Season's greetings! If anyone gave me a carton of Camels for Christmas I would think they were wishing me an early grave. Different times. It used to be the gift of choice, like being delighted to find an orange in the stocking you hung over the mantle on Christmas Eve. A tin of Prince Albert, on the other hand...well, let him out of the can.
We've been driving around to look at Christmas lights every night. My recommendation: Take Ursalines Street from the River to where it ends in Bayou Saint John. The displays get more elaborate as you progress and there are some show-stoppers toward the end of the line.
A bicycle is better than a car, even when the mercury drops into the 40s (F). Somewhat like I was told in boot camp, "Too cold for you? Get up and go! If you can't pedal a few miles what good are you!"
I drove my motorcycle today. Everywhere I stopped, people said, "Little cold for a bike, isn't it?" No. It's never too cold for the Littlest Ninja. The engine may complain at first ignition but once it gets running it is the happiest motorcycle in the whole of New Orleans. No motorcycle likes to be neglected. It is never too cold for a motorcycle, only for the drivers. The motorcycles like to run and hum and rev and thrum and heat up and burn and whine and grind and scream and roll and pause and exhale and sip the gasoline and show what they are made to do. I've contracted a touch of windburn this afternoon. The Littlest Ninja and I are happy after tootling about town, flitting through traffic and fitting into the pockets between cars as conveniently as a a pack of smokes in a rolled-up tee shirt sleeve.
I hope you had a happy Christmas and that you will have a happy new year. Ah, New Orleans, your traffic and landscape contain many delights.
Fresh air, fresh oil in the gears, fresh grease on the chain, and a fresh tank of gas. A motorcyclist wears gloves all year long, thick leather gloves. My hands never know what the ambient air temperature is but my head knows the ambience through which I pass. My heart swells, my eyes feast on passing delights; I wave to everyone I pass, my lungs are cleansed by the wind that hits me and flows by as I cut it like a blunt tip whipped through cream. Nothing is chill in New Orleans. I absorb the heat off the purring engine.