Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Travels: New Orleans Newbies

I absolutely love being from New Orleans. Even with all of the city's problems – crime, poverty, poor schools, the potential for hurricanes – there’s no place like her on Earth. I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but when I was a little girl, I used to pretend that I was talking to Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show about my illustrious novel-writing and filmmaking career – and the part of my crazy fantasy that always tickled me the most was when I confessed where I grew up. Because, let’s face it, I could never run out of positive things to say about this multifaceted town: the zydeco and blues music, the fresh seafood and Creole cuisine, the historic architecture, the atmospheric swamps and cemeteries, the laidback vibe, the lively festivals... the list could go on and on.

That’s why a part of me is always envious of the out-of-town filmmakers who attend the Big Easy International Film Festival, which will be happening later this week. During the first two years of the event – and even with this year, too – many of the visiting filmmakers have either rarely seen or never been to the Crescent City. To be honest, while many of them come to view their films with an audience, I have no doubt that some use this cinematic event as an excuse to explore New Orleans. And, although I love knowing this incredible city – and feeling her sights, sounds, and smells in my blood – I sometimes wish that I could experience her magic and atmosphere for the first time, instead of being nurtured by her unique character since the womb. After all, I was an unborn child, in my mother’s belly, when I experienced my first New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. So, it’s safe to say that I was a native New Orleanian from the get-go.

Which place do you wish you could experience for the first time?

17 comments:

Stephanie Thornton said...

This looks so fun! My husband and I went to New Orleans in 2003, (if I remember right) and had a blast!

Jazz and beignets! Yum!

Natalie said...

Oh, I've always wanted to go to New Orleans--you just made me want to go even more! I'd love to visit Disneyland like it was my first time. It was so magical when I was a kid. It's still fun but not in the same way.

Laura Martone said...

Glad you had a good time here, Steph. Hard city to NOT have a good time in. And, yes, jazz and beignets are two excellent reasons to come!

Laura Martone said...

Come, Natalie, come! I'll even show you around. ;-)

And, as for Disneyland (and, for that matter, Disney World), I know exactly what you mean. Seeing the castle for the first time was a wondrous experience indeed.

Bane of Anubis said...

New Orleans is probably one of the few cities in our country that has a recognizable culture to it (and I don't count New York... that's more personality, IMO).

Laura Martone said...

Guess that's what I love, Bane - the unique culture, despite (or perhaps because of) the flaws.

Susan R. Mills said...

I'd love to visit New Orleans. I've wanted to go there since I knew what it was. Someday, I will. You know, like on my first book tour. :)

Becky said...

No! You think they come to N.O. to explore???! I admit that N.O. is probably the only place I've ever lived that had a non-stop line of friends coming to "visit". It's a cool place to be from for sure! My drive into Medford, Oregon is etched into my brain forever. An incredibly beautiful place that I fell for head over heels. Pendleton wasn't quite the same, but it's rapidly growing on me :-).

Laura Martone said...

Susan - You should definitely visit the Big Easy at some point. No place like it, I can assure you. Seeing it on your whirlwind book tour will do nicely!

Becky - Yep, NOLA is definitely a visit-friendly town. I just wish I could convince some of my L.A. pals to make the trip out here! I'd love to see your part of Oregon someday... I have no doubt it will feel like home soon enough. At least you have a kitchen view now!

Deb@RGRamblings said...

I'm thinking that I may have to become an aspiring filmmaker and head down to New Orleans! That's probably a little out of my line of expertise though, so I'll enjoy visiting through your blog for now. :)

Laura Martone said...

Heck, yeah. All aspiring filmmakers are welcome in the Big Sleazy! Come on down, Deb! Or just come for the fun of it. The day is nice and warm (not to rub it in)!

Deb@RGRamblings said...

Believe it or not we're having an uncommonly warm day today. It's a bit of an anomoly really. My brother in NZ called a couple days ago and described his gardens to me. I don't know how you guys can handle all that good weather. *sigh*

"I never did mind about the little things." :D
I love that quote! Do you know the movie?

Laura Martone said...

Weather anomalies are awesome! Happy warm day to you, Deb!

And hint: that's why Dan and I move around like we do. We follow the good weather. Yeah, we so smart. Or boring. Don't know which. ;-)

As for the quote, well, thank you very much! I was thinking and thinking - when I should really be working, ahem - and then for some reason, I could hear Bridget Fonda's voice in my head... which led me to think, "Hey, I've heard this quote recently," which led me to think that I've only seen two Bridget Fonda movies in the past month - GODFATHER 3 and POINT OF NO RETURN - and I don't think she was saying it about the mafia. So, I'm going to go with POINT OF NO RETURN - which partially takes place in New Orleans!! Oh, wait a sec, was that the point (so to speak)?

Martha W said...

You make me want to be right there in the thick of things! *dreaming of some day*

Sorry I've been absent! =( When December 1st rolls around... you'll be sick of me again! =)

Best of Luck with the festival for you and Dan!

Laura Martone said...

No worries, Martha! I haven't been as active on other folks' blogs lately either. You're doing NaNoWriMo, and I'm doing, well, all kinds of other stuff, so believe me, I understand. :-)

As for the film fest, thanks for the well wishes. I wish you could be here with us! We'd have a ball in the Big Easy. Well, maybe next year!

In the meantime, good luck with NaNo - hope it's going well.

Deb@RGRamblings said...

You guys are definitely smart to follow the warm weather!

And oops, sorry. But you did get the movie right! I wish I could say that I remembered it was partially set there. Darn, that would have been clever :D

Laura Martone said...

Oh, goodie. Smart, not boring. I like it, Deb, I like it. ;-)

Yay, I got it right! I love getting movie trivia right. It's my little (sad) claim to fame. So, thanks!