A LOVE LETTER TO NEW ORLEANS

New Orleans is hands down one of my favorite cities in America.  The town has an undying spirit and a very palpable energy.  Even after the rest of America forgot about the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, the city endured.  It was disheartening returning almost a year later to see the poorest parts of town were still in shambles.  Full neighborhoods flattened into piles of rubble. The remaining homes and buildings had spray painted symbols, neon and unmistakable, signifying whether bodies were found inside. It was not like before, it instead grew fiercer, more stubborn and angry.  Violence was rampant, but the community fought back, organizing marches and committees.  The rage that was felt for the slow and incompetent aid funneled itself back into building the city, and that is why I love it.  New Orleans is the ultimate comeback story.  It's the revenge scene in a movie, and the best makeover montage possible.     

Sweeping trees and wrought iron balconies are the epitome of New Orleans.

Sweeping trees and wrought iron balconies are the epitome of New Orleans.

St. Louis Cathedral, French Quarter

St. Louis Cathedral, French Quarter

You don't have to walk far to find live music...

You don't have to walk far to find live music...

Steeple detail of cathedral at sunset.

Steeple detail of cathedral at sunset.

or stumble upon a traditional second line wedding parade.

or stumble upon a traditional second line wedding parade.

Typical balcony in the French Quarter. Grand enough for fifty people to throw beads on you from atop. 

Typical balcony in the French Quarter. Grand enough for fifty people to throw beads on you from atop. 

Even the alleys are beautiful.

Even the alleys are beautiful.

Every piece of real estate counts.

Every piece of real estate counts.

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This is just the tiniest sliver of New Orleans, because I focused on the French Quarter.  The city has way more to offer than this.  There's impressive art galleries opening up everywhere (my favorite is the Good Children Gallery ), bars off the beaten path like The Saturn Bar with constant live music, and amazing local restaurants like Jacques Imo's. The food is incomparable, the architecture is unforgettable, the art scene is GREAT, there's music everywhere and there's just an air of romance to the whole city.   If you haven't visited, GO.