Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thinking about New Orleans

Tomorrow I leave the city, and I have mixed feelings.  I'm a little disappointed in myself for not doing more while I was here.  For instance, when I flew down here and looked at the time I would spend here I really did want to volunteer a day somewhere doing something related to rebuilding.  Well, in planning to orchestrate the bike purchase it fell through the cracks.  I'm not much of a volunteer at all to begin with so I guess it's a bit of a stretch to suddenly become a voluntourist.  And I just gave up when I got here on that idea.  But I guess the city surprised me in how interesting and vibrant the neighborhoods were rather than how destroyed and embattled they were.  Even where there was destruction, it wasn't asking for pity.  People live here and love life.

I could be disappointed that I didn't use every meal opportunity to try a different world-famous restaurant.  But then I was surprised how with Louisiana food I was as much interested in the history of the cooking and the mixing of cultures and people that went into it as the spicy dishes themselves.

I could be disappointed in myself that I wasn't out until 3AM every night sampling each jazz club and trying each local cocktail.  But the last couple rainy nights I've found the right vibe sitting with the doors open to the balcony reading my book.  In March at least, the humidity feels good.  And Abita makes some fantastic beer.

Basically, New Orleans is the city I know I will come back to.  It's a city I'd love to know better and better.  It's a city I'd love to be able to show off to someone else.  Because we all know I'm a tour guide-in-hiding.

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