Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?

I can’t really explain adequately or eloquently exactly how I feel about New Orleans. I was born there, lived there, grew up there. I left to go to college in Austin and never moved back. But I still call it home. Almost all native New Orleanians do, even if they haven’t lived there for ten, twenty, thirty years. You can’t really shake New Orleans, and I don’t want to. With the Saints win the other night, and talking with my sister, and thinking of how much I really want my girls to know my parents (REALLY know them, not thank-you-notes-after-birthdays know them) I really think that I want to move back.

Of course, wants don’t really reflect practicalities. My husband is licensed to practice in Texas, and it won’t transfer to other states until he’s practiced for five years. Plus, Louisiana still has the French Civil Code, so he would need to learn some more angles to the law in order to practice there. (Ah yes. Backwards in more ways than just Britney, people.) In any case, I don’t even know that he would want to live there. But in order to start winning him over, we have two trips planned to New Orleans within the next 3 months! We’re taking the girls to Mardi Gras, which will be FANTASTIC and I seriously can’t wait. I know that when most people think of Mardi Gras they think boobs and beads, which… sure. But I certainly won’t be taking my children to Bourbon Street, ok? Give me some credit here. I myself didn’t even go to Bourbon Street until college, when I brought my roommates home for the holiday and we headed down to view the debauchery. (And it’s pretty smelly and gross, by the way. Don’t really feel the need to do that again. Also, too much beer for me. Ahem.)

The Mardi Gras I want to show them is the Mardi Gras of Lundi Gras, of king cakes, of dressing up in costumes and watching amazing parades as they roll down St. Charles Avenue under the oaks. It’s the Mardi Gras of the Twelfth Night Revelers, of kings and queens, of balls and Rex and Zulu and Endymion and Bacchus. It’s eating fried chicken on the neutral ground and dancing to the St. Augustine Marching Hundred high school band. It’s sitting on your dad’s shoulders and reaching out to catch the beads that a float rider is handing out as they point to YOU and you alone.  It’s policemen on horses and flambeaus with their sticks of fire. It’s being four years old and thinking that there is nowhere so magical in the world as New Orleans at Mardi Gras time. Katrina can’t change that.

I’ll let the Rebirth Brass Band take it from here.

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One Comment on “Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?”

  1. Sahara says:

    I’ve never even been there and your post makes me miss it. Someday…


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