There’s a house I love in the Richmond district of San Francisco. I’m not giving you the address because it’s my secret. It’s on my way to a soy decaf latte at a neighborhood cafe. It’s just up from a famously rundown house where a latter-day female Boo Radley (as in To Kill a Mockingbird) resides. It’s within running distance of Golden Gate Park. There’s no parking, but there are good MUNI options close by.
There’s a wild English garden in front, and an enchanting Hansel and Gretel gate complete with lattice archway. Sometimes signs are posted in the yard, spreading holiday cheer or protesting the war in Iraq. At Halloween there are witches and ghosts in the bushes. At Christmas a string of colored lights. I’m pretty sure a path of stepping stones leads to the front door.
The house itself sits shyly at the back of the lot. Out of place yet inviting, like it escaped from a fairytale. Two windows like eyes on either side of the shingled façade. Gable roof. Simple.
I’ve never seen anyone coming or going. I’ve never screwed up the courage to enter the yard and knock on the cottage door. I’ve never written the note that says, “I love your house. Who are you? May I visit and see inside?”
It’s really quite small and, like I said, there’s no parking in a hard-to-park location. But if the owners ever decide to sell, I sure would love to be their agent. I’d stand just inside the gate, welcoming prospective buyers and offering them a nice cup of tea. Or maybe a glass of lemonade if the weather is right.