smell. Whoo-ee, right when we got off of the airplane
the beautiful smell of greenery was right there
waiting for us. You don't realize exactly how
deadening New York is to the nose until you get
out of it. During the eight days we were in Louisiana,
we were always stopping to sniff the air for fresh
jasmine, cottonwood and freshly mown grass.
danger. I almost got mugged because I walked three
or four blocks too far into the wrong neighborhood,
and the drunken fratboy lunacy on Bourbon Street
has been more than well documented. Everything
felt like it was teetering on a very thin line
between sanity and total rioting chaos. It's a
party town 365 days a year, but it's at the very
end of the party, when you just want the fat slob
dorks to go home.
food. Jesus Christ, the food in New Orleans was
some of the best I've ever had in my life, and
I'm a fat disgusting pig. From a huge plate of
delicious boiled spicy crawfish monsters at Felix's
to a breakfast of eggs with andouille sausage
and Bananas Foster at Brennan's to the bizarre
sitdown dinner at a converted plantation; it was
a gastronomic crazyfest.
weather. Coming off of a typical frosty-assed
New York winter, to step out of the airport to
something above 50 degrees was a pleasant shock
to the system. Aside from a day-long monsoon that
coincided with our day trip out of the city, it
remained crisp, cool, clear and warm for the duration.
Supposedly it gets intolerably humid, but I'm
not there then.
local and regional products. A popular pineapple
soda pop. "Bunny" brand bread with a
smiling cartoon rabbit on the package. "Chubs"
brand peanuts with a smiling kid in a baseball
cap, his cheeks protruding under the weight of
dozens of stored peanuts. Call me a nerd, but
this kind of shit makes me happy.
totally inexplicable behavior. As we were walking
to the New Orleans Museum of Art, there's a field
off to the side of the museum where people have
picnics and generally enjoy the weather. A guy
had set up a volleyball net and as we walked by
he took out a bottle of lighter fluid and began
squirting it onto a patch on the ground. He emptied
nearly half the bottle, squatted down and lit
the grass on fire, and then stood back a few steps
to watch his handiwork.
public drinking. Drive-through daquiri stands,
for God's sake. No open container laws. People
walking down the sidewalk before noon with cups
of beer in their hands. Jesus Christ, it's like
a high school senior's paradise. And we were never
carded, nor was there even the pretense of such
hospitality. Everybody, and I mean everybody,
wanted to talk, from taxi drivers who would interrogate
us on where we'd been and what we'd seen, to our
next-door neighbor, who would hold court out on
the porch with a glass of wine and a voluble knowledge
of presumedly anything and everything. It wad
great, if a little hard to deal with as a New
racism. If you're not afraid of African-Americans
before you go down south, you will be by the time
you get back. Segregation is still very much in
effect south of the Mason-Dixon, and if you're
a honky out at night and you step to the wrong
side of certain invisible lines, you're fucked.
I almost got mugged on Dumaine St. but cooler
heads prevailed. I got very, very lucky.
coming home. I missed a lot of stuff, from the
subtle must of my apartment to the gray rustle
of my girlfriend's cat, and I knew that you all
would be getting pretty pissy if I didn't get
back soon. As soon as I can fire up the scanner
I've got some crazy stuff to share. See you soon.