Sunday, February 7, 2010
Another Great Visit to the City I Love, New Orleans
Super Bowl Sunday has arrived and WHO DAT fever has taken over the nation. It seems appropriate today to write more about the city I love. Last weekend at this time I was in the city I love enjoying a shrimp po-boy at Parasol’s. My visit last week was multi-faceted, I reconnected with a long lost friend, David Tringali and we spent many hours in the Community Coffee House on Royal St. I dropped resumes at hotels and Harrah’s in the anticipation of returning to the city I love permanently.
My dear friends Rick and Barb hosted me on Thursday evening and we had time to catch up on our lives while enjoying some music and beverages at the Old Point Bar in Algiers. Rick is the mastermind behind Neslort. Anyone in New Orleans who has not caught this great band needs to check them out.
Friday evening I had the pleasure of meeting Sean Cummings at LOA in the International House. As you know from previous blogs, I am energized by the changes Sean is making in the city. He is dedicated to seeing the city move forward and showing the world there is more to the city than Katrina. We had the opportunity to share our visions on the importance of community in the city. He too had read “The Great Good Place” by Dr. Ray Oldenburg, which was the inspiration for my coffee house in Pensacola. Community is vital to the survival of a city and common unity of the people. During the visit, I met a wonder woman Tracey Flemings-Davillier who was running for Juvenile Court Judge, Sec. E. The election was yesterday and Tracey received 38,786 votes the majority cast. She will make a difference in our juvenile justice system, congratulations to her and the city of New Orleans! The mayoral election brings a new mayor, Mitch Landrieu. The Landrieu family is rich is Louisiana politics and I have faith that Mitch will continue to move the city forward.
The Krewe de Vieux rolled on Saturday night. This is one of my favorite parades of the Mardi Gras season. It is always filled with political satire and this year’s parade did not disappoint. From the Ray Nagin coloring books to the Such a Blight stickers, everyone was rolling with a satirical look at New Orleans, the state of Louisiana and the federal government Stimulus Package (wooden nickels). It’s just one more thing I love about the city, the ability to find humor in all things!
Following the parade, we enjoyed a wonderful meal at Maximo’s on Decatur Street. Featuring amazing Italian fare and an excellent wine list, this is a most do restaurant whenever I visit. Enjoying a glass of wine following dinner, I struck up a conversation with a woman named Vanessa. She has started a company called Who Dat Ladies Attire. This is a line of clothing to show our support for the Saints with a “classier” line to replace the standard jersey. Check out her site at www.whodatladies.com . I have a shirt and absolutely love the fit and the message WHO DAT! I have no doubt that this line will continue to expand over the year with many other offerings.
Sunday dawned with the anticipation of the Buddy D Parade. Buddy Deliberto was a longtime New Orleans sportscaster. Buddy once commented that if the Saints ever made it to the Super Bowl he’d walk down the street wearing a dress. Former Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert is now carrying on the sports casting tradition of Buddy D. Bobby suggested on his radio program that an impromptu parade to honor Buddy D be organized. Sunday’s parade paid great tribute to a true Saints fan when 5,000 (projected) men and boys turned out in dresses, heels, lipstick and evening bags to march from the Dome to Bourbon St. During the parade, cries of Buddy, Buddy, Buddy and WHO DAT rang through the parade marchers and spectators along the route. I am proud to say I was there and became a part of Saints history. I know Buddy D was watching and his family I’m sure was overwhelmed with the love and support the citizens of New Orleans have for him.
My weekend was memorable for many reasons, but more than anything I felt at home. New Orleans is where my heart is, I am driven to find a job, and I am passionate about finding a way to return.
Peace and GEAUX SAINTS!