Ferguson, Missouri (CNN) -- West Florissant Avenue runs parallel to South Florissant Road, separated by several blocks. But the division runs much deeper. The two thoroughfares tell the story of two cities in one, of the gulf between class and race.
Some white residents told me they lived in a bubble: They own homes off South Florissant Road, eat in restaurants there and rarely venture into the streets that were familiar to Michael Brown, the black teenager who was shot and killed by white police Officer Darren Wilson on August 9.
Black residents who live in the patchwork of homes and apartments off West Florissant Avenue sounded a similar note. They, too, lived detached from other parts of Ferguson.
On Monday, I walked both these Ferguson streets that have been unwittingly thrust into the news. I wanted to get a sense of the place, the people and the mood before a grand jury decides whether to indict Wilson. I also wanted to capture the contrast.
South Florissant went through a revival, though signs of a city in decline still exist in the form of shuttered storefronts. There's an upscale wine bar, bicycle shop, a brew house and a plaza for concerts. It's walkable -- hence the district's name, Citywalk -- and quaint. It's a huge source of pride for Ferguson.
But after Brown's death, business owners on South Florissant have suffered. Not as much as those on West Florissant Avenue, but they have lost money and are now fearful of what might happen after a grand jury decision is made public.
Scroll through my Instagram photos below to see the people and places of Ferguson. First, South Florissant Road:
Cathy Jenkins graduated from #Mizzou and moved back home to #Ferguson. She and her mom run Cathy's Kitchen on South Florissant Road, just a few blocks from the Police Department where #DarrenWilson works. Officers come to eat here all the time. Jenkins, 23, says she has dated white guys and one guy from Spain. She says racial tensions are not what they used to be with her generation. "I love everybody," she said, clearing my table. The gumbo was mighty good.
Sandy Sansevere and Ceil Weber are volunteers at the I Love #Ferguson store on South Florissant Road. Proceeds from sales of signs, T-shirts and other items go to businesses that suffered during violent protests, most on West Florissant Avenue. The two volunteers say they chose to raise their families here because it is diverse.
West Florissant Avenue
West Florissant intersects with Canfield Drive, where Michael Brown was killed. A memorial was erected where his body lay on the street for four hours.
West Florissant has been declining for many years, a victim of white flight from the area. The St. Louis Great Streets Initiative was already looking into revamping West Florissant's commercial area and said in a study that it was not pedestrian-friendly or diverse.
Unlike South Florissant Road, there are no upscale restaurants here. There's a McDonald's and Chinese fast food. There's also a barbecue place that was very badly hit because of its location next to the QuikTrip gas station, which became ground zero for violent protests and was burned down.
Police armed with tear gas confronted protesters on West Florissant in August. In the weeks since, many businesses had removed the plywood boards covering their doors and windows, but now they are back up again in expectation of more unrest.
One place that has never been boarded up is the Ferguson Burger Bar & More. Owner Charles Davis puts his faith in God and in the community. He is confident he -- and West Florissant Avenue -- will be OK.
Read and see more about West Florissant:
Ferguson Burger Bar and More owner Charles Davis refuses to board up his restaurant on West Florissant Avenue. "I put it in God's hands and I put some faith in the community," he says. He's had to close his place earlier than the 1 a.m that's advertised but he has little on which to judge how well things are going. He opened the place on Aug. 8, the day before #MikeBrown was killed by #DarrenWilson.
The owner of this insurance firm is Dan McMullen. He's white and been at this location for 20 years. No police officer in America would shoot someone for no reason, he says, and the "thugs" who broke the windows of his store are way out of line. They are the real racists, he says, for damaging the community. His windows are boarded up but he's still open. A black customer walked in to check on him when I was there. McMullen said no to photos. His wife, Beverly, said "We are the Switzerland." And, she said, they want to maintain their neutrality.