He’s been spotted virtually everywhere in downtown Lafayette over the last few weeks, and even on Facebook. But few knew much about the enigmatic, happy little fellow named Downtown Elf. Until now.
In an IND Monthly exclusive, Downtown Elf reveals via an email interview his raison d’être, his hopes and aspirations, even his hobbies or lack thereof. We even secured a face-to-face interview, which, truth be told, was awkward and of little informational value. (See the video below.) Come to think of it, the email interview was of little value, too. Downtown Elf has something of a one-track mind. It’s all “downtown this” and “downtown that.”
What we’ve learned through confidential sources is that, while his place of birth may have been a sweatshop in China, he came to Lafayette via the The Kids Shoppe at Teche. According to one of those sources:
Before he could make an escape [from The Kids Shoppe], he knew that his magic would be lost without consent from the big guy in the red suit. For all of his jolly ways, Santa wasn’t a fan of rogue elves.
So he went back to the North Pole and made a plea to Santa to serve as the official elf to Downtown since not everyone has their very own elf. Santa pretended to be surprised by this elf’s calling. He stroked his beard, his cheeks got rosier, and he twirled his mustache and adjusted his glasses. The little elf tried to stay calm in front of the big guy and then finally, Santa spoke.
Softly, Santa told the elf that there was a special Downtown Good Tidings Clause that allowed certain elves to perform magic without being adopted. Santa explained that Downtown Elves get their magic through people saying “Merry Christmas” and that he could get more people to say Merry Christmas, by spreading Christmas cheer Downtown. This, Santa explained, is how these Downtown Elves get their magic.
Santa also warned the elf that, like his brothers, he is not allowed to be touched by a human or he will lose his magic. Our Downtown Lafayette thanked Santa and raced back to Downtown Lafayette.
The excitement was too much for the Downtown Elf, and he couldn’t wait to get started with his new assignment. He escaped from Teche and has since been turning up in restaurants and shops all over the Downtown area to share his special holiday magic.
Downtown Elf prepares for a shave at The Refinery.
IND MONTHLY: Downtown Elf, the district is at a critical juncture right now with a comprehensive master plan beginning to take shape. What should residents expect in the future for our beloved downtown?
DOWNTOWN ELF: I’m here for such a short time, only until Christmas to be exact, but I can say between now and Christmas you’ll find shopping, twinkle lights, merry meals and hot chocolate along the way.
IM: Downtown Elf, much ado was made about passing an ordinance prohibiting revelers from walking about with adult beverages in to-go cups. Has the ordinance achieved its desired goal?
DE: I’m assigned to children and to report to Santa on their behavior. What adults do with their beverages is well over my little head. Besides, all I drink is hot chocolate and that’s good for adults or kids, and no one stops you from drinking that in a to-go cup.
IM: Downtown Elf, the issue of crowd control on weekends, especially budgetary pressure on our police department, has fallen off the public’s radar? What’s the status of that?
|Downtown Elf is vain; he frequently gazes at his reflection in the
espresso machine at Carpe Diem.
DE: During the holidays, what matters to me is who is on the nice list and who is on the naughty list. If you’re on the nice list, I’m going to find you the perfect gift Downtown. If you’re on the naughty list, I can’t help you until next year when you get another chance. But my philosophy is that if everyone was on the nice list, police could do fun things like ride their horses in Christmas parades all of the time!
IM: Downtown Elf, you’re not exactly answering our questions. Try this one: the district really needs a supermarket or at least a French Quarter-style superette to complement the burgeoning residential component. Why can’t we have a superette?
DE: Superette? How about a candy store? I mean, let’s give the people what they really want. But seriously, I’ve already reported this to Santa. You wouldn’t believe the number of people who are asking for a grocery store Downtown for Christmas. I hope Santa can work his magic on that one before next Christmas.
IM: Downtown Elf, the champions of regression in our community argue that awesome events like Festival International shouldn’t receive public funding. What say you?
DE: Of course Christmas is the most festive time of year Downtown, in my opinion. However, Festival International is a close second. I like it. It reminds me of Christmas with so much to do. That’s why I like it here so much, it’s easy to stay festive this time of year. The museums have special holiday exhibits, theatres are putting on holiday shows and you can feel the shopping excitement here. Plus since everyone is taking a walk down the street to go from store to store instead of being stuck in traffic, I get to see what everyone is getting each other. Like you, Walter. Let’s just say, you won’t be disappointed. You’ve mostly stayed on the nice list this year but watch the name-calling.
IM: Um, OK. But Downtown Elf, we thought you were only here for Christmas. How is it that you’re familiar with Festival International?
DE: Next question please.
IM: Downtown Elf, what are your hobbies?
DE: Ha! I wish I had time for hobbies. My days are spent making sure all of the lights stay twinkling, the wreaths and intersection decorations stay fluffed, and that the smiles stay on the faces of everyone hustling and bustling around Downtown. And that’s only during the day. At night, I have to dash back to the North Pole to report back to Santa. I’m only one elf. But I’m really a dork, once you get to know me, behind the scenes. I really just like visiting offices, shops, restaurants, galleries and Downtown hot spots and sharing my experiences through social media. I’m a millennial generation elf, I know the power of getting the word out through social media and more importantly, I know the power of showing the other elves at the North Pole how awesome my life is here in Downtown Lafayette through social media. They are so jealous! Santa doesn’t understand how it all works, so he doesn’t check up on me online. But he is almost at a point where he can send an email. Almost. Until then, I’ll just keep having some jolly fun and sharing it with all of my Downtown friends!