My little sister’s been living in New Orleans for the better part of a year, so Mac and I decided that this year would be a good year to go to Jazzfest. He’s been before; I haven’t.
This was my fourth time in that city and it grows on me each time. There’s something lonely about it, and something magical, and the beauty of the architecture and the landscape gets under your skin. In April, things are flowering. It’s too hot at noon and just right in the evening.
I hadn’t seen B in too long. The first order of business upon getting into her car at the airport was taking a terrifying selfie to send to our parents:
After that there were donuts on Magazine Street (don’t worry, Federal Donuts, you still have my heart):
And crawfish at Manning’s, where we went to watch the NBA playoffs and torment Mac….
…..who has a major, potentially irrational disdain for all things Manning-related, which he is demonstrating here:
And then came Frenchmen Street, and a night market that was something like an outdoor living room:
And many, many brass bands:
And an annual Moore sister photograph, which we intend to pose for until my arms fail me:
…and, of course, Jazzfest itself, on Sunday. Here is Ms. Ruby Wilson’s tribute to Bessie Smith:
And Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles:
And, because Jazzfest wasn’t enough music, we went to Tipitina’s at the end of the night to see Black Joe Lewis:
And Mac couldn’t help himself (he also bought a T-shirt and an album).
Our last night in New Orleans was dinner at Peche and a Sazerac at the Columns, where an older couple danced (well) down the hallway to a Zydeco band playing in the next room.
In every way, I am a tourist when I go to New Orleans—I experience only the sweet parts of it, not its trouble or its sorrow. And yet those things are right below the surface of it all, making it complicated and haunting. I’m back in rainy Philadelphia now and feeling gloomy about leaving both New Orleans and my sister, whom I miss all the time.
In closing, here’s a picture of Mac looking up at the Tip’s sign. Something about it captures the way I think of, look at, remember New Orleans.