Way back in my college days, my friend Francisco was legendary for his parties. He was (and still is) a witty conversationalist, a talented artist, a kind and giving person and much more. However, this was all of little concern. When Francisco’s name came up, none of his finer qualities were discussed; one’s thoughts immediately turned to the inspired debauchery that surely lay ahead.
There is a reason he came to mind last week. Thanks to the gods of good parties (and to be fair, my company’s scheduling dept.), I recently wound up in New Orleans on a Friday night. With me, were some colleagues who had never been to this fine city. I was excited for them and wanted to share my enthusiasm. I should have crowed about Nawlins' immediately recognizable architecture, the rich and varied history (they have as a local heroine a deceased voodoo priestess!!), the (very decidedly non-veggie) Cajun cuisine that people rave about and on and on. There were so many things that come to mind, but instead I prepared them by promising the big 3: blues, booze and beads. In other words, I Francisco’ed the city of New Orleans.
Yet somehow, I don’t feel too badly about it, probably because I know I am not alone in this way of thinking. Through hard-earned raucous celebrations, even in the face of heart-breaking adversity, the people of New Orleans have created a city synonymous with the joy of living. Think about it, it is one miserable, cranky, insufferable person who fails to be moved by the sounds of an 8 piece band playing “When the Saints Come Marching In”.