Our neighborhood is currently undergoing a "facelift" of sorts as the city continues tearing down less than desirable apartment complexes and replacing them with high end condos and houses. I have mixed emotions about all of this. I've lived in this area my whole life (with the exception of those few years at University) and these few miles of beach shape my sense of home. When I was a kid, telling folks that I lived in Ocean View would all but cause cries of "oh good Lord, with the hookers and the crack dealers?!" They must be shipping the whores and dealers to Portsmouth now, because suddenly my neighborhood has become a desirable place to live.
There are cars all over with the fake european ovals declaring OV as their home town. Then came the classy "Ocean View. Part of what makes Norfolk great." stickers. But then they went so far as to declare that they were "OV. Before it was cool."
I'm not sure what to make of all this. My house would probably sell for 3 times what I paid for it three years ago. And part of all this renovation is going to help us afford a sizeable addition on the house in the near future. But it's funny to me to even be old enough to remember something "back in the day."
This evening after work, the Puddin' and I drove down to the Ocean View Fishing Pier. The location originally was home to Harrison's Pier and it has been there since ... forever. My oldest brother spent much of his childhood in the 60's down on Harrison's Pier fishing with his friends. When Hurricane Isabel washed the pier away in 2003 my brother mourned it like a family member. He bemoaned that the "poor man's fishing spot" was gone forever.
Norfolk rallied and rebuilt it, though, and despite all my cynicism over how it "wouldn't be the same" I must admit, it looks pretty nice. (Click the image below for the entire Flickr set.)
I wish I could find some way to Flickr or podcast the way it smells here. The smell of the water and the feeling of the warm wind is really what I associate with home. But until Web 3.0, complete with scratch-n-sniff links, you'll just have to take my word for it.