Coffee with Neil Young
Add this to the many things I couldn’t have predicted 39 years ago growing up in Birmingham: That in 2016 I would be sitting in something called the Woodlawn Cycle Cafe, with a latte and a Chelsea bun, listening to Neil Young’s “Decade” on vinyl. And that I got there on a bike.
When that album was released in October 1977 my grandmother lived in Woodlawn, less than half a mile from the Cycle Cafe, and it wasn’t somewhere I would have gone except to see her.
Now, 22 miles into my ride, I come through Gate City, broken glass windows, a neighborhood where six people were shot, one killed, a few weeks ago.
No banjos, Neil, but some neighborhoods still have a wheel in the ditch. Left on First Avenue to the cafe and closer to gentrifying Avondale. Progress comes slowly; it’s just not evenly distributed. It never is.