One of the unique architectural qualities of homes in South Norfolk are the porches. To an outsider, they’re just porches. But, take a closer look and you will see that each one is unique in its furnishings, and most have comfortable seating for at least two.

In the early days of the Twentieth Century, South Norfolk was a pedestrian community. People walked to work, to church, to the store, and to visit friends, and when it was too far to walk, they’d ride a horse or take a horse-drawn buggy.

Back then, South Norfolkians retreated to their porches on sweltering summer days to cool down, and perhaps wave to neighbors, and to visit as people walked by.

A true “porching” connoisseur will tell you east facing homes are best for afternoon “porching.” Owners of west-facing homes frequently plant trees or install awnings, so “porching” is still possible, even as the day gives way to a toasty sunset. Morning “porching” is by far the most pleasant from a west-facing porch.

It is common to see residents “porching” all over South Norfolk. If ever you wanted to visit without an invitation, now is the time, as seeing people on any porch in South Norfolk is just as good. Don’t be trying to selling anything, though. This will get you run off the porch quicker than spittin’ in the breeze.

On the other hand, on some of the more generously proportioned porches, you may find larger gatherings of neighbors enjoying drinks and hors d’oeuvres, served from trays. This could be a party and does not invite a pop-in; it would not be necessarily an implied invite. A quick wave hello might get you the “wave-in,” so it’s always worth a shot. Just don’t be rude or pushy.

“Porching” is a great way to meet your neighbors and greet passers-by, and, not surprisingly, deter crime. People who “porch” in South Norfolk know their neighbors and it is this awareness of our neighbors that helps deter crime in our closely united blocks.

If “porching” sounds like something you would like to experience, please contact the South Norfolk Civic League today!