“The Big Easy”…..
“Birthplace of Jazz”….
And now I call it “Home”.
A Little Background on the move to New Orleans
I woke up one morning last August and realized that after over 20 years of working late nights, weekends and 60-70+ hour weeks, it was just not in my DNA anymore to maintain that lifestyle. If I kept up that pace, I was surely setting myself for an early demise.
I am not particularly afraid of death, but I certainly have no interest in hurrying up the process.
So why not give that aspect of my life the “One Finger Salute” and move to a location where it is a music festival (and so much more) all year long.
No more phone calls from “Guys in Suits” in a panic to save them from their latest mishap, oversight or general lack of intelligence.
No more “Cubicle From Hell”.
So as of March 1st, we (me, my significant other, Mary and our trusty dog, Cooper) made the move from Fort Worth, TX to New Orleans. Of all the re-locations I have made, this is the one I am most psyched about because it does not involve work, but a 180 degree turn in the way I live.
Why New Orleans?? Why Not!!!
I have made the most of my 45 years on this earth. I have traveled all over the world from Singapore to Indonesia to Egypt and the Caribbean as well as traveling all over the United States. I have met many interesting people, seen incredible sights and consider myself blessed for the experiences I have had.
But nothing has calmed me more than listening to sweet sounds that emanate from the instruments and voices of the artists I have encountered over the years in New Orleans. That sense of peace is what one of my buddies long ago called “The Zone”.
“The Zone” usually consists of me finding an adult beverage of choice, a comfortable location in whatever venue or festival I am at for the moment and tuning out of everything other than the musicians and the harmonies they give birth to. Blood pressure plummets and tensions ease (or maybe that is just the Wild Turkey working).
Some examples are but certainly not limited to:
The low end vibe of George Porter, Jr.
Art Neville’s organ
Stanton on the kit
Some sax action from Ben Ellman
Shamarr Allen’s trumpet
The acoustics of Paul Sanchez
The sweet melodies of John Boutte’
Ivan and whoever might show up
And the list goes on and on…..
For the moment, I am just hanging out and enjoying the fact that I am not in my usual rush to take everything in before I bail out of town.
I can have a relaxed meal or take Cooper for a long walk along the Mississippi.
Hang out with Mary at the Hermes Bar and just watch the rain fall.
Enjoy a musical performance without interruption of phone calls or text messages from customers acting like the whole world is falling apart around them.
No more 12 o’clock check out times.
No more wondering when I have to head back to the airport for that flight back to reality.
This is now my reality.
Will I ever go back to work? Probably, but I figure I have a ton of personal comp time to burn off.
Besides, “burned bridges” take a while to get rebuilt.
So as my new journey starts without an end in sight, I will try my best to bring you my version of what the New Orleans scene means to me. I am not a reviewer of shows (or restaurants) nor am I a professional photographer but just an amateur with a passion.
I hope I can convey to you the atmosphere of Frenchman St, Tipitina’s, Howlin’ Wolf, Maple Leaf (August, Mother’s, Elizabeth’s, Willie Mae’s) and other countless locations where musicians (or chefs) reside to perfect their craft.
But it is difficult to throw adjectives, verbs and nouns together along with a few pictures and describe this indescribable city. You just have to live it.
I realize I am a lucky soul to be able to change on a dime and move to a very magical place and be able to do just that. Just live it.
So Hello, New Orleans…. I hope you don’t mind me hanging out for a while to get to know you better.