A streetcar named desire


Good morning!  I thought I’d wax nostalgic about New Orleans a bit today.  As you may know, NOLA was my home for a few years in the late 90s/early 00s.  So many have tried to put into words what it is about New Orleans that makes it special, and I have tried and failed many times.  It’s a place with a lot of problems (crime, lack of infrastructure, location in a hurricane zone to name a few) that it can be easy to forget how magical it is there.  Not everyone sees the magic though.  I’ve talked to people who have visited and not seen what all the fuss is about, but I can’t relate to them.  You see, I fell in love with New Orleans almost instantly upon my arrival there.  I was initially sucked in by the lighting — the city seems bathed in golden light and everything is technicolor bright.  It’s hot and swampy and people move at a languid pace — they sit on porches, take walks at twighlight, stop and chat over iced coffees and generally don’t seem disposed to move very quickly or efficiently.  For example, I threw my first dinner party there a few months after I arrived, and almost had nothing to put on the table because I needed to go to a florist for flowers, a fishmonger for fish, a bakery for bread, a wine shop for wine, a patisserie for dessert, (& on and on).  As a hardened city slicker, this took some adjusting, but I grew to love slowing down.

But all of this isn’t getting to the heart of New Orleans, which is the part of it that is the hardest to describe.  I’ll just say that it’s a bit weird.  The city has a freak flag and it isn’t afraid to fly it.  The people can be a little kooky, and you’ll never meet a conformist.  There’s a hedonistic voodoo spirit there and that’s what I found the most intoxicating about the place.  A friend of mine recently sent around this video that, as she put it, “shows what it’s like to live in NOLA,” and I couldn’t agree more.  It doesn’t try to explain the city, instead it just shows you.  I hope you enjoy it.


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