The 2014-2015 Flagpole Guide to Athens, with its snappy cover by local illustrator Patrick Dean, is on the streets, literally hot off the press from Greater Georgia Printers in Crawford, GA. While it is also available online at guide.flagpole.com, the slick-paper, full-color Guide, available all over town all year, is a handy item to have in your backpack, briefcase, pocketbook, glove compartment, baby carriage, hip pocket, computer bag, cargo pocket, bike basket, desk drawer, kitchen cupboard, guest bedroom or welcome bag.
The Guide truly is a guide to Athens. It is indispensable even to the most knowledgeable citizen, because it is crammed with useful information about our city and how to get around in it. Whatever you’re up to, the Guide has something you’ll need—whether you want to take your dog to the park, your kid to a class, your body to an activity or your taste buds to a new treat. The Guide has a description of every restaurant and bar in Athens, every club, every theater group, every art gallery, every hotel and every brewery in Athens. The Guide has maps of the Athens area and of downtown and the campus. It’s got telephone numbers for essential services and advice on transportation, parking, annual events, local bookstores and record stores. It even has a list of all the local places Flagpole readers selected as their Favorites.
That’s why we say the Guide is essential for everybody who lives in Athens or visits here. It’s great for new students and old students and for new instructors and professors with tenure. It’s a must-have for people coming to Athens for the first time for a wedding and for people who have lived here so long that they’re surprised at how many new restaurants they have found in the Guide.
We have a saying at Flagpole, coined years ago by an editor bone-weary from dealing with all the thousand details of the Guide while also getting out our weekly Flagpole magazine: “I love Flagpole, but I fear the Guide.” Those of us who have been working on both this summer can only smile wanly and say, “Amen.” The Guide is a big undertaking that taxes the abilities of our small staff, but it’s a financial shot in the arm during the slow Athens summer months, and our staff gets a lot of help from those writers and photographers listed on p. 2. Thanks to all of us, the Guide has become an essential part of the year-round Athens landscape—a necessity for those who want to know their way around.