Sunday, March 23, 2014

Just Crawfish

The crawfish boil is New Orleans' version of a barbecue. When I heard a bar near me in Chicago was having a crawfish boil, I jumped on it. The crawfish were on the small side, but boiled right with potatoes, corn, sausage, etc. They also had pans of Jambalaya that was very tasty, or maybe the Abita on tap helped with that. Nothing like drinking during the day to shake things up.

When I first moved to Chicago, I felt special being from New Orleans. I never told anyone I felt this way, but when people found out where I was born, they instantly regaled me with stories of exploits of their trip. When they heard my accent, they might wonder if I had lived in Brooklyn, not sure about the odd inflections when I spoke.

I would also get to tell them about the "to-go" cup and how early I started drinking and it was perfectly legal. I get to tell them about Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest and the non-touristy things to do. When I lived in New Orleans all those things were normal, but outside of New Orleans, I was different in a good way.

But that feeling faded with my accent and I was a little disappointed when I go to this crawfish boil of about 80 guests and only saw one other person with a Saints jersey on and I didn't even get to talk to her. I wore my purple, green and gold striped Mardi Gras shirt and big Saints beads and not one comment from anyone, who were all dressed normal. They guys who cooked the crawfish didn't even comment on my loud shirt. 

One cool thing is that I got to meet Lake Charles, Louisiana native and Bears running back Matt Forte as I was leaving. It was a quick ten seconds and after his running the gauntlet of fan-selfies, he was interested in a getaway so we didn't talk New Orleans stuff, which is fine because I would have to tell him I'm a die hard Saints fan. 

My friends and I had a great time, but a crawfish boil is a social event in New Orleans. If everyone ain't talking to everyone, then its not a party…it's just crawfish.

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