I’m decidedly un-hip, but my neighborhood, Northside, is quite hip indeed – or perhaps “bohemian” is the better term. For years, it was touted as an “emerging” neighborhood; when I bought my house, it was at best in the nascent stages of a renaissance. Twelve years ago, I was one of the few people on my street who had a mortgage; almost everything was rental, and most homes were rundown. Very few folks talked to one another.
Today, the majority of my neighbors are homeowners (or to be precise, we all owe the bank money) who are young professional couples (some with young children, for whom I occasionally babysit, and many with pets, for whom I often petsit). We all know each other by name, and usually get together once a month for a potluck dinner, with hosting duties rotating among our homes. It’s a congenial and vibrant area, and if I do move, I will miss the many people on the street who’ve become my friends in the last several years.
Over the the course of decade, more and more houses in the neighborhood have been renovated (though there are plenty remaining that could use some love). My home is four blocks off the main drag, where there are many new and nifty restaurants, a weekly farmer’s market, the best record store in town (seriously – Shake It is worth a visit if you’re ever in the area), a great neighborhood coffee shop, art galleries, family activity centers and more – including a handful bars and taverns within stumbling distance.
But it seems spending time in said bars – in conjunction with a “For Sale” sign – is an invitation to be rude. Now I’ve been known to weave home from my favorite adult establishment (Northside Tavern) from time to time, but I’ve never been so inebriated as to think it’s OK to peep in someone’s windows, or to climb on whatever is handy to peer over a 6′ privacy fence. For Sale sign or no.
It is, admittedly, somewhat amusing overhearing drunk people trying to be quiet – but not at 2:30 a.m. under my bedroom window, at the junction of my chain-link fence (covered in ivy) and privacy fence.
Last Saturday, a couple on their way home decided they wanted an unscheduled showing of my backyard (they weren’t casing the house; I could hear them “whispering” about wanting to come see it). The man decided to climb on the ivy for a look over the tall fence (mind you, it was pitch dark), while the woman tried to see in the adjacent dining room windows (where there are curtains). That’s when I stuck my head out the window to say hello. And that’s when the guy screamed and slipped, with his legs straddling the fence. Oops. And ouch. The woman tried to run away, but fell down. After a few minutes of recovery, they both slunk away after muttering apologies. I rather doubt they’ll make a viewing appointment.
Too bad, really – they were headed past my house on what I can only assume was their way home; clearly, being closer to the hip bars would be beneficial. On the other hand, if they often stumble home drunk-whispering, my friendly neighbors might not be so friendly.