by Kiersten Hallie Krum
This week at Lady Smut, we’re celebrating blogger C. Margery Kempe’s new release One Night in Rome by picking a different city each day where we’d love to spend one night…and what we do there. At first, I thought for sure if I had one night to spend anywhere in the world, I’d spend it in a European venue, Paris or Prague, Capri or London. but the more I thought about it, the more I realized New Orleans is the place I’d choose to be.
It has the best of both worlds–Old-World charm in the New World. New Orleans is an experienced lady who has weathered wars and floods, crime and neglect but who always comes out singing. The city seethes with personality, from the vibrant colors donning every block to the exuberant street performers on every corner to the music that oozes out the doorways. Laissez le bon temp rouler is more than just a slogan–in New Orleans, it’s a way of life.
There’s a mystique about New Orleans one romanticized by writers and musicians. A world where men fight illegal duels over remarkable women, a polyglot of languages pepper each sentence, and charm and smooth-talking is coded into the DNA. But scratch the surface and the glamour rots into nasty horror.
The supernatural took root in New Orleans and flourished almost from its founding. Be it the influx of Haitian and other French colonized Caribbean islanders who brought with them the vodoun religion or merely the old-world mystique seeping over the ocean with the French, the Spanish, and Jean Lafitte and his pirates. This is a world where vampires and demons may lurk in any shadow ready to steal your soul. And yet we’re pulled under that spell all too easily, compelled by the lure of that which cannot be properly comprehended within the firm borders of our tangible world.
People are continually drawn to the city, seduced by the promise of decadence without accountability, excess without retribution, sex without consequence. New Orleans is an alluring lady, one who teases with respectable wrought-iron trellises draped in the hot-house flowers of the south while the thick, humid air taunts the unwary toward delights unknown. Years ago, I told a friend I wanted to go to New Orleans and do all the wicked things my soul would cringe to remember. Sex shamelessly marches down Bourbon Street calling the world to come to order. Me, I prefer the tawdry sheen of eroticism, not the cheap insult of casual lewdness, but both thrive in the streets and behind the dark doors that pepper New Orleans.
For me, one of the biggest draws of the city is the music. It weaves around the streets as the city’s natural soundtrack, jazz and zydeco dancing around the buildings on the air. My one night in New Orleans would include a jazz club where the trumpets are hot and the string bass holds such a deep beat it thrums through my blood to keep time in my pulse. I love to dance and would spend my one night in New Orleans grooving up against my partner of choice…and a lady always leaves the dance with the man who brought her.
There’s sadness in the music too, loss and pain that only music can give voice to, the lone brass player on the street corner wailing out a tune. The city’s fraught history holds much blood and misery, emotions to which only music can give justice as even the most evocative words can never truly be enough.
And let’s not forget the food. Cajun, French, Southern…the variety of options is a gourmand’s holy grail. My one night in New Orleans would be a gastronomic gluttony. It would start with beignets in powered sugar, coast over mid-day alligator po’boys, and finish with an evening crowed by a perfectly prepared steak, all washed down with a variety of wine and booze.
Music, dancing, food, booze and decadent, erotic romance. My one night in New Orleans would be a night to live in infamy.
Be sure to check out Lady Smut blogger C. Margery Kempe’s new release this week, One Night in Rome.
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