I was walking through downtown with a friend of mine, peeking into pawn shops to find a second-hand camera so that I could stop taking pictures from my phone.
The city is basically a big college town, although it wasn’t always like that. No, this place used to have a vibrancy that set it apart from the other, smaller college towns out there. The students didn’t define the culture, the people who actually lived there did.
Of course, I can’t really see that when I walk down Central Avenue.
Instead, I see broken down shops and shot up windows. I see boarded up doors and dust a few inches thick sitting on every surface. And at night, everything dies. I once took a walk a little past 1 in the morning from an over-hyped bar through the heart of the city. The only sound I could hear was the short intervals of my breath and the occasional scraping of my shoes against the sidewalks.
And I’ve been here long enough that this silence doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t bother me that this previously acclaimed city is just a hollow shell of what it used to be. No, normally I wouldn’t look twice.
But that day, as I searched for a camera, I stumbled upon this little storefront. It looked as if though no one had visited the place in years, but the props outside gave me a small look into what this place could have been.
A place to maybe sit down and listen to some live music. A hang out spot for your friends, where you could all catch up on whatever crazy day you all had. From the antiquated radio to the painting of a jazz player, everything about this storefront reminded me of what used to sit in this ghost town.
We all need a little bit of jazz in our lives (title). Music brings life to these places. It’s dreadfully sad to walk around these places and see how far our monuments to our culture and crumble.
Hopefully we can all make strides to bring back the arts. Hopefully we can work together to actually see the worth of what we take for granted.
Till next time,