Summer is in full swing here in Atlanta. With so much to do, here are some favorite things around town, from Candler staff.

Cassondra Haffner, Admissions Assistant

Cassie grew up hometownless (Navy brat), has a background in Art History and Architecture, and has been at Candler for three years.

Cassie’s Five Favorite Things About Atlanta
1. Fourth Friday ArtStroll at Castleberry Hill

Cassie is kinda artsy and loves Castleberry Hill (CH), Atlanta’s up-and-coming-and-maybe- already-there art district. CH hosts a monthly ArtStroll, where galleries and lofts are open to the public, local lounges cater to Stroll-ers, and Atlanta in general gets its culture on. Candler grad Ben Brazil wrote a great article on CH for the New York Times.

2. Walking Sam, her dog, at Piedmont Park
What began in 1887 as the Gentlemen’s Driving Club, was transformed in the early 20th century by the Olmstead brothers into Piedmont Park. The park is a 185-acre urban oasis in Midtown Atlanta. In addition to having the city’s largest dog park, Piedmont is a great place to walk your dog around miles of walking/biking/jogging/rollerblading paths. Go early on a summer Saturday for the open-air Green Market to buy fresh produce directly from local farmers.

3.Grits at South City Kitchen
Located in Midtown, South City Kitchen has been dishing out “contemporary Southern cuisine with a sophisticated twist” since 1993. Cassie loves the shrimp and grits, collard greens, and buttermilk fried chicken, all with a glass of Sweet Tea-the table wine of the South. If you’re from the North (a.k.a., “a Yankee”), try the grits. Don’t roll your eyes. Cheese grits, creamy grits, shrimp and grits…mmmm.

4. Ballet
Cassie has been involved in ballet all of her life, and has trained with the Atlanta Ballet for the past three years. This spring, Cassie saw big, a ballet-hip-hop fusion performance featuring live music by Antwan “Big Boi” Patton of Outkast performing onstage with the Ballet. You don’t see that every day. The 2008-2009 season features traditional pieces like Swan Lake and the Nutcracker, as well as performances like Don Quixote and Dracula. Cassie is considering auditioning for the Company this fall! Woohoo!

5.Braves games at Turner Field
What would summer be in Atlanta without the Braves! Take MARTA to Five-Points Station and catch the free Braves Shuttle. Turner Field allows you to bring in food and drinks (no glass), so pack a picnic or pick up a pizza on the way. Tickets can be ridiculously cheap, with lots of specials—they sell a couple hundred $1 tickets before every game.

Brad Schweers, Admissions Advisor

Brad grew up around Chicago and has been in Atlanta for ten years. Yikes! He graduated from Candler with a Master of Theological Studies in 2005.

Brad’s Five Favorite things About Atlanta
1. Ultimate (frisbee)
Atlanta’s weather allows for Ultimate leagues 11 months out of the year. Brad has played on several Summer and Spring league teams with the Atlanta Flying Disc Club. There are also pick-up games all over town on just about every day of the week. Candler students play pick-up on the quad every Friday at 2:00 p.m. Last fall we played with four Buddhist monks during H.H. the Dalai Lama’s visit. No joke.

2. Wednesday Night Jazz at Après Diem
Brad has been a regular at Après Diem’s Wednesday night Jazz jam sessions for years. The free music usually goes on around 8 p.m. and can be heard from the bar, the patio, or the lounge (go early to get a couch). Dave Frackenpohl, a Georgia State University Jazz instructor, leads the house band and there are always musicians and vocalists who pop in for a song or two. Try the Tomato Montrachet, Salmon Ciabatta, or Salmon Farfalle.

3. Taizé Prayer
Prayer services based on the music and liturgy of the Taizé Community in France have spread all across the United States and the world. Taizé services are at once ancient and yet contemporary and popular. At any given service, the melodic and meditative songs might be sung in any of a half-dozen languages, along with times of corporate and silent prayer and reading of the Christian Scriptures. Atlanta has a vibrant network of churches who host services weekly or seasonally, including a Monday evening service somewhere in Atlanta every week.

4. Ponce
Paris may have the Champs Élysées, New York may have 5th Avenue, Chicago may have the Magnificent Mile, but only Atlanta has Ponce. The proper (and never used) name is Ponce de Leon Avenue, but it is pronounced monosyllabically “Ponce”. Where else can you find a private prep-school, a boys choir, a Hare Krishna temple, and Willie-the-Bike-Shorts-Guy perpetually waiting for the bus, all within 4 blocks? Ponce is home to a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop, the 24-hour Majestic Diner, a female roller-derby team (that plays in an active Shriners’ Temple!), and the Open Door Community, a Catholic Worker-inspired social justice community.

5. Religion
You’d be hard-pressed to find a city in the U.S with a more dynamic religious presence than Atlanta’s. It was no accident that the Civil Rights Movement emerged from the Black Church and the fertile religious culture of Atlanta. Atlanta is the international home to the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, the Southern Christian Leadership Council, Habitat for Humanity, and the Depung Loseling Monastery, American seat of H.H. the Dalai Lama’s Gelugpa monastic order. On the ground, religion vibrates in every village and every hamlet, with scores of churches, synagogues, mosques, chapels, temples, meeting houses, monasteries, ashrams, and house-churches.