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Points of Inspiration: “Trapped” in New Orleans

January 4, 2011

Sunset over Lake Pontchartrain (A really easy word to spell because New Orleans is famous for phonetic pronunciations)

As most of you are aware, things have not been so winter wonderful in the Northeast over the holidays. It’s not because fish have been dying and birds have been falling from the sky (ahem, Arkansas). It’s because nature either hates us all and wants to see us suffer or because someone up there felt like it was important we all spend a little more time with our families this holiday season.

As New York City airports are continually ranked among the worst in the nation (world?), we tend to remember this when making travel arrangements. For instance, we know that sucking it up and getting to the airport in the morning is one’s best bet for leaving on time. We know what’s best to order at Fox Sports Grill in the Delta terminal at LaGuardia (the “Fox Sampler,” duh). We also know that waiting a few days to return on a day that’s off-peak is almost ALWAYS worth it.

Which is exactly what I tried to do this year.

Many of my friends met me with much jubilation in New Orleans (particularly my Creole queen, literary muse and demonic cat owner, Rebecca Thomason; long-time friend and artist, Will Erickson; architect extraordinaire, Corbett Scott; and visiting Dallas event planner, Little Debbie snack cake connoisseur and long time muse, Melanie Lott). So, since my brother recently moved to New Orleans after wrapping filming on the upcoming adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel The Help, it seemed natural to take a few days to visit down there and let the air traffic clear up here.

I would not consider myself a stranger to New Orleans. We spent a lot of time down there as kids. I distinctly remember my mother placing her hands on either side of my temples as if I were a horse that needed blinders so as to not be distracted/spooked by traffic – and by traffic, I mean Bourbon Street hookers.

Little did I know, as I was swilling martinis back at Galatoire’s in 60 degree weather, it was thunder-snowing over Manhattan. From what I hear, it was like some John-Lithgow-Crazy-Monster-On-The-Airplane-Wing crazy business.

But no, I continued to eat drink and be merry; lunching on oyster and bacon sandwiches at Cochon, getting my palm read in the Quarter and playing in Studio Amanda Talley. That is, until my flight was canceled.

Meanwhile, poor Brooks had been visiting his brother in St. Louis. When his flight was canceled, he was left in snowy, suburban St. Louis, alone for five days with no one around.

After my flight was canceled, I was able to book another flight departing a few days later but not before being invited to dinner with friends Michael Harold and Quinn Peeper at their magnificent home.

It would be hard to reduce New Orleans to simply one post. However, I can safely say my five days there last week went by far too quickly. Thank goodness Jet Blue flies there directly so I can make another visit soon (perhaps looking further in advance to avoid inclement weather).

A few other highlights:

 

A New Orleans institution

Shutting down the restaurant decked for the season. We even ran into Mrs. Stockett herself while there. The South truly is a small world.

While known primarily for her whimsical swirling paintings, Miss Amanda Stone Talley is also quite versed in the art of creating "party panties." Above is the pair she gave me when I arrived.

While note consuming alcohol or food, I attempted to consume some culture. These gigantic glass Mardi Gras beads hang in the sculpture garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

A last minute grab in the airport. Not a tourist. I swear.

Welcome home.

After a short flight from New Orleans to Tampa (Tampa! Of course!) to Philadelphia and two train rides through Philadelphia onward to Penn Station, I was greeted by no taxis and a splash of street sludge that narrowly missed my face.

Concrete jungle where dreams are made! Indeed!

PS – Goodness, I know I left a lot of mentions off in this brief entry. Feel free to punish me in the comments. I could do a whole “Travel Guide” and “People to Meet” entry off of this trip.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2011 9:17 AM

    Envious. Was in Chattanooga for Christmas and while it was a white one would much more have prefered to be down in NOLA having egg nog daiquiris, stocking up on perlis polos and hitting F&M’s for cheese fries.

    • January 5, 2011 9:22 AM

      I believe I consumed enough of those (and other items I’m still carrying around with me) for us both.

  2. January 5, 2011 6:28 PM

    Sounds like the perfect trip! I was lead here by Jess, I met up with her the night after yall had lunch the last time she was in NYC! Love me some Nola! It doesn’t hurt that you were in the company of some pretty fabulous people!

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