Most intimidating woman
(Solo women travelers, as always, should exercise extra caution, no matter the outcry of locals.) But the city also has, I’ve learned, a very forgiving spirit.
That, more than Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest or oak trees or gumbo, is my indelible image of the city: The only place in the world where I’ve had such a good time that the shoes melted right off my feet.
That’s something that the obsessive reporter in me is going to have to come to terms with, as does any traveler to some degree: Try to do everything and you’ll wind up missing the most magical parts of being far from home.“New Orleans is a feeling,” Angelika Joseph, a singer for the city’s only all-female brass band, The Pinettes, told me while chilling on a sidewalk after a show. From the sense I got on the ground, though, the tricentennial ranks pretty far below Mardi Gras as a thing the city is excited about. Charles Avenue, where I was staying, ladders were set up for the purpose of viewing parades that were two weeks out, and strings of beads from years past were dripping off every oak tree like moss.
“We’re so cool, even our trees have bling,” I overheard someone say.
I experienced that pride a bit when I wrote something offhand on Twitter about how locals were ending conversations by telling me to “be safe,” and that I got the impression that no one walked around after dark.
It was a badly worded tweet, though not entirely off base. New Orleans has a notorious violent crime rate, one that predominantly affects black men, but that sometimes spills over to tourists and residents.
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"Sandstorm" is like the least intimidating entrance song ever, at least outside the humor category.