Halloween weekend in New Orleans was a blast, and I was really, really happy to have a bicycle. I tooled around the Quarter and Frenchman Street, navigating crowds with ease and zipping by cars and taxicabs lined up for blocks. It’s easy to park my bike, and it made the holiday much more fun. Today was recovery day from a couple of late nights, so I just rode my bike to yoga and back. On my way I stopped to snap a picture of this neighborhood association fall party. Neighborhood associations are popular here in New Orleans, and lots of them have their own private security forces. That part makes me nervous. The NOPD has a terrible reputation, for being ineffectual at best and violent and corrupt at worst. But when some people can buy their way out of the public system, there’s no way that system gets fixed, and we end up with a multi-tiered system of safety just as we have for education. And that’s not really good for any of us. Today I was happy to see this neighborhood association having a good time, building and affirming community; that’s the sort of thing that can really make us secure.