|Photography / Travel|
I was listening to Toni Morrison's novel-on-CD Paradise during my long hours in the car between stops. The book is about a little
country town that survived in its beginning years for the same reason that it failed in its later ones: because the people who lived
there wanted to isolate themselves and push away foreign influences. In contrast though, all the small
towns far from anywhere that I stopped in for gas or dinner, seemed to be the exact opposite. The women were friendly and one
man stopped his pickup truck at the side of a road to show me the six foot fish he caught. I really got the feeling that many of them
felt somewhat stifled by their environments and appreciated new faces just for being there.
The Big Easy
I headed down to New Orleans in the afternoon, by way of the Natchez Trace Parkway, which is a nicely maintained road owned by the National Park Service. No trucks or commercial vehicles are allowed on it, but the only problem is that you can't drive at 70-80 miles an hour like on the main highways.
I checked into my hotel on Bourbon street at night and walked out into the crazy street party that it's known for. It's a strange place with a very diverse mix of people, all who seemed to be getting something slightly different from being there. I wished I'd brought Simon down with me- for the first time in a week, I started to feel homesick. I'll come back sometime with friends. Being here alone is like scoring the wine of the century and not having anyone to share it with. (Or in this case, scoring the party of the century and not knowing anyone there).
While being infamous
for its pickpockets, the biggest risk to your camera there at night (if you take it out with you), is probably
getting beer spilt on it.
Wednesday, May 16 - New Orleans again
I learned that Douglas Adams had just died as I was leaving the French Quarter. I think his description of Earth in The Hitchhiker's Guide
to the Galaxy - 'mostly harmless' - fit this place as good as any. I'm not sure it fits all of New Orleans, though- you have to be a
little suspicious of any place that sells its swamps and cemetaries as tourist attractions.
Down on the Bayou