Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gust Post - Alexandrea Weis

Alexandrea Weis stopped in for a guest post. Here's a little about this amazing woman. 

Weis is a registered nurse from New Orleans who has been published in
several nursing journals and textbooks. She has been writing novels and
screenplays for over twenty years. Her first novel, To My Senses, was a
finalist for commercial fiction in Eric Hofer Book Awards, a finalist
for romance in the Foreword Magazine book of the Year awards, and a
finalist for romance in the USA Book Awards. Her second novel, Recovery,
won the Gold Medal for best romantic suspense from The Reader's
Favorite Book Awards and was named best Romantic Suspense by the NABE
Pinnacle Book Awards in 2011. Her third book, Sacrifice, closes out the
Nicci Beauvoir Series. Her fourth book, highlighting her love of
rehabbing wildlife, called Broken Wings, is now out in paperback and

Ms. Weis is also a permitted wildlife rehabber with the
Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and when she is not writing, Ms. Weis
is rescuing orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives outside of New
Orleans with her husband and a menagerie of pets.

Blog site:

 The rhythm of the
resurrecting city of New Orleans is reflected everyday in the unified heartbeat
of its determined residents. And no matter the devastation, New Orleanians will
continually fight to hold on to their beloved little bastion eight feet below
sea level. Like the memory of a first kiss, the warmth of New Orleans pervades
your soul and forever becomes a part of you. To travel among the wide oaks and
antebellum homes of the Garden District makes for beautiful postcard pictures,
but it does not give you a true indication of what it means to be a New
Orleanian. You have to immerse yourself in the old world atmosphere and varied
traditions of the people of this town in order to understand them, and,
hopefully, become one of them.
     You need to dine
in the myriad of exceptional restaurants and take part in a heated discussion
about where to find the best bowl of gumbo. Spend a Monday morning drinking
coffee and chicory in an old uptown kitchen while learning how to cook the
perfect pot of red beans and rice. Experience the wrong way to eat a muffaletta
sandwich, the right way to shuck an oyster, and the only way to eat a beignet.
And you will always have to remember that if your food isn’t boiled, blackened
or fried, it just ain’t cooked.   
          You will want to traverse the different
sections of the old city divided not by points on a compass, but by proximity
to the Mississippi River or Lake Pontchartrain. Because no one in the Crescent
City could ever tell you where to find the south end of town, but they could
recite by heart the neighborhoods along the bend in the river. From the
Bywaters to the Irish Chanel, from Lakeview to the infamous Ninth Ward, so many
smaller sections alive with their own unique histories make up this city. Each
part of New Orleans has a rich heritage based on the struggles of its French,
Spanish, Irish, African, or Italian founders.
     Then head over to
Canal Street, where the local term “neutral ground” was created in the early
1800’s. In those days, the wide thoroughfare was first used as a common market
area between the feuding French and Spanish occupants of the city. Take a
streetcar ride down legendary St. Charles Avenue to see the world renowned
Audubon Zoo. Along the way, soak up the different styles of Victorian, Greek
Revival, and Colonial architecture represented by some of the city’s finest
homes. Let the soothing rocking motion of the streetcar ease your cares, as the
sweet scent of magnolias streams in from the open window beside you. At the end
of your streetcar ride, walk the broken cobblestones of the French Quarter, and
take in the alluring sights of the tightly packed Creole cottages. Listen for
the seductive sounds of Jazz music resonating around you, the smell of great
food hovering in the air about you, and let your imagination linger on the
romantic wrought iron balconies above you. Make your way to Jackson Square and
take in the tall spires of St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest Catholic cathedral
in the continental Untied States. Walk through the adjoining Cabildo Museum,
where the Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803. Stroll on over to the
Moonwalk, by the edge of the Mississippi River, and enjoy the calliope music
coming from the Delta Queen Riverboat. After you have learned to bargain like a
pro with the vendors at the French Market, then saunter down the shady
sidewalks of Esplanade Avenue. The street made famous by Tennessee Williams and
his tale of hidden desire. Finally, let yourself wander the narrow alleys of
St. Louis Cemetery Number One, where you can visit the above ground tombs of
famous former residents Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen, and Paul Morphy, the
chess phenomenon.
     But there is
another, more important, criteria for being an ingrained member of this
eclectic southern city. You have to learn to appreciate life. Not the
day-to-day hurried existence that shortens the lives of stockbrokers and
businessmen, but the easy lust for the fulfillment of the senses. For
everything about New Orleans is tailored to the forgotten art of
self-gratification. In these days of such soulless existence, it is a
heartwarming relief to find a place unashamed of its abundant way of life. No
one in New Orleans regrets the way they live, they only regret when they have
to leave it.
     So the next time
you think about my hometown, don’t linger on the unforgettable disasters of our
past. Instead, revel in what makes our city unique, shamelessly flamboyant, and
stoically unapologetic for its transgressions. New Orleanians have moved on
from Katrina. Despite the numerous media attempts to bury the residents under
clouds of negative press and dim outlooks, the people remain resilient. Because
they know that when Mardi Gras is over, crawfish season is right around the
corner. We may have paid a heavy price for our time in paradise, but we know
that somewhere up in the heavens, someone is answering our prayers. After all,
the Saints did finally win the Super Bowl.       


1 comment:

  1. What a great post! SO interesting to hear more about New Orleans from someone in the know. It is a place I have always longed to visit. Thanks for sharing.