Insider's Guide to Athens

Artist Amy Flurry shares her favorite places in the Georgia city's Boulevard District, just a few blocks from The University of Georgia.
Article: Cory Bordonaro

Amy Flurry is probably best known around Athens as a freelance writer and artist. In her newly released book, Recipe for Press, she offers tips to other writers and small-business owners on ways to get publicity for their prose and products. And through Paper-Cut-Project, a collaboration with Atlanta artist Nikki Nye, the pair constructs elaborate three-dimensional paper creations such as over-the-top wigs and masks. Their works have graced the pages of Vogue Italia and can be seen in storefront displays from Jeffrey Atlanta to Kate Spade in New York. The duo even created a paper accessories line for designer Jen Kao for New York Fashion Week. As her art continues to branch out in new directions, so does the energetic Athens neighborhood that Amy calls home—the Boulevard District. "There are so many amazing things going on," she says. "We are rarely at a loss for quality activities, art, or entertainment." We caught up with Amy to explore her favorite new neighborhood hot spots.

Heirloom Cafe and Fresh Market
Open since last June, Jessica Rothacker's sunny spot is Amy's pick for a locally sourced brunch. The butter-colored interior breathes as much summer light as the pergola-covered patio. Amy goes for farm-fresh items such as the panzanella with an unlikely combination of beets, oranges, and edible flowers ($8). 815 North Chase Street; heirloomathens.com

Sips Espresso Café
Owned by seasoned Athens restaurateur Manuel Robledo (of Agua Linda and Los Compadres), Sips opened earlier this year in an old service station-turned-package store. Featuring locally roasted coffee beans from Jittery Joe's, Sips offers Latin coffee specialties in addition to a traditional espresso menu. Try Amy's favorites: a cubano (a short shot of espresso extracted into raw sugar) or a cortadito (espresso cut with an equal amount of steamed milk; both $2). 1390 Prince Avenue; 706/353-1288

Normal Bar
Across the street from Sips, Amy enjoys the everybody-knows-your-name feel of Normal Bar. Beers such as draft Terrapin Rye Pale Ale ($3) and signature cocktails such as the American Mule ($7), made with ginger beer, Tito's Handmade Vodka, and freshly squeezed lime and grapefruit juices, hit the spot on a warm summer night. Sit out on the porch and enjoy some boiled peanuts, served hot by the bowl for just a dollar. 1365 Prince Avenue; 706/548-6186

Ted's Most Best
This restaurant (from the folks behind the Athens classic The Grit) makes its home in an old tire storage building. Pizzas such as the White Rabbit ($8), layered with béchamel, arugula, and artichokes, pack a fresh flavor punch. Amy sometimes opts for Ted's flavorful salads. "The spinach and beet salad [$7] with toasted walnuts and feta cheese is light but satisfying as a full meal," she says. 254 West Washington Street; tedsmostbest.com

Avid Bookshop
Owner Janet Geddis opened Avid last fall. Her carefully curated selection of books includes cookbooks, illustrated children's stories, and an impressive stash of locally authored titles. 493 Prince Avenue; avidbookshop.com

Community
This boutique features a line of new clothing by local designer Alexandra Parsons, a collection of Laurel Hill jewelry, and brightly colored bow ties by Deanna Perlman. In addition, owner Sanni Baumgaertner and her staff piece together a section of redesigned vintage clothes called Community Service. If you find something you like, you can work with an on-site seamstress to get the right fit. 119 North Jackson Street; 706/316-2067

Treehouse Kid & Craft
From Community, walk eight blocks on Broad Street, and get creative at this part shop, part DIY center. Owner Kristen Bach has constructed a dream world of clothes, art projects, books, and colorful knitted plush toys. In addition, Kristen hosts Mama/Papa & Me craft clubs. 815 West Broad Street, Suite A; treehousekidandcraft.com.