19 January, 2011

the times, they are new orleans

i've got a routine like anyone else in the northeast: work and snow. but i'm just getting back from breaking that routine and visiting a place that continues to be a touchpoint for every important conversation going on in our country.

i've been to new orleans now 8 times, 5 before and 3 after. i've been to play shows, to write, and to record an album. i've passed through with friends; i went once for a retreat with like-minded activist artists. this time i went for a novel purpose: vacation.

i did all the touristy things i never do. we rode the street cars. we ate at coop's, the camellia, and cafe du monde. we visited cemetaries and museums. we went to see brad pitt's houses he's building in the 9th ward. we walked and walked and walked. we stayed with friends. we slept alot. unconventional as it was as a "vacation" choice, we definitely got away from our own lives for a few days.

but new orleans has changed. it isnt the city i remembered from my last trip, taking small but firm steps toward recovery. or the city i had fixed in my mind from "before". it felt like an entirely different place.