New Orleans. It’s a city of crawfish, catfish, jambalaya, and gumbo; of the Vieux Carré the Sazerac, and the Ramos Fizz; of taking part in the madness of Mardi Gras, listening to live Jazz, and dancing all night on Bourbon street. But even though this city offers all of the above and more, this is not what impressed us most about New Orleans.
New Orleans has soul. Or rather, the people of “New Awlins” have soul. They live in a wet, sticky swamp infested by mosquitoes and commonly ravaged with storms, but that doesn’t change their outlook on life. They understand that life is, in it’s purest form, meant to be enjoyed to it’s fullest. The people of New Orleans (and Louisiana in general) understand that each day isn’t a living punishment, but rather an opportunity to have a good time. They smile, they crack jokes, they talk to one another with enthusiasm and interest, and, no matter if they’re having a good day or bad, they won’t be unfriendly or harsh to a stranger.
A trip down to the bayou showed us how people enjoy the pleasures of southern life in a small community. Our journey through the rest of the state westward proved to us that New Orleans isn’t an anomaly of kindness surrounded by brash souls, but rather a small part of the large, living soul that makes up Louisiana as a whole.
In seeing New Orleans we saw the heart of the south. We saw that certain flavor that no one else, nowhere else, can recreate or imitate no mater how hard they attempt to. We saw a part of America that is truly unique in it’s candor. New Orleans is undoubtedly American, they just chose to express it in a different way.