52 Places to Go in 2018

st charles grocery (1)Earlier this week, I mentioned Fodor’s list of places to avoid in 2018. Almost as soon as the ink dried on that post ( or digital imprint made), I heard on local radio that the New York Times listed 52 places to go in 2018.

What’s number one on the list? New Orleans, Louisiana. I almost laughed out loud. I will never forget the naysayers in the days, weeks, and months after Hurricane Katrina nearly destroyed the city.  I won’t easily forget the stinging words of the people who sheltered me in Baton Rouge for a few days after the storm. I heard other remarks through the months afterwards, too.

“New Orleans deserves it.”

“God sent Katrina to punish the city’s inhabitants.”

“It’s never coming back.”

I love New Orleans. I lived there for many years, and now, I live just a few miles north of the city.

No one deserves a hurricane. Or a fire. Or an earthquake. Check your New Testament, please. Jesus said rain falls on the just and the unjust.

I laugh because New Orleans refuses to die. It’s come back different. It’s smaller, more versatile, and in my opinion, better than before.

2018 marks  the 300th anniversary of the founding of New Orleans. She’s moving on quite nicely these days. Many old venues are stronger than ever, like the Saenger Theatre, Preservation Hall, and even the once-ravaged Super Dome. The food is still better than almost any other place in the nation. Neighborhoods in many places are quietly gentrifying and getting a new lease on life with new blood who like our unique culture.

New Orleans has always been a gumbo pot of a city. Every group that settled here left a mark on her to separate her from rivals. The natives, the slaves, the free Creoles of the Carribean, the French, the Spanish and even Yanks are part of the DNA of a city that no one can quite define.

Come on and see for yourself why it’s Number One for 2018. There’s no place quite like New Orleans.

“We dance even if there’s no radio. We drink at funerals. We talk too much and laugh too loud and live too large and, frankly, we’re suspicious of others who don’t.” – Chris Rose, 1 Dead in Attic, 2006

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Welcome to Gumbo YaYa. My writings are an eclectic blend. A Louisiana gumbo is a composite dish of roux, rice and whatever else the cook wants to add. Yaya is a Creole term for ladies all talking at the same time. The Gumbo Ya-Ya features my writing on spirituality, travel, culture, and humor. Grab a bowl of gumbo here and dig in!

5 thoughts on “52 Places to Go in 2018

  1. I love New Orleans, though the climate would make it a bit difficult to live there. I went to University in Houston and the incessant, humid heat was tough to bear.

    But it’s a fantastic place with its own, strong personality. It reminds me a bit of San Francisco in the old days, before every millennial with any computer knowledge went there to strike it rich in Silicon Valley: quirky people; great food; lots of funky charm.

    One of my best friends in Boston is from there, and she has tons of great stories about the place. And it was one of my favorite stops along the 2014 Great Mexican Road Trip.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Which is way too hot in the summer, and lacking in funky charm to boot.

    Like

    1. I think we are both in places that are nice in some ways, but not ideal in many ways. Yes, the weather here is awful. Right now, it’s damp and cold. Our summers are damp and hot. The spring is often wet and too warm. There are officially five days in mid-October that are guaranteed to have nice weather in these parts. The rest of the time has generally awful weather. C’est la vie.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I beg to differ. The food is not better than almost any other place in the nation. Houston, for one, has better food by far. What New Orleans offers is consistency. You would be hard-pressed to walk into any New Orleans restaurant and not get a great meal. But it’s all New Orleans cuisine. There is a sameness to it. There is little variety. Houston’s restaurants offer a much wider variety of meals. Granted, restaurants are far less consistent in quality, but if you know where to go, you’re far better off, restaurant-wise, in Houston than in New Orleans.

    I’m using Houston as an example because I lived there and in New Orleans for almost the same amount of time, 15 years in Houston and 18 in New Orleans, giving me a good basis for comparison. I lived in New Orleans first, so I too had the attitude that it serves the best food in the nation. I was quite surprised to learn otherwise after moving to Houston.

    And I’d bet there are other cities with better food, or at least a far wider variety of good grub, than what you’ll get in New Orleans.

    Like

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