Friday, February 03, 2006

New Orleans Soul At Stake

By Steve White

Why is New Orleans so beloved by those who have lived, or even visited, there? Because it’s a place with an old and elegant soul! An article in today’s Washington Post covers some of the same ground this blogger touched on earlier this week about the fate not only of New Orleans as a place where people live and do business, but also as a safe haven for its own unique brand of American culture – whether that be funky music, spicy Creole food or folk patterns like Carnival and second lines and St. Joseph’s Day that have infused locals’ lives with meaning and myth for generations. “Even as the city's riverfront high ground -- now dubbed the ‘Isle of Denial’ by one scholar -- gamely revives, miles of culturally vibrant neighborhoods that once smelled of simmering red beans and hosted funky second-line parades lie dark and empty, their futures in doubt,” observes Post writer Manuel Roig-Franzia. “Their worry is that the curious and crazy that developed naturally here over time will be replaced by an artificial version of what once was, that a desperate attempt to resurrect New Orleans will turn it into a sanitized, charmless, soulless city.” The full article is a good read and well worth your time. To read the full piece, go to


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