Dear New Orleans,
I think that the writer Chris Rose put it best when he said that "you can live in a lot of cities, but New Orleans is the only city that lives in you." Even if I am gone for only a few days, each time I leave you I feel a strong sense of longing to come right back. I don't care if your daily gift to me is 90% humidity or torrential downpours out of nowhere; I would not trade you for the world. In these past four months, I've known and come to love you, and I can only begin to imagine how my love for you will grow over the next three and a half years. I hope that you are listening, because here goes nothing.
I love your art.
I find myself walking down different streets and stumbling upon incredible works of art in so many random places. Whether it's the alley in between two buildings, a brick wall facade, a small grassy patch of land, or a black iron fence, everywhere I turn there's a new sight to see.
I love your waterways.
The Mississippi. It winds and flows right through your heart, just like you do through mine. I feel the wind in my hair as I float above the water on Steamboat Natchez. I watch as tugs, tankers, freighters, cruise ships and long strings of barges navigate the rivers' currents. It may look a little muddy at times, but the water's dramatic curve is how you received the nickname of the Crescent City. You earned that one.
I love your rain.
As the saying goes, "when it rains, it pours." However, I most definitely consider this an understatement when it comes to the weather in New Orleans. The rain is so unpredictable that I can't even begin to count how many times I've been caught in torrential downpours without an umbrella. But in the same way that I learned to carry an umbrella in my bag, I also learned to embrace your rain (and flooding) in all its glory.
I love your architecture.
From the towering mansions that line St. Charles Avenue to the iron-fenced porches of the French Quarter, I just can't get enough. I love admiring the brightly painted shotgun houses, and I could walk around the city for hours just looking at all of your buildings and houses. I think that's pretty telling of how many diverse and interesting types of architecture exist in New Orleans.
I love your food.
New Orleans and food go together like peanut butter and jelly. When people ask me what my favorite restaurant is, my response always goes a little something like "there's just so many I can't choose." From the incredible Vietnamese cuisine to old school southern BBQ, there truly is an endless supply of restaurants to try. Exploring all of the food that New Orleans has to offer is definitely one of my favorite things to do.
I could continue listing all of the things that I love about New Orleans because the list goes on and on. Whether it's the countless festivals that outnumber the days of the year, the sprawling oak trees that cover Tulane's campus, or the gorgeous sunsets behind the skyline at City park, every day here is a new adventure. And I cannot wait to continue discovering everything that New Orleans has to offer.