Smashwords Interview with Gordon Basichis, Author of Beautiful Bad Girl

Gordon Basichis has written several books, including fiction and non-fiction.  He is best known as the author of Beautiful Bad Girl, TheVicki Morgan Story.  In addition he has written, The Guys Who Spied for China, Blood Orange, and The Constant Travellers.  He is currently working on a new novel.

Gordon Basichis provided Smashwords with insights to his inspiration, work habits, writing style and what interests him in literature.

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To find Gordon Basichis on Amazon, please click on this link.

Interview with Gordon Basichis

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Philadelphia. Philly was a great music town. And music was a major influence to my writing. The combined mix of rock, folk, jazz and rhythm and blues helped me develop a musical sensibility to my own literary voice.. Blues music, especially, taught me how to capture great human moments with a simple turn of a couple of lines. Philly was a town known for its sarcasm and its irony. This helped me see world and human events through the prism of humor. The City of Brotherly Love offered a mix of high and low culture. I’ve always been attracted to those two extremes. As a young journalist for a Philadelphia newspaper, I started to see the world at large, and how civilization and sophistication were but a thin veneer concealing the primal impulses that rest beneath the surface. Peace and love better wear a bullet proof vest.
When did you first start writing?
I wanted to be a writer from the time I was twelve years old. My first professional writing gig was at eighteen, writing for Nightlife Magazine, a weekly newspaper that was distributed largely to the bars and nightclubs in North Philadelphia. The paper was owned by two brothers, who wanted to tell of the black entertainment and social experience in the urban center. As I was not black, the club owners used to get a kick out of me when I delivered the papers as that was part of my job along with writing the stories inside. At nineteen I started working for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin as an editorial clerk. I moved up to doing the Vietnam casualty beat, where I interviewed the survivors of the soldiers killed in action. I was promoted, covering the fire and crime beat. At twenty I experienced the surreal extravaganza of the city at night, replete with gory crime scenes and six alarm testimonials to the destructive consequences of a hot plate left on too long in a faulty electric socket. It was edifying to say the least.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have been influenced by many authors. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is beyond a doubt one of my absolute favorites. His books demonstrate a mix of passion and violence with the metaphysical and the gloriously absurd. Tom Pynchon is another of my favorite writers, an author who doesn’t slide easily into any genre but picks his themes and subjects as they inspire him. I also enjoy Joyce Carol Oates. Her book, On Boxing, is arguably one of the greatest books on boxing ever written. There is Tom Wolfe, of course, and Norman Mailer’s non-fiction novels. These writers can capture the tone and feel of the times in which we live.My favorite writers are modernists, mostly. Charles Dickens is an exception, and there are others, but I have always gravitated more toward the writers of the twentieth century. It was rich period for literature. William Faulkner is inspirational, as is Kurt Vonnegut in his wonderful ability to capture the humor in some of the more dire scenarios of modern times. Samuel Beckett is remarkable, as is the much underrated poet, Kenneth Patchen and his poetic novel, Journal of Albion Moonlight.The list goes on. As a teenager I was lucky enough to avail myself of the remainder bin at the old Marlboro Books, in New York. There for a buck a piece, one could find great modern works published by the iconic Grove Press and New Directions. It was no nonsense literature, more to the point, but beautifully written and in the modern context.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life inspires me to get out of bed each day. Not only is it my own will to create and to build, but to see what others have created and built that has substance and texture. We are in a largely disposable world, so it is the things you remember that have richness and value. After all, life as grim as it can be, as absurd and as stupid, is still the greatest show on earth. Who’d want to miss it or not take as much of it in as possible, before you reach your expiration date?
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am Co-Founder of Corra Group. We conduct background checks and corporate research. My business partner and I built our business from a spare bedroom and a few bucks into a small but significant concern that provides its services throughout the United States and around the world. We are living examples of how you can still make it happen if you are willing to learn and persistent. A bit of luck doesn’t hurt, either.The business of Corra Group enables me to interface with people from all walks of life from all parts of the world. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to talk to all sorts in all businesses and learn from the trenches what is truly going on in the world. It’s a great spot to be, and I never take it for granted. The revenue from Corra Group allows me to write what I want and when I feel like it. Rather than succumb to someone else’s demands, it keeps the creative juices going. And this keeps me young and vital.
What is your writing process?
My writing process, frankly, is erratic. I would love to say it is regimented and that I am up at four in the morning and write X amount a day, so many pages in so much time. But I would be lying. For one thing, my business keeps me working at all hours, and providing information to the various and sundry is more than a perfunctory gesture. I think about what I want to write for quite some time. I sit with it, play with it, let it gestate. I mess around with it, some trial out of the gate pages to see what I like what I don’t like. I listen for the voice of the piece. Oh, the voice. The voice is the GPS, a true guidance. And then I sit and write pretty feverishly. I get absorbed and don’t think about much else. I finish a first draft, which is like hacking through the jungle weeds to find the highway. Once I finish the first draft I realize, okay, I can now see the story I really want to tell. And then I tell it. Many revisions later, I have something that looks like a book.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I read a biography of the writer, Jack London. I thought how wonderful, rather than pursue the white picket fence and the house with the wall to wall carpet, you can make a living being an adventurer. I read it when I was young and naturally it was all so romantic. Here was a guy who was an oyster pirate, and when he got tired of that he worked for the other side as an oyster marshal. Now there is some flexibility. But then, when one sifts through the romance, there is some credence. You experience life and then write about it. Get paid for it…maybe. Either way, you are living it out and taking it down. It keeps the brain cells working.
What do you read for pleasure?
I re-read some of my favorite authors and then I read a fair amount of non-fiction these days. I read books on the challenges of the global economy. One book I have been reading recently is The Metropolitan Revolution. It was published by the Brookings Institution. It’s theme, mainly, is that as federal government is moribund in gridlock and is largely dysfunctional, the metropolitan and local regions are reaching concord and by forming unions among the academic, corporate, political, and technological worlds, they are working it out for themselves. It’s fascinating, really. And hopeful.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
In am an extroverted writer. There are some, but not all that many. Most writers I know are happy daydreaming by themselves or sitting alone in a coffee shop working out their chapters. Introverts, mostly. For me, I have an outgoing personality which allows me to do well in interviews. As a former public relations and marketing executive, I have honed my skills over the years. I know what people are looking for in interviews. I can anticipate and satisfy. I am naturally funny and that goes a long way to liven up what can otherwise be a dull and unproductive session. I also blog and write different articles. That draws a crowd. With a Hollywood background I know one has to stay out there, engage and indulge while bringing some life to the party. Because in interview sessions, it ain’t always easy staring at someone with bad taste in fashion, no mouthwash, and a deep rooted desire to right all wrongs in the universe by flexing their agenda in the middle of a question-answer session. But then, with many, if they didn’t have an ax to grind, they would be having some fun. We can’t have that now, can we?
Describe your desk
I have two desks, actually. At home I have a long narrow desk, a furniture side piece. A table more than a desk. It has modern legs and a thick, crackled glass surface that throws the light in such a lovely manner. At night the computer lights dance in blues and reds, making my desk look like a futuristic city. Of course, I’m its only citizen, but then in this brain of mine there are those character’s voices to keep my company. And since they don’t eat very much, the setup is most cost effective.At the office, I have one of those rising desks with the electric motor. It has a large surface. I believe you can fit the State of Delaware on top. It has an electric motor so I can raise and lower it at will. Stand up. Sit down. Just like going to Church or Temple. People say it’s good for your health. If nothing else, it helps release your underwear from indecent places.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is always the book I am working on. As with the other books I have written, it comes directly from my own experience. I’ve been around the block a bit, so friends and maybe those who don’t like me as much as they claim, say it is time for me to do some form of autobiography. Well now. Are we there yet? Geez Louise, I have long discovered that situations that seem fairly matter of fact to me appear scandalous to others. Do I get embraced? Or do they come with shovels and pitchforks? And what is the statute of limitations on creative impulse and ironic indiscretion? Tough to say anymore.But then, thanks to Facebook, I have reconvened with women I knew back when in high school. They have grown, established careers, have become successful. They read my books. But when we meet up, they overlook the violence, the sexuality, and the general insanity. Why? Because with me, their home boy and rare man of letters, they want to know…what will they do with the rest of their lives? And somewhere, that’s pretty fascinating.

Published 2014-02-11.

Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Blood Orange

By Gordon Basichis
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 58,270. Language: English. Published: June 8, 2011. Category: Fiction
The Blood Orange, a romantic mystery set in modern day Los Angeles, is a quest for a treasure and a search for the soul. Former cop, Max Brodie, returns as a grisly murder ignites a deadly conflict. Bandit’s treasure and the romance of Old California are inextricably woven into a grand scheme of duplicity and intrigue where Max must uncover a vast puzzle. Nothing is what it seems to be.
The Constant Travellers

By Gordon Basichis
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 101,490. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2010. Category: Fiction
Sex, drugs, and the West that never was. In this funny and philosophical tale, young Shelby Lopez encounters Thunderbird Hawkins in post Civil War America. The Indian shaman teaches Shelby of the Great Necklace and the Great Book. Their journey leads them to wisdom and an understanding of man’s destiny. While set in the Old West, the novel’s modern idiom is as contemporary as if it were today.
Beautiful Bad Girl, The Vicki Morgan Story

By Gordon Basichis
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 93,150. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2010. Category: Nonfiction
Vicki Morgan, mistress to department store heir and Ronald Reagan confidant, Alfred Bloomingdale, lived beyond her years and died before her time, the victim of a brutal murder. Seething with power, intrigue, sex and obsession, it’s a ringside seat into the darker habits of the world’s rich and powerful.
The Guys Who Spied for China

By Gordon Basichis
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 66,990. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2010. Category: Fiction
The Guys Who Spied for China,a roman a clef exposing Chinese espionage networks in the United States, is a quirky tale of how two disparate men uncovered a network of homegrown spies that had operated in California and across the country for decades. A new twist on the spy drama, this personal and darkly humorous tale captures what it feels like to be thrust into the shadowy world of espionage.

When Unemployment Makes You Goofy

These are tough times.  These are tough times globally, but for the United States this is also no day a the beach.  These are tough times economically, what with personal wealth devastated by the real estate  market, the depletion of pensions funds.  Money is scarce and credit is tight.

What money there is in the banks and among the fat cats is being horded.   The government seems weak and ineffective in forcing the banks to literally get off a dime.   While the media shifts back and forth, trumpeting contradictory statistics, supposed financial and industrial experts inveigh equally conflicting predictions about the the economic recovery.   The more honest of the pundits, after hemming and hawing on air time, in order to collect their money or sell their book, finally admit, “hell, I don’t know.”

Whether there will be an economic recovery or where there will be a double dip, where the economy drops, recovers and then drops again like some erratic  roller coaster ride, it all remains to be seen.   Meanwhile, people need to find work.  They need to make bucks just to survive or in the luckier cases supplement their diminished savings, before it leaves them looking like bit players in “The Grapes of Wrath.”

So where do you find work when there is not work?  Good question.  Where do you find work when a great many jobs have either been rendered obsolete or have been outsourced to another country?   Simply.  Why you go to Disneyland, of course.

If not Disneyland, then you attend the job fairs at any one of the amusement parks and destination sites where people with a couple of bucks left still take their families.   According to an article in The Los Angeles Times, amusement park job fairs are enjoying, if that’s the word, record turnouts.   It’s not just kids anymore, recent high school and college graduates looking for a summer job or something to do until they can find something else, that are attending the job fairs.   Be it the Disney Parks, Knotts Berry Farm, Six Flags,  Universal Studios, or  Hoolah’s Tuba Land, job candidates from every background and of every description are lining up and looking for work.

At a recent job fair at Six Flags Magic Mountain, in Valencia, California, more than 1,600 applicants stood in line in search of work.  Another 1,100 attended the job fair at Universal Studios,  Hollywood.   Those who attended were mortgage agents and sales clerks.   These are teachers and construction workers, forklift operators.  These are office managers and restaurant managers, loan processors and once-retired seniors who thought they had enough to retire until the economic meltdown and the loss to their portfolio and pensions made them think again.

These are people looking to work for less than $400 a week.    To be  Goofy in an amusement park.    In this day and age, $400 a week is a long way from big money.  It is a long way from what most of us deem “a living.”  It is the kind of salary that makes you feel impotent and humiliated, that assures your purchases will be largely guided by what is being featured at the Dollar Store.   It is the kind of money that allows you to believe at least you are doing something to tide you over and feed your family, until something better comes along.  And then, if nothing better does come along, it is the kind of money that reminds you at the end of every week there is probably no way out.

In short, we have not only ruined an economy.  We have damaged its people.   Through greed, unnecessary risk, and blatant audacity we have all but bankrupted a country.   We have caused such grievous harm to ourselves, and yet we wonder why there are so many among us who become Tea Baggers or whatever, to vent their anger.   No matter how misdirected we believe the anger may be, there is no denying people have the right to be extremely pissed off.

We have allowed the few, the venal, and the undisciplined to not only steal away our money but steal away our future as well.  For this they are rewarded.   For this, we make excuses and mumble something about our institutions being too big to fail and then pray that people will be distracted by one more stupid romance, an athlete gone awry, or a prefabricated news event.   We hope that the distractions will prevent the anger from escalating into more tangible manifestations, other than parading around with misspelled signs.

Some claim this is the Great Recession and second only to our Great Depression.  While much of it may be true, I also beg to differ.   When the Great Depression ended, American people had jobs to which they could return.  We had our industries intact.  There wasn’t talk of technical innovations and alternate fuel sources creating new jobs, while our present industries were demoted to the trash heaps or shipped offshore.    We didn’t have a situation where the greatest concern was the bottom line, to the point where industries were downsized and American workers deemed obsolete by virtue of their professions and job descriptions.

When we recovered from the Great Depression, there was industry and with the industry there were jobs.  And from the jobs came money, and with the money people were able to buy what they needed.  But after the Great Recession, many jobs are gone and will never return to these shores.   These were jobs were people worked, made their livings, had their dignity.   But not now.

If there are no jobs, then where do people come up with the money to buy what they need?  How do they send their kids to school?   How do they enjoy the brief time they have on Earth?   Certainly those who used Tarp money to consolidate their own businesses and award themselves bonuses haven’t given it much consideration.   Clearly, from the way they ran this country into the ground,  they are not prone to think that far in advance.

In short, we may have demoted ourselves to a second tier nation.   We have former industrial workers now performing menial service tasks in rusted and blighted cities.   We have journalists out of work, news sources collapsing around us.  Small businesses are in jeopardy and have no credit sources.    We have collapsing infrastructures and a public education system that does anything but make our kids competitive in the global economy.

I know, I hear others say, “well hey compared to other countries around the world, we are still doing pretty well.”   This is sophistry.     We have been reduced as a nation to comparing ourselves to less fortunate nations, developing nations, so that we can somehow feel better about our own condition.   It is no longer a nation where we are looking toward a brighter future, except for maybe in television commercials and in the rhetoric of politicians.    Never mind that our condition stinks, and as adults we are looking for jobs in a theme park.   We should take refuge in the fact our long term outlook isn’t quite as dismal as that of some other country.

In an oblique way, it may be a good thing millions of us are on Prozac or some other antidepressant.   If not, then the wacky outbursts we are seeing in the news with increasing frequency may turn into ever more violent wacky outbursts.  The pissed off may become more organized and encourage true public disobedience.  The Tea Baggers in true American tradition may put down those misspelled signs, grab a little tar and feathers,  and start hoisting the bonus babies on rails.   Out of work intellectuals could join them, along with the downsized and disenfranchised and the permanently neglected.

I am not saying this should happen.  There are better ways to address our problems and to solve the present and future crises.   But when the political body proves unresponsive,  and when people feel they are being overtaxed and without representation, true representation, legislators concerned with the public interest and not lining their own pockets, then history dictates that things can get out of hand.   History is indeed in this way a cruel teacher.  History is an even harsher teacher when its lessons are ignored.

I don’t believe we are in anyway near the breaking point, reaching critical mass, if you will, where the people start acting up and the Shays Rebellion and the Boston Tea Party start looking like good ideas.   I think we are a country too smart to tear itself entirely apart, having learned that lesson 150 years ago in our previous debacle known as The Civil War.   But life is full of surprises, and with the advent of modern media and technology, news travels fast if not all that accurately.

But let’s face it.   Unemployed people need something to do.   If you are an adult and working a menial job for $400 a week, then the magic is gone from our magic mountain.

Economic Meltdown, When You Finally Get the Memo

The economic meltdown came so fast and so furiously, most of us weren’t sure how to even reaction.   With the markets plummeting, housing prices on a steep decline and people getting laid off left and right, we were left with mixtures of anger and grief.  To at least some degree, life as we knew it was over.

What I mean by this is that most of us having been living over our heads for years.   We all believed we deserved certainly luxuries, everything from the pricey wines to the trendy wardrobes.   Men were having their shirts custom made, and women just had to have the bag of the season.  Designer, shoes, suits, shirts, dining out,  lavish vacations, were no longer anything special but just another part of our regimen.

We made money and then we borrowed more.   We bought houses that were way over our heads, automobiles that offered status but at a very high cost.  We leased cars we couldn’t afford.   We took lavish vacations, ate out in cutsey restaurants.  We bought gourmet food and fine wine.   We were massaged on a regular basis.  We went nightclubbing and sat around over expensive vodka and a bowl of caviar, playing with our electronic gadgets.  We actually thought that none of it would end.

And then it did.   Now it’s time to tell ourselves and our families that life as we knew it has at least temporarily been put on hold.   The level of disbelief is considerable.  Husbands and wives are fighting.  The childen, spoiled from years and indulgence, simply can’t believe they have to cool it with the designer jeans and trips to the maill.   As for the gourmet foods, it’s the big box store for most of us.   Restaurants?   Yes, some of the top of the line steak joints are still doing well, as are the lower priced coffee shop.   As for that cute little storefront bistro. let’s just say it’s rare that you need reservations.

So after all those years of indulgence, the bottom has now fallen out of the economy.   It’s a bitter pill to swallow.   A sad but unique experience.   Ironic that it comes at such a price.

Hang ‘Em High

Botox Lifts: The Next Breast Thing?

Cosmetic Toxin Used To Improve A Woman’s Posture, ‘Lift Up’ Breasts

Plastic Surgeons Disturbed By Practice, Warn Against ‘Off-Label’ Uses

NEW YORK (CBS) ― It is one of the most powerful, poisonous, and paralytic proteins known to man, yet why is dermatologic wonder-drug Botox – the cure-all phenomenon that’s taken the cosmetic world by storm – being injected into women’s breasts these days?

“Dermatologist to the Stars,” Dr. Patricia Wexler, proudly advertises the answer to that question at her Manhattan practice. The Murray Hill-based doctor, who has her own cosmetic line and has been featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” recently began offering Botox injections in the breast as a quick-fix for women who want to non-invasively give their breasts a temporary lift.

For the entire article go to wcbstv.com

Perhaps in some parts of the world, or at least in this country, there will be some who view this doctor as a bold new pioneer. And it may be true. Those women who wish to engage in the eternal war against gravity may find Botox injections to the breast a most useful weapon in their arsenal.

But then by the same token when scientific studies are starting to report the potential harmful effects of botox, I think it would give one pause before she stuck her breasts with a particular chemical solution that starts its own career in the universe as Botulinun toxin ,a deadly poison. In fact, as Wikipedia points out, it is one of the more deadly toxins in the world. A small amount can kill you.

It is deadlier than strychnine, which nearly everyone regards as a deadly poison. While it would take about six metric tons of strychnine to kill everyone in the world, it would take only a few hundred grams of botulinum to do the same nasty job. On lesser levels, meaning illness resulting in less than death, botulinum, even of the cosmetic variety, can cause muscle paralysis or such pesky little difficulties as respiratory failure, drooping eyelids or the ability to smile. While a small quantity of unadulterated botulinum can result in death and, as botulism, which is food ingested, can result in serious illness, we know little about the side effects about the extended effects of the cosmetic variety.

Only now are the suspicions about the cosmetic variety starting to emerge. What happens over time, well we just don’t know. But, hey, until the other shoe drops, you will have no worry lines and a really nice rack. Of course we may prove our suspicions that with enough injections the cosmetic form does travel into your brain stem. This is a bad thing, by the way, for those less initiated in diseases of the world. It is rumored that you actually do need a working brain, although after spending a day in LA traffic, you can’t necessarily prove it by me. What breast injections would do over time to a pair of breasts, may be equally as alarming.

I hardly blame anyone for trying Botox, the best known, as well as the other cosmetic versions of bolulinum that are manufactured by a variety of companies. There is a great deal of pressure on women not to age and to look good. Then there is the matter of vanity, sexual attraction and the self-awareness that you can still turn heads when you enter a room.

On top of which, there are a great deal of medical applications for the drug. It is used for excessive sweating, excessive peeing in children, and TMJ disorders. TMJ deals with your jaw and is painful and annoying. Any help is welcome help. The drug is also used for diabetic neuropathy and for healing wounds. So, like many other things, you have to take the bad with the good, right?

And there really is no actual bonafide proof that injecting cosmetic forms of botulinum has any adverse effects. Rumors, maybe. Suspicions. Empirical evidence. In conclusive studies. But no real proof. While I hat to rain on anyone’s parade, I remember the years spent in the great cigarette to lung cancer debate. In fact, back in the days of your I worked very briefly for a research group that was contracted by the tobacco lobby in an effort to prove cigarettes were not harmful to your health. So perhaps it will take a few more decades before we really know anything about the cosmetic effects of botlunim. It’s not like our usual study group, prison inmates who volunteer as subjects for such research, have a big desire to eliminate their frown lines or hike up their hooters.

The thing is that while we have a ribbon for nearly everything, including a pink ribbon for breast cancer, we contemplate injecting toxins into our bodies that may prove fatal or result in any matter of diseases. There is no doubt breast cancer, or any cancer, is a serious disease and warrants maximum concern. We are warned about BPA in plastics, phtalatesin cosmetics and perfumes, detergents, etc. We freak over the parabens in shampoos in skin care and hair care product. And we have fund raisers for those stricken by the variety of diseases these chemicals appear to bring on. But yet, while parade, have walks, runs, marathons, we turn around and pay good money in rough economic times to shoot a deadly toxin into our bodies. Are we not a schizophrenic world, or what?

Well, so far we have not selected a ribbon color for those suffering from long term complications of having cosmetic botulinum seeping into the brain stem. So far, anyway.

When Straight People Come Into Gay Neighborhoods

Necessity may be the Mother of Invention. But it is also proving to be the Mother of Accomodation and Tolerance. See article and comments below–

Straight Guys (No, Really—They’re Straight) Are Finding A Home In Gay Sports Leagues

by Cyd Zeigler Jr.

June 17th, 2008

Alon Hacohen had been playing football in adult leagues for years, but as guys hit their thirties, they had kids and moved to the ‘burbs. By chance, an online search for a league that played exclusively in Manhattan led Hacohen to “New York Flag Football.” A year later, he got a response—from the “New York Gay Flag Football League.”

Working in the flower industry, Hacohen, who is 36 and in a committed relationship with a girlfriend, was always comfortable around gay men, but even so . . . “I was reticent—not because it was a gay league, but I was used to a high level of play,” he recalls. “After the first pick-up game, there were guys who could really play, and I got excited.”

Hacohen was the first straight player in the league’s very first season in 2005. Now it has more than 200 members— including about a dozen straight guys who play “fag football” every season. The gay Big Apple Softball League fields some teams that are more than half straight. Estimates place the gay-bowling league at around 20 percent straight. In fact, every gay-sports league in the city probably has at least one straight player.

For the complete article go to the Village Voice.

It has been said many times that necessity is the mother of invention. It is also proving to be the mother of tolerance and accommodation. Upon reading this article, a good one, I was reminded of how this would play out just a decade or two ago,yet alone in the ancient times of lore.

More so, I thought of all the straight couples who are now moving into what are predominantly gay neighborhoods. At first it was surprising to see the appearance of strollers in such California neighborhoods as West Hollywood, in Los Angeles, and the Castro District, in San Francisco. But now it is commonplace.

Since I am a Californian I am well aware that these are not only safer neighborhoods with easy access to the markets, shops and all the other stuff we browse and buy, but these neighborhoods are well maintained. You get a lot of bang for your buck when you buy or lease housing in these neighborhoods. Small wonder straight couples are moving in with little junior. Unlike in previous years, a new generation of couples has no problem exposing young child to alternate lifestyles, namely the gay lifestyle. Most could care less and actually seem to welcome the diversity.

So on one hand you have straight athletes crossing over and playing in gay sports leagues, and here you have young couples raising their children happily in what used to be the forbidden zones. In West Hollywood in particular, you can guide your child and stroller past ever so tasteful landscaping and houses that were nicely renovated and reflective of a truly lovely environment. It seems as if there is a Pink Berry on every corner, so no child will be denied his treat.

What adds to the overall milieu are the gay couples who have for the most part adopted children, some are left over from earlier liaisons, also pushing strollers and holding hands with young toddlers as they take them shopping etc. It is also easy to find people who will work on your house, and for the most part these neighborhoods are in the city and close to employment.

So at the end of the day, if you want to live in a good neighborhood, some of the best neighborhoods are gay neighborhoods. So, hey, the necessity of finding a nurturing environment has led to tolerance and accommodation.

In a world this crazy and with all the nasty things we witness, this is truly a nice thing to see.