My, how we love our characters in New Orleans. Which is a good thing.
Locals still talk about Ruthie the Duck Girl, even though she died in 2008. In my neighborhood of Tremé, we have a tall man with a scraggly beard who pushes a grocery cart around, having random conversations with a street corner. Or an empty can.
We celebrate these characters. We tenderly laugh with them. But we don’t always see that, underneath the eccentricity that makes for a funny story, is often a mental illness that is anything but funny.
New Orleans prides itself on being different from the rest of the nation. Our food‘s different, our music’s different... even our humidity is different.
On top of 'dat, we tend to talk different, too. On today's Love NOLA, Brett Will Taylor weighs in on the New Orleans vernacular and suggests that, maybe, the way we talk reflects nothing more than the love for our city, and the secret code that goes with it.
In many places, the phrase "rhetorical comment" refers to a statement that is not intended to elicit a response. But, of course, New Orleans is not like most places, and New Orleanians are not like most people.
On today's Love NOLA, Brett Will Taylor notes how the rhetorical comments thrown around this city are often seen as invitations to share opinions, stories and, maybe, salvation.
Looking around New Orleans after Mardi Gras has officially been swept from the streets, it's hard to miss the early signs of spring. But the calendar still says February, and these signs may feel a bit premature to some New Orleanians. An acknowledgement that winter (brief as it always is down here) just might be gone completely, means that summer can't be far off.
From the Westbank to New Orleans to Slidell, Carnival officially kicked into high gear these past few days as 19 krewes rolled, celebrating everything from lions and dogs, to Wookies and Greek gods… even Mona Lisa & Moon Pies.
But, now it stops. For nine days. Because the Super Bowl is coming to town. I’d rather have Santa Claus.
New Orleanians often have to justify why they live in their city, perhaps more frequently than other Americans. Whether it's with friends, family or themselves, it's a conversation most residents will have. But perhaps the answer is more universal than we think.