You don’t have to go far to find poems retelling the beauty of New Orleans or the majesty of it’s southern live oaks hanging low over the avenues. I watch the tourists every week walk the streets of the Vieux Carré peering in the shops drinking from plastic cups and asking for directions. They dodge the bad and reap the good but I wonder if it was as clean as their suburban homes if they would still find the appeal.
Like the streets in every neighborhood many of the long time residents of the city are a jaded down and out crew of people. Ignored during their greatest time of need and similarly out of sight and out of mind after a long, incomplete, road to recovery.
For every lamp post in The Quarter you’ll find a story, if you’re willing to listen, about a lost home, a lost family, or a hard time that just can’t be gotten rid of. The sun has baked into every brick two hundred and ninety seven years of woe. You can wipe the summer sweat from your face but you can’t clean the grit from these streets.