Dear New Orleans,
Working in “The City” this last decade is definitely a dream come true. Growing up in Gramercy there was no need to use your formal title. In St. James Parish everyone knows that if you are going to “The City” you are headed down the road as opposed to Baton Rouge even though technically it’s a little closer.
You are like that kid from elementary school that went to a different high school, but we reunited as grown-ups. We were kind of cool back then, but now we are besties. We’ve grown and changed, some good, some bad, but our shared history and hope for the future will keep us bound for life.
I’ve always felt you gave me the best of both worlds. I got to grow up a small town kid, but get all the big city amenities. In New Orleans you can find a history lesson without books; access to the world without the intimidation or the distance; an international city where everyone says hello, gives directions and just might invite you to a family gathering the day you meet.
A walk in the quarter or along the river gives me the same since of adventure and excitement that comes with a trip to an exotic local, but I could do it every day if I want. The Superdome is home to many of my favorite memories. Getting dressed up in party dresses and patent leather shoes every year for the Bayou Classic and supporting my parents’ Alma Mater Southern University; Disney On Ice (One year when I was 6 or 7 I got to ride in the Dumbo Train, I thought I was so cool!; the Super Fairs and Circuses are ingrained in my Superdome memories. I can’t leave out Sesame Street Live at the Municipal Auditorium or Mother’s Day Brunch on the Natchez.
I chose to marry in Our Lady of Guadalupe on Rampart Street because even though it’s miles from where I grew up it is a second home parish where I went to many weekend evening masses because we could “Catch St. Jude” after a day of shopping or before a late dinner. That whole patron Saint of lost causes kind of fit too.
I love you for all that you’ve been to me, all that you have the potential to be and all that you already provide my family and particularly my son so that he can have the best of both worlds too!
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