NEW ORLEANS BABY!!! HAHAHAAA! Oh man… holy shit… holllllllley flamin’ beignet biscuits, what a town. I’ve never been before and… what a sensory overload! Its like a giant, city-sized floating funhouse plopped in the middle of a bayou with 250 years of debauched history. Sprinkle on endless stories of ghosts, vampires, murders, and the fact that they have the highest number of missing persons per year, compared to all other cities in the U.S., then you get some sort of SORDID funhouse with knives on the slide and cannibals behind the mirrors. Sounds like something out of a Rob Zombie film… But hell, that’s why its fun. Since when does pleasure and pain come separately anyway?
So. Even though being outside in the heat and humidity for more than a minute gets you covered in slime, our visit started off on the right foot. A great hotel really makes a difference. I’m so grateful my Dad offered to come along and pay for shit, otherwise I’d be sleeping in my car and might not’ve had a back by the time I got to Oregon.
I don’t know what I expected. I don’t think I had any expectations, really. I mean, I’d always heard crazy stories from mardis gras, but its not that time of year. However. Something called “Southern Decadence” was happening all Labor Day weekend. Gay men pranced around in large numbers embracing their gayness. Ok, maybe only some of them pranced. It was sort of a big, sweaty, anything goes, unofficial parade of stereotypes. But don’t get me wrong, I thought it was fucking awesome! I’ve never been so entertained or felt so safe amid so many men. And I totally saw this one dude’s penis. Hahahaha. I took an awesome video of the insanity with my iphone but for some reason the file went corrupt 😦 SO bummed about that. Oh well. Guess I’ll just have to attend another gay parade. Onlyyyy next time, not with my dad. Sorry. One should never have to view so many butt cheeks with their father.
Anyway. Moving right along. I was stunned at all the art galleries and antique shops. I could’ve spent a hell of a lot more time exploring those. There’s live music at every other block, and they could easily be a set up for a movie. Everything you’ve seen about New Orleans, by the way, isn’t an exaggeration. People really talk like that. The bayou really looks and smells like that. And its really that crazy. Its an eternal party. What I love most, is that anyone can be anything they want without scrutiny. EN-eee-thing. AND. You may even be able to make money just off of being your weird self. Take these people for example.
Well, I guess I can’t write about New Orleans without mentioning VooDoo. All I have to say about that is, its not all that hexing spooky spell shit the media portrays it to be. I mean, every spiritual practice has its dark side if the individual chooses to take it there, but from what I could tell, its just Haitian metaphysics. The voodoo doll is primarily used for healing. There are different colored needles that stand for different emotions. You put the needles in the part of the body that you want to see healed in that fashion. For instance, a pink needle may stand for bliss or peace, so you can stick it in the heart. A green needle might stand for calm, so you stick it in your doll’s nervous stomach. Those aren’t accurate, just examples so you can get the jist. I think its pretty cool. The Haitians are polytheistic and the many sculptures, statues, and masks are representations of them. Once again, nothing spooky here. For instance, the mermaid who looks into the mirror and sees her skeleton is an analogy for getting to know oneself deeper, in an existential sort of way.
So, nothing spooky yet, however, if you visit NOLA, I highly recommend the Vampire Tours. On the surface of these animated streets, life is… parties, lights, music, and people seem to follow their city’s motto, “let the good times roll,” but at the underbelly some really disturbing stories can be found. They are fascinating, though. Did you know that NOLA’s graveyard is above ground? It is said its because water runs not too deeply below the surface. What I learned on the tour, is that the city is so pressed for space that after a certain amount of time, they squish your remains to the back of the vault and drop them down a shoot into the bayou so they may reuse your place of rest. That’s about 300 years of death layered on top of each other.
There’s a story about two men who lived and worked in NOLA around 1932 who were arrested for kidnapping several people off all ages and gender. They kept them tied up, drained them of their blood, and when they died they buried them nearby, layering the victim’s remains in limestone and acid in order to dissolve the bodies. The police never found out just how many victims were buried there. Its said that the condo these men lived at is highly haunted and in the last ten years, only three people have lived there. Even though its a nice place in the center of the french quarter, no one stays for more than a few months.
That’s merely the tip of the iceberg, though. However, I’m only going to mention one more story because its just so damn twisted and interesting. The archdiocese resides on the outskirts of downtown in an old, inactive convent called the Ursuline convent. In case you don’t know what archdiocese means ( I didn’t) it is a district ruled under the archbishop’s jurisdiction. In other words, its a chunk of the Vatican. It belongs to them, not the city, the state, or even the country for that matter. (I don’t think… don’t quote me on that, though.) Anyway, St. Mary’s church, and a thick 10 foot wall around the premises was added onto this convent. It is famous for several reasons, but mostly for the tale of the casket girls. There are several variations of this story, but I’ll tell you what I heard. The French Catholic church sent over several young ladies on a boat to NOLA to wed the lonely men working there. They were given casket shaped boxes filled with their dowry, however some stories say they were empty, and possibly for the purpose of holding their bodies once deceased, others say they held vampires. The boat stopped at other ports along the way, and many of the women were convinced to get off with those men. By the time the ship arrived at NOLA not many were left, and instead, several casket shaped boxes were carried off. The old Ursuline convent took the remaining ladies and their boxes in. Hence, the term “casket girls.” Rumors spread around town about vampires. The people eventually rioted the archdiocese and demanded to see what was in the boxes. Apparently the church assured them that there was nothing in them and they were stored in the attic for safekeeping. Over the years, people have asked for access to that attic, but they are denied and told there is nothing up there except old furniture and dust. The windows to the attic are nailed shut with wooden shutters. You can clearly see, that no other part of town has shutters quite like this even with the threat of hurricanes. Apparently, around 1978 a paranormal team visited NOLA to investigate the casket girl story. Two young ladies set up a camera on a tripod facing the attic windows for an all night investigation. In the morning, they were found nude, dead, and placed on the front stairs to St. Mary’s. There was no sign of injury except for a gash on their backs between the spine and shoulder blade. The coroner’s report states, “whatever happened to these girls, must have been done with their consent.”
I briefly researched these things and couldn’t find a whole lot to back it up, but it makes one hell of a story, right? Oh, and here’s one more bit to really twist the blade. The giant cross above the front doors of the church is not in the typical savior shape, yet it is encased in a perfect circle, which is often recognized as a sun cross, with the perpendicular lines denoting the solstices. In the center of this sun cross is an upside down dove. The dove is used in christian faith to show how it descended from heaven and landed upon Jesus, however, its normally depicted upright, or sideways. I looked into that, and an upside down dove IS associated with the Occult, but whether that actually means something, I don’t suppose we’ll ever know.
a real time shot from the actual church courtesy google earth