Welcome to the Big Easy Miss Things!
Yes, this Fierce Black Queen could have chosen a much less crowded and touristy spot for brunch this week, but The Court of the Two Sisters is not only historic–it’s also got some of the best food I’ve had in New Orleans.
Try the Shrimp Etouffee. It reminds me of misty mornings walking down by the river, and looking in the windows of shops off of Royale before they open. Also, order up a Hurricane to sip–if you dare. Like the city, it is deceptively sweet and delicious–but packs a powerful punch that will have you staggering around the French Quarter screaming “STELLA!!!” up at every window (…uhhh, so the Queen has heard). For me, New Orleans is the perfect blend of Good and Evil. From the magnificent beauty of the Longue Vue House and gardens, to the blatant poverty of Orleans Parish–pre and post Katrina. From the awesome, natural wonder of the mighty Mississippi, to the dawning uneasiness that grew as I realized that only a few generations ago someone who looked like me would have been sold at auction on its very banks. I like to say that after God finished making the Universe, whatever Good and Evil were left She balled up and tossed over Her shoulder. And it all landed in New Orleans.
The Queen has not had a chance to visit the New Orleans African-American Museum yet. However, I have been told by friends that it is a wonderful place to gain perspective on New Orleans black history.
Located in the historic Tremé neighborhood, the museum’ stated mission is: “…to preserve, interpret and promote the African-American cultural heritage of New Orleans, with a particular emphasis on the Tremé community.” The Queen is particularly interested in an ongoing exhibit called “Drapetomania”, which seems to explore the propaganda of the mid 1800’s which sought to define runaway slaves as victims of a mental disease. Apparently, wanting to escape slavery is a curable disorder. I agree with that hypothesis. It can be cured…BY BEING FREE.
Anyway, maybe we can check the museum out after lunch. There are also lovely gardens in which we can stroll and tell ghost stories.
“The world changes, we do not, therein lies the irony that kills us.”
― Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire
When I think of New Orleans, among other things I think of Anne Rice. I love her work. She has a way of capturing the tiniest details which cause the worlds she paints with words come to life. After all these years Lestat remains one of my favorite characters of fiction. I have often wondered why there aren’t more works about Black vampires. In searching, I re-discovered this prologue given to me by a young man I once taught. I haven’t spoken to him for a while, but I’m certain that he wouldn’t mind if I shared it. In re-reading it, I discovered a few delightful elements, and some fairly novice components. However I think it is a great concept. It’s rather long, and contains some graphic violence, but if you have the time the Queen would love to know what you think.
Full? Artistically and Literarily sated? Good.
Get your passports in order. We’re flying overseas for our next meal. Hope you Miss Things have a great day.