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"Are you from here?" 

Gambit readers answer this quintessential New Orleans question

In Gambit's July 16 cover story "Are you from here?" the editorial staff offered their answers to the common but not-so-simple question. There was such a positive response, we asked our readers to weigh in via a contest — with the winner receiving two tickets to the New Orleans Saints' first preseason game Aug. 9.

  We also included some other of our favorite responses.

Winner

"No, but good luck getting me to leave!"
— Lea Lintern


Born and raised in New Orleans

  Born in New Orleans, raised in New Orleans and lived in the 9th Ward growing up, went to St. Maurice School for K-8th (ain't der no more), no preschool in my times, Academy of Holy Angels on St. Claude Avenue (ain't dere no more). Remember the Sugar Bowl Lanes, Schwegmann and makin' groceries on Saturdays with my grandma, taking the bus with my grandma, going to Krauss "to get her hair did" every weekend, sno-balls every summer that you get only in New Orleans, makin' ice cream, makin' freezies in little paper cups, playing outside and a totally different world than we have now. — Deidra Davis

I spent my best years here   I spent the best years of my life in New Orleans, moved away when I was 15 and moved back when I was older. The best years are starting all over again. My kids will be from New Orleans, and that means the most to me. It means days at [Storyland] and the Audubon Zoo. It means tradition and heritage.

— Angela Crimmins


Yes, but so are out-of-staters

  I used to take that question literally, and since I was born and raised in the 9th Ward, the answer was yes. But in the aftermath of the federal flood and the influx of formerly out-of-state folks, to me it simply means anyone who lives here and is embracing our culture.

— Paul McMahon


'I wish I were'

  I always answer this question the same way. Then I wait a moment, get the same answer every time, give them the same second response, wait and get the same second answer from them:

  Me: No, I grew up around Baltimore.

  Them: I didn't think so from your accent.

  Me: I came here in 1990.

  Them: Oh, then you're from here.

  I often reply, "Well, I'm not, but I wish I were."

  It's another lovely New Orleans ritual. — Dorie Cavey


'A person is of New Orleans'

  Yes, I am a Touro baby, born and raised in New Orleans. However, my mom's family transferred her from New Jersey when she was 3, and my dad pointed a finger at the map and drove down after graduating from the University of Nebraska. My upbringing was a hybrid of Mardi Gras and pioneer heritage. I can answer "Where did you go to school?" (Dominican, where my daughter is a senior next year), but believe that a person isn't from New Orleans, but of New Orleans. No matter where you are born, when you got here, where you went to school, if you live and love this city, you are a New Orleanian. (OK, the one litmus test being pronouncing "Orleanian" correctly.) — Amy Fisher

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