Will mining threaten the Okefenokee?
An Alabama company is trying to build a mineral mine just outside one of Georgia’s most majestic natural spaces, the Okefenokee Swamp. But critics worry: How close is too close?
After decades of pollution, South River activists are hoping to find a sustainable solution for the waterway
Through a slim gap in the chain-link fence, Jacqueline Echols leads me down a short, steep embankment and across a wide sand beach toward the banks of the South River. Deer tracks and footprints pepper the sand at our feet; ahead of us, water rushes dramatically beneath the Snapfinger Road bridge and tumbles over shoals, where Echols tells me she’s seen river otters play. With its sprawling stretch of beach and sounds of rushing water, the Panola Shoals trailhead feels like an urban enclave of natural beauty—idyllic, almost, if not for the signage on the fence warning visitors of the contaminated water.
At the old Bellwood quarry, a submerged history of racist violence
Located on the site of present-day Westside Park—the city’s premier new greenspace, a rambling campus surrounding a shimmering reservoir—Bellwood was one of a number of chain gang camps in Atlanta and across the state that lasted into the second half of the 20th century.
From Cascade Springs to Lake Lanier, water is a crucial element connecting people to their faith
Curious arrangements appear deep in the mossy heart of Cascade Springs Nature Preserve in Southwest Atlanta—a quarter mile down the boardwalk trail, past the gnome-sized stone springhouse, beneath the eponymous waterfall. Yellow daisies and damp votives wedged in the slick rocks. Sliced oranges and pineapples tumbling further down Utoy Creek.
Are Georgia’s water wars over?
In 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request by Florida to limit the amount of water Georgia can withdraw from a shared river basin—the latest and most significant development in a tri-state battle over how to apportion the waters that flow through those two states and Alabama, a fight that’s cost untold millions of dollars and sparked multiple lawsuits. The decision was widely regarded as a victory for Georgia. So: Are the water wars finally over?
Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee” at 30
Included on Jackson’s 1992 album A Lot about Livin’ (and a Little ’bout Love), the tune was released as a single on May 15, 1993—accompanied by a video of Jackson water-skiing in boots and a cowboy hat. It spent four weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Country charts, won CMA Song of the Year and ASCAP Song of the Year, and is still so ubiquitous that people of all ages continue to yell-sing it from their boats some 30 years later.
A flurry of new plans will make the Chattahoochee more accessible in metro Atlanta
“When you get below Peachtree Creek, access to the river kind of stops,” says George Dusenbury, a vice president and the Georgia state director of the Trust for Public Land. “Communities in West Atlanta, South Cobb, South Fulton, and Douglas County don’t have the same access that exists in the north.” But that’s about to change, due to a flurry of new plans to expand opportunities to hike, pedal, paddle, and even camp along Atlanta’s iconic river.
The house that Driller Mike built
Driller Mike is long gone—on to his next job, like a salesman traveling from town to town—but his works may be looked upon at Westside Park. Driller Mike was, of course, the nickname of the 400-foot, $11.6 million machine used to bore a five-mile tunnel deep beneath the streets of Atlanta. When the project finished in 2020, water began to flow through the tunnel from the Chattahoochee River, filling the 2.4-billion-gallon quarry at the park’s center.
Journalism is struggling. In Atlanta, new indie outlets are finding ways to make it work—and bringing in important voices
In just the past five years, Atlanta Civic Circle, Capital B, Canopy Atlanta, the Atlanta Community Press Collective, and local bureaus of Axios and the national investigative news site ProPublica have all set up shop in Atlanta. Decaturish, which turns 10 this year, is focused on repairing the old-school, community-newspaper model. Independent outlets are not only challenging revenue models—they’re changing the way local outlets approach journalism itself.
The future of Georgia’s salt marshes
With one-third of the salt marshes on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, the Georgia coast is celebrated for its natural beauty—but natural can be a deceptive concept. Humans are part of nature; to effects good and ill, we’ve shaped the world around ourselves. That includes the coast.
Bob “Baton Bob” Jamerson on positive vibes and fabulous outfits
Fascinated by majorette routines, Baton Bob got his start twirling a broom handle as a kid. As an adult, he began twirling in public as a way to combat depression. “I started going to this park in exercise gear, with my MP3 player and my baton, to twirl my spirit out of this funk. I had the idea of adding costumes to make people laugh. Once I started doing that and set up a website, I started getting responses from fans and seeing the differences I was making in their day.”
How two Atlanta teenagers got starring roles in Amy Ray’s “Subway” music video
Eighteen years old and a senior at Paul Duke STEM High School, Sarah Jane Von Hagen has plenty in common with the Indigo Girls, not least her striking resemblance to a young Amy Ray—a role Von Hagen recently found herself playing, opposite the real, adult Amy Ray, in a music video for Ray’s new single, “Subway.” Von Hagen’s friend Iris Rubin costarred as young Amy Ray’s girlfriend.
The water bearers: Meet the five Atlanta artists of Flux’s “Flow” project
In the fall of 2022, Rachel Parish’s public exhibition Emergence installed temporary monuments at Grady Hospital, the Georgia State Capitol, the Tabernacle, and the Gulch—locations closest to four springheads that mark a system of waterways buried beneath downtown Atlanta. It was the start of a multiyear series of artistic works conceived by Flux Projects, dubbed Flow, to explore Atlanta’s complex relationship with water.
In the 80s, an Atlanta astronaut performed a Coke vs. Pepsi taste test in space
In the 1980s, the Cold War was still raging—and so were the Cola Wars. Maybe it was inevitable that in the summer of 1985, the Pepsi Challenge would make its way into space aboard the Challenger’s Spacelab 2 mission, piloted by Atlanta native Roy D. Bridges Jr.
The verdict on 3 new Atlanta restaurants: Dad’s, Alici, and La Semilla
Big dad energy in Virginia-Highland, a bustling oyster bar in Midtown, and vegan Latin fare in Reynoldstown.
Things we like: Peepal People hot sauce
I did not imagine I’d be building a hot sauce condiment company off of my multiple design degrees,” says Alyzeh Rizvi, who, until recently, was working full-time in the field she’d trained for. “But, you know, I enjoy challenges.” Peepal People emerged as a pandemic project—sparked in New York City, developed during a stint in Dallas, and brought to fruition in Atlanta, where Rizvi and her husband and coproprietor, Ahmer Zaidi, moved nearly two years ago. The degrees don’t hurt—the bottles are beautifully designed. But it’s what inside that counts.
Atlanta’s Filipino food boom
These days, it’s not uncommon to see waves of interest in food from historically underappreciated communities—but it’s also not uncommon to see those waves come and go quickly, the cuisine treated as a temporary fad rather than a durable part of the culinary landscape. Atlanta’s not just having a moment with Filipino food, though; it’s undergoing an awakening.
Our (frequently updating) guide to Atlanta’s very best pop-ups, food trucks, and more
Some of the most exciting food in Atlanta today is served out of borrowed kitchens, at farmers markets, and from food trucks. Here’s some of our recent faves, and where to find them.
Review: Kamayan ATL serves Filipino feasts fit for sharing
At their new restaurant in Buford Highway’s Asian Square, Mia Orino and Carlo Gan serve a regular a la carte menu most nights of the week, in addition to hosting regular kamayan-style meals—the ones their pop-up made famous.
Water spinach, a staple of Asian cuisine, is finally legal in Georgia
Until recently, water spinach was illegal to sell in Georgia. The lifting of the ban reflects an evolving understanding of the risks—and value—of non-native plants.
Luxury fashion’s big bet on Atlanta
Recently, Givenchy opened an outpost at Phipps Plaza, the first for the brand in the city. Atlanta-founded label Bstroy debuted its capsule collection at the launch, which was attended by boldface names in entertainment, fashion, and culture such as Lil Yachty and Claire Sulmers. Says president and chief executive officer Renaud de Lesquen, “Opening in Phipps Plaza was a natural step forward for Givenchy. Atlanta is among the most vibrant metropolitan areas in America, and the House resonates particularly well with this diverse, creative, and dynamic market.” De Lesquen saw the opportunity many others see: All eyes are on Atlanta as a strategic setting for the evolution of a fashion brand.
Room Envy: A playful dining room with a tropical touch
Dining rooms can be the most playful areas of a home. Color-loving interior designer Perry Walter jazzed up this circa-1925 Virginia-Highland condo by highlighting the existing molding.
5 Reasons to love Avondale Estates
When driving down Main Street, the first thing most people notice are the Tudor-style buildings. Willis modeled them after those he and his wife saw on vacation in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, the birthplace of William Shakespeare.
A love letter to the Georgia Appalachian Trail
I had a hard time snapping a selfie because I was crying with joy. I was on the Appalachian Trail, standing next to a sign nailed to a walnut tree on the border of Georgia and North Carolina. My 78-mile northbound walk—section by section, from Springer Mountain to that tree—had taken six months.