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Thursday, March 1, 2012

New Orleans

Last year, we wintered in New Orleans. It wasn't as glamorous as it sounds. Saying it that way invokes imagines of charming villas, Spanish moss, and trolley cars, but that just isn't how it was. Emery's work took us down there, and we spent three months hotel hopping. Three months of cookie-cutter make-your-own waffle stations (though one did have a pancake station). Three months of industrial detergent on hotel sheets and frequenting Wendy's because we wanted to save the per diem pay (instead of saving our arteries, I suppose - though we did usually have chili/baked potatoes). Three months being thankful we didn't actually live there; thankful for the temporary.

But New Orleans does have a culture all it's own, and they're PROUD of it. There's even an exit off the interstate named: Elysian Fields. I'm afraid we laughed a mocking laugh every time we drove by that; it might be possibly the very opposite of Elysian Fields. It isn't a Southern city afterall. The natives sound like could be from New York or Chicago, and "Who Dat" is proper English.

Redeeming qualities? The trees. The Live Oaks. These trees look like they've seen America since before it was settled as such. Can you imagine watching 200-300 years of history? Can you imagine all the children that might have played in your boughs? Dripping with the lace of Spanish Moss, these stately trees bring a sober elegance to a city that is very far from classy in my mind. And that's why I loved them while I was there; A refreshing repose from all the glitter and glam the city boasts.



                                                                      photo credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d5/CityParkNewOrleans2005-07OakTrees.jpg

Not only the live oaks, but the citrus groves made me smile. In the midst of strip-malls and restaurants (outside of the city proper), all of a sudden you would come upon a 1/2 acre orchard heavy with beautiful fruit. The sight of it gave me a zing akin the first bite of a juicy orange. So sweet and slightly sour. So picturesque, but slightly out of place. 


My New Orleans is in those trees and groves. I don't want Bourbon St or Cafe du Monde (though the beignets are tasty); I don't care for the shopping districts or gourmet cuisine. Let me revel in the beauty of God's creation, that's more than enough for me.


2 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I've only been to New Orleans a few times, mainly to get to the airport. This is surprising, considering my grandparents live in Biloxi. I experienced my first encounter with orange blossoms this week. We walked out of church Wednesday evening and the smell was enchanting. I was quickly told it was the orange blossoms...love it!

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  2. I haven't smelled orange blossom (outside of bath and body works type things), but it sounds wonderful!

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