I enjoyed a very amusing weekend with our beloved Diane von Austinburg (aka “Sqweetie” aka “Snarkina”) who blew in town to see my new house here and to support my effort to eat my weight in shrimp. Infuriatingly, many of my favorite restaurants celebrated the Fourth of July by closing down. Who gave them independence? God love Diane for putting up with my dithering pretty much the whole time she was here about whether to sell my house in New Orleans or the one in San Francisco (and believe me, I understand that sentence wraps up “White People Problems” pretty neatly so there is no need to bring that point up in comments. Shut up.)
The problem of course is that each city is irresistible. I know how incredibly lucky I am to own a house in each, I just can’t afford them both. San Francisco is rich, smart and beautiful, New Orleans is like the terribly charming boyfriend who drinks too much and is always on the edge of going to jail.
As I kept whining to Diane, I am unaccustomed to indecisiveness, since being simply arbitrary is part of my charm, and waffling back and forth between the two was just irritating. The last afternoon she was here I finally landed on staying San Francisco and letting go of the place here since who in their right mind would surrender San Francisco having worked so hard to establish a toehold there?
Also aiding in the decision was the simple fact of living here for last month has vividly reminded me what a wet hell a Gulf Coast summer is. Plus, every major street in town is ripped to shreds as the city has leapt into the only attention they’ve paid to the infrastructure since I lived here in the 80’s. Driving is crazy-making, a series of spirals into hell. I was foolishly trying to get just to the other side of downtown with Night is Half Gone’s Jason and at one point had to ask “Am I in a lane?” The only possible answers were “I’m not sure” “Sort of” and “No” and each were equally correct. I don’t want to live some place I can’t navigate.
Mostly it was a simple case of Diane asking astutely (and no doubt worn out by my whining) “Which one is home?” to which I promptly replied “San Francisco.” And so it is.