Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dome, Sweet Dome

The Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA
I refuse to call it the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  To any Saints fan, it's just the 'Dome, where our beloved boys in black and gold battle it out on Sundays (and some Mondays and Thursdays too.)  WHO DAT!

Thomas and I just spent a long weekend in New Orleans, which is one of my absolute favorite cities in the world.  Of all the places we've travelled, this city has captured my heart and soul and I find myself returning to it time and time again.  (Generally during football season, but I'm always up for a road trip.)  New Orleans is so culturally unique, and it's like no place else I've ever visited.  The laid back approach to life, the value the locals place on family, friends, food, hospitality... it is hard for me to articulate the love I have for this city.  So many problems face it, but there is such a spirit there, an undying hope, and a "you can't keep us down!" determination to survive despite so many things stacked against it.  It really bothers me that so many people only experience a very small slice of the French Quarter and never get off of Bourbon Street.  The city has so much more to offer than that loud, boozy, barfy strip... but most never see it.  City Park's beautiful old oaks, the stately mansions in the Garden District, the funky vibe of Magazine Street, the quietly dignified cemeteries.  All speak to me, to my  heart.

My dear husband grew up on the West Bank, and he's a life-long, die-hard Saints fan.  Even when they were the Ain'ts... but he doesn't see the city as I do.  We discovered that we most likely crossed paths there as children, at the '84 World's Fair.  I fell head over heels for the city then; it took a little longer to meet him.

Anyway... I feel like the city loves me back, in a way.  It's always there, ready for a great time, ready to show me a new secret or reveal a new idea.  As a historian, just the history of the city is fascinating, so unique- only New Orleans could have been shaped and molded by the different factions that have controlled it throughout it's life.  Anywhere else and it wouldn't have been the same.  New Orleans, too, is so welcoming to outsiders- stay there more than a week and you're a local.  People there say come on in, sit down, relax... stay a while, listen to some music, here have a bowl of gumbo.  Tell me about yourself, what brings you here?  And I could sit and listed to a New Orleans accent all day long.

I'd move there permanently if I could... I'm one lottery ticket away!  I could advise at Tulane, or Loyola, or UNO...

I guess what I am trying to say is... New Orleans is my happy place.

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