Wednesday, September 22, 2004
A creative boom, of sorts, has hit the city over the last couple years—not to mention a renewed interest in supporting locally owned businesses over dull national chain stores (what the JFP dubbed two years ago "Think Global, Shop Local"). Nightlife never left downtown, but even more spots are joining stalwarts like Hal & Mal's and George Street. Many businesses are finding new reasons to move back into the city instead of hiding out in the suburbs where many in the emerging Creative Class don't get to very often. Following is an undoubtedly incomplete list of many of the signs of life that we have witnessed at the JFP, as well as a wish list and a rest-in-peace roster. Add your suggestions to these lists. Who knows? Maybe your wish will come true.
Signs of Life
1. One word: Fondren.
2. Packed houses at recent indie films.
3. The Collective's great events.
4. The Fondren Theater Workshop's innovative works.
5. Renewed interest in local theater, from New Stage to Primrose.
6. Young people moving back.
7. Businesses like MAX and Article moving into the city.
8. Mike Peters' eye for sophisticated development.
9. Chef Godfrey's Caribbean lunch place downtown
10. Proliferation of locally produced radio and TV shows.
11. Success of The Lyric Lounge.
12. Jazz, jazz everywhere, thanks to men like Charles Hooker and the energy of jazzmen like Ezra Brown and Raphael Semmes.
13. Rooster's, Basil's, Shakes and everything owner Nathan Glenn dreams up these days.
14. JSU's new sophisticated look.
15. The success of the "Without Sanctuary" exhibit at JSU.
16. William Goodman's art bunch.
17. Sophisticated nightlife from Julep to Char, Elixir to Que Sera.
18. The uber-hip All-ages, All-wages scene. Return of W.C. Don's.
19. The growing political activism of our hip-hop community.
20. Successful fashion designers like Staxx of Blockwear and Chane.
21. Isaac Byrd's blues and soul acts.
22. Indie Videos and Sandwiches + Coffee = One great (Video) Café.
23. Mixing art and business a la Ellen Langford and the G2 Fitness Salon.
24. The return of Farish Street.
25. Tuesday night Pub Quiz with Jay and Shannon at Hal & Mal's.
Rest In Peace
2. The Subway Lounge
3. Smiley's BBQ
4. The Dock
5. SNT skate shop next to Hal and Mal's
6. C's Deli
1. Chef Godfrey's nighttime entertainment mecca—from rum punch to indoor volleyball to reggae bands. Downtown, of course.
2. A second Mediterranean restaurant in the city. (In fact, one's coming to Fondren!)
3. A hands-on memorial to the Woolworth sit-in at One Jackson Place.
4. More bike paths. And drivers who respect walkers and cyclists.
5. A movie theater—within the city limits—that shows indie films.
6. More interracial events.
7. More alternative and extreme sports.
8. Local restaurants that stay open past 10. More late breakfast and brunch options.
9. Better dance clubs—that play a diverse mix of music.
Signs of Life: 26. The LemuriaBooks.com performance space. 27. The proliferation of yoga studios. 28. All the bright colored buildings in Fondren. 29. The opening of the "new age" store: New Vibrations. 30. Joel Brown's new jazz space downtown (discussed in Adam Lynch's story).
31. The reopening of George Street Grocery. 32. Sillers Building renovations. 33. That dang huge, pretty justice facility being erected where people used to park to go to George Street. 34. Two Sisters Kitchen 35. Fenian's SEE?? Besides Fenians', I barely had to stray from George Street! That's how much stuff is really going on in Jacktown (wicked nickname that I'd throw in as #36, if I wanted to overdo it. Also gotta give some love to Whataburger (two Jackson locations) and the High Street renovations!)
signs of life (my 2 cents)>>> 36. the guerilla florists (head honcho left to start a new franchise in memphis...) 37. looking west from the platform at union station. and union station itself. 38. the Jackson MARRIOTT 39. the Belhaven Market 40. seeing people walking around downtown well after dark, in the vicinity of 105 Capitol and The Joint. And a packed-out Mayflower on weekend nights (still kicking after all these years...) oh, and a tentative 41: belhaven may (or may not) be getting a WHOLE FOODS??!!?? anybody else heard this? go jackson go!
oh yeah! the guerilla florists were totally a great sign of life. someone should continue their legacy in the absence of Mr. Orange
Please, don't use "Jacktown"; it's already taken and it's not a postive term. "Stayin' in Jacktown" is midwestern slang regarding the State Prison in Jackson, Michigan, same as "gone upriver" means a stay in Angola.
You're Right, Corrosion!! Even worse, there's a 1962 Movie named Jacktown!!! http://www.moviesunlimited.com/musite/product.asp?sku=796202++ Jacktown [VHS] (1962) A juvenile delinquent caught on a dark street with a teenage girl is sent to prison for statutory rape. While living behind bars is no picnic, he falls in love with the warden's daughter, much to the warden's dismay. And when a riot breaks out, he attempts to flee with help from his girlfriend. Gritty "JD" drama stars Patty McCormack ("The Bad Seed"), Richard Meade.
Re Jacktown: I'm a fan of "taking back" negative terms, as is already being done with that one in the hip-hop community here. I love the Blockwear "Jacktown" shirts, for instance. Take a negative and make it a positive.