It's going to be okay. And it can be great. At least for each of us.
I know it is the high from the Fest that is still in my system that makes me feel this way, but I am very hopeful right now for the city of New Orleans. I know that we have many challenges to face and the deck is stacked against "us" versus "them" but I still feel good about it. Here is why:
When else can you say that you are living through history? I don't mean a moment in time but real history. Rebuilding this city, reclaiming her, saving her, believing in her, reinventing her is what I am talking about. It's up there with inventing Jazz I think. It is a 20 year period of creativity made up of thousands of amazing stories to be told. It is a grand moment in time where a community can lead in saving a place, a city, a way of life.
There is no other city in the world that has what New Orleans has. I liken it to an old social aid and pleasure club. The building is falling apart, it smells a little, yet people flock to it and revel and celebrate it to the complete and utter confusion and mystery to all those who have never been or will never be able to get it because of their mind space and personal fears. I met the die hards this week. They come from all over. They don't all live here. There are these "nola converts" living and working elsewhere with their hearts in New Orleans. They come here annually like a pilgrimage to drink from the Fountain of Funk.
These people can save the city. Both those who live here and those who support us from around the globe.
I have been trying for 7 years, since I returned home, to do things. I have joked that I am a schemer, that I am always spinning plates and "getting into shit." Some of the things I have tried to start up have been successful for a while and then died off (NBNO), some never got off the ground (FLO) and some are blossoming as I write this (Dirty Coast, Whence) and others are in the works (Humid Beings, NOLA Converts, Bayou Republic, etc).
What I mean by the title "individual actions" is that each of us has to make their life in New Orleans as fruitful as possible. In all the things I keep myself busy with they all have the greater goal to celebrate this city in some way, help people connect or create something new here. But in the end it is all about Process and working with other people locally.
If we don't enjoy the challenge of taking this city back and rebuilding it we might as well pack up and leave. It is going to be very hard and take a long time but in the end we will all be able to look back upon it and have a good cry knowing that we were responsible to keep this city "the city we all love." People will keep visiting during Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras to get their soulful fix and we will be the keepers of the fountain of funk.
There will be no awards or trophies given out, but you can die with the knowledge that you and your friends helped in some small or big way to save New Orleans. The only thing you have to do is enjoy the challenge and do something positive for her. It is pretty simple. Just keep busy and hopeful. And when necessary beat back the forces of Seaside.
That's the deal and I'm going to take the NOLA Converts survey now. Go get it!
Posted by: Marco | May 9, 2006 1:20:12 PM
I thought the NOLA convert survey also included people who wanted to move to NO. And my previous comment wasn't too coherent. It must have been the red wine or...
Posted by: Marco | May 10, 2006 3:20:46 PM
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