HOME: A DIFFERENT BEATThe elegant dining room is the scene of Paul Greenberg’s intimate dinner parties.

THE DREAM
Paul Greenberg is a handsome man with impeccable taste who knows what he wants – and he wanted to buy a home. “House hunting in New Orleans was really a challenge,” says the journalist who’s also a faculty member in the Tulane University School of Continuing Studies. “I looked at well over 100 houses and condos. I used to drive to work just thinking to myself, ‘Where’s my house?’ I knew eventually it would reveal itself, but I really thought it was going to be in Faubourg Marigny or the Bayou St. John area. That was where I was focusing my search.”

HOME: A DIFFERENT BEATThe spacious living room features exposed brick walls and the original fireplace.

One day, Greenberg spotted a house on a real estate Web site. The building was unfinished and sort of bleak on the outside. It was in the Tremé neighborhood – a place he had never considered before. “I think this is my house,” he remembers saying out loud to himself as he stood across the street looking at the historic Creole cottage for the first time. “I had been house hunting for a good year before  Katrina, and by the time I stood on the street that night in the spring of 2006 I knew I was going to live there before I ever saw the inside of the place.”

HOME: A DIFFERENT BEATLocated on a quiet street in Tremé, the historic cottage had been completely renovated.

THE HOUSE
Greenberg liked the house because he felt it was sturdy and well-built with good materials – stone exterior, brick walls inside, scored concrete flooring, hardwood staircase and floors upstairs. “It feels like a house that can withstand the ages and everything that comes with that – including southern storms,” he says. “I had expected to live in a larger house. I also expected a house that was all one story. I envisioned having to do some work to whatever house I bought. Instead, I purchased an 1,100-square-foot, two-story house that was completely renovated top to bottom.”

HOME: A DIFFERENT BEATGreenberg carved out an ideal office in the wide hallway just beyond the stairway.

The open floor plan of the cottage includes a living and adjoining dining room, a kitchen in the back and a full bathroom. “The full bathroom is a practical feature since the dining room could be converted to a bedroom, if someone wanted this to be a two-bedroom home.” he adds. Upstairs there’s a large master suite with nice light from the front dormer and side windows. “I like the fact that my washer and dryer is hidden in an upstairs closet.”

HOME: A DIFFERENT BEATA cozy bedroom, created on the second floor, features cathedral ceilings.

THE NEIGHBORHOOD
While the house opens onto the sidewalk, a spacious courtyard provides a nice touch of green to the property. It also serves as access to the small guesthouse that’s part of the property.

Greenberg discovered that the Tremé neighborhood is a delightful place to live. “The neighborhood is very old, quite established and mostly African-American.” he says. “The houses are built to last, and many of the families that live in them have lived in this neighborhood for many years. I like the feeling of stability. I like the strength, the resolve of the inhabitants here. I’m thinking I could grow old here.

“Tremé has hidden charms. There’s always music playing. It’s as though there’s a score written for every block. There’s music coming either from Armstrong Park, or the African-American Museum, or St. Augustine Church, or even from next door – I have neighbors who are musicians. Tremé is easy to love – music, diversity, history, heritage and families.”

HOME: A DIFFERENT BEATA cast iron butler’s lamp with a multi-color glass shade and marblebase has a place of honor in the corner of the kitchen

THE FUTURE

A friend once told Greenberg that a house reveals itself slowly over time. “I am open to that and aware of the revelations. I think I’ll see new things in this house the longer I’m here. I have some long-term plans for the house including installing gas lights running down the side of the house in the courtyard, adding fine Italian tile on the walls in the kitchen, building a wine rack on one of the dining room walls and making a wall wider between the dining room and hallway downstairs.”

Now that Greenberg has settled in, he likes having people over for dinner. “Since Katrina, like many other people, I stay home a lot more than I ever used to,” he says. “This is a great house for entertaining small groups of maybe four or six people for dinner. It’s warm and inviting, and real conducive to conversation.

HOME: A DIFFERENT BEATPaul Greenberg

“Yes, it took me a while to purchase my first true home. Call me a late bloomer but that’s the truth. It is astounding to me how quickly I became attached to this place.” Why wouldn’t Greenberg love this house? It is a very old New Orleans house on the outside but inside every single thing is brand new – every wire, pipe, wall, floor, light fixture – everything. “It is the first house I have ever lived in in New Orleans in which everything actually works,” Greenberg says.

HOME: A DIFFERENT BEATThe well-maintained courtyard is a quiet oasis where Greenberg growsflowers and herbs.