Nov 19, 201309:28 AM
The Lighter Side

Exploring the humor and peculiarities of the Big Easy

6 New Orleans Things I'm Thankful For, Plus a Few More

So Thanksgiving is near and I'm guessing that's why I'm seeing Facebook status updates like "Day 17: I'm thankful for 'Scandal' on Thursday nights," or "Day 5: I'm thankful that I can pay my electric bill," and that kind of stuff. I don't really post personal things on Facebook anymore, mainly just stuff about TV and sports, but I like reading these little thoughts. It's nice to see positive thoughts when a lot of social media is all about the airing of grievances and the sharing of bad news. I like to see good news every once in a while. So since Thanksgiving is around the corner, I'd like to take some time to write out a list of all my blessings to remind myself how lucky I am. And since we're living in New Orleans, we all know that we're extra special lucky. Here are but a few things I am thankful for:

The Bywater

I love how New Orleans is made up of unique neighborhoods with their own personalities. I love so many of them, but Bywater is the one that feels like home. I'm thankful that most of everything I need, such as stores and restaurants, is within walking distance and that so are things like Frenchmen Street and the French Quarter. I'm thankful that my friend Elizabeth, who was already living here when I moved to New Orleans, suggested Bywater as a place to hang my hat when I didn't know anything about where to live. People like to roll their eyes at us down here, but I've met so many amazing people, dear friends and neighbors and I'll defend it till the end. It might be known as a hipster mecca these days, and I'm not exactly a huge fan of that, but I promise that "hipster" is not an infectious disease and the ones I've met that are perceived as such are basically just a bunch of people who don't mind waving their freak flag, not a bunch of assholes, or whatever people think of when the word "hipster" comes to mind. I usually migrate to places where it's cool to wave whatever flag you like and New Orleans itself is very much like that.

 

The Saints

I grew up in a town where college sports were all the rage and we had to pick from the Browns, Bengals and sometimes the Steelers for a favorite. I never cared much about the NFL until I moved here, but now I know having a professional football team in your town is a hell of a lot of fun. Also fun was the near-stroke I had watching the San Francisco game on Sunday night. WHO DAT! On a sports-related note, I'm also thankful for the Buckeyes and how awesome they are by not losing a game in nearly two years.

 

The Pelicans' Mascot

I'm a person who loves to laugh so I'm thankful for Pierre the Pelican because I laugh hysterically every time I see him.

 

The Civic Theater

If you haven't been to the recently renovated Civic Theater, do yourself a favor and get a ticket for a show. It's absolutely gorgeous and I bought a Miller High Life from a bartender in a fancy chef's coat. I was pleasantly amused. I recently went to see one of my favorite bands, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and it was truly a nice and intimate location for see a concert, as well as a kick-ass show itself for which I am also thankful. Thank you, BRMC, I love you.

 

"American Horror Story: Coven"

I love Queenie the human voodoo doll, Misty Day the Stevie Nicks-obsessed cajun necromancer, Fiona the fading "supreme" HBIC and pretty much everyone on this whole show (except for Cordelia's husband with the strangely perfect teeth). This is probably the show I look forward to the most every week and I'm thankful that this deliciously twisted season takes place in New Orleans.

 

Carnival Season

Autumn has always been my favorite time of year and the holidays are always fun, but then New Year's would always depress the hell out of me because that meant three to four months of cold and grey Midwestern weather with nothing to look forward to until spring. In New Orleans we have Carnival season which gets rid of all that. I'm actually not sad on New Year's Eve anymore because Twelfth Night isn't far behind and so is weeks and weeks of merriment.

 

Co-workers

And now a quick mushy thing or two: I'm thankful for the people I work with because they are hilarious and genuine and insightful and fun to be around. With my family in Ohio and my husband out of town for two weeks out of the month to work on the river, I depend on my friends quite a bit to keep me sane. I see my New Orleans friends as family and I feel the same way about the people I work with, which I feel is a rarity.

 

Family

It's a given to be thankful for one's husband and he is most certainly one of the sweetest and most genuine souls I've come across in this life, but I'm also thankful for his two kids, also known as my stepkids. I never in a million years thought I'd ever be a step-parent and it's definitely a thankless and awkward position to be in at times. The job description to be a stepmother is usually "living saint" and if you don't live up to that 24/7 then you run the risk of starring in your own Disney movie as the main villain, but I've learned that honestly doing your best is all you can do, and that's damn good. Before dating my husband, I was never around kids too much and never thought about the whole concept of having children as I always had other things on my mind. But being around them has given me such an amazing perspective that has really brightened up my life. They offer such a unique and unjaded view of the world that most of us forget about in the hubbub of growing up and learning all the limitations and do's and don'ts of society. They remind me that there really are no limitations, and that every tiny little detail in this world still has wonder in it. My stepkids have also given me a HUGE appreciation for my parents and have given me a small inkling into what it's like to raise children and how hard and crazy it is. I've come to the realization that my mom and dad are superheroes, and without this experience, I may never have really known that.|

On another note about family, I'm also thankful for my two cats Taco and Creole. Black cats have always brought me luck.

 

Lou Reed

There's a great Chuck Klosterman essay (which makes me laugh out loud every time I read it) that appeared in Esquire and also in his book Chuck Klosterman IV that says, "Without question, the most Advanced figure of all time is Lou Reed. Reed's single most Advanced moment came in 1986, when he released the song 'The Original Wrapper,' in which he raps about AIDS, Louis Farrakhan, and waffles."

Klostermnan describes "Advancement" as :

a cultural condition in which an Advanced individual--i.e., a true genius--creates a piece of art that 99 percent of the population perceives to be bad. However, this is not because the work itself is flawed; this is because most consumers are not Advanced.

Lou Reed was always one of my favorites and his passing has had a different sort of impact on me. The past few weeks, I've been reading any kind of article or tribute dedicated to him and listenting to his music constantly. I think the reason why his death affected me so is because I've grouped him in with several musicians and bands that I associate with my childhood because my dad was always such a fan. It's scary to me that this generation of rock stars are starting to die of normal old-age circumstances instead of things like tragic drug overdoses and plane crashes.

I always thought that Lou was one of the coolest people to ever live. To me, he's the Steve McQueen of rock 'n' roll. And I'm thankful that he wrote "Perfect Day," which is one of my favorite songs.

And finally, hey thanks for reading my blog! I never thought of myself as a writer, more of a rambler and whenever someone tells me that they like what I've written, I'm always a little bit shocked. So thank you, dear readers of blogs. Have an amazing Thanksgiving.

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The Lighter Side

Exploring the humor and peculiarities of the Big Easy

about

Annie Drummond is a graphic designer and artist from Columbus, Ohio. She has a degree from the Columbus College of Art & Design. Two years ago she made the move from the Midwest to New Orleans' Bywater neighborhood and fell deeply in love as she discovered the rhythms and traditions of her new city. In addition to The Lighter Side, she writes about food, art and design (and other stuff) at www.AnniedelaDolce.com.

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