So tonight I met and hung out with Miss Ruth, celebrating her sixty sixth birthday and the godmother of Judy, the owner of the Ooh Poo Pah Doo club.
She came out of her chair and into the dance floor to show me the secret to dancing. She called me over to her when the band went on break and I thanked her for showing me how to dance (she got up from her chair and gave pointers (in a loving way) too me when i lost time.) … She told me she that she felt she had to meet the guy who took his time when he sliced his porkchop… “She said when I saw you cut it up and give pieces to the other people at the table before eating it yourself, I knew I had to meet that man. You didn’t know anybody was looking and you did an act of kindness anyway. You never know who is watching.” I replied, “it doesn’t matter, does it?” and she replied, ” to you it doesn’t and that’s why I had to meet you. ”
We had such a wonderful conversation after that and I told her it was my privilege to meet her and she asked me how long I was staying in NOLA and I told her my bicycle story and she clapped her hands and exclaimed, “now the privilege is all mine! And the world sent you here to me on my birthday!”
We talked some more and she said, “you’re home here. We all got your back when you’re around here or on the street.”
Yesterday was amazing and today has topped that!
These two knew each other from the Seattle music scene and sat down and played together for about three hours for the first time in months, if not years.
I’m sitting in a coffee shop catching up on some work and next to me is a man in scrubs and a couple of girls in school uniforms. Next to them is a blonde haired woman old enough to be my grandmother sitting alone in a leather chair wearing royal blue eye shadow, a bright pink feather boa, and revealing fishnet stockings colored to match her flamboyant fashion accessory.
Nobody seems out of place and nothing feels out of order. So, New Orleans rocks, if you didn’t know…
It feels like this city has a high number of happy and friendly people who are courteous and giving, as well as productive. People flow around this city seeming like their motions are effortless and the general culture here is very thick with a deeply laid back attitude.
So laid back, in fact, that on top of being able to buy a beer or wine at the corner store and walk down the street enjoying your beverage of choice that they allow outsiders to drink themselves stupid in one of the city’s most historic and beautiful neighborhoods whether it’s 6am or 6pm… year ’round, any day of the week.
This has been the most bike friendly city I’ve experienced since Minneapolis. Bikes everywhere — I’d say for every half dozen cars I see, there’s a cyclist pedaling along. No hills in the city would make cruising around easy if it wasn’t for popular routes filled with broken pavement. There are plenty of alternatives, so it’s been easy to route around the rough patches.
Something I’ve found and confirmed with other people is that GPS doesn’t reliably work here. I wonder if it has something to do with the half the city being under sea level… not sure. I googled around about it, but didn’t find much information about the phenomenon. I personally seen three people, myself included, who’s phones point them in the wrong direction often and won’t orient properly.
The local “formal” greeting is “How y’all doin’?” It’s shortened to something else, but I don’t recall it off the top of my head (I might have been drinking when I was informed of the informal greeting.) The appropriate response is not “Good” or “Great,” but rather “A’right.” I started my first few days saying Good Morning to people, but soon learned that “How y’all doin’?” receives a much higher frequency of response.
Weather is great — 60-75F during the day, 40s and 50s at night.
Unfortunately I haven’t escaped Christmas Music… it’s here. Walking around in shorts and seeing holiday lights and decorations without the cold weather and snow took a few days to sink in.
Feral cats roam the streets, sidewalks, alleyways, and just about everywhere else… I have yet to see a mouse or a rat.
This city feels like a soft plush couch. You can spend the day just drifting and don’t even feel bad about it…