The home front

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Happy New Year! I know that we’re a week into 2016, but Brian wrote this column last week, so I didn’t get a chance to wish you lovely people the best for the upcoming year. So, happy New Year, peeps. May your health maintain, your heads be clear, and your cups runneth over. Champagne for my real friends. Real pain for my sham friends.

As a born and bred Renoite, one of the things I like most about the holidays around here is meeting up with pals who grew up here but have moved away and now only come back to visit for the holidays. I’ve had several nice old school encounters, some planned and some happenstance, over the last few weeks, which has been really nice, and there’s one comment that every single old friend and acquaintance has made: “Reno has really changed a lot in the last couple of years, hasn’t it?”

Now, back around, say, 2009, when we locals would hear a comment like that, it was usually a diss of some sort—a dig on the tumbleweeds blowing through downtown. But this year, the comment was praise—surprise about the vibrant nightlife or eclectic food scene.

Reno has changed. It’s hard to find parking around midtown during peak hours. You need to make reservations for many of the city’s best restaurants—even on weeknights. Small things, but telling.

Even ex-Renoites who left in a blaze of burning bridges, blasting “Thunder Road”—“it’s a town full of losers, and I’m pulling out of here to win”—were heard to remark, “you know, maybe I could see myself living here again.”

But let’s not get too optimistic. Currently, Nevada is often mentioned in the national news as the home state of Cliven Bundy.