Tuesday, August 30, 2011
The Crescent City
I feel like it's impossible to properly explain my love for New Orleans. It just is.
It began around age 14, when I started reading Poppy Z Brite's novels and just fell for the spooky, gothic charm that he so eloquently infused the city with.
Yesterday was the 6th anniversary of Katrina and the levees failure, and though I didn't plan it, also the day I started Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.
I just finished it this afternoon, and, wow. It is an incredible story and I want to tell everyone I know to read it. Actually, I want to buy everyone I know a copy and give them all a day or two off so that they have loads of free time, because I really really want everyone to read it.
It doesn't exactly paint New Orleans in a terrific light, nor does it cast a huge shadow on it, but overall the feeling that comes from it is hope. The city is going to be rebuilt, because the people who live there love it, and, what else are they going to do?
I find this is a pretty common theme in things about New Orleans after the storm. The documentary Trouble the Water, and the HBO show Treme - both of which I highly recommend as well - both have it. It was awful, inconceivable what happened to the city and the aftermath, but things have gotten better and will continue to.
Two years ago I came in to a bit of money and decided to treat myself BIG TIME, and booked a trip to New Orleans for my 27th birthday. I was a little worried that I'd be a bit let down - when you romanticize something for 13 years it would be hard for it not to fall a little flat after all.
It was better than I could have imagined.
The food, the culture, the people, the history, the drinking in the streets - everything was fantastic. We were there for 4 days, but I could have stayed forever. One day while walking around the French Quarter Adam said something along the lines of not imagining that a place could be so "Chloe", but boy was it ever.
Best. Gumbo. Ever.