Queen for a day

The adventure continues!

It was cold today. I mean, really cold for New Orleans. Went down to 37 last night. This is a place where palm trees grow wild. Seriously, seriously cold. Didn’t warm up all day. High was 45.

I took the St. Charles street car all the way to Tulane today, walked around there, through Audubon park, down to Magazine street, then walked a bit more — past the Whole Foods before I caught a bus back into downtown.

And while Uptown is a lovely place, and would probably be a good place to live, I don’t think that’s where I want to live.


Tulane, Uptown, Garden District — these are beautiful places to live. Lots of necessities nearby like grocery stores and coffee shops and restaurants so I could walk to most everything.

However.

Last night I went to The Spotted Cat and listened to live jazz — The Cotton Mouth Kings. They were absolutely fabulous. I want to go hear them again, to listen often. If I’m living far away from the clubs, I won’t go. I know myself. I won’t drive late at night or take the bus or what have you. The only way I’ll get to clubs is if I’m in walking distance of places that are playing the music I want to hear. (Sorry — much of the music that’s played on Capitol Hill just isn’t my thing. There are a few bands, but it’s difficult for me to sort out.)

This means I need to live some place closer to the French Quarter, if not actually in the French Quarter.

This isn’t the experience that everyone wants of New Orleans. But it is the experience I think I’m looking for. I’m looking now at Marigny as a possibly neighborhood. It’s next to the quarter. It’s in the process of being gentrified, so some of it’s in gorgeous shape, other parts of it — not so much. It’s far enough away that it can be quiet, while at the same time close enough that I can walk to the clubs.

A description of the neighborhood from Frommer’s:

Faubourg Marigny This area is east of the French Quarter (on the other side of Esplanade Ave.). Over the past decade, the Marigny has emerged as one of the city’s vital centers of activity, and it was fortunate that it did not experience flooding from Katrina. Here, you can still find the outlines of a small Creole suburb, and many old-time residents remain. Younger urban dwellers have moved into the area in significant numbers recently. Today some of the best bars and nightspots in New Orleans are along Frenchmen Street, the Marigny’s main drag. Along with the adjacent sections of the French Quarter, the Marigny is also a social center for the city’s gay and lesbian communities.

One of the things that I keep thinking about is balance. Living in New Orleans for a while is going to balance me in ways I can’t even begin to describe.

Tonight I got to see my first parade — a hint of what’s to come. It was so cold. So very, very cold. I stood next to an older gentleman who was a native, whose wife was in one of the Krewes, and who had friends in other Krewes. His wife was the one who gave me the tiara. Another Krewe member very personally put a necklace of beads over my head — not the bright shiny ones but more like the usual beads, like someone had strung together by hand (see picture, below.) I also got a plastic rose from the Krewe member who told me that I was, “Queen for a day.”

After the first parade (I was standing close to the start of it) I walked into the quarter for dinner. I ended up at a place with an upstairs. They were slammed with people. It didn’t matter to me. I sat and read fandom_wank and laughed out loud while waiting.

While I was waiting, another parade came by. I took some pictures off the balcony window.

I’m so glad I came here, spent the time that I did thinking about the type of experience I want while I’m in New Orleans. One of the reasons I live where I do in Seattle is because I wanted to be able to walk downtown. It was important to me to be close enough to the city. I didn’t want to be in Fremont and unable to walk downtown.

The choices I’m making here are similar, I feel. We’ll see if I can A) find a place and B) be able to afford it. . .

So here are some pictures! Enjoy!


Queen for a day! Queen for a day!
Me with beads, tiara, and Fleur de Lis painted on my cheek in black and gold.
Second parade Second parade
I went to go eat after I watched the parade. I saw the beginning of it. Evidently there was more than one parade. I was on the second floor of the restaurant — this parade came by. I took pictures off the balcony.
Beads! Beads!
This is one of the sets of beads that I received. As I said, it looks hand-strung, not the normal shiny beads.


Comments (8)

  1. i really truly wish new orleans didn’t hate me. it’s a neat place. it’s where i spent my honeymoon. and now… you’re moving there. the french quarter is great, but definitely be careful. i’ve friends who’ve lived there and there were problems. granted, this was probably ten or twelve years ago. nonetheless, be careful.

  2. I’m very happy that you’re honing down your choices and focusing in on what you want. It sounds like a good trip!

    Tiara!

    • Tiara!

      And yeah, it was a really good trip and I’m so glad I went, so glad I was able to get a clear idea of what it is that I’m actually looking for.

  3. Not to Nitpick but….

    You’ve got to learn the proper New Orleans spelling for crew. It’s not crew, it’s Krewe. Being a writer and all I just thought you’d want to know.

    • Re: Not to Nitpick but….

      I knew that! I did know that. I am blaming my complete exhaustion. Fixed. Thanks!

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