I took all of these photos in the Fondren neighborhood in Jackson, Mississippi, from my brother's vehicle as he slowed down a little bit. The gray, overcast skies lent a hard edge to everything, as well as somewhat washed out colors.
Here's a bit about the neighborhood, found on the Web site Fondren Renaissance dot org: Jackson’s historic Fondren Arts District is in the middle of everything. Unique restaurants, shopping and urban living combine to create a vibrant place to live, work and play.
Located between Northside Drive on the north and Woodrow Wilson on the
south, and between Interstate 55 to the east and Mill Street to the west, Fondren’s central location offers something for everyone – from fine dining to soda fountains, chic fashion to cherished antiques, still life to live music. If it’s
happening, it’s happening in Fondren.
Fondren Corner, a building I like a whole lot, not only for its design and those wonderful aluminum-looking letters, but also for its mixed use. See the railing around the roof? One night I got to go up there to a party--what a blast! And a splendid view! I called both of my sons who already were living in Portland and asked them to guess where I was. Silly, I know, but I was some kind of tickled to be up there. Thank goodness Lamont and Leland willingly put up with my idiosyncrasies! I just had to tell them that I could look down onto the shopping center nearby and see the loading dock of the Rainbow Natural Grocery--a business which includes High Noon Deli & Bakery and High Noon Cafe--places where they used to work. At the far left of the photo is the end of the building where I used to be privileged to set up my photographs for sale, on a couple of tables during the monthly Arts, Eats & Beats event, held in those days April through September. Mama used to go with me--we loved every second of it, seeing friends, laughing, talking and sometimes selling a photo or two.
From the "About Us at Fondren Corner's Web site: Fondren Corner is a mixed use development featuring shopping, dining, office and residential spaces in the heart of Jackson’s Historic Fondren Arts District.
Conveniently located minutes from downtown Jackson, Interstate 55, and the metro area’s medical corridor, Fondren Corner also serves as the central hub for a host of cultural events including Fondren After 5, Fondren Unwrapped, and Arts, Eats & Beats.
Located in what was once Jackson’s first “suburb,” the Fondren Corner area is becoming well know for its trendy retail shops, vintage clothing stores, antique merchants and interior design firms, award-winning restaurants, fine arts galleries and an increasing number of art studios.
Cups, in the same shopping center as Rainbow. Vividly I remember sitting there inside the railing around the outside dining area with Mama, on a sunny afternoon four or five years ago--we'd been to Rainbow to visit the guys. She had her cup of regular coffee and a muffin that I shared. I don't drink coffee, and I can't remember what I had to drink--seems like I had some sort of chocolate bar I'd bought in Rainbow. We watched people walk by, vehicles drive by, and after a while, she said, "It's hard to believe we're in Jackson." Love it!
From the "About Us" section at Cups' Web site: CUPS is a family owned and operated business. We live right here in Jackson, so we know our customers because they are our neighbors. We try to keep as much of the money we make in the community by roasting our own coffee, baking much of our pastries and purchasing as many items as possible from local sources. A couple of these items include our wildflower honey (harvested in Florence, MS). We also purchase our disposable utensils through a program run by Whitfield State Hospital.
We support our community through various charities and community services and activities. We support local artists by providing gallery space at no cost and no commission at seven of our locations.
Our managers and baristas are friendly, knowledgeable and highly motivated to serve you the finest products in a courteous, efficient and friendly manner.
Almost next door to Cups is this building which is home to the Jackson Free Press, my hometown's award-winning alternative newsweekly. That description doesn't do justice to this enterprising, eye-opening, truth-and-justice-seeking, think-global-shop-local, Jackson-Mississippi-loving organization, peopled with folks whose creativity and love of a good time are legendary. I ought to know--I used to be one of them! What a great time I had, writing, proofing, copy editing, and photographing for the JFP. I owe a great deal of my continuing creativity and curiosity to being associated with the JFP, probably a good deal of my sanity, to tell you the truth. Just go up the stairs--the offices are down the hall on the right.
Another nearby shopping center, one of my favorite signs in the neighborhood.
More about Fondren on another vacation day post when I was driving myself. I promise I stopped to take the photos!