Why We Need A Downtown Johns Creek

Why We Need A Downtown Johns Creek

Make us a destination.
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As a teenager who has recently learned to drive and who has some money to spend, I am constantly looking for cool new things to do with my friends. I've driven all over the literal state with my friends, just hanging out - we've been to Dahlonega for dinner, Austell for coffee, Ellijay to hike and to the airport just to watch the planes fly over. We've been downtown countless numbers of times, and we've probably driven the whole of Buford Highway multiple times for the fun of it. This past weekend, looking to keep things closer to home and more casual, we went and sat alongside the river in Roswell, drove to East Cobb for pizza and grabbed a milkshake in Cumming before coming home to Johns Creek.

THAT'S closer to home?

Actually, it is... because there's not a lot to do in Johns Creek.

Okay, don't get me wrong, there is a lot to do. But in terms of unique things we can't do anywhere else, unique restaurants we can't eat at anywhere else or unique places to visit that we couldn't see anywhere else... what do we have? Most of our restaurants are chains. Most of our attractions are private country clubs, and we have really nice parks and river trails... that close when it gets dark. So everybody migrates to Roswell, or Alpharetta, or Suwanee, or Woodstock, looking for a bit of unique fun.

The key that Johns Creek needs is a "downtown" area - think cutesy clusters of locally-owned stores and restaurants like Roswell town center - that will attract all ages. Adults will flock to have drinks. Teens will come for large dinner parties. It will be a gathering space with character... and I specify "with character" because Johns Creek does have some large strip-center conglomerates that are stuffed with stores and restaurants, but they have no charm. I love Chili's and iHop and Panera and Starbucks as much as anyone, but nobody will come to Johns Creek for these places. They're anywhere. There's nothing to make them special, and so, people continue to leave for nearby cities to have fun.

And where would we put it, you might ask? "Traffic already sucks, the last thing we need is MORE", I can hear you all thinking. But the truth is that we have a LOT of empty shopping centers, strips that sit empty except for a small dry cleaners on the end. They could easily be knocked down and changed to create a small town center - think Vickery up 141. We had a very good place to do this when Dean Gardens was demolished, but now we have more houses (ho, hum). Yet there is still ample space in our town to put somewhere for citizens to be EXCITED to visit.

We just need somewhere that is cute and cool and makes people think, "Oh, I really do love this. This was worth the visit." Somewhere that keeps people here, spending their money in our town's economy and supporting our town's entrepreneurs instead of driving thirty minutes away instead. We need somewhere that, when a carfull of people are driving around, stumped on how to spend their Friday night, they think, "Oh, we can go to that downtown Johns Creek area and just see what's going on."

Let's make Johns Creek a destination, not just somewhere for people to sleep before they head into neighboring towns for work AND fun.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Sweet Potatoes Are The Most Underrated Vegetable Of All Time

Everything you need to know about the pieces of edible gold we call "sweet potatoes" and why they will always perish over any plain old potato.

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The potato. The heart of the American food industry. A versatile vegetable crop soaked in grease that brings us some of our favorite appetizers and sides. From french fries, to curly fries, to tater tots, to baked potatoes, to hash browns, this hallowed vegetable has become the Johnny Depp of the vegetable family. Now, we are all aware that the configurations of potatoes are limitless, but we commonly disregard the potato's delicious and neglected brother: the sweet potato. I, a credible food connoisseur and highly experienced eater, am here to tell you why you are missing out on a world of flavor if you choose to dismiss the beloved sweet potato and its many entities.

Let me first start this tirade by proving to you my credibility...I, too, once believed that regular french fries were better than sweet potato fries. I scoffed at the idea of choosing those ridiculous orange sticks over my tried-and-true plain boys. I could not be convinced that any sweetness should impede on my savory snacks.

These were dark times.

It was not until a mere month ago that my mind was changed forever.

It was a sunny (scary) Sunday morning, and my pounding head led me on a mission to indulge myself in the finest breakfast foods. I entered my favorite breakfast diner, Angelo's, and waited anxiously for my waiter to stroll over. She filled our water cups and asked if we wanted to start with any appetizers. Before my stingy self could even decline the offer, my best friend ordered a round of sweet potato fries for the table and the waiter scurried away. I stared blankly at her for a solid minute. I could not wrap my head around the concept of munching on sweet potato fries at 8 in the morning. She just stared back and said, "Trust me." Suddenly, a tray of blood orange sticks and a mysterious tan sauce appeared in front of my face. As much as I wanted to ponder the morality of this decision, the hunger began to take over, and I shoved one of the fries into my mouth.

In an instant, it was as if time and space had lost all meaning. When my teeth hit the fry, the perfectly crusted outer shell crunched softly making a sound much like your foot crushing a dried leaf. The now exposed inside of the fry was the perfect blend of mush and warmth that felt like your mouth was receiving a hug. The flavor...unbelievable. It didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't a fry — this was a culinary experience. This fry single-handedly blew the roof off of any predisposed ideas I had about American cuisine.

I am well aware that my fry experience cannot be simulated again by any average food-goer, but I challenge you, the reader of this article, to get out there and enjoy a sweet potato in any form. Stray from your basic fries or tater tots and dabble in a sweet treat which will undoubtedly bring you flavorful satisfaction.

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