New Orleans

Happy birthday, New Orleans, located in a delightful location, at the bottom of the nation’s drainpipe, the Mississippi River. France sort of settled it, if settled is the right word. To populate it originally, France sent prisoners slaves and servants. Surrounded by hostile Native Americans and peppered by mosquitoes, they nearly revolted. To calm them, France sent 60 females straight from Paris prisons, chaperoned by a group of Ursuline nuns.

What could possibly go wrong?

Turned out to be New Orleans first successful recipe.

Garrison Keillor wrote a tribute today, and included this juicy excerpt on New Orleans. If you love New Orleans, or lovely writing, you shouldn’t miss “Jitterbug Perfume,” the best book about the place, even better than the more-famous “Confederacy of Dunces.”

Here’s why:

Jitterbug Perfume (1984): “Louisiana in September was like an obscene phone call from nature. The air — moist, sultry, secretive, and far from fresh — felt as if it were being exhaled into one’s face. Sometimes it even sounded like heavy breathing. Honeysuckle, swamp flowers, magnolia, and the mystery smell of the river scented the atmosphere, amplifying the intrusion of organic sleaze. It was aphrodisiac and repressive, soft and violent at the same time. In New Orleans, in the French Quarter, miles from the barking lungs of alligators, the air maintained this quality of breath, although here it acquired a tinge of metallic halitosis, due to fumes expelled by tourist buses, trucks delivering Dixie beer, and, on Decatur Street, a mass-transit motor coach named Desire.”

Just wanted to share this ode to my favorite city. See you tomorrow.

“Louisiana in September was like an obscene phone call from nature.” -Tom Robbins Happy birthday, New Orleans!

16 thoughts on “New Orleans

  1. N’awlins is one of the great cities in this world. And Jazzfest is the best example of how a city can be authentic and current at the same time. The culture survive. . Will be back there when we can.

  2. But to be in the Crescent City in April for the Jazzfest, as my wife and I, plus two teaching colleagues and their spouses, were a number of years ago, is to savor the richness of the culture, the food, and the music. Heaven on earth.

    1. JazzFest is such a wonderful event; however it was really wonderful back in the 80s and early 90s when it was more local. No Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Red Hot Chili Peppers……but mostly music that related to the south.

  3. Tom Robbins might be the most underappreciated author of our times…present company excluded.

      1. Love Robbins. I’ve been practicing Bandaloop breathing for years. It’s how I keep my slim silhouette. And I learned how to hitchhike from Sally Hankshaw.

  4. Thanks for the lagniappe, Chris. Only appropriate that it should fall on a Tuesday. Now I guess I’ll need to jazz up my tacos this evening.

  5. Reminds me of the Arlo Guthrie song “City of New Orleans” (written by Steve Goodman)
    “Good morning America how are you? Don’t you know me I’m your native son? I’m the train they call the City of New Orleans I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.”
    Yep I’ll be singing that out loud today.

  6. When I was in the awl business I traveled frequently to New Orleans. My major observation was that you had to work at it really hard to have a bad meal there. I would love to have a muffaletta right now.

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