Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler!
Eleven years ago Greg and I went on our honeymoon to New Orleans. We wanted to see this amazing American anomaly, this french city in the south. A freshly made Mr. and Mrs. we giddily disembarked the airplane into...a completely different world. Bathtub-water air, heavy and humid, and difficult to breathe. A city made of poverty laced with ancient grandeur. The french language that was definitely not spoken with a french accent, but with an American Cajun accent, all hard consonants and liquid- soft vowels. We played together there, dressing in light layers, spending our money on food and drink and music, pretending we were in a great movie. We saw 80 year-old musicians play their hearts out at the legendary Preservation Hall jazz club, and ate sugared beignets at Cafe Du Monde. Every afternoon there was a deluge and a thunderstorm, and afterwards the streets would STEAM.
Eleven years later, after the destruction of that dream-like and beautiful city, we celebrate our anniversary in Portland. We took our nine-year old child to Montage, a local Cajun restaurant under the Morrison bridge. For all that it isn't New Orleans, it IS a spirited and richly appointed establishment, and we had a wonderful evening. Greg entertained us with his parlor trick of tying a cherry stem in a knot with his mouth, I singed the menu on our candle, and we all enjoyed the vegetarian jambalaya. Cora was non-plussed by the shouting waiters, and we all cheered our lovely leftovers wrapped in foil sculptures. We ate, drank, and made very merry. One day we'll take the child to New New Orleans, and try to piece together what once used to be. I am ever-grateful that at least Greg and I got to see it.