Ode to New Orleans

‘Cap’n Ted’ Gauthier, a proud Cajun, giving a bayou tour.The CrescentCity is not only alive, it is showing unmistakable signs of thriving.

From steamy, colorful, vibrant, kitschy, boozy, sexy Bourbon Street – where Louis Armstrong’s legacy toots out of every doorway — to the sophistication of Bayona and August restaurants, New Orleans is a treat for the senses. It is a sensual voyage through worlds musical, gastronomic, visual, cultural, and spiritual.                                                                             
 Jazz pours onto the streets of the CrescentCityA tour through a local cemetery was a monumental reminder of New Orleans history. This is a city created by France, taken over by the Spanish, returned to the French, and then sold to the Americans. New Orleans has always been buffeted by the winds of change, but this voodoo capital always conjures new magic.
Rap three times on the tomb of voodoo Queen Marie Laveau to make a wish come tureCreoles in New Orleans developed a remarkably open and progressive society. Acadians, banished from what is now eastern Canada, adapted and flourished in their imposed homeland. Together, they stewed up a vibrant cuisine, music scene, and culture. Once the Cajuns’ French language was banned in the schools, but its endurance mocks North American homogenization. In a continent where too many cities are clones of each other, N’Awlins is unique. Melting pot? Vive gumbo and jambalaya!
Tony Bennett headlined the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.What other city shuns chain restaurants and their quarter-pound burgers, quadruple iced decaf lattes a la mode, and cheese crust overstuffed pizzas at its jazz festival? In New Orleans, vendors sell “cochon au lait” sandwiches, fried eggplant with crayfish sauce, and bread pudding. They keep prices reasonable.
New Orleans suffered a terrible blow when Katrina slammed ashore. Parts of the city remain dismal, tens of thousands of people departed forever, and some companies sought higher ground in other states. There’s fear that another hurricane of the same magnitude would finish New Orleans off for good.
But now, homes are being rebuilt, immigrants who came in to do the work are staying, and the city still attracts musicians and creative people from everywhere. Joie de vivre is back in the air.
 After the party… 	….the recovery.
After the party… 	….the recovery.There are never guarantees about what life has in store for New Orleans — or anywhere else, for that matter. But if we let New Orleans sink into the gulf we will all wind up in the abyss. Cities like New Orleans tell us something wonderful about what it is to be human and alive. The good news is that sightings of funeral parades for New Orleans itself are vastly exaggerated!
                                                          After the party, the recovery!