Letter: The Preposterous Price of Paradise

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Is it time to drop Sarasota, Fla. for Laguna Beach, Calif.?

I left Laguna in 1984, but it never really left me.

I always come back. Mom’s there waiting with a joint and the Scrabble board in Leisure World, and yes I will always call it that.

Some days, it seems…

Laguna, the bastion of brawny bros and botox babes squeezed into their Beamers looking for beach parking. Six-lane freeways of bumper to bumper to bring me to a bazillion mile long line at the DMV.

The preposterous price of paradise, so obscenely inflated I just add a zero onto every price tag, and that’s at discount. State income taxes take whatever is leftover.

The Ocean is so cold, Silicon Valley’s investing in tan-through wetsuit technology. Speaking of water, what water? Oh, that wet stuff that drips from the tap, diverted from Mexico to hydrate all the golf courses for the one-percenters?

Other days, it’s more…

Don’t I love beholding the majestic green hills dotted with tasteful, high-end architecture? Where I can watch surfers for hours binging on guacamole and Have’A corn chips and, you know, like totally just be amongst my progressive people in that perfect sunshine? My mom, my sisters, my childhood friends await me in Laguna, they know me from back in the days before Laguna was the center of the universe, before I had to shave my mustache.

Then I get to thinking…

In Laguna, I escape the mosquitos, the red ants the palmetto bugs (a lovely name for Florida’s flying giant cockroaches) and racerback snakes in our yard.

Do I go West, away from flap-jack flat, hugely muggy, bible-thumping state of the overfed and nearly dead? Away from my squat cinderblock house that might wash away in a hurricane anyhow? Away from my trailer-trashy, ignorant, corrupt adopted state of that politician, what was his name?

Finally, I come around to…

Sarasota, where tropical nature trumps it all, we’ve got avocados and mangoes the size of my head towering over our solar-paneled roof. We never have to lock our front door. Don’t trip over the armadillo on your walk to the Dollar Tree. Home to my kids who attend A++ schools and row every day year-round on the sparkling warm waters of the Bay leading to the blinding white powder sands of Siesta Key beach. And we’ve paid off the mortgage on our waterfront house. You heard me? Free and clear!

So… Which is it? Can I have both?

Erika Ginsberg-Klemmt, Sarasota, Fla.

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