Southern architecture is beautifully seen in New Orleans’ Garden District, which includes the lovely Loyola and Tulane University campuses. And local cemeteries, filled with ornate carvings and mausoleums, are built above-ground, very different from ours in California.
One day Don and I walked five miles through the French Quarter. Oh, the blisters I got wearing the wrong shoes that day! Bourbon Street’s wrought-iron railings, brick buildings, balconies, jazz, and unique street people make it a one-of-a-kind locale. We got roped in by two of the best street entertainers.
First, a very large man dressed in a woman’s dress and a Wolf mask (oh, he must have been hot!!) started talking to us in a voice like a bullfrog. He pulled each of us into a (wolf) hug for a photo. A request for money followed, as he entertained us with a number of raps. He was so unexpected and unusual that we smiled as we paid him.
Later, Don and I sat on a bench overlooking the Mississippi. Two young men passed by and one struck up a conversation. After making small talk, “Dan the Man” bet he could tell Don where he got his shoes. Now how could he know that? “Go for it,” we said.
“I know where you got your shoes – you got them on your feet!” He then guffawed, pulled out a rag and a bit of polish with which he cleaned Don’s tennies–and then asked for money. Again, the entertainment was well worth the price.
And three young boys (pictured right) worked hard to earn money playing drums near Jackson Square.
New Orleans has much of beauty, and a unique culture to recommend it. However, a significant feeling I came away with was one of sadness … for the partyers who live night to night, regaining some equilibrium during the day before repeating the process. For the tourists who our guide told us “… come to New Orleans to do things they wouldn’t do at home.”
I was reminded again of the light of life in Jesus that brings hope into the darkness. I know I disappoint my loving Father; I also sometimes hurt those I love. But because of Jesus, I can love, and be loved, fully–with all my faults.
John 8:12 says, “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.'”
Let’s walk in the light as we move through this Advent season.