The Atlanta Portal
Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the state of Georgia, as well as the urban core of one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States. With a 2010 estimated population of 420,003. Atlanta is the 40th largest city in the United States, and the 28-county Atlanta Metropolitan Area is the eighth largest such region in the United States, and the second largest in the Southeastern U.S., behind Miami-Fort Lauderdale, with more than 5,476,285 residents. The Atlanta Combined Statistical Area, home to 5,829,304 people, is the eighth largest in the country and the largest in the southeast. Atlanta is also the county seat of Fulton County and the fifth location for the seat of government of the state of Georgia. A small portion of the city of Atlanta corporate limits extends into DeKalb County. Residents of the city are known as Atlantans.
Considered a top business city and transportation hub, Atlanta is the world headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T Mobility, and Delta Air Lines. The surrounding area contains additional corporate headquarters, including Home Depot and UPS. Atlanta has the country's third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies along with Chicago and Minneapolis, although Home Depot, Newell Rubbermaid, and UPS are not located within city limits but are counted as being in the city, and more than 75 percent of the Fortune 1000 companies have a presence in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The Atlanta metropolitan area has the tenth largest concentration of Fortune 500 headquarters tied with Boston, Cleveland, and Denver. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is located seven miles south of downtown Atlanta, is the world's busiest airport and the only major airport to serve the city.
Piedmont Park is a 189-acre (0.76 km2) urban park in Atlanta, Georgia, located about 1 mile (1.6 km) northeast of Downtown, between the Midtown and Virginia Highland neighborhoods. Originally the land was owned by Dr. Benjamin Walker, who used it as his out-of-town gentleman's farm and residence. He sold the land in 1887 to the Gentlemen's Driving Club (later renamed the Piedmont Driving Club), who wanted to establish an exclusive club and racing ground for horse enthusiasts. The Driving Club entered an agreement with the Piedmont Exposition Company, headed by prominent Atlantan Charles A. Collier, to use the land for fairs and expositions and later gave the park its name.
The park was originally designed by Joseph Forsyth Johnson to host the first of two major expositions held in the park in the late 19th century. The Piedmont Exposition opened in October 1887 to great fanfare. The event was a success and set the stage for the Cotton States and International Exposition which was held in the park seven years later in 1895. Both exhibitions showcased the prosperity of the region that had occurred during and after the Reconstruction period. In the early 20th century, a redesign plan called the Olmsted plan, was begun by the sons of New York Central Park architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. The effort led to the addition of scenic paths in the park and the joining of the park with the Ansley park system.
Over the years, the park has also served as an athletic center for the city. Atlanta's first professional baseball team, the Atlanta Crackers, played in the park from 1902 to 1904. Several important intercollegiate rivalries were also forged in the park including the University of Georgia vs. Georgia Tech baseball rivalry and Georgia versus Auburn football which has been called the "Deep South's Oldest Rivalry".
Throughout the 20th century, many improvements have been made in the park, including the addition of covered picnic areas, tennis facilities, the Lake Clara Meer dock and visitors center, and two playgrounds. In 2008, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for a 53-acre (210,000 m2) extension to the park. On April 12, 2011, Mayor Kasim Reed cut the ribbon to open the first phase of a major expansion into the northern third of the park. Areas opened include two oval-shaped plazas ("The Greensward" and "The Promenade," which contains the interactive Legacy Fountain), the Lower Meadow, the Six Springs Wetlands, and a vastly expanded dog park. Additional areas at the far north of the park are to be developed next, including The Northwoods, Piedmont Commons and Piedmont Gardens. There are already dirt trails that follow Clear Creek and the BeltLine northwards and connect the park with these areas and provide pedestrian access to the Ansley Mall area north of the park, and with the BeltLine trail going further north.
Ciara Princess Harris (born October 25, 1985), known mononymously as Ciara, is an American singer-songwriter, dancer, actress and fashion model. Born in Austin, Texas, she traveled around the world during her childhood, only to land in Atlanta, Georgia where she met music producer, Jazze Pha. With his help, she signed a record deal with LaFace Records. In 2004 Ciara released her debut album Goodies which spawned the number one hits "Goodies" and "1, 2 Step", selling over five million copies worldwide and certified triple platinum in the United States. The album earned her four nominations at the 2004 Grammy Awards. In 2006, she released her second album, Ciara: The Evolution which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and included the hits "Get Up" and "Promise". Her third album Fantasy Ride released in May 2009, included the worldwide top ten hit single "Love Sex Magic" with Justin Timberlake which earned her a nomination at the 52nd Grammy Awards for "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals". Since making her musical debut in 2004, Ciara has attained eight Billboard Hot 100 top ten singles, including a number one. Prior to the release of her third album, Ciara sold over seven million albums worldwide and as of June 2010, she has sold more than 4.3 million albums and 6.9 million digital tracks in the United States alone.
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