“Ask an informed American citizen today to ruminate on Dallas or Atlanta or Phoenix, and you will probably get small talk, lukewarm pleasantries, and a brief conversation. Ask them what they think about New Orleans, and you are in for not only an opinionated retort, but a sentimental smile, a scolding finger, a treasured memory, a shaking head, or an exasperated shrug over the course of a conversation spanning the spectrum of human experience. This enigmatic capacity to rile and inspire, to scandalize and charm, to liberate and fascinate, helps explain why thousands of people have rejected the amenities and opportunities of the lukewarm Dallases and Atlantas and Phoenixes of the world, and chosen instead to cast their lot with this troubled old port — embracing all its splendors and dilemmas, all its booms and busts, all its joys and tragedies.” ~Richard Campanella, Bienville’s Dilemma
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