Change is a funny thing. Sometimes we fight it-clinging to jobs, relationships, or hairstyles we should have ditched years ago-sometimes we seek it out, and sometimes it is forced upon us by, say, an act of god, prophylactic malfunction, or an eviction notice. While it can be tempting to freak out, I’ve found the better way to deal is to gather your peeps and throw a serious party.
And last Saturday, that’s exactly what we did, when a large crew gathered to mark the end of an era, saying goodbye to one of our favorite downtown haunts, a little yellow house on Santa Barbara Street at Canon Perdido Street. While the current tenants have only laid claim to the address for around a decade, the house-a designated historical property-has been home to S.B. residents for 100 years, and feels its age, almost literally busting at the seams with the weight of a century’s worth of memories, and still reputedly home to their ghosts.
Once the current tenants are out, word is the space will be reborn as commercial property. But, in its time as a home, the little yellow house has served as a welcoming oasis for many more folks than just the ones whose names appeared on the lease; it was a pre-downtown destination for their coworkers, a post-party holding pen for their pals, and a mid-night-out pitstop for pretty much anyone who happened by.
Houses are more than just four walls and a roof, after all; they’re a character in the action that goes down within. And this house was a star, lending itself to posting up for hours of porchside people-watching, illicit (and generally low-stakes) backyard gambling, and conversations that began with, “Dude, I used to live here!” And so, Saturday night, in the real-estate equivalent of a wild bout of breakup sex, we gave it the appropriate sendoff. Which is to say, the pictures you’re looking at have been censored.
As might be expected, the great goodbye began early in the day, with a yard sale that netted about $7; by 5 p.m., its organizers determined the items littering the yard might best be repurposed as door prizes, and got to the business of getting their party on. The keg flowed as the meat marinated and we stewed in our memories, recounting stories and claiming mementos for our own (for the record, that “Warning: gamblers and loose women” sign? I called it!). And all the while, the Birds-of-the-World clock ticked on, counting down the minutes until we’d each have to bid our own personal farewell, crossing our fingers that when all is said and done, the little yellow house will embark upon a satisfying journey of its own, and become something more than a Verizon Superstore