Where does the sun go at day’s end? To the other side of the world. A night in New Orleans flows as stately and steady as the Mississippi River. Big Muddy. I bask all night in the star shine on Dumaine Street.
What is the moon? Ask lovers old and young. They can tell you. It is amoré. When the sun goes down, animal spirits come out to play. Ask Frau Schmitt.
I find Dumaine Street fascinating during the day. I love to witness it as it changes from the French Quarter, though Treme, through Mid-CIty until it finally ends wherever it ends.
At night, Dumaine Street is even more enchanting. It twinkles in the dark.
If you want to take a gander at Dumaine Street and have your own New Orleans adventures, you know where to stay. Just ask your humble narrator. He’ll tell you.
Soleil took that photo. She always does a good job. I am wearing fingerless gloves. They were Soleil’s suggestion. Luckily, I don’t care what people think so I’m trying them out since I think they look kind of weird. The last thing is I need is any more affectations. But, I gotta be me and if my hands are cold, I prefer them warm. These fingerless gloves are so comfortable that I had forgotten I was wearing them until I saw this photo. I wasn’t going to mention it but, now, I feel I need to explain. I have a word count to meet.
They got new bar mats from Truly Hard Seltzer. You should try it. It comes in a variety of flavors, none of which appeal to me.
Your humble narrator will tell you that you should stay at La Belle Esplanade. Visit New Orleans like you mean it. Love with your eyes open. You’ll see more that way.
I was going to talk about Dumaine Street today but I got distracted. I live in a city full of bedazzling details, where every moment, moment-to-moment, is full of the whole gamut of human experience, and then some more, the invisible as well as the visible. I know. I live here. There is something in the air.
I just had a moment. It was like a sparkle off a diamond. Waitasecond! It happens again and again. Captivating distractions. This is real New Orleans. It never ends.
Raven and I were talking. We were comparing the parades that go by each of our houses. Raven is totally West Bank. I am totally East Bank. The Krewe of Dead Beans and the Krewe of Lucha roll in front of La Belle Esplanade. Raven lives across the street from NOMTOC so she is at ground zero when that parade rolls. Raven lives at ground zero of Mardi Gras joy in Algiers when that parade rolls,
NOMTOC is New Orleans Most Talked Of Club. When NOMTOC rolls, it really rolls in the sense you are thinking. When the Dead Beans and the Luchas roll, they are walking behind a brass band. Both ways of rolling are ways of spreading Mardi Gras cheer.
Happy Mardi Gras! It is Mardi Gras after all.
Then something happened. Then something else happened. Then something else followed by something else, and then something else. Every day in New Orleans is full of moments plump with beguiling details that demand a feeling person’s full attention. You know what I mean. There are angels in the details. I know. I live here and I have lived here long enough to tell the tale. Call me Ishmael.
I finally figured out what I want to write about today. It is something important.
Sarah is tending bar today. I am pausing before I write the next sentence. I am pondering, feeling my way to the next sentence while holding my hands aloft, perched on my elbows, pondering what I want to say about today. I am wearing these fingerless gloves. I just noticed. Ya know what? They are kind of weird. Next I’ll be wearing leg warmers like it’s 1984. Like many things in life, I didn’t notice them until I noticed them. No wonder my hands are warm. They are like my heart.
Didn’t the opening part of this have something to do with Big Muddy? That’s what we call the Mississippi River around here. That is what Frau Schmitt calls my heart. That’s why we’re married. See previous installment.
Now Molly is talking to Sarah about how Molly doesn’t know anyone who hasn’t come to New Orleans and not had a life-changing experience. These are the conversations we have in New Orleans all the time. We live in a city of omphaloskepsis. Everyone who lives in New Orleans loves where they live. You belong here.
So, then, Molly and Sarah start talking about Mardi Gras and how nobody can understand Mardi Gras without experience firsthand. When you live in New Orleans, you always have Mardi Gras on your mind. Why wouldn’t we? We live here. We love it. Our whole year revolves around Mardi Gras, not around New Year’s Day. Why wouldn’t it? All conversations about New Orleans eventually include Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras is who we are.
Then, the two of them talk about how they love how New Orleans’ influence is global. As I always say, I can go anywhere in the world and say I am from New Orleans. I haven’t been to South America but I suspect that it’s still true. Jazz. New Orleans is a small city but the soft power of the city’s smile-inducing influence if felt around the world. I know firsthand.
Why are we here? It is an existential question.
I know why I am here. I am trying to share with you what it is like to live in New Orleans. You have to experience it first-hand to really understand what I am talking about but all I can do in this format is give a hint. To experience New Orleans in the round, like you live here, you should stay at La Belle Esplanade. Good memories are made on our street every day. I make my share. You can, too.
You belong here. Welcome to our world. If wishes were fishes we would all be pescatarians. It is only blessed few who can live off daydreams. Get your good self to New Orleans and stop imagining. It is even better here than you think.
This doesn’t have anything to do with Dumaine Street, yet, in its way, it does. Everything is a piece in this wonderful jigsaw we call life. Make the most of it. Visit New Orleans like you mean it. We are here for you.