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Believe with Atlanta Hawk, Clint Capela
Our very own, Atlanta Hawks went all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. While the 2020-21 season ends there, this A-team of athletes has Atlanta believing the best is yet to come. Atlanta’s strong playoff games have made Bogdan, Capela, Collins, Reddish and Young household names across Georgia. Which is why I was so pumped to talk with Atlanta Hawk center, Clint Capela.
What is a typical day in the life of Clint Capela?
I like to get up, go get tested and practice starts in the morning. Shoot around, watch films, get some body treatments before noon. Afternoon I go back home, take a nap and get ready for the game. I get back to the arena around 5 pm. I get warmed up in the arena about an hour and half before the game. Then I go back to the lockers, where I get some more body treatments. And then it’s game time!
At what point did you know you wanted to play ball professionally?
After high school. I graduated high school in France. I signed a pro contract right after high school. I went to a first division team in France, so I was 18 years old. Pretty late, I would say 13. That’s when I started basketball and saw I may have a chance to make it to the pros.
Who inspired you to pursue your dreams?
Always my mom. Because of the way she raised me and my brothers. She’s always been the adult I’ve looked up to since I was a kid.
Who was your athletic role model or encouraged you?
My brother. We were always playing on the weekends. His games were on the weekends and I was always going with him to watch his games. Since I started, he’s always been the one behind me playing basketball.
How would you compare this Hawks team to your team in Houston?
In Houston, it was always championship year – all-go every year. The fans expected it. The team expected it. That is the difference. I feel like here we still have room to grow.
How did you feel whenever you achieved your first career triple-double?
I was really excited. I knew that it was pretty rare and I knew that I had a chance to do it. Yea, I was just excited and all of my teammates were excited for me. And from the bench, whenever I had my 10th block – it was a really special night. I kept the ball at my house. It’s something dear I will always keep with me and hopefully I will be able to recreate it. Even if it’s not easy to do.
Best part of the 2020-21 season?
I think that we’re getting wins in a row. And just that people weren’t expecting us to go that far or to be that good. That’s really the exciting part about this season.
Where do you call home?
I call home Switzerland. That’s where I grew up. That’s where my family is – my brothers, my nephews, my mom, all the people I grew up with my first 15 years. Geneva, Switzerland is home. I was born in Europe but my parents are African, from Congo, Africa.
What is your favorite thing about Georgia?
I really like the Piedmont Park. I go there a lot and ride scooters. And I really like to go walk there, I do that a lot. I like this place called Park Tavern. It’s pretty cool and I like the people there.
Do you miss Switzerland? Or visit often?
Every summer I go back. I miss my mom and my family back home. Having my mom with me, the dishes and food that she makes, my nephews and the fun I have with them.
What is your favorite home-cooked meal?
My mama, she makes this African meal – it’s rice with beans. She makes this sauce with the beans that’s just a little bit spicy. It’s called madesu in Congo. She has her way of doing it and I miss that meal a lot.
What do you like to order when out?
I like to try new stuff and new restaurants. I like to try new sushi a lot and French restaurants. Whenever I go to a new restaurant, I like to order the best food they have so I always ask for the chef’s recommendation. I feel like this is how you get the best at every restaurant.
What advice would you give young athletes?
Just like I was [given]. Believe in yourself, work hard and get ready for the next opportunity.
Eight fun summer activities in Atlanta
Atlanta summers can be brutal—the heat and humidity are unbearable, and sometimes you just want to stay indoors. But summers here aren’t totally bad. The start of summer also brings longer days, late-night outings, and tons of outdoor activities. Plus, many events and festivals are returning after a hiatus due to the pandemic, so this summer is certainly more promising than last. It’s time to beat the heat and make the most of everything Atlanta has to offer—below are eight fun summer activities in Atlanta:
Shoot the Hooch
Shooting the Hooch is a quintessential summer activity for Atlantans—it’s a great way to keep cool during the hot, southern summers, plus it’s cheap. You can rent tubes for $20-25, or you can use your own. There are four entry and exit points to choose from, the most popular being from Don White Memorial Park to Memorial Park. The route is only 1.5 miles, takes 2-4 hours to float, and is perfect for beginners. Be sure to bring a life jacket (they’re required by law), a change of dry clothes, and most importantly, sunscreen.
Cool down at Six Flags White Water
Another popular summer activity is Six Flags White Water. Located in Marietta, this water park is filled with thrilling water slides, a massive wave pool, and various kid-friendly attractions. One-day tickets start as low as $24.99, so you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank. You must pay for tickets and parking online before visiting the park. Six Flags White Water operates daily through August 1st and weekends through September 26th.
Alive in Roswell
Formerly known as Alive After Five, Alive in Roswell starts July 15th after a year-long hiatus due to COVID. This popular festival is held on the third Thursday of every month from 5pm-9pm. Hundreds of people pack into Canton Street, the Roswell Square, and Roswell City Hall to partake in live music, food trucks, and vendors. There are various parking lots with free shuttles, first-come-first-serve street parking, and paid parking lots near Canton Street.
Castleberry Hill Art Stroll
Castleberry Hill, a historic, vibrant community, hosts an art stroll every second Friday of the month from 6pm-10pm. It also returns after a year-long hiatus due to the pandemic and begins June 11th. You can partake in a free, self-guided tour of art galleries and murals, plus have a bite at one of the many local eateries. Or, you can sign up for a guided walking tour for $20 per person. Castleberry Hill’s art stroll is a popular activity among locals and for good reason—it was named the Best Art Stroll in Atlanta and the community was listed as one of the Top 10 Art Districts in the Country by USA Today. Information sheets and maps for the art stroll are posted the week of the event and are available at 180 Walker Street SW in front of Bottle Rocket the night of the stroll.
If you’re looking for an indoor activity, Painted Pin is the way to go. Located on Miami Circle in Buckhead, Painted Pin is an upscale, boutique bowling alley in a warehouse space that offers bites, bowling, and more, from bocce and ping-pong to Skee-Ball and shuffleboard. Bowling starts at $30/hour per lane on Monday-Thursday and $40/hour per lane on Friday-Sunday. Each lane holds a maximum of six players. The Painted Pin is 21+ Monday-Friday and after 5pm on Saturday-Sunday and is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Visit a farmers market
Summertime also means the opening of neighborhood farmers markets, and Atlanta has plenty to choose from, like the Green Market at Piedmont Park and the Alpharetta Farmers Market. The Green Market is open from 9am-1pm on Saturdays through November at the park’s entrance on 12th Street and Piedmont Avenue. There are dozens of vendors that offer fresh produce, baked goods, jams and preserves, and artisan goods. The Alpharetta Farmers Market is open from 8:30am-12pm on Saturdays through November at Alpharetta City Center. The farmers market offers nearly 100 vendors, live music, and more.
Take a hike
Atlanta and the surrounding area offers plenty of hiking for all levels with watering holes to cool off afterward. The Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill is a moderate, 4.7-mile trail. It’s scenic and shady, plus meanders through the woods to a covered bridge and the historic Roswell Mill, which was powered by the spillway dam during the Civil War. Vickery Creek’s north bank, next to the waterfall, is the perfect place to stop and take a swim after your hike. Watson Mill Bridge State Park, located just outside of Athens, is home to the largest covered bridge in the state and boasts several miles of hiking trails. You can hike, have an afternoon picnic, take a swim, rent kayaks, and more.
Go blueberry picking
Summer is blueberry season, and there are dozens of places throughout Atlanta and North Georgia that offer pick-your-own blueberries. Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge hosts U-Pick blueberries in June for $12 per person, and DJ’s U-Pick Blueberry Farm offers blueberry picking in June and July. Be sure to call for availability to make sure they aren’t picked over. Once you’ve collected your fresh blueberries, you can make a pie, ice cream, jam, or eat them as-is.
Five things to do during spring in Atlanta
It’s finally spring, which means it’s the return of (mostly) sunny days, warmth, and all the ventures that come with it. Tired of being cooped up? Here are five ways to end the winter woes and enjoy spring in Atlanta:
Dine on a patio
Springtime is prime patio weather. Atlanta offers some of the best patios to choose from, and nearly every neighborhood has a restaurant with a patio—some with skyline views. Whether you’re looking for fine dining or a relaxed environment, there’s something for every palate. Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall is one of our favorites. The camp-themed eatery, self-nicknamed “home of the three-day weekend,” is located on the Beltline, so it’s the perfect way to start—or end—your trek. The patio has fire pits, lounge chairs, and tents for private parties. Empire State South in Midtown is another fan-favorite, boasting a massive covered patio equipped with a bocce ball court—perfect for spring days. JCT Kitchen rounds out our top picks. It has sensational views, live music and is an excellent spot to kick back and relax. All three Atlanta localities have incredible food, and honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Picnic in the park
Nothing is more serene and nostalgic than relaxing in a park with a picnic basket in hand. With dozens of places to choose from, you can’t go wrong with a classic picnic during spring in Atlanta. Some of our favorite parks include Piedmont Park, Freedom Park, and Historic Fourth Ward Park—so there’s plenty of room to find the perfect, shady spot. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even head up to North Georgia, where there are plenty of hiking and picnic spots.
Unleash your adrenaline
Six Flags Over Georgia offers thrills to unleash your adrenaline with heart-stopping, stomach-dropping roller coasters and other thrill rides to test your limits. Not into roller coasters? There are several family-friendly rides! You must reserve your visit, and tickets are as low as $34 for a single day. The park is open on weekends through May and opens fully after Memorial Day.
Visit the Botanical Garden
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is quintessential when it comes to celebrating the start of spring in Atlanta. It’s the perfect way to view exquisite, blooming flowers and embrace the warmer weather. There are numerous events held each month that cater to everyone’s interests. Whether it’s an orchid care course, an art class, or a garden party, the Botanical Garden offers something for people of all ages. If you want to stroll through the gardens, you can do that too! Admission is only $21.95 for adults, so it won’t break the bank.
Ride a bike
Riding a bike is a fantastic, environmentally friendly way to get out and explore. If you want to experience the city, the Beltline is your best bet. Biking along the Beltline is a fantastic way to view street art, enjoy local eateries, or switch up your exercise routine. Don’t have a bike? No problem! There are various bike rental shops near the Beltline, with some charging as little as $5 per hour. If you’re looking to get a break from the hustle and bustle, the Silver Comet Trail is a terrific option. The trail is 61 miles long, beginning in Smyrna and ending at the Georgia/Alabama state line, so it’s one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Georgia’s natural beauty.
We’re eager for spring’s return and everything that it brings. Grab a group of friends, your brunch buddy, or whoever, and get out and enjoy Atlanta’s most incredible season.
Georgia’s Own Healthcare Heroes
As part of our Georgia’s Own Hero series, we’re honoring Georgia healthcare professionals who have been working bravely and tirelessly throughout the pandemic. Below are five extraordinary women who play an integral part in Emory Healthcare’s role in fighting COVID-19.
Colleen Kraft is an infectious diseases specialist at Emory and has spent her career studying and treating communicable diseases. She was on the frontlines caring for Ebola patients at Emory and is now a vital part of a team responsible for protecting hundreds of healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic at Emory’s hospital network.
Deena Gilland is vice president and chief nursing officer for Emory Healthcare’s ambulatory patient services. Her knowledge of ambulatory clinical nursing deployment has played a significant role in her ability to lead and influence the mobilization of the COVID-19 vaccine for eligible groups in the hospital network.
Marybeth Sexton is an infectious diseases specialist and epidemiologist at Emory Clinic. Sexton is a key member of a team that leads COVID-19 preparedness efforts for the entire Emory Healthcare system.
Sharon Vanairsdale is the program director of the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit at Emory. Vanairsdale applied some of the critical lessons learned from the successful treatment of Ebola patients at Emory to help set rigorous standards for provider safety when caring for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Christy Norman is the vice president for Emory Healthcare Pharmacy Services. She led the complicated vaccine storage and distribution protocols for the COVID-19 vaccine for the state’s most comprehensive healthcare network. She also administered the first vaccine at Emory to a frontline worker in December.
To these brave women and every healthcare worker courageously fighting the pandemic—thank you. We appreciate everything you do to keep our communities safe and healthy, and we are grateful for your guidance and leadership during this time.
Five ways to celebrate the holidays in Atlanta
The holiday season is in full swing, and for most people, celebrating everything merry and bright is the best annual tradition. While many large-scale events are canceled because of the ongoing pandemic, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience Yuletide cheer. Ready to have a holly, jolly holiday? Keep reading below for five ways to safely celebrate the holiday season in Atlanta.
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
Kick off the most wonderful time of the year by visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Garden Lights, Holiday Nights. Thousands of lights illuminate the gardens and sculptures from their new exhibition, Alice’s Wonderland Reimagined. While the characters twinkle throughout the night, you can bask in the holiday glow. Plus, enjoy Nature’s Wonders, the world’s largest curtain of choreographed lights and sound. Their prized Ice Goddess also returns with all-new colors. This dazzling exhibit is sure to wow everyone of all ages, and it’s the ultimate way to commemorate the holidays. Tickets are available online only and start at $21.95 for children ages 3-11 and $24.95 for adults.
Holidays on the Roof at Ponce City Market
What better way to celebrate the holidays than on a rooftop overlooking the city? Ponce City Market’s Holidays on the Roof is back and better than ever. Whether you’re with your significant other, your family, or friends, there’s something for everyone to love. Atlanta may not have the classic frozen pond to skate on, but a rooftop with bounding views is a close second—the Roof becomes a winter wonderland with a full ice rink so you can become the figure skater of your dreams. For only $30 per person, you’ll receive access to the Roof plus re-entry, skating for 50 minutes, skate rental, and unlimited gameplay at Skyline Park. There’s even a live DJ on the weekends so you can skate the night away. If ice skating isn’t your thing, reserve a private igloo and take in extraordinary views of the Atlanta skyline. There’s plenty of fun for the family, too. Family-friendly igloos are available on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, plus performances by the resident Ice Queen.
Stone Mountain Christmas
Stone Mountain is transformed into a Christmas village straight from a Hallmark® movie during the annual Stone Mountain Christmas. Lights and trees decorate the park while you partake in magical moments with your family—marvel at the Snow Angel as she floats through the park in their Christmas parade, or enjoy the new Christmas laser show. And, there’s one thing you don’t want to miss: Santa himself flying above in his sleigh during the nightly Enchanted Tree Lighting Ceremony. Plus, tune into the renowned Tinseltone Carolers as they sing classic holiday favorites—or, experience the wonder of The Polar Express in a thrilling, 4D film format. Tickets start at $29.95 for children ages 3-11 and $31.95 for adults.
Six Flags’ Holiday in the Park
Looking to bring out your adventurous side? Six Flags’ Holiday in the Park is the perfect way to commemorate the holidays, all while experiencing an adrenaline rush. Feel the joys of the holiday season with dozens of trees, millions of lights, and garland adorning the park. Experience the most popular, thrilling rides the park has to offer while simultaneously taking part in holiday festivities. If rides aren’t your thing, there are plenty of shows, tasty treats, and more. Tickets start at $34.99 per person.
License to Chill Snow Island at Lake Lanier
While a white Christmas isn’t always guaranteed here in Georgia, there’s no shortage of snow at License to Chill Snow Island at Margaritaville® Lanier Islands. There’s plenty of fun to be had with snow tubing, snowball fights, and more. Home to one of the longest snow rides in North America, Parrot Mountain is a 575-foot-long, eight-story snow slide that is perfect for snow tubing pros and beginners alike. Or, play in the snow, challenge your friends to a snowball fight, and make snow angels at Snowball Alley. And although Lake Lanier’s Magical Nights of Light is no more, you can enjoy the new Lakeside Lights, allowing you to walk through thousands of brilliant lights—with plenty of photo ops. Ticket prices vary.
Filming in Atlanta: lights, camera, action!
With Gov. Nathan Deal reporting that the film industry contributed to Georgia’s bottom line to the tune of a whopping $2.7 billion in direct spending in 2017, as well as being at the epicenter of filming in the state, is it any wonder Atlanta is being referred to as the “new Hollywood”? According to georgia.org, Georgia’s Entertainment Industry Investment Act provides a 30% tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production and post-production in Georgia, either in a single production or on multiple productions. Of course, you cannot speak about filming in Atlanta, or the state of Georgia, without mentioning Tyler Perry!
After moving to Atlanta in the early ’90s, a young Tyler Perry worked jobs as a bill collector and used car salesman to aid in saving the $12,000 that he would use to put toward his first major performance, I Know I’ve Been Changed. Fast forward, Perry would go on to sign a 100-episode deal for his sitcom Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. He then went on to partner with Oprah Winfrey to bring scripted television to her Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Afterwards, he would strike a deal with ViacomCBS that included new, original content, featuring both sitcoms and dramatic series.
When asked during the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Summit what drove him to build his empire, Perry responded, “My father was a guy who was a carpenter—he would come home, make $800, and be really excited. But I would always see the guy who sold the house after he had built it right, and he would make $80,000. So, I was always more interested in being the guy who actually sold the house rather than the guy who was out building it…Also, I like the creative freedom…so I needed to be in a situation that fostered my ability to be able to do that.”
And what empire would be complete without a proper kingdom? In 2015, Perry acquired the 330-acre Fort McPherson and converted the former military base into Tyler Perry Studios. Located in the heart of Atlanta, this state-of-the-art studio, which happens to be the first studio to be owned outright by an African American, comes complete with 12 soundstages, each named after Black entertainment icons such as Harry Belafonte, Whoopi Goldberg, Denzel Washington, and Halle Berry. Since opening the gates, Tyler Perry Studios has been available for filming to blockbuster movies such as Black Panther, Bad Boys 4 Life, and the upcoming Coming to America 2, as well as being the home for AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead.
And there’s more to come—after Georgia passed the controversial “heartbeat bill,” Perry told the Associated Press that he can’t just “up and leave” filming in Georgia. With a host of new content being created such as The Oval and Sistas, both dramatic series respectively showing on BET, Perry stated, “Atlanta has been the dream. It has been the promised land. So, when I got here, this whole state and city has been amazing to me, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Also, I put $250 million in the ground here and in the studio. So, when you have a quarter of a billion dollars sat down in the ground, you can’t just up and leave.”