Today I had to cancel a planned vacation to New Orleans for next week's French Quarter Festival. This is a major bummer for me, as I have not been down to my spiritual hometown since my infamous 2006 trip – and I've never been down for the Fest. Unfortunately, with economic conditions being what they are, this cancellation was necessary.

But why write about it?

Photo credit: Colleen SienkiewiczBecause, first, I'll use any excuse to talk about that amazing, strange, exciting, frightening, weird, untamed, unapologetic, and not-quite-Americanized corner of the country.

Second and more importantly, New Orleans for me is not just a place. It is a place, of course, but it's also a state of mind, a way of being, a lost art of living. In New Orleans, things that Americans typically do not think about seriously, things like music and food and leisure, are given their proper due.

New Orleanians know what constitutes the good life, and it's not working 40 or more hours a week in a cubicle farm and taking two weeks off each year to poke your head up a bit to see some small, pre-defined touristy part of the world. That ain't living, no sir.

I'm here to say you haven't lived until you've done a second line down the streets of the Faubourg Marigny. Or the Quarter. Or Gentilly. Or anywhere else life happens in this city where life still happens.

Yes, life involves music, food, and leisure. Americans in general have – even though they might deny it – lost touch with all of these fundamentally human pursuits. The existence of New Orleans is a standing rebuke to this modern oversight, an oversight that approximately 299.5 million of us are guilty of. Shame on us.

Finally, although Ann Arbor is, of course, no New Orleans, what I really appreciate about this town is its open-endedness, its acceptance of the weird and different, its particularity. At a time when so many cities and towns of America are becoming exactly like every other city and town in America, Ann Arbor stubbornly maintains its own identity, just as New Orleans does.

I've spent my entire life in Michigan. I was born here and I grew up here. I know Ann Arbor is different enough from most other Michigan cities that Michiganders of a certain stripe seek it out, over the Detroit suburbs and the rural towns, for a taste of the "other."

It ain't New Orleans – not by a long shot. But it's what we got. And it's pretty damn good, all the same.


Unknown said...

ninest123 12.14
tory burch outlet, christian louboutin, louboutin uk, uggs on sale, nike free, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, longchamp outlet, uggs on sale, nike outlet, louis vuitton handbags, nike air max, louis vuitton outlet online, michael kors handbags, longchamp outlet, michael kors, ralph lauren polo, ralph lauren outlet, replica watches, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton, cheap jordans, tiffany jewelry, ray ban sunglasses, uggs outlet, gucci handbags, cheap oakley sunglasses, tiffany jewelry, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp bags, prada handbags, prada outlet, burberry factory outlet, michael kors outlet online, oakley sunglasses, burberry outlet, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin, replica watches, michael kors outlet online, uggs outlet, louboutin shoes, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet

Unknown said...

nike free pas cher, jordan pas cher, timberland pas cher, coach outlet store online, ray ban uk, nike roshe run pas cher, true religion outlet, michael kors uk, new balance, nike air max uk, sac guess pas cher, replica handbags, true religion outlet, nike air max, nike roshe uk, michael kors outlet online, vanessa bruno pas cher, hollister uk, north face pas cher, lunette ray ban pas cher, north face uk, polo ralph lauren uk, abercrombie and fitch, coach purses, nike free, mulberry uk, true religion outlet, longchamp pas cher, nike air max uk, converse, michael kors, nike blazer pas cher, burberry pas cher, longchamp soldes, ralph lauren pas cher, vans pas cher, hermes pas cher, nike air max pas cher, nike air force, true religion jeans, hogan sito ufficiale, polo lacoste pas cher, lululemon outlet, lunette oakley pas cher, nike trainers uk, louboutin pas cher, abercrombie and fitch UK, nike tn pas cher, michael kors

Unknown said...

vans scarpe, mont blanc, reebok outlet, celine handbags, chi flat iron, iphone 5s cases, polo ralph lauren, iphone cases, herve leger, north face outlet, gucci, lululemon outlet, wedding dresses, valentino shoes, louboutin, vans outlet, hollister clothing, instyler ionic styler, soccer shoes, mcm handbags, hollister, nfl jerseys, soccer jerseys, insanity workout, iphone 6 cases, bottega veneta, nike air max, north face outlet, abercrombie and fitch, ray ban, giuseppe zanotti, jimmy choo outlet, mac cosmetics, softball bats, converse, new balance shoes, nike air max, oakley, nike roshe run, iphone 6s plus cases, beats by dre, s6 cases, hermes handbags, asics running shoes, ghd hair, iphone 6s cases, timberland boots, iphone 6 plus cases, ipad cases, babyliss pro, p90x workout, salvatore ferragamo

Unknown said...

juicy couture outlet, marc jacobs, moncler, moncler outlet, ugg uk, louis vuitton uk, louis vuitton, moncler, canada goose, coach outlet, moncler, pandora jewelry, canada goose, doke & gabbana, moncler, thomas sabo uk, canada goose pas cher, canada goose jackets, hollister, moncler uk, canada goose outlet, bottes ugg pas cher, ugg pas cher, sac louis vuitton, moncler jackets, barbour, canada goose outlet, canada goose uk, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, karen millen uk, montre pas cher, supra shoes, swarovski uk, wedding dresses uk, lancel, sac louis vuitton, toms shoes, juicy couture outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora jewelry, links of london uk, pandora uk, louis vuitton, canada goose jackets, replica watches, converse shoes outlet, moncler pas cher, barbour jackets uk, pandora charms, swarovski jewelry
ninest123 12.14