Times are hard for Connie Champagne, and like others, she contemplates leaving for a fresh start. That’s where a mysterious tomato bush comes in.
Behind my flat in the Castro district, where I've lived for 27 years, is a tiny backyard. Nobody uses it, so a few years ago, I planted tomato seeds, but nothing grew, and I forgot about it.
So, I was surprised when last month, in the middle of lockdown, a bush bursting with tomatoes mysteriously grew in the yard.
The mystery tomato bush showed up at a good time.
Like a lot of people, COVID-19 has wiped me out financially. My livelihood — as a singer and entertainer — evaporated when entertainment venues shuttered. I've been trying to survive on odd jobs — pet shop clerk, grocery worker — but this city is expensive. And with smoky skies and a pandemic adding to my money worries, I'm beginning to think it's time to leave. I'm not the only one. The news is filled with stories of people fleeing San Francisco, driven out by high rents and contagious crowds.