Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Orleans Now and Then and Then

Our Lady of Prompt Succor, patroness of New Orleans, LA

Memory Lane is a two way street.  So is Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana.  So is Bayou Road.  If you can bounce, drop to the floor.  Shake it if you have it.  Flaunt it if you have it.  Who’s that?  It just might be you.  The mirror refuses to lie.  When you are in New Orleans, you haven’t a care in the whole wide world.  New Orleans is like no place else.  Nights do not end after midnight, unless it is twelve o’clock AM tomorrow.  
Freedom is spelled phonetically, with the accent on communal liberty.  You cannot spend twenty-four hours in New Orleans without making a friend.  No one is alone in a big city with a big heart that is bursting at the seams like a red bean that has been soaking all day in a stewpot.  When there is nothing to lose, there is nowhere to go but up.  Vive l’esprit.  Vive le coeur.  The heart is not a lonely hunter.  Happiness loves company.

No one means to be rude.  There is no need to excuse.  When people stop their foolishness, there is nothing left but wisdom.  A catholic city, a universal metropole, where citizenship is earned with a song, one breath of New Orleans air sets a spirit free.  Home is where the heart is.  Home is where the soul resides.  Once you go back, baby, there is nowhere to go but up.  There is a sea change at sea level, and a river runs through it.  Uptown, downtown, West Bank or East, when you dance like you mean it, you have rhythm in your blood.
You cannot pave over paradise.  There is no blight in the night.  When the air is too thick to be stirred by a breeze, thunderheads rain.  Life is a parade.  You know what I mean, baby.  The future is now and the past is now.  Now is the sum of all of its parts.  Barbers and carpenters practice their trades.  Grandmothers will their homes to their grandchildren’s children.  A dime is as good as a doubloon in New Orleans.

The most beautiful women live in New Orleans, LA.
Crawfish get boiled.  Crabs get boiled.  Oysters are shucked.  Sausage is more than the sum of its ingredients.  Turkey necks are simmered.  Gumbo is full of herbs.  Everything is consumed in New Orleans.  Everything is nourishing meat.  Manna is picked up on the street.  When you shake your money maker, you will eat fat on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and throughout every week of the year.  It is as easy to make a living in New Orleans as it is hard.  It is a city of opposites.  It is hard to tell who is rich and who is poor.  When property is measured in arpents, regular yardsticks are tossed to the side.
New Orleans has a long, tangible, prescient memory.  You may get lost in the moment, but you always know where to find yourself.  Here.  Now.  Happy.  


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