Appreciate New Orleans -- but please don't move here
I've long suffered with a double consciousness: keeping this nearly 300-year-old city a secret while, conversely, wanting everyone to know its brilliance and importance.
Know that I hope this city will be great in your hands. It's my desire that you'll have positive experiences you remember forever. Some of me wants you to discover those tucked-away haunts, where an internationally renowned musician might sit in with the band. But it just won't be at Little People's Place. Since 1952, the same family has run that neighborhood spot. Photos of past patrons and musicians line the wall. To the right you can find two photos of a teenaged me, by Michael P. Smith, with members of the Mingus Big Band, Kermit Ruffins, Irvin Mayfield, and Wynton Marsalis. But now, in the "New New Orleans," it can't have live music there anymore -- it's considered a nuisance. There, even selling alcohol is in jeopardy.
And that's why I also want you to go home. Don't mistake your weekend lust with being truly in love. Please don't move here. Nope. For far too long, outsiders have thought a three-day fling is their sign of a readiness to be committed to New Orleans. Nope. The live music, like at Little People's Place, was cool until they moved here. Now, as residents, they’ll take legal action to stop it.
I'm not saying you can never come back -- or even stay, if you decide to tie the knot with NOLA. But if you ever do, you have to accept the forgettable notes with the iconic. You have to be inconvenienced, pissed off with just how different this place is and how frustrating it can be. You have to see all sides, because New Orleans is beautiful. This city keeps fighting to change, fighting to stay the same, and just fighting to fight.
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