Most notable was a little-known young lawyer—a janitor’s son from Raleigh, North Carolina, who’d worked briefly in the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice before being elected. He was earnestly pushing (though getting nowhere) for the city’s first comprehensive code of ethics. His name was Bill Campbell.
From hundreds to thousands to tens of thousands, Freaknik grew, but during its first decade, almost all white Atlantans—and many black Atlantans over the age of 40—were oblivious. Then came Freaknik 1993.
As Tag Team, Cecil Glenn, aka DC the Brain Supreme, and Steve “Rolln” Gibson may be one-hit wonders, but oh, what a hit. The thumping bass, gleeful spirit, and endless chants of the title phrase have made 1993’s “Whoomp! (There It Is)” one of the most enduring party songs of the past 25 years.
I started anchoring the evening news at Channel 46 in 1990. I was a girl in my 20s, working in a major market in my dream job. It was exciting. It was exciting. I felt like Holly Hunter in “Broadcast News.”
In September 1992, a family festival with opera performances and puppetry marked the opening of Atlanta’s tallest building: NationsBank Plaza, a 55-story colossus of red granite and glass, topped with a skeletal golden pyramid of girders.
When I hear 1990s, the first thing I think about is my time at Howard University and that high-top fade hairstyle I used to have. I had to work really hard at it too.
Georgia politics in the 1990s was like a murky twilight zone with two galaxies spinning away from each other. On one side were the remains of the old Solid Democratic South, still dominant at the beginning of the decade but best glimpsed in ghosts and caricature-like light from vanished stars. On the other side: the Solid Republican South, gathering mass and best represented by Newt Gingrich.
In an inspired move, Atlanta Top 40 station 99.7 FM, Power 99, rebranded itself in October 1992 as 99X—with a lineup of Gen X-skewing grunge rock and attitude-laced talk. One of the most influential modern rock stations of the decade, 99X catapulted the careers of Atlanta-based acts like Shawn Mullins, Marvelous 3, and John Mayer; drove the rock charts; and even drew the older guard.
On April 12, 1999, as flames and smoke consumed a five-story building under renovation in the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills complex, the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department’s Matt Moseley dangled from a helicopter at the end of a 50-foot rope.
Sugar, spice, and everything nice. These were the ingredients for Cartoon Network’s stealth hit.
God works, as they say, in mysterious ways, and for Ralph Reed, He did so in a Washington, D.C., bar called Bullfeathers, where one night in the mid-1980s, the former executive director of the College Republicans felt a divine whisper prompting him to attend church.
In 1990, when Atlanta beat out Athens to host the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, it was an impressive come-from-behind win, even for a former University of Georgia football star. William “Billy” Porter Payne, an All-SEC defensive end for the Dawgs and Dunwoody real estate lawyer, dreamed up Atlanta’s quixotic bid and served as CEO of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.
The Dome debuted August 23, 1992, with a Falcons preseason victory over the Eagles (Hammer kicked things off; John Denver sang the national anthem; Travis Tritt played halftime).
Well before its 1998 publication, Tom Wolfe’s Atlanta-centric “A Man in Full” was the talk of Buckhead’s cocktail party circuit; once the 742-page opus hit shelves, the chatter became deafening.
Our nightlife hit an ecstatic peak in the 1990s, a decade lubricated by the free-flowing cash of the dot-com boom, the flash of the burgeoning hip-hop scene, and the youthful exuberance of the Olympics. Of those years, none, arguably, was better than 1996, when you could conceivably hit all of these places in one glorious night.
Atlanta poured $1 billion into an Olympic building frenzy—supplemented by cash from TV rights, corporate sponsorships, and ticket sales. This generated a $5 billion economic impact that summer, and decades of population growth and international investment. But how have those construction projects paid off?
Over four decades, upstarts have tried—and failed—to take down Creative Loafing.
Mike Tokars was four years old on November 29, 1992. Yet he remembers the events of that night clearly, and he recounts them with an almost unsettling calm.
He could do it all: Score touchdowns. Steal bases. Rap. Okay, maybe not rap. But Deion Sanders was a freakishly talented athlete, and for three seasons in the early ’90s, the stars aligned so that he was both a Falcon (feared pass defender) and a Brave (feared base runner).
My first day at CNN was August 1, 1990. After a career spent in newspapers, I needed time to become familiar with CNN’s staff, operations, finances, and plans for the future. But on my second day—August 2, 1990—Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
For me, the 1990s started out with an exhibition by Keith Haring, followed by shows displaying works by Robert Mapplethorpe, Cindy Sherman, Annie Leibovitz, and Helmut Newton. I gave Thornton Dial and Radcliffe Bailey their first shows. It was quite the decade.
When CNN anchor Bernard Shaw flew to Iraq to interview Saddam Hussein, he didn’t intend to make history as a war correspondent. Shaw—along with reporters Peter Arnett and John Holliman and producer Robert Wiener—was in a hotel awaiting a call from Hussein’s reps when the deadline for U.N. sanctions passed.
We opened the Velvet in this vacated 6,000-square-foot building downtown. Everybody came: gay, straight, bankers, punks, you name it. This was before event photographers and cellphone cameras.
During his seven-year stint as an Atlanta Braves pitcher, Pat Jarvis won 83 games and earned the nickname “Little Bulldog” for his compact frame and gutsy competitiveness. He retired in 1974 and two years later transitioned to political infields, winning election as sheriff of DeKalb County, which already had a reputation as a swamp of corruption.
People moved here at the staggering rate of 360 per day, bursting the region’s boundaries and transforming its culture.
Five romances that kept our tounges wagging, including David Justice & Halle Berry, Ted Turner & Jane Fonda, Lisa Lopes & Andre Rison, Marla Maples & Donald Trump, and Whitney Houston & Bobby Brown.
No Atlanta act bookended the decade better than TLC. Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas burst onto the scene with their DayGlo fashions and a 1992 debut, “Ooooooohhh. . . On the TLC Tip.”
Atlanta became the epicenter of hip-hop and R&B thanks to hitmakers Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Antonio “L.A.” Reid (33 number one singles!). Their LaFace Records created stars, jump-started stalled careers, and spawned a web of connections—snaring even Kevin Bacon and the film Six Degrees of Separation.
Between three syllables uttered on September 18, 1990, everything changed in Atlanta, and so did our city’s place in the world.
Who ever would have believed a baseball team could convince us eternity doesn’t last forever? Well, that actually happened back in autumn of 1991—the year October began to taste like honey, when leaves turned brighter shades of gold and crimson, and Atlanta nights felt fresh as mountain air.
After a 7–9 season in 1997, no one gave coach Dan Reeves’s 1998 squad a chance. But on the legs of running back Jamal Anderson—who rushed for 1,846 yards, nearly twice as much as he ever had or would again—and a smothering defense, the Falcons rattled off a nine-game winning streak to end the season a franchise-best 14–2 atop the NFC West.
Atlanta’s fashion new guard showcases the season’s trends. Interviews and style tips from Camryn Park, Keisha Noel, Kirk Stafford, Mandy Kellogg Rye, and Mike Mast, plus our favorite funky platform shoes, cool shades, bitty bags, and jaunty pocket squares.
This month, Tom Houck draws on his personal history and wide circle of friends with a new endeavor: Civil Rights Tours, Atlanta. Organized in partnership with Atlanta Movie Tours, it begins and ends at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Five years ago, Doreen Eitel left Germany and ended up in Columbus, Ohio, where she worked as an au pair. She married and moved to Tampa. Two years ago, the couple moved to Atlanta, and Eitel was pleasantly surprised.
The Saint Patrick’s Day procession on Peachtree claims bragging rights as Atlanta’s oldest parade, but it’s second fiddle in its own state. Savannah’s parade, recognized nationwide, has drawn more than a million people. How the shindigs stack up.
Outsiders may envision Georgia Tech as some futuristic mothership where super-intelligent scientists-in-training walk side by side with robots. And they may be right. In recent years, professors and students at the Midtown campus have developed artificial intelligence that can feed you, bathe you, and practically tuck you in.
Since winning the 2008 election, septuagenarian Doris A. Jones has been mayor (annual pay: $4,600) of Waleska, a scenic city of 640 residents in northwest Cherokee County. Jones takes pride in Waleska’s main attractions: Reinhardt University and nearby Lake Arrowhead.
When Phillip Sailors shot and killed a young man who mistakenly pulled into Sailors’s driveway in Lilburn two years ago, the story made headlines from ABC News to the Huffington Post. The case was in the news again last November, when Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter announced he would not pursue murder—or even felony manslaughter—charges against Sailors, allowing the 71-year-old retired Bell South employee to walk free with a year of probation and a $500 fine.
In Atlanta journalist Jim Auchmutey’s first book, the Americus High class of ’65 confronts its racist past
For nearly three decades, Jim Auchmutey carved out an enviable beat at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, writing richly detailed features about race, religion, history, and food—all of which seemed to inform an overarching narrative of what it means to be Southern. In 2006 he covered a story about a high school reunion that has now become the subject of his first book, The Class of ’65: A Student, a Divided Town, and the Long Road to Forgiveness (Perseus/PublicAffairs).
Where Iberian Pig takes its inspiration from all of Spain, Cooks & Soldiers focuses on the Basque region, which gained an international profile during the craze over molecular gastronomy and its first exponent, Ferran Adrià of elBulli.
“People make more of a big deal about cooking risotto than it actually is,” says Sotto Sotto’s Riccardo Ullio, who’s eaten this luxuriously creamy staple of northern Italy his whole life.
A look at four of the newest restaurants in Atlanta, including The Cockentrice, Made Kitchen and Cocktails, Dish Dive, and Asante.
Steven Satterfield releases a cookbook, Diana Fitzgerald’s stunning smoked trout, and more bite-sized dining news
News on Steven Satterfield’s first cookbook, “Root to Leaf,” Diana Fitzgerald’s stunning applewood trout, a great wine pick, and Emory’s Oxford College farm
Cofounders Jackson Smith and Wes Jones point out a sketch taped onto the floor of Honeysuckle Gelato’s Westside production facility. Made of blue painters tape, the improvised rendering is about 180 square feet—the size of the gelato-sorbet startup’s retail shop at Ponce City Market that’s slated to open this spring.
I’ll just say it: Seasonal eating has become tyranny. Although I love the first crunchy radishes of spring, the ripe tomatoes of summer, and the versatile varieties of winter squash, too many chefs today feel they must marry their entire menus to Mother Nature, offering dishes for as long as a sunset.
Travel to Knoxville to hear big names at the Big Ears Festival, visit a family-friendly Saint Patrick’s Day festival in Savannah, see the wardrobe of “Downton Abbey” at Asheville’s Biltmore, and more.
Tucked between the Chattahoochee River and Bolton Road south of Vinings, Whittier Mill Village was built to house workers for the nearby textile mill during the cotton boom of the 1890s. It’s one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods—and, comprising 30 acres and roughly 110 homes, it’s also one of the smallest.
I recently moved, and it’s got me buying all kinds of stuff.
Any outdoor room is nice, but a courtyard scores extra points. “It’s an exterior space that’s cozy and private,” says Atlanta architect Timothy Adams, whose patio design in Watercolor, Florida, is surrounded by the house.
When I graduated from college in 1991, it felt like half of the guys I knew growing up were moving to Atlanta. We were from a small town in upstate New York, and back then, before Al Gore invented the Internet, reports of life in Atlanta trickled up through limited filters: from newspaper stories about the mad preparations for the Olympics, from the ubiquitous Braves games on TBS, but mostly from friends themselves, who would visit home at Christmas, like evangelizers anointed by the Chamber of Commerce.
The police chief has several guns, including a 12-gauge shotgun and a semiautomatic rifle, but he almost never puts them to use. “This is the modern Mayberry,” says T.J. Sosebee, the only full-time officer in Kingston, population 646, a hidden Bartow County village on a narrow plain between Cartersville and Rome.