Thursday, March 06, 2008

The smell


I walked out of The Ambassador's apartment yesterday and was instantly hit with it. The smell of New Orleans. That smell of damp air, lush plants and, and... something else. And no smart alecks, not the bad things you all are thinking about.




New Orleans is a beautiful city in a beautiful region. It is full of smart, talented and caring people. The sun shines bright here. The trees, bushes and flowers just burst here (so do mold and cockroaches but let's ignore them for now).





After a breakfast of cafe au lait and beignets (pronounced ben-yays) in the French Quarter I boarded a city bus with a couple of my colleagues and brought them to my old neighborhood. During the early 1990's I lived on Magazine Street in the Uptown section of town.









Guy's Po-Boys is across the street from the house I lived in. Yesterday I got a small shrimp po-boy, dressed, and one bite brought me back to my early 20's. An amazing time in my life. In part because I met Amazing Guy while living in that house and eating Guy's po-boys.



After giving some colleagues my personal New Orleans tour, I boarded a big bus with other convention folks to visit the Freret Street neighborhood. We spent the afternoon with the staff of a neighborhood non-profit that is working to rebuild this wonderful section of an important city. They are doing it by restoring homes, helping folks buy homes, supporting local business and creating safe spaces for residents to congregate. They have helped bring a monthly farmer's market to the neighborhood, something the residents identified as a significant need.



A glorious first day. Today I will be in a hotel all day, learning about issues and meeting new folks. I'm so glad I get to walk out of Ambassador's door and take a deep breath.

13 comments:

Flower Child said...

Sounds wonderful. So tell me more about the flowers you smell. Must be stunning.

capitolady said...

Lovely photos! How nice to relive all those memories. I miss all the great food of that area!

Jami said...

Oh, how I wish I could have been there with y'all. Growing up in Beaumont (yes, it's physically in Texas but in reality it's one of the largest Cajun cities), Houma and Lafayette, I truly miss REAL po-boys.

Jodi said...

I'm so jealous. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities, in the world.

the dragonfly said...

Enchanting.

I've only been there once, but I look forward to going back!

Thalia's Child said...

I've never been to New Orleans, and whenever I try to picture it, all I can see in my mind is the devestation of Katrina.

Your pictures are a beautiful tribute to a city in recovery. I am so pleased.


Someday I'll make it there!

Heather said...

Fun pictures! I know what you mean about the smell. I still come across smells in random spots that take me to a whole different time and place.

Lilacspecs said...

Sounds beautiful. I've always wanted to go to New Orleans and now I want to even more.

Fourier Analyst said...

Beignets and Po-Boys! I used to tell my BFF that if I ever ran away from home, she could look for me in N'orlins. I think that still may be the case (but shh, don't tell anyone okay?).

Glad you are enjoying yourself. BTW, when you are through with the nice weather on all your travels, ya think ya could some our way?

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I think that "something else" is coffee. That's what I always think of with New Orleans smells. Oh, I want to go!

Jerseygirl89 said...

Great post - except now I'm dying for a beignet. Or two.

Jenn in Holland said...

Ah, sweet memories. And sweet moments to build new ones. I love it.

painted maypole said...

great pics. and yum... I've had Guy's Po-Boys before! :)