We spend a lot of time downtown and often come across things that we think, ‘well isn’t THAT cool?’ We’re going to start gathering some of these things – big and small- that we think are fun, interesting, topical, pretty or just deserve (in our opinion) to get a mention. Here’s what we like Week 8:
It always goes back to Robert M. Watt. Robert is our favorite downtown employee/walkabout photographer. You might see him before dawn or after dark angling to get just the photo he wants. Chances are good you will NOT see him at all, you will just see his amazing work. When posting this, Robert said that he just had a feeling that someone was watching him. We agree that someone most definitely was.
Another fun Downtown history bit, this from Agatha Fertitta McCall at Fertitta’s Delicatessen. “Back in the day when our store was a full grocery and meat market the name was S.R. Fertitta’s Crystal Super Market. The street,then called Howell Street, later changed to Fairfield Ave. in 1986. This was a spoon rest that my family gave to our customers for a Christmas gift. Thought you might enjoy a little history about Fertitta’s Home of The Muffy. Starting our New Year with many hopes and dreams to see 100 years in 2027! Just 7 years to go, God willing!!!” We love the history and the deli. Thanks, Agatha!
You might have noticed that downtown has been in the dark over the past few months. Just like in our houses, the bulbs in the downtown Streetscape light poles all seem to want to go out at once. You will be happy to know that SWEPCO and the City of Shreveport are lighting things up. Crews have been out this week, changing bulbs to put more light on the subject once again!
Once again, Robert M. Watt sets the bar for beauty with this photo. Says Robert, “My “all-time favorite tree in Downtown Shreveport is this one in front of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce building at 400 Edwards Street. The outer branches are beginning to turn red and the whole tree should be ablaze with color in a few days.” Robert shot this prior to the wind and rain, it was likely the last glimpse of our beautiful fall foliage prior to winter.
All we can really say is that hobbyist photographer Robert M. Watt does it again. Watt, who works at the Beaird Tower on Travis Street, walks the streets and alleys of downtown searching for compelling photographic subjects and ALWAYS finds them. We love seeing what his artistic eye encounters.
Click on the link above for the time of your life. Downtown Artwalk partners and dancers extraordinaire Andronicus ClownthaDancer Scott and Larry SyFy Wallace want to help you find the moves that they know are in you. These guys are remarkable dancers, so just watching them is worth the coin. Their goal isn’t just for you to watch, it’s to do! They have sessions for adults and children.
Rusty Faye and Gilliam Maricle live and play downtown. They enjoy a penthouse view from their apartment and take amazing photographs from there showing the changing seasons and mood of downtown. They find compelling, unusual and stylistic photographic opportunities almost everywhere they look.
Some of our favorites involve their ‘fashion shoots’ with downtown streets, doors, walls and landmarks in the background. Without a doubt, Rusty and Gilliam embody the ‘I Am Downtown’ vibe and love living the urban lifestyle.
Photographer Trey Danger took some amazing photos of a 550SF condo at Ridgeway Square, 719 Marshall St. If you scroll down the Shreveport DDA Facebook page, you will see them all. They show two things very well—that a small space can live large and how cool a rehabbed historic building can be!
There is a fun exhibit called FriendsWithYou at artspace, 708 Texas St. Downstairs is a clash of color and excitement and that is why upstairs is so different. We LOVE the black and white striped wall coverings and the fun inflatable that matches them.
We’ve introduced you to Robert M. Watt’s work before. Robert works downtown but his passion is photography. We can tell. This is a shot he snapped one rainy morning of the lighted mural on the side of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. Like all of Robert’s work, it is breath-taking.
Ridgeway Square owner John Cush alerted us to this cool find. Will pulling away some siding on his buildings at 719 Marshall Street, he discovered this…
The words ‘Chrysler, Packard, Studebaker and Welding’ testifying to the years ago when used cars used to be sold from the building. History is truly everywhere downtown.
This is one of the copper still tops constructed for the Every Man a King Distillery. Still? Yep, you heard right, the ‘revenoors’ would have had a high time with this during Prohibition! Once they are completed, they will be shipped to EMAK for installation and then the magic will start.
Musician and painter Ron Hardy unveiled a series of murals on the side of his H & H Lounge at 717 Hope St. where Playaz & Playettes, Inc hosts all sorts of events. In true Ron style, there were greetings, wonderful stories, friends, food and a drum circle. Congratulations to Ron and his efforts at invigorating his neighborhood with history and art!
Many places downtown are dog-friendly, and now you can include SALT Cafe at the Shreveport Aquarium in that line-up. That’s great news, because the patio there may be the most beautiful view in town!
Mary Bennett Cane was one tough female in a time when ladies of class were expected to be delicate flowers. She will be the topic of our next History in 5 at Artwalk, Wednesday, Nov. 6, but until then run by the Spring Street Museum and take a look at this amazing acquisition -MBC’s mourning necklace, made of a type of lignite. She married and outlived at least two husbands (perhaps even three) as well as three children and five grandchildren, so the question is…for whom was she in mourning when she wore this?
People are loving the I Am Downtown filter on Facebook and Instagram, and so are we! You can add the filter simply by hovering over your profile photo and clicking ‘change.’ The filter will be offered for you to use.
It’s punkin’ time and downtown’s eateries are rolling out the fall spices. Over the past few days we have seen a number of yummy baked goods and autumnal java drinks make their debut. We LOVE this, as much for the flavor as the promise of cooler weather ahead. Check out: Rhino Coffee for their new pumpkin cookies.
Meanwhile, The Missing Link is offering some delicious-looking apple spice cupcakes!
And while we’re on the subject of food, did you know that the Retro Downtown Cafe serves breakfast all day? We don’t honestly know if this qualifies as breakfast or dessert, but we’re down with it either way!
Downtown employee and hobbyist photographer Robert M. Watt has been at it again. One of his daily strolls caught this striking before-and-after comparison of the LA DOTD work being done on the Texas Street Bridge, more officially known as the Long-Allen Bridge. The right-hand side shows the after, the left, what they are working to improve.
Some 40+ years before the Long-Allen Bridge was built, this photograph was snapped along a part of the Red River bank roughly adjacent to the current Shreveport Aquarium. What makes this so interesting is the railroad bridge in the background. At the time, 1885, it was owned by the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific RR, which actually had trains rolling in this area prior to the Civil War. Look at the base of the bridge, though. It is the SAME base in use today except the round concrete pylons are now on dry land near Sci-Port. This shows clearly how the river has meandered hither and yon over the years. Thanks to our friends at Twin Blends Photography for helping share our interesting local history.
After years of not investing a lot on the exterior landscaping of Government Plaza, the City of Shreveport has upped its act in a big way by replacing a non-functioning fountain, repairing and painting mortar walls and installing nice landscaping (and an irrigation system, to boot)! We love the ‘new’ look; it was overdue and much needed.
Robert M. Watt works downtown and often early in the morning and at lunch will take his camera for a little ‘visual storytelling.’ Though not a ‘professional’ photographer in the sense of making a living from his work, he is professional in his shooting. He has a fine eye and often sees details that many of us see and ignore on a daily basis.
Sanctuary Glass School is the newest business at 1200 Marshall Street in the Red River Brewing Co. This glass-blowing operation is pretty fascinating to watch and you can participate by blowing your own ghost or glass pumpkin. If the experience of blowing a piece of custom glass doesn’t appeal to you, you can still purchase one.
They have a little retail space inside the Brewing Co. with some super cute items. We are eyeing several of the pumpkins for fall decor, and -*Bonus*- they come in all different colors to fit many different settings, most in the $40/$45 range. Go by and take a look!
Got anything else you’d like to see featured in Cool Stuff We’ve Seen. Drop me a line!