Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||New Orleans in the Summer...
New Orleans in the Summer
been in New Orleans this past week for a convention with the National Society of
Newspaper Columnists. The party never stops in New Orleans. The people are
tourist-friendly and the visitorsí bureau is jazzed you are there.
The French Quarter is a quaint area of town where brightly-colored buildings
have wrought iron balconies and flower boxes. The streets are very narrow since
they were built in the 1700ís. In the evenings, bars are wide open and streets
crowded with young people and pick pockets.
New Orleansí summer weather is so hot and steamy that my hair immediately
frizzed like an SOS pad. A walk down the street gave me a hot flash that even a
pink hurricane in a souvenir glass couldnít cool.
Everyone gives you strings of Mardi Gras beads to wear, which help identify you
as a tourist. There is a mime, clown, human statue, or jazz musician on every
corner working for tips. They seem to have more entrepreneurs per square foot
The fact that I had a camera around my neck and stopped to take
a picture every two feet probably helped to identify me as an easy mark. There
were so many tourists in the French Quarter that it was hard to tell if you were
tipping the locals or each other. Everybody had their hand out.
However, the street people all worked, entertained you, played music or posed
with you for an unforgettable snapshot for the folks back home. One clown told
me I could probably sell his picture on eBay. I guess he forgot that clowns
Horses and carriages give picturesque tours of the city. You can also take an
old-fashioned streetcar which runs down the tracks in the middle of Canal
Street, but you have to get off and change streetcars to come back. It helps if
you can remember which side is downtown and which side is up.
When the wild partying starts in the Quarter at night, old people like me go
back to the hotel to growl about the noise, sirens, and cursing in the streets.
But even the hotel had a Carousel Bar that revolved like a merry-go-round and
made you a bit dizzy whether you were drinking or not.
One evening a brass jazz band led us through the streets to our evening event,
and we followed in a New Orleans tradition called ďsecond liningĒ. Iím
sorry I didnít get a picture but I was too busy twirling my umbrella. Even the
crowd on Bourbon Street stopped to watch when we boogied by.
Walking down Bourbon Street one morning to check out the cheap souvenir shops, I
saw a dog asleep on the sidewalk while his owner apparently visited a local
watering hole. I took his picture and he didnít even open an eye. Iím
surprised he didnít have a tip jar.
In the shops, the price is never the price. If you hesitate, the price begins to
go down. I went to the French market one afternoon where I found a cool copper
bracelet, which is supposed to help arthritis, at least according to the guy who
sold it to me. Maybe I should have bought a voodoo doll. They were cheaper and
no telling what I could have cured with one of those.
They have wonderful food and restaurants and a soup called gumbo that is full of
shrimp, seafood and rice. They say you just have to eat it and not worry about
whatís in it. They eat crawdads there, although they have changed the name to
crawfish to make them more appealing.
Our hotel was believed to have ghosts and I intended to check it out at about
midnight. Unfortunately, I was so tired by nighttime that I couldnít stay
awake late enough. I did notice, however, that the elevator had no thirteenth
Iím still trying to recover from the trip. All the tourist areas are back up
and running like normal since Katrina and I definitely recommend it as a great
place to visit.
And, if you enjoyed my column, just put a dollar in my tip jar.
Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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