- Adam Kincaid / For the AJC
There is no grocery on Home Street.
It would be easy to mistake Grocery on Home for a corner store. Above the threshold to Matt Arnett’s red front door on Home Street in Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood is a small, hand-painted sign that reads simply, “Grocery.”
The building was indeed once a corner store, tucked among one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhood streets.
“It stopped being a grocery store in the early 1980s,” Arnett, 49, explains, examining the dirt under one of his fingernails. “It was later a storage space, an event planner’s fabrication studio, and before that a beauty shop. It was just an empty shell downstairs when I moved in around 2009.”
Most days, the first floor at Grocery on Home is Matt’s living room. The grocery aisles are long gone; only the exposed brick walls remain from the structure’s previous incarnations.
Against that brick backdrop are a classy clutter of things. A handmade quilt hangs on a wall next to Southern folk art from Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, Purvis Young and others. In the bathroom are relics Arnett has collected from the civil rights era, including a faded portrait of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. attached to a stick fan handle.
There are countless other interesting things among Matt’s possessions. He has vintage things, fancy things, rustic things, hand-me-down things, famous things and things that aren’t valuable or historic to anyone but himself. All of it collected by Matt and carefully curated, much like his life story.
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