People in New Orleans love to talk about New Orleans. The city is a love letter to itself in the most beautiful way, a celebration of the things that set it apart from everywhere else. Though I was there a few weeks post-Mardi Gras, it’s decorated for it all year round, and for other holidays, regardless of season:
As I mentioned, this was my tenth trip down there and it was every bit as inspiring and magical as any visit I’ve made. I spent the week researching, writing, seeing friends and meeting strangers … and, since the writing component was the original impetus, I am happy to report that I met my goal. On to Draft Three!
That city is my muse.
In New Orleans you have to be okay with things not necessarily going as planned, but going, instead as they’re meant to. It’s a city of happenstance, of making a wrong turn and winding up just where you should be, of sitting next to a stranger at a bar who knows the answer to a question you’ve had for years.
I have some cool stories of happenstance from this trip, stories that I will share here soon.
While I was there I had to fulfill a short creative assignment and I came up with this; pardon the repetition:
It’s said that once you drink the water here you’ve no choice but to return; it becomes a part of you. It seeps into your soul, this magical corner of the world where the streets are paved with music and the trees drip Spanish moss, wind chimes, and Mardi Gras beads.
It’s voodoo and gumbo and Zydeco, shotgun shacks and Creole cottages in purple, gold, and green, and every color in between.
Street corner musicians dance among black cats and Indians and the tarot card readers of Jackson Square.
It’s a beautiful love letter to itself, this town, to its past and its present, to Louis Armstrong and Storyville, the Fleur de Lys and Marie Laveau.
Here the dead have joie de vivre, and the local spirits are as much a part of the fabric of life as brass bands, second lines, Dr. John, and crawfish.
Once you’ve been here, indeed, you can never forget what it means to miss New Orleans.