So I'm sitting in Bruno's Tavern, 7538 Maple Street in New Orleans' Carrolton neighborhood. "An Uptown drinking place since 1934." The sky is partly cloudy. The Times-Picayune says the high temperature today is 65 but it feels like its in the 70s when the sun shines down, especially after the abrupt transition from Boston this morning to New Orleans this afternoon.
Carrolton is a beautiful neighborhood on the end of the St. Charles streetcar line. No building is taller than two stories. Unlike Dorchester, the homes are not repetitions of the same style repeated ad infinitum. Each small lot has its own personality. There aren't any leaves on many of the trees yet, the broad, ancient oaks that shade the streets. There are leaves on the palm trees and banana trees.
The sidewalks are rough in patches. Some of the homes are in picturesque disrepair. It is beautiful and alive here, with people moving at a pace very dissimilar to what I'm accustomed to in Boston. Everyone says hello. Everyone.
The St. Charles Avenue streetcars most resemble Mattapan High Speed trolleys but people open the windows and catch the breeze. After I unpacked I bought a five day pass for $20 and walked down St. Charles Ave to Lafayette Square. After so many days of Boston March rain and so many weeks of Boston winter chill, I couldn't resist a half mile stroll in nothing more than a sports coat over a tee shirt. The first street car was full and I was standing with a gaggle of people dressed for St. Patrick's day also wanting to jump on. No problem: three more cars were visible behind. Everyone eventually got on within five minutes wait.
There is something different about New Orleans time. There is never a need to rush. Good things happen no matter where you are. The party starts when you arrive. Something pleasant is always unfolding, little or large, on the streets, in the parks, in the bars, in the clubs, on the streetcar.
From a thousand miles away, in a very different city, I tip my fedora and bid my fellow Dorchesterites Hello. I hope you are enjoying your day as much as I am enjoying mine.