We were delighted to attend our nephew's wedding and bask in the warmth of the sunshine and the happiness of being surrounded by loved ones. As Martha Stewart would say...a wedding---it's a good thing! We also had free time to wander the French Quarter and make new memories. This poem by Vince Vance, penned in 2011, describes the essence of what we discovered on a lovely Sunday morning stroll through the Quarter:
I Am New Orleans
by Vince Vance
...upon the 125th Anniversary of the Monteleone Hotel, the heart of New Orleans
I'm American, European and African... all by chance
I'm Satchmo, Jumbo, Fountain, Fats, 'Fess and Vince Vance
I'm the roux in your gumbo; I'm the rice in your beans
I'm a levee that will never break; I am New Orleans.
My blood is the River, my heart is the Quarter
I'm a corrupt politician; a slave that was martyred
A girl who lost her way and a Bourbon Street Queen
A Streetcar Named Desire; I am New Orleans.
I'm praying in the Cathedral; I'm living in sin
I never sleep from the bustle or the fear I live in
I smell like French Bread; my snowball's nectar cream
In a city that care forgot; I am New Orleans.
I'm stronger from lies; I'm bigger than The Dome
I'm the Saints; I'm the sinners; I am a place called Home
I'm sweating in December; I'm purple, gold and green
I'm Catholic and I'm voodoo; I am New Orleans.
I'm Dixieland Jazz; I'm Redfish Court-Bouillon
I'm the Carousel Lounge, the Knights of Babylon
"Throw me something. Mister!" Yeah, I hear y'all scream
But this parade never ends; I am New Orleans.
I'm coffee and beignets, a ferry to Old Algiers
I'm the Best Bank, Metry, St. Bernard, I drink Abita Beer
I'm a Jambalaya of People seasoned with moonbeams
I'm Mardi Gras on Canal Street; I am New Orleans.
I was sold by the French and saved by Ole Hickory
There's water all around me, but I can never come clean
I'm eight feet below sea level and I'm slipping out to sea
Katrina changed me forever, but I am still New Orleans.
They tried to call me Chocolate City; it's okay we're white and black
You can drench me with oil but I'm always coming back
I'm the healer Dr. Mary and all of Blaine Kern's dreams
I'm an old hotel called Monteleone; I am New Orleans.