Tootie and I went to New Orleans recently. We now have our own bicycles stored at our friend’s place there, where we also rent her backyard apartment. I had the opportunity to bike around New Orleans, looking for interesting street names.
In Bywater and its immediate vicinity, we find pleasures of the flesh.
One block over, we are reminded to counterbalance these feelings.
Many of the names are just flat unpronounceable to most of us. Many have heard of this tongue twister.
These are in Uptown also.
What is a Cucullu? Or a Soraparu?
There are lots of interesting names in other parts of the city. These are near the Fair Grounds racetrack.
They say that R.E.M. was inspired to write the song West of the Fields while laying sprawled on the grass of the substantial neutral ground of this wide street in Fauborg Marigny.
In Gentilly street names get even more obtuse.
Mardi Gras Indians are African Americans who dress up like American Indians as a carnival thing; they are “social and pleasure” clubs. I heard on radio station WWOZ that one of the Mardi Gras Indians, “Big Chief” Bo Dollis had died, and his funeral on Saturday would include a procession of Indians. Since we had never actually seen a real Mardi Gras Indian, Tootie and I bicycled over to Xavier University. It has the distinction of being the only African American Catholic university in America. It is in a part of town we had never seen up close.
Waiting for the procession to arrive, clearly only those “in the know” had come to see this. There were various groups of artsy looking white people, many with expensive photo equipment. It included a Keith Richards lookalike with a vague European accent.
The procession was a more party atmosphere than a typical funeral.