I have so much that I should be reading but I took some time to peruse the Sunday paper today. In the Books & Writing section of The Manhattan Mercury, where I always find a review of at least one book that I want to read, there was a review for the book New Orleans Stories. I’ve got a book or two about folktales and legends from the Crescent City but this is one I am certainly adding to my “must read” list.
If you’ve been reading this blog—you know I love that city. New Orleans is where I went to college, where I had my first taste of real freedom, where I met my future husband and where I had my first real, full-time job but those are a few of the thousands of reasons I love that city. Having said that, I spent a fair amount of time living there in fear (the city has a high crime rate) and anger (there is so much poverty and inherent racism in the city). If it is a love/hate relationship that I have with New Orleans however, the love outweighs everything else! There are so many characters that live there that just embody optimism, faith, love, caring and fun! I used to roll my eyes occasionally at the laissez-faire attitude of some of the people. So many of the problems affecting the city and its citizens seemed and seem to have real solutions. However, I’ve learned that taking a deep breath and going on with life is not necessarily giving up. That’s just another method of dealing with daily life. (Of course, daily life is always easier with frozen daiquiris in hand!)
I can ramble on all night about my observations and feelings about the city. However, I mentioned a quote and I know you are waiting with baited breath. I think it sums up New Orleans perfectly.
At the end of the review, the writer included this quote from Andre Codrescu:
The city can drive a sober-minded person insane, but it feeds the dreamer. It feeds the dreamer stories, music and food. Really great food.
There you have it. I have a dream. In it, New Orleans has risen again, the people all have not just shelter but homes, gumbo and po-boys and I am there.