Happy Mardi Gras reader!
Listening to: Louis Armstrong, The Definitive Collection. Setting the mood.
Reminiscing about: My trip to New Orleans in 2011 where I did tree planting to help restore Bald Cypress forests, natural buffers, outside of the Levees in the bayou. I also participated in Camp Restore and worked on repairing a woman’s home that had been destroyed in Hurricane Katrina who had then been taken advantage of by a contractor who did a terrible job. Many people were left with no choice, but to have poor repair jobs and were in need again just a few years later.
We were lucky enough to go the same week as Mardi Gras. The old lady we were working with, Miss Collins, invited us to the parades with her under one condition, we had to get there at 5 am so we could get the perfect seats. This was before I discovered coffee, man I wish I had discovered coffee by that point. We got there and it was still dark, but Miss Collins had her portable grill and was cooking us up a shrimp Jambalaya. Jambalaya is a Louisiana Creole dish of Spanish and French influence originating from the Caribbean Islands. The spice got me through the day. The parades started and we became covered in beads, no flashing necessary. That is a rumor and although we saw a lot of topless women, we were still able to get beads. If you weren’t careful or aware, you would get smacked in the face with a pile of them. Advice: Watch out, but hold onto those lovely beads and feel like a queen.
Now onto the Fat Tuesday part. Cafe du Monde is a must go. Warm Beignets covered in powdered sugar are dreamy. That is what it means for me to miss New Orleans. They apparently have amazing coffee too, I wouldn’t know. ^^(See earlier where I haven’t yet realized I was a non-coffee drinking loser)
“Many historic structures have been threatened with demolition. During Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, several historic New Orleans neighborhoods were flooded, and numerous historic buildings were severely damaged. However, there is a general notion by both rebuilders and new developers to preserve the architectural integrity of the city.
Creole Townhouses are perhaps the most iconic pieces of architecture in the city of New Orleans, comprising a large portion of the French Quarter and the neighboring Faubourg Marigny. Creole Townhouses were built after the Great New Orleans Fire (1788) until the mid-19th century. The previous wooden buildings were replaced with structures with courtyards, thick walls, arcades, and wrought iron balconies.”
Eating: Nothing currently, but thinking about…
- The fact that I ate alligator while I was down there, and I still dont know how I feel about it.
- Catfish Po-boys. Go to Cafe Reconcile, they provide workforce development for people trying to escape poverty, prejudice and fear.
Drinking: Water. In New Orleans you can bring your beverage of choice throughout the streets. Get a little crazy and grab a “Hurricane” (too soon?) on Bourbon Street.
All joking aside, hurricane season begins in June and goes through November. I hope for the best for New Orleans, it is a city full of so much culture and history. If you haven’t done so, watch the film Beasts of the Southern Wild . A beautiful portrayal of life beyond the Levees.