Ode to New Orleans

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20/10/2009 by etiennefish

I like to think of myself as a well travelled person. I been to a lot of places, seen a lot of things, even as I have a long list of places yet to go. But as I was walking around the city I’ve learned to love and to call home, I’ve realised that I live a very small life. I’ve been contemplating the move I’m about to make. A move which will take me across a giant ocean, and allow me to add yet another city to the list of places I can call home, and I am sad. I love New Orleans. Something about it is just intoxicating. I don’t know how otherwise to describe it (and it’s not just the vast consumption of booze one must partake in to live here). This city is of course charming, and beautiful, the food is delicious, and the culture refreshing, and all these things and many more come together to make you initially love it, but there’s something else that makes you stay. Like I said, it’s intoxicating, but it’s also dark, mysterious, seedy, dangerous, humid, sexy, magical, backwards, compelling, and real. Of course I miss and love everywhere that I have ever called home, but sometimes I think that having lived in all those other amazing places has only helped me to appreciate here more. There’s just something special about New Orleans, something which I might never be able confine in a succinct (or even relatively intelligible) definition. This is by no means any amazing revelation. No city has been written about the way New Orleans has been. It calls deeply to the artistic soul, something that is immediately noticeable on an innocent jaunt down any city street here. I have also never been to a place before where people carry such a pride and love for the place they call home. This is evident in both natives and transplants alike (I mean why else would people put up with the humidity, hurricanes, and the rest of the south?). After 24 hours here, I knew that there was no other place like this on earth, and I can honestly state, after only a year and a half here, the conversion has been completed. New Orleans has invaded my heart, transformed it, and took it as another of it’s own. I am proud to call New Orleans home. I am only sad that I feel like I’m leaving it so undiscovered. There are too many rocks unturned, and I’ve not even reached the summit at the tip of the iceberg. My life has been too small here, it’s true, and I am ashamed only to see that now. Yes, I am leaving; to explore many other unturned stones and gorgeous new worlds that I have yet to imagine, but I know without even considering, that I’ll be back. New Orleans, I am yours, and some small part of you has become mine.

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October 2009
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