New Orleans and Treme!
By Kathy Sweeney, a Big Easy Virgin
We are planning our first trip to New Orleans to celebrate Kate and Rachel's graduation -Go Class of 2010!! I am like a kid in a candy store (btw, from the back I do get mistaken as a kid at a candy store and I always get free stuff if there is something I can't reach, but that's another blog).
The music! The food! The dancing! The music! The general hijinks and fun! Pools on the roof! The music!
Everyone in my house is excited for different reasons. Kate is arming up with a case of memory sticks for her camera and debating on how long it would take for her to become a doctor. Not a medical one, either. She's looking forward to seeing the architecture and the cemeteries and taking a zillion photos. Most will not contain people. Sigh. Artistes.
Ty seems to think he's going to see, as a young friend and part of our travel entourage put it "illegally dressed women". I told him one does not just sneak into Bourbon Street Clubs. His response: a smirk and "Lot of Pride on Bourbon Street" - which is a great line from David Simon's new HBO Series, Treme. Ty loves music almost as much as I do, and to say that he likes to eat - well, at 15, who doesn't? Plus, I think I saw him digging out beads from a new year's eve party. I'm pretending I don't know.
Tom and I are looking forward to some time away with just the family. We are so lucky in that we still have the best time with our own kids. With Kate off to college this fall, things will change. I don't want to talk about it. And I also do not want to hear the words "shave", "razor" or anything else in connection with our son. I mean it.
For me, planning trips is at least half the fun, so I've been online checking out all the fabulous stuff in New Orleans, and downloading music like a jazz fiend.
People who know me well say that this city was made for me - and it sure looks that way. It has its own personality and the people seem tough as nails. It is a city worth supporting and saving - just like my own city. We didn't suffer the kind of devastation that NOLA did, but we do fight to keep our identity amid major economic changes. New Orleans is fighting for its survival. Tourist dollars help. So it's actually a humanitarian trip, right? heh.
Plus, did I mention that I hear there is music and dancing all over the place? Rothenbergs have been there - love the city, and can't wait to go back to share it with us virgins. I've heard there is better music on the street corners - musicians playing for quarters - than you hear in some major concert venues. Dancing in the streets is the norm, not something that causes the neighbors to call the cops. And the food? I saw a photo of a table with an actual plate of real butter AND a bowl of Hollandaise sauce. Could you die? Obviously, yes. But what a way to go!
I know many of you have been there - and some of you hail from Louisiana. Please share some suggestions - and for those of you who haven't yet visited there, tell me what you think anyway. We are narrowing down hotels and starting to plan the places to see.
And for heaven's sake, watch "Treme" - HBO on Sunday nights. I would watch anything David Simon produced - I still wish we'd had another season of "The Wire", set in another favorite city - Baltimore. Treme is wonderful, and according to the locals, it's real.
Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!