It hits you on the head. Strikes your eyes, moves your feet and swings your mind. Rhythmically always on the move, the notes never seem to stop. The sun shines, relaxing itself upon the Mississippi and its flowing current. Splashing against the street – the worn out soles of tourists curious shoes. Grasping each colorful step, the sights seem restless between sharp shades of red and soft yellows on building fronts. Terraces full of people, full of smiles and those wonderful jokes and stories. A rush of vendors, restaurant owners and ecstatic musicians fill the sweet smelling market. Crisp Granny Smiths, freshly fished shrimp and cold lemonade beckons the senses. Your slow dazed walk becomes a briskly paced jog as you make your way towards the Cafe Du Monde. Louisiana snow, disguised as powdered sugar, topping the warm, delicate pastry called a beignet.
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Just north, down Decatur street, the grand Mississippi begins to end, flowing peacefully into the Atlantic. Though its flaws outweigh its beauty, the muddy tide holds your gaze. At night, the sky clears and the moonlight shines over the rooftops. The low hum of an upright bass fills your ear, a simple blues scale sets the tone to numerous jazz standards heard throughout the evening. A feeling you never forget. The bold food, colorful music and diverse community stays fresh in your mind.
Aside the shore, the Natchez riverboat cruise bumps against the dirty river water. Tickets are dispersed and the journey down the river begins. Wet stairs lead up to a grey colored platform filled with ecstatic tourists awaiting the wonderful traditional creole dishes, culture steaming from each individual entree. Yes, New Orleans is much more than a simple trip down the mighty Mississippi, but this night was a spectacle of beauty and bliss. Leaning over the railing, wind blowing water onto our faces. The French Quarter beamed with pride, drunk travelers yelling absurd things on Bourbon Street. Sinatra and Basie playing loud on the main stage in Jackson Square.
New Orleans encompasses who I am. The vibrancy, motivation, passion and love. The music; the roots of those who struggled for rights created the rhythms that we snap our fingers to daily. The smiles of the passersby and the sunshine that radiates. That sweet market where the food never lets you down. And the friends that you play that marvelous music with stick with you as you walk through those winding streets and old shafted buildings.
Sights and smells. Sounds, adventures and a few unexpected moments couldn’t have made it anymore magical. Drifting down the shores of the Big Easy, listening and laughing to endless stories and music. The lights shining from the stars and moon stationery among a few lingering clouds. The pianist playing with his feet reminded us that it was no ordinary Friday night spent back home in the Big Freezy. I suppose it was a good night to fall in love with New Orleans.
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