Sarah and I play the ‘ Could you live here?’ game whenever we travel together. Minnesota was the last place where we played the game. We were leaving The Great North on June 30th at the end of our run/bike/canoe trip when the question was asked. You will have to read the post if you’re at all interested in why I said ‘no’ to Minneapolis.

So yesterday on one of my walks through South Beach l thought to myself, ‘Could I live here?’ The answer was yes, I could live here for a year. Especially if it meant furthering the sandal business. But to live (live) here? The answer was no.

Why? Easy, because the beach life is a myth. One that you don’t have to lean on very hard before it breaks and your life becomes just another cynical wreck like so many of these complaining bastards that you see down here.

What’s the beach myth? That living on the beach is paradise. And how is that a myth? Simple. The beach is meant to be escaped to, not lived at. You need a crappy job in a crappy place with crappy weather; something to best contrast your idyllic vacation to, for the beach to really work.

Hegel once said ‘What is undifferentiated is lifeless’. And if any place needs some differentiation it’s the beach. To come live here is to become just another prisoner in one of its many air-conditioned towers. Same guard gate, same hurricane shutters. Only on a different floor with a different view at a different address.

When the heat and humidity gets oppressive – which is 8 months out of the year – you better like your condo apartment, cable TV, and the internet. The mall? Forget about it. It’s merely an extension of the same shit that’s already in your apartment. Bookstores? Gone. Restaurants? All chains. All the same.

If I ever get kicked out of Mexico, Detroit is the first city on my list to move to. It would be the perfect back drop for a book I want to write with the working title ‘Who Let the Air Out of the American Dream?’ And what better place to write it than Detroit?

I think the imagination would positively run wild amidst all of the downtown city blocks that have been returned to the plow. Fifty years ago Detroit was at the top of its game as the leading industrial city in the world. It had throw away jobs, a high standard of living and opulently endowed cultural centers. Now, downtown is largely a lawless wasteland. And what savage investigative work I wonder, could this returning native son dig up amongst all that decay?

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