Centennial Olympic Park, I shook Daran’s hand, wished him and his girlfriend the best, and sadly bid him adieu. “Wow,” I thought to myself as we exited the Uber to see the historically significant and beautiful Centennial Olympic Park before us, “this is about to be really boring.” All I could think about, besides Daran, was that I would finally get to walk backward with Jared.

We began our journey by learning about the park’s origins. The park commemorates the 1996 Centennial Summer Olympic Games, which Atlanta hosted. The city dedicated $75 million to developing Downtown Atlanta, ensuring it was fit to house the games and creating a commercial center in Atlanta, including the Georgia Aquarium, Center for Civil and Human Rights, College Football Hall of Fame, CNN, Delta Airlines and the World of Coca-Cola. Centennial Park continues the legacy of the 1996 games and its subsequent impact on Atlanta.

Confused about where to begin our exploration of the park, we were relieved to find that it had an accompanying Audio Tour. Today, we will take you along with us as we tour the park and share our experiences.

Allen Family Tribute

The Allen Family Tribute has been fenced off during construction of the park.

Our tour begins with the Allen Family Tribute. This 15-foot-tall structure pays tribute to the three generations of the Allen family, who helped shape the city of Atlanta. On the note of family, this part of the park always reminds me of my first experience at Centennial Olympic Park nearly six years ago with my family. My parents were so excited to show me and my younger brother the spot where they watched the 1996 Olympic Games together, and I vividly remember them pointing out this landmark as a testimonial to the importance of family. Come along so we can see what else this place has in store…

Gateway of Dreams

Stop Two.
Sandro poses alongside Baron Pierre de Coubertin.

The Gateway of Dreams is a monument of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games. Coubertin’s sculpture is three times his height, representing his legacy and impact on the Olympics. The plaque below the sculpture describes Coubertin’s “dream of a world united in peace through sport.” But the only thing going through my mind was that this man could rock the stache, and honestly, not everyone can. I bet Hunter could, though.

Androgyne Planet

Stop Three.

“What do aliens have to do with the Olympic Games?” I thought as I looked up at the vast statue before me and put on my tin foil hat. This totem represents the Games’ spirit of international unity. To create this spirit of unity, each host city donates a piece of art to the next city. At least my tin foil hat won’t let the statue’s telekinetic powers into my brain. This is what the planet must really be built for, let’s be honest.

Children’s Garden and Playground

Stop four.
An activity at the accessible Children’s Playground.

We are now stepping on the rubber floors of the Centennial Olympic Park’s Children’s Playground. This play space is dedicated to the younger kids that frequent the park and is designed for children with all ranges of physical abilities. The aisles between various activities are wide, and all activities on the playground are accessible, capturing the essence of the park as an all-inclusive venue. I am reminded of my frequent trips to Aiden’s Playground, an accessible park in Los Angeles, with my mother, previously a Disability Rights Lawyer, who was highly supportive of its design.

Paralympic Legacy

Stop Five.
The four pillars of “Paralympic Legacy.”

On the note of inclusivity, the monument that we are now approaching commemorates the Atlanta Paralympic Games, a sports competition for athletes with disabilities. The pillars that surround the monument represent the commitment, leadership, diversity, and excellence that characterized the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games. “Paralympic Legacy” serves as a reminder of the pursuit of excellence that the Paralympics inspire.

Quilt of Nations

Stop 6.
The Quilt of Nations.
Sandro planking on the water that weaves through the five quilts.

A man-made series of beautifully landscaped, cascading water features weave through the five Quilt Plazas, including the Quilt of Nations. The Quilt of Nations honors all 197 nations that participated in the 1996 Games. This was the largest number of countries ever represented in the history of the Olympic Games. Seeing the flag of the Country of Georgia, I feel a sense of pride that Georgia was a part of this historical Olympic Games. For the first time, I began to realize the significance of the park.

Quilt of Olympic Spirit

Stop Seven.
Jared pointing to his parents’ brick.

This landmark salutes the 10,000 athletes who participated in the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Inscribed in granite is a list that names all 184 medalists. The names “Soso Liparteliani” and “Eldar Kurtanidze” immediately catch my attention. Not only did I meet these Georgian Olympic medalists personally, but seeing these names reinforces the park’s focus on international unity. These names were engraved beside those of fellow Russian athletes, citizens of the same country that occupied Georgian territories and bombed our cities 12 years later.

Quilt of Origins

Stop Eight.
The Quilt of Origins.

We’re now at the Quilt of Origins, a sculpture that depicts the advancement of the Olympic Games from ancient Greece until today. The work of art weighs eight tons and features three figures: a nude man (representing Greece – where the first Olympics were held), another man who looks much more contemporary (representing the style of the modern Olympics), and a female (representing the Atlanta Olympic Games). As you can see, there are bricks implanted in the pathways all around us, covering the entire park. These bricks are the names of the individuals who donated in securing this structure that stands before us. My parents even purchased one, serving as a unique reminder of their time that they spent living in Atlanta. Let’s now go on to the Quilt of Remembrance.

Quilt of Remembrance

Stop Nine.
The quote that captured Hannah’s experience at the park.

This mosaic acts as a reminder for those who were injured from the bomb that went off during the Atlanta Olympics. 111 stones are placed here from all around the world to pay respect to the 111 people hurt by the bombing. My parents remember hearing the bomb at the Olympics, and the chaotic scene that followed. They, like the rest of the world, also remember the Games reopening soon after this domestic terrorist attack, serving as a triumph of the human spirit and great character of Atlanta. Alice Hawthorne was the only person who died from this tragedy, and the eternal light is always shining at this site in her memory.

Quilt of Dreams

Stop 10.
Sculpture of Billy Payne.

The quilt above us holds tribute to Billy Payne, CEO of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. Payne is responsible for bringing the Olympics to Atlanta, a 10 year quest that was successful on its first bid. Another dream of Payne’s, this park is the physical manifestation of countless inspirational feats. As we walk along the quilt, I would like to point out a quote that encompasses the importance of the Atlanta Olympics: “I can think of no better event than the Olympics to introduce the world to the progressive capital of the new South” (Andrew Young). In a sense, exploring Centennial Park has introduced me to downtown Atlanta – to its many opportunities and its deeper significance.

Hermes Towers/Centennial Plaza

Stop 11.
Centennial Plaza and the stormy clouds above.

Even the dimensions of our next stop are symbolic. Centennial Plaza is 100 meters squared, equivalent to the distance of the 100 meter Olympic race. The flags of the 23 past host cities circle the Plaza. Eight “Hermes Towers” are also mounted around the Plaza to emulate the indicators that directed Ancient Greek spectators to public happenings.

Fountain of Rings

Stop 12.
The Fountain of Rings during its daily water show.

We’re now at one of the most iconic landmarks in this park and the city of Atlanta…the Fountain of Rings. The fountain has four daily shows (at 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 9:00 p.m.) that combine music, lighting, and, of course, water. The fountain is also a great place to play and relax. I still see a view of the fountain whenever I take an airplane ride from Cleveland to Atlanta, and this reminds me of the Olympic Games my parents attended as well as my family’s Atlanta history.

Southern Company Amphitheater

The 13th and final stop.
The Southern Company Amphitheater.

We will now conclude our tour at the location that embodies the true purpose of Centennial Olympic Park as a communal space. This open venue hosts events on 186 days of the year, committed to providing free entertainment for the whole family. Olympic Park is central to the Atlanta community, appealing to individuals of all ages and all ranges of ability. All visitors need is the openness to learn and to be inspired.

Our Uber ride back simply wasn’t the same. I did not connect to our driver in a powerful way. Perhaps this is because I didn’t get to tell him about the public executions of my great-grandfathers or because I was too side-tracked reflecting on my ultimately positive experience of Centennial Olympic Park. The park inspired thoughts about unity, peace, and internationality. But a single thing I had learned from the day’s outing truly stuck out to me: “Humanity is always being tested in some way, shape or form” (Daran).

“God damn it Daran, why didn’t I ask for your number?”

To follow along on the official audio tour that inspired this post, please visit

Westboro Baptist TRIED It Yet Again

Over 20 years ago, October was named as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) History Month by the National Education Association.  October is also known for National Coming Out Day which is held on October 11th. Every year since its conception in 1971, Atlanta Pride, one of the oldest pride parades in the US, was held around this time every year. This year the Atlanta Pride Parade was held on October 15th. Pride, in general, is a sea of bright colors and rainbow flags, but the parade took this to a whole new level. The parade had a record-breaking turnout with over 250,00 people in attendance.

For some background information, the LGBTQ+ community is a minority group of different sexualities and gender identities.  Pride parades started after the Stonewall riots in 1969. The Stonewall Inn was a club that was very accepting of LGBTQ+ patrons; many other clubs prohibited gay people from having liquor, people dancing with the same sex, men in feminine clothes as well as women with less than 3 articles of feminine clothing. The Stonewall Inn even took in homeless LGBTQ+ youth and let them stay there. However, on June 28, 1969, the police raided Stonewall and roughly hauled off employees and patrons which destroyed the sense of the place being a place of refuge. For six days afterward, there were demonstrations and clashes between law enforcement. Fast-forward a few years and Pride was established to celebrate LGBTQ+ culture and pride and serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage.

Now let’s get to my Atlanta Pride experience. I asked my best friend from back home if he wanted to come to Pride and he was like “that’s not a question because you already know we’re going.” Fast-forward a few days and my friend’s 4-hour bus ride to Atlanta and we arrive at my first Pride. The air was electric from all of the excitement and energy. We saw floats from businesses, radio stations, and even some churches. As we got lost trying to find Emory’s space in the parade lineup, we kept saying how different this was from Pride back home and it’s to be expected since Atlanta was once ranked as the most LGBT friendly city by the magazine The Advocate. Atlanta Pride blocked off a whole chunk of Downtown Atlanta from the MARTA Civic Center Station to Piedmont Park while South Carolina Pride is just about one street of Downtown Columbia. Atlanta Pride had floats as far as the eye can see and it was amazing to see so many people coming out for an event like this. As we talked about these differences, we passed by vendors selling all types of LGBTQ+ flags and memorabilia. We also noticed peoples’ style choices from drag to very liberal showings of skin. Eventually, we found the Emory van. At first, there wasn’t a lot of people with Emory, but that was probably because the van was so hard to find. After a while, the Emory area was a sea of students and faculty from Emory’s numerous schools: Emory College, Oxford, Rollins, etc. It was so much fun just hanging out with so many LGBTQ+ people and allies. We painted each others’ faces, sang together, and there was a ton of discussion of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

As the parade got started, I was reminded of my old days in marching band. There’s just something about the environment of a parade that increases your own performativity. It’s natural to me to give a performance and have the crowd respond, but during Pride, the crowd was the ones giving the energy and excitement. The air was electrifying and there was not one sad face in sight… well except for the Westboro Baptist Church who comes to Pride every year to preach their anti-gay agenda, but there a special case. Originally, I thought that would have more of an impact, but honestly, their bullhorns were nothing compared to our music and loud cheering. The organizers of Pride specifically put people in front of them with big flowers to try to block their hateful signs and stuff which they did a really good job of. Even with the ones left, we just waved rainbow flags in front of and laughed like “Y’all thought. You tried it, but we’re still gonna have a good gay old time. You can have several seats.” As we passed the corner of haters, we had the final stretch of the parade all the way to Piedmont Park. There was a ton of different vendor and they were setting up the stage for a performance, but my group of friends and I didn’t stay for too long because we were so tired. We didn’t realize it during the parade because of the amount of energy, but once we stopped and sat down it hit us like a truck.

Overall my Pride experience was great. I can definitely say that it was one of the highlights of my freshman year so far and I’ll definitely be back next year. It’s great to see that Emory really supports the LGBTQ+ community and the fact that Emory has “the 10th oldest LGBT campus office in the nation.” LGBTQ+ youth are at a significantly higher risk for depression, suicide, and substance abuse compared to heterosexual counterparts, according to the CDC. The CDC also has studies that find that LGBTQ+ students are “140% more likely to not go to school at least one day during the past 30 days because of safety concerns” and also ” nearly one-third of LGBTQ+ youth had attempted suicide at least once in the prior year compared to 6% of heterosexual youth.” It’s important that LGBTQ+ youth have places where they can feel accepted and supported; this is why I highly encourage going to Pride. If you’re a part of the LGBTQ+ community, go to Pride. It’s a lot of fun and you’ll be surrounded by people who love you and support you without even knowing you. If you have a friend that’s LGBTQ+, go to Pride with them. Be one of the people to love and support them. One of the reasons I chose Emory and really wanted to go out of state for college was I knew that I would have much more of a support system here and I could be very open and authentic. Emory’s Office of LGBT Life is very active. There are different weekly queer discussion groups such as Queer Men of Color, Aces & Aros, etc. There’s also Emory Pride, a student organization that has weekly GBMs discussing different LGBTQ+ topics. Also, all students can schedule appointments with Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) which a certain number of is covered by tuition. With all these resources and such a vibrant city, I truly feel like I’m in a place where I can thrive.

Picture Gallery

Below are some LGBTQ+ resources:

  • The Trevor Project: | 24/7 Helpline 866-488-7386
  • Emory CAPS: For appointments 404-727-6111 | Crisis 404-727-7450
  • Emory Office of LGBT Life: 1st floor of AMUC |



Jenna: Friday afternoon, Janet, Jenna, and their two friends Ashley and Camille ventured into my eccentric fashion district known as Little Five Points. As they stepped foot into the vastly undiscovered world of L5P, they came to recognize how my life is not only shaped by various groups of people due to differences in historical foundation of spaces, but of my location in proximity to other influential spaces in Atlanta. With my Greenwich Village vibe, they glanced around a bit, and reminisced upon our unique street layout. Because of my deep rooted iconic culture of city living and freedom of expression, my area has not developed into anything more than just that throughout these past 50 years. As I have been known for a certain type of merchandise and culture, you can seemingly find thrift shops and boutiques, complemented by eclectic street musicians, on every corner you turn.

Janet: My ambience intrigued the girls, with the friendly people that roam my streets. I’m a great place to rap in, sell art, and have a good time with loved ones. Although my streets aren’t the safest, I am nonetheless an inviting neighborhood. My one-of-a-kind boutiques offer distinctive items and an experience like never before. Young or old, I have stores that suit your soul.

Jenna: Soon enough, my shoppers began to develop the streets of L5P from anonymous into quirky in no time. My vintage apparel, vinyl and smoke shops, independent bookstores, burger joints and pizza parlors will have you leaving with a smile plastered upon your face. Along with the many things to do, culture has played a significant role in my upbringing. “People watching” has been described as a sport, as my town is inviting to individuals stemming from all cultures.

Janet: As corporate chains have threatened my existence, a special type of zoning rule has limited my number of stores and their sizes to a mere 5,000 square feet. This ensures the prevention of large chains such as hotels and shopping malls. In fact, in 1975 my communities united as one to fight for my future endeavors; I hope they continue to keep my neighborhood the way it is. Families from all around the world come to my shops, and I can guarantee you will always have a fun time on my streets. If you’re ever looking for a marvelous meal or the best second hand clothes, then I am meant for you.

Jenna: Junkman’s Daughter isn’t just the name of Pam Majors’ Little Five Points store. When she was a child, her father would come home each night with his truck filled with random items he’d purchased that day in metro Atlanta shops that were going out of business. Her parents would sift through the day’s haul, which her dad would then sell in one of his salvage shops. When her father retired in 1981, Majors, then in her early 20s and living in Candler Park, went through the flotsam and jetsam of his life. She discovered rare finds and gems such as old Beatles notebooks and 1950s leather jackets, and saw a chance to put her spin on the wares. In 1982 she opened a shop next to a former methadone clinic in the business district nearby called Little Five Points. The store’s name was biographical and authentic: Junkman’s Daughter.”

Janet: Overall, it seemed that Janet, Jenna, Camille, and Ashley had a wonderful and unique experience exploring my uncharted world. With Halloween approaching, they’ll be sure to come back and visit my stores for some boisterous costumes.

Jenna: The reality is that I have been continuously changing through the years, yet my DNA has remained stable. My location, sandwiched between Candler Park and Freedom Park, is home to individuals sharing the same values of commitment to diversity. The people entering my little village congruently maintain the desire to live in a neighborhood with varying economic classes, spiritual traditions, and races. However, to continue my flourishment is dependent upon our future advocators in generations to come.

Christian, Scott. “The Junkman’s Cowgirl.” Creative Loafing, 25 Mar. 2004, Accessed 23 Sept. 2017.

Janet Nguyen and Jenna Gursky

Discovering Atlantic Station: My Accidental (But Exciting) Find

As the Uber driver, Secunda, pulled up in front of Complex Hall to take my friends and I to explore Underground Atlanta, I had no idea what to expect. Since I had only lived in Atlanta for less than a month, I had never heard of Underground Atlanta or known where it was located. So of course, I searched for it on Google to see what I was getting into, only to find a Wikipedia article that said, “Underground Atlanta was a shopping and entertainment district in the Five Points neighborhood of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, United States, near the Five Points MARTA station.” Cool, I thought to myself, shopping and entertainment sounds fun. But amidst my excitement, my brain seemed to scan right over the first part: “Underground Atlanta was a shopping and entertainment district…” However, hopping into Secunda’s Dodge Journey, I was unaware of this detail, and we were on our way to Underground Atlanta.

My friends and I were talking and laughing the whole way there, excited to be off campus for the first time all week. Once we reached about the halfway mark of the ride, I see the Uber driver’s eyes look at me through the rearview mirror.

“You’re not trying to go to Underground Atlanta are you?”

Hesitantly, I nodded and told her yes.

“Underground Atlanta has been closed for over a month now.”

Not saying anything, my friends and I looked at each other confused. Apparently, UA was sold to a new owner and closed on August 13th of this year for construction. The sale announcement was released in 2014 for revitalization, and the developer plans to provide more retail options and above ground apartments.

Secunda thought UA was in desperate need of renovations because it was becoming a bit of an unsafe area. She offered to take us to a similar place, and said she would show us a few different options. So, the woman who began as our Uber driver soon became our tour guide.

She first took us to Little Five Points, where there were many different restaurants, boutiques, and tattoo parlors. With a bit of a more grungy and vintage vibe, the little town radiated spunk. While the area looked fun, we were on the lookout for more shopping options. Secunda said she would take us to Atlantic Station, and she said she thought we would really like it.

Little Five Points is a retail center with a unique and edgy twist. Photo courtesy of

Atlantic Station, a retail and living neighborhood on the northwestern edge of Midtown Atlanta, began to provide retail options in 2005, and since then has been home to a wide variety of shops and restaurants. As we pulled in, I was impressed with its urbanity and freshness.

   Atlantic Station’s movie theater, Regal Cinemas 16
A view from the middle of Atlantic Station.









Secunda dropped us off right in front of the movie theater, which seemed to be right in the heart of the shopping center. I wasn’t sure whether it was because it was 1:30 on a Saturday or because the popular music festival Music Midtown was happening at the very same time, but it wasn’t the least bit crowded. We looked around at our options, and I jumped when I saw my most favorite dessert place in the world, Great American Cookies. After everyone said they could go for a cookie, we headed into the store.

My iced cookie cake and Diet Coke at Great American Cookies.

I ordered my usual: a slice of cookie cake with icing and a Diet Coke. It tasted incredible, just like it does at home. We finished eating, and decided on our first shopping stop: Old Navy, which was right across the street.

The Old Navy in Atlantic Station was very big and held lots of options.

Although I didn’t find anything I needed in Old Navy, there were so many options at great prices for college students. From workout clothes to casual clothes to wear to class, the store was great for snagging a few extra clothing items. My friends made their purchases, and we moved on to H&M.

H&M had a similar concept: affordable prices, but the clothes were more suitable for going out to dinner or for a night downtown. I had already left campus more than I thought I would in college, so I knew I would need a couple of new outfits. I tried on four shirts, and ended up buying two. As a college student on a budget, I scored with those two shirts.

Dillard’s was the biggest store that we saw in all of Atlantic Station, occupying almost its own block of the shopping center.
Dillard’s had separate floors for women’s clothing, men’s clothing, shoes, and other departments.










Our final stop was Dillard’s, if you don’t count each department as its own stop. The store was huge, with each floor dedicated to its own section–women’s clothing, men’s clothing, kid’s, shoes, and more. Obviously, we headed straight for the women’s clothing. As I had expected, the options there were a bit more pricey than desired. I found piles of clothes that I loved, but I knew I had to think logically. I ended up buying two shirts that were on sale. Then, I swore myself off of shopping for the rest of the month.

After browsing through the shoe department and resisting the urge to try anything on, we decided it was time to head back to campus and get some homework done.

Overall, I enjoyed Atlantic Station a lot because of its cleanliness, variety, and small crowds. I felt as if I was in one of my nicer hometown shopping centers, as the area didn’t give off any sense of tourism. Everyone we passed seemed as if they were locals, so we tried our best to blend in. Unfortunately, since we came at 1:30 and left at 3:30, we didn’t get a chance to try any of the restaurants that were scattered around the area. From California Pizza Kitchen to Rosa Mexicano, all types of food were provided. My friends and I agreed that we would be returning for dinner and a movie one night within the coming weeks.

However, if I were to leave campus solely for the purpose of shopping, Atlantic Station wouldn’t be my first choice, simply because other shopping centers, such as Lenox Mall, are the same distance away and have more options. For dinner, light shopping, and a movie though, Atlantic Station couldn’t be a better destination.

My friends and me after our fun excursion to Atlantic Station.

Wikipedia contributors. “Underground Atlanta.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 Aug. 2017. Web. 17 Sep. 2017