1. You live here as a newcomer and locals are fond of saying “this is New Orleans” or “welcome to New Orleans” by way of explanation. They use it to explain absurdity, inefficiency, arbitrary disaster, and transcendent fun. Enormous holes in the middle of major streets, say, or a drunken man dressed as an insect in line behind you at the convenience store.

    "How Lil Wayne helped me survive my first year teaching in New Orleans", by David Ramsey

    Thanks to @seaninsound for reminding me of this piece. I read for the first time maybe two years ago, and it was what piqued my interest in Weezy and got me to start listening to him. But, more than that, it also stands as a wonderful piece on an outsider’s experience of an urban environment under considerable duress.

    I was lucky enough to visit New Orleans over the summer. I’m quite happy to admit that, yes, I was there as a tourist, and, aside from a streetcar (they’re not trams, they’re streetcars) ride up to City Park to go to the sculpture garden, I didn’t really venture out of the French Quarter / Garden District / Frenchmen Street trio. But, even given that, what I did experience was a thriving, charming and colourful city, and some of the friendliest people you’ll meet. I’m a city nerd (I’m studying them, you know) and, from that perspective, it’s wonderful that places like Nola still exist, and they should continue to exist. It lives in a world of its own, almost, and it’s all the better for it.

    Basically, if I ever become Independently Wealthy, I’m moving to the French Quarter and drinking myself to death, probably on whatever that purple 20oz drink I had in Lafitte’s on my birthday. It’ll be great.

    1. mmitb posted this