One of the 2,744,033 things I love about New Orleans (and counting) is how it provides an environment from which amazing life experiences that defy all logic and explanation pop up on an almost daily basis. When Mindy and I explored the Bywater last week, we had a good one.
We’d already looked at a couple of houses, went to the Farmer’s Market, walked through Crescent Park and were in the throws of a torrid love affair with the idea of calling this neighborhood home. There was one more house to see that day, but we had a little time to kill before we could get in, so we went to Bud Rips for a cool beverage. While we were enjoying the vibe, I remembered that a friend of ours, Andrew Ward, was hosting some sort of event somewhere around there later that day. I pulled it up on Facebook to get the details and this was the description:
Enjoy Tiki cocktails at an iconic cultural center while Prof. Jeremy Cohen takes us on a wild gallivanting ride through the evolution of consciousness, the perception of the Self, megalithic structures, and Man’s best friend. Don your best Polynesian flair, and come prepared to discover the secrets of Man, Myth, and the MInd!
By the way, that iconic cultural center? Saturn Bar. We hadn’t seen Andrew and his fantastic wife, Allison, in 5 years, since they came to see me perform in a bar in Denver, where Andrew sat in to sing “You Are My Sunshine” in Urdu. Because Andrew speaks Urdu. Andrew cut a CD of New Orleans standards sung in Urdu and traveled to Pakistan to give it away to people in an effort to show them that we Americans aren’t such a bad lot. You know, the guy who dresses in Pope-ian garb and presides over the San Fermin in Nueva Orleans Running of the Bulls from a cherry picker two stories in the air. Married to Allison, who started the hugely popular pet costume company, Pet Krewe. Just a couple of run of the mill shmoes, those two.
Anywho, there we were last week, about two hours later, sitting in the glorious diveness that is Saturn Bar, Mindy enjoying a Candy (The Turtle) while I sipped on a 9th Ward Zombie, listening to neuroscientist, professor at Xavier University, and Bywater resident Jeremy Cohen talk about consciousness through the millennia.
Have I told you I love New Orleans?
P.S. After Jeremy finished his presentation, I asked him a question that went something like this: “Meteorologists don’t know everything about weather, but they’ve got a pretty good handle on it. On a scale of 1-10, let’s say their understanding is at an 8. As a neuroscientist, where do you think we are on a 1 to 10 scale when it comes to understanding the brain?” His answer was, “About a 2. We’re just leaving the starting line.”