I was born in Charity Hospital in New Orleans. Although I have seen and experienced many cultures, foods, and traditions, my heart always returns to a moment in time.
It could be sitting under a veranda sipping a dacquiri while a paddle boat passes on the Mississippi River. It could be wiping powdered sugar off my face at Cafe Du Monde while watching the sun beat off of the Jackson Monument in front of St. Louis Cathedral with jazz playing all around. It could be Mardi Gras, a family experience before "girls gone wild" made their debut.
Waiting in long lines for the best po-boy. Shopping for wares at the French Market. Seafood coated in spices the rest of the world couldn't fathom. Shopping on Canal Street. The World's Fair. Cream stuffed sno-balls outside the Riverwalk. Streetcars, beautiful architecture, the music...sounds so uplifting or haunting you never forget the experience.
“New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin." — Mark Twain
The most diverse city I've ever been to. It's unique style has come from a blending of races, cultures, and religion.
I'm not afraid or embarrassed to dance in public when music starts. I'll sing along to any song, anywhere I go. I wear hats, boas, tiaras, anything that sparkles, outfits that make me look like a hobo or a queen. I don't save my best outfit for office parties, I've worn sequins to a PTA meeting.
I've raised my son the way I was influenced by this phenomenal city: Judge a person on their merit, not their color or religion. If you have an opinion, don't voice it unless you are educated on both sides of the argument and can back up your opinion with facts.
I never saw Jackson Square, Lee Circle, or any other "Confederate" monument as a white supremist dedication. I've seen them as a gateway to learning about our history. I know many things about them because as I drove by or sat near them, I've asked "Why" then studied and learned about where we've come from, how we've become greater because of the paths we've taken.
History is defined as the study of past events, particularly in human affairs. If we erase history then our human affairs will be dictated by outspoken and slightly skewed opinions.
Opinions. Not facts.
If we tear down every little thing that offends someone what will we have left? Why are we so afraid to voice an opinion, stand tall for what is important? Political correctness will be the downfall of our society. It won't be long before we are all in matching jumpsuits, eating paste, and generic.
I don't want to be generic. I want to be unique, quirky; let the crazy aunt out of the attic and pour her a drink!
I'm proud of our countries triumphs as well as her mistakes. Without mistakes, without history, how can we ever be a better society? We cannot run or disguise our past, we must embrace it, learn from it, or fix it. Not destroy it, hide it, or forget it.
I am damn proud of who I am. I am not black or white, I am New Orleans.