“In the spring of 1988, I returned to New Orleans, and as soon as I smelled the air, I knew I was home.”
― Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire
|new web hair accessory|
Last May was the first time I had ever been to New Orleans without someone I had married or would marry i.e. my first honeymoon was in New Orleans… and my first husband turned out to be a right wing Southern Baptist who didn’t drink, didn't care for spicy food, or even enjoy Jazz (insert *what was I thinking* face… but I was young). The second time I went was with my second husband when we were first dating. That was when he was fun… and before he basically died (metaphorically) playing video games with beer cans surrounding him on the floor...that latter part would be literal…sigh *insert what was I thinking* face again… but at least I got out right around the time things could have become violent. Read that as the man who owned a good two dozen types of guns (some that are no longer even legal to be purchased in this country) asked why I was scared of him with the follow up, “It’s not like I plan to shoot you”. This girl wasn’t going to be a statistic. They both did cruel and unusual acts of punishment toward me but those stories are not part of this one. This story is about how I took back the city for me.
I started the Goth Gardening blog just two weeks after returning from The Big Easy. I’m surprised I didn’t mention the trip in more detail because it was the trip of a lifetime.
I arrived on Saturday, May 10th. My flight was a bit delayed which made me nervous because I only had 45 minutes to drop off my bags at the hotel and turn around to make the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 tour, the oldest Roman Catholic cemetery that was established in 1789. I have my notebook in front of me where I took notes. It was a whirlwind but the shuttle driver and the passengers on-board agreed to drop me off at my hotel first. I caught a cab and made it.
Legendary Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau is believed to be interred in the Glapion family crypt in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. I have notes about the society tombs and also a picture of Nicholas Cage’s pyramid tomb because my mom likes him :p The tradition is for women (or perhaps men too) wearing lipstick to kiss a place on the tomb. I did not. I’m not a fan and I’m too much of a germ-o-phobe to do so. There is also the Easy Rider tomb (i.e. a portion of the movie was filmed in the cemetery). The saddest part of this DeMarigny tomb is that *this* is the garden in the cemetery. This makes me appreciate the Rural Cemetery movement and Hollywood Cemetery so much more!
After the tour, I walked through the French Quarter all the way back to my hotel which was in Uptown near the Convention Center. I passed by Bourbon Street (shrug) but it was the Mississippi River and the boardwalk that made me the most happy on that walk back.
When I arrived back at the hotel, I officially checked in (before, I just dropped off my bags to make the tour). I was given a room upgrade since I didn’t need two bags. At that point, I showered and got ready for the magical part of the evening—the Julian Sands performance which was mere blocks from my hotel. I planned a nice dinner for myself and then walked to the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans. The night was Julian Sands in ‘A Celebration of Harold Pinter’. In a wedding-related post, I wrote about this in more detail.
On Sunday, I work up early and walked to the Garden District which I have to say was a bit sketchy, and on the way back I took a street car. I gave myself a tour with GPS. It is odd how I remember this area after so many years. I was, with the help of GPS and my Google map, able to find the homes where Anne Rice used to reside. I took a tour of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 which is the oldest of the seven municipal, city-operated cemeteries in New Orleans. It is a non-segregated, non-denominational cemetery. Lestat's tomb is in Lafayette Cemetery. Yeah, yeah, yeah, he’s a “fictional character” shrug. But still! In the end, a severe storm swept up. You know because vampires can control the weather!
I’m thinking about all of this because I’m getting ready (as in I need to wrap this up) to head out to NOLA for the fourth time. This time it’s to attend another conference but I’m sure there will some gothy excursions (read that as the Metairie Cemetery is a must on my to-do list) aside from some of the gothy presentations I’ll attend at the PCA/ACA Conference. But seriously, I gotta run. I am not TSA approved so it will take a bit to get through security!