Proud Placemaker: Liesa Cole, Crestwood North

1.   What neighborhood do you live in? 

Crestwood

If you're not a native, from where did you relocate?

Baton Rouge, LA

Why did you move to Birmingham? 

Family/school (UAB)

What things attracted you to your current home/apartment and neighborhood?

Community, front porches, sidewalks, diversity, openness, park, proximity to City Center.

In your opinion, what are the top benefits of Birmingham City living? 

Proximity to arts and culture. NO COMMUTE (as I work downtown) open, integrated population, historical charm, Avondale Park, Crestwood Park, Railroad Park, Freshfully Market, Proximity to museums (Art, Civil Right’s) proximity to art galleries and so many wonderful restaurants and cafes.

What would you tell an outsider looking to move to this area? How would you sell your own neighborhood?

Crestwood is a real thriving community of diverse neighbors. We share our community with Grandma’s and newborns from all walks of life. The sidewalks and front porches, our neighborhood coffee shop and our wonderful neighborhood park afford us so many opportunities to get to know one another. This fosters a genuine sense of community. When the family dog escapes the backyard, chances are, we know where he belongs. We share backyard movies and swap baby-sitting for one another’s date nights. We have neighborhood clean-up days where we join forces to beautify an area of our neighborhood, followed by an alley party, complete with live music and plenty to eat and drink. We borrow bay leaves and return the favor with a sampling of home-made gumbo. We ride bikes with the kids to the park for some tennis or soccer. Then, stop by the coffee shop on the way back for a fresh baked cinnamon roll. We paint the elderly neighbor’s house and look after one another’s kids. We share our weed whackers as well as the bounty of our backyard gardens. When we run an errand, we ask our neighbor if they need us to pick up anything for them. When the blackberries get ripe, we gather up the kids and go picking them along the railroad tracks. Then we make a big cobbler for the youngsters and bellinis for the grown-ups. When Halloween rolls around, we have “Pumpkinpalooza” to carve pumpkins and enjoy each other’s creative costumes. This past Easter, we hosted a progressive Easter egg hunt/parade, culminating in an adult bonnet contest and old fashioned field games in an open meadow in our neighborhood. When we go out of town, we feed the each other’s cats (or chickens, or goldfish) and even sometimes change the litter box! Oh my goodness, I could go ON and ON. This is my Crestwood. AND I LOVE IT SO.

Liesa is an internationally award-winning photographer who captures people with both her camera and through her infectious energy. Her home is Crestwood North and her studio is located in the heart of downtown's Loft District. 

 

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