I love New Orleans.
Comments flew after last week’s column on the new Plaza level Superdome renovations, and online exchanges quickly meandered down as many conversational byways and verbal morasses as Honey Island Swamp on a foggy day.
To wit, this discussion:
“I waited 10 minutes for a shrimp poor boy.”
“I have difficulty taking anyone serious (sic) that says Poor Boy.”
“Um, what’s wrong with Poor Boy?”
“Poor Boy is the original name …”
“It’s NOT Poor Boy. I don’t care how politically correct you think you are, it’s PO BOY.”
“The locals named it the Poor Boy, you idiot.”
“You can’t really be from this area. A Poor Boy? Really?”
“Tom Fitzmorris also refers to them as Poor Boys. So there.”
“I do not turn my nose down at either pronunciation, just as long as I can eat one.”
Actually, I think the expression is “turn my nose UP,’’ but that would take us into yet another conversational detour. (For those who wish to follow a diversionary path into culinary territory, one story of the po’boy can be found here.)
Other xc detours led to discussions of Dyson hand dryers, airport food and sound systems.
Meanwhile, some chatter did stay on point. Among principal topics of conversation: Are the new Plaza level seats narrower than the old ones? One critic maintains that he actually called the Superdome to ask, and was told they’re the same size as before (which he didn’t believe). Other observations about the new seats:
“I felt like I was on a four-hour flight sitting next to two people who needed seat-belt extenders.”
“I heard one ticket holder refer to the seating as feeling like he was stuffed in like a sardine in a can, and another say he felt like he was moved from first class to coach.”
Meanwhile, people sitting in the non-Plaza sections didn’t really care about the new seats, new floors or lack of cup holders. They simply want their share of renovation funds:
“The pee-stall in the men’s bathroom near 640 was full to the brim by second quarter.”
“I sit in the upper 600s section, which I like to call the ghetto of the Dome. We don’t even have a mirror in our bathroom.”
“The seats are pre-Katrina so you can imagine what they smell like.”
But the most invective was heaped on the Dome food and its accompanying prices:
“My shrimp and sausage pasta had inklings of local spices, but a revolting pool of buttery oil soaked the bottom half, forcing me to plan future meals outside the Dome.”
“It is truly embarrassing to have the food concessions so inept in New Orleans. The Dome food has always been lousy and it doesn’t need to be.”
“If you’re going to gouge folks on food prices, at least make the offerings tasty.”
Not everyone’s a critic. Though no one went so far as to say they like the Dome food, they advised people to get over it.
“Stop whining about the food!,” wrote one. “It’s typical stadium food.”
“People, get a grip,” agreed another. “When you go to a city like New Orleans you don’t go to an airport or a stadium to eat elegant meals; you head out into the beautiful town.”
Ultimately, there was one thing everyone agreed on. No matter where you sit, how wide your seat or what the food tastes like, there’s really only one thing that matters at the Dome:
Those are our boys out there in black and gold.