Thursday, September 01, 2005

What I loved about N.O.

VolBro in KnoxVegas says:

I hope that you've done your partying on Bourbon Street, 'cause the French Quarter got wiped out.

Yeah, when is one ever really done partying on Bourbon Street? It reminds me of the Samuel Johnson saying " when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford ". The day you say "you know, I really don't think the Big Easy holds any more appeal to me" is the day you should just retire to a life of cocoa and the history channel.

Yesterday on Radio 4's Today programme(the morning news show for policy wonks like myself) I heard the tearful voice of an N.O. native saying that he wasn't sure where his city would be when he returned, but that it was worth rebuilding, because "New Orleans has given a lot to the world." Though he hastily added "we've probably taken a lot, too". I for one can attest that N.O. has taken a wad of cash and more than a few brain cells from me.

The N.O. native went on to say that "if you ever loved anything that came out of New Orleans you should pray for us and help us rebuild". Now, I don't have the intimate relationship with that city that some do, but I do have treasured (though hazy) memories of each of the scant three times I’ve visited. Some of the things I've loved from or about New Orelans, in absolutely no order whatsoever, are:

  • Oyster po’boys
  • The Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • Dixieland jazz bands (and I especially love the one that played Rocky Top on request)
  • Drunken, hours-long, brunches with fab food and mimosas that steadily increase in strength
  • Ellen Gilchrist short stories set in N.O.
  • Gulf shrimp, boiled at the market, eaten in a French Quarter hidden courtyard
  • Mardi gras beads
  • Barq’s root beer
  • Just being one of the few places in South where you have a free pass to be truly debauched
  • Hurricanes (the drink, not the weather)
  • The architecture
  • The very sensible drinking laws - i.e. you can't drink from glass containers, as that would be a safety hazard - otherwise, it's all A-OK.
  • Hard Target, the Jean Claude Van Damme film set in New Orleans
  • Andy Jackson’s successful whomping of the British at the Battle of N.O. and the great song commemorating it


St. Caffeine said...

Wow, Vol, I just had the strangest sense of, "Hey, me too," while reading your love list of NO.

Believe it or not, I have the classic Johnny Horton tune on CD. In addition, you could not have picked better examples of NO lit than Toole and Gilchrist. In fact, I think the first Ellen Gilchrist story I ever read was in a book belonging to you while riding the train back to Birmingham (AL, of course) from New Orleans. Ah, good times! You did, though, leave out Lucky Dogs.

I think the new New Orleans may be a bit smaller, but I firmly believe they will rebuild.

Vol-in-Law said...

I'll add The Cat's Meaow, my favourite experience on my one trip to New Orleans. Even the development of excruciating back pain couldn't spoil a great night out!