New Orleans

New Orleans has come at a good time; a welcome antidote to California and all its subtle, insidious dysfuntions. Life spilling into the streets and everywhere spontaneous joy shared with warm unhurried natives who deliver themselves to me unselfconsciously, in a slapdash gumbo of race and economic station. Very easy to be happy here.

The Vegas-ization of the French Quarter is alarming though; swarms of pale tourists and conventioneers stumbling through a 24-hour booze’n’jazz’n’tits’n’Emeril theme park. But the Garden District and Esplanade-East both feel more vital and honest than ever, so the city still works.

I realize how early and completely my urban living aesthetic was set by this place; why Brooklyn felt like a homecoming, when I finally found it in my mid-30s. These are my true twin cities.

–From the ex files, March 2005

3 thoughts on “New Orleans”

  1. A friend of mine teaches in New Orleans; he phoned his mother today — God knows how he got a line out — to say he is stunned by it all. Everything he owns is underwater but he’s unhurt.

    Makes you wonder though… crazy times behind all our levees.


  2. I lived in Brooklyn as a kid. And spent a few days in New Orleans a long time ago. Two cities with soul and roots, not just for me, but for all of us, who’ve settled here, listening to the music and the vibe of two places, walking away from the splash and into the coolness of ordinary life.

    Thanks for bringing it all home.


  3. It’s heartbreaking to watch so many families lose everything they ever owned, I cannot comprehend what they are going through. I wanted to move to New Orleans for such a long time, but somehow I ended up in Barcelona instead, but for every person who is on the road now with the provisions in bags, their children homeless, their pets abandoned, I can only offer my deep and heartfelt sorrow.


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