Monday, September 3, 2012

Downtown Birmingham: Bon Ton Hatters & Shoe Repair

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Birmingham 2012-09-02 2

Downtown Birmingham is pretty quiet on a Sunday. The few restaurants that are open get a rush after church services, and there some fabulous examples of religious architecture still in use (unlike some Arch dominated cities we could think of). But Virginia knows lots of the characters.

Meet Jimmy Callis, proprietor of Bon Ton Hatters & Shoe Repair. He has lived right upstairs for 12 years but was down in the shop getting some work done yesterday. Although the place was closed, Virginia knows him and he invited us in.

Jimmy is a man of strong opinions. He lives above his place of business because gasoline is too expensive and rents in the area are way too high. He told me that the old building down the street has been converted into fancy apartments and they want the better part of a thousand dollars a month for a one-bedroom. Jimmy, I prayed silently, don't you ever go to New York City.

Birmingham has been an unexpected delight. Remember the Color Run I shot in STL a couple of weeks ago? Birmingham's is this morning. Virginia and I will be out breathing the powdered pigment.

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12 comments:

Olivier said...

j'adore cette boutique,, on dirait que le temps c'est arrete...et puis je suis jaloux de cette moustache

cieldequimper said...

Lol @ Olivier. Isn't it good that such places still exist?

I wonder if Bon Ton means the same thing as de bon ton...

s.c said...

Great shop . That it still exist must be a little miracle. Only the name suggest that it was long ago still a different kind of shop. Nice portrait

Virginia said...

s.c.
THey still refurbish hats there too believe it or not!

Update: It's drizzling. I"m going to have a very bad hair day.
V

PS Fabulous portrait of Jimmy.

Birdman said...

Bob, did get a refurbished Cards chapeau? There used to be many around here. Now I know of one shop. Shoe shine??????? Are you kidding here?

Nathalie said...

I love these 2 portraits of Jimmy Callis. Please say hello to Virginia for me, I can imagine how thrilled she must be to have you. Enjoy your photo outings and ensuing drinks!!!

MadAboutParis said...

Isn't Virginia just the best tour guide EVER?

Jilly said...

Wonderful portraits of Jimmy. What a character he looks and sounds. And what a fascinating place. Love the photograph Virginia took of you. Enjoy your stay - as obviously you and Carolyn are. (if that's bad English I'm tired ...)

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Retro at it's best here Bob, love this place..though I'll pass on the 'creamed possum' haha! Say hi to Virginia pour moi!

William Kendall said...

Jimmy looks like quite a character, and the place has character too.

Stefan Jansson said...

Jimmy looks like a real character.

JM said...

The bottom shot reminds me so much of Lisbon when I was just a kid! Love it.