Why we’re still here

It’s that day again. Yeah it is a Wednesday this time. Year number 2. I wonder if it will feel different somehow when it falls on a Monday. Let’s hope I’m here to find out.

It’s a question I think most American’s ask or want to ask any New Orleanian. Why are ya’ll still there? I get it from friends, former co-workers, hell even people that live here ask me “the question”. It’s different for everyone. Here’s one dude’s reasons.

New Orleans is simple. We like things slow sometimes. It’s good to just relax once and awhile, enjoy the weather. Go sit in a park and people watch. Sit on the porch and gossip about the neighborhood. We don’t want to be as big as Houston or Atlanta. We have special events for people in large numbers. Spread out evenly so we’re not over-run with tourists. Bring them around too often and they might want to move here. We’re willing to share but not year round. We’re one of the most diverse cultural centers in the country. We all get along when it’s time to celebrate. Everyone here is someone. In this city, you can be totally unknown if you choose to be. Sometimes we can just stand somewhere in our city and gawk at its beauty. We embrace our history like no other American city. We’re special. We’re different. But we’re simply people who love this city, this culture.

New Orleans is complicated. We can throw the wildest, most sinful events known to man. Just be ready to never stop. And yes, we are this accommodating to people we just met. We live here; we are sharing our love for our home that’s all. We’re jealous of cities that passed us in population. We’re wrapped up in a number, which is just foolish. But we do it anyway. We can’t figure out the race thing. When it’s just a normal day, it’s time to take our so-called enemies down. We’re 10 years behind the times. We’re all crazy for living in a city that’s sinking slowly everyday. Yet at the same time we’re the sanest city in America, able to see our country’s faults in ways that scare the living shit out of us for the future. Everyone here has a story. Some are boring as hell but it’s their story. The majority are tales of redemption and faith, overcoming hardships and stumbles. We love our country, but at the same time we know we’re different. And we celebrate it, embracing the different every chance we get. We don’t like cookie cutter. We cherish our eccentric ways.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve lived in other places. Memphis, Denver, Virginia, Washington D.C., those are nice cities. They have certain things that other cities may not have. But at the end of the day, those places are just that- places. They are not New Orleans. Try as they might, they cannot be New Orleans. If you’ve ever received the New Orleans blood transfusion, then you understand why we are still here. We cannot leave. It’s our mission, our life.

5 Comments so far

  1. TBK (unregistered) on August 29th, 2007 @ 9:24 am

    Yeah…. what you said

    For me, well I’m gonna take an hour or 2 and cry and be pissed off as 17 kinds of hell… then I’m gonna focus on the positive.

    After that I’m gonna give a cat a bath. ( say a prayer)

  2. oyster (unregistered) on August 29th, 2007 @ 10:19 am

    “New Orleans blood transfusion”

    Nicely said!

  3. Janet (unregistered) on August 29th, 2007 @ 10:34 am

    Well said, Dan. In 1993 my family survived the Floods here of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers. Had to rebuild our house, rely on the kindness of strangers, get through the “walking wounded” thing, and ultimately, come out the other side being able to focus on the positive stuff that came out of it – volunteers, household and monetary donations, fellowship, rebuilding, rebirth, etc. It’s painful to know how slow things are going for you, precisely because we did got through ours in such a short timeframe and I can’t imagine going through something similar but indefinite. Anyway, just wanted to say, I can relate if only the tiniest bit, and I’m thinking about you all.

  4. Robyn (unregistered) on August 29th, 2007 @ 11:55 am

    Hey, thanks for the post. There’s a great NOLA photo story published on Orato today … the link is http://www.orato.com/node/3384 if anyone wants to take a look – it’s a great snapshot of hope and rebirth.

  5. termite. (unregistered) on August 29th, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

    i love my city so much.

    “With all its sham, drugery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy”

    Desiderata/Max Ehrmann 1927.

    Peace everyone. Peace.

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