New Orleans may be the only city in the continental United States that I love more than Detroit, and if I lived any closer than a country-length away I would get married there. I’ve spent a grand total of three nights and four days within its watered borders, but its vibrant food, people, art and music have breathed lasting life into me and my relationship. And it’s where my significant other and I began to imagine and discuss what we wanted from and for our marriage.
At the heart of it all was one night on Frenchmen Street, in a little club with a crumb of stage packed tightly with musicians playing for a room full of locals dancing without hazard. The kids jitterbugged like they’d been doing it since birth, and the New Orleans Cotton Mouth Kings blasted and boomed and tapped and stamped out the hardest bars of live music. Trumpets and trombones, vodka tonics and a creaking wood floor. One of the dancers stepped out for a smoke. He breathed a steam sheet onto the window and drew a heart with his finger for a girl still inside, and she responded in kind.
The Cottonmouth Kings flew high over French standards that only made sense in the French Quarter. Then they played Fats Waller’s “Crazy About My Baby.” And there in the back was an intimidated and awe inspired LC, turning small yet meaningful circles with her boyfriend. The moment couldn’t have been any more ideally designed for us, but we both agreed it would be nice to have a few more dance steps under our belt. We’d have to make a point of recreating the scene for our one-day wedding, we agreed, but we’d have to learn to tailor our feet to the music. No more side-to-side sway or simple two-step; New Orleans was getting it right in the jitterbug and jazz, late-night Cafe au lait and beignets, or maybe a sip of absinthe. Everything about the city commands you to leave worry behind and run toward Love. To be crazy about your baby and nothing else.
New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings – “Crazy About My Baby”
Previously: Day 22 – A Song You Listen To When You’re Sad