psa: nola love

You should go to New Orleans. I promise you will love it.

You’ll love the way the air is always thick. And the way the sidewalks are all broken in every direction, and you’ll love the million-year-old oak trees that made them that way. You’ll love the way you can just pop into some divey bar to use the bathrooms while your friends wait in line to go to the real bar and how while you’re there you can pick up one drink and three beers for $11 and they’ll pour it all in plastic cups so you can bring it out on the street with you. And you’ll love the food, no matter what you’re eating.

You’ll love that it’s always a party. You’ll love the ghost-faced bum on the sidewalk who does nothing but wish you well. And you’ll love the ghost-faced shotgun houses on the side streets, not just the wedding cake ones on St. Charles. You’ll love the way there’s still something getting started at 4 a.m. and how it’s ok to have a drink and some fried seafood no matter what time you wake up.

You’ll love the street names you can’t pronounce; you’ll love Tchopitoulas and Freret and Carondelet. And you’ll love the couple, still on the sidewalk of the bar you left hours ago, bickering and pausing only to make out and share sips of what you imagine, at 10:45 a.m., to be a very warm, very stale Bud Light. You’ll love cab drivers who take off without asking where you’re going because they need to tell you their stories so badly. And you’ll love the comfortable shabbiness of it all.

You might even love the way the water from the cold tap is lukewarm at best or how it could rain at any time or the way your hair smells that forgotten, actual bar smell the morning after.

New Orleans isn’t all Mardi Gras and hurricanes; it’s the best city in the country. And it still needs us. You should go.


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Commchick said...

My brother lived in N.O. for a few years and I used to go visit him during my vacations. I loved it. I haven't been back since Katrina, I'm scared that it just won't be the same.

Elle Bee... said...

This is a beautiful post! Now I'll be dreaming of New Orleans all day.