The last trip I took before coronavirus upended . . . well, everything . . . was to New Orleans. I’d never been before, but had a board meeting scheduled for early February there and arranged to meet a friend a couple of days early to see the sights.
Because I was sans photographer, I don’t have good photos to share.*
So I will just tell you about my trip and show you what I wore.
As you may remember, my imagination fails when tasked with packing for weather unlike D.C.’s. New Orleans in early February was in the low 70s.
I wore this leopard top with wide-legged heavy cotton pants (with a denim jacket and a trench coat over the denim jacket) and packed:
I decided that a pair of assertive black loafers would do for all New Orleans activities.
I fancy myself a master of disguise, and like to blend in when I travel . . . but these delusions have to be balanced with my desire to be a good ambassador (another delusion) for the city/region/country I am representing.
I think leopard fit the bill in New Orleans, a city of great beauty, mystery, warmth, and complexity.
My friend and I took a guided tour around the city to get a fuller survey than we might have achieved on our own and on foot. Our driver and guide was Rene, a New Orleans native with the most wonderful accent. Listening to him was entertaining and soothing — so much so that I feel Rene should record his own line of books on tape — and he needn’t read the books word-for-word. I think they would be better “interpreted” by him because he used lots of wonderful syntax and expressions.
Rene had lots to impart, but if we had created a word-cloud from his audio-commentary, I think the biggest words would have been “Katrina” and “Interstate” (pronounced “inna-state”).
Understandably, Hurricane Katrina remains a dominant presence in the city. For anyone who lived through it (and its aftermath), I expect that it will remain the most formative event of their lives — however long they live and whatever else they witness. The influence of “the Interstate” is more prosaic. And hopefully temporary. Rene was challenged by street closures and pre-Mardi Gras parades and gatherings, and felt that if he could just get to the Interstate, our tour would really get rolling. Hence, a little obsessing over the Interstate — always in sight, but just out of reach — during the first 30 minutes of our drive.
We saw the French Quarter, the Garden District, St. Roch, the 8th Ward. We visited a cemetery and a distillery and saw newly rebuilt areas subsidized to bring musicians back to the city after Hurricane Katrina.
Rene described the music scene, festivals, second lines,** and general hospitality of the city. He said, very kindly, “If you come to New Orleans and don’t have a good time . . . . that’s kind of on you.”
And now, for those of you who’ve been missing Mr. Orange and Philo, here they are.
They were resting/hiding under a blanket while we were tidying the bedclothes. Mr. Orange looks moderately displeased; Philo looks moderately alarmed.
Top: Ganni; Pants; JCrew; Bag: Humawaca; Denim jacket: Marc Jacobs
* Is that nice? For all we know, I might have a medical condition (other than impatience) that makes my photos so terrible.
+ Leopard is almost always right. Maybe it’s not for a funeral — though I would say that depends on the decedent — but otherwise, it really works.
** For those of you who don’t know, the “second line” is an informal procession — sort of like a moving dance party — that follows an official parade. Rene pointed one out to us, and it wasn’t even clear that there had been an official parade leading the way. Here, I felt the full weight of my New England heritage. I pointed out to my friend, disbelievingly, “They aren’t even carrying instruments. Or signs.” She, from California, just shook her head at me. Apparently, the second line is not a performance or a protest; it’s just for fun. And that, Dear Readers, is part of the delight of New Orleans.
10 thoughts on “The Last Trip, Part I”
I very much enjoy your droll tone and dry humor. I would read anything you wrote- except maybe your briefs
Nice pop of yellow! And that second top looks so decadent! Traveling it seems, is no time to be shy 🙂
Dear Photographer, at one point you recommended a computer monitor that you had purchased for the Directrice. I have been unable to relocate that recommendation in the comments, but was wondering if you could share it again, as I am finally able to set up a home office! Your advice would be much appreciated.
Here is The Photographer’s recommendation, RKT. Good luck!
“A tip for The Directorate from The Photographer: Change your screen to “low blue-light” mode. That makes it it a little yellower/redder, which I think is easier on the eyes. You can also just turn down the brightness. Screens are never easy to adjust, but if you fool around with the buttons that are almost always on (or under) the right-hand bottom of the monitor, you’ll figure it out.
I bought The Directrice this monitor for WFH. It’s a 24-inch monitor that’s tilt- and height-adjustable, and only $140. The HDMI cable you need is included. She’s well satisfied with it.”
Just wanted to also share how much I appreciate your writing and wit.
Isn’t that the other sight-seeing outfit the one that ended up in the sauce at dinner?
I DEMAND that you wear leopard print at my funeral. And that I be eulogized by The Directice. And that there be a taco bar. And that I be cremated and my remains placed in a leopard print urn. Let it be done!
It shall be done! Eulogy and taco bar shopping list are written, stuffed in the urn for now. Shirt never leaves my body.
I am looking forward to reading a book written by you. Your writing is at least as much of a delight as your outfits. Speaking of, I’ve always been wary of leopard (and other animals) but I’m considering giving it a chance after this post. Never say never! (Oh, and I adore your second sightseeing top.)