Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Exceslior New Orleans

So, I’ve decided on a new name for this blog.  I know it’s probably not the best idea for continuity’s sake.  I find it on google listed as Whalehead King, which was it’s first incarnation, and as The Dot Matrix! which was it’s second.  For the past few day’s I’ve reverted back to Whalehead King because my ties to Boston’s biggest and best neighborhood, Dorchester, affectionately known as “Dot”, have been fading over the past few weeks as I live longer in New Orleans.  The matrix I navigate is no longer Dorchester’s but New Orleans’ tangled skein of bumpy streets.
This isn’t to say I won’t still be comparing New Orleans to Boston anymore.  In fact, I have a comparison on tap of Nola’s Mayor Landrieu to Bean Town’s Mayor Menino.  I’m a native New Englander after all and, though I only spent three long years in Boston, it is the capitol of that region that affected me most of my life and shaped my sensibility.  I remain a cranky Yankee.  
While Boston in the flesh and mortar was nothing like I imagined, New Orleans is everything I dreamed about and more.  The comparisons won’t always be weighted in favor of one city over the other, but I suspect as time passes and memory fades, they will become more infrequent.  Direct, positive experience will always overwhelm the past in the end.  
This blog’s new title is Excelsior New Orleans.  I think it’s always nice to mix a little Latin into things to keep them high falutin’.  Look at Boston’s city seal.
Excelsior is the motto of the great state of New York.  It is also how Stan Lee signed off his letters (and probably still does) while penning them in the Silver Age of comic books.  It means “Ever upward.”  I feel that by moving to New Orleans, I have moved up in the world.  I see evidence all around me that New Orleans is on an upward trajectory.  I find myself in a community supported not only by centuries of river silt, but buoyed by an interconnected, interdependent hope and drive for a better tomorrow and respect for what came before.  New Orleans is like nowhere on the globe.  I am happy and privileged to make my home here.      
This is not New Orleans’ golden age or silver age or bronze age or dark age.  It is a period of transition.  I don’t sense that worse is in the wings.  If there will be rebirth, and there will be, there will be platinum leaf on the next chapter of New Orleans history.  I am humbled to think I have a part to play in this great, shared undertaking in a great metropolis.
Fountain in Coliseum Square.

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