I love your sidewalk brass bands, your Cajun spices, your feathers and beads. I love your smoked rabbit with smothered greens, your tipsy tourists, your cochon de lait, your red beans and rice.
I love your melting pot makeup, your Dixieland percussion, your bourbon and beignets. I love your African backbone and your French accent, your shaded gardens and your late-summer swelter. I love that you gave birth to jazz. I love that you wear seersucker to brunch.
I love that you get up after you’ve been knocked down hard. I love that you’re working to put things right again. I love your pride, your mettle, your joie de vivre.
I love your Greek Revival mansions, your Creole cottages, your Victorian filigrees and peeling-paint front porches. I love your Streetcar Named Desire, your Vampire Chronicles, your Confederacy of Dunces. I love your cemeteries and your parks and your parades. I love that you call me ma’am, that you smile on the street and hold open doors. I love that you’re like no place else I’ve ever been.
And maybe most of all, New Orleans, I am in love with that chicken and andouille gumbo of yours. I’ll be back as soon as I’m able.