New Orleans, Episode #1 – Sleeping in some Strangers’ Kitchen

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

I can barely recall how events have chained up in the last 24 hours up to that point. There is a surreal dimension to it.

I got off the Amtrak in the City of Jazz yesterday at 5.30pm after 21 hours on the train. How glamorous I was feeling!

In the first seconds, New Orleans (aka NoLA) hit me like a sauna. I walked out of the station and saw the first palm trees. No one bothered to warn me that Louisiana was THAT tropical and I was feeling kinda stupid with my rainbow fur coat. I will have to use something else to make connections with strangers while I’m down here. I’m totally unequipped for that climate.

On the train, I had exchanged a bunch of text messages with 3 different people I didn’t know (friends of friends of friends) and I started losing track and mixing them up. The only tangible element I had was an address where a party was apparently happening later on, so I asked if I could just come over with my huge bag of irrelevant clothes. Someone texted ‘yes’ so I followed that track and got on a cab. I had a starting point at least.

I was excited to chat the taxi driver up, but he politely asked me to shut it cause his wife was on the phone. Welcome to town.

Then, magic kicked in. I got dropped off on Burgundy Street in front of this little Gone with the wind looking house plus palm trees. NoLa is movies. A tall and pretty ginger girl who looked like Madison Young (queer sex positive porn actress) came out of the house and asked me if I was me. I said yes. When I got inside the Gone with the wind looking house and found myself face to face with a giant papier mâché rib cage, I knew that I had been set up with the right people.

Pretty ginger porn star doppelgänger is μ3, her boyfriend working on the gigantic papier mâché skeleton is β4, and there was also their housemate α6, who is a mix of Salvador Dali and Alice in Wonderland crazy hatter. The three of them got on a car four months ago and moved to New Orleans from their native Ohio to make puppets, papier-mâché skulls, films and arty stuff. They all rock the world and welcomed me like a member of their family.

Their house is to die for, there are crazy details to watch in every corner. The house is “gunshot” shaped, which means that it is like a long corridor of rooms (back at the time with no air conditioning it was apparently the best way to get a draft). The legend says that it is called ‘gunshot’ because from the entrance door you can shoot your wife cheating on you in the last bedroom at the end of the corridor. Here, the first room is the crafty workshop.

We talked for a very long time drinking French wine and they gave me security tips cause the city is dangerous. α6 got mugged with a gun last week cause he walked home alone at 2am. So I will have to compromise on my night hawk and loner tendencies and rethink my travel habits. They all seem a bit concerned for my safety and made a map of areas not to go to. I’ve never really dealt with crime risks in all my US trips so it’s new to me.

Shortly after, κ² arrived at the house. He is the one responsible for all this. He worked with my super good friend H on a horror movie few years ago. His job title on movie sets is “grip” — which from what I understood means that he pushes the trolley with cameras when filming traveling shots. My description of it is probably heretic but it’s just to give a rough picture.

We all went around the corner to eat tapas. I’m French so I know my stuff regarding food, and these really were in the Top 2 best tapas I’ve ever had. NoLA is food! On top of it, I quenched my thirst with a house cocktail called “Hawaiian Erection”. I couldn’t have invented this.

The guys are going to set me up with a bunch of interesting people that I want to portrait for my blog. Their above neighbour is a drag queen and μ3‘s boss used to be a millionaire sent to jail for buying gifts to judges. Good encounters ahead.

More people came in later at arty house and I had great conversations about guns and death penalty with them. μ3 says she doesn’t like guns but prefers that citizens carry guns rather than having only representatives of the government carrying guns. Basically, she said that many Americans own guns to defend themselves against police and justice because they are not trustworthy. I had never thought of that under that light and that’s when soaking with locals is priceless. It is so easy to caricature Americans all the time with our European standards, just claiming they are violent for the sake of it and own guns to play it like western movies. Fuck clichés.

I was meant to sleep over at 겑s but arty house guys blew me a mattress and I slept in their kitchen. Of course.

I’m now writing this from a café in the French quarter. κ² is working on a movie set around the corner. I’m going to try to catch up with him in his lunch break. Maybe I’ll get a better understanding of what his job is actually about.

I can’t believe I didn’t know these guys 24 hours ago. Magic.

Failed Day

IMG_1974IMG_1981

IMG_1984IMG_1986

IMG_1988IMG_1991

IMG_1993IMG_1996

I reached my NYC home on Friday night at midnight, returning from New England. I hugged α² as if I hadn’t seen him in months. He had fixed me a cute Boy Scout bed on the sofa because him mum is visiting and she borrowed “my” bedroom.

I met her early the morning after and it was the most awkward parent introduction I have ever experienced. I rose from the sofa with my morning hair and she was already glowing with effortless elegance at 8am.

I was going on a day workshop at 11am called “How to fuck like a porn star” taught by Madison Young, a queer sex positive feminist porn actress whom I discovered in “Too Much Pussy” by Emilie Jouvet. I went for breakfast with α², his mum and β but I told in front of Ბs mum that I was going to a painting workshop. She was very excited about it and asked me super specific questions and α² and I struggled not to laugh, I just couldn’t look in his direction as I was trying hard to make something up.

I arrived at the workshop in an amazing 3 floor Brooklyn house with patio and hot tub only to find out that the porn star was in hospital because of food allergy, so I went back where I came from. Brooklyn was so sunny, it made the walk lazy and pleasant. I wanted to meet the family at the flea market but by the time I got there they had left. Bummer.

I went back to the Brooklyn 3 floor hot tub house in the evening for the after party – a Play Party. I got there early and hanged out awkwardly. Everyone was friend with everyone and was talking about Burning Man Festival, where I have never been. When the party really kicked in I realized that instead of queer friendly alternative and experimental as I expected, the crowd was borderline tasteless middle-class straight couple swingers. Only straight couples were walking in, 2 by 2 holding hands in ridiculous outfits (Superman, nurse, fishnet unitard with strategic holes, T-shirt with a picture of their dog) (no kidding). Some dudes were friendly and chatted me up but I told them that I was totally in the wrong party and that I’d soon be bored to death. I had a couple of cool talks but I spent most of the time pigging myself at the buffet ‘Eat as much as you like’ style, petting the cat and writing blog posts with my iPhone on the couch surrounded by bare butts. A man in latex told me off: ‘Stop texting!’

I got seriously hit on by a short old deaf guy with skinny legs who didn’t get that I wasn’t interested. Not only I didn’t feel like talking to him one bit, but I had to shout and repeat every sentence. He finally understood that I was at the wrong party cause I am exclusively into girls. He replied with a sassy face ‘No worries, I love watching women together!’ I hope he was trying to be funny. But I know he wasn’t and he had just said the worst line ever to tell a lesbian. He tried again later ‘So, you told me you are into girls, but guys must be into you cause you’re kinda cute’ with a cow-boy accent. Did it really have to be my last night in NYC? Bummer.

That was my biggest NYC failure, but it was extremely funny. I think I had a good time after all, not the good time I was aiming for but who cares, good time anyway.

I left soon after midnight and walked home. Brooklyn at night isn’t scary, there are even some gentlemen on the street. It is only piled with trash.

I slept with α on the couch, only a few hours because we wanted to catch the sunrise on Coney Island, our Sunday routine.

Failed days make the funniest stories.