Noel, we’re not in Montana anymore!
We arrived to Baton Rouge two days ago as the last light was leaving the sky. It was only about an hour before that when speaking to a local that I realized one of the many differences between Louisiana and Montana. Instead of simply arriving and requesting that the power be transferred to my name, I needed to call ahead and have the power and water turned on in the apartment. Ha!!
Because of this oversight I have been “camping out” in a hotel room, while unpacking during the day. I only realized tonight that I could have camped out in the apartment because, because while it is dark early outside, it is not dark outside on my street! Another sign that I am not in Montana. The street lights, porch lights, and general town light is so bright, my apartment is bright even in the night! I may need to invest in an eye mask to sleep.
Today I took my first walk with Noel around the neighborhood. I am living in
Spanish Town, the oldest neighborhood in Baton Rouge. As far as I can tell, Spanish Town is the only part of BR with a bohemian feel. And I don’t mean “Boho” – but the real deal. The neighborhood hosts the largest Mardis Gras parade in BR. Which means they must be gearing up for the coming festivities. Beads from last year still hang from trees and wires, and can even be found on the ground.
There is a unique feature to the neighborhood, too. Flamingos are everywhere. Lawn art and plywood cut outs. Stained glass windows and murals. All types and sizes. I am sure I am missing a significant cultural reference….I need to go meet my neighbors. There was even a flamingo waiting for me in my apartment when I arrived.
The tiny neighborhood of Spanish Town borders the downtown. So while the majority of BR is one big expanding suburban mega-complex, I can step off my porch and pass the capital, museum, and arrive at the Mississippi River in about 5 minutes.
Noel is making friends with everyone she comes in contact with. While running errands today we stopped at a red-light and idled next to a public transit bus. She was eye-to-eye with the bus driver, who looked at her and smiled. Windows rolled down between the vehicles and there were greetings and exclamations from everyone on that bus!