Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Streets of Where I'm From

A coda of sorts to the Ponce post.

I wound up at a party last night, along with a bunch of people who've lived in this neighborhood as long as I've been alive. One was a photographer, and I started talking about Mitchell's book with him, and asking for more details of what life was like in these parts.

One little detail came up -- he was talking about how Virginia-Highland (again, my 'hood) was really on the decline back then and has since rebounded to become a pretty desirable neighborhood. He said something to the effect of: "Yeah, you had all the hookers outside the Majestic and Plaza drugs, they all lived on St. Charles..."

Whoa. Now, St. Charles is the street I live on now, and it's pretty quiet and (if I were a real estate agent, I'd say) cozy. Hard to imagine that it was once a row of (I guess) flophouses and whorehouses, though some of the buildings -- including mine -- would seem to be ideal for that. Kind of fascinating. One of my many alluded-to-but-never-done projects is doing some research on the character of St. Charles through the years -- this was not something I would have guessed.

The fact that I find it kind of neat makes me wonder if I'm turning into some weirdo tragedy tourist, but hey.

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