Underwire: June ’23 ‘Atlanta>LA>Atlanta…’

I am the product of a mixed marriage, by which I mean my father was a Jew from the South Bronx and my mother was a Jew from the Deep South. More specifically, Atlanta. My mother’s family landed as immigrants from the Polish/Russian border at the turn of the 20th century. They settled in Summerhill, one of Atlanta’s first neighborhoods, directly south of Downtown, where the population was mainly made up of freed slaves and Jewish immigrants.

My mom’s birth place in Summerhill from a 1950’s map of Atlanta
My grandmother Sylvia and two of her sisters. From the Breman Museum.
My grandfather’s corner ‘bits and bobs’ store.

My people set to work running corner markets, selling clothes, and forming tight-knit networks of families and businesses. How my parents came to meet at the University of Alabama is quite the story (maybe I’ll tell it in a future Underwire), but suffice it to say my father wanted to get as far away from the Bronx as possible and succeeded. He swept my mother off her feet, taking her away from the South and eventually to Los Angeles where I was born and raised. All this is partly why I chose to open Jenette Bras in both Los Angeles and Atlanta

My father. He did not, in fact, have a good chance to beat the machine.

I grew up getting shuttled back and forth to my grandmother’s house during school breaks, and instilled with the knowledge that y’all was the same as ustedes and Magnolia blooms were as fragrant as Night Jasmine. I now find myself again shuttling back and forth from LA to ATL, continuing my family’s tradition of running corner stores and clothing businesses.

As I pack my bags and head to the airport to fly back to LA, I can honestly say these past two months in Atlanta have been fabulously productive; spending quality time in each store, learning from my Decatur and Buckhead teams what they specifically need, having conversations with clients, and getting to know the many local small business owners in each neighborhood.

I look forward to doing the same back in Los Angeles.

Crossing the threshold into the dining hall at Shearith Israel, Atlanta

See y’all later, gotta go catch my flight!

jenette goldstein