Location: Tribute Lofts
Date taken: November 11, 2012
When Hugh Malkin moved back to his hometown of Atlanta in 2010, his job with Philips had him working with the Atlanta BeltLine, figuring out how to light its trails and rails. Soon, Hugh started noticing all sorts of events popping up along the BeltLine – events that were spreading simply by word of mouth. Nicknamed “Huge” and the social coordinator among his friends since high school, Hugh saw an opportunity and contacted his long-time friend Adam Wilson.
“Hugh had gotten back in town and was interested in creating some sort of social event site for Atlanta,” said Adam. “He messaged me to see if I knew someone that he could talk to about building a website. I said, ‘You can talk to me.’ We went out for a drink, saw the Social Network and decided to start something. ”
Hugh and Adam have known each other since childhood – their families hung out together and the two Roswell natives became good friends when they were self-described “band nerds” at Roswell High School. With Hugh’s passion for Atlanta events, places and happenings and Adam’s knowledge of software, the two Georgia Tech grads created HUGEcity.us in January 2012 to help connect people with events in Atlanta.
The site, which utilizes Facebook’s public events to create calendar listings, has become one of the most popular places to find out what is happening in Atlanta and in cities around the world. Thousands of people are logging onto the site each day. Atlanta, where HUGE city started, is the only city (for now) with its own e-mail – events hand-picked by Hugh.
“This city has so much to offer, and most people don’t know about it,” said Hugh, who was born in Houston but moved to Atlanta as a child. “Atlanta might not have the best of anything, but we have a little of everything. HUGE city provides people with the opportunity to find out about events, celebrate where they live and share their experiences.”
Next up for HUGE city – creating a mobile app. Adam, a third generation Atlantan, works full-time for HUGE city and is focused on getting the app up and going sometime early next year.
“Imagine sitting at Dark Horse Tavern in the Virginia-Highlands and wanting to find out about events nearby. How do you find out? Facebook has all the events, but no discovery mechanism,” said Hugh. “An app will allow people to pull up all that information up on their phones easily. With all that is happening with technology, it’s exciting – the connections that are being made. Exciting things are happening to connect people.”
Location: Stone Summit
Date taken: November 5, 2012
Barry Clement’s family tells him they would like to see a few nice pictures from his trips, but the less they know the better. Barry, a Decatur native and resident, has been rock climbing for more than a decade, and the sport has taken him to some breathtaking and precarious places.
“I remember one trip to climb a route named Remember Appomattox when I became dehydrated and had low blood sugar … and then a storm came in,” said Barry. “With the steepness of the cliff, the only way out was up. We slept on the side of the cliff wall, rationed out our food and waited out the storm and eventually moved out. For a while there, it seemed like the world was bearing down on me.”
Barry got his first taste of rock climbing at age 14 at a summer camp. Later, he received training from the National Outdoor Leadership School to become a adventure ropes course instructor and started leading climbing activities. By the time he got to Georgia Tech for college, Barry was hooked on the sport. During every school break and most weekends, he and a group of friends would head off on climbing trips.
“There’s a sense of accomplishment with climbing and an adrenaline rush,” said Barry, who majored in industrial design. “It’s a certain amount of scariness and excitement at the same time. And, it’s addictive because when you start, you can see yourself progressing in the sport really quickly.”
For the past two years, Barry has served as general manager of Unique Outfitters, a specialty sporting goods store located in the country’s largest indoor climbing gym – Stone Summit. With several new climbing gyms in Atlanta and some of the country’s best natural climbing located just two hours away in the Lower Appalachians, Barry says the climbing community in Atlanta has exploded in the past five years.
Unique Outfitters seeks to outfit Atlanta climbers with the needed gear and apparel. The store’s employees are all expert climbers like Barry, who has traveled all over the world climbing – from Hidalgo, Mexico to Fontainebleau, France.
“The longer I have been climbing, the more I’m drawn toward the aesthetics of the sport,” said Barry. “Now, I’m looking to climb something aesthetically pleasing to me. Imagine looking an Ansel Adams photo and thinking ‘I want to be a part of that.’ That’s what I think when I go climb. I want to be a part of it.”
Unique Outfitters is an online and retail location, located in Stone Summit. The store features more than 60 pairs of climbing shoes, extreme hammocks, hangboards and other items for climbers. Side note: Barry is also a co-inventor and co-founder of Superhooper, lighted hulu hoops.