Wednesday, September 16, 2009

9.16.09 The little lily that could....

New Orleans' love affair with itself is one of the historical, parochial, unifying and sometimes cloying characteristics of this city. For instance, very few of us feel the need to append any facts, statistics or evidence to the perpetual claim that is ours: "The most interesting city in America."
It's a given. Always has been. And if you live somewhere else and are generally tired of our prideful self-regard -- particularly every time the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina rolls around -- then get over it. Because it's true.
To paraphrase the late 7th Ward vaudevillian, Ernie K-Doe: Sure, we're cocky. But we're good.
And make no mistake: This is no Katrina effect, no manifesto of the "new" New Orleans. Our perpetual conceit is -- to put it in the popular lexicon -- a pre-existing condition.
After all, it was 1879 when the newspaper columnist Lafcadio Hearn took note of New Orleans' chronic states of decay, insolvency, lawlessness and prurience, yet still proclaimed: "It is better to live here in sackcloth and ashes than to own the whole state of Ohio."
Nothing against Ohio, of course. It's just... well, it's just not here

'Hurricane Katrina may have amped it up,'  
Chris Rose, The Times Picayune

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