Sunday, December 06, 2009

Cold hands and feet, warm cafes

Snow fell north of the city on Friday night, and a freeze warning followed in the same area on Saturday night. 25 miles from the city, but people in New Orleans (who have not seen a hard freeze in over a decade) worried it and talked about with a great deal of asperity.
It sent people OUT of their houses, since most of us have less than comprehensive heat systems in our houses, if any. Most rentable shotguns have (if you're lucky) one floor heater in the middle, or maybe a gas wall heater in the bathroom. Owner occupied houses might have central heat, or might not. They may rely on window units in one or two rooms to get through the night...
So, we bring out the blankets and socks and scarves while home and cook a lot to get the stove area warm.
And we head out to bars, coffeehouses and dinner plans. Since we live one of the southernmost cities (outside of Miami and the Keys which are, of course a different country), we have the opposite activities in this season than most of America, so plenty to do.

We move to new apartments at the end of October til January. You would think we would move in spring, but no no, that would cut into our festival calendar.
Our racetrack just opened for the year, and the thundering hooves seem to quicken my dog's trot as we walk along Fortin in the a.m.
Art markets set up in parks and at wine stores (Bacchanal today, Swirl next week) welcoming thousands of shoppers mingling outside in the sun, buying any black and gold thing they can afford.

So, an active time here on the Crescent bend. Spirits are very high with the Saints in an unprecedented winning streak and a hurricane-less season behind us. Speaking of hurricanes, the lack of hurricane this last year may have put to rest an old assumption in the city too-snow in the city has long believed to foretell a damaging hurricane season, but snow last year on December 11 did not bring anything to us this year. Maybe that and the reopening of The Roosevelt with its Winter Wonderland birch tree and white light display stretching from Baronne to O'Keefe

and the fried oyster/spinach salad at Cafe Degas (or the immune builder live juice mix at Satsuma) is what has given us all a new lease on the good life.

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