Keep Fondren Funky

Most folks think their neighborhood is a special place to live, but I give my little town-within-a city extra points for how it has dealt with falling between the potholed cracks when tastemakers passed through.

Not braggin’, just sayin’.

We’re certainly not better than others, it just doesn’t matter. While we have our share of VIPs and upmarket homes, some of our areas are not as well-heeled or as “precious” as nearby other communities; still, we feel loosely akin, wary lifeboat passengers from different decks of a foundering ship, doing our best to pull together.

Fondren is a laissez-faire – very “allow to do” – community in which most neighbors practice minimal intervention in the affairs of others. There is a vibrant artistic and musical community with strong locally-owned businesses, plus an influx of medical students and faculty. And while resistant to being pegged; we are relaxed, free-wheeling, tolerant, nonjudgmental, and both broad- and open-minded.

A lot of creative people share our streets on which shops and homes are an eclectic hodge-podge of styles. Though there are some very nice upscale homes in the area, there are more cottages and bungalows scattered along the winding, shaded streets, giving rise to an egalitarian approach. We can paint our houses whatever colors we like – even brazenly – without asking permission or forgiveness.

Our mostly-homemade gardens are filled with composts, vegetable and herb gardens, and wildflowers, even in our front yards – and more bottle trees per capita than anywhere else in the world (fact).

While some of our streets are not as well-heeled or as “precious” as nearby others, we feel loosely akin, wary lifeboat passengers from different decks of a foundering ship, pulling together. We’re certainly not better than others, it just doesn’t matter.

Celebrated truth, as those of us who get it, know: Fondren is Funky – a phrase I coined back in 2006. Without having to prove anything.

I mean, where else would someone plant flowers – miniature bottle tree accessory and all – in a street pothole, and get away with it?

Fondren Pothole Garden
Fondren Pothole Garden

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