On NOLA.com, New Orleans, LA is referred to as the city that existed before August 29, 2005 and the city that existed after.
Hurricane Katrina changed everything as the storm that was always feared in this city that sits below sea level.
5 years later, the city has tried to bounce back with their laissez les bon temps rouler attitude.
And hey, even sooner than that, the Saints went to and WON the SuperBowl. GEAUX SAINTS!
Every little bit of good luck, positive attitude, prayers and selfless giving has helped the city to recover as best as it can.
When I think of New Orleans, I think of gumbo, poboys, raw oysters and seafood at Felix's. I think of Mardi Gras parades with my grandparents and trying to keep my little sister from being run over by floats. I remember jazz brunches at A Court of Two Sisters. I think of Audubon Zoo, cemeteries with graves that sit above ground, street car rides down St. Charles and beautiful Garden District homes. I recall hanging out with the members of Duran Duran around the fire fountain at Pat O'Briens and later, dancing at The Famous Door. I remember getting engaged to my husband at our little slaves quarters apartment we'd rented one October weekend. I remember the wedding we'd planned at St. Louis Cathedral and the Dixieland marching band parade we were planning for our wedding party. I remember my sister and I taking our mother to New Orleans in celebration of her 50th birthday, drinking too many Hurricanes and laughing hysterically as we convinced our mother to join us in a transvestite bar. I think of wandering around Jackson Square, the French Market and enjoying scrumptious beignets at Cafe du Monde. (mmm... powdered sugar...)
I remember artists, like one of my favorites, George Rodrigue.
I remember music at all times of the night or day. Awesome Jazz Fest, Tipitina's, Louis Armstrong, the Marsalis family, the Neville's, and Harry Connick, Jr.
I remember the heavy humidity and the bougainvillea that sprouted right out of the walls.
I can picture the fleur de lis, the Spanish and French touches in the architecture.
I think of walking and walking and never knowing what I'd see next.
It is a city I hope to visit someday again. I haven't been there since Katrina. I often wonder... what will it feel like... the city that exists now?
Will it ever be the same?
For more on Katrina and ways to help:
Progress mixed with pain (USA Today)
Hurricane Katrina Benefit Music/CDs
Habitat for Humanity/Musicans Village (Harry Connick, Jr./Branford Marsalis)
Make it Right - Brad Pitt's Project to help rebuild
How other stars are helping New Orleans
pics taken from Nola.com