Crossing Cheshire Bridge

Crossing Cheshire Bridge is an alluring look into the lives of a diverse urban community within Atlanta. For twelve years I have submersed myself into the culture of Cheshire Bridge by photographing people along this infamous one mile road.

Cheshire Bridge Road provides a community where all people are free to live with the person they are inside regardless of sexuality, gender, and race.

Cheshire Bridge Road is suffering from an explosion of redevelopment. Many decades old small businesses are being demolished and replaced with high rise apartments and storage facilities.

Still, seedy strip clubs, sex shops, and gay men’s bars line Cheshire Bridge Road. Drag shows come alive most nights a week, as they have been for decades.

The ‘ladies’ have a tight community of support and encourage each other. After hours of preparation for their performances, they are rewarded with one dollar bills during the performance, one at a time. They perform not for the money, but for the love shared each other. For many, this night job is their ‘day job’, and only income.

The strip club Doll House was recently demolished, but others remain. Strip club performers are not looking for community support. One woman told me ‘the real money is back there’ where she hustled off with an overweight middle aged sweaty man in a polyester business suit after I took her picture. She said, "I’ll be back in ten minutes", but she didn’t come back.

Soon, many long-time patrons of Cheshire Bridge Road won’t be back either. The establishments are disappearing. It’s just a matter of time before this unique community is forced to disperse, and the diversity along the road no longer exists.

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Crossing Cheshire Bridge 

Teri Darnell Photography