Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cat House

Blogging from the market this morning as I share some fun photos from Matt and I's visit downtown this week. Downtown Throwdown brought us to Bay street, where we found our favorite abandoned building with a cat mural! Best mural ever

This mural, "Cat House", is one of the most beloved murals in downtown Jacksonville, and was painted in 1995 by Anne Banas. It was approved by the city as a restoration project to beautify a vacant building that was originally the Guaranty Trust. She had three weeks to complete the mural, before school started back up, since she was a full-time teacher, and before the Jacksonville Jaguars first home game.

What a better way to beautify an old abandoned building that to add a mural. Much of the downtown district in Jacksonville is covered in beautiful murals, and I can't wait to shoot in front of more of them. More cities across America need to take a cue from Jax and spruce up old buildings with art. And what a great way to get people excited about art!

After we finished this little shoot, we went into a restaurant/bar that will remain nameless. Matt and I sat down, ordered our beers, and listened to the bartender/owner complain and complain about his business, about downtown Jacksonville, how people don't support him, and they just go to the competing businesses. Then he went on to tell us that if his business did not pick up he was leaving downtown. What a way to talk to your customers, eh? He didn't once ask us what we did for a living, or what our names were. Had he asked us even once about us, he would have known that we only shop, eat, and spend our money on locally owned businesses.

Business owners with the mentality that they will just give up on a city that supports them is beyond me. I mean, I understand, we all have to make a living, but there are plenty of ways to improve your business that do not include giving up on 'downtown'. We saw this with downtown Augusta, businesses that were "fed up" with people and moved to the suburbs of Evans and Grovetown, away from 'crime' and the 'downtown people'.

I digress, but I just couldn't get over this man that had a dirty restaurant, served me two hour burnt pizza on a paper plate that had probably sat in a warmer for a long, long, time. Then we waited over 20 minutes to pay our tab, which we paid in cash, because he was running the whole register through an iPad. Talk about a bad businessman. Maybe there are other reasons your business is suffering other than 'downtown'.

Who knows the future of many downtowns across America, but I really hope there is a resurgence to ours here in Jacksonville. When people in Riverside tell us "don't go downtown unless you want trouble", it makes me so sad. Support downtown businesses, artists, restaurants. 

Hope y'all have a great weekend. Matt and I have a full house this weekend, with his family visiting. After the market today, we'll meet up with everyone down at the beach, grill tonight, and then I will be a beach bum all day tomorrow!

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1 comment:

  1. LOVE this post, Sally Ann! I like what you care about :)