Arts Lab Writing            The Arts Lab: Writing            Arts Lab Photography

A Subtropical Wasteland
by Nevada Kerr

My New Orleans day begins with a walk through the French Quarter. Either up Bourbon or Royal Street, past the art galleries and the cafes. Bourbon Street at night is wild even in the off season. Drunken revelers galore. Sterling and I went to the Bourbon Pub - upstairs dancing at the Parade and hanging out on the balconies overseeing the street.

We do everything in our power to keep from drinking. My mainstay look now is to carry an empty cup up and down the streets so I appear to be as drunk as everyone else. I wouldn't want to stick out as a "sober denizen" of these dark streets. Witchcraft, pornography, Jazz, Po-boys, New Orleans is all that's left of the bohemian dream. This is still a place that could make you forget that 1960's and 70's New York or San Francisco is actually over. They are still here in the Quarter!

Shopping is at "Circle Foods" on the same street as our apartment and great bargains just like Market Basket at home. They are building a Win Dixie not far from us. That's the big southern Supermarket. My diet consists of collard greens, grits, and black-eyed peas, truly southern and very nutritious! Our neighborhood is the typical po-boy southern black ghetto.

I love the po-boy lifestyle. Here being a trashy diva is finally in vogue. I was dying as a po-boy in Boston! The Queens have been lying low this week. This city is filled with Queens morning, noon and night. Any street you walk down in the Quarter whether it's Frenchmen, Burgundy, Bourbon, Royal or Rampart - there are queens to be seen.

Our "landlord," (a gypsy-cajun slumlord from Hell) is "Evil Incarnate." We only have a six month lease, long enough to pick up a shotgun shack for less than 20K. That's the plan and it happens a lot here! The realtor told us we need to bond with the termites. The termites nearly ate the whole city. They are a way of life here.

You would love N'awlins. I am sure of it. The only thing I have a hard time getting used to is the level of inefficiency at the banks, the post office, the library - at least two mistakes per day, every day. This city is not a robot efficiency machine - it is truly a subtropical organic wasteland of exotic animals human, and otherwise.

Written by © Nevada Kerr
July, 2002.

Arts Lab Writing Top Arts Lab Photography
Created: April 2003 © Paul Kinder Last Updated: 18/2/03