15 things I learned while in New Orleans

  1. Gumbo.  Gumbo is delicious.  Gumbo.
  2. You can spend $80 on a pair of tweezers.
  3. Dog people (as we call them in Philly) are everywhere.  These are 20-something white men and women, dressed in a ragged uniform of brown, dark green, and/or black clothing, smelling to high heaven, playing washboards and banjos on the sidewalk.  They keep boxers or chows on ragged leashes, wear their hair in dreads under wool caps, and (so the theory goes) probably have an iPhone somewhere in their filthy backpack.
  4. Just because the store looks like it belongs in a trashy amusement park fairway doesn’t mean it doesn’t make a great bloody mary.
  5. There lies buried within the American psyche an insatiable appetite for novelty t-shirts.
  6. Public outdoor drinking combined with uneven brick sidewalks made for far fewer faceplants than one might have guessed.
  7. I have a bias against the saxophone, as 95% of the saxophone I’ve heard played has been piped through dentist office speakers.  In the right hands, however, the saxophone is incredible.
  8. There lies in the heart of New Orleans a moving reservoir of beauty, creativity, compassion, resilience, and other noble human ideals.  None of those ideals hang out on Bourbon Street.
  9. 25% of the nation’s garbage is accumulated on Bourbon Street every night.  Really, the amount of trash lying on that street at 4:30 am is astounding.
  10. 100% of the women who dance with Joseph Gordon-Levitt smile the entire time they are dancing with him (data pool size: 1 woman).
  11. I am taller than Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
  12. New Orleans cab drivers are much more willing to take an unwieldy number of people into their cab than Philadelphia cab drivers.
  13. New Orleans cab drivers occasionally drive drunk.
  14. Balconies with ornate wrought-iron railings are a decision.  New Orleans made that decision.  Other American cities should follow New Orleans’ example, pick a terrific architectural decision, and run with it.  My suggestion for Philadelphia: roof decks.  Preferably with wrought-iron railings.
  15. Gumbo?  Gumbo.

3 thoughts on “15 things I learned while in New Orleans

  1. Zach

    Nicholas, you encapsulate humor, poignancy, pathos, and a critical eye for detail in your tasty little sentences quite well. Nicely done.


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