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The Hungry Nomad: A Love Letter to New Orleans (from the Hungry Nomad)

July 16, 2012

A Love Letter to New Orleans (from the Hungry Nomad)

My dear New Orleans,

I am sad to be writing this letter, sad to end a chapter, sad to have it all end. It is time for us to part ways. I want you to know that you have been so good to me. I am so blessed to have lived you, experienced you, breathed you. 


I loved waking up every single day to sunshine- that sweet and warm sunshine. Yes there was plenty of rain- but tropical warm rain still feels so good, especially for a Canuck like me. And with the rain came the amazing green lush streets. Those massive oak trees that speak to you if you listen long enough and tell you tales of New Orleans rich past. I have fallen in love with those oak trees many which are decorated with colorful beads once a year at Mardi Gras. 

Yes, I have fallen in love with a tree. Anne Rice once said "I love New Orleans physically. I love the trees and the balmy air and the beautiful days".  I completely understand her sentiments, for I have physically fallen in love with New Orleans. 

And the beauty of a town is never complete without the people. I have fallen in love with the warm, friendly and happy people of New Orleans. 

If there was ever a town to have a reason to be full of sorrow and pain it is New Orleans. And although the damages of Katrina, poverty and crime are all around, it does not stop people from living to the fullest. Every day is a new day and more reason to celebrate. 

I loved all the festivals. How can one town have so many festivals in one year? From Jazz Fest where I heard some of the best soulful music but also had the best food. Crawfish enchiladas. Could anything be better? Well maybe the white chocolate bread pudding stand. 

Jazz fest gives locals and tourists two full weeks of celebrations. Two weeks of celebrating the town's rich musical history and artists. So many untapped talent in one town. So much beauty in each performance. 
Even the local cats go to the bar in New Orleans!
I loved Frenchmen street. Loved the energy, the music, the soul of the city come out at night on Frenchmens.  On any particular night, stepping into any bar I would hear some of the best music I've ever heard. I would dance among young and old. Local and Tourists. All enjoying life and happily existing. 

After Jazz festival, there was French Quarter festival, Po-boy festival, Oak street festival, oyster festival. So many reasons to celebrate. Little reason to mourn the past. 

But nothing, absolutely nothing could top Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras gives people a reason to live. When I first moved down to New Orleans I didn't appreciate how Mardi Gras is ingrained in the genes of New Orleanians.
 One month of celebrations. 
One month of drinking, feasting and playing dress up. 
One month of wonderful, creative and clever floats driving through Saint Charles street.
 One month of fancy balls letting you take a step back in time and relive the town's glorious past. 
One month of king cakes. 
That purple, yellow and green sugary piece of heaven with a surprise in the middle....
... 11 months of planning and counting down the days.

And the food! 
What can I say about the food? I fear whatever I say won't be enough. My first dining experience was at Commander's Palace. Twenty-five cent martinis. Turtle Soup and Gumbo. Then came the Chargrilled oysters at Dragos, 
Barbecued shrimp at Mr. B's, 
Po-boys at Parktown Tavern
 and an experience out of this world at Jacques-Imos. 

Oh the food! 
The seafood! 
The oysters, oysters, oysters. 
The spices. The richness and the sauces. 
I loved everything I ate: the chargrilled oysters, seafood gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish etouffes, bread pudding, pralines and my favorite: Mr. B's barbecued shrimp. 

There are so many great chefs and so many amazing restaurants.  After spending two years in New Orleans I'm afraid I left without having discovered half of it. 
I will be back. 
This I can promise you. 

But best of all:
 I fell in love in New Orleans.
 And got married in New Orleans.
 I had the second line band follow me down the beautiful grounds of City Park in New Orleans.
 And danced to the hair rising soulful voice of Louis Armstrong in....
New Orleans. 

Even though we are parting ways, 
New Orleans you will always be in my heart, 
and stomach. 

Thank you for the unforgettable memories and hospitality. 

Your biggest fan, 

The Hungry Nomad


At July 23, 2012 , Anonymous Kailyn Davillier said...

This is the most beautiful and meaningful love letter I have ever read to New Orleans! :)

At July 25, 2012 , Blogger Hungry Nomad said...

Thanks Kailyn. I really miss it. And I really want the world to know how special New Orleans is. It would have been an endless letter but I didn't want to bore my readers :)

At August 02, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This letter is a true representation of what NOLA stands for. #NOLA #LOVE

At August 02, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This letter is a true representation of what #NOLA stands for. This is what its like to be from New Orleans, amazing letter Hungry Nomad :) - DATGUYNOLA


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