Southern to the Core
While visions of white picket fences and children frolicking in the park may lead you to think that Cabbagetown is some type of Pleasantville--think again. Besides all of its domestic normalcy, it possesses an eclectic nature that some would even call downright quirky. For one thing, there’s a fondness for yard ornaments here, which range from the usual concrete bird fountains and old road signs to colorful metal and ceramic sculptures (depicting everything from cherubs to giant roosters).
Before yards were devoted to such display, folks used them to keep goats and chickens; in fact, you can still hear a real rooster crow. The goats, however, have been replaced with dogs and cats. “It’s all a part of living here,” states realtor Lynne Splinter. Proud to be a Cabbagetown resident since 1997, Lynne has been responsible for bringing many of the new residents into the area. Even the community’s name came about by peculiar means. The stories range from outsiders noticing the huge amount of produce sacks made at the mill to the strong smell of cabbage simmering in pots while folks were at work. Another account even involves a derailed train car or, depending upon who’s telling it, an overturned truck that dumped--you guessed it--mounds of cabbages onto the street.
Whatever the origin, Cabbagetown has somehow held onto its hardworking past while remaining a part of an ever-growing, ever-changing city. And like any community, it’s the people who add the true flavor and vitality. “Despite the neighborhood’s small size, you never finish discovering the place,” adds John Cugasi, a loft owner. “There’s always something unique--and someone new to meet--around every corner.”
One of Our Own
Senior Designer Chris Hoke lived in Cabbagetown for a couple of years before moving to Birmingham. He shares what drew him to this spot within the city. “It really reminded me of the small Alabama towns I grew up in, where neighbor knows neighbor and where the faces on the street are always familiar.”
"Great Town on the Rebound" is from the August 2008 issue of Southern Living.