A few weeks ago I entered a contest. The assignment was to write about New Orleans in 200 words or less. I didn’t win so I decided to share it here:
Can you be homesick for a place you’ve never lived? I can’t think of any other way to describe the longing I feel for New Orleans. Each time my husband and I step off the plane, hear the music and smell the Lucky Dogs, we sigh and say in chorus, “We’re home.” NOLA captured my heart on our honeymoon as I looked out over the French Quarter from our hotel rooftop observatory. We’ve loved New Orleans ever since but it didn’t really become “our city” until August of 2005. As new empty-nesters, we spent an unforgettable week reconnecting and drinking in that rare elixir of joyous languor that epitomizes New Orleans. Then Katrina set her sites on the city. Unable to change our flights, we did the only reasonable thing. We went to a hurricane party. The next day as our plane lifted off, we gazed out over the city and prayed. Our passion for New Orleans continues to grow with each visit. Despite Katrina’s best efforts, life goes on. The city’s heart still beats with that inimitable, syncopated rhythm. Go. Experience it. But I must warn you: New Orleans is a seductress and you might not want to leave.
And guess where we are going today? Yep, N’awlins. My soul’s true home.