Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Drew Brees at Lucy's after the parade

Posted By on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 6:11 PM

Prediction: Everyone in New Orleans will have seen this video by tomorrow. It's Drew Brees, after yesterday's amazing Saints parade, stopping at Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar in the Warehouse District to lead the team's fans in a cheer:

...which is why, I think, people are so fond of this year's Saints, Lombardi Trophy or no: they seem like good guys, real people, the sort of "celebrities" New Orleans likes -- accessible and unaffected.

It makes me wonder what would happen if we had a mayor who did the same thing, a mayor who didn't walk around surrounded by bodyguards or drivers or whatever. A few months back, I was in a restaurant in the CBD when a certain mayor came in to eat, surrounded by a phalanx of entourageurs. He breezed through the dining room, a suit in the middle of men in other suits, and disappeared into a back dining area while the citizenry looked up, registered the moment, gave one another Meaningful Looks, and looked down at their plates again.

What if we had a mayor whom we saw on a Sunday afternoon, walking around Audubon Zoo with his kids, wearing a baseball cap and an old pair of jeans? A mayor who took lunch meetings at Domilise's or Liuzza's or the Parkway? A mayor who popped into Snug Harbor late in the evening, maybe with his wife, and squeezed into a table like the rest of us? A mayor who showed up at Le Chat Noir for a play or concert and stood in line at the podium, waiting to pick up his ticket?

Maybe even a mayor who, after toasting Rex on Mardi Gras, walked from Gallier Hall into the Quarter, maybe shaking a few hands along the way, but going to Royal Street where he could watch the Society of St. Ann as it streamed in from the Marigny, walking through Jackson Square to see all the costumes and listen to the bands, stopping at the Bourbon Street Awards to share a laugh with the drag queens, going on to the Blacksmith Shop to grab a beer or the Quarter Master or the Verti Marte to get a bottle of water, a mayor who believes he's one of us and takes the same small pleasures we all do in just living in New Orleans?

It's not impossible. If we have a star quarterback, a Super Bowl MVP, and a Sports Illustrated cover guy who finds it not only important, but imperative, to walk into Lucy's after being cheered by 800,000 people -- why couldn't we have a mayor who has the same priorities?

Or ... do we?

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