Photo by Brandon Dill
Until I became a Cooper-Young resident three months ago, I was a regular visitor to the neighborhood. On weekends, I’d make the trek from my parents’ home in Bartlett, where I lived off and on throughout college. Like many visitors, I came for the amenities: pint night at the Young Avenue Deli, brunch at Celtic Crossing, coffee at Java Cabana, and record-hunting at Goner. Oh, and kitten perusing at House of Mews. That too.
But visiting Cooper-Young and living in Cooper-Young are two very different experiences. Just as Memphis continues to attract more people to the city, my neighborhood continues to receive more visitors. Don’t hear me say that’s bad. It’s not. Visitor etiquette might be in order, however.
If you plan on visiting Cooper-Young this weekend, here are some do’s and don’ts. Someone has to bring order back to this world.
1) When deciding where you’d like to eat, please don’t stop your car in the middle of the road.
Driving home through Cooper-Young on a Saturday night often feels like I’m navigating an obstacle course. I get it, choosing where to eat is not the easiest of decisions. The options are abundant. But on a one-lane road, there’s no need to come to a complete stop while you make that decision. This really makes the whole driving thing more difficult than it needs to be. Last weekend I watched a man turn on his emergency lights, leave his car in the lane, and rush into Alchemy. I assume he was checking the wait time. When he returned, he waved his hands as if he were surrendering and mouthed “I’m sorry” to the line of cars behind him. Maybe I’m just too impatient.
2) Don’t be that guy who stands in the road and points at things.
Whether it’s a result of one too many drinks or a sober-minded admiration for the neighborhood’s architecture, I’ve recently seen an alarming number of adult males standing in the middle of the road, and, well, pointing. Now, I’m not sure what you guys are pointing at, but one might argue that this pointing could be done from the safety of the sidewalk. I’m concerned for your well-being as well as my mental stability.
3) The crosswalk at Cooper and Young is important, guys.
I don’t want my running you over with my car on my conscience or my record. That’s why the crosswalk at Cooper and Young is crucial. Heading out for Sunday brunch? Perfect! Look both ways, and pay attention when crossing the road. No need to perform a figure eight of hesitance when crossing the street. Take a deep breath and wait for the green hand.
4) When house-gazing, know how close is too close.
Countless eclectic homes are tucked away throughout Cooper-Young. As a visitor, I’d often walk off my meals around the neighborhood. There’s no beef with house-gazing — you can discover what you like in a home, and it gives you something to work toward. But there’s appreciating from afar, and then there’s getting too close for comfort. If you find yourself standing in someone’s yard, take a few steps back. Mostly likely no one saw. It’s fine, really.