I’m sure there are people who drive or walk through Short Vine who have no idea how vital it was in the not-too-distant past.
There were great restaurants, a killer record store, funky shops like The Cupboard (which is still there), bars that were packed and a Laundromat where you could drink beer and watch great bands like The Wolverton Brothers. There was a diverse mix of people were walking up and down the street at all hours, and small businesses were thriving.
Much has changed since then, but one key element is still there: Bogart’s, which along with making improvements to the nightclub is focusing on the entire neighborhood.
“I’ve started a safe and clean neighborhood committee,” general manager Karen Foley told me recently. “We have between 15 and 20 people in it. Now we have owners sweeping and cleaning. Also, we’re starting a graffiti free zone.
“We’ve got so many things coming, and we’re all taking care of our areas. That got lost, and people are trying to make it a better experience for people here.”
Talking with Karen, you get the sense that being on Short Vine seven days a week makes one more aware of its potential,
“There are a lot of great people in this neighborhood,” she said. “Community council has acknowledged it. We have a long way to go, but to see people sweeping in front of the businesses….”
And participation isn’t limited to the chosen few.
“If someone wants to join the (safe and clean neighborhood) committee, they can tell me,” she said. (Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.) “We do it every other Monday night at 5 o’clock.” (The next meeting is July 2.)
Speaking of safe and (especially) clean neighborhoods, when Karen gave me a tour of Bogart’s a couple months ago I took some photos of the bathrooms, which have radically improved. I could never really figure out how to incorporate the theme of bathrooms into any of my blog entries, so I think I’ll just let these pictures speak for themselves.