Phone Message Transcript: Feb. 8, 1997
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]

"Hello, everybody, this is February 8, 1997, this is Anne Rice. Thank you for calling and wish you a very happy Mardi Gras. If you are from out of town, please be careful but have a wonderful time and uh, this is uh, time of the year to really cut loose and party, and I hope it's a peaceful, and uh, and a dry Mardi Gras for all of us.

To those from out of town, let me extend a very special welcome, uh, please do enjoy all the architecture our city has to offer, the beautiful Greek Revivial architecture of the Garden District, the French Quarter, with its marvelous Spanish buildings and the uptown Victorian area, don't miss that, we have beautiful Victorians uptown.

One form of architecture that we do not offer, as far as I know, is Art Deco. We do not have any good examples of Art Deco, nothing to compare with those in Miami, or Miami Beach, or even in Oakland, California or in San Francisco, where there are real beautiful fine Art Deco buildings in the purest sense. But, alas, I think that New Orleans is equipped ______ we have so much more beauty to take note of.

I want to tell you also, as a citizen of New Orleans, how deeply concerned I am about the strip of property between Lee Circle and Jackson Avenue. Uh, but we're working on it. It's a strip of property where we have many abandoned buildings and many fast food places, but it's a strip that we are all concerned with and we know it's key to our City and many of use are working hard in preservation and hard in other areas to improve it.

We hope in the coming months that maybe we can offer a restaurant in that area that will be uh, very, very beautiful and very elegant and will bring back some of the ambience of the Avenue. In the meantime, we want to offer a prayer to Heaven that we still have the venerable Pontchartrain Hotel which is really beautiful with the Caribbean Room restaurant and we have Bonnie Broel's Victorian, further up the street, though it's for sale, it's a very lovely structure and that we have some respectable restaurants along that area, both new and old.

Again, I want to welcome you to the City, I hope you have a wonderful time. Please be careful. I wish I could respond to messages on this machine but I cannot. There is room for a one-minute message and I do listen to everything that you have to say and I am very grateful for all of your calls. I don't have any movies to recommend at this time (Blank) throwing kisses to people on the float, (laughter) this is a lot of fun, to be throwing kisses, since there is no law against throwing a kiss, (laughter) so, uh, again, I hope it shapes up to be a good Mardi Gras for you.

I'm going to ride in Orpheus Monday night as the Literary Muse of Orpheus, an honor which I cherish. Sonny Borey, the Captain of Orpheus, invited me to be the Literary Muse, I think about three years ago. As you know, Harry Connick, Jr. started this crew and I'm very, very proud to be part of Orpheus and it will be a lot of fun to be in the parade. Anyway, that's all my Mardi Gras news. The City, so far, I hear from the policemen, is peaceful, we don't have a lot of crime happening, everybody seems to be very mellow, uh, I'm very, very pleased about it.

There is some news to be announced about a television series in Hollywood that we are working on, set in New Orleans, but I have to leave that announcement to CBS and to the people involved and I will do that. Let me only say that it is something very good for New Orleans, uh, I was deeply involved in it, created the series and I am very, very proud that things are moving along, and I think it will bring a lot of jobs and a lot of good attention to our City.

I love you all very much, God bless you, and remember that the Constitution of the United States guarantees you freedom of speech to express your opinion. Don't ever think for a moment that you don't have that privilege, you do. And, uh, I have that freedom as well. Really, it doesn't make any difference whether the person you expressed the opinion about is a very mean person, a very powerful person, or a very small person, the Constitution protects you. It protects all of us. If that seems to be gratuitous to those of you from out of town (laughter), I apologize. But, this has always been a message in which I speak my mind about those things which are on my mind. So, please forgive me these idiosyncracies. God Love You and be safe this Mardi Gras, be careful, be healthy, have a wonderful time. Party, we really know how to party. This is a City that knows how to party better than anyone else and please enjoy all that we have to offer in safety and with peace. God Love you and God Bless you."