Thursday, September 01, 2005
I think I would have really liked New Orleans.
She seems like the town I would have really gotten along with. I say this in the past tense because I really wonder whether The Big Easy will be restored to all its brassy glory after Hurricane Katrina.
N'Awlins always struck me as the type of place with a little bit of Southern charm, a cup full of Catholicism, a dash of mystery and legend and a whole lot of bravado. The great thing about New Orleans is there's so much more to it than it's loudness, its brazen sexy attitude. The city is a smart one. She's got a lot of history, old fashioned class and great ghost stories.
New Orleans is a lot like me.
I am in love with places that encourage friendship and a release of inhibitions. Please, don't take that to mean I want everyone running in the streets nude, drunk and shooting their glocks off (let's leave that to Tijuana), but I have to say I am a big supporter of all those spots that encourage a free-for-all kind of fun.
New York City at New Years. Pamplona. Savannah on St. Patrick's Day. Rio at Carnivale.
And New Orleans at Mardi Gras.
Truth be told, I'm probably one of those chicks who would have bared her, ahem, all for the sake of tradition and a few cheap beads. The saying goes When in Rome... so I suppose when you're in New Orleans you're supposed to show a bit of skin.
Plus, it's a great story to tell the grandkids.
Aside from the whole Girls Gone Wild factor, there are so many things this nation is going to miss if New Orleans figuratively sinks into the depths of our memories. The town's music scene is legendary. We owe a debt of thanks to the Big Easy for Connick and the entire Marsalis family. And no, I didn't forget Louis Armstrong or Trent Reznor (now there's an unlikely pair if I ever heard one). And a special shout out here for my personal favorite Better Than Ezra.
New Orleans has ingrained itself into the American Diet, too. Merci Beaucoups, Grande Dame, for the gumbo, the po' boys, the bignets and the jumbalaya.
Where else in the world can you tell someone you just sucked the head off and not get a dirty look?
Thank you, N'Awlins for Paul Prudhomme and of course Emeril Lagasse. BAM!
New Orleans has made its way into our books, too. Anne Rice holds court down there in the Bayou, and Truman Capote made many of his memorable quips from the incredible city.
We certainly owe a lot to New Orleans.
And we must move back.
I'd hate for the city to become a modern day Atlantis, a legend of a city that sunk into the waters, taking culture and history and tradition with it to the sea below. We must support the recovery efforts cropping up post Hurricane Katrina to ensure the city thrives again. We must spare no expense in wringing out New Orleans, giving it a good air dry and sending the construction crews back in for demolition and renovation.
Please contact the Red Cross at 1-800-HELP NOW or click here for more information on donating to the cause.
We must help these poor people stay afloat (no pun intended) so they can return to their homes, their lifestyle, their tradition.
Besides, I need someone to show off to when I go down there for Mardi Gras someday.