It was a beautiful day on New Year’s Eve. I put the top down on the car and ran some errands. Driving home down Magazine, I passed two men on one bike. One guy peddled and the other stood on the front holding the handle bars behind him. They were both smiling, enjoying the warm, sunny day. Don’t remember the last time I saw anything like that. Especially with adults. Everything is a cause for celebration and joy and food and music here. One house I passed had Mardi Gras beads on every single post of its wrought iron fence. This place must be the origin of bling.
Made a necklace rack out of a framed photo. Turned out pretty cool. Then cleaned up for out of town guests, a friend from L.A. and his girlfriend.
We ate at a local Italian place (but actually, French Italian – the calzone is brie in philo pastry with a fruit chutney and apples slices) then walked through the Garden District up to the streetcar line. The streetcar was packed with revelers heading for the Quarter. One guy called his mom and had us all yell hello to her. I met a guy from Detroit who was originally from Chicago and was happy to be out of the cold. We called him, “Chicago” as we referred to him and walked down Bourbon Street, through the roaming packs of people shouting, “Who Dat?” and the crowds standing below balconies to catch beads.
We arrived at Jackson Square about 11:45 pm and I quickly assessed we couldn’t get to the front of the stage or a good vantage to see the ball drop, but there was a flow of people heading up to the river for a good view of the fireworks, so we joined them until we were high enough to see the Jumbotron of the concert and the Mayor’s address, but not in the gathering throng on the top of the levy. The fireworks were amazing. Really amazing. A big wow. And that vantage was a winner.
After, we stopped and had a drink on a balcony. As we were walking out of the bar, I saw… Chicago! I hadn’t gotten to say goodbye before, so I was happy to give him a New Year’s hug. As we wandered the chaos of Bourbon back to the streetcar, I thought – okay, the New Year starts with running into the same random person twice for pretty much, no reason. It comforted me somehow, made me think there’s a design to it all, even in the randomness.