December 19 – December 27.
I spent a lot time in New Orleans worried about rats. Worried they would get stepped on, worried they’d play with the cats too rough, worried they’d hide food in my bed, worried they’d get lost, worried they’d escape out the door. Their names were Buffy and Veronica and although they didn’t slay vampires or solve crimes, they were mini forces of female determination. These rats, unlike, I assume most New Orleans rats, were pets. They belonged to my niece Ariadne. Ariadne lives in a shotgun apartment just big enough for her, her art and antiques, her lamps, her books, some furniture, her banjo, her clothing, lots of hats, three cats, and two rats, so when we were visiting her, she stayed with her boyfriend and we stayed with Buffy, Veronica, Pierre, Willow, and Wesley.
After visiting New Orleans many times in the past and the week we spent there this past December, I have decided that it isn’t a city you can just visit and come away with anything really meaningful to say about it. There are so many layers to the place. Driving through the streets there are so many stories, so many mysteries. Just hitting the tourist highlights of New Orleans can’t do it justice. One needs to be embedded.
My niece has lived in New Orleans for 5 years now. She is a “starving artist,” an up and coming playwright, who makes her steady living giving ghost tours in the French Quarter and making and selling unique lamps and other handicrafts. Just recently, she was commissioned to write a play about the first New Orleans police woman, Yvonne Bechet (Soon to be produced. Here’s a link if you are interested in knowing more about the play). She sells her lamps and crafts at hip New Orleans crafts shops where the clerk is likely to have a tattoo that runs across her face. Her friends are artists and actors. She knows where to park in the French Quarter. My niece is embedded.
So this post isn’t really about New Orleans, so much as about living just a tiny bit of my niece’s life. We met her boyfriend – a handsome actor and social media specialist for a local radio station, we met her friends, we drank at her favorite bar, we followed her as she led us around the city, and lived in her home where we met her neighbors, one an older woman who weathered the storm and the floods of Katrina in her home alone with her dog, and another who might be described as a little crazy.
I am envious of my niece. She is young and has an interesting life. She has good friends. She lives in an amazing, vibrant city. She has weathered a few storms in the past few years, but she has bounced back OK, and like Buffy and Veronica she has great determination.
PS – as you can see we are still slowly trying to catch up the blog. If you want to stay more current with us, you can follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MakeLikeAnApeMan and if you want to stay really, really current with us follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/makelikeanapeman. We try to post on Instagram every day we have internet.