Rude Awakenings

fenceI’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.

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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6 Responses to Rude Awakenings

  1. John says:

    Your first three paragraphs make for great copy to include with the sales flier most realtors hand out. My wife loves these stories when we’ve looked at houses and it brought us very close to buying one we looked at. We ultimately bought a different house in the same neighborhood because of that write-up. With a homeowner’s statement like that you’ll get the kind of buyer who’s looking for just that kind of neighborhood. Stories sell!

    Pity that poor fellow, though. Ouch!

  2. texasbelliott says:

    We live near a neighborhood here in Texas, close to what you described. My wife being a Realtor found your story quite amusing, as I keep her up to date with the goings on with your listing.

    Definitely keeping a good thought for your sale, but we sure will miss these great stories.

    Oh, and that guy who straddled your fence got what was coming to him.

  3. rondennis303 says:

    What was your take on the last place you looked to buy? I read about the 27 page report, but never read about your decision. Are you that brave/flush/determined?

    • fitz says:

      Oh, I still want it (with the caveat that I need to have both a plumber and a structural engineer look at before any permanent move could be made), but I have to sell mine first!

  4. bonsai26 says:

    So, being in Northside do you ever catch the band Wussy at the tavern?

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