Lagniappe: A Monster in the Warehouse District

I spotted this guy on outside the Contemporary Arts Center a few weeks ago:

I initially decided that he was a baby-eating monster, but upon further reflection he might be a regular monster, eating regular things–  we’re just privy to his digestion process. I empathize with him. Like all of us, this monster gets messy when he eats. (Or is that just me?)

He seems like he is made out an old newspaper rack. I’ve read about artists co opting these racks, but this is the first time I’ve seen one. Does anyone know anything about this?

I checked in with him today, after docent training at the Ogden. He’s still there, but it seems like someone had some fun with him. Or perhaps he is just tired from baby eating, and needed a lean?

UPDATE, 2/2/12: According to the CAC’s Associate Director, the robot appeared around the openings of Prospect.2, the citywide art showcase, and the CAC’s NOLA Now Part I exhibition. Eventually, Ricardo Barba from the Parse Gallery’s collective revealed himself to the CAC’s curator. On Parse’s website you can see pictures of Barba’s other newspaper-box sculptures, including one that looks eerily similar to our monster man (in his better days.)

The Parse Gallery (previously unknown to me) (which doesn’t mean anything) is dedicated to building a progressive and playful art community. They’re located on 134 Carondalet street.

Previously in Lagniappe:

Don’t Lick the Busstop
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Swim at Your Own Risk
Eaten Alive
Beeracuda
Mardi Gras Float Storage

Tips for tourists and New New Orleanians: Bring Cash

The other day I ate two slices of delicious pizza at Pizzacare* on Tulane Ave, in Mid City. The employee paused with confusionwhen I asked if they accepted credit cards. “Yeah,” she said, cocking her head. “We do.”

I was a little offended. This is New Orleans! It’s always best to have cash on hand! When I first lived here eight years ago a lot of businesses didn’t take credit or debit cards. Things have changed, but it’s still common to have a barista refuse my plastic and gesture to a gray ATM in a darkened corner that charges a $2 fee. It’s no secret that NOLA is slow to adapt and this service-industry is full of bars and restaurants wary of credit-card surcharges. Although the exchange at Pizzacare means I could put another notch on my New Orleanian bedpost because I am becoming more accustomed to the city, I did make me realize that I needed to blog about cash carrying for all my New New Orleanians!

Businesses that Only Take Cash
(not an exhaustive list! Please comment if you have any additions or corrections!) 

Bars
BJ’s Lounge (Bywater)
Bullet Bar (St. Roch)
Henry’s Bar (Uptown)
Hi Ho Lounge (Marigny)
Iggys (Marigny)
Spotted Cat (Marigny)

Restaurants
Boo Koo BBQ at Finn McCools (Mid City): However, if you order drinks from the bar you can ask for cash back.
Guy’s Po Boys (Uptown)
Johnny’s Po Boys (French Quarter)
Slim Goodies (Garden District)
Surreys (Garden District and Uptown)

Coffee Shops
Byrdie’s (Bywater)
Mojo coffee (Garden District)
Neutral Ground Coffee House (Uptown)
Rue de la Course (Carollton)
Still Perkin (Garden District): They require a $5 minimum and are very strict about it. Recently, I bought an underwhelming, over priced cookie to make $5. I almost returned it, but I didn’t have the guts.
Zotz (Carollton)

Sweets
Creole Creamery (Uptown)
Hansen’s Snoballs (Uptown)
Plum St Snoballs (Carollton/University)
Cafe du Monde (French Quarter)
Laurel Street Bakery (Uptown)

Just Started Taking Cards
Camilia Grill (Carollton/French Quarter): I think this happened a few years ago, but I’ll consider it recent, since this is such a long-standing establishment.
Fair Grinds (Bayou St. John): $5 minimum

Tips

  • Fancy restaurants take cards. They want your money. This includes most places in the French Quarter.
  • Cash is also useful for the few places that charge covers. I’m specifically thinking of DBA, in the Marigny.
  • The Crescent City Farmers Markets take cards. However, you have to visit a special booth and use your card to purchase special tokens to give the vendors. It’s a $1 surcharge for this service.
  • Many places have a credit card minimum. Some are jerks about it. Some are not.

*Note: apparently it’s pronounced Pizza-car-eh, which I learned last week.

Carnival Misunderstandings

“It’s Carnival,” said one of the men sitting outside Fair Grinds coffee house a few weeks ago. (See my post on eavesdropping.)

Carnival is the season that leads up to Mardi Gras day. I’m clarifying this because it wasn’t clear to me when I lived here in 2004. I thought Carnival was an alternate name for the actual day of Mardi Gras, not a sanctioned season. I assumed that Mardi Gras decoration and king cakes appeared at the start of January because commercialization had lured vendors to start the party early, I assumed the influence of commercialization extended the celebration, in much the same way that Christmas now seems to begin on November 1.

King Cake Creep
Turns out I was half right. January 6th is known as Twelfth Night, the day that the three wise men brought gifts to Jesus. It marks the end of the Christmas season and the official beginning of Mardi Gras season–Carnival, as the man outside Fair Grinds said. I didn’t realize the connection to the Christian holidays–we’ll just my Semitic heritage. And the January 6 date explains the new year’s arrival of those king cakes.

Well wishers see off the Phellows

Twelfth Night is also when the Phunny Phorty Phellows krewe packs into a streetcar and rides down St. Charles Avenue to announce Carnival’s arrival. It  to be a true New Orleanian, one must wait to consume king cake until the Phunny Phorty Phellows have made their round trip through the Garden District. Eating the cake beforehand is called king cake creep. As the Phellows’ Captain told Nola Defender, “We consider ourselves the heralds of Carnival. We’re announcing that the Carnival season has begun, and now it’s officially okay to eat king cake.”

Seeing Off the Phunny Phorty Phellows
My boyfriend and I went with hundreds of others to watch the Phunny Phorty Phellows depart from the Willow Street car barn. The scene was packed costumes and colors. I should know by now that every occasion in NOLA requires a costume, but the costumes on this night didn’t seem to have a point– just a raid on the costume box.

The scene was scattered, but joyful. People greeted old friends and danced to a brass band as we waited for the streetcar to depart and pull the Carnival trigger. As the streetcar left the station the crowd slowly parted. My boyfriend and I stood to one side, unsure if the Phunny Phellows threw beads (they did. we didn’t get any.) The krewe whizzed by, abuzz in beer and revelry and  the crowd dispersed immediately afterward, as if nothing had happened. It was anticlimatic, in a way.

I assumed there were crowds of people waiting on St. Charles, just as there are during the big Mardi Gras parades. But the streets were inactive. My friend saw the Phellows on their way back to the streetcar barn, and she told me they were no longer cheering out the window. I guess the Phunny Phorty Phellows start off Carnival with the quick burst of a firecracker… which might be a good idea, because we’ve got a long season ahead of us.

Docent Training at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art

The view from of the Warehouse District, from the Ogden's second story windows.

Last Tuesday, I began training to become a docent at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. (A docent leads museum tours.) The Ogden focuses on the visual arts and culture of the American South, which they consider to be the 16 states that run west to Oklahoma and Texas; north to D.C., Maryland and Virginia; and east to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the country’s first museum exclusively devoted to Southern art, with the idea being if if there’s such a thing as Southern music and Southern food, how we all don’t know of something called Southern art?  And how do you define Southern art? Well, according to the Ogden, Southern art brings together the diverse expressions of Southern culture that emote the spirit of the region.

This raises the question: How do you define what makes something “Southern?” 

Theorra Hamblett (1895-1977) A Hayride and a Tragedy, 1965, oil on canvas. Collection of the University Museum, University of Mississippi. Bequest of Theora Hamblett. (I took this photo on a visit to the Ogden this summer)

This question was the jumping off point in last week’s training.  How do we define the South and what we thought it means to live here? Through our discussions and a movie called The South as a Sense of Place, that was made specifically for the Ogden (and narrated by Morgan Freeman!) our group filled in some of the blanks. Here are notes from my notes:

What Does the Term “The South” Mean?  What Separates It From the Rest of the Country?

  • The South is as much an idea of place as a place of itself. Calling this large area the South and unifying it under one umbrella smooths over its contradictions and contrasts.
  • The idea of the South is also a political idea, formed by an actual or perceived notion of shared beliefs, values and attitudes.
  • This region has known a different past than the rest of the country and endured different political and social struggles.
  • Southerners derive their identity from their roots, rather from their possessions. It’s an attitude.

What are Characteristics of the South?

  • History: Family life is the center of personal experience
  • Community
  • Hospitality
  • Celebrations
  • Sense of identity, sense of place: It feels different than the rest of the country
  • Connection to a past that in some cases is divisive
  • It’s slow to change
  • There is a lure of decadence
  • Tradition
  • Revelry
  • The fashion is different, often due to the weather
  • Accents
  • Slower pace
  • Religion is much more a part of daily life
  • Region-specific food, music and literature
  • Sports are very important in the south

Archie Bongé (1900-1936) Country Church, 1932, oil on canvas. Gift of the Dusti Bongé Foundation. (I took this photo on a visit to the Ogden this summer)

I took a ton of notes that will definitely serve as a jumping-off point for upcoming blog posts. In the conversations last week we also talked about what makes New Orleans slightly different than the South, but that’s definitely an idea worth exploring.

What do you all (erm, y’all) think? What are other characteristics of the South? Also, what would a museum of Northern art look like? Or a museum of Midwestern art?

Nothing is Too Overboard for The Saints

In a few hours the Saints challenge the Detroit Lions, in the Saints first playoff game this year. I’ve written before about how much this city loves the Saints, but sometimes I’m still surprised with the lengths people go to to express their devotion. Just before the holidays I bought some gifts at Fleurty Girl, a shop that sells New Orleans-inspired t-shirts and accessories, and I saw these fake tattoos, inspired by the famous birthmark on the face of beloved Saints quarterback, Drew Brees.

I laughed and asked if I could take a photo. The salesperson immediately asked if I wanted to buy one.

“Nothing is too overboard for the Saints,” she reminded me.

New Orleans’ Winter Makes Me Miss DC

Keeping Track of the Weather
After a brutal summer, it’s finally cold. I still remember the week at the end of August when the heat first snapped, only to return again a week later. It amuses me that I retained this information, but I think that’s because it’s my first year back in New Orleans. It took me a few years of living in D.C. to predict the weather’s moods. I still recall how late I wore my winter jackets in my first year there (last week of March, 2006).

The last week of March, 2006. From top to bottom: Cherry blossoms, me.

For the purpose of next year, and those new to the city, here is my weather calendar thus far:
June-August: Unbearably hot (Sun sets at 7:45)
September: Warm, but okay. A few cold snaps. (Sun sets at 7)
October: Beautiful (Sun sets at 6:15)
November: Beautiful most days, sometimes a bit uncomfortably chilly (Sun sets by 5:15)

Questions for New Orleanians:
– How accurate is my calendar?
– This week, and a few weeks during November, we jumped from days where the mercury read 75 degrees to days like today, when my phone says 38. Is this typical?

Missing DC
I grew up in Miami, and Washington was the first place I ever lived with four, full seasons. I loved the way the seasons marked. Unlike areas further north and south, DC seasons generally last three months. I knew I’d miss the seasons when I moved down here, and I’ve felt the pangs as the weather has turned cold. I miss snow. Sure, it’s a pain, but I always got excited when the snow fell, which happened 3-4 times a year. We even had a few snowstorms, but I thought it was fun. I didn’t own property or drive a car, so it just meant time off work.

Winter on Connecticut Ave., Cleveland Park

I loved the way the trees told time. In the winter when the leaves fell I could see up the street for miles. The view from the Taft Bridge let me to see deep into Rock Creek Park. By summer the trees get so full that I couldn’t see the road. I miss that.

Fall in Cleveland Park

Fall on Connecticut Ave., Cleveland Park

The full look of summer.

This Friday I am going on a mini vacation to D.C. It’ll be the first time back since I packed up my apartment over the summer, which was no vacation, lemme tell ya! More on this in the upcoming week. I’m very excited.

50th Post: The New Orleanian Scale

Huzzah! This is my 50th post, just in time for the blog’s six-month anniversary. I’ve had so much fun writing this and it’s given me a great outlet to express my thoughts. Thanks for reading! The most salient lesson I’ve learned about maintaining a blog is that when something happens that inspires me to write a post, I should do it as soon as possible. Trying to recall what was so special about a moment that occurred days–or sometimes weeks–earlier  has proven really difficult.

The (kind of) New Orleanian Scale
Being that this is my 50th post, I thought it would be a great time to take another measurement for the entirely subjective New Orleanian Scale, first established in July. This is a score in which I evaluate if I’ve undergone the experiences necessary to further my journey to become a real New Orleanian.

This is not an all-inclusive list. I’ve included venues/businesses I’ve never been to before or ones that are very New Orleanian, are  new (and therefore hip, which I attribute to being local) or because I indicated on the to-do list that I wanted to go there before.

This scale is an idea in flux–I’d love any contributions or suggestions! I don’t have anything here about shopping in the Greater NOLA area. Where do I have to shop to be a  New Orleanian? What do I have to buy? I own shirts from Dirty Coast and Defend New Orleans… Do I have to own a painting by Simon or Dr. Bob?

Music

Balcony Music Club

Hot 8 at the Howlin Wolf’s

  • Paul Sanchez at Chickie Wah Wah (+2 because Sanchez used to be in Cowboy Mouth, a seminal NOLA band)
  • Went to Harvest Fest and saw Big Sam’s Funky  Nation (+2)
  • Three Muses on Frenchman (had never been there before) (+1)
  • Cake at Mahalia Jackson Theater (Never been there before!) (+1)
  • Hot 8 at Howlin Wolf (+2) (extra point for it being the band’s weekly stint)
  • Tipitinas for their Friday Free Show (it’s just in the summer) + a show I paid for (+2)
  • Vaughns for Kermit Ruffins (This is before he announced he would start his sets his sets earlier so he could get to bed at a decent hour! He was pretty loaded when we saw him… and it was late) +1
  • Bonus: Bought two CDs from local musicians (+1)
Total: 9


Restaurants/Food

  • Bywater: Satsuma, Elizabeths (+2)
  • CBD/Warehouse District: Capdeville, Cochon Butcher, Cochon for real, Domenica for Happy Hour pizzas and drinks (+4)
  • Farmers Markets: Crescent City Farmers + Hollygrove (+2)
  • Freret St: Dat Dog, Sarita’s Grill, Ancora Pizzeria, High Hat (+3)
  • French Quarter: Gumbo Shop (+1)
  • Mid City: Venezia Restaurant, Crescent City Steakhouse, Katie’s (+3)
  •  -1 for not eating at that many restaurants in my neighborhood
  • +2 because I haven’t eaten at a lot of Mid City Restaurants because I am always eating at Boo Koo BBQ in Finn McCools and pizza at Banks St. Bar. That makes me a New Orleanian/Mid Citizen.
  • Oak St/Carollton/Riverbend: Tru Burger, Boucherie, Dantes, Oak St. Cafe (+4)
  • Uptown: Mahony’s Po Boy Shop, Cafe Atchafalaya, Dick and Jennys (+3)
  • Vietnamese Food on the West Bank (it deserves its own category, based on what I’ve heard about it!): Tan Dinh (+2 for the travel)
Total: 25

Bars

  • CBD/Warehouse District: Handsome Willy’s, W.I.N.O. (+2)
  • French Quarter: Balcony Music Club, Bar Tonique (+2)
  • Mid City: 12 Mile Limit, Banks St. Bar, Holy Ground, Pals, Bulldog (+5)
  • Marigny/Bywater: All Ways Lounge, The Country Club, Kajun’s pub (+2 cos it’s a karaoke bar, and I SANG, which is something I have RARELY done), Lost Love Lounge, , The Maison, Saturn Bar (+7)
  • Uptown/Garden District: Avenue Pub, Delachaise, 45 Tchoup (+2 cos it was on the to-do list!), Traceys (+3)
  • -1 for not going to all the Mid City bars, which is something I have pledged to do for MONTHS.
Total: 20

Theater/Film

The Rock Cats, AcroCats’ house band

  • Saw a movie at the new Canal Place (Fancy! $$$, folks) (+1)
  • Saw two movies at Zeitgeist (The Conan Documentary and the Swell Season Documentary) (+2)
  • Went to the Shadowbox Theater for Acrocats! (+1)
  • -1 for not going to the NOLA film fest
  • -1  for not going to any plays from the Fringe Fest
Total: 2

Art/Museums

Total: 5

Bob Snead’s installation for Parallel Play, by T-Lot

From the Parallel Play exhibition by T-Lot

Sacrificed Objects

Sea goddess Thalassa by Swoon, at NOMA (temporary installation)

From the Ogden’s permanent collection (apologies for no picture information!)

From the Ogden’s permanent collection (apologies for no picture information!)

by Elayne Franks Goodman from her moving Whispering Pines Series (temporary exhibit)

Outdoors

  • Have spent a lot of time on Bayou St. John–running and drinking wine (+1)
  • Have gone on numerous long bike rides to Lake Pontchartrain (+1)
  • Finally went out with the NOLA Social Ride, a weekly bike ride that took me through Mid City (+2)
Total: 3

Festivals, Celebrations, Events 

Opening night of Hell Yes Fest, staged by The New Movement.

  • Burrito Juke Joint (+1)
  • Hell Yes Fest (+1)
  • Street Fair Derby (+1)
  • Halloween (+1)
  • Bicycle Second Line (+1)
  • White Linen Night (+1)
  • -1 for not going to Voodoo Fest, which is even in my neighborhood!
  • +1 for not going to Voodoo Fest because it had a horrible lineup– so it was a genuine reaction… genuine = local

Total: +6

Misc

The list of sessions for the Bar Camp “unconference.” The sessions are not announced ahead of time– participants just post ’em up at the event.A Star Wars presentation at Bar Camp

A Star Wars presentation at Bar Camp

  • I’ve sat on my porch and talked to my neighbors (+2)
  • Finally went to Rock N Bowl! (+1)
  • My boyfriend and I moved into our own place. Moving out of sublet definitely makes me more of a local! (+1)
  • Got my hair cut here. Beginning the trek to find your own businesses for your personal routines = local (+1)
  • I’ve hung out on the North Shore multiple times (+1)
  • I’ve attended two conferences: Bar Camp and Rising Tide (+2)
  • I have a library card and have done work from a library (+1)
  • -1 for not actually checking things out from the library!
  • I did my laundry at a bar (+2)
  • I have worked out at a local gym and yoga studio (thanks Groupon!) (+2)
  • I have had business at local universities (Loyola and Xavier) (+2)
  • I ordered a cake from a bar. Doberge from 12 Mile Limit. I prefer the one from Haydels! (+1)
  • Spend a day in Baton Rouge (I’d like to go back and give it another try) (+1)
  • I finally went to a Saints game! (Yes, it was preseason, but I’ll take it!) (+1)
  • Went to an event at Fair Folks and a Goat, which is now closed. (Isn’t that hip, to go to a place that is closed?) (+1)
Total: 18

Saints vs Titans, Preseason

The doberge cake I ordered from 12 Mile Limit, in celebration of my boyfriend’s new job.

Total
78

Summary
In July I scored 36, after being here a month. However, I had just arrived and life had yet to normalize a bit. I will take the liberty to assume that a normal month’s score would be 25. In that case, my points should be at 125… I am behind!

What else do I need to do to become a  New Orleanian?

What I Still Want to Do
New items added since last time are in green.

  • World War II Museum
  • Lousiana State Museum
  • Civil War Museum
  • Historic New Orleans Collection
  • Big Fisherman Seafood
  • 45 Tchoup
  • Cafe Reconcile
  • Visit a nature-type thing outside of the city
  • Visit another city in Louisiana
  • Go to a Gulf-Coast beach
  • Camelia Grill
  • Chickie Wah Wah
  • Gumbo Shop
  • Preservation Hall
  • Rock N Bowl
  • Vaughns
  • Tipitinas
  • Visit Prospect 2 installations
  • See a local comedy show
  • Bacchanal
  • Visit the pool at The Country Club
  • Marckey’s Bar
  • Attend an event at The Eiffel Society
  • Parasol’s
  • Dance night at the Saint
  • Dance night at Mimi’s in the Marigny
  • St. Roch Tavern
  • Carrollton Station
  • Rebirth at the Maple Leaf (obvious)
  • Wit’s Inn
  • Family Ties
  • Yang’s Po Boys
  • Rendonn Inn
  • Willie Mae’s Scotch House
  • Dooky Chase
  • Lil Dizzy’s Cafe
  • Backstreet Cultural Museum
  • The Old Absinthe House
  • Preservation Hall
  • Cafe Amelie
  • Cowbell
  • Molly’s at the Market
  • Cafe Envie
  • Il Posto
  • Dino’s Bar & Grill
  • Southern Food & Beverage Museum
  • Cake Cafe
  • Gott Gourmet
  • Hong Kong Market
  • Squeal BBQ
  • Visit another city in Louisiana that is not Baton Rouge
  • Go to an event at the 3 Ring Circus
  • Get a book from the library
  • NOLA Healing Center
  • A Saints game that isn’t a preseason game
To Do List Suggestions from Commentors in Last Post
– Shrimp Po Boy at Brothers on Magazine
1) attend a boil (crawfish, crab, shrimp) worth +1
2) boil for yourself +2
3) host a big boil +3
4) eat vietnamese food on the west bank
5) join a league that involves something active + drinking (like kickball or coconut beach volleyball or a playnola sport or run with the hashers or nola social bike rides)
6) DJ soul sista saturday night at Mimi’s
7) dance with me at the goldmine until 4am!!!
**A  note on this** I HAVE danced late with this poster, and she is a True New Orleanian and I cannot keep up with her.  I wrote about it here

Eavesdropping in New Orleans

I overhear some great stuff in this city. And I’m going to float the hypothesis that the caliber of eavesdropping varies form city to city. In D.C. I was around a lot of people on public transportation, which sometimes led to great stolen conversation, but not as often as you would think. It’s a major faux pas to talk loudly on the metro and most people have their earbuds in or are reading. Certainly I had my earbuds in and was reading…

The subject matter of the eavesdropping in NOLA also strikes me as unusually engaging.  In D.C. the blog DCist runs a regular “Overheard in D.C.” feature, but most of the content is funny snippets of peoples’ conversations about personal matters. In New Orleans when I’m doing my eavesdropping, I find myself wishing I could join in the conversation, or at least listen to the whole things. I also suspect I hear a lot of juicy tidbits because coffee shops are ripe with good listening and I am at coffee shops most days. I have overheard so many things: political campaign meetings; business deals; chess lessons and even crew members from movie sets taking a break.

Today’s Eavesdropping
I was at the Bean Gallery and I heard two people planning some sort of film shoot. They discussed getting typical New Orleans “shots” like the streetcar and the river. One guy mentioned that he had connections to Big Frida and could get him to participate. I desperately wanted to know what they were talking about!

Later, at CC’s on Esplanade, overheard a woman saying to a man “Frenchmen street is not the Frenchmen street it was before Katrina.” In what way? Did she think it was better or worse? Is it something to do with gentrification?! I perked up a bit and heard her go on to say “… you’ve got all these guys with banjos…” Wait! There were banjos on Frenchmen before Katrina. Or did she mean street musicians? Because I don’t remember seeing as many good performances (like this one) on the actual roadside before Katrina. Sadly, I couldn’t butt in and ask.

Theories: What makes eavesdropping ear-rresistible in New Orleans

  • The number of citywide festivals and events force us to be around each other
  • New Orleanians are very engaged with the city, so it’s not unusual to hear people discussing politics or local issues
  • There are a lot of musicians, entrepreneurs, social organizers and creatives in this city getting things done on small levels. They hold their meetings in public places.

Do you think eavesdropping is better in NOLA? What have you overheard where you live?

Where are you from?

I’m asked “Where are you from?” quite often these days. You’re bound to get that a lot when you’re new to a town. The trouble is, I don’t know how to answer. I’ve lived in a few different places…

Miami
Although I was  born and raised in the city and my parents still live there, I don’t like saying I’m from Miami.  I haven’t lived there in over ten years and, unless things get to a desperate state, I plan to never return. I generally dislike Miami, although being away from it has increased its appeal and  some aspects of it have changed in ways that are compelling to me.

Still! I don’t like saying I’m from Miami. But I do enjoy the look on people’s faces when they hear I’m from there– I don’t seem like someone who is from Miami, which is important to me.

Gainesville
I went to college at UF, but never intended to stay after graduation. I think the only time it was appropriate to say I was from there was when I attending Florida and was traveling with fellow college students.

Washington D.C.
I’d really like to say I’m from there. I lived there for six years. I voted there; rented my first apartment there; and I still read local news from there.  I have more friends in the District than I do in Miami. I’d definitely live in D.C. again if it ever came up.

New Orleans
I’m not from here, and the question of “What makes someone from here” is the central topic of this blog. However, when I travel away from New Orleans I can certainly say I am from here… right? If I’m still in New Orleans 20 years from now, I wonder if people will ask me where I’m from. It would seem silly to say I was from Washington, because at that point D.C. would just be a place I stopped along the way in my life’s journey.

Perhaps I will just say I’m from D.C. until it no longer feels right.

What do you think? How do you answer when someone asks you where you’re from?