I was watching the Superdome re-open for football last Monday night in New Orleans, a beautiful city, rich in history and tradition, serenaded by music and fabulous cuisine, mysteries and secrets. I was inspired to write about this city after seeing the excitement and happiness in people’s faces.
The survivors of Hurricane Katrina who stayed behind are stronger than ever. Many people didn’t leave because they didn’t have the conditions or the money, vehicles, places to go or the desire to leave this Grand Dame of a city. They stayed together by believing in better days to come.
I hope, too, that this beautiful and strange city will return to its glory days. Those who died, meanwhile, now rest in peace or listen to Louis Armstrong in heaven. I share this story for a reason. I went to New Orleans with my friend one month before Hurricane Katrina destroyed everything. We had so much fun in this city even though we came close to being robbed one night! We stayed in the French Quarter at one of Madame Laveau’s properties just down the way from Bourbon Street. While it didn’t feel haunted, Marie Laveau’s hotel had a unique vibe to it.
At Cafe du Monde I ate the most delicious beignets, a puffy square-shaped fried doughnuts served with chicory coffee “au lait” That was one of so many different flavors in the city famous for its Cajun and Creole cuisine. From Po’ boys to Italian muffalettas, crawfish etoufee and jambalaya gumbo the food of New Orleans is unlike anything in America.
To the New Orleans people I say keep your faith and hope. I hope to visit your grand city again one day and see those smiling faces that so spice up our lives.
God bless New Orleans.