I'm not sure what's worse: the idiotic hipster transplant lovefest the NYT printed or the thin-skinned delusions about post-K recovery that have become gospel. Can't New Orleans just be a work in progress, warts and all?
Locals confuse traditions with bad habits (we have plenty of both). The public schools remain almost completely segregated. Family members get public jobs they aren't qualified for, as do high school pals, all at the expense of better talent from elsewhere. Orange traffic cones are considered solutions, not warnings. The 20 deadliest cities in the world are in Latin America; New Orleans is the 21st. Don't get me started on the Silicon Bayou myth.
But the food is great (Sylvain, where the author ate, has all kinds of kale dishes, even). People are friendly and appreciate the value of culture and community. The stick up the rest of America's ass about damn near everything is blissfully absent here (though perhaps we could use a little of it from time to time). We seem to celebrate saints and feasts other Americans have never heard of, and our almost childlike enthusiasm for music and dance should be exported to every uptight corner of the universe. People apply themselves to labors of love here to an extent I've never seen anywhere else.
New Orleans isn't just any one thing. But it is in flux, perhaps to a greater extent than at any time in the past two generations. Which kinda makes it like the rest of the country. Why isn't that enough for people?
We're New Orleans, and we're working on it. Isn't that all anyone can do?
Same here re: Three Muses. I'd swap that smugfest at Cure for it in a heartbeat.
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