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Where else in this country can a studly hetero male rent an apartment in a pink and yellow building, and not even question his own manhood? Hold that thought.
I’ve been living in Louisiana for 9 weeks now, staying with the best hosts I could have ever imagined. Nat & Joan have been family to me, telling me that I’m like the child they never had. (Actually, I think my skin tone and age has raised some curious questions from some members of Nat’s family!) We’ve had many good conversations on a wide range of topics, and they’ll definitely help me stay positive at times when my job starts weighing me down. Having Nat & Joan here has already greatly eased my transition into my new life. I know their presence provides comfort to Mom & Grandma, and it also makes me feel a little less guilty about moving so far away from my biological family.
At this time though, I have barely a month left to prepare for my first days as a teacher, not to mention the “in-service” training in the preceding weeks. It’s time for me to move into my own place, and the big dilemma has been: Where do I want to live? I’m told the job offer is now official – I’m invited to take the open 9th grade math position at Bonnabel High School in Kenner. Located about ten miles west of New Orleans, Kenner looks like any other lower-middle class suburb. As much as I’d like to keep my commute as short as possible, I’ve concluded that I didn’t move 2200 miles across the country to live in anytown USA. A rare adventurous spirit brought me out here to launch my career change, so why get “practical” now? Yesterday I dropped off a deposit for a one-bedroom, approx. 550 square foot, $550/month apartment in New Orleans. (Yes Mom, it has A/C, so you can visit someday). Next weekend I’ll sign the lease. The region, also known as “Midcity” and “Esplanade Ridge,” is located about a mile north of the French Quarter. It’s neither the nicest area nor the worst, but it seemed like a good compromise for what I can afford. There are housing projects 3 or 4 blocks to the west, and I’ll want to learn my way around pretty quickly. One block to the east, though, is Esplanade St., which features some beautiful historic buildings. This region, with all its good and bad, represents the image I had in mind when I decided to come to Greater New Orleans. Pretty soon I’ll get to start seeing what I’ve really gotten myself into!
So, now back to the pink and yellow apartment building. Yes, that describes where I’ll be living. One of my friends in the TGNO program found it, but decided that she really wants a place with hardwood floors. Obviously I am not quite so particular. This place has character, and my manhood remains completely intact, thankyouverymuch. I’ve posted some photos on my web space. It will take a little adjustment, getting used to living in a place that’s about half the size as my Mountain View condo. Then again, maybe that will help inspire me to get out a little more often.