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.
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.