Thursday, September 29, 2005

Mourning New Orleans


I miss New Orleans like a long ago lover.
The city throbbed with music. You could lay your hand on any building or piece of ironwork that adorned the porches of even modest homes and feel the music , like the purring of a cat. It was always the place to escape, the place to leave your every day self behind, to the point that my daughter and I , when faced with familial annoyances, have a saying, "let's run away to N"Awllins"
I fell in love with Tom one steamy New Orleans spring at the Jazz and Heritage Festival.It was early evening and time to exchange one party for another.A tired man was selling balloons to cranky children and Tom bought me every balloon he had. There is a certain power in walking the streets with 30 balloons.We tied them on balconies, gave them to kids, exchanged them for kisses from drag queens.A couple was sitting on their banquette with their children, "Hey, c'mon in!"they said and we ate dinner and spent an evening listening to Ray Charles records.
That kind of simple magic happened in New Orleans.
ONce , while I was sitting with friends on the levee watching the Mississippi River roll by, a blonde man playing a flute walked by and stooped to kiss me, "My dear"< he said, "you look like a rose in a trash barrell" He disappeared into the morning mist.
Yep, things like that.

18 comments:

b4i8clover said...

It is truly saddening that, instead of preparing the levees for the inevitable, the politicians buried their heads in the sand and said 'it can't happen here'. We may have lost a national treasure.
Bon & Mal

gdireneoe said...

Wow.  This is nice to see with all the denegration flying around about New Orleans...the public needs pieces like this to help us remember the up-side...the heartbeat of the city. ;)  C.  http://journals.aol.com/gdireneoe/thedailies

cyndygee said...

I remember the bad, but there was also GOOD.  My parents came and visited for a week and they LOVED the French quarter . . .  and they're usually not much for that kind of thing.

We visited a huge plantation . . .  Oak Alley and took "the tour".  I'm usually more to sneak off and figure it all out, but it was educational and it brought slavery right up in my face ~ I felt kind of strange for awhile, some sad guilty facts of our nation's history.

I would NOT have missed the wonderful people, incredible food, close up views of that busy enormous river . . .  I also believe in the determination and creativity of that populus . . .  it will rise like the bird this town's named after . . .  it will be something to see and even more amazing to experience.  Thanks for reminding us all, Marti!

lurkynat said...

Dearest Marti,
(((((Marti))))
Bravo! What a tribute to a wonderful city and a center of light!
love,natalie

colerainebhoy44 said...

lovely poignant tribute tae a great ,vibrant and, musically ,historical ( why does/did ww hate it so ? ) city ! does this mean nae more madi gras, ladies flashing their boobies( us men so cultural eh?  lol ) nae more gumbo ? i reckon ,like the phoenix, n,awlins will rise frae its "ashes " n be stronger than ever ! as long as the developers think it out and remodernise properly wie the city in their best interest ! like medieval london after the plague,in 1666, its a great (?!) opportunity tae sort the place out !
peace
respect
slan
frankie

demandnlilchit said...

(((marti))))) Isn't is nice to h ave such great moments in your life and when you think of that special place......the memories come flooding back to you! I'm cracking up on the flute mans compliment......of course because I have applied it to what I must look like on a bad morning...."trash in a rose garden" lmaooooo sleep deprivation.....sucha terrible waste of beauty sleep! lol

jmorancoyle said...

    That's a great memory. I've never been there but always wanted to go. I told Bill that once it's open again and cleaned up, we should go. I'm glad that you're back on line. Take care.
Jude
http://journals.aol.com/jmorancoyle/MyWay

courtenaymphelan said...

Your words are truly beautiful and if it were not for New Orleans I would not be here today..it is the city where my Father attended the Unuversity and my mother's home was two doors from Katz and Bestoff Drug store at the corner of Broadway and Carrolton where their paths entertwined that fateful day...Love, Courtenay

jtuwliens said...

Beautiful!  I miss New Orleans, too!
Judith
http://journals.aol.com/jtuwliens/MirrorMirrorontheWall

paisleyskys said...

I can picture it all so clearly....
this loss is greater then I can even imagine.


Put a Smile on your face and a song in your heart.

Wishing you health, happiness and laughter.
TJ~

http://journals.aol.com/paisleyskys/PaisleySkys
http://journals.aol.com/vaultofsecrets/MoonDancer

coy1234787 said...

    Holding on to hope that these will not be only distant memories of
a place that once was. No need for them to try to rush things but ...
the spirit of New Orleans is to deep to die! Truly, their is no other place
like it in the world! Thanks for writing this Marti.
                          *** Coy ***

ckays1967 said...

wow.....strange kisses from blond flute players.

:)

galadriel92000 said...

New Orleans Mardi Gras..1972...13 college students, boys and girls..2 cars...6 people in a VW bug(we were thinner then  LOL) ...My roomates' sisters' tiny apartment on 13th Street.  We were allowed to crash in the living room...first one in got the sofa..everyone else just shoved a body over and found a place on the floor.
    The crowds , the French Quarter, the parades, Hurricanes(the drinks, not the storms)...fighting for those cheap beads and doubloons(I bit a woman on the leg over one...of course she had it coming..she was standing on my hand!!  She thought Id let go and let her have it...SURPRISE!! LOL).
   The sunny afternoon that we rode the trolley from one end of the line to the other and back again...it was so cool when they flipped the seats..and it was like a tour of the city...for .50!!
   I loved New Orleans ........seeing it now...is like seeing an old lover after many years..and they look awful....I want to remember her as she was when I was young...and she was younger...and I fell in love......
   

bosoxblue6993w said...

i spent a week down there during a super bowl one year.    no other city in this country was as kinetic as new orleans.

lifeseensideways said...

Magical ... it will be reborn.  This is my first visit to your journal and I'll be back.

http://journals.aol.co.uk/lifeseensideways/Lifeseensideways/

dornbrau said...

I have heard that New Orleans wasn't so much a place as it was a state of mind.  If that is true then it is still there.  It just needs time to resurface.  Its still there, in the hearts and memories of people like you, and the blonde flute player.

judithheartsong said...

I had a crushing thought as the storm swept in.... that I had waited too long to go and fall in love with this city. But I have decided that I will someday see the new New Orleans with a heart as old as the magic.
judi

ckays1967 said...

You have been very quiet.....