My physician was Michael Kostas, a man who smiled at my skepticism and joked at how I showed up anyway. I've seen a lot of people for my back problems; rugby players take a beating as you can probably imagine.
I've tried sports therapy, deep tissue massages, even acupuncture. While sitting face down on an ironing board-like table, I thought hey! If I can sit here with a dozen needles sticking in my skin, I may as well try a chiropractor.
Surprisingly, my neck didn't break and I actually felt pretty good after I left Kostas Chiropractic.
I'd eaten at Atlanta's famous Varsity once before, but I wasn't prepared for this. After scarfing some of their catered hamburgers, I felt like I was in a room with Sigourney Weaver, waiting for an extraterrestrial to pop out my abdomen. My stomach cramped, I had a headache, and I actually had a cold sweat. I think it's because their fried foods are fried in old, used fat. Yick.
As if that wasn't for everybody, the caterers had the nerve to suggest that perhaps I didn't know I was allergic to beef. Me, a 6'0, 220-lb. man who consumes entire herds of cattle in one sitting, allergic to beef. Right.
PROS: Burgers, chili dogs, Varsity food, great in theory
CONS: Greasy food that sits in your stomach, holier-than-thou servers
I'm relieved we got in touch with ARS. We had a problem with a nasty leak, one that caused discoloration and bubbles on our cream-colored ceiling. Concerned about the wood and water damage that would ensue, we called ARS on the strength of another friend's recommendation, and were glad to see that not only were they timely, but they also went the extra mile.
While in our attic, one of their repairmen lost his footing and the next thing we knew, his boot was sticking through a new hole in the ceiling. Thankfully, they offered to either repair it themselves on the spot, free of charge, or to deduct a certain amount off the price of the job.
Fantastic customer service. Don't waste your time anywhere else.
The instructors at Atlanta are good. They're congenial, they're pros, and they're patient. Consequently, they're hugely overworked. The room was filled with more than 20 of us, and we were incredibly cramped!
It might not have been so bad if everyone was a pro who could stay in his/her own area, but most of us at the class were beginners who crashed into each other. Yikes.
PROS: Great instructors
CONS: Nice and spacious for a sardine can
Located in the popular Little 5 Points (L5P), Criminal Records has everything from imports to B-side recordings, featuring every artist from Jay-Z to Radiohead. I managed to find remixed sounds from London's Asian underground, a difficult feat to say the least.
While their selection is superior, their inventory is lacking, something to be expected from independent stores whose random records only appeal to a few dozen people in the metro Atlanta area.
So if you're looking for that random LP (even if it's Electro) you couldn't find at Wherehouse or on WinMX (shame on you if that's the case!), this is where you need to be.
PROS: If they don't have it, you won't find it.
CONS: What they do have can be pricey--it's the way they stay in business
I was on a mission to find a snow globe, the type that you'd find in Switzerland or France. It was meant to be a Christmas gift, and I searched far and wide for the perfect gift for my then-girlfriend.
Highly reluctant, I wandered into 20th Century. Only a skip and a jump from Neighbor's and Hand in Hand, I thought it was ideal. Worst case scenario: I wouldn't find the snow globe but at the very least I'd be able to stumble into a pub for a pint to drown my woes.
Unfortunately, the clerk working had no idea what she was talking about. I described the snow globe in a bunch of different terms (glass ball with confetti inside, snowy village, snow globe, snowy ball thingy made of glass with water and decorative stuff inside), but to no avail. I think I caught a temp, because she didn't know anything else to suggest to me, even after I told her the general theme I was shooting for (Swiss stuff). Thank the internet gods for eBay, huh?
PROS: Great location and what looked like a great array of antiques
CONS: Lackluster staff who really should try learning about their craft
I was pleasantly surprised by the range of Mac products Micro Center stocks.
Though I was disappointed that I didn't get to find my Alienware PC, I did get the opportunity to tinker with a few new Toshiba, HP, and Sony laptops.
Micro Center is probably best for your everyday software needs. You'll find all the Windows fix-ins like Excel, PowerPoint upgrades, and new operating systems such as XP and Me. However, the best deals are in blank CDs, storage, DVD-Rw drives, and hardware upgrades.
Did I mention their plasma screens? When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling gray...
...I stop watching "The Sound of Music" and I go to Micro Center to fantasize about owning some of these finer toys. It's so great to be a grownup, wouldn't you say?
PROS: Toys for all ages...well, for all ages who like electronics
CONS: If the sight of Macintosh products makes you vomit, stick with Circuit City
Norcross' Global Mall plays host to this Kumon, a reading and math tutor center that gives Sylvan a run for its money. By nurturing and developing basic academic skills like reading comprehension and intermediate writing, Kumon is an effective tool and has never let down our friends' children.
PROS: Easy to find, great facility, helpful staff who have proven results
CONS: Traffic is like murder getting to and from the Global Mall
If you understood the Taglish of the title or have an affinity for food and goods from Mother Philippines, then you've come to the right place. Located in Doraville in the heart of Atlanta's multi-ethnic Peachtree Industrial Blvd. and Buford Hwy., Manila Mart has everything your pinoy/pinay heart could desire
from Goldilock's baked goods to Pampanga brand longaniza and tocino. You'll find pocky, pan de saal, and polvoron, and you won't be denied your diniguan or datu puti.
Call ahead if you want something special (read: balut). This is far and away the best for anything pinoy, easily beating out 99 Ranch or those other generic "Asian" grocers. Mabuhay, indeed.
PROS: The widest array of Filipino foods outside of Manila (or Daly City).
CONS: Sometimes the Goldilock's goods aren't as fresh as ordering factory direct
Williams Gengakki has a great selection of high-quality instruments, top workmanship, and a diverse array of strings and accessories including fitted and oblong cases.
I had the great pleasure of buying a violin from them in 1992; it was a student-rated $1200 German maker. WG has a broad inventory spanning violins and violas for all skills and budgets, but you'll find that they're best for the seasoned and serious ASYO and undergraduate students.
The workshop is world-class; they keep only the finest in their trade for soundpost repair, bow rehairing, and acoustic maintenance (checking your violin for cracks). They also carve their own bridges.
The only reason I didn't rate this as a 5-star is because of the hefty price. Had I not found a private, NY-based dealer named Dove Buck, I might have ended up paying close to $15,000 for a 1910 Buerger make. I ended up saving close to $8,000 and instead settled for a 1929 Haberlein. If you're not willing to travel the country to look for your instrument, however, the 25% hefty premium is well worth your time. You know that the instrument you buy from WG will be high-quality.
PROS: The best violin retailer in the Southeastern United States
CONS: Would you buy a Buick for BMW prices? I wouldn't