DRAFT: New Orleans: Conflict makes for a great narrative.


Photo by Marco Torres


From Jenna:

This project has been an assault of the senses for me.  I have been learning with my whole being during this initiative.  This project reminds me of being in New Orleans on a hot and muggy day in July.   You stroll around  the Quarter wearing your flip flops armed with a sloppy po’boy while the mayonnaise drips down your arms. Watching jugglers, a Second Line, and artists at their canvass you are transported into a story told unlike any other in the U.S.  But it’s your flip-flopped feet that tell the real story at the end of the day.

They tell the story because they are utterly filthy.  New Orleans is a city that all at once is creepy and beautiful, dangerous and heavenly, Good and Bad, clean and dirty.

Aren’t those the elements that make a story good?

From Marco:

That is what makes a great story. The ups and the downs. The coming back up from a down or the other way! Music needs a happy ending and sometimes a sad ending. Stories, music, art, need this conflict. Ying and Yang are the best marketers. They win you over because you want to see how they figure things out after a mess up. Even people like surfers need this conflict in their stories. Wiping out is part of the journey. It doesn’t stop them from getting back up on the board. They even have a silly happy song about wiping out. Failing for them is not trying.

Jenna’s connection between New Orleans and this digital promise journey is a very accurate one for me as well. The official insect for New Orleans should be the bumble bee because. The bee is not supposed to fly. The wings are too small in proportion to the body but it does. New Orleans is below sea level. I remember looking onto the city from a river boat and seeing the tops of houses. This is usually bad news if one understands the law of physics. However even though they are confronted with this constant reminder of dangers, or as Jenna calls it, “the bad”, they thrive in their own special way– “the good”.

The city has a history of people trying to figure things out from slavery to kicked out Canadians, French, and Spanish to Plessy vs Ferguson to Katrina. Data is not NOLA’s best friend, however, the story is! This is why it’s one of my favorite places to go, as well. I’m addicted to its story.

Today, America and the world is grateful for the city that has given us a soul, art, culture, and hope (even though part of this story is sad, too).

We will thrive. We will survive. We will scrape our needs. Share victories. Dirty our feet. But, at the end of the day, like the Crescent city, the experience will be worth it!

There are three things New Orleans never hides: 1. It’s challenges, 2. How it adapts, 3. And how it tells that story using sound, smells, site, flavors, and emotions.

I love this challenge!

Thank you, Jenna, for helping me connect these very important dots for me today!

I’m now craving red beans and rice, Louie Armstrong, and my “Who Dat!”



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