Author: Joi Darling

Fall Fasting & Other Fun Stuff

It’s a gloomy Monday morning and there’s nothing I’d rather be doing than sitting out on my screened-in porch, enjoying the chilly breeze with a hot cup of coffee. My job is remote and although I have a (messy) office in the house, I typically do most of my work out here with a view of the canals behind my house. The truth is, I set up a bunch of fall goals that I just haven’t been keeping (refer to last post that was around 6 weeks ago). I’m not going to dwell on it here, but I know I said I was going to blog more often and it’s disappointing (to me) that I haven’t been keeping it up. Maybe if I would keep to the “shorter workouts” promise, that would free up some time? I should be able to bang it out in an hour or less, but it’s rare that I’m at the gym less than 90 minutes. Hell, I feel if I’m driving 1/2 hour to and from, I want my …

Summer 2017, The Official Farewell

It’s safe to say goodbye now, right? I grew up on Long Island and “back to school” was always the day after Labor Day. I used to have mixed feelings. After all, who can resist the allure of a new Trapper Keeper and fall clothes that would be too hot to wear for a month? But I definitely loved summer. A mere two months of freedom, but wasn’t it endless once?  Beach days with my grandparents at Zach’s Bay, Disney vacations, huge Sunday family picnics at Eisenhower Park, Friday night baseball games, pool days in my backyard, parades, ice cream truck jingles, cupping lightening bugs in my hands and admiring the glow before releasing them… it’s a sunny, sandy, starry humid blur but probably familiar to anyone growing up on Long Island in the 70s/80s. In New Orleans, while locals enjoy having a lot less tourists taking up all the dining reservations, a lot of us either leave the city or count down the days until Labor Day. And here we are. Happy Labor Day, …

Hurricane Season (Wake Me When It’s Halloween)

Time for the obligatory, August sucks, bring on fall post. Two days left in this tiresome month and they are full of storm. So it goes. This city is in my blood and I’ll take it with the storms and flooding the same way I’ll take it with the second lines, beads and bourbon. Three weeks ago I was storm-stranded in my car. Luckily I had pulled onto high ground, and after almost three hours of waiting it out to no avail, I had to wade through thigh-deep water to get to safety. What kept going through my head as I walked through the filthy water while garbage cans floated past me? This is practice for the zombie apocalypse (I think about the zombie apocalypse way too often). Spoiler alter: I made it OK and along the way, enjoyed the local attitude, ie, the folks partying away at the gas station and flooded bars in the neighborhood. Today is August 29 – fall is still about a month away. I’m rained in due to the …

Homesick?

I love New Orleans, but I’ve been missing New York a lot over the past year. Perhaps I have the best of both worlds, though. I get to visit New York when I have the time (except during the months of January, February and March. I don’t miss those NY winters at all) and I get to live in a much more affordable city (any city with the exception of San Francisco and perhaps LA is more affordable), one that I love equally to my birthplace. I don’t take this for granted. But, homesickness isn’t always a rational thought. I was back in New York last month and I’m going back next week for a few days and already I’m thinking ahead to when I can visit again. It’s just that I find myself yearning for weird things that I can’t have here and they aren’t even that big of a deal, just things that seem silly but are meaningful to me. Like I am missing fucking subway stops! What the hell? Nostalgia is for …

Bring On Summertime, New Orleans!

Happy July! The mindset of being on summer vacation is instilled in us as soon as it’s our last day of kindergarten. I’m sure I’m not alone in this: with the unofficial start of summer being Memorial Day, we have about 3 months to fill with an array of getaways, from a weekend road trip to a month-long retreat (or longer) in some sort of exotic locale. We’re not even halfway there yet! I’ve got months to fill… let’s get on it! It’s good to get out of town periodically, but it bears mentioning: I love living in New Orleans, but I especially love it in the summer. Yes, you’re reading that right. There’s that magical time after the colleges let out and JazzFest is over when the city becomes a lot hotter and a lot emptier. We can finally go out and get into places that normally are too packed for me to consider, places with stunning views like Tin Roof at the Pontchartrain Hotel. Hello, Staycations! Don’t get me wrong. It’s unbearably hot at …

Boating on the Bayou

We picked up the new boat on Saturday in Baton Rouge and drove it home (carefully… South Louisiana roads aren’t in the best condition) with a UHaul. We’re in the process of getting a dock built because when we bought this house our insurance company made us destroy the preexisting dock. Understandable, seeing as it was all but sinking into the canals. We got some quotes and who knew how insanely expensive this project was going to be?! Also awesome, I have to replace most of the roof on my old house in the Marigny, so I’m going to be doing some serious damage to my savings over the next month. In the meantime, our kind neighbor across the street is letting us dock the boat there. Let the adventures begin! We had to launch the boat across the highway and then drove her to her resting spot before dealing with returning the truck, parking the trailer and a host of other boring stuff when all we wanted to do is get back out there and explore. …

Revisiting Your Favorite Places

“You’re going to Italy… again?” I kept hearing when I told friends about my upcoming trip. The implication was why not go somewhere you haven’t been before and I get it, believe me I do. There’s a whole world out there and I haven’t even been to South America yet, no less Asia or Australia. But Italy is easily my favorite place to vacation and  I found myself just simply wanting to go back. Do I really need to explain myself? Italy is fucking amazing. Who doesn’t know this?  The food, the wine, the art, the history… all the ancient shit and intriguing Catholic morbidity! My friend, Carolyn, and I found super cheap tickets leaving out of Philly and I had enough points for a free round trip ticket to Florence, my favorite city. Sold. To be vegan while traveling in Italy is a pleasure. How things have changed since I first visited 18 years ago. In my wildest dreams, I don’t think I could have imagined this plate of pasta being served to me, dairy-free and smothered in …