I moved to New Orleans for the liberties. I had never been to the city until about seven years ago. When I finished graduate school, I had to relocate to a new city to find some opportunities and within about two hours of being in New Orleans I was sold. It felt like I could relax and let my freak flag fly and not be bothered with daily concerns that I don’t concern myself with anyway. It wasn't until my first Mardi Gras Day that I fully understood the magic and freedom that is present in New Orleans. There is a connection to celebration here, a shared cultural phenomenon that revolves around carnival, tradition and revelry. All of these things ebb and flow in the city but they remain, and they create a sense of liberty here, a sort of come-as-you-are and do-as-you-please vibe that I could sense upon arrival to the city. I think that this sort of collective bond ultimately translates into a shared experience of community in a sense…that makes the city feel small, approachable and available. I’ve included a photograph of my costume closet after 7 years of Mardi Gras. This is what reminds me of the city and why I moved here.
– Chris J.