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I bike along Magazine and then back on St. Charles, where what looks like Spanish moss in the trees turns out to be beads.
The vibe here is mostly open. People are incredibly friendly. It's a bit like Brazil that way; it's a bit African, too, in that way of acknowledging one another (certainly more so than Denver or some other places we’ve just been). Though it might seem strange here in the Deep South, this seems like one of the least racist cities, in certain aspects. I know that can't be strictly true, but I sense there are more black-owned businesses, cultural projects, and enterprises than in many American cities. I sense a little less of the anger, fear, and suspicion than permeates American cities — though I realize this, for many, is an inescapably poor city. Hopelessness and crime live here too.
I stumble upon the Confederate Museum. It's not as hair-raising as I thought it might be — mostly uniforms in display cases and a cannon in the middle of the room. In the back is a large stained glass of a priest (or friar) standing over a Confederate flag. One might wonder that God would endorse a nation that relied on slavery, but maybe God's all-encompassing view is less moral than we might hope. Or maybe every bigot, warmonger, and con artist has a right to claim God for their own cause.