Monday, October 10, 2005

I Remember New Orleans the Way It Used to Be

She was older by far than any of her contemporaries in the region. Multi-hued and culturally diverse, she was hot, spicy and full of panache. You might say that she was a seductress that invited you to all of her wily charms, opened up and gave you all you could bear. Bared it all she did on many occasions, as she alluringly dared you to whet your appetite, when she wanted to be more than what was seen on the surface! They called her the Crescent City, the Big Easy, Sin City-- I called her whenever I needed rejuvenation and vivacity. Ah yes, New Orleans! New Orleans, the way it was known had enduring appeal found in the alchemy of unlikely combinations, where different rules applied, especially under the cover of darkness. I remember that fun place, that erudite City of the South, where beads meant something, imagery everything, and egos nothing. Will she ever be the same? Can she bounce back and give us that which we miss so much? Will we be able to afford her? Questions, queries, and quests are about us as we curse Katrina, and regret Rita.

Yes, I remember Royal Street, that paragon of priceless art, artifacts, and antique wonders! ... And Bourbon street and the rest of the French Quarter was more than mere memory -- it defined presence and perseverance, where Preservation Hall presented much more than joyous jazz and nostalgic sounds that Louis rocked to in his hey day. It was cajuns, creole, and somewhere in between, where the distinct cuisine of favor and flavor was the ultimate sense of belonging that beckoned me. I remember and miss Antoine's, Cafe Du Monde, and the taste of real hot sauce!

Oh, Katrina you wrecker of dreams, drama and desire, why so demonstrative and destructive? You ruined it all, and had help from our inept government and pathetic president, but you MUST bounce back, and with those who were left homeless and incapacitated....and I know you will. I remember you in great detail, New Orleans. The essence of music was your legacy, your cuisine your calling card, and certainly your reputation gave you notoriety. Give it back to me, and in a hurry!

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