LisaMore

Writing What Is Me

Archive for the category “New Orleans”

New Orleans is more than heartbreak

New Orleans, a city that is known for its partying ways but also, unfortunately, its crime rate as well, is certainly on its way to being the murder capital of this country. If it is not all ready. As the city continues to get back to pre-K levels,the crime steadily climbs back to the top of the charts it once occupied. It was scary to realize that on the 13th day of January there had already been 11 murders, not including a suspect shot by police after a high-speed chase. 13 days into 2012 and the violence has swept the city, and it has not stopped. Citizens of New Orleans ask the question, “what can be done to take back our city from crime,violence, and murder?”

There is not an easy answer nor is there an answer that will give us an immediate solution. The blame has to be put on someone for letting things get so bad but who? Do we blame the mayor, who has words of wisdom but no real action plan? Do we blame the chief of police, who though has brought us a long way and cleaned up most of the NOPD still can’t seem to ever get his story straight and make excuses? Do we blame the parents, who ignore their children or even introduce them to the violent ways that end their life’s all too soon? Do we blame the teachers, who no longer invest time and energy into saving our youth and being that inspiration? Do we blame ourselves for allowing it to get this bad and not giving back to our community to encourage a different set of values and behavior?

Honestly, we must blame all of those above. We have allowed for it to get this bad by being complacent and accepting of practices that should have long ceased to happen. The crime rate increases everyday, along with the murder rate, and the number of funerals in the city. I’ve heard so many people say that they have been to more funerals than any other gathering. Normalcy here should not be murder and racism but unity and growth. We have to take responsibility for our actions and the influence it has had on our children. They deserve better.

This city, is becoming more than what it ever could have been in the past. This city is moving forward after it was condemned by its country. New Orleans will no longer be about the great divide. We have come too far to see it still be a black and white issue, a death and murder issue. This is not just a government issue, but a societal and humane one. Fathering and mothering our children is what needs to be the main focus. We can not allow for the youth of today to be raised by tv and video games. The youth cannot and should not be afraid to play  in their own backyards because of the violence in their area. Their cries need to be heard and they should hurt your heart. Tears should sting your face from anger, pain, hurt. This should cause for a movement, a radical change in our society and the way we view it. Violence, murder, crime, unfairness and racism will continue to exist when we continue to look at situations as a race/class issue and not a human issue. We all have to be a voice for a generation. A positive voice that will create change and productivity.

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Hi At Us

I recently decided to take a writing hiatus and by recently I mean a few months ago. After starting my first big girl job I was a little overwhelmed with everything that comes along with it. I was also dealing with my ex going to jail (he totally deserved to go by the way) though that wasn’t that tough of an issue to deal with except for the fact we were talking about getting back together and I’m still in love with him (which totally sucks). Along with that, I fell out of touch with my best friend and just all around felt lost in the world. New Orleans is starting to feel like a dream, a strange place, that I have never encountered before and not in a good way. It seems I have these feelings at some point every few years when I feel like I just keep going back to things that I know. I want some excitement, something new that I haven’t experienced before but with responsibilities and accountability being an issue for me at the moment, I can’t just up and move across the pond like I would like. I feel as though I’m wasting my potential away day and night. Is it because I’m scared of what the future brings? Not really (that not really translates to yes). Am I scared of being alone? Yeah but at the end of the day who cares. ( I care damnit! With tears streaming down my face.) When these thoughts hit me I have to write. It was dumb of me to ever stop in the first place. Getting lost in the words and love of writing is what saved me or rather saves me. The fear of failure seems greater than success for me at the moment. Would a pep talk help? Yeah, definitely. I actually got one recently, well sort of. I’ve been told by numerous people that I have potential but everyone has potential. I’m not exceptional at anything in particular but once one does things enough they become an expert. I tend to give up on things before I ever get to that point. I’ve started to realize my problem already. I always give up when I should push through but that has nothing to do with my pep talk. I digressed.

Anywho, my pep talk happened while at work when I was told that I didn’t fit in. Not the first time I’ve been told that at this job but somehow someway I find myself back there. I actually enjoy what I do but I want to LOVE what I do. Everyone wants to be able to do this but somehow we feel like we have to be part of the rat race and slaves to the cause. That’s why I have to create an evil plan to escape all of this. At the rate I’m going I’ll end up being stuck in the same place forever and that is not an option. Don’t let it be an option for you either. Recognize your flaws and acknowledge them. Figure out what it is you want in life (which is always the hard part) and go for it. My favorite thing to say is, forget all the scary stuff and say how you feel and do what you want. In the words of Beyonce, (actually, I’m misquoting Beyonce ) school life don’t let life school you. Did I just type that? Anyway you know what I mean and you know what to do.

Let’s Go to Gripe Town

It seems I’ve been on a little bit of a writing hiatus only to be reminded why I do it in the first place. This will not be another why I am a writer post. Instead this will focus on my gripes of the week, because there are just way too many things that irk me at the moment. I’m not really one to complain or at least not as much as I used to but there are some things that need to be addressed. Most have to do with my city, New Orleans, and others about the use of the internet as another way to fight.

Gripe #1- The traffic light on Tchoupitoulas  by the warehouse turned police station and where the entrance to the wharf is located in the warehouse district has been broken for about two weeks now and it has officially reached annoyance levels. There are huge semis that like to go out of turn when the use of a four-way stop is necessary. Not to mention people have trouble navigating a conventional stop sign let alone a 4 way stop, try doing that ish in heavy traffic. It is not the business and I would like for the city of New Orleans to get on their job and fix it. Please and thank you.

Gripe #2- The roads of New Orleans are a force to be reckoned with. I think even God would have a problem navigating these streets without letting some wind blow and lightning crackle. The street situation is more a constant gripe than just something happening this week but since this is the first time I’m doing this list it gets added. The city has been trying to repave most of them but that job will never be done at the rate the city is going.

Gripe #3- Construction on Magazine Street is totally lame sauce. They have finally moved past Louisiana and moving further Uptown to continue whatever it is they are doing. I can drive down Magazine and not feel like they did anything of real substance because I still hit bumps in the road. Do it right or don’t do it all.

Gripe #4- The amount of crime that is happening in the city is beyond heartbreaking. The amount of young who are dying and doing the killing is such a terrible sight to see. The school system here is not where it should be, though, they are trying. More youth programs need to be available and we need a lot more positive people in the city who are willing to help those who are at risk. We all can make a difference by putting our heads together and making a change. Change can’t come if we are united but separate.

Gripe #5- Has nothing to do with the City of New Orleans but has to do with the use of twitter and other sites on the internet to get in a good jab or two. Twitter beefs, as they like to call them, have become common place and it is so ridiculous. Half the time, it is over something stupid that could be ignored and laughed at. People take things WAY too seriously these days. Relax a little and laugh a lot. I learned that over the course of my life and especially now that I’m focusing on writing that is key, essential even, to making it in the business. Someone is always going to have something negative to say and most of them are never worth it. Ignorance is bliss for a reason.

That’s the list for this week. More to come in the future. Until next time.

Faith

In New Orleans, everyone knows that Mardi Gras is crazy but what most people do not realize is that this city is very serious when it comes to Catholicism. Fat Tuesday may seem like the craziest day of Carnival but at midnight that ends. The police and cleaning crews kick people off the street because it is the official start of Lent. Since I’ve landed in this city, I have grown to appreciate and respect the city and its religion. They are one in the same and there is no way to live here and not have a little Catholicism seep into your way of life. I’ve always been a religious person but it seems it has grown since I’ve been here. As strange as it sounds, I have a closer relationship with God recently because I have grown to embrace the city and what it stands for.

With all of that being said, I do not believe in a lot of things that Catholics do but I respect it after going to Loyola. Before Loyola and the city of New Orleans, the only thing I knew about Catholicism I learned in my AP European History class. I went to public school so learning about religion in school was not happening. My first year at Loyola, I recall hearing about Lent and Ash Wednesday and I knew about them but I never celebrated them. I never had a reason to, I thought, because I’m not Catholic but I’ve come to realize that that is not true. Ever since my first Lent here (notice I did not say Mardi Gras) I have given up something for Lent. It is nice to cleanse the body or soul of something to commerate Christ. I’ve given up alcohol, sex, soda, sweets, facebook (the original version, which is in no way as addictive as the new version), and cursing to name a few. I think I gave up soda two years because I am addicted to it.

Though I’ve given up something for Lent every year since I’ve been in New Orleans, it was not until this year that my faith in God returned to what it used to be pre-college. Before, I did it because everyone else was doing it but never for the true reason. The past couple of years have been trying and it was because my faith had faded to almost nothing. Not just my faith in God but my faith in people as well. This year is completely different. I feel more connected to the universe, God, and people. I’m more patient, caring, giving, and understanding. I know this connection is made stronger by observing Lent among other things.

Even after learning and knowing all of the things I know now, I still falter. We all falter because it is in our nature too but also because it helps use trust in something bigger than ourselves. This post started out about how the city of New Orleans has caused me to celebrate some Catholic rituals but then the post ended up something entirely different. This city has broken me down more than once but at the same time it has rebuilt me. For that reason, this city will always be a part of me and me a part of it. Sometimes you have to embrace what breaks you down in order to get back up.

The Death of Friar Tucks

Here in New Orleans, going to bars and drinking is a way of life. The drinking starts early and ends late, if it ever ends at all. People usually start drinking at an early age here because  of how accessible alcohol is and not to mention that the drinking age used to be 18. It is still legal to drink at the age of 18 as long as the person is in a private residence but obviously if a person goes to a bar, then they have to be 21. Well, college bar, Friar Tucks, didn’t believe in such things. I did not grow up in New Orleans but I have been here for the past seven years of my life. I arrived in 2004 to start my freshman year of college and Friar Tucks was one of the bars that many of my classmates frequented. I, on the other hand, did not frequent Tucks as we liked to call it. I can count on one hand the amount of times I was even in the bar but all of those times stick out like a penis in a sea of vaginas.

The floor was always drenched in beer and alcohol from the college freshmen who could get drinks easily from the bar. The place was usually packed with freshman and sophomore girls and every class distinction of men. The music was loud and kids grinding on each other was common. There would be pool games going on in the back or at least one person making out in the corner. The main reason why freshman girls frequented this establishment  was because of ladies night in which ladies drank for free and for all the guys willing to get any girl drunk.

The walk to Friar Tucks was always a dangerous one because it was dark and away from the campuses of Tulane and Loyola. Most of us at the time did not think about the fact that even if there was a group of us, we could still be taken advantage of simply because we were drunk. What good is a friend if they are just as intoxicated as you are?  It is sad that it took someone being killed basically on the steps of this bar for them to realize they should close their doors. Yes, they were closed down anyway because of the citations they received for serving minors but they had gotten away with it many times before. I’m not quite sure how because most of the times that I have driven by Tucks there was also a cop sitting out in front of the bar making sure nothing happened but we all know about the police in this city.

At the end of the day, Friar Tucks essentially caused its own death by playing with fire and unfortunately an innocent person got burned. College students will be with one less college bar but maybe that is for the best. The next bar to go should be The Boot but that is another beast to tackle at a later date.

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