I won't see Jackson Square or Woldenberg Park or Magazine Street--not even the French Quarter, except for what I can see out the window of my room.
I --would-- like to wander down to Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, a tavern built in 1772 and rumored to be America's oldest drinking establishment; but I wouldn't want to be there till 3 AM or so and I have to be up, working, at 7 AM, looking like I slept somewhere besides the sidewalk on Bourbon Street.
So, instead, I order the chef's special up to my room and enjoy the inky darkness as it settles against the shoulders of the river. I like the silvery lights shimmering on the surface of the water and the occassional sound of a boat's horn. It could be today. It could be 1902.
It's not Fat Tuesday nor any other holiday, and still, just inland from the mosiac of land and water, swamps and alligators that make up the flight path to New Orleans, hoards of tourists wander down to see and hear and taste the soul of the city that retired the streetcar named "Desire," only one slim year after Tennessee Williams made it famous.
They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot, right? And if they don't, mother nature comes along and drowns it every now and then. We are a small race and a skimpy blip in the continuum of being.
Even so, I am glad to be alive, to be travelling, to see this city, even from the 21st floor of a hotel whose name I have already forgotten.