We know it’s fall when we start noticing the argyle church on Briarcliff Road again.
The house next door is totally bricked out in bouclé, too, though you can’t tell here. We call this part of Briarcliff “Sweater Row”.
While you’re cruising the Druid Hills Halloween decorations and wooly Tudor architecture, do stop by Callanwolde for Tom Zarrilli‘s “Faces of the Yards of Clutter” show.
Previously: Atlanta’s pagan roots
Here’s another charming reminder of Atlanta’s relentless gentrification and decline and unfulfilled threat of gentrification and even further decline: An early ’80s be-turtlenecked Tom Zarrilli performing “Destroy Midtown”, a vicious punk number with the band Attack and Decay to protest the closing of the Nitery Club on Ponce.
Warning: Contains satirical adult language and graphic descriptions of violence inflicted on landlords and Evil Real Estate Developers!
If you’ve been on his tour of Ponce de Leon Avenue, you’ll recall that the Nitery Club is where the owner sold Italian men’s dress shoes behind the bar. According to Mr. Zarrilli, after the Nitery Club shut down, it briefly became a gay bar, and then a Greek restaurant called the Golden Dolphin. Now it is that grown-up version of a college dining hall adored by overcooked pasta lovers all over town, Eats.
As we’ve mentioned before, there’s been a long-time fear of Ponce de Leon Avenue becoming upscale or overly yuppie. Now there is a Whole Foods, a Chipotle, and an Urban Outfitters on Ponce – all signs of modern middle-class retail development. But there is also the vandalized City Hall East, the rotting empty Clermont Hotel, Model T bar, the mysterious Lake Building, and the woman who pleasures herself on a beach towel in front of the vacant Wachovia at the corner of Monroe Avenue. Ponce doesn’t have a Smut Busters like Cheshire Bridge Road (well, Midtown Ponce Security Alliance) but there is an ongoing resentment of the crime and blight issues related to the sharp divide between Midtown and Old Fourth Ward that Ponce represents, as well as, on the other hand, the isolated development or “revitalization” that has happened (don’t even get us started on Sembler parking lots and in the ’50s and ’60s what an article in The Great Speckled Bird alluded to as “a shadowy group called the Ponce de Leon Association”). Everything we find about Ponce’s condition since the dissolution of Atlanta’s urban core echoes the same concerns, like everything else about Atlanta ever – but we’re too busy to be self-reflective or observe multi-decade patterns of failure!
Do you think “Destroy Midtown” played last Saturday night when 3 Legged Cowboy closed?
According to our sources, there should be another tour of Ponce this spring/early summer, so watch the Urban Hiking blog or email list for updates.
Previously: Plaza Drugs through the ages
I just love reading Yard Sale Addict because he brings the yard sales to me. I don’t have to go rooting through boxes of junk in someone’s driveway to come to the conclusion that there’s nothing good to buy here. He also likes to highlight the creepy things for sale, because it’s always good to know about the weird things inside your neighbors’ homes. Below is a video from over 20 years ago of one of his creepiest, most troublesome second-hand finds that was actually possessed by a demon that peeled all the wallpaper off his walls and made his socks disappear!
Now I understand why he concludes so many of his posts with the report that he bought nothing – his advice in the video is, “Do not go to yard sales and buy demons, for sure!” I’m curious to know how he ultimately got rid of the demon object.