I find it amazing how one’s attitude can influence what one sees. I was born and raised in New Orleans, have lived and traveled to many places, and love living here still. Never have I seen what this writer describes in her visit here.
We are a vibrant city with a vibrant culture, cuisine, music and architecture. We are one of the few places in America with any kind of culture at all and is one of the most popular tourist destinations with many people falling in love with the place coming back time after time. Obviously their experience of the city was quite different than this writer’s. And gratefully so.
New Orleans: British Writer Calls it Barely a Place, Barely Real
She states in her post:
The only reality you can find there is from books and films. We did everything. We wandered hotel lobbies, watched the slow destruction of the mind and body through gin and jazz, and sat by the river to listen to the distant sound of trumpets as people paraded through the street followed by a personal marching band. We looked at art while surrounded by men in waistcoats and women who refused to shave their legs. After whirling through the city, dizzy with Bloody Marys, we entered the paranoid casino to assess the repetitive music, the constant neon and the dark faces of weary players. Everyone in this city is a player of some sort. We took on the role of the Europeans, each realizing a small part of home in the cafe culture and quaint streets.
But if the people make the city, then this one stretches far beyond the realms of geography. New Orleans sits as a series of contradictions and chaos, vaguely organized by concrete and tramlines. Even the buildings resemble the jigsaw of people, with piles of rubble and broken roofs standing, quite shamelessly, next to famous 30’s hotels. The poor sit on pavement sides next to the rich who fill their mouths with fresh seafood.
Please. Poor sitting on the pavement while people stand over them stuffing their faces with seafood? Give me a break.
She states that everyone in the city is a “player of some sort.” Really? Does she know me? Does she know my 98 year old mom? Or anyone else in my circle of family and friends?
She calls New Orleans “barely real.” Which begs the question “what exactly is her description of reality, what qualifies for being ‘real’ in her book?”
I’ll admit the article is well-written, she appears to be a clever writer. But very little of what she is saying is actually true, just seems like flights of fancy and being able to revel in cleverly dissing this grand old New Orleans a city that many people love and call home.
Please leave a COMMENT. What do you think? Agree disagree?
- New Orleans History: Film Clips From the 1920s (notesonneworleans.net)
- New Orleans: Why I Return (thedailysouth.southernliving.com)
- Meanwhile Back at Cafe Du Monde – Tales of New Orleans Food – Review (notesonneworleans.net)