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Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I Still Have New Orleans On My Mind

You can taste it in the stale air at or about 3am. You know its time to go home, but you paid to get here and folks are still crowding the streets and the live music keeps calling you. You have another drink, your belly is full of seafood, rice and beans. You probably would wake up and have a little wine out of the fridge like I would if you were at home standing in the dark, the icebox light illuminating the kitchen and dining room. I would sit at the table and have a good glass of chilled merlot, even if I have to get up and do my due diligence in mere hours.

But you're in New Orleans and it strikes you that damn near every native you come across keeps saying hello. Yep, there is an excuse in celebrating that.

So we're two days into our escapade around the Big Easy and it ain't even the weekend but it feels like it. I think my nightcap every night except for the last one consisted of a frozen daiquiri with either Captain Morgan, 151 or Everclear in it. And I friggin' loved it! We spent more than a work week in the Crescent city and it went something like:

sleep in late
roam the French Market
eat fresh seafood in the French Quarter
ride a rail car
walk
eat fresh seafood outside the French Quarter
shop
gamble (I gotta keep my card count)
have a good, stiff drink
sight see stuff
have more fresh seafood
hit Bourbon Street
listen to great live music
have another good, stiff drink
hit the hay before sunset... literally

There was a five day blur of walking about the French Market, light shopping and eating well with a slight touch of alcohol, and it was exactly what both my wife and I needed to take the edge off living and gallivanting through a city like Chicago. This diverse and small gulf city with these diverse and generous people pitted in the midst of rebuild treated everyone off the boat, plane and bus like a family known house guest, giving them access to everything in the house, including the medicine cabinet.

The best thing about wandering through the second oldest city in America is its blend of natural mystic of gulf swamp, the architecture of both the French and Spanish and the tangible markings of history. The businesses and residents simply gut out some of its buildings in the French Quarter and Market, keeping the facade and frame whilst adding business and modernization to areas of the city long past 300 years old. The central business district and downtown areas are classic metropolis. Glass, steel, shops and stores make up where wheeling and dealing takes place. There still isn't enough money to overtake what Canal and Bourbon can make in a night, but things are coming up. The rebuild will do exactly what big business wants it to do. I'm not a fan of gentrification, but I do understand that the footprint of the rich that want to play will overtake the will of the street vendor in a mere few years.

I'll still want to visit and lobby for the poeple.

Damn, I haven't even waxed on about the arts, the music and the damn food...

Oh, and we did visit Mid City, Lakeview and the Lower Ninth Ward.

6 comments:

Big Mark 243 said...

Way cool entry. I feel as if I am there (minus the liquor, of course!)

Glad you are enjoying yourself.

Aly Cat 121 said...

Wow, I'd LOVE to take a "roaming holiday" with the Mr. Maybe one day (when the kids are gone and grown)

Anonymous said...

I could almost smell Burbon St. you have a way with words. I think I need to get back to the N.O.

Gallis said...

It sounds so lovely. Sigh.

Rose said...

Thanks for the tour.

2 said...

Thanks for coming down and enjoying the city my man. I saw you mentioned visiting Mid-City, Lakeview and the Lower 9 (I'm assuming on one of those "Katrina Tours") - it is funny that Katrina has turned the Lower 9 into a tourist destination. I grew up (and spent my first 21 years) in the Lower 9 and I can assure you it wasn't nothing but a hood ass area that NOBODY cared about. Shit is amazing.

Anyway, thanks again for coming down and enjoying the city.