In New Orleans, Thanksgiving Day signals the start of horse racing season at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Once there, you can see couples strolling hand-in-hand and hat-to-hat, babies in blazers, men in suits, and women in skirts and dresses. If the style, horses, and noisy slot machines at the Fair Grounds are not enough for you, you can also find dinner and drinks. I’ve always wanted to take a date there for the holiday and wear hats together—maybe next year.
It’s never fashionable for a mother and daughter to be pregnant simultaneously. During a span of three years, my mother buried her parents and two of her teenage children. In the aftermath, by a twist of fate, two boys were born to two unlikely women: my thirty-six-year-old mother and her fifteen-year-old daughter, who gave birth five months apart. I’ve heard my mother say that my sister was smart enough to have condoms, but that my mom wasn’t smart enough not to take them from her when she found them.
This column covers New Orleans style with the aspirations of global readership, because my city is international: Our culture has influenced the world while simultaneously being inspired by global customs. The traditions here are as rich as our history. Where else in American do you get three days off to party? We call that Mardi Gras. I know your last two mayors don’t join a second-line with the people—your mayor probably can’t even dance.