Living in a big city can be pricey, even in relatively affordable places like Atlanta. These suggestions are meant to be a starting place to help you find the perfect flat for your needs.
- 1 Living on Campus
- 2 Living Off-Campus
- 3 Transportation
- 4 Exploring Atlanta
- 5 Dining Out in Atlanta
- 6 Exercise
- 7 Animal Groups
- 8 Environmental and Recreation
- 9 Volunteer Opportunities
- 10 Health Care and Disability Advocates
- 11 For Parents
Living on Campus
Moving to a new area can be exciting and nerve-wracking, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the area. While most Brittain Fellows choose to live off-campus, for some living on-campus in married student housing at Tenth & Home is a great option. Although open to any Georgia Tech staff, living on campus offers many advantages for those moving to Atlanta from overseas. Reasons to consider living on-campus:
- All-in-one payments – no need to set up individual accounts for all of your utilities. Your rent automatically includes power, water, cable TV and high speed wireless internet.
- Free campus shuttle – why fight Atlanta traffic if you do not have to?
- Appliances – no need to worry about buying or moving large appliances, everything is included, even a washer and dryer.
- Convenience – everything from shopping to entertainment is within easy walking distance or a short bus ride; you are right in the middle of all that Atlanta has to offer.
- Security – controlled building access 24 hours a day, as well as secure parking.
For Families. For small children, the R. Kirk Landon Learning Center (two blocks from Tenth & Home) offers special rates to Georgia Tech students and staff, while providing a convenient and caring setting for pre-school children. Additionally, finding a babysitter is easy since there are lots of other families in Tenth & Home who would be happy to trade babysitting services.
For those with school age children, Tenth & Home offers easy access to several elementary, middle and high schools, including both public and private schools. School buses pick up at the circular driveway by the Tenth & Home office, so you don’t need to worry about your children being picked up or dropped on busy streets. Also, during the summer the CRC offers ‘Tech Wreck’, a summer day camp for students in 1st through 8th grades. Campers participate in a variety of outdoor activities, sports and field trips.
Throughout the year, the staff at Tenth & Home offer special functions for children and their families including trick-or-treating at Halloween, a Christmas party with Santa Claus, an Easter egg hunt and a variety of family functions from picnics to movies and trips to local attractions. These functions are a great way to meet other families and make connections in the area. Tenth & Home Costs 2009-2010 1 bedroom = $1007 per month 2 bedroom = $1297 per month A limited number of furnished apartments are available for an additional fee. For more information and to apply, check out the GT Department of Housing Website, or the Tenth & Home brochure.
Midtown – As Georgia Tech is considered to be a part of Midtown, this is the closest neighborhood to campus. Rent can be quite high, but with a low crime rate, a short walking distance from campus, and all amenities within a small radius, Midtown offers the best of city life in Atlanta. A Georgia Tech Trolley runs between the Midtown MARTA station and main campus.
- Average Rent: $1,553
- Drive: 5-10 minutes
- Notable Locations: Piedmont Park, Fox Theater, Margaret Mitchell House
Home Park – Located directly north of campus, Home Park is a popular option with students for its proximity and low rent. It is much quieter than Midtown, comprised mainly of houses instead of apartment buildings. It has a reputation for being sketchy at night, but has been improving thanks to a joint effort between students, GTPD, and APD. Shopping hub Atlantic Station is adjacent to Home Park and includes a Target, Publix, and movie theatre. Entire homes are available to rent, in addition to standard apartments and single rooms in shared homes. Closest MARTA stations are Arts Center and Midtown.
- Average Rent: $1,384
- Drive: 5 minutes
- Notable Locations: Antico’s, Al-Farooq Masjid, Silver Skillet
Old Fourth Ward – East of Midtown and directly above the knot that makes up the I-75 and I-85 connector, Old Fourth Ward is an eclectic mix of old and new. A portion of the Atlanta Beltline runs through this neighborhood, connecting parks, restarants and shopping areas with residential blocks. Closest MARTA stations are North Avenue Transit and Civic Center.
- Average Rent: $1,469
- Drive: 10 minutes
- Notable Locations: Historic Fourth Ward Park, Beltline, Ponce City Market
Cabbagetown – A former mill town, Cabbagetown consistently ranks among the most affordable neighborhoods in Atlanta. Artsy and hip, the area has plenty of restaraunts and shopping despite its small size, and Target, Kroger, and other large stores for your essentials are a short drive away in Edgewood. A long line of often-updated street murals decorates Wylie Street, which runs the length of the neighborhood. Closest MARTA station is the King Memorial Transit station.
- Average Rent: $1,270
- Drive: 15 minutes
- Notable Locations: Street Art Murals, Caroll Street Cafe
Kirkwood – A national historic designated neighborhood, Kirkwood has a more suburb feel than any neighborhood on the list, despite still being within City of Atlanta limits. A small town center includes a post office, grocery store, resturants, and shops. Like Cabbagetown, the closest department stores are available in nearby Edgewood. Closest MARTA stations are East Lake Transit and Edgewood-Candler Park.
- Average Rent: $1,248
- Drive: 20 minutes
- Notable Locations: Dulce Vegan Bakery & Cafe, Kirkwood Urban Forest Community Garden, Le Petit Marche
Grant Park – Another lovely historical neighborhood, it surrounds the oldest park in the city and boasts its own arts festival, the Summer Shade Festival. It also encompasses Oakland Cemetery, where many of Atlanta’s famous former residents are buried. A great, quiet area for families. Closest MARTA station is King Memorial Transit
- Average Rent: $1,229
- Drive: 15-20 minutes
- Notable Locations: Zoo Atlanta, Oakland Cemetary, Civil War Museum
Castleberry Hill – Up-and-coming industrial area that has been revitalized in the last few years by new commerce. Many of the old buildings have been renovated to include lofts, shops, and restaurants. Located just below the main city center and adjacent to the Mercedes Benz stadium, sportsball fans will be a short walk away from games, but gameday or concert traffic could be an issue. The Art Stroll is held every second Friday in the neighborhood. Closest MARTA stations are Garnett Transit and Five Points.
- Average Rent: $1,120
- Drive: 5-10 minutes
- Notable Locations: Art Cafe Ethiopian Kitchen, Atlanta Movie Tours, Bottle Rocket
Buckhead – One of the largest areas in the city, Buckhead covers mots of northeast Atlanta and is home to neighborhoods such as Lindbergh/Morosgo, Peachtree Hills, Brookhaven, Chastain, Paces, and Lenox Hills. With a towering skyline all to itself, it is characterized as one of the most urban communities and often referred to as the “Beverly Hills of the South.” Due to its size and the range of properties you’ll find, average rent for Buckhead would need to be calculated per subdivision, rather than for the entire neighborhood. Closest MARTA stations are Peachtee, Lindbergh, Lenox, Brookhaven-Oglethorpe, Buckhead, and Medical Center.
- Average Rent: N/A
- Drive: 10-30 minutes
- Notable Locations: Lenox Square Mall, Atlanta History Center, SweetWater Brewing Company, Shake Shack
Decatur – Quaint yet hip with plenty of everything, from grocery and drug stores to a smaller mall with department stores. Some of the best bars and restaurants in Atlanta are here, with special mentions for Brick Store Pub, Leon’s Full Service, Taqueria del Sol, Butter & Cream, and Victory Sandwich Bar. Many activities are held throughout the year in the town square, from beer, wine, arts, and book festivals, to movies and live music on the weekends during spring and fall. The MARTA station for downtown is located right beneath the town square, and is aptly called Decatur Transit Station. Other nearby MARTA stations are East Lake and Avondale.
- Average Rent: $934
- Drive: 30 minutes
- Notable Locations: Eddie’s Attic, DeKalb History Center Museum, Your Dekalb Farmers Market
Chamblee/Doraville – Although they are different towns, Chamblee and Doraville are similar enough to include in the same entry. Located directly next to each other, Chamblee reaches across upper Atlanta from I-85 to the perimeter, while Doraville encases the intersection of I-85 and I-285. Affordable housing attracted many immigrants to the area in the 1980’s, leading to one of the largest Asian communities in the country. A variety of Latin, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean restaurants, cafes, shops and grocery stores line Buford Highway, which runs through the center of both towns. Although not walkable like Decatur, it’s unlikely you’ll run out of interesting places to visit in either suburb. Closest MARTA stations are Chamblee and Doraville.
- Average Rent: $1,141 (Chamblee), $874 (Doraville)
- Drive: 20-30 minutes
- Notable Locations: DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, Buford Highway Farmer’s Market, Plaza Fiesta, Atlanta Chinatown
Vinings – Quiet, charming, and mainly residential, Vinings runs between the perimeter and the Chattahoochee River. Fans of the Beltline will enjoy exploring all 12.8 miles of the Silver Comet Trail, and anyone looking for a small-town feel with big-town amenities will feel right at home. Unfortunately, there are no nearby MARTA stations – commuters will have to rely on the bus system rather than the rail for getting to campus if driving is not an option.
- Average Rent: $1,214
- Drive: 20-30 minutes
- Notable Locations: Canoe, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Cumberland Mall
Marietta – The largest town on this list, Marietta is more accurately described as a small city. Connected to Atlanta through I-75, the drive to campus can get messy during rush hour, but is speedy and quick on the off hours. It’s also a great option for those looking for a distinctly “Georgia” city experience, without the stress of bustling Atlanta life. As with all areas in northwest Atlanta, there are no available MARTA rail stations.
- Average Rent: $936
- Drive: 20-40 minutes
- Notable Locations: Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Six Flags White Water, Glover Park
Smyrna – A bit closer to the perimeter than Marietta, Smyrna tends to be quite popular with GT grad students and GSU undergrads due to its better rent-to-square-footage value, as well as its proximity to Cumberland Mall. Similar to Vinings – including a portion of the Silver Comet Trail – but with a more rural feel. Time to campus highly depends on the route taken from town . No available MARTA rail stations.
- Average Rent: $1,076
- Drive: 20-40 minutes
- Notable Locations: Concord Covered Bridge, Heritage Park, Smyrna Public Library
Dunwoody/Sandy Springs –Directly North of Atlanta, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs lie directly next to each other, and are similar enough to warrant using the same entry. Dunwoody is mostly residential, while Sandy Springs contains more shops and encompasses many gorgeous Chattahoochee parks and recreational areas. Perimeter Center, a hub of shops, hotels and the Perimeter Mall, provides much of the shopping for cities and is split in half between the two. A fairly standard suburb vibe, it’s more convenient for Fellows looking to commute via MARTA rather than drive, as this is the only area the MARTA rail runs OTP to. For those looking for more nature and willing to compromise with a longer drive to campus, Roswell is a good alternative. Closest MARTA stations are Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, and North Springs.
- Average Rent: $1,214 (Dunwoody), $1,167 (Sandy Springs)
- Drive: 20-40 minutes
- Notable Locations: The Dunwoody Farmhouse, Treetop Quest Dunwoody, Morgan Falls Overlook Park,Chattahoochee River National Recreation Areas (Island Ford)
MARTA. Atlanta’s mass transit system is the Metro Atlanta Transit Authority, more commonly known as MARTA. MARTA runs a hub-and-spoke scheme between its rail stations and bus lines, making it substantially more efficient for those with close proximity to a rail station than to those without. It operates primarily within the bounds of I-285 (the perimeter)
MARTA’s railway service is primarily comprised of two lines that intersect at 5 Points station. These rail lines essentially follow Atlanta’s arterial highways, with the East-West line following I-20 and the North-South line branching at the North end to follow both I-75 and GA-400. When traveling North of Lindberg station, one must be conscious of whether they are riding a Sandy Springs train or a Doraville train, as they follow different tracks thenceforth. Although MARTA bus routes tend to be punctual, they are often rather long and ponderously circuitous. While buses may be suitable for some people, we recommend consulting the map and timetables on MARTA’s website before committing to them as a primary means of conveyance. (http://www.itsmarta.com)
You must have a MARTA card in order to ride the bus or the rail. Those of you who choose to purchase monthly passes may do so for a discount at the Student Center Box Office. If you do not plan to purchase monthly passes, you may either purchase an enduring Breeze card for $5 at any MARTA station or carry rides on disposable cards, which carry a nominal price. For a map of the Marta lines, see: http://www.itsmarta.com/getthere/schedules/index-rail.htm
Automobile. For lack of city planning, Atlanta roads are often winding; they are also lent to having similar names. For instance, more than a dozen roads in the metro area include the word “Peachtree.” Any kind of map or navigation system will be helpful for visitors and new residents. Much like MARTA, the city’s automobile traffic follows along crossing arteries, with the perimeter providing service between disparate suburbs. The most important roads to be aware of when traveling the city are I-85, I-75, and I-20 – all three intersect at the city center, and you’ll become very familiar with them in time. Be advised that Atlanta drivers are often aggressive and vary widely between the unnecessarily slow and the extraordinarily speedy. Be mindful of the speed of traffic, because marked speed limits are rarely observed or enforced on the interstate highways, and it’s always safer to go with the flow than to attempt to watch the signs.
As the gateway to the South, Atlanta offers a wide range of cultural events, activities and venues. Literally and figuratively, Atlanta has something for everyone. Many Brittain Fellows have immersed themselves in local culture and become involved in prominent local arts organizations and festivals.
These recommendations introduce you to some of Atlanta’s distinct character and cultural life:
Participate in a bout at the Atlanta Roller Derby. As founding members of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, the Atlanta Rollergirls are helping to promote and strengthen independent women’s sports. The group is skater owned and operated and comprised of women who participate in the sport because they love it. Each skater brings her own skills not only to the track but also to the running of the league as a whole.
Atlanta Roller Derby matches are noisy, fast-moving and laugh-out-loud funny affairs. The enthusiastic crowd is comprised of a good cross-section of Atlanta residents and the atmosphere of the venue is retro-cool. You can find their website here.
Take in a comedy review at Dad’s Garage Theatre. Founded in 1995, Dad’s Garage Theatre has grown from a small volunteer led organization to a thriving mid-size theatre led by professional artistic and administrative staff. The family at Dad’s is comprised of over 300 volunteers, performers and staff members. The theatre offers cutting-edge improv sessions, original musicals, scripted plays, and a host of comedy-based works.
Going to a show at Dad’s Garage is like viewing a professional wrestling match, with a higher level of participant engagement. At improv sessions, the audience is expected to shout out recommendations based on questions by the performers. This unique dynamic leads to comical and intense audience/performer exchanges. Scripted shows and improv sessions can be hit or miss affairs, but a good time will be had by all. Look at upcoming events here.
Discover the art of puppetry at the Center for Puppetry Arts. The Center for Puppetry Arts is a unique cultural institution, a place where children and adults are educated, enlightened and entertained. Since 1978, the Center has introduced millions of visitors to the wonder and art of puppetry and has touched the lives of many through enchanting performances, curriculum-based workshops and the hands-on Museum, as well as Distance Learning and Outreach Programs.
Shows at the Center are ingenious and address the humor, intelligence and reference points of children and adults alike. The Museum offers a fascinating overview of the history of puppetry around the world. International artists are featured on stage and in the Museum’s vast collection and archival resources. Plan your visit on their home page.
Cheer for the home team at Turner Field. After opening in 1997, the “Home of the Braves” has quickly become an Atlanta landmark and the benchmark for future baseball park design. Turner Field combines the nostalgia and the atmosphere of old-time baseball with state-of-the-art family entertainment unlike that of any other park.
The ballpark offers a range of ticket prices for each of the Braves’ home games. The venue is raucous and best enjoyed with a group of friends. Take a look at tickets on this page.
Buy a CityPass! City passes are good for Admission to seven of Atlanta’s most popular attractions. Inside each Atlanta CityPass booklet are seven actual admission tickets, each with a little tip revealing a CityPass secret to skip main ticket lines. Plan an action-packed weekend or take up to nine leisurely days to explore Atlanta’s shops, restaurants, and neighborhoods. Atlanta CityPass booklets offer one admission to each attraction: Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Zoo Atlanta, Inside CNN, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta Botanical Garden and the High Museum of Art. City Passes can be purchased here.
See a show at the Fox Theatre or Horizon Theater. Opened in 1929, the Fabulous Fox hosts many cultural and arts events, including touring Broadway performances, the Atlanta Ballet, metal concerts, and movies. Take a peek at upcoming shows here. Horizon is a not-for profit Community Theater bringing contemporary plays to the Atlanta area. Most of the plays they stage reflect upon the challenges of living in the urban Southeast, and you can learn more about them here.
Go to a festival. Atlanta holds many, many festivals throughout the year – and there’s something for anyone in the schedule. For the most comprehensive list available of the larger gatherings, Atlanta.net organizes them by both type and season (and season by month) so you can make sure you never miss a thing. Highlights include Music Midtown, DragonCon, Chinese Lunar New Year Festival, the Dogwood Festival, Atlanta Summer Beer Fest, and Tunes from the Tombs.
Stroll about the High Museum of Art. The High Museum of Art is the center of Arts culture in Atlanta. They have permanent collections ranging from African Art to contemporary work by Max Ernst, Mark Rothko, Ellsworth Kelly, and Gerhard Richter, as well as lovely visiting exhibitions like Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, and Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic. The High Museum also has one of the largest photography collections in the southeast. Get tickets on their website, and consider visiting their neighbor, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, as well.
In sum, numerous events and activities can keep you busy outside the classroom. Take a chance and participate in an activity that is completely unfamiliar to you. Enjoy an assortment of activities that draw you into the community and provide you valuable insight into contemporary Southern life. Most importantly, have fun!
Dining Out in Atlanta
Atlanta has an extremely vibrant eating scene, and you should take advantage of it! This section provides suggestions of places to try out while you’re in the area. Of course, don’t limit yourself to these suggestions; you should definitely explore the wide world of food for yourself. Immediately below are some websites that will enable you to browse reviews of various Atlanta eating establishments. Release your inner foodie!
- Yelp: http://yelp.com/atlanta
- Creative Loafing: http:// http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com
- Urbanspoon: http://www.urbanspoon.com/c/9/Atlanta-restaurants.html
- The Blissful Glutton: http://blissfulglutton.com/
Sometimes it’s nice to get out of your office and enjoy the outdoors for a bit on your lunch break! Below is a fairly comprehensive listing of places to eat on and near campus.
The Student Center houses several food options. In the first floor’s Student Center Commons, you’ll find Subway, Auntie Anne’s, Chick-fil-A, Panda Express, and a Blue Donkey Coffee. In the second floor’s Food Court, you’ll find Far East Fusion, Ray’s Pizza, Twisted Taco, Smoked & Grilled (BBQ), Yahala (Greek), Essential Eats (Southern), Simply to Go (Sandwiches), Dunkin Donuts, and a salad bar. On the third floor, Ferst Place offers a restaurant experience with more gourmet (and pricier) food options.
If you feel like venturing out into the rest of Georgia Tech’s campus, you can head to Tech Green to see which food trucks are on campus for lunchtime (11am-2pm every weekday). Stay on Tech Walkway to find the CULC Starbucks, or walk to Tech Tower to try out Highland Bakery, which is a Panera-style restaurant with soups, sandwiches, salads, and a variety of baked goods. Food Anatomy, found in the Engineered Biosystems Building, also has a variety of sandwiches, soups, salads, and coffees, in addition to burritos, bowls, and smoothies. A few buildings have small cafe stands that sell wrapped sandwiches, coffees, and snacks – try the first floor of the West Architecture Building, the basement of the College of Computing, and the first floor of the Petit Building (in the Bioquad) if you’re around campus and need a quick bite.
Into eating lunch like a student? West Village is a food court style complex with stalls for a variety of foods, in addition to a Panera and Starbucks, set in the middle of the West Campus dorm area. You can also find a Wing Zone nearby, and a Freshens in the CRC. Closer to the Hall Building on the eastern edge of campus, there is the Brittain Dining Hall and the North Ave Dining Hall, traditional buffet-style student eateries. Brittain is best for breakfast, while North Ave shines for dinner. Visit Brittain at least once to marvel at the gorgeous GT-themed stain glass windows, the concrete busts of famous scientists on its outer columns, and the carved beams in the ceiling of this former church.
To view hours and locations for each place listed here, visit the GT Dining Services Website.
If you aren’t content with grazing on the Georgia Tech campus, there are a few clusters of eateries surrounding Georgia Tech at which you can grab a bite. Estimated walking times from the Skiles building to the various areas are included below.
East. If you head east of Tech towards Technology Square, you’ll find Tin Drum Asia Café, Gyro Bros, Subway, Yogli Mogli (frozen yogurt), Moe’s Southwestern Grill, Ray’s New York Pizza, Waffle House, Umma’s House (Korean/Japanese), The Barrelhouse (American) and Chuck’s Famous (sandwiches/burgers), not to mention another Starbucks. A tiny food court called The Canteen has a TCM Bagel (Jewish deli), Fred’s Meat and Bread, Yalla! (Mediterranean), and Square Bar. If you’re finished for the day and looking for a place to drown your sorrows in greasy fare and booze, venture a little further into the Midtown area and you’ll find the Vortex Bar & Grill and the Cypress Street Pint & Plate. Want to drown your sorrows in sweets instead? Sweet Hut, a Hong-Kong style bakery with amazing bubble tea near the Midtown MARTA station, is there to lend a hand.
- Estimated Walking Time from Skiles: 15-20 minutes
South. The area south of Tech on North Ave. is not particularly rich in variety of fare. You’ll find The Varsity (the world’s largest drive-in burger joint), J.R. Crickets (famous for great wings), and Goodfellas Pizza & Wings.
- Estimated Walking Time from Skiles: 10-15 minutes
North. There’s a cluster of decent eateries in a strip mall just north of Georgia Tech on the corner of 10th Street and Hemphill Ave: Firehouse Subs and a Pizza Hut are good options for very quick food. Lucky Buddha has cheap Asian-style takeout food, but don’t expect too much. Sublime Doughnuts offers unique and delicious gourmet doughnuts, often labeled the best in Atlanta. Tech Taco serves up large tacos and burritos, while Itiah Coffee offers a reliable cup of Joe. Across the street from the strip mall, you’ll find Rocky Mountain Pizza—a dive-y sort of place with burgers, pizza, sandwiches, and really cheap beer.
If you go further north up Hemphill, you’ll find the Little Italy area, owned by the founders of Antico Pizza Napoletana: an absolutely delicious BYOB Italian pizza restaurant which makes fresh cannoli and sfogliatelle too, if you’re looking to fulfill your Italian pastry needs. Consider visiting Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano or Caffe Antico, also in Little Italy, if you aren’t in the mood for pizza, but still crave Italian.
- Estimated Walking Time from Skiles: 20-30 minutes
Listed below are special recommendations from the interns and former Fellows – most are too far from campus to walk to, but are good enough to warrant a mention somewhere in here. They are organized by neighborhood, so you’ll get to learn more about the area while searching for our favorite haunts. Areas just off West campus are also listed here, since West Campus is usually only visited by residents and definitely not frequented by Fellows – at least not on foot.
West. There are some good places to eat and work west of campus on Marietta Street. 5 Seasons Brewery, which offers a great selection of in-house (and out-house) beers as well as organic cuisine. Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand sells delicious chicken sausages in link and patty forms, along with armfuls of sides like mac and cheese and coleslaw. Le Fat offers up fresh Vietnamese dishes and drinks. The Thumbs Up Diner offers great breakfast fare in addition to other traditional diner food options. If you need a café to work in, there’s The Urban Grind, Amelie’s, and Octane, all of which have free wifi, assorted caffeinated beverages, pastries, and light sandwich/salad/soup fare.
If you drive north on Howell Mill Road, which splits from Marietta street, you’ll find a strange landscape populated with auto-part stores, discount furniture shops, fast-food joints, and strangely enough, the occasional really good restaurant! Flip Burger Boutique has gourmet burgers and milkshakes (try the Nutella shake!). The West Egg Café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a fantastic brunch-style menu. They boast a café-like area where you can sip coffee and take advantage of the free wifi. Another burger joint named Yeah! Burger sports delicious build-your-own burgers and chicken sandwiches, with a focus on local ingredients. For cheap and really tasty tacos, head to Taqueria del Sol – for more authentic Mexican fare, head up the road to Nuevo Laredo Cantina. If you still have room for dessert, hit up the amazing Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. For evening drinks, Northside Tavern, Ormsby’s, and Little Trouble offer live Blues, a huge amount of games to play with your friends/strangers, and a very cool industrial-neon vibe, respectively.
Midtown. Midtown is positively lousy with great places to eat, so you should definitely just take a jaunt around and check the area out for yourself. But here are some suggestions to get you started. As mentioned in the ITP Neighborhoods section, the Vortex and The Cypress Street Pint & Plate are fun places to relax, grab a beer or five, and eat various tasty fried/grilled foodstuffs. Rreal Tacos has tasty Mexican fare. If you’re up for some Asian fusion, try Takorea or Noodle. Einstein’s and Henry’s offer American fare and drinks, along with large outdoor seating areas for enjoying brunch. If you’re in the mood for some bubble tea (or if you’ve never tried it before) drop by Sweet Hut, and grab one of their Hong Kong bakery-style desserts. If you want to splurge a bit, try Ecco, a fine dining establishment which serves seasonal European-influenced fare. And of course, there’s the famous Flying Biscuit Café: great for brunch, for both non-vegetarians and vegetarians, and always crowded on the weekend. Pushing the limits of Midtown, we have Mary Mac’s Tea Room, serving up true Southern-style cuisine as “Atlanta’s Dining Room”, Papi’s Cuban & Caribbean Grill, and Bon Ton Atlanta, with its baskets of tasty seafood.
Little Five Points. L5P is a cute little neighborhood with a grungy, hipster type feel to it, sporting a lot of vintage clothing boutiques, music shops, cafes and restaurants. This is another area you’ll want to stroll around yourself, but to get you started: there’s a Vortex here as well. If you’re craving pizza, there’s Little 5 Points Pizza and Savage Pizza. Elmyr dishes out massive burritos, while Planet Bombay offers Indian fare and plays Bollywood videos (sans sound, sadly) on small TVs overhead. If you need a place with wireless internet and coffee, head to Aurora Coffee or Java Lords. For a massive beer menu and great grub, hit up The Porter Beer Bar. Just outside the main shopping area is Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q – often named at the best BBQ in the city – and the Wrecking Bar Brewpub, with a constantly changing list of brewed-in-house drinks. For a complete list of all the businesses in L5P, take a peek at the website for the Little Five Points Business Association: http://www.littlefivepoints.net/
For the Inman Park/Poncey-Highlands/Virginia Highlands area, think Little Five Points…but a Little Five Points who sold out to the man, got a haircut, ditched the tongue-piercing, and now has steady 9 to 5 job, a house mortgage to pay, and a golden retriever. These three neighborhoods are adjacent to each other, and their commercial districts are separated by long stretches of residential area. It’s possible to bus or bike or drive among them, but walking from one to the other may take a little more time, though eminently do-able. There are a lot of dining establishments here, but here are a few highlights.
Inman Park. First up is Parish, which serves Cajun and Creole inspired food. In Parish’s basement, you’ll find the Parish Market, which is more of an upscale deli and café. Keep heading up Highland Ave. and you’ll find small-batch ice cream at Queen of Cream, Mexican food at Pure Taqueria, coffee and free wifi (and lots of workaholics) at Inman Perk, pizza at Fritti, and upscale Italian cuisine at Sotto Sotto. Take a stroll down the nearby Beltline, and you’ll find a pleathora of options inside Krog Street Market – including the great Gu’s Dumplings – and the kid-friendly Jake’s Ice Cream.
Poncey-Highland. Much further up Highland, where North Highland Avenue intersects with the Freedom Parkway, you’ll find Wisteria, a swanky restaurant that serves upscale contemporary American, South-inspired food. Keep moving and you’ll hit Babette’s Café – upscale cuisine with a European-countryside influence, Java-Vino – coffee, free wifi, sandwiches and booze: great place for working, The Atlanta Cupcake Factory – need we say more? Their cupcake selection changes every week too, and Manuel’s Tavern, a pleasant pub-restaurant with lots of space inside, large tables, and no loud music you have to talk over. Where North Highland Avenue intersects with Ponce de León Avenue, you’ll find Soul Vegetarian 2 serving excellent vegan and vegetarian soul food, and Majestic Diner, a 24/hr classic American diner open since 1929.
Virginia Highland. Virginia Highland – the area where North Highland Avenue intersects with Virginia Avenue – is a very cute and concentrated shopping and eating district, with much more to see and eat than indicated here. In particular, you’ll find a lot of pubs here: dark mahogany interiors, hearty pub fare, and slightly sticky tables. Murphy’s is slightly pricey, but offers contemporary American fare and tasty brunch. La Tavola Trattoria has excellent upscale Italian food, George’s makes a hot and decently-priced burger, Mali serves Thai food and sushi, and Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit has the best damn biscuits in Georgia. For dessert, head to Paolo’s for authentic Italian gelato, or Cacao Cafe for locally made chocolates. For your coffee fix, look for Press and Grind.
Buckhead. Buckhead is an upscale district of Atlanta just north of Midtown. It isn’t exactly a pedestrian-friendly area, and is mostly suburban in character, except for a highly urbanized center with many office buildings and vast upscale shopping malls. It’s home to some of the wealthiest residents of Atlanta, and needless to say, dining can get prohibitively expensive, but there are more reasonably-priced venues as well. Among the more reasonably priced options are The Landmark Diner and The OK Café, which serve down-home Southern diner food and have garnered quite the reputation for their respective selves. The Buckhead Diner is extremely popular with the locals, and serves upscale diner food (for example, veal meatloaf in a wild mushroom sauce) in an interior some have described as reminiscent of the Orient Express. If you’re in a communal eating sort of mood, Eclipse di Luna is a fun place to go for tapas and drinks, and Holeman and Finch Public House takes their role as a “public house” very seriously: not only do they offer communal tables, but the upscale pub-style food they serve is meant to be shared among friends. Imperial Fez features belly-dancing, hookah, and authentic Moroccan cuisine. Café Agora patrons wholeheartedly vouch for their gyros and falafels, and can also be found near the Midtown MARTA station. 10 Degrees South serves upscale South African cuisine (and claims to be the only restaurant in the U.S. that does so). You may be happy to note that NYC mainstay Shake Shack has an outpost in the area, offering up a Georgia-only peach shake along with its usual menu items. Last, but certainly not least: if you have a very special occasion to celebrate, or a very special person for whom you’d like to thoroughly wine and dine, visit one of Buckhead’s very upscale dining establishments. Take a peek at Bone’s, Restaurant Eugene, La Grotta, or Aria.
Buford Highway. The stretch of Buford Highway around the I-285 perimeter boasts a particularly dense concentration of all kinds of restaurants – from Korean bakeries and Mexican grills, to Halal sandwich shops and dim sum halls. Asian and Hispanic cuisines are mainly represented If you want it, you’ll likely find it here. The best strategies to tackle the area is to either check out EatBufordHighway, a blog dedicated solely to reviewing and highlighting the culinary delights of Buford Highway, in addition to the restaurant review sites listed at the beginning of this section, OR, to throw caution and restaurant reviews to the wind and go restaurant-discovering! Since not all of these locations have their own websites, Yelp links are subbed in their place.
- Ming’s BBQ – Excellent roast pork and roast duck
- Northern China Eatery – Tasty dumplings, noodles, and hotpot. Order the Shanghai dumplings: they’re reputed to be some of the best in town
- China Hot Pot – A Mongolian-style hot pot eatery with unbeatable prices.
- Man Chun Hong – A Korean-owned Chinese restaurant, with mouthwateringly good results
- Oriental Pearl – Cantonese dimsum during the day and family-style banquet fare at night
- So Kong Dong – Nothing hits the spot on a cold rainy night like barbecued rib-eye and a sizzling hot bowl of spicy tofu stew – note that spicy here really does mean spicy!
- Shoya Izakaya – Plenty of Japanese comfort food with gorgeous decor.
- Hae Woon Dae BBQ – Different cuts of marinated beef cooked right at your table and served with lettuce leaves, whole garlic cloves, and chili paste to wrap it in
- White Windmill Bakery and Cafe – Coffee, bubble tea, bread, desserts, frozen yogurt, sandwiches. A wonderful place to work with lots of space, light, and free wifi
- Cafe Mozart Bakery – Serves the same fare as above. Boasts a more contemporary decor, has free wifi, and is good for working in as well
- Tea House Formosa – freshly brewed teas, with small bites and bento boxes during lunchtime.
- Lee’s Bakery – Inexpensive Vietnamese cuisine with the best banh mi deal in the city ($3 each!). Cash only.
- 8 Fahrenheit Ice Cream – One of a handful of rolled-ice cream parlors in the area, with many delicious toppings available.
- El Taco Veloz – Simple enough: great, authentic tacos. Multiple locations around the area make them easy to find.
- Sinaloense Pollo Asados – Mexican style grilled chicken, in many different forms.
- Xela Pan Cafe – Homestyle Guatemalan food in a takeout setting.
- Purnima Bangladeshi Cuisine – Traditional fare served in a brightly painted family restaurant. Open almost 24 hours a day.
- Buford Highway Farmer’s Market – Head to the center of the store to find two counters selling housemade Eastern European breads, pastries, small dishes, as well as a small meat counter; the back right of the store to find shelves upon shelves of pan dulces and a small Hispanic meat counter; and the back left of the store to find fresh Korean-style dumplings, fried fish, savory pancakes, and lunch trays. The Disneyland of area grocery stores.
Decatur. Downtown Decatur (adjacent to the City of Atlanta) has many excellent places to eat. Again, this is by no means comprehensive; rather, a few places based on reputation and recommendation. Watershed serves excellent higher-end Southern food and one Britt calls their Tuesday Fried Chicken Nights “a Decatur institution”. If you’re in the mood for pub food and beer, head to The Brick Store Pub, Leon’s Full Service, Victory Sandwich Bar, or The Marlay House. If you’re craving Mexican fare, try Taqueria del Sol (also located in Westside!). Sushi Avenue sells student-approved sushi at some of the most reasonable prices in the area. The Iberian Pig has good tapas and wine, and Cafe Alsace serves classic French dishes as well as more unique dishes from the Alsace region with its Germanic influences. Cafe Lily serves Mediterranean food in a bistro setting. Enjoy housemade ice cream and treats at Butter & Cream – don’t miss their Honeycomb Forest flavor! And if you’d prefer local, organic, sustainable cuisine, Cakes & Ale serves some of the best (not to mention their fantastic desserts).
Georgia Tech has many places around campus to work out, and whether your workout consists of walking the Pi Mile or participating in a yoga class at the CRC, many of your exercise needs can be met right on Georgia Tech’s campus. This section provides details about some of Georgia Tech’s most useful locations for health and fitness. After the name of each location, a brief note tells you what fitness resources the location offers.
Campus Recreation Center (CRC). The CRC is a convenient resource available to Brittain Fellows. It is right on campus and less than a 10-minute walk from Skiles, Hall, or Clough. Don’t want to work up a sweat before your Pilates class? You can always take the Stinger bus from Cherry Street right to the CRC’s front door.
The CRC provides a great variety of workout options. It houses some of the best facilities in the nation, including the Olympic Competition pool from the 1996 Summer Games, a full range of cardio equipment, most of which are equipped with personal televisions so you can catch up on your news, free weights and machines, four racquetball courts, six basketball courts, a climbing wall, and a full jogging track. The CRC also offers a plethora of instructional classes that include martial arts courses, tons of dance courses, or even SCUBA diving certification.
Cost to you at the CRC is one of its greatest advantages. The cost of CRC membership for an employee is $24.00 a month, more than $10.00 cheaper than the cost for a student. If you’re married and have a spouse who would like to work out at the CRC too it only costs $10 a month to add your spouse to your membership.
Since the CRC does serve as the primary exercise facility for the entire student body, you might want to avoid the crowds. The times of highest traffic are mid-afternoon to early evening, so try working out early in the morning or at least mid-morning to avoid the student rush. The first few weeks of the school year are the most crowded. During this period the CRC will be packed to the point of a fire hazard with all the incoming students working out, before they discover that classes are hard. Here’s the CRC’s website: http://www.crc.gatech.edu/
Tyler Brown Pi Mile. The Pi Mile is a 3.14 (yes, Tech is full of nerds) mile running trail encompassing most of campus. It was named for former Student Government Association President Tyler Brown, who was killed while on active duty in Iraq in 2005. The Pi Mile is marked on the sidewalk with round discs every quarter mile. The Pi Mile is an excellent route to walk or jog any time of day, and because it is contained on Georgia Tech’s campus it is much safer than most running in downtown Atlanta. A map of the Pi Mile can be viewed at the following URL: http://www.crc.gatech.edu/facility/pimile.pdf. And don’t miss the Pi Mile Road Race, held in spring semester around Pi Day!
Roe Stamps Field. More commonly referred to as SAC (Student Athletic Center) Fields, these Astroturf fields run adjacent to the CRC. The fields are a popular spot to walk, run, or participate in team sports. They can accommodate up to two full sized soccer games at once, but more often you’ll find six smaller groups playing different games.
Because of its size, SAC Fields is a very popular place to jog or walk outdoors. Less than three full laps of the fields complete a single mile. SAC Fields is also adjacent to two very nice sand volleyball courts that were refurbished in the summer of 2009. The best part of SAC Fields is that it is free to everyone.
Furkids! (http://www.furkids.org/). PO Box 191102, 31119-1102/ 770-613-0009. Furkids is the largest no-kill, cage-free animal shelter in Atlanta. They have adoption fairs at Petsmart locations throughout the city. The rescue also has a 5000 sq ft. facility used to house 200 cats. The facility features a special room for FIV+ cats, the only one of its kind in the Southeast United States. The group also provides individualized assistance to help match cats with potential adopters. Furkids is run almost entirely by volunteers who: clean the facility, socialize with cats, provide medical care, provide marketing for special events, and transport cats to adopters.
Atlanta Humane Society (http://www.atlantahumane.org/). 981 Howell Mill Road NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30318 USA. The Atlanta Humane Society has a large facility right down tenth street that includes a clinic, adoption center, and pet store. Volunteers are needed to assist staff and the public with appropriate placement of animals, supervise handling of animals by the public, walk dogs, assist in educating the public about pet care, all while giving the animals the love and care they need.
Environmental and Recreation
In the city, you’ll find free public facilities, including tennis courts, golf courses, swimming pools, playgrounds, basketball courts. Many of the parks have lively festivals—music, art, and special events. All across the state, one will find hiking trails and camp sites that are well worth exploring. Websites:
Piedmont Park. Piedmont Park was established as Atlanta’s “Common Ground” in 1904. Sitting on nearly 200 acres of green space with miles of trails, it is the perfect place to enjoy walking, jogging, biking or rollerblading. Piedmont Park is a great place to spend an entire weekend day, enjoying activities ranging from fishing, grilling, and swimming at the public pool, to taking your dog to the dog park. Festivals of all sorts are held during the Spring, Summer, and Fall – keep an eye out for Music Midtown, Atlanta Pride Festival, and the Dogwood Festival, three of the biggest events Piedmont hosts. Piedmont Park offers many resources that can be found at http://www.piedmontpark.org/index.html
Stone Mountain Park. Stone Mountain is a park located on 3,200 acres of natural beauty located 17.1 miles away from campus. The park is based around the largest bas relief sculpture in the world. The 40 foot tall carving of President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson on horseback was carved into an exposed face of the quartz monzonite mountain in 1972.
Stone Mountain has many family activities but is also a great place to walk or hike. It has over 15 miles of hiking trails that wind through the park’s natural beauty and provide a great view from atop Stone Mountain – go very early to watch the sunrise from the top. The park is also a great place to spend a whole weekend camping, if you feel so inclined. More information on the activities at Stone Mountain can be found at the following URL: http://www.stonemountainpark.com/default.aspx
Beyond Atlanta. Georgia has some great trails to hike and camp. Most of the trails are located between 45 to 90 minutes northwest of Atlanta in the Appalachian foothills. A great resource to research camping and hiking around Atlanta is http://georgiatrails.com/city/Atlanta. The website provides information and reviews about most Georgia hiking trails. Student favorites include Sweetwater Park (any trail there is fantastic) and the Palisades.
Peachtree Road Race. Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race is the world’s second largest 10 kilometer road race, with 55,000 entrants every year. The race is held annually on the fourth of July and starts at Lenox Square and ends on Tenth Street at Piedmont Park. Don’t be intimidated – there is still plenty of room for casual runners and walkers. If you plan on entering the race, be sure to enter as soon as registration opens because all 55,000 spots are usually gone within a few hours of registration opening. More info can be found at this URL: https://www.atlantatrackclub.org/Peachtree
Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (http://www.atlantabike.org/). 233 Mitchell St., Suite 315, 30303/ 404-881-1112. ABC seeks to make the roads safer for cyclists. They also promote Bicycling as a healthy, environmentally sustainable alternative to driving. ABC has several events every year in which they need volunteers. For example, during the end of March, ABC closes down the area around Peachtree Street and the West End MARTA station and opens it to bikers, pedestrians and families for a day long celebration of the outdoors. They also need volunteers to help serve on ABC committees, and attend public meetings to advocate for bike riders in the Atlanta area.
Cochran Mill Park (http://cochranmillpark.com/). The nature center features several acres of wooded trails and ponds. It features a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which helps orphaned, abandoned or injured animals who can’t survive in the wild. They also sponsor a number of activities and events including: a Halloween Hayride Event, Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, and a Snake Day Festival. Finally, the Nature Center teams up with groups such as the Chattahooche Hill Country Alliance, working against rapid land development and encouraging conservation. Volunteers help by feeding animals, planting gardens, serving on the Board of Directors and fundraising.
Atlanta Audubon Society (http://www.atlantaaudubon.org/). 4055 Roswell Rd, 30342/ 678-973-2437. The Atlanta Audubon Society educates the Atlanta area about the conservation of birds. They hold monthly meetings with speakers, field trips and other events. The Society also sponsors birdwalks, including one through Fernbank Forest. Fernbank Forest is an uncut tract of woodland that has 25 species of trees, some of which are over 200 years old. Volunteers are needed to enter data on bird sightings, organize conservation activities, and help with fundraising efforts.
Books for Africa (www.booksforafrica.org). 2971 Olympic Industrial Drive, Smyrna, GA 30080-7366/ 404-603-8680. Books for Africa encourages literacy by distributing books for children in Africa at about $ .50 a book. The website cites an Agency for International Development statistic that says around 40 percent of African children do not attend school. Of the 60 percent that do, most share their textbook with 10-20 other students. Books for Africa hopes to break the cycle of poverty by educating more children each year and creating a culture of literacy. Volunteers help sort and pack books for distribution.
English for Successful Living (https://www.laamistadinc.org/Programs/EnglishForSuccessfulLiving). 805 Mt Vernon Hwy, NW 30327/ 404-531-4155. Volunteer to teach English to immigrants in the Atlanta area. English for Successful Living charges low rates for classes: $30 registration fee and $36 for books. This translates into about $1 per week of classes. Volunteer teachers must commit to at least one ninety-minute class per week. They are provided with lesson plans, teacher’s edition textbooks, professional development seminars, and resources for the classroom. Clients are looking to improve basic conversation, writing, and grammar skills.
Mentor Me North Georgia (http://www.mentormenorthga.org/). 210 Dahlonega St, Suite 203, Cumming, GA 30040/ 678-342-8028. Mentor Me seeks to help children who are primarily from single-parent families or who are being raised by grandparents or relatives. Volunteer mentors have weekly contact with children doing things they enjoy in the community like playing catch, doing crafts, watching a movie, playing in the park, or talking. They have several programs for specific groups in the Atlanta area. For example, Kick it UP! clubs use volunteer mentors at local middle schools and high schools. These mentors help the graduation rate of local schools by engaging students in leadership training, community service and character building exercises.
Atlanta Children’s Shelter (http://www.atlantachildrensshelter.com/). 607 Peachtree St NE, 30308/ 404-892-3713. Atlanta children’s shelter helps with the plight of homeless children in the Atlanta area. The children’s shelter is particularly interested in educating families to become self-sufficient. According to their website, 13,000 homeless live in Atlanta, 25% of which are families. The shelter helps these families by providing meals, clothing, health care, emotional support, and educational and cultural activities.
Children’s Healthcare for Atlanta (http://www.choa.org/default.aspx?id=2177). 1685 Tullie Circle NE, 30329/ 404-785-7355. CHOA helps provide healthcare for children whose families cannot afford to pay. The foundation is integrated into the larger Grady Health Center, with locations all around Atlanta. Volunteers serve on committees that help raise funds and host programs such as fundraising, holiday events and sports events. Hospital volunteers can also help by giving care to patients, providing customer service, and by providing administrative support.
First Book of Atlanta (http://www.firstbook.org). First Book provides books to preschool and after-school programs in Atlanta. Kyle Zimmer, the head of First Book, recounts on the website his shock when discovering that 80% of these programs had no age-appropriate books for students. Volunteers serve on advisory boards that raise money, plan events, select programs to receive books, and increase awareness of the program.
H.E.R.O. for Children, Inc. (http://www.heroforchildren.org). 4497 South Old Peachtree Road, Norcross, GA 30071/ 770-417-1665×301. H.E.R.O. is dedicated to improving the lives of children afflicted by A.I.D.S. They plan opportunities and events, counsel children to see hope in their future and help with social, interpersonal and academic skills. They also sponsor HERO for a day, an annual special event where children compete in games, and play in obstacle courses, rock walls and inflatables. At the end of the day, each child is presented with a gold medal.
Health Care and Disability Advocates
National MS Society, Atlanta (http://www.nationalmssociety.org/). 1117 Perimeter Center w Road, 30338-5466/ 800-822-3379. The National MS Society advocates for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. The society also helps to educate patients diagnosed with MS by keeping a multimedia library of information for MS patients on their website such as webcasts, podcasts, videos and DVDs, and links to articles from their magazine Momentum. They need volunteers in Atlanta for their many fundraising events throughout the year that include Bike MS, Walk MS, and the Challenge Walk.
Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (http://www.fodac.org/). 4900 Lewis Rd, Stone Mountain, GA 30083/ 770-491-9014. FODAC provides medical equipment and repair services to the community at large. They seek out medically necessary situations where, due to inadequate insurance or other reasons, the patient cannot afford the equipment needed to address a certain disability. FODAC receives most of its funding from donations. They also perform re-mount vehicle adaptations where they refurbish vehicle mounts and install them into approved motor vehicles. Volunteers help by refurbishing wheelchairs, helping in the Thrift Store, housekeeping, and landscaping.
Center for the Visually Impaired (http://www.cviga.org/). 739 West Peachtree Street N.W., Atlanta, GA 30308. Located just off campus, the CVI provides rehabilitation services for the blind and visually impaired. They help people of all ages adjust to life with visual impairment, offer summer and after school camps to low vision children, and have a clinic that will teach patients to use a variety of tools to enhance their sight.
If you are considering having children, are about to have children, or have children of a pre-school age, here are a few tips and resources from some Brittain Fellows and LMC faculty members.
Pregnancy: What to Expect when You’re Expecting as a Brittain Fellow
Notify the supervisors of the Brittain Program and contact Human Resources
The Departmental Level. The Writing and Communication Program is willing to make arrangements so that your status as a Brittain Fellow doesn’t suffer while you’re pregnant. You may defer the fellowship for a semester or a year. If you’re planning to have or adopt a baby during the semester, speak with Rebecca and Andy as early as possible about arrangement options. Also speak with Andy about arranging a teaching schedule that accommodates your responsibilities as a new mother/father. We have a “Mother’s Room” in the Hall building for Fellows who wish to still work while caring for their new child – offering a private space to breastfeed/pump/feed, a fridge for storage, and a sink for cleaning all your baby things.
The Institutional Level. Georgia Tech doesn’t offer maternity leave for its employees. Consequently, pregnant Brittain Fellows can choose to use sick leave to cover their absence, take unpaid leave, or use STD (short-term disability) insurance. STD insurance is an option if you are planning to be pregnant and anticipate not being able to work for up to eleven weeks. For more information, contact the Office of Human Resources or visit their benefits page (http://www.ohr.gatech.edu/Benefits/disability).
Consider setting up an FSA (Flexible Spending Account). Childcare can be costly. Consider setting up a FSA (Flexible Spending Account) to have part your salary deposited tax free in an account to use for childcare-related expenses (http://www.ohr.gatech.eduBenefits/FSA).
Research pregnancy services and resources in the area. A wide array of pregnancy services and resources are available in Atlanta. If you’re researching your options, you might want to visit The Expectant Mother’s Guide to Atlanta website (http://www.expectantmothersguide.com/pregnancy/atlanta.htm). (If you’re looking for a doula, former Brittain Fellow Elizabeth Freudenthal highly recommends Lumina Birth: http://www.luminabirth.com.)
Note for those interested in midwives. In Georgia, midwives aren’t licensed as sole practitioners. Some hospitals have staff or affiliated midwives that conduct prenatal appointments and assist at birth. It is possible to have a midwife at a home birth, but a midwife can’t be in charge of a hospital birth.
Research and sign up for different childcare options. Finding affordable and reliable childcare can be very difficult in Atlanta. Very difficult. Really. (Former Brittain Fellow and former Assistant Director Robin Wharton found out that four months before her due date was already too late to sign up on a waiting list. She exhorts others not to make the same mistake!) As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, put your name on the waitlist for a daycare center. For more information about childcare options, see the following section on childcare resources.
Childcare in Atlanta
Below are two trusted options for beginning your search for daycare for your kids. We’ve also included a few centers recommended by former Fellows that may be of use to you.
Bright From the Start. For reports on licensed daycare facilities and in-home daycare providers, visit the website for Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning (Bright from the Start). When reading reports, keep in mind that the guidelines are both pretty strict and broadly written. A violation that results in a negative report might consist of anything from the major (leaving poison lying around the infant/toddler room) to the minor (a torn mattress cover in an unoccupied crib). Before ruling out a facility because they’ve had a couple of write-ups, read the reports carefully to see what the problem actually was, get a feel for whether the violations were minor or major and whether they were quickly remedied or not. You might also want to visit the facility in-person.
The NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). To find licensed providers in your area, visit the NAEYC website. This national accrediting agency has tougher standards than the state, and is considered a “gold standard” of sorts when you’re looking for providers. One key tip is to check up on how recently the NAEYC accreditation was received or renewed. Trust a facility that has been accredited for a while over one that that hasn’t been accredited for long, or one that has received accreditation a while ago and may have relaxed procedures since.
Daycare Centers Near Georgia Tech
The R. Kirk Landon Learning Center (NAEYC approved) is the childcare center affiliated with Georgia Tech, and is run by Bright Horizons — an international provider of employer-sponsored child care and early education. Even though Georgia Tech employees and students are given preference, the waiting list is still very long. As emphasized by previously pregnant Brittain Fellows, get on the waiting list very early. You also might want to consider other options if this one doesn’t come through.
Children’s Campus at Georgia Tech (NAEYC approved) is newer than the Learning Center, and is located in Building F of the graduate student housing. This early care and education center offers high-quality early education for children six weeks to five years old, and like the Learning Center, is also run by Bright Horizons. They also offer summer camps.
The Children’s Center at All Saints (NAEYC approved). Also run by Bright Horizons, this center is also located close to Georgia Tech. It caters to young children as well as school-age students.
The Frazer Center. Known for providing inclusive care for children with physical and developmental disabilities.
The Whitefoord Child Development Program (NAEYC approved). Children within the Edgewood/Kirkwood neighborhoods are given preference, although they often accept children who live outside that area. Payment is on a sliding scale based on income.
ABC Early Learning Academy (NAEYC approved). They’re in a slightly sketchy location on Ponce in Midtown. But it’s a secure facility with helpful and dedicated staff. They also usually have spots available: a great stop-gap if you’re on a wait-list and a good option even if you’re not. They also offer sliding-scale payments based on income.
Part-Time Day Care. If you don’t need fulltime daycare, you might want to consider a PMO (Parent’s Morning Out) program. These are typically run through churches and allow parents to leave their children for two to three mornings a week. These programs are usually relatively inexpensive.
Georgia State’s Child Development Center. The Child Development Program serves a three-fold purpose: to provide a high quality environment and experience for young children and their families, acts as a lab site with the mission of supporting research related to young children, and prepares Georgia State University students to work professionally with young children.