Guest Column: My Affair with New Orleans

by Barbara Thoulion

I have a love affair with New Orleans. I’m mature, but seriously that’s beside the point. It’s New Orleans. I’m cultivated and well-versed in life, that’s also beside the point when you become engaged in the life of this city.

NOLA (New Orleans of Louisiana) is a place that creates its own cultural, architectural and artistic statement. And possesses I think an ultra-rich, ethnically diverse, musicality, artistically celebratory life style that is intoxicating to a poly-genre Art connoisseur like myself.

Attending outdoor city events exposes one to a slice of the joy of the city and the people who inhabit its enclaves, parades, dancing and singing in the street, bringing people together in a harmonic lifestyle and soulful rhythm. To see and feel 250 years of teeming life pulsing is near to experiencing a carnival spirit  every day.

I like gardening, walking, reading, dancing and most important of all feeling the openness to explore my Buddhistic beliefs. NOLA is truly a rich source for all religions and moral philosophies and those that embrace them, from Buddhist beliefs to the monotheistic religions of Christian, Judaism, Islam and Vodou to atheism and so many other beliefs and philosophical approaches, each offers a textured thread in the colorful cultural quilt of NOLA. It’s a beautiful racial homogeny.  I feel blessed with friends of all ages.  I love encouraging young people. There is a feeling of anything goes.

Of course the variety of dance experiences in and around Nola is wonderful. I like taking classes and most of all dancing in clubs to live music with the girls.  I haven’t gone out of my way to meet anyone in a club. Just show up. Though I’m usually with friends.  I’ve met a few women on the dance floor that want to dance with me, or do a dance off.  That’s incredibly fun. A few men have been friendly. I see the women as the backbone of the community, more grounded, willing to step out of their circle to explore a different, unfamiliar circle.

No I’m not a travel agent or trip advisor. It’s just that I continue to be seduced by the offerings of NOLA every day. It’s an intimate affair. And I like intimacy.