I was born in Manhattan and raised on Long Island, moving from Forest Hills to Great Neck, the established route for Jewish families on the rise. Great Neck was a very disorienting place, a bubble of affluence. Or was it the 1950's that were so disorienting? My friends' fathers were all, like mine, businessmen commuting to New York City on the Long Island railroad. My friends' mothers were all frustrated stay-at-home women who should have been running major corporations instead of pouring their talents and energies into the family. With few exceptions, people of color were maids and gardeners. They lived somewhere else. When I graduated high school my parents moved to Florida, an unwise and ultimately unsuccessful move. We traded a large Tudor home for a ranch house filled with bugs, mold and furniture that squeaked over cold terrazzo floors. I hated it. My hair frizzed, my face broke out, and it took a week for anything to dry. I spent my first college year at the U. of Florida and disliked it so much I transferred to college back on Long Island. If I was trying to go home, it didn't work. My parents were still in Florida, my brother was in California, and I was staying in a dormitory with nowhere to go on the weekends. It was a miserable time. Back to Manhattan after college wasn't much better. I was rooming with a college friend who was living with her boyfriend more than she was living with me. It didn't feel like home. So when my brother invited me to visit him in California, I jumped at the chance. The minute my feet hit the tarmac in San Francisco, I knew there had been a cosmic mix-up. I'd been born on the wrong coast. California was where I belonged. I quit my New York job without notice, left my roommate holding the bag, and pressed my poor mother into shipping all my belongings West. It was an impulse move that's lasted 50 years.