It was a fancy affair with great food and great music and great conversation. Had a drink I never heard of before called a Winter Waltz, a wintry version of a Sazerac. Had a hunk of star anise floating in the top served in a martini glass. Lemme tell ya, it was gooood. O yeah, babe.
What I saw was a lot of happy people. One fella, Haj, was from England and works for a local real estate firm who had to train himself to lose his accent. He had to because he wasn’t selling any houses. Seems that people here are fairly provincial, no surprise, and feel more comfortable buying from someone who sounds like them. Anyway, to make a long story short, he was saying that he loved New Orleans and would never leave.
Heard that several times during the course of the evening. People are happy here. I mean with all the great food, great restaurants, wonderful festivals, and friendly people how could ya not be.
So it was no surprise when I read in the paper this morning that Louisiana has been rated the happiest state in America. I mean we are Number One in happnitude. Why? Well, we got the weather, the many hours of sunshine, a deep culture rooted in celebration, our own music, excellent cuisine and a certain je ne sais quoi, a certain joie de vivire, a certain whatever the heck it is that just makes living here a treat.
As most folks who are from here will tell you who move away they miss the place terribly and many move back. Many never leave at all. And many transplants get it, the “it” being whatever makes this place special.
Here’s an interesting little footnote to all this: New York is rated last in the happiness department along with that golden sunshine state California. Hm. Somehow that doesn’t surprise me.
Think about this. Despite all we’ve been through in the wake of Katrina and other lesser ‘canes in the last few years, we still have within us the celebration-of-life gene, the appreciation of all that God gives us, and the warmth of our family and friends and the great food, the great music, the great cultures, the great history.
For all the bad press we get over the years about being last or next to last in numerous categories we are first place in the category that matters the most, something that all humanity is constantly in pursuit of — happiness. We come out on top.