Wednesday, May 22, 2013

30 Days of Why I Love New Orleans - Day 29

Everybody’s Got an Opinion
So . . . I love New Orleans, which is pretty evident. I’ll never know exactly what made me so very passionate about the city. Is it the history—is it a real mystique, or something that we’ve
given to it.
More than anything, I think it’s the way that Nola manages to be a city of living history. People live out their lives in homes where others tread before, dealing with the tragedy of the Civil War, slave markets, Civil Rights, and more. Restaurants are places where those creating the eras that came before us dined and talked and voiced their own opinion about “current” political situations that shaped the nation we live in now. Since the summer of storms, the city is more international than ever. Everyone is welcome in NOLA—Southern hospitality abounds. There’s the “decaying elegance” of bygone times; there is the good and the bad—an outlook that is resilient and hopeful for the future. There are the cemeteries where the past seems to seep right into your skin and Jackson Square where you see the performers, hear the performers, and the wonderful laughter of the children. Ghost stories in carriages as you listen to the voice of your guide . . . and the clip-clop of the mule’s hooves.
So, coming almost to the end here, I’ve asked a few of my children and friends to give me their opinions of this amazing city. There’s usually something that draws everyone, and for everyone, that something is just a little bit different.

From Jason Pozzessere  (my son and co-author of A Child’s Cry, Cast of Characters)
When in New Orleans there are three main attractions that most people just can’t get enough of. Bourbon Street, with its wide array of bars, club, and restaurants is a sure bet for a crowd pleaser. Second is the art, it is everywhere, and you can find beautiful works in galleries, shops, hotels,and even on the streets. But the third, and most important one--in this foodies humble opinion--is the food!

From K Paul's, to the World Famous Acme Oyster House, there is plenty to find that is sure
to please. But nothing beats a late night round at the Original Cafe Du Monde when one needs a respite from a fun night on the town or a crazy all night bender.

Since 1862 this French Market Original has been serving tasty treats to folks that have no known equal in the modern world. From its scrumptious food specialty, the French beignet, to its perfect partner in crime, a steaming glass of Chicory coffee, the cafe is sure to please just about everyone with working taste buds.

You also never know when you might catch a show, as the locals often times burst out into spontaneous song, or perform a little "reality drama" right in front of you. And have no fear for your safety, as some of New Orleans' finest can be found there taking a breather from a hard night on the streets at just about any time of day.

So if you find yourself in the mood for a great snack head on down on your next visit. I love it, and my moneys on the bet that you will too!

From Connie Perry (Organizer extraordinaire of Writers and Louisiana native)
One of the reasons I love New Orleans is because it is a part of me, part of my heritage.  I was born and raised in Louisiana, although it was in a different city, it really doesn’t matter.  Louisiana is one of the greatest states in America.  We may be one of the smaller states, but our state offers a myriad of opportunities to all.  Our state and New Orleans have a flavor all of their own.  All you have to do is come on over to visit and you too will be enchanted by the people, culture and some of the best food on this planet.  Ah, but my favorite thing? My son lives in New Orleans.  And my best friend comes to visit several times a year.  The memories we share are priceless!

From Erin McCarthy (USA Today bestselling author of True, a new adult novel, and many
I love New Orleans because of the joie de vivre of both the locals and the tourists... how it's a city that embraces the philosophy of live and let live.  The deep sense of history, the amazing food, and the wonderful music all draw me back to NOLA again and again!

From Chynna Pozzessere (daughter and hard-working L.A. actress.)
Uptown—While a lot of people love the French Quarter, I love Uptown. The area has a great neighborhood feel, wonderful coffee shops, and a real sense of community. I also love
the cigar shop in the alley by the Monteleone—lots of friends have worked there!

From Kathleen Pickering (author of When We Began and more! Kathy’s family owns a jewelry store—she is our expert!)
I'd never been to New Orleans until I attended Heather's first Writers for New Orleans conference eight years ago. Returning to New Orleans--and Heather's conference--has been an annual love affair for me ever since. New Orleans is vibrant with history, character and a passion for living that reaches a body through the city's diverse culture and heritage. Locals are delightful. Food is amazing. Music is as abundant as the breeze and keeps you dancing down the sidewalk with a smile on your face. Oh, and did I mention the jewelry and antique stores? Beignets and chicory coffee? Reasons enough to return each year! Thank you, Heather for choosing New Orleans as playground for writers. The city offers inspiration around every corner, indeed!

I was truly interested in myself in everyone’s answers—because, as I suspected, there’s not really just one thing—or perhaps it’s everything. New Orleans offers its own unique ambience; yes, it is the architecture, the history, the beignets, the laissez faire, the old and the new, and maybe, especially, it’s a piece of America that is just as special as we are as a
people—a beautiful part of the puzzle that’s the American dream.
Maybe, sometimes, it’s because there’s nowhere else you can get such wonderful cheese grits!
Ah, you never really know.
But you may just find yourself falling in love with NOLA anyway.

1 comment:

Kathleen Pickering said...

Great blog, Heather. I'm sure those in New Orleans who know you love you as much as you love their city. You've done so much to bring attention to NOLA since the devastation from the hurricanes. You are their own personal angel. Bravo!