Since I have lately returned from the other coast I feel qualified to expatiate on some of the vast differences between that coast and this one.
Which coast has colder ocean water?
Where do artichokes grow?
Where was the epicenter of the Financial Crisis?
How do you feel about poisonous snakes?
All answers are correct.
I can also tell you several things they have in Bernal Heights (a neighborhood of San Francisco also known as Maternal Heights; you can easily imagine why) that we do not have in Hastings-on-Hudson, things you may be surprised to learn Hastings lacks, given its soi-disant identity as Hipsturbia. In Bernal Heights they have a Nepali restaurant, a Peruvian restaurant, an Ethiopian restaurant, a truly excellent independent bookstore and two vegan nail salons. In Hastings we have four and a half pizza parlors, two ordinary nail salons, at least three tchotchke stores and a quite good felafel place.
Bernal Heights of San Francisco, most importantly, is home to Auben, my newest grandson, also known as Perfect Child. *
You probably assume I am writing hyperbolically; you may even accuse me of being partial. But I assure you I am not. No less an expert on infantile beauty than Michael Claude Lehner has said that Auben represents the Platonic Ideal of Babyness. So, yes, once again, my grandchild is the most delightful, lovely, charming and intelligent infant on this continent, if not the entire planet, and for the rest of you new grandparents, I can only say,Nyah, Nyah. Whoever said that Best-Grandchildren-Ever does not comprise a Competitive Event?
Auben can already suckle, smile, burp, hiccup, soil his diapers, stretch his arms and his legs – often simultaneously; he can make interesting and mysterious noises, enjoy his grandmother’s atonal lullabies, sleep through the evening news and wake up in time to demand feeding at the exact moment when the parental units are about to eat their own dinner. You don’t get more platonically ideal than that.
But as I have mentioned, there is a slight problem. Auben is in San Francisco along with the Vegan Nail Salons, and I am here in Hastings where we have plain old Geranium, Hot Stuff and Fifth Avenue, all made with meat and dairy.
*This über-stylish shark robe arrived one day last week for Auben, without any card identifying the sender. If you are the sender, or know the sender, please accept most sincere gratitude from parents, grandmother & Auben.