The other night, I went on a Haunted French Quarter tour and learned of some of the most ghastly, ghoulish and gripping occurrences throughout the history of New Orleans. As the tour walked on, I found that the line between what I thought I knew and what I believed became more and more non-existent. So much has happened to and throughout the city, over the years, that I understand the implications of sinful salvation that vibrates beneath the surface of The Big Easy. From the haunting Andrew Jackson Hotel - formerly a federal courthouse, and before then, an all-boy boarding school - to the grotesque Madame LaLaurie Mansion incidents, one is sure to learn that the city is more than Mardi Gras and Cajun cooking. Nevertheless, it is one that embraces its goods and evils, marries them with morbid love and douses them with Bourbon (ha ha). It really is quite beautiful, and only a snippet of what sets this city apart from the rest of the nation.
New Orleans is packed with so much history, tradition and culture, that it cannot be fully absorbed in even a two-week trip, let alone a few days. Still, the best you can do is take it a day at a time and learn what you can. What's lurking around the corner may not be so bad and what you think you see, take another look just to be sure. It may be exactly what "the Doctor" prescribed. Venture outside of your box and discover You, in new ways. It's N'Awlins, baby. Until soon...
Donnell E. Smith