Jan 1, 2008 :: Cabbagetown. Tennelle to Wylie, through the neighborhood to Carroll St.

I assume my neighborhood will be the topic of nearly 1/2 of these posts, as I make my way down the streets here every day in some capacity--to the store, to the bar, to the pizza joint, to the train, to Stephanie's. What a great place to start the year.

Cabbagetown is an interesting neighborhood. It's a factory village--the former homes of workers come to town for a steady job and a better life, beginning about 120 years ago. Ancient, in the scheme of most American architecture. Tiny houses. (mine is all of 650 square feet.) Skinny, one-way streets never intended for auto traffic. Little one-off restaurants. Art-houses. Galleries. And lots and lots of urban artwork. There's a huge debate circulating the neighborhood about the value of the wild colors that cover the signs, sidewalks, and the CSX train wall that runs along the southern boundary, but I'm not totally sure where I fall on the issue. I understand the value of personal property. (And wouldn't want anyone to tag my car, my dog, my house). I understand that most people's beefs are with the less talented of the spraypainters--those who like their names on the urban marquee. But I also understand the value of the more planned, more practiced explosions of paint. They make this place unique. And impromptu-feeling (pictures of homes in the neighborhood are soon to follow. You'll see what I mean.). And, well, always in the midst of re-creation. And that, more than anything else defines this place: white farmers to the black poor, squatters to derelicts to art students to the families that own these homes today.

Which is why, when Blake and I went around this morning on the monthly flyer run for his band, (see him claiming the gaskill/carroll st sign for the Young Antiques, above), removing the detritus of weeks-old paper and tape, finding bits of space to plaster a bit of gummy promotion, I felt a little guilty, a little lawless, but maybe a little like an artist.

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