The home of Valentine’s Day, February is a great month to focus on love — in all its forms.
Whether you have a valentine or not, I invite you to focus on and feel the love this month. With Carnival happening, that shouldn’t be too hard.
Back in December, I was fortunate enough to participate in the revamped Christmas parade with my fellow Dolly Partons in the Krewe of Dolly. It was a gorgeous, sunny day as we sashayed down the street in giant blonde wigs and an obscene amount of rhinestones and glitter, singing along to Dolly music and waving to the crowds.
About halfway through the parade, I saw a little boy, about 4, who was looking down at the ground, hopefully just lost in thought. I wiggled over and tapped him on the shoulder. At first, he gazed up at me, momentarily stunned, but then, taking in the totality of the ridiculous creature in front of him, he broke into a huge grin. At that point, I handed him a rainbow candy cane: It was like his whole being started vibrating with joy.
Just a goofy stranger and a 10-cent candy cane. That’s all it took — for both of us.
I share this because we spend a lot of time, justifiably, bemoaning the problems of this city all year long. It’s a lot. I feel it too. But this month, this is our time. This is when we celebrate in ways nobody else does. This is when we come together and marvel at the beauty of what can be created out of love. We revel in our unique culture, our traditions, our food, and the little moments of magic they make possible. We eat too much, scream too loud, and drag way too much crap back to the car — including maybe a few treasures, the value of which nobody anywhere else would understand.
In this issue, you’ll find lots to lift the spirits — from our cover story of a local nonprofit that has found a genius way to support local restaurants and entire neighborhoods in times of crisis, to a rundown of the good news proclaimed by this year’s GNO Startup Report in the Entrepreneur column. And for those looking to be a good valentine, check out our Why Didn’t I Think of That? feature this month for some inspiration.
A very happy Mardi Gras to all! And if you happen to be at the King Arthur parade on Feb. 12, or the Bosom Buddies parade on Feb. 17, look for the Dollies. I’ll be in there somewhere getting my groove on.