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The New New Orleans, Part One:
Andy Antippas 

Owner, Barrister's Gallery

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Photo by Cheryl Gerber

  I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who are grumbling and fighting the greater jihad to keep New Orleans culture pure from the interlopers who have set up shop here since Katrina — many of them, by the way, interlopers themselves 10 or 20 years ago.

  We are not a brittle civilization so easily overturned. We are a self-determined, sovereign tribal unit in the depths of an Amazon rainforest. If not the Amazon, then New Orleans certainly lives and thrives in another dimension, historically always amazingly polysemous, and always filling up with curious, new and diverse life forms regularly slipping through the veil into our realm from their definitely dreary worlds.

  Rest assured, all of these life forms will be bent to our cultural will — I feel comfortable saying "our cultural will" because I have lived in New Orleans twice as long as I did in my native New York City. But before we absorb and digest these outsiders entirely — you know, turn them into dorky spasmatic second-liners — perhaps we can learn something from their "alien" ideas: how to eat healthier food occasionally, for example, and how to protect and better educate our children, how to end rampant social injustice, how to make use of public transportation and ride bicycles to the grocery store, how to care for our wetlands and how to build a sustainable economy in our city.

  Our culture is certainly in need of fresh, interdimensional ideas. — AS TOLD TO ALEX WOODWARD

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