It’s novel to live back in a city where people want to visit. With three dates already on the books, we’ll quickly surpass the visitors we ever had to Norfolk. Yeah, we don’t blame you either.
If this is your first visit to the city or your first visit without a bachelor/bachelorette/boondoggle contingency, here are some things you’ll want to know. Specifically, here are some things you’ll need to know if visiting the Reeds. (Other than skip the heels and wear waterproof mascara.)
- Our neighborhood is colorful. If you are looking for anything resembling your neighborhood—consistency, cleanliness, or conformity—we don’t live there. Think colorful creole cottages and vibrant shotguns, graffiti, murals, abandoned buildings, overgrown greenery, and an abundance of street grit. Fine, it’s dirty—we’re working on that.
- We don’t drive. Ok, so we do drive when: 1) it storms, 2) Oy’s short stubs grow weary, 3) we need to buy food, or 4) Jason misses the ferry. But other than that our one vehicle stands still. Expect to bike (we will rent you wheels) or death-march on to the next watering hole.
- Our neighborhood is awesome. Bywater is home to Bacchanal Wine (outdoor patio and live music every day), N7 (2016 Bon Appetit Top 10 restaurant), Crescent Park (gorgeous greenway along the Mississippi—quick Girls Gone Buff bootcamp shout), more neighborhood bars than you can possibly drink at, locally owned eateries, art galleries, two dog parks, and the best BBQ joint (The Joint) in town. And we have the Country Club. Gay. Pool. Happiness.
- You will love all things liquid. It rains here—a lot. People drink here—a lot. You will shower here (or bathe, see #6 below)—a lot.
- People are happy. It’s NOLA! People say ‘hey’, people stop and talk, people wave as you walk by, and people honk as you bike down the street. We know all of our neighbors (and vagrants) by first name. No visit is a short one. No one stays a stranger. Not everyone wants to mug you.
- Our house is not a B&B. If you are planning to stay with us and want privacy, quiet, an ensuite, or a spacious place to lay your head, you will be disappointed. For at least the next year, we can offer: my street-level office/guest room, a corgi that can open your bedroom swing doors, your own clawfoot tub sans shower, a nice backyard, and a full-size couch. While we love our tiny rental shotgun, we understand that she might not be for you. But we’re here, so what more do you need?
- Our house is old. We figure the lady is 100-120 years old. The kitchen is new (sorry, no microwave), the floors are mostly original, nothing is level, the AC is iffy, and we adore her. Please be nice.
- There are bugs. While the roaches are plentiful, it’s the damn mosquitoes that are my nemesis. And lizards. So many lizards.
- You must be patient. Just because a store/restaurant/bar says they are open, it doesn’t mean they will be. Our hood is void of chains, recognizable names, or mass-market anything. People do what they want, and open/close as they want. (Half the hood closes in August.) Sometimes the mailman comes, sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes the mail gets delivered on Sunday. Huh? One thing you can count on? The trash being picked up outside your guestroom window promptly at 6am every Monday and Thursday.
Come on down to New Orleans! Did I mention that our neighborhood is awesome? You love us, you’ll love her too.