Dispatch from New Orleans: Snapshots of the Big Easy

I’m picked up from the airport, and we drive past palm trees and make our way to a backyard crawfish boil for somebody’s birthday. Everyone there’s from the midwest or the west coast. A bunch of people work in or with charter schools. I steer clear of political conversations.

Later, we’re on Frenchmen Street, which smells like Chinatown but more pungent. In Brooklyn, music is a young person’s game. Here, the ubiquitous music is played by the ancient ones, lines of life etched on their faces. Fueled by Abita Amber, nicotine, whiskey, and an hour’s worth of jet lag, we drink and dance and forge friendships that won’t stand the light of day. A girl’s pepper spray pistol is fired into the darkness of an empty park, and I taste its tang in my mouth.
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