No sooner had I unlocked the door to my new apartment was I on a plane again. Back to Schenectady. Like Greenville-Spartanburg, the Albany Airport was a familiar haunt. Despite certain layovers, there’s something to be said about second tier international airports. The workers are pleasant, security light, and the terminals easy to navigate; yet you can go anywhere you need for much the same price as starting at a hub–Hartfield-Jackson, O’Hare, etc. Gerald R. Ford, my home airport, is much the same. And although I’ve rarely used it, it has the same calm appeal of home as GSP and ALB.
MSY, from the first of this month and onward, has evoked the same feeling–but in a different way. Upon first arrival, it felt like a caricature of the new city: jazz playing over speakers, purple and gold coloring on advertisements, the fleur-de-lis tattooed on every other sign. But I soon learned that the airport, like the city, owned its image. It wore it with pride and was deaf to criticism. Whereas Upstate New York seemed littered with ego and self-consciousness, New Orleans stood with confidence and character. The subsequent interactions I’ve had with the city–be it the people, work, grocery store, restaurants, or on the streets–has stood true to this perception. The city seems alive, despite its awareness and acceptance of danger and death that surrounds and pervades it. Hurricanes, alligators, heat-lightning, voodoo, raised cemeteries, giant sewer rats, decrepit buildings, and vomit-filled potholes; the city is dynamic. It contains a playful wisdom–a full acceptance of all things that have occurred, are occurring, and are to occur–that is manifested in its many quirks. I enjoy these quirks and hope to indulge in as many of them as I can. However, my time here is temporary. I don’t know what came before me or what will come after, but from stumbling around this August, I can be sure of this:
I’m happy to spend the rest of the year here.