This morning I received an e-mail from my brother. His dear friend Bob had sent along his thoughts this morning after yesterday’s mayoral election in New Orleans. The politics here play second chair to Bob’s unique perspective on that ailing city that is New Orleans. I just had to share. And thanks, Bob, for this:

We just had a big election, and with the city’s future on the line, the relaxed rhythms of New Orleans made an odd contrast to the tensions of the race. It seems to me there were a lot of good candidates for all the positions. I voted for Mitch Landrieu, but Nagin is smart and won’t make the same mistakes again. Before Katrina he was doing a good job, and I voted for him when he ran before. Thank goodness it’s over and we can get back to recovery. Recovery isn’t an event – it’s a process. A very long and difficult process.

We’re all delighted to finally have a neighborhood grocery store. It’s a charming little place with wicker hand baskets instead of those plastic things. It has nice fresh vegetables, a small selection of meat and just about everything else. Where else could we go to buy Kosher food and feather boas? The place used to sell Mardi Gras paraphernalia and still has masks, beads etc. in with the paper towels and cans of beans and pet food.

In the next block is a combination laundromat, bar, restaurant, guest house, and deli.

A few blocks over from there is my coffee shop. Not long ago I was sitting outside under the shade trees enjoying the peace of sunset when I heard a mournful sound. There was a teenage boy walking down the middle of Burgundy St. softly playing a trumpet. He was playing one of our songs, “When the Saints Go Marching In” very slowly and sadly. He stood erect with his trumpet held high as he slowly made his way up the street toward Elysian Fields. He was all alone in the dusky sunset.

I just can’t imagine living anywhere else.

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