We asked teacher and blogger Vincent Martinez to share his favorite things about the Midtown community.

Why I Love Midtown
Midtown has an energy that is unique to the city. It makes living here interesting and exciting. The Midtown culture is rich in diversity and lifestyle. It’s a culture that appreciates and supports art, theater, shopping and dining. Whether you’re spending the day at the park or sipping a martini at one of the many swanky midtown lounges, there is something for everyone here. From daytime to nightlife, Midtown is always happening.

What to Do
Midtown has so much to offer its residents and visitors alike. On the periphery of Midtown, one can get very touristy with CNN Center, The Aquarium and the Coca-Cola Museum. But if art and culture is your preference, then I recommend a day at the High Museum (high.org) and at one of my favorite places, the Atlanta Botanical Garden (atlantabotanicalgarden.org). For pure, cost-free, outdoor fun, historic Piedmont Park (piedmontpark.org) is a must! Enjoy a picnic with friends or a jog around the pond or take your pooch to the newly renovated dog run. And lets not forget all the wonderful events like the Dogwood Festival (dogwood.org) in the spring and Atlanta Pride (atlantapride.org) in the fall.

Where to Eat
Metrofresh (metrofreshatl.com) on Monroe Drive has an amazing menu of naturally prepared food and now you can double your pleasure with their second location inside the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I recently tried the new 5 Napkin Burger (5napkinburger.com) at the corner of Piedmont and 10th and loved their wide selection of gourmet-style burgers. If it’s a European ambiance you desire, then Apres Diem (apresdiem.com) in Midtown Promenade is for you. Good menu, including scrumptious desserts and a full cocktail bar, also live music on weekends.

Where to Shop
For the latest trends, the ladies should check out fab’rik (shopfabrikboutique.com) on West Peachtree and for hipster men, check at Drew Lewis (drewlewis-atl.com) on Peachtree and Boy Next Door (boynextdoor.biz) on Piedmont. Shop Outwrite Books (outwritebooks.com) for current reads while enjoying a cup of coffee, then hop across the street to the chic Twelve (twelveatlanta.net) for the most creative florals in the city and peruse their selection of stylish gifts.

Coming Up
In December, Celebrity Dance Challenge is back at the 14th Street Playhouse. I’m excited to be judging this one! The event benefits edin (eating disorders information network). Find out more at myedin.org.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.