House of the week: Greek revival cottage on Moss Street

If you’re going to dream, might as well dream big, right? Or perhaps in this case, dream small. Before I confuse myself, and you, let me explain. While browsing my weekly torture (read: real estate) sites, I discovered this reclusive, little cottage in Mid-City.

Currently owned by famous artist Mario Villa, this three bedroom, two bath Greek revival cottage is another one of those “Oh don’t I wish” type of homes. Little more than 1800 square feet, this Greek revival home is over two centuries old and is located smack on the Bayou St. John. Here, take a glimpse on Google maps what the view is like from the front door. The cottage features high ceilings, marble mantles, a double parlor, elaborate mouldings, columned front porch, floor to ceiling windows, hardwood floors, transoms, French doors, surprisingly modern bathrooms, textured walls and an overgrown “secret garden” in the back.

You have to look past all of the artistic “clutter” in this creative abode. It might not seem like it’s worth $1,300,000, but if I had the money, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

House of the week: Double shotgun on Royal Street

In my seemingly never-ending quest for a house, one specific consideration I have not mentioned a whole lot is a decent backyard. Not only do I want to plant herbs and vegetables in a small garden of my very own, I have a dog. He is an extremely cute and fuzzy dog named Pippin who is quite mischievous, playful and wholly deserving of an outside space where he can run around, bark at elusive kitties and sniff out all the wonders a proper backyard can contain.

While browsing this morning, I came across this cute double located in Bywater, right on the edge of the Marigny. The house itself offers two bedrooms and one bath on each side in the traditional shotgun layout, floor-to-ceiling windows, fireplace mantles, super-high ceilings and hardwood floors. It’s located less than two blocks from the new and improved Crescent Park, nine blocks from Frenchmen Street, eleven blocks from the Quarter, two blocks from Pizza Delicious, and five blocks from Elizabeth’s.

Yet with all of these fabulous features, what is most stunning about this particular house is the gargantuan back yard. I mean, the house is approximately 1,600 square feet and the lot is 2,300 square feet leaving about 700 square feet just for the backyard, which includes a sprawling oak tree. Though it’s about $60,000 out of my price range, I wish I had the means to buy this awesome house listed for $249,900. I’m sure Pippin would love it!

House of the week: Greek Revival on Prytania Street

When I first moved to New Orleans from the Bay Area, I lived in a one bedroom in-law behind a gorgeous old house (that was broken up into apartments) in the Garden District. After long days filled with trying to find my furniture (now THAT’S a story) and sending out resumes to different job prospects, my shih-tzu Pippin and I would spend long afternoons strolling around our neighborhood. We felt that we couldn’t have been luckier, Pippin had tons of flora to mark and I got to live in a place where I could wander among overwhelmingly beautiful, massive, well-kept mansions, most of which had been around for over a century. It was not surprising that Pippin and I would stay out, walking around for several hours before thirst and hunger drove us back to our little refuge on Harmony Street.

Although I love my current ‘hood a lot, I brag about it all the time, there are definitely days when I wish I could be back amidst all that history, wealth and splendor. I think to myself, “What if I could live there again?” Well, I am sure the old in-law is going for much more than $775 a month these days, so I’d have to buy a house…what about this one?
On the corner of Prytania and 7th, less than three blocks from where I used to live, lies this ravishing Greek Revival house that was built back in 1876 that we had passed in our walks a countless number of times. With over 7,000 square feet of living space, this house boasts seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a lovely front porch and gallery, tall ceilings, hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows and an in-ground pool in the spacious backyard. This “quaint” abode lies only a block away from St. Charles Avenue (a.k.a. parade route) and only four blocks from Magazine Street. Too bad I don’t have a cool $3,200,000 to drop on this beauty…I don’t know, is seven bedrooms enough? 

The littlest library…

During the hottest part of the day, I found myself strolling carefully through my neighborhood on an errand that couldn’t wait. It seemed like I was the only person alive wandering about outside. Everything was very still, even the birds were too hot to sing, and the only sign of life were buzzing insects hovering over wilting flowers and the constant chug of air-conditioning units battling against the oppressive heat.

Busy watching my feet while traversing a tricky patch of old, cobble stone sidewalk on Dante Street, I was slow to see this small, wooden cabinet rear up till I was almost upon it. Surrounded by ivy, this Little Free Library urged me to “take a book and return a book” and when my eyes ran over some cherished Edward Eager titles, I was tempted to accept the offer.

Standing there in the sweltering sun staring at the small, simple hutch, it came to me why I struggle with the digital revolution, especially when it comes to books. I already recognized I would miss the musty smell and the feel of the pages between my fingertips. But what I realized is that with Kindles and Nooks, we may be able to store thousands of works for oh-so-much convenience to those who could afford such devices, but we will no longer be able to share them…and wouldn’t that be a pity? The words would no longer be free.