I ran into so many sassy Vespas down in ‘ol San Fran while we were out exploring the city, but I felt this particular ‘pa deserved extra attention as it made my day. I was already going to take a photo of it and was walking up to get the shot, when I noticed a detail that caught me by complete surprise: the “Be a New Orleanian, Wherever You Are” sticker that was proudly displayed,
The sight almost brought a tear to my eye, as this sticker (more so the idea behind it) has become a large part of my particular narrative and reminds me of my time in Nola, just after Katrina happened. I remember being at the 2006 Jazz Festival in New Orléans and running into the Dirty Coast folks, who were handing out stickers and bracelets, and how amazing they were being to everyone who came over to speak with them that day. (Oh and yes, that one: the Jazz Festival where Paul Simon sang “Bridge Over Crowded Water” and Bruce Springsteen sang “My City of Ruins”.)
I have one of these stickers on my car now and I am very proud of it. I usually don’t do stickers on my vehicles, but I made an exception for this one and had it on my previous car as well. When I see the sticker out on other people’s vehicles (as this is a rare treat), I get so excited and happy that someone else found that “motto” important enough to communicate it out to the world as well.
It is a sticker that I have seen far and wide, in many cities across the USA, during my travels throughout the years since 2006. It continues to amaze me when I run across one and always brings the warmest smile across my face and to my heart. While the message is simple, the power behind the short message is complete: never forget the city that is Home.
I know that when I come across one of those stickers out in the world, I’ve come across someone else who went searching for “that something specific” and found it in back New Orléans. I’ve found yet another Wanderer who finally found Home too and can’t shake that city from their soul. It is a rare happening, I’ll admit, but one you always take a moment to appreciate and remember….. no matter where you are.
Cheers, to one hell of a city, San Francisco, and to the city that is Home, New Orléans.
I know it has been one hell of a week so far, but I hope all of you are doing okay and keeping yourself safe.
P.S. A huge shout out to Vespasanfran! When I’m next in the city, I’ll know better than to leave without introducing myself.
Oh, and more photos of lovely San Fran soon.