Sep. 5th, 2005

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We've all been reading of the disaster and tragedy and governmental ineptitude with regard to Hurricane Katrina in general, and the wonderful city of New Orleans in particular. I found this tribute piece in the New York Times that is a lighter reminder of why we need the city in all its funky grandeur, and not a rebuilt, sanitized strip-mall version of the same. Enjoy. :)

** A side note: the photo for this icon was taken on the Mississippi river ferry from New Orleans.

September 4, 2005
NYTimes.com

What It Means to Miss New Orleans

by Mark Childress

ALL week we've been watching the immersion of a great old city. We imagine another city, less peculiar, will arise in its place. But I have this feeling it will never be quite the same nontoxic gumbo again.

For outsiders New Orleans was a place to party and eat food that is way too rich. For the folks who live there it's more complicated - it's home. Eighty-five percent of them were born there, and they're not going anywhere permanently, so forget this idea they're going to move the city somewhere else.

It's not going to happen. New Orleans is the opposite of America, and we must hold onto places that are the opposite of us. New Orleans is not fast or energetic or efficient, not a go-get-'em Calvinist well-ordered city. It's slow, lazy, sleepy, sweaty, hot, wet, lazy and exotic.

Here are 22 reasons America needs New Orleans, the national capital of eccentricity:cut for length... )

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