New Orleans – Allie Lilio

New Orleans

I’ve never had such conflicting feelings about a trip or city before, and I promise it had nothing to do with the fact that the weekend we were there happened to be one of their coldest all year.  Ill admit it did make me a bit cranky on the coldest of days, “Hair Jam” day, because I had never been in such bone chilling cold before (apparently the humidity makes the cold feel much worse…) but that had nothing to do with my conflicting feelings.  Anyway, I honestly had so so much fun on this quick trip to New Orleans.  Our friend Henry was having a “Hair Jam” (basically a bunch of hairdressers get together and share/learn new tricks from each other. Its all very casual and fun.) and invited friends from across the country to join in. 

The Hair Jam was rad. There were tons of talented people sharing great information. And then the day after the jam a group of us got together and wandered around the city. It was beautiful and the history was so rich.  We found a beautiful cemetery filled with amazing headstones. Actually, quick side note on cemeteries in New Orleans; because the city is actually below sea level the deceased cant be buried underground or they wont stay underground… so they’re buried in above ground plots which creates a visually beautiful cemetery. We Walked around the French Quarter, Jackson Square, the Mississippi River front and Bourbon Street. We were having a great time with our friends.

Now where the conflicting feeling came into play.  Amidst all the fun we were having with our group of friends, absorbing all the history and beauty involved, there was a very dark side to  everything. Within that one day I saw so many heartbreaking things. People so gone on drugs they were passed out half naked down the steps to the river with not a single person paying any attention at all. People so drunk they couldn’t walk or talk straight, a couple being arrested for what seemed a love spat gone wrong, children performing for money, prostitutes hanging out of doorways half naked literally calling for men to sleep with them… And most of these things didn’t happen in the darkness of night, they happened in broad daylight, in public. It made Vegas seem like a Sunday morning at church in comparison.

Like I said, I was very conflicted.  It was a weird feeling to be having such lighthearted fun when around every corner I would see something that hurt my heart. I’m glad I went but I’m not sure its somewhere I want to go back to any time soon.

 




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