Sometimes really early in the morning, I notice trucks going in the wrong direction down here on Frenchmen Street. This has happened maybe twice, or three times. The first time, I thought someone had just made a wrong turn off Elysian Fields, but now I think perhaps it is a necessary breach of traffic laws in order to unload something somewhere nearby. No matter. The important thing is that I am not hallucinating.
A few other observations living and working in New Orleans for the past several weeks.
1. I didn’t pack enough clothes. In Manhattan, outside of work, I very rarely see the same person more than once in a week’s, or even a month’s time. In New Orleans, I see the same people pretty much everyday.
2. I need to buy a Swiffer. I am the chief floor mopper (sic) and sweeper in this operation, and to do so at 7 East is a piece of cake. It is one room, and unless there is a snowstorm the day of an event, it is a pretty simple task to keep that space clean. But in New Orleans, because of the traffic, and the sidewalks, and our lack of rugs (big thanks to Lauren C. for telling me from day one that women like to hear the sound of their heels on wood) and all the different rooms and entrances, our floors need constant attention and affection from the broom and mop. Because Patty, the former owner, and patron Saint of Fair Folks New Orleans, left so many cleaning supplies, and the whole waste not, want not Franklin in me, we haven’t taken the time to get a Swiffer down here. But I think it is about time.
2. People say, “Good morning” to me well after Noon. It could be the coffee mug that accompanies me to the porch. But I like “Good morning.” It is more comforting than “Hey” or “How’s it going.” And for sure better than nothing at all. But it is not as good as, “Sera.” My all time favorite greeting, dragging out the “aaaah.”
3. It keeps getting warmer. I saw a guy running on St. Charles last night with his shirt off, and I thought, “Man, that dude is gonna catch cold. Running in November with his shirt off.” But then, we parked and walked from two blocks around the corner to the restaurant, and I realized I didn’t need my sweater, which a week or so ago, before Halloween, was essential.
4. It’s Cont-eye. Not Con-tea. All these varying ways in which to pronounce streets, and everything else incorrectly, I welcome. When I tell people my last name, they don’t think twice that it sounds funny, or ask how to spell it, because they don’t really care.(This is such a cliche comment, by the way.)
5. You don’t need to dial area codes to make a telephone call. Think about that. That is pretty crazy, right? (The cliches continue)
6. Mosquitoes do not die in this town. And they are fast as all get out. Last night one bit me on the forehead in my sleep. Pretty terrible spot for a mosquito bite, especially with my complexion.
7. Angelina hasn’t stopped in yet. I’m patient, and I know we had sort of a rough go of things after we broke up, the ugly text messages and everything. But I expected her to be over all that at this point and stop by and say hello. I’ve moved on, and you should too.
8. If I get a car, it is going to be a Smart Car. And not because I want to save the environment or come across as hip or anything like that but because parking “sucks” in this town. I’m not going to get a car, but if I do, I am just saying.
9. As long as people keep dancing, brass bands will continue to play.