If art is meant to inspire, then surely Fondren has inspired artists aplenty. We are blessed with a bounty of galleries that feature works of art from local, regional and world-renowned artists. In fact, if collecting art is your thing, you need only spend one afternoon here to choose from the most affordable works to those of the more exclusive price range. Fostering up-and-coming artists has long been a claim to fame for us, but we also provide a home for established artists as well. There’s an abundance of working studios and galleries that host events and openings on a regular basis.
It’s been said that the beautiful people of Fondren are so abundant and varied in their beauty that a certain “Victoria” could no longer keep her “secret.” True or not, certainly beauty is in the eye of the beholder and pretty is as pretty does. As a beauty professional, I can tell you that there is no shortage of beautiful people in Fondren. Accordingly, one can find all manner of boutiques and salons that cater to the needs of the most beautiful souls in the South. If you Google hair salons, the search yields hundreds of options, ranging from small beauty shops to high-end salons, covering every demographic known to man. Likewise, there is no shortage of shops that offer clothing and accessories. Fashionable guys and gals can hunt for consignment bargains or find the most current fashions right here in the same zip code.
Fondren is also home to bevy of musicians. These days, it’s not uncommon to encounter a drum circle or a trio set up on a patio, filling the air with music. One evening, not too long ago, I was inspired to do a little jig in full view of the public. Singer-songwriters, musicians, music teachers and instrument vendors bring music to the heart of our community and a skip to our step.
Fans of decorating and interior design flock to Fondren, as it has become a mecca for design inspiration. I once heard it said that you can’t swing a cat in a circle here without hitting an interior designer, and I can tell you that it is true. From antique stores to consignment shops, design showrooms to home furnishings and decor, there is no end to the options available here. There are so many taste makers and trendsetters in Fondren, I’d dare say we’re Mississippi’s very own Highpoint.
Food and the restaurant industry certainly weren’t started here, but I can assure you our culinary creatives have set the bar. I could go on for days about the mountain of top-notch, locally owned eateries in our neighborhood. From Latin-inspired street food to Mediterranean fare, traditional Italian to Neo-American, soul food to pizza with the soul of New York City, Fondren offers something for everyone. Culinary powerhouses like the Emersons, who gambled on our neighborhood first, Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal, Nick Apostle, and the team of Latham and Roberts bring thousands to our doorstep every week and the “Lord of the Rings,” Nathan Glen, owner of Rooster’s. Day or night, come to Fondren with an appetite and leave with tales of good eats.
There are experts who say that as gas prices escalate and communities wind tighter together, future city dwellers won’t have to drive to find life’s necessities. Having lived and worked in Fondren for several years, I can state for a fact that Fondren is already one of those inner-city communities. With developers like Peters Real Estate and Watkins Partners, as well as other driven individuals, you can be sure great things are yet to come for residents and visitors alike. Of course, it’s our residents that live the mantra of “Keep Fondren Funky” daily. But it is, after all, Fondren that puts the funk in Jackson.
Eddie Outlaw is a downtown Jackson King Edward resident and co-owner of William Wallace Salon in Fondren. Outlaw takes an often humorous look at life at EddieOutlaw.com