Archive for February 8th, 2012

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans,
And miss it each night and day?
I know I’m not wrong, the feeling’s gettin’ stronger
The longer I stay away.
  –  Eddie DeLange and Louis Alter

We try to get down to New Orleans once a year to visit friends, stock up on groceries we can’t get elsewhere and go to a few of our favorite restaurants.  I even use the opportunity to have my annual checkup, because I like my gynecologist and saw no real reason to try to find a new whore-friendly one here.  Usually, we go near the end of January or beginning of February, but last year my husband’s schedule was such a mess we couldn’t make it until August…which made exchanging Christmas presents a bit strange (but still fun).

As in August, he had business in New Orleans this week, which means we get to stay in a nice hotel near Canal Street on his company’s tab.  So we drove down Sunday and will be returning Friday; I’ll bet you didn’t even notice I was gone.  See, I’ve been pre-posting all of my columns since mid-autumn; I find it’s a lot more convenient, because then if the internet goes down, or I somehow get distracted in the morning, or I have to drive my husband to the airport, or we decide to run off to New Orleans for a week, everything still publishes on time and y’all aren’t disappointed.  The only drawback is that if I have to shift columns to make room for a more pressing item, it’s a colossal pain because I have to change links and everything.  For example, “2011 in Review” was originally scheduled for the 11th, but was bumped from the spot by “Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark” because the “one year ago today” connection was too good to pass up.  That meant displacing “Rhinoceros” from the 14th to the 21st and “Q & A (January 2012)” from the 21st to the 23rd; fortunately I hadn’t gone any further than that yet.  Whew!

So while I’m in New Orleans, I thought those of you who haven’t yet read all my columns might enjoy some of my New Orleans-themed ones.  I already linked “Out and About” in the first paragraph; it’s a guide to my favorite places to eat in the Big Easy.  And for those who prefer to cook their own food, I gave you the recipe for gumbo only yesterday.  “They All Axed for You”  uses my August trip as a springboard for a discussion on New Orleans’ dialect, and since we’re making it down during Carnival this year you may find “King Day” and “Mardi Gras” appropriate reading.

One year ago today I wrote about a famous New Orleans madam in “Josie Arlington”, then last September I wrote about another one in “Lulu White”.  Both of those ladies’ bordellos were found in “Storyville”, the city’s famous red-light district; many of the refined Creole ladies who plied their trade there were the descendants of “left-handed marriages”, as explained in “Plaçage”.  Creole prostitutes are so much a part of the city’s history that I’ve shared two songs about them (“New Orleans Ladies” and “Lady Marmalade”) with you, and the very first song in my very first hooker song column (namely “Fancy”) was about yet another New Orleanian fille de joie.

It’s been said that part of the distinctive character of New Orleans comes from her relationship with Nature, an idea I visit in “Moondance”; of course, the city’s most famous brush with Nature was Hurricane Katrina, and I discuss my experiences after it in the three-part “The Only Working Girl in New Orleans”.  If you don’t already have a low opinion of the New Orleans Police Department, you will after reading those columns; nor has it improved since I left town, as explained in my second-to-last column of 2011, “Three Steps Back”.  And if all these aren’t enough, just click on the “New Orleans” tag at the bottom of this post.  I apologize if I’m a bit slow to reply to emails or moderate comments this week, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me (it isn’t like I do this every month, after all).  And if we manage to get to a parade while we’re there, I’ll catch some beads for y’all.

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