I write from Austin, Texas. One week ago I arrived in New Orleans for Mardi Gras; two days ago I picked up my friends Jane and Ben and drove with them to Austin. Tomorrow we cross the Mexican border. The first leg of my journey is over, and from here on out I won’t be enveloped in the hospitality of old friends; I’ll be ‘hablo-un-poco’-ing my way into the lives of people I haven’t even met yet. I can’t imagine what awaits.
Mardi Gras was a dream, and I wish I’d had more time to spend in New Orleans. There are a few cities I’ve visited on this trip where I’ve felt like Yes, I could stop right now, park the car and just start living here. New Orleans was one of them. Unfortunately, it’s going to drown in a few decades – along with Miami – and I can’t decide if it’s brave or idiotic, romantic or head-in-the-sand, beautifully rebellious or blindly defeatist, to throw your chips in with a doomed paradise. Where were YOU the night the world changed forever? There is no such single night, really, and so every night along the road feels a bit like that. We’re poised on the edge of a precarious future, slipping further into it all the time.
Below, too many (and yet not nearly enough) Mardi Gras photos. Next missives from Mexico!