Tennessee Williams once said, “Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.” When I read that it, stopped me in my tracks, made my heart clench, because it’s true. The most awe-inspiring moments – a gorgeous sunset, a periwinkle blue sky, a tall tree with just the right amount of knots to climb, a hand warm in ours as we walk down the street – often go unnoticed. And lately, it had been feeling like I was missing those moments. Not all of them. But you know, the small ones that overtime mean everything.
Yet for New Orleans’ couple and co-owners of the Tennessee Williams Theater Company, Nick Shackleford and Augustin Correro, these moments are everywhere here. You have only to stop and let it surround you.
For this couple of six years, there is nothing like wandering Royal Street. “Time seems to stand still and we can be completely in the moment with each other, but still in the heart of an amazing city. We can’t get that anywhere else in America.”
Augustin says he’s the “reckless artist” while Nick is the “visionary” of the two. Which is why when Augustin wanted to make the leap from Virginia to New Orleans, Nick was game, seeing the move as a way to fulfill both their dreams in a city they were drawn to like Tennessee Williams himself. As co-owners of the Tennessee Williams Theatre Company, the two constantly hone in on what their audience seeks, as well. The two describe a crowd that’s “hungry for engaging, innovative theatre productions.” And from the looks of it, that’s exactly what they give them. “We balance each other out to craft experiences that are entirely audience-centered.”
What’s most interesting after meeting this incredible couple is that it made me look at the city in a different way. I went home and held my partner’s hand as we walked our dog, making sure to notice the way it felt in mine. I noticed the sunset and the trees, how some of them made a tunnel with their leaves. I noticed how content I was to be there, in the moment. I was reminded of what Augustin and Nick said about how it felt when they first met: “We knew the second we met one another that we’d found home.” And that’s how I felt walking down Magazine Street, home in the city I love with the person I love the most.
So Tennessee was right. Life is all memory, and moments do go by fast. Which is why, I am going to savor each one.
I hope you do, too.
Tennessee Williams-Inspired Things to Do In New Orleans:
- Get your paparazzi on, and take photos of your special someone on Royal Street.
- Speaking of, go to Royal Street during the late afternoon. The sunlight casts a golden glow, making it feel like centuries of history are walking right past you.
- Go for a haunted carriage ride through the French Quarter at night.
- Stop by Tennessee Williams’ New Orleans home at 1014 Dumaine St.
- See Dangerous Birds (If Agitated) at the Tennessee Williams Theater Company Nov. 4-20. It’s a night of one-act plays that promises to take you from the Florida Keys to New York before lighting in Medieval England.
- Order a Ramos Gin Fizz at the Hotel Monteleone’s famous Carousel Bar.
- Pamper your other cheeks with a straight-razor shave at Aidan Gill for Men, 550 Fulton St.
- Catch the streetcar and head uptown and to The Delachaise, the perfect spot to watch the streetcars roll by.
- Grab a blanket and a copy of A Streetcar Named Desire, then head over to City Park to wax poetically beneath an oak tree that’s more 800 years old.
- Eat like the master playwright himself: order the gumbo at one of his favorite restaurants, Galatoire’s.