The Twitter-verse and Facebook have been buzzing for the last couple days with all things New Orleans. No one seems to know who started the #ImSoNewOrleans trend but it’s brought the city together in a way usually reserved for football season. People are sharing childhood memories, old photos of long-gone places and jokes and trends so inside, only someone who grew up here could truly get them. I didn’t. I wasn’t born here and I don’t have a good answer to, “Where’d you go to school?” (meaning which local high school), but I’m so New Orleans that my family owned property on St. Charles in the 1700’s. Okay, that doesn’t help me decipher some of the local references or share some of the memories, but it does make me feel like I’m home.
It’s been 4 years and 8 months since I moved from L.A. to NOLA and I’m more NOLA than L.A. now. I’ve had lots of clues but I really noticed it when I recently walked into an audition for a commercial. They had asked us to dress for Mardi Gras – costumes encouraged. Carpooling there, I said to another actor that we’d be able to tell who lived here and who came in for this by what they were wearing – that locals have “costume closets.” I said this wearing my Pussyfooter uniform from top hat to combat boots and corset in-between.
Costume closets? I was a professional actor and didn’t have a dang costume closet. How could a city full of people with no closets all have costume closets? Closets were taxed as rooms back-in-the-day so most homes have few to none. That said – I now have 5 piled-high petticoats, 2 drawers, 2 hat boxes and a shelf dedicated to costumes. Walking into the audition, we were right – the people we knew and hugged were mostly in costume and the unfamiliar faces wore a few strands of beads.
But when it came time to tweet, I knew having a costume wasn’t enough so I laid it on thick: @KnowSmallParts · #ImSoNewOrleans we served Wedding Cake flavored sno-balls after our wedding second line thru the Quarter w @TheRootsofMusic & @Pussyfooters
On Facebook, I had room to add @Dancingman504. Some of my favorite postings have been: @BachmanWrites – #ImSoNewOrleans that I respond viscerally to distant marching band drums, like a yatty Pavlov’s dog.
Khris Royal posted – I’m so New Orleans that I actually go out and support the things that make this place great.
John Gros posted a photo of a Saint leaping at an opponent and said – I’m so New Orleans , I get excited about the start of training camp.
Me too! And THAT’s why this whole social media moment has been fun. I’ve gotten to see inside people’s recollections that let me see how different my childhood was, but I’ve also gotten to say “Me too!” over and over. I’ve never spent this much time on Twitter – ever. New Orleans values community and we are always finding excuses to come together so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that so many of us spent a rainy Wednesday swapping stories and laughing at the things that make us the same as each other and different from other places. Other cities are catching on and sharing their unique culture.
Here are some people, things and moments that are “So New Orleans”