The Blackbird Leys nieghbourhood looks a lot like Knight Park in Atlanta used to look, a bit rough-and-ready with a definitely downmarket architecture. Knight Park has become somewhat gentrified since I lived there but I still bet the gunfire gets closer and more frequent as the days get longer and hotter each year.
The Leys has that sort of reputation as well, but I don’t think it is nearly as bad as most of Northwest Atlanta (don’t get me wrong, though: I don’t recommend walking around at night looking lost). Still, familiarity doesn’t make up for its remoteness and I doubt I will pass through its streets very frequently; so, when I spotted the Blackbird across from my bus stop after the half marathon I knew I had to check it out.
The proprietor was tending some freshly lit barbeque pits but it would be hours, he said, before the first food was ready. I went inside and found the lady of the house behind the bar and ordered up a Belhaven which she corrected me to pronounce as “Buh-LAY-vern.” Great. This place really was just like home right down to the mouthy Caribbeans running it to the somewhat threatening white patrons pounding down lager all around the place, even to the decor (always been a fan of the tool and drool calendars). Maybe I can make another trip out this way….