Run This Town!

Heading to New Orleans East!

It was a beautiful evening this past Monday in the Big Easy, New Orleans. There are lots of things happening since Katrina in the Crescent City.  Many locals have trickled back in and are picking up the pieces.  Folks, New Orleans is on the move.  It came to my recollection that this was the motto of my former church, New Orleans East.  We proudly displayed this banner to inform the community what we were about.  This was the case, I guess, until Six years ago when Katrina came by and moved folks—out of town, followed by that BP oil spill which made the birds look like Don King in leather having a greasy hair day. Can you imagine Don King as a greaser?


Still vexed at SF 49ers for knocking my Saints out. We gone get you!

The stats does not look good for New Orleans lower Ninth Ward.  The place looks deserted–many folks did  not have insurance to repair their homes.   The murder rate since the beginning of the year and the Monday I ran was something like 24 murders in 28 days or so.  The youth are getting into a lot of trouble.   The criminal  and justice system have many more challenges to overcome.  The poverty rate and income disparity is still wide, frustration runs rampant, yet when you enquire from the locals, many seem have a positive outlook.

Despite all the disturbing challenges, it remains that people will always aspire to be their best and do their best.  This reminds me of a verse of one of James Allen’s poem:

“The human Will, that force unseen,
The offspring of a deathless Soul,
Can hew a way to any goal,
Though walls of granite intervene.”

So, while I was running in meditation, and listening (sounds in-congruent, don’t it?) to some of the gibberish  poetry in the song Run This Town (parental control advised) by Lil Wayne, also a New Orleans native, it occurred to me that  the Octogenarian New Orleans Coroner, Frank Minyard wasn’t the only force running the town.  As they say in New Orleans, “Yes indeed.” By the way, despite the rough rhymes I heard in the song, it makes a good running song–makes you feel like you are going somewhere.  I know.  I can hear the dignified crowd responding, “Yeah.  Run you straight to hell!”


My 12.5 miles run in N.O. East was formidable.  I ran the entire Lakefront starting off West End Blvd by Landry’s Seafood Restaurant along Lakeshore Drive, pass the university of New Orleans and all the way to the bridge before the Lake Front Airport and back.  I was feeling mystically energetic with Lake Pontchartrain in plain view and memories of my teen age years of Sabbath strolls and Sunday picnics flooding my mind.  There were a few folks running and walking their dogs on the seawall which was constructed in 1920 from soil that was taken from the lake.  It creates a mountain of protection around the beautiful neighborhood in plain view.  I ran on top of this grassy seawall hill which made my two months un-pedicured feet feel good.


If  you have a chance to run in New Orleans, I hope you give this area a try.  A few mansions in this are would make some of Beverly Hills houses look like run0down joints! If you are a carpenter, looks like New Orleans may be the place for you to get a job, for I noticed much repairs going on all around.

Who runs the town? Certainly not the New Orleans Coroner Frank Minyard nor Lil Wayne, but the New Orleans people, albeit many folks don’t realize it yet.  As you may know, New Orleaneans are fun folks.  I mean they truly know how to have a good time–from the church pews to the bar room. They certainly love to eat. Back in the day there was a popular commercial which said, “We live to Eat.”  To top it off, many live an unconsciously sedentary life lacking basic awareness of health principles.  Somebody please tell the choir to get warmed up!

Mardi Gras Krews Fountain

I was highly impressed with the work of a minister, Pastor Carlos Ming, who runs two local churches in New Orleans.  After gaining beaucoup (much) weight himself from living the good good life down there–with it’s famous gumbo and delicious ethnic foods–he decided to start a booth-camp to help get some of his members on the path back to health.  I don’t know how he does it– ministering two churches, visiting the sick, mad, and shut in, running to schools to counsel some folk’s bad-ass kids, and  ministering to the homeless and the pomeless (A Honduran saying for…I guess…all others).  I just wish there were many more like him with the same zeal.  I wish some of the nurses would take charge of their health and help run that town too (even as a running nurse).  Louisiana with it’s obesity rate of 31% , ranking 5th in the nation, can use as much help as is offered.  Kudos to the folks who signed up and are still enduring the Pastor’s booth-camp!  I heard he is rough on the flock!

OYE!!!  If there is something I know about folks down there in Louisiana, it is that they like to keep things simple.  As the True Vine Missionary Baptist Church of Alexandria encouraged it’s youth so do I encourage you.  Eat better.  Move more.  That’s keeping it very simple.  I tell you what, you run with this mantra in mind for 21 days, you will form an awesome habit that will have a life changing effect on you.  The sun was setting (hence the dark photos).  It was getting late.  I had a great run and soon headed back home to my dear mother who I imagined was popping sub-lingual nitro to ease the worries of me running late in the evening.  If you live in New Orleans, or anywhere in this small world for that matter, please let us know what you are doing to stay healthy.



From the Fountain






Carpenters needed???









Pond Ducks!  Now I know where they hang out.






Souther style home



Like I love running in Nike Pegasus shoes. They are the best.









Lakeshore Drive.


Santa….how about this one?