Have you been to New Orleans? Yeah, well before these last two days I thought I knew what was happening down here and I was all wrong. Unlike many places around the world, “NOLA” is nearly impossible to compare to another city. The shape of the buildings, the width of the historic streets, the smells of foods I’ve never tried, the sounds of live music seeping through the walls at all times of the day, the palms, and the feel that all walks of life are welcome here. Are we even in the USA? This place is out of this world!
RAIN & SHINE
From the very minute the plane landed there has been heavy rain. Not a sprinkle, but full on, fat ass plops of rain. Gray skies. Warm breezes. But the city doesn’t stop. Tourists move through the French Quarter like its not a big deal, locals laugh as loud as anywhere, and the street cars (NOT trolley cars – don’t fuck that one up) keep on rolling down the grassy medians. Weather can’t fade the charms of a city this eclectic, this bold. Through the rain, this town will always shine. Can my short trip here justify a claim like this? I think it can… so I’m going with it. Travel here and try and prove me wrong. I dare you. Louis will show you around and in no time you’ll agree with me. Is some fat rain enough to play the #weatherproof card when it is still 75 degrees out? Actually, and it could be the NPSD in me, I know that it is. Whatever extra layer of “hard to get out of bed” comes from the added weather is worth mentioning.
PRE & POST
In conversation last night at dinner with Co-Leaders Kate & Louis, the horrendous Hurricane Katrina came up. It was my fault, I’d asked something about the sections of town and it was immediately clear that the wound is still painful. So, in an attempt to move on, I quickly asked about the tribe, the workouts, anything to move on. But Lou wanted to clear the air. “It isn’t like we can’t talk about it, we’ve just been on that subject for so long, it just isn’t a fun conversation to have. We all know where we were when it hit, but that was a pretty long time ago now, ya know?” But then they went on to talk about it and they spoke of how life in New Orleans is marked by “pre” and “post” Katrina. I couldn’t help but think about a NP in the pre-hurricane years and what that would have looked like, how the vibe would have been different in any way. Quickly the pledge group down in Orlando came to mind and how the shootings earlier this summer forever changed the city. I couldn’t help but think of Boston post bombings, NYC post 9/11, Oklahoma City, the racial tension in Chicago, Milwaukee, Baltimore, and all over the USA really. NP can’t fix things over night in the world, but communities of any kind can and will keep cities moving forward. Show up. Start a day with your fellow people. Smile. Post is horrible. Pre is not an option. Painful as it is, we keep moving forward trying as hard as we can to build community as one.
LOCAL & WORLDWIDE
Locals here are friendly. They speak in a charming local accent that makes you join their positive vibes right away. Its real. And like November Project, I think that the world can learn from this city, from this tribe. Out in the heavy rain and dark morning today, the good people of New Orleans did what we all need to do; They fucking tried. Side by side, these polite fuckers woke up and started their day with a few hugs and smiles, then made it through an hour of movement. The locals of NP NOLA should be canned and sprinkled, or even crop dusted, all over the world. Kindness & hardwork, rain & shine, pre & post. After joining the tribe here, I’m convinced more than ever that this movement has what it takes to change the world.
A special thanks to Will, Kate, & Louis for letting me into the family and letting me write this post today. I fucking love you guys and can’t wait to see you again. Oh, and to the founding fathers Cam & Preston who are no longer leading… the tribe, your tribe, is strong.