In a Georgia state of mind: the “other” Cabbagetown

Your Cabbagetowner, to keep abreast of news and views about our corner of Toronto, searches daily throughout the digital universe for mentions about Cabbagetown.

And your C-towner is here to report: most of the news comes from a place many of you do not know exists.

For there is another Cabbagetown, dear Torontonians. And it is weirdly, wonderfully, like our Toronto Cabbagetown.

So here is your introduction to Cabbagetown, Atlanta, Georgia. The article quoted here was written by Gina Hannah for “Great American Neighbourhoods“.

Annotations from your Cabbagetowner scribe are in italics.

Cabbagetown, Atlanta: What it’s like to live here

On Atlanta’s east side [east side!] Cabbagetown is one of several neighborhoods in the city with a rich history [rich history!]

Adjacent to Atlanta’s oldest graveyard, Oakland Cemetery, [hello St. James and Necropolis] Cabbagetown is connected to Inman Park [aka Riverdale] via the Krog Street Tunnel, which is known for its street art and graffiti. [Broadcast Lane and so much more]

Its cultural heritage is one of Southern Appalachia, of poor families who moved from the mountains of North Georgia to Atlanta to work in the textile mills there. [We’ll match you one wave of Irish immigrants who worked in many industries.]

The community is resilient, having survived urban decay, gentrification, large structure fires, floods and tornados over the years. [OK, maybe no tornado, but we do have Hurricane Hazel 1956 and flooding, urban decay, block-busting, and gentrification.]

Long-time residents still gather and socialize at the Savannah Street Neighborhood House. [Translation: House on Parliament 🙂 ]

There are differing stories about how the neighborhood got its name: In one tale, the moniker is said to have been derived from the presence of cabbage heads grown in the gardens of residents’ yards. [We agree with that version!]

Another story says the name came from the number of grocer’s trucks selling cabbages in the neighborhood. In yet another story, the driver of one of those trucks flipped while turning a sharp corner, spilling dozens of cabbages on the road.

The neighborhood’s historic district, called simply Cabbagetown District, is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. [Hey, parts of our Cabbagetown are Heritage Conservation Districts. We’re with you on this one.]

The area is the location of one of the South’s first textile processing mills, the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill, which was built on the former site of the Atlanta Rolling Mill. Surrounding the factory was a neighborhood of small cottages and one- and two-story shotgun shacks. [Cottages: see Wellesley Cottages, and many more.]

After the mill closed in 1976, the neighborhood went into decline. During the 1990s, revitalization efforts ramped up, transforming the neighborhood into a community of art galleries, restaurants and shops. [We’re working on it. Not so many art galleries, but we’re home to an amazing concentration of dance companies. Restaurants and shops? Check and check.]

The community is an artsy, hip place with an edge, and it attracts a diverse range of residents. A “wallkeepers committee” manages the artwork on outdoor walls in the neighborhood. [“Hip place with an edge.” Let’s go with it.]

When the weather is good, residents can gather at Cabbagetown Park, located on Kirkwood Avenue, on the first and third Friday nights of each month for a picnic supper and movie. [Riverdale Park West movie night! Farmers’ market each Tuesday! And of course our beloved Riverdale Farm.]

Groups also gather at the park for yoga and other exercise, and parents take their children to the playground. [See Wellesley Park splash pad and playground, Riverdale Park West wading pond and playing fields. I do declare this Cabbagetowner has indeed done yoga in Riverdale Park, thanks to sessions set up by local yoga teachers.]

Each November, the neighborhood hosts the Chomp and Stomp bluegrass and chili festival in Cabbagetown Park. This event draws to Cabbagetown more than 100 chili cooks, including individuals and restaurants, 65 artists and about 20,000 people. Proceeds benefit the neighborhood’s parks and other public spaces. [We see you one spring Forsythia Festival organized by the residents’ association and raise you one Cabbagetown Festival supported by our local BIA.]

The festival also includes a 5k road race that attracts more than 15,000 runners. [This is getting freaky. Hello, Blair’s Run.]

The Cabbagetown Neighborhood Improvement Association is actively involved in historic preservation and land use, welcoming new residents and co-ordinating community events. [And your Cabbagetown Residents Association is here to help you in just the very same way, working with our historic preservation colleagues at the Cabbagetown Preservation Association.]

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