I am a travel agent and I can send people anywhere in the world they want to go. When asked where I would travel if I had my choice, New Orleans is always in my top ten. I have visited that beautiful, historic, sultry, luscious, city twice and would go back in a heart beat. I cried when I saw the devastation wrought by Katrina. I watched in horror at the crowds near the convention center (where I had walked by time and again) I couldn't believe the cruise ships terminals were gone and the before and after pictures of the flooding, just unimaginable. Living in the NW we don't have much of a historic past up here, to be able to walk on cobblestone streets and visit plantation homes is awe inspiring to me. Yes, sometimes the city smells funky (usually about 2 am) but the smell of crawfish etouffe or spicy jambayla wafting from a restaurant on Jackson Square makes you forget about it. Or the sweet taste of powdered beignets and a cafe au lait? How about a Pat O'Brien's Hurricane while you dance to zydeco music until you forget where you are?
I can think of nothing better.
I think Jason should try visiting Rio during Carnival to appreciate New Orleans a little better.
-- (May 31, 2006) on New Orleans