New Orleans, Here We Come
Tomorrow morning I board a plane to New Orleans for probably one of the most exciting opportunities of my life. I have a sneaking suspicion it will be life-changing.
The 27 of us chosen to participate in the NOLA bound project will come from Boston, Houston, Cleveland, New York, San Antonio, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Los Angeles, Galveston, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Nashville, New Orleans, Denver, Kendall Park (near Princeton), Orange County, CA, and even Kolkata, India.
It’s truly a honor to have been chosen. But with it comes a great feeling of responsibility. Each of us has been charged with the duty to report, honestly, what we find. Our group has the opportunity to be change agents, to broadcast the life, the electricity, the energy that is on fire in New Orleans. Or we could kill the city’s reputation by our reports of its crime, poverty and educational problems.
Quite a gamble for a city to take.
But then again, New Orleans has taken gambles its entire life. Those gambles, those chances, have defined ‘The Big Easy’.
I was surprised to find that in September of 1722 a great hurricane destroyed the entire city. In 1788, the Great New Orleans Fire destroyed it again. In 1794, 1882, 1909, 1915, and again in 1965 hurricanes and fires did a number on this city.
And of course, we all remember August 29th of 2005.
These misfortunes didn’t seem to break this town’s spirit. In fact, they seemed to fuel them. New Orleans has a resiliency, a spirituality, a soul, like no other city in the world.
All I can say is, ‘there’s something magic about this city. Something really magic.’
Yep, I’m nervous. I just hope I can do this city justice.