Best and Worst || Lafayette, La.
Trey's favorite thing...as in, that is his favorite thing, of all possible contenders to the noun category...is an affogato.
For you philistines, that's espresso poured over ice cream--specifically, the salted caramel bourbon gelato served at The Lab in his hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana.
Nonetheless, he'll be leaving Lafayette and his favorite thing within a short time. He's moving to Washington state, to work with a Chi Alpha campus ministry. He likes it fine here--that, he says, is the reason why he's leaving. People here don't often leave.
"I have two little brothers about to go into high school, and one thing I want to tell them before I move is 'Get out! Go do something. Not even to go abroad…just go to Houston, and see a show.'"
His imminent departure has got him thinking a lot about what he'll miss, and what he won't…which made him a perfect candidate to ask about the best and worst of his hometown.
Best thing about living in Lafayette?
"Cajun food is very hard to duplicate. I just found out that Lafayette has more restaurants per capita than anywhere in the state. But also a really rich heritage, centered around French culture. Once a year, we have Festival International--you should definitely come by, next May. Huge emphasis on the music, but also on the food. I think just the perfect blend of food and music.
"On a more human, personal side, a strong family-oriented area for the most part. These past two years we're getting very progressive in Lafayette. We're taking cues from the west coast…major cities like San Francisco, Portland. Not mimicking, because we're really into our Cajun heritage. From the outside you might not notice it, but we can feel it. It's a good mix."
What's the worst thing about living in Lafayette?
"The spiritual side. This is the Bible belt, hugely influenced by Catholicism. There's a veneer set up, where surface level actions are paid a lot of attention to, but it's very dry spiritually. I don't want to use the word 'hypocrites'…there's a lot of great Christian people here. But it's very…not religious. I just notice it because it's important to me.
"Also, the roadway system. The whole world doesn't live here, but it feels like that sometimes."
"I mentioned the progressiveness--there's a lot of people who are set in their ways. Until that changes, I don't think we'll change a whole lot around here. The conservativism can be a good thing, but in the past few years, I've grown to dislike it. It keeps you naive.
"In preparation for leaving, I've been considering whether I want to come back here ever. It will depend on what the city looks like, ten years down the road."
If you ever find yourself in Lafayette, make the trip to the fancy side of town to visit The Lab Handcrafted Coffee and Comforts. Get whatever you want, but don't not get an affogato.
Also, Trey has a pretty cool music blog.