So I was at my store yesterday. It was a beautiful, but cold, cold day (well, as cold as it can here in New Orleans). I'm sure for you yanks up there, it was a spring day. This was my view from my desk at the shop.
So anyway, there I am doing whatever I do when I'm alone -- thinking, dreaming, freaking out about the future, wondering what I'm going to cook for dinner, etc. Suddenly, I hear drums outside. In New Orleans, you are used to expecting anything, but it was only 10 a.m. so I'm wondering what all the commotion is about outside. I step on my porch (yes, I have a porch with an iron fence and all!) and there is a small group of people second lining down the sidewalk -- already celebrating either Mardi Gras or the Super Bowl or both. I tell you, the city has gone crazy lately. I wish I had photos because then everyone started dancing on the street and clapping their hands to the beat. Everyone was dressed in black and gold and everyone was celebrating the Saints going to Miami.
I cannot tell you how living in this city is. Everything is reason to celebrate. Someone is born -- everyone celebrates. It's a nothing special Friday -- everyone celebrates. The sun comes out -- everyone celebrates. There is always a reason to open a bottle of wine and boil some crawfish. In my own little neighborhood of Lakeview (that still has many left over blighted houses from Katrina and empty lots waiting to be rebuilt), we are always outside on someone's porch talking, drinking a glass or two of wine, while the children are all playing in the front yard. We often bring the barbeque pits outside and we have one communal grill. And it's just our block!!!
New Orleans has seen so much tragedy, destruction, corruption, crime, etc., yet, the soul of the people always seems to live on. I don't know if it's in the water, but regardless of what is going on, there is a terrific faith that tomorrow will be a better day. And it usually is.
New Orleanians have followed the Saints like a religion. Frankly, being from Argentina, I am an avid soccer fan and I don't really understand football that much. But I am in awe of how everyone here, young and old, rich or poor, is rooting for the Saints. I guess in a way, it represents a belief that anything is possible. If our Saints (the world's worst team for so many years) can make it to the Superbowl, well then, dreams do in fact come true. And who does not want to believe in that?