Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Day 77


Day 77
May 23, 2007

New Orleans
, La.

Dear Family and Friends,

She fascinates me. Seventy-seven days have passed quickly in New Orleans, the City I may be falling for.

My love affair with her will be like any relationship, I’m sure. There will be days when she frustrates me. There will be days when I wonder why I’m here. But for now, our honeymoon is strong.

And maybe soon, she’ll let me get to second base. I want to uncover her secrets. Because the glimpses she’s given me have been nothing short of magical.

I’ve seen musicians make a tired baby dance, but work for dollars in a bucket. Who, now, in 2007, must remind patrons that a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to.

I’ve swum at sunrise in a hidden French Quarter pool.

I’ve heard ghost stories about the oldest bar in America, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop on Bourbon St.

And the red beans and rice? You haven’t eaten red, beans and rice until you’ve come to New Orleans.

I’ve had a woman living in
Houston cry to me on the telephone, desperately wanting to come home to her Mamma New Orleans.

I’ve drank a beer and a coffee on the same day in the middle of the same street. The beer just before noon, the coffee just before midnight.

“We do things a little differently down here,” New Orleanians say.


Much like love, New Orleans has broken many hearts in recent years. I’ve seen that human spirit is much stronger than I initially imagined it could be, and this has been nothing short of life-altering.



So please don’t sell New Orleans short without seeing her first. There is enough of her beauty to go around, and I’m ok with that. In fact it’s the only way our relationship will ever work.

She’s too amazing for me to be selfish.




Best,

Robert





1 comment:

Megan Ring said...

Robert-

First of all, I'm a friend of your cousin, Michelle Schmidt, from school (UNO), which is how I came to read your blog.

I feel exactly the same about New Orleans as you do. I wish I had the opportunity to spend more time down there, as it has become a second home to me. Spring break '06 I spent my first week volunteering down there. I fell in love. Was back in May. And again SB '07. I am on my way again June 14th. In fact, I have a meeting in half an hour to plan the trip. I think what the long-term volunteers are doing down there is incredible. I wish I could do the same. And so I salute you and your work in the bowl. And I am so excited to be back working again. Keep up the good work!