The Sweetness of a Sidewalk

I met the Sweet Auburn Curb Market today, and it was love at first sight.

Sweet Auburn Market, 1940

Sweet Auburn Market, 1940

I don’t remember how I received this aesthetic, ethical, geographical predilection—-but somewhere along the way, I picked up a sincere appreciation for eclectic urban spaces with a history, especially a history of reinvigoration.  Perhaps it happened when I strolled down the Thames in high school and listened to the narration of a career school teacher who’d been walking the same path on his annual pilgrimage to London for three decades and watched the turning of the years along the waterway.  Perhaps it happened when I walked the downtown Lawrenceville Square after the new restaurants opened and the Aurora Theater moved into the old church on the corner.  Perhaps it happened when my eleven-year-old self toured the United States in the back seat of my grandparents’ Lincoln, riding from Salt Lake City all the way to Detroit, watching the backbone of America coalesce beneath the tire treads.

Now I’m waxing prosaic.

Back to the Sweet Auburn Market.  It was alive.  It was full of people—all races, genders, classes, socioeconomic sectors—paying homage to the religion of renovation.  The people of Atlanta reached out and reclaimed this quixotic corner as a new center of life and livelihood, and for a few hours I got to sit in the hubbub and dream big dreams of how the world could change.

the open-air coffee house in the corner of the market

the open-air coffee house in the corner of the market

Thank you, Auburn, for empowering another human rights movement.

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