April 14th, 2008 - Last night I had a strippers head between my legs. She was not shy about it, neither was I. But that’s not why I love this city. Though nights like those, when your best man friend works the door at Ricks on the strip and has connections to the VIP room, not only where he works but at a few others, it makes going to the usual strip clubs every now and then fun. I hadn’t been out like that in a while.
But! Like I said, that’s not the sole reason I love this city. Its not the debauchery, its the acceptance of debauchery. It’s that live and let live mentality combined with the old southern charm and unquestionable sophistication. Its riding on the street car down Saint Charles avenue and listening to a conversation between a black man with four gold teeth and the white preppy tourist who have just met, found a common interest and are now talking like they have known each other their whole lives. Said black man got off at the same stop I did, and immediately continued this conversation with me. I learned not only does he take care of his daughter but his lady (different from his baby mamma) has two other children that he also considers his own and takes care of. He announces that he’s smart, and knows what it takes to be a man thanks to his parents. He also use to be an athlete before he hurt his hip, and knows William Faulkner, that’s his big brother. I didn’t ask for proof, I was merely engrossed in his friendly demeanor and his willingness to say hello and chat with well, anyone.
We parted two blocks from each other and as I continued my walk home It struck me how terribly incorrect first impressions can be and once again made me love this city a little more because it would seem that here (for the most part) they are ignored.
I meet another man on the streetcar today that told me the story of his plot to get a coconut from one of the crews during Mardi Gras. After making signs with his targets name, and a blueberry pancakes for bribery, a float before the one he wants comes up and he gets a real coconut anyway. Go figure. Three nights before that I meet a couple married ten years, on the night of his birthday. I was standing, he got up and gave me his seat next to his wife and we started chatting. He lives here because Tulane made him a job offer he couldn’t refuse and she still lives in their beach house in Pensacola Florida. It’s not a bad scenario for either of them and they seemed both genuinely happy and still in love. Good Peoples.
I stood out on the balcony of a favorite bar with two good friends of mine today, and we along with two nice women next to us jokingly laughed and watch a poor man stumbling down the block (this story takes place at about five o’clock). Poor guy would walk, hit a wall, pause, walk hit a wall pause. We cheered him on, then easily admitted that we had ALL been in that same state at some point (some more frequently than others). The woman whose birthday was yesterday had just turned forty - two and she told us how she learned last night the difference between all the hurricanes. We’re talking about the drink now. There is the traditional version with your standard two rums and then there’s the other version, found in random bars that may have both rum and a little 190 in them. Yeah pure alcohol. I, laughing told her I understood. I’d been in those same shoes one of my first newbie ventures here. Both my wife and one of my husbands Matt can attest to how completely destroyed I was. (Its a sad day when you make your friends pull over, stumble out of the car and are vomiting so loudly that a homeless person comes over and asks if you are all right).
The fascinating people here are just one of the reasons I have such a love affair with this city. Even after the storm it remains incredibly beautiful and holds a uniqueness that you will simply not find anywhere else. Other cities look like other cities, New Orleans looks like New Orleans. We’ve got a Pie Lady and constant music to delight the ears when moving through the French quarter on your way to work (and you never know what you just might see). The power and delight of the Mississippi river is mere minutes from my home, there to enjoy and draw energy from. I was not born here but I wish I was. I am determined though to stay on my quest to completely immerse myself in this wonderful place until I know all of its little idiosyncrasies and stories. I want to be privy to it’s antidotes and the hidden knowledge of the locals. No where else have I felt more at home.
Don’t worry I’ll share, we southerners don’t mind sharing. Which also makes this such a wonderful place to be for the upcoming ascension when we finally return to the joys of community living in its purest form.
But we’ll talk more about that later.
Causes D CS Supports