What I Saw (and Prayed) in New Orleans

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every
picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed,
every date has been altered.  And the
process is continuing day by day and minute by minute.  History has stopped.  Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

—George Orwell,
Nineteen Eighty-four

“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans.  Everywhere else is Cleveland.”

—Tennessee Williams

Cleveland is a wonderful city.  My first “real” job was downtown at East 9th and Superior.  The city is a metropolis of ethnic neighborhoods and displays a delightful cultural quirkiness.  But the point Tennessee Williams had in mind is that some cities, by virtue of their history and culture, are utterly unique.  New Orleans fits that bill.

The Big Easy will celebrate its tricentennial next year, having existed under French, Spanish, and British rule, as well as a brief period of independence, government under the Confederate States of America, and of course its affiliation within the United States.  New Orleans is proof...

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