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478-257-6391 | 382 Second Street

COXCAPITOLTHEATRE.COM ID required. All ages shows unless otherwise stated.

SATURDAY, APRIL 15

THURSDAY, APRIL 20

JIMMY HALL BDAY BASH

BOBBY RUSH

HONEY ISLAND SWAMP BAND, ROYAL JOHNSON Doors 7 / Show 8

2017 GRAMMY WINNER 18+ / Doors 7 / Show 8

SUNDAY, APRIL 23

SATURDAY, APRIL 22

SOUTHERN CULTURE

ON THE SKIDS

BILLY JOE SHAVER

WITH THE ROYAL HOUNDS 18+ Doors 7 / Show 8

WITH RAY SCOTT Doors 7 / Show 8

SATURDAY, APRIL 29

FRIDAY, APRIL 28

ZOSO

THE VEGABONDS WITH THE HIGH DIVERS Doors 7 / Show 8

ULTIMATE LED ZEPPELIN TRIBUTE BAND 18+ / Doors 7 / Show 8

FRIDAY, MAY 5

THURSDAY, MAY 4

SUSTO

WITH PARKER GISPERT OF THE WHIGS Doors 7 / Show 8

BLUES TRAVELER WITH GENE EVARO JR. Doors 7 / Show 8

5/06: TOMMY EMMANUEL 5/11: GREENSKY BLUEGRASS 5/13: ABBEY ROAD LIVE! 5/18: JANA KRAMER 5/26: RUMOURS

6/02: PERPETUAL GROOVE 6/24: BRENT COBB 8/17: PAUL THORN BAND

Let Moonhanger Catering make your next event unforgettable. Contact Katelin at 718-1444 or at katelin@moonhangergroup.com 28 APRIL 14-28, 2017

This Place Matters, Too, Cont. Once the work-day is done and most any time of day on a weekend, however, that will change. Food mart and retail store parking lots will fill up, kids will be riding bikes, and the sidewalks filled with pedestrians, young and old alike. Moms and dads will be seen carefully clutching little ones’ hands as they traverse this busy cutaway. On either side of the main thoroughfare, side streets with cheerful names like Pansy, Blossom and Poppy Avenue branch off into residential areas, lined with modest, middle-class family homes. According to February housing data from Zillow, the median home value in Macon is $64,700. But a spot check of homes in the Montpelier Heights neighborhood, as it is identified in tax records, shows homes here are likely to be far below that amount. By as much as 50 percent in some cases. The wear and tear of time and poverty has taken its toll everywhere you look in Montpelier Heights - in the form of buildings with run-down or outright crumbling facades, debris that seems to multiply by the day, and businesses pocked by potholes and peeling paint, and blight in general. Though it’s become a hot buzz phrase in the past few years, “urban blight” is not a new concept. In 1967, in the quarterly journal Land Economics, G.E. Berger defined urban blight as “a critical stage in the functional or social depreciation of real property beyond which its existing condition or use is unacceptable to the community.” The scholarly text goes on to point out that “property uses that have come to be blighted due to social depreciation, but are otherwise unchanged, have suffered relative rather than absolute depreciation.”

This Place Is My Home, Sugar

Look closely in Montpelier Heights, or stop and talk to people, and it becomes obvious the depreciation here is not at all absolute. Nothing here overly suggests the kind of fear and furtiveness that tends to settle over areas so far gone from decay and neglect they have become little more than No Man’s Land for predators. And that’s not just an instinct – the facts appear, on the surface at least, to support it. With the lone exception of a recent fatal shooting – allegedly the result of an escalated argument between two men incident reports regularly released from the Macon-Bibb Sheriff ’s Dept. don’t indicate this area is a hotbed of violence, organized criminal activity, or even a high number of property crimes. People in this neighborhood look you in the eye and wave or smile back when greeted in a similar vein. Signs of hope and faith and community are easy to spot here. There just doesn’t seem to be a high volume of cozy porch swings, inviting lawn sets with plump cushions, or well-appointed courtyards to gather in. Nor are there throngs of visitors, out-of-towners, or history buffs rubber-necking at the homes and businesses that dot the current and immediate landscape. None seem to be old enough to qualify as “historic,” or be “endangered”

in the sort of way that fosters protective governance and enthusiastic fund-raisers and such well-mounted public awareness-raising efforts as the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2016 “This Place Matters” campaign. But this place clearly matters a great deal to those who call it home. In a few of those abandoned-looking parking lots, folks have arranged motley assortments of chairs in semi-circles, clearly intending to sit a spell and catch up at some point in the day or week. At lunchtime, in a strip mall on the corner of Montpelier and Pio Nono, I spot three people sitting socially together beside a trash dumpster – possibly indulging in an undercover adult beverage or two politely covered in paper bags. They are cutting up and clearly enjoying each other’s company. Despite their laughter, seeing them with no better place to congregate than beside a trash dumpster breaks my heart more than a little, and it catches the eye of Commissioner Al Tillman too. I ask one of the women standing there if she’s willing to have her picture taken and she readily agrees, posing with the Commissioner. Renata Nelson, who beams in the picture and who hugs Al Tillman like a long-lost relative, tells me she is proud of the place she calls home. “I love my neighborhood – been here all my life,” she says. “This is my home, sugar. This is my home.” Though this area sits in a neighboring district from his, Commissioner Tillman says, “It’s the area I grew up in and have a vote to support other commissioners.” He’s agreed to be interviewed for this story because he cares about the community and people in it, he says, and clearly, he is both popular and well-known in these parts, unable to walk through a restaurant or to his truck outside without getting stopped for conversation and a handshake every few steps. As we chat, he points out Habersham CD’s Records & Tapes, located just across the street, proudly noting the 46-year-old business is one of the oldest African American-owned independent record stores in the nation. Called a “black music landmark” in a write-up by Billboard Magazine in 1996, Habersham is currently owned by Phyllis Habersham Malone. She managed the store for many years and eventually bought it from her brother and store founder Alex, she says. The iconic store has moved once or twice over the years, but it has always remained in this neighborhood. “I love this community – love the people,” Phyllis says. “Macon is a wonderful city, with so many great people – of all races. Yes, this place certainly matters!”

Part Two of the This Place Matters (Too) series, we will sit down with city and community leaders to take a closer look at some of the blight remediation projects already successfully undertaken across Macon, some still in the planning stages, and what remains to be addressed.

The 11th Hour: April 14-28, 2017  

Know Macon. Culture - Live Music - Dining Out

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