Celosia can be found blooming in gardens across the city in a range of bright colors. The flower heads often look like feathery flames (as we've seen) or spiky bottle brushes, but there is also a popular variety, pictured above, whose heads are curled up like brains, the result of fasciation.
Celosia is grown as an ornamental here in the US, but, as its nickname "Lagos spinach" suggests, it's an important food crop in parts of Africa:
It is one of the leading leaf vegetables in south-western Nigeria . . . It is extremely important as well in southern Benin, also popular in Togo, Ghana and Cameroon, and recorded as a vegetable from several other West and Central African countries. . . .I've come across translations of the plant's name in a few different African languages:
Celosia is primarily used as a leafy vegetable. The leaves and tender stems are cooked into soups, sauces or stews with various ingredients including other vegetables such as onions, hot pepper and tomato, and with meat or fish and palm oil. Celosia leaves are tender and break down easily when cooked only briefly. The soup is consumed with the staple food of maize, rice, cassava or yam. The young inflorescences are also eaten as a potherb.
They propagate easily, require little care, and often reseed themselves year after year. Kaphikautesi, a name used for this plant in Malawi, means "eaten by lazy ones," a recognition that not only are the plants easy to produce but that they cook quickly and with little fuss or fuel.
This guy's squash vines have escaped his yard by climbing into the branches of the adjacent street trees. In other words, while walking down the sidewalk, I could have reached up into a cherry tree and plucked out a squash.
You can take a closer look at this photo here. The guy told me he calls these plants Caribbean squash; I think they may be some variety of long melon.
When this former community center opened in 1925, it featured a 1,200-seat theater, a 700-seat auditorium, and a six-lane bowling alley. Here's a picture from the building's early days showing the theater marquee (1924's The Price She Paid, starring Alma Rubens, was playing at the time) and the entrance to the bowling alley.
Judging from this 1993 photo, the theater was still showing movies at least as recently as 1992 (the year White Men Can't Jump was released). The building was purchased by its current occupant, New Greater Bethel Ministries, in 1993.