Ever since reading The House on First Street, I’ve been sorely reminded of something I lack…a house of my very own. Before I hit puberty and was still playing with Barbie, I could care less what clothes she wore (in fact, she often went naked), all I cared about was her townhouse. At 12, I began sketching out floor plans for my many-tiered house that would include a basement, an attic and a guest house next to the stables. No detail was beyond my vision for the perfect house, even down to the color of paint in each room and secret passageways lurking behind grand tapestries.
At one point, just after high school, I fantasized with my friends that one day I would own a castle somewhere in Europe where we could all live together. They even assigned themselves jobs as they’d all be under my employ; Johnny was the chauffeur, Charlene would cook, Michelle would be my personal trainer, and Eva would collect hunky men for the dungeon…you know, the usual staff found in any large household. A delusion fit for a queen.
Leaving the Bay Area for New Orleans held many promises for me like great food, fantastic music, an intriguing culture, a long history and as lagniappe to all this splendor, affordable housing. It was not difficult for me to instantly fall in love with the Creole Cottages, Shotguns, Raised Centerhall Cottages and Double Gallery Houses common to the unique architecture of the area. Although I might still dream about owning some grand dame, I would be perfectly happy with a cute single shotgun with 12 foot ceilings, sliding pocket doors and elaborate fireplace mantels like this:
Unfortunately, all I can do now is dream, sigh a lot and paint the bedroom in my apartment mustard yellow in the hope that one day, I will finally have a home of my own.
Here’s to boudin wishes and shotgun dreams…