I've been getting ready for Festival Internationa de Louisiane and thinking about something...
Since Festival is on the brain so are the people that move to areas because they love the culture there and it offers many, fun, cultural activities (i.e., music and food festivals.) I am one of those people (sort of - I am from South Louisiana moved and away and moved back because, y'all, there is no place like this place.) I know funny because I don’t participate that much. I enjoy being surrounded by it. Hearing the music float through the air, people walking by laughing and joyfully discussing a show they just saw. I love the fact that if I want to see some amazing art, try a new dish or listen to local musicians I can just walk a few blocks and there it is. I accept my neighborhood for what it is because in my mind the good outweighs the bad. I mean I do lose it on someone blocking my driveway but that would piss me off in a quiet subdivision with nothing going on.
Then! Then there are the ones who complain. The ones that move to neighborhoods like mine and then seek to change it to what they want. “Ooh I love the culture and music,” until they have it interrupts there precious sleep. Whining about all the people walking through the neighborhood but how the hell do you think the music venues stay alive. Yes some of them are drunk (we don’t live in a strict Mormon community.) It’s Louisiana we love our music and our libations. I’ve been to dry weddings. I'll admit they are not as fun. Who ever said, “I want to go out and listen to music and enjoy a rubbery steak and a tall glass of cranberry juice?” I’m sure many of my friends in New Orleans would be glad to chime in on this subject.
We luckily, mostly have whiners but New Orleans has the saddest results from the influx of culture killers. Great local bars and music venues shut down because they can’t fight Mr. Money bags and his need for beauty rest. Little local restaurants that can’t compete with the ever-rising rents and the children who beg Mommy and Daddy to fulfill their dream to open a restaurant after their all expense paid trip to culinary school. They are buying up properties and displacing residents so more tourists can occupy the city in their Air BnB. Which in turn means the voices that they need to rise against this tide gets smaller and smaller. How do you fight against a force that aspires to white wash the whole town and has the money to make it happen? I understand all things must change but this does not erase the grief of watching much-loved traditions and places die. So if you don’t like what comes with these neighborhoods then I say to you Party Pooping Crotchety Curmudgeons “Get Off My Damn Lawn!” *Shakes fist in air knowing perfectly well there is nothing she can do to stop it.