Making the Most of Nola

Our week in New Orleans has been beautiful, dirty, loud, wild, yummy, exhausting, colorful, and every other kind of description this unique city might conjure up. Here are some random pictures interspersed with stuff I’ve learned.

Our tour guide of Garden District architecture taught me a bit about what life is like here. You say, “It’s no thing,” or just, “No thing” when you dismiss someone’s concerns. Like, “Oh, sorry for blocking your way there.” “No thing!” Very much like the French, “De rein,” but in singular Nola style.

People live on island time here, always late according to other cultures. Accordingly, once you’ve lived here, you’re ruined and no longer suited to live anywhere else.

Everything is falling down, sinking, in need of repair. This state of being is not only accepted, but celebrated, like when neighbors put a recliner in the new, extra-large pothole outside their house and had a street party around it.

People work out in the park and play basketball, and they also live in it and shoot up in it and leave chicken necks on the grass. So many chicken neck bones that Banjo has been waking us up in the middle of the night to walk her, which has been tricky seeing as how we really shouldn’t be walking around out there in the middle of the night. The more she walks, though, the more chicken necks she eats and the more she has to emergency poop, and the more she walks.

Why does Gramma think skulls are bad?

They’re evil is why.

No they’re not. They’re body parts!

Parades make me cry, apparently. Especially ones featuring high school marching bands where the parents march alongside the kids, holding raincoats and bottled water. Men leading the bands step aside to shake hands with friends, and mothers shriek from the sidelines when they see their kids. Lots of pride here, from the decked-out bands with tap-shoes and feathers in their hats to the low-budget bands in sweat clothes and sneakers.

New Orleans has the most adorable small houses I’ve ever seen. And the grandest big ones.

Parades happen so often that “no parking” signs we’d have for snow removal or hurricane evacuation are instead posted for parade routes. You’d know you were on a parade route anyway by the strings of beads hanging from the live oaks.

We have biked and walked and eaten and listened and tried to be get a feeling for living here. When we’re in the trailer, we’ve had the local radio station on (WW0Z, Guardians of the Groove; I recommend it to for streaming).

All I can conclude for sure, after a week of this, is that Nola is a city, and it marches to its own drummer. I’m taking a good amount of it away with me in the form of special new body fat.

And I wanna come back.