I went to New Orleans a few weeks ago and was pretty affected by it. I wanted to share a journal entry I wrote in my hotel room that weekend. Well, part of it.
A sad city. I walk through it, wanting it to be amazing, and it feels so broken. There is so much beauty and culture here – the music and art and food and language. It gets shrouded in the ugly.. the heavy, dark reality that hangs over this place.
The architecture and history try to mask streets that are covered in urine. The city fights with itself… a contradiction. Fantastic things that are entirely unique to this 100 square miles of swamp, buried in the evil.
Sex and drugs and alcohol and inhibition.
There are no boundaries here. No rules. It’s a sad and wonderful place to be. Roughly 139 degrees, walking through the French Quarter for beignets.
There is no way this city doesn’t have a curse on it.
I learned a lot about the city and the people this weekend. F***ing French, insisting on building a city in the middle of a swamp and populating it with criminals, the mentally ill, and people who didn’t know that a 100 degree mosquito infested swamp was maybe not the best place to set up shop.
In the late 1700′s, 1788 and 1794, I think, the entire city burned. Yes, twice. The all wood structures went up in flames, both times from candle-related incidents. Finally, the Spanish were like, guys, iron and brick.
The Creole influence makes it feel very Haitian. I mean, it could also be the intense heat and constant smell of feces. But still. A lot of similarities.
I left a jazz club on Frenchman tonight around 12:30, and was wandering around, in search of a cab. A girl saw me drifting through the crowd, probably about my age and wearing nothing but bikini bottoms, her entire body painted silver. She looked at me for a second and says, in her thick southern Louisiana accent, “Girl, don’t you be walking these streets alone!” She pointed me in the direction of the cab.