Dear New Orleans,
Like the varied spices which fill your delectable dishes you are unique in all your ways.
Woven into your fabric is warmth; flowing from your hem is a welcome mat rolled out for all the world and stitched into your soul are seeds of strength that have always stood up to setbacks.
You are that city by the river overflowing with gifts: Ms. Leah Chase and her perfectly prepared creole dishes; corner stores serving up shrimp, oyster and roast-beef Po-boys with a smile; generations who say, “good morning,” to complete strangers; Mardi Gras Indians who spend a year making a “new suit,” and spontaneous musical geniuses who send melodious sounds wafting through the air on French Quarter Streets.
And while I could do without your hefty humidity that’s ruined more than a few of my hair days, it’s possible your persistently summer-like feel may fuel our passion for life.
Sure we have our warts, what city doesn’t? But when I add up all pluses and minuses, I conclude that you are gem.
So I celebrate your 300th birthday with unbridled joy. You are the city of my birth and like a beignet sprinkled with powdered sugar I choose to cover myself with optimism because I know your next 300 years will be even greater.
Happy Tri-Centennial, New Orleans!
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