Atlanta's Gems

Moving to a new city, or even being willing to explore your own, affords you the opportunity to discover new places, faces, and experience fresh vibrations. My lack of pocket change has left me with little motivation to track the A. But as the weather clears and the heat rolls in, I've gotten a renewed energy to see what's out there. After hitting my one-year mark, I realize that I'll be sticking around for a while and in the spirit of not boring myself with the same ole same ole, I've made it a priority to check out what Black Hollywood has to offer. Most recently, I've found three places that I can proudly add to my "places to go when I need to relax, work, mingle, get inspired or create" list.

1. Grounds Coffee House. The art in this place is amazing, the seats are plush, but don't ask me about the coffee. I'm a tea drinker, and ike most "coffee houses" there's an array of drinks and snacks to choose from. More importantly, free Wi-Fi. It's in the West End but the 20-minute drive from my place whenever the freeways are clear of ATL's bogus traffic is a non-issue. But meet you there at 5:30? Think not.

2. PAS. This place pretty much has the same vibe as Grounds and it's right across the street on Abernathy, but they boast a full menu of raw food dishes… all vegan of course *smile*. They also sell natural personal items (Shea butter and the like) and candles. If you're just looking for a place to relax or get some work done in a positive atmosphere, it's pretty hard to choose between PAS and Grounds. I'd suggest letting your tummy decide.

3. City of Ink. Tattoo enthusiasts in and around Atlanta should already know about the City of Ink Art and Tattoo Gallery. But, if you're a virgin at getting "inked," or new to the city and looking for a spot place to get quality body art, the City of Ink should be the first place you stop. The gallery's owners and tattooists are all fine artists as well, which is why the tat shop doubles as an art gallery so perfectly. Stop in to check out the art and swag, and inquire about some of the great events that are held there.

4. Sketchy's Art Pad in Smyrna. YES! I went here for a mixer with a friend and the place is amazing. I'm an artsy fartsy who digs colors, and a "Green" lady who recycles pretty much anything the center will take. Sketchy's meshes fine art with recycling in a cool and creative way that makes my heart swell. The first time I went we made flowers out of plastic bottle and wire hangers. They host art classes, poetry readings, and such. You can also go there and simply chill.

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