NC vs LA

Louisiana, that is. The 'big house' in Durham is rented to some students this fall, so I'm moving into the carriage house which should be a freakin blast. How many men can roll out of bed and reach their table saw in two steps? Talk about a man cave -- I am so excited about sleeping less than ten feet from my new convertible (she speaks to me in the middle of the night).

Meanwhile, I've been spending a bit of time in south Louisiana. Durham and New Orleans are similar in so many ways: how the industrial core has rotted away, leaving disenfranchised minority communities that elect a government no less dysfunctional once they are no longer in the minority; how a drive down a street like Englewood or Markham in Durham showcases solid middle class homes at higher elevations, and tiny bungalow homes on the same block but closer to the floodplain. It's just like how in New Orleans you can walk from the grand homes on St. Charles Ave. to the houses built for the housekeepers a block or two away. Both cities have bad crime reputations, but for the sake of a little diversity and freedom from the do-gooder HOA types I'm willing to accept a bit of nuisance crime, or property crimes of opportunity. I carry a gun all the time, so I don't worry about something really bad happening to me or my loved ones. In Durham (hoity toity Trinity Park, no less) my car gets broken into once a quarter; in Harlem it was once a month. Will be interesting to see what it is in New Orleans, as by now I'm pretty used to it.

Dysfunctional towns are about as close to anarchy as you can get in the south, and Durham's gritty funk is more than matched by the joie de vivre of a town where going out to a bar often involves selecting a costume first (even for uptight white yuppies). Give me liberty or give me death!

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