Today I traveled with a sun burned face from opening day. Nearly everyone gives me a look that says “stupid white boy forgot sun block again.” It’s true. On a positive note, the rest of our season package are only night games.
To the casual observer, nothing has changed. Louis Armstrong still smells funny and is pretty dirty. All of the vacant buildings and run down industry are still here. Flying over Lake Ponchetrain the water still looks like a muddy brown ocean with a cement line that runs from one end to another dotted by specs of moving traffic.
The taxi driver takes me on the normal route to the hotel over freeway exchanges that were once the high ground for camera crews shaming me for doing nothing. As with every trip here I pass the domed football stadium where people stood in line for hours seeking shelter not tickets. We stop at the corner famous for the high ranking kick ass general put feet on the ground and control of the situation.
I am the casual observer. New Orleans seems just like every other trip I have taken here or to other major city - smells funny, kind of dirty, construction and sirens fill the air.
New Orleans is a place that you see what you want in every moment. You can see the beautiful and historic buildings…
Or you can see the run down city that needs a makeover…
The normal activities of a city making updates…
Or the burnt out shell nestled in the treasure of America’s southland.
You see what you want to make of this place, or any.