From my journal dated Sep 28th, 2013 from my trip to New Orleans.
“I am in New Orleans today. Sitting on a park bench that overlooks the river and the city. I spent today walking through the alleys of the city by myself. I like exploring on my own. I can wander for hours without being distracted by conversation. The friendliness of this place makes me feel brave. I ask strangers to let me take their picture and they don’t shy away. And neither do I. I do as the locals and I spend my small lunch money on a bloody mary instead. You can walk the streets with drinks here- with cafes handing out their specials through a side window. The city is full of old buildings and hidden shops. The alleys are littered with old bikes and vespas. I have only seen this city in the night- the wild, unconventional side as well as the jazz side that has music and soul spilling into the streets. But in the day, there is a city that held to it’s history in a way that reminds me of a wise old man- one whom accepts themselves, for all the good and bad they may possess. It’s a confident city that beckons you to be a child, dancing to music (I was grabbed up by a stranger in the street to dance to a live jazz band) and asking you to take what you see with curious, humorous eyes. I stepped into an old bookshop that took me straight into an old Audrey Hepburn movie- the walls sardined with tattered books and 1920’s architecture, sighing with age. A friendly cat followed me around, purring loudly as I scanned the cook books- none dating later than the 80s. My feet were beginning to hurt from the cobblestone and the weight of bag- so I ended here, reading my book and people watching. It’s days like this that make me remember how amazed by people I am. I want to know their stories and how they take their coffee. And how will I ever find out if I stay inside?”